A tiny lesson from Fukushima about scapegoating and influence

A report

I came across a mainstream Japanese report about decontamination in Japan, after the accident at the Fukushima nuclear plant.

The cleanup is expensive, it is technically forbidding, and there are bureaucratic stupidities. Children are showing health abnormalities.

There are other political lessons from Fukushima, but I want to focus on something small.

The reporter summarized with the usual television closing, something like this:

When will they return to the quiet, hometown life they once knew?

Normal TV news stuff, right? Puts you to sleep.

But he also said one thing, roughly this:

I want to emphasize that they bear no responsibility WHATSOEVER for creating this situation.

He made a point of it.

Reporters make a difference

What a reporter says, matters. Even something bluntly obvious.

It helps to prevent scapegoating.

A reporter shapes attitudes. He or she sets an example and looks like an authority.

Moronic though they may be, social proof and authority are well-studied ways of influence. They are used by advertisers because they work.

Scapegoating is predictable

The residents did not create an earthquake, a tsunami, or nuclear carelessness. No more than a seriously sick person (or 20 million) created a pathogen or a toxin.

However, scapegoating is strongly predictable in events that lead to misopathy. (Tangential explanation in footnote.)1

It is also preventable: perhaps a few Japanese doctors now scorn residents a little less, because a reporter stated the obvious.2

As moronic as that may be.

Aside about political tools

As an aside, scapegoating is sometimes a tool. It can be used to evade responsibility, misdirect, sell, grab resources, eliminate obstacles, or gain advantage.

Humans scapegoat, and humans exploit the fact that humans scapegoat.

Sometimes it is done by failing to prevent scapegoating. Sometimes it is done by fueling it.

Tacit sanction by authority is enough.

Example: if you hate race X, and I want race X out of the way for a purpose, then I can use your bigotry to my ends.

The same is true when sick people are wanted out of the way. Consider the language about chronically sick people being a burden to the medical system in Action T4.

Misopathy is a given. Scapegoating is a human constant. They are exploited. They are predictable and preventable.

End of aside.


Now here is my tiny observation: we don't hear reporters sincerely and genuinely emphasizing WHATSOEVER about us like that Japanese reporter did.

And my tiny point: it's time we do as a matter of course.




We will kanarazu (with certainty) hear about "radiophobia" when there is a nuclear accident in Japan — or when a Soviet plutonium plant left entire towns along a polluted river sick with misopathized diseases. (Look up Muslomovo: they were not told why they were sick and they were dismissed as drunkards.)

Likewise, in Le Roy, we totally know we will hear about "impressionable girls".

This is predictable like clockwork because misopathy has patterns. Humans are not rational, but they are predictable.

It doesn't matter in the least whether we buy the line that "radiophobia" or "impressionable girls" are creeping menaces that dominate the events: we will hear about them, repeatedly, like an ad for beer.

And that will influence scapegoating.

The type of blame that is used against sick people depends on rhetorical constraints. When those change, tactics change. For example, backhanded misopathy becomes direct.

More in future posts. My point for this post is that scapegoating is predictable and preventable.


It works indirectly also. When doctors know they can't get away with being misopathic, they do it less. It was once acceptable for a major medical textbook to call epileptics self-centered. It is not now.


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