Media Mix, May 27, 2018

Here’s this week’s Media Mix, about the Government Monitor System, which was shut down several weeks ago after major media finally discovered it and realized that it contained a lot of comments that qualified as hate speech. The moral of the story, if you’re skeptical about politics as a rule, is that no one really cares about such “public access” sites except extremists who see an outlet for their radical and usually uninformed thoughts. However, as the discussion on No Hate TV indicated, Japan’s reactionary rabble, otherwise known as neto uyoku, is perhaps more mercenary than they are ideological in their methods. What separates this group from the more traditional right wing and conservative elements is their total lack of rigor and their dependence on cliches. They may actually hate resident Koreans and Chinese and foreigners in general, but they rely on other people to provide them with reasons for that hate, and in any case if they can make a yen or two in the process, who needs facts?

This attribute once again points to a difference between the right and the left that seems to be universal; not so much that the right’s cynicism overwhelms its claims to logic and analysis, but that right wing tactics are looser. The neto uyoku‘s highjacking of the GMS is similar in effect to the hacking that took place during the last U.S. presidential election, which many people believe was responsible for the Trump victory. Though ostensibly the hacking was carried out by nominally right wing elements, for the most part it was actually carried out by people for hire, or, even scarier, people who just thought they could do it, so why not? The conventional wisdom here says that liberals and the left should just appropriate these tactics and fight fire with fire, but the left seems repelled by the idea. No one is saying that liberals aren’t capable of dirty tricks, but there seems to be a limit to the range of their cynicism. No such limits apply to the right.

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