Difference between revisions of "Denialism"

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==== Linked Patterns ====
==== Linked Patterns ====
[[Weapons of Mass Distraction]], [[Dumbing Down]], [[Compartmentalization of Knowledge]], [[Distorting History]], [[Social Apathy]], [[Media Monopolies]].
[[Weapons of Mass Distraction]], [[Dumbing Down]], [[Compartmentalization of Knowledge]], [[Distorting History]], [[Social Apathy]], [[Media Monopolies]], [[Professional Obfuscation]].
==== Resources ====
==== Resources ====

Revision as of 20:46, 4 June 2013

Political cartoon by Carlos Latuff


The adherence to certain beliefs proven to be untrue, sometimes supported by certain media outlets and pseudo-sciences. Refusing to accept as truth something that has been proven to be true. Often motivated by religious beliefs, self-interest, or as a defense mechanism out of fear or discomfort.

How It Works

Relieves guilt by taking away responsibility.

Can be used to postpone or eradicate fixing problems that the state doesn't want fixed.

Though proof is presented, individuals continue to deny the proof and adhere to their false beliefs.

Problems can be reframed in a way that they are represented as not being problems at all. Popular beliefs can be played upon to invoke denial of the problem.


Holocaust Denial

"Nazi policy did a great deal to facilitate denial of the Holocaust even as the killing operation unfolded across German-occupied Europe during World War II. The Holocaust was a state secret in Nazi Germany. The Germans wrote down as little as possible. Most of the killing orders were verbal, particularly at the highest levels. Hitler's order to kill Jews was issued only on a need-to-know basis. The Nazi leaders generally avoided detailed planning of killing operations, preferring to proceed in a systematic but often improvised manner. The Germans destroyed most documentation that did exist before the end of the war. The documents that survived and related directly to the killing program were virtually all classified and stamped “Geheime Reichssache” (Top Secret), requiring special handling and destruction to prevent capture by the enemy. Heinrich Himmler, Reich Leader of the SS and Chief of the German Police, said in a secret speech to SS generals in Posen in 1943 that the mass murder of the European Jews was a secret, never to be recorded.

In order to hide the killing operation as much as possible from the uninitiated, Hitler ordered that the killings not be spoken of directly in German documentation or in public statements. Instead, the Germans used codenames and neutral-sounding terms for the killing process. In Nazi parlance, for example, “action” (Aktion) referred to a violent operation against Jewish (or other) civilians by German security forces; “resettlement to the East” (Umsiedlung nach dem Osten) referred to the forced deportation of Jewish civilians to killing centers in German-occupied Poland; and “special treatment” (Sonderbehandlung) meant killing.

Both at the time and later, such euphemisms impeded a clear understanding of what the Nazis were doing. This was partly to facilitate the killing process by keeping the victims in the dark about their fate as long as possible. Widespread Jewish resistance was only possible once Jews understood that Nazi policy was to kill all of them. Furthermore, Hitler could not just assume that almost no one would protest the killing of Jews. Even within his own party there were those who agreed with the campaign of persecution against Jews but who occasionally balked at systematic murder. For example, Wilhelm Kube, the German civilian administrator of occupied Belarus, fully supported the murder of the Belarusian Jews, but protested when the SS deported German Jews to Minsk and shot them there."

Climate Change Denial

"Conservative billionaires used a secretive funding route to channel nearly $120m (£77m) to more than 100 groups casting doubt about the science behind climate change, the Guardian has learned.

The funds, doled out between 2002 and 2010, helped build a vast network of thinktanks and activist groups working to a single purpose: to redefine climate change from neutral scientific fact to a highly polarising "wedge issue" for hardcore conservatives.

The millions were routed through two trusts, Donors Trust and the Donors Capital Fund, operating out of a generic town house in the northern Virginia suburbs of Washington DC. Donors Capital caters to those making donations of $1m or more.

Whitney Ball, chief executive of the Donors Trust told the Guardian that her organisation assured wealthy donors that their funds would never by diverted to liberal causes."



Linked Patterns

Weapons of Mass Distraction, Dumbing Down, Compartmentalization of Knowledge, Distorting History, Social Apathy, Media Monopolies, Professional Obfuscation.