Trolls

Arguably, the complexity and confusion of our day and age can be particularized if we take the complexity and confusion surrounding the act of online trolling into account. As one person stated: “People are persuaded by things they’re already inclined to believe, not by someone yelling at you. The trolls were trying to be your friends, not your enemies.” And while it seems outlandish, if we were to analyze and think through this statement a little deeper and further than usual, we would perhaps be able to infer that if nothing can be black and white due to the complexity and confusion of our time, then it follows that neither can the act of trolling be as simple as a black and white dichotomy. In a sense, there is an adverse, harmful, and negative aspect of trolling on one hand, and on the other hand, there is perhaps a pedantic, pedagogical, or informational aspect of trolling on the other hand.

One can argue that fighting and toxicity are not the exact same things as trolling. Fighting and toxicity translate into a situation whereby the basic interests and views of the fighting parties do not align and the two parties appear so noxious and toxic to one another that there is perhaps little to no hope that their interests and views would ever be able to align unless there is some sort of miraculous compromise and mediation which takes place between the fighting parties. However, trolling can at times demonstrate a benign interest or infatuation towards someone, or it can perhaps demonstrate and suggest an effort towards communicating and engaging with a group or an entity or an individual of interest with the aim of mutual benefit and mutual accommodation of each other’s interests. As a result, and just like anything else in life, trolling is arguably not as simple as a black and white dichotomy. 

However, and as suggested before, what renders the mainstream media and social media subject to criticism and scrutiny in a broader sense and beyond the particular of trolling is that instead of putting forward “A+B=C” in a clear-cut and simple manner, the method of hypnosis is used in order to open an audience up to something that cannot be put forward in a simple manner. In other words, hypnosis has to be used as a method towards an audience in order to open up an audience to an idea or a notion of reality that is simply not true and has no relation to boring, foolproof, and solid facts, even though the job of public communications and media is to lay out boring, foolproof, and solid facts. This means that in certain instances, the relationship between the hypnotizer on one hand and the individual that the hypnotizer is seeking to hypnotize is a game more than anything else. 

As Freud wrote, hypnosis can lead to certain cases whereby “some knowledge may be retained that what is happening is only a game, an untrue reproduction of another situation of far more importance to life.” For the group that is conducting the hypnosis, the aim becomes one of not adopting the characteristics of the individual who has retained knowledge during the course of the hypnosis. The “ego-ideal” of the hypnotizing group is replaced with an identification and mutual understanding amongst the group and its leaders that the group must not adopt the characteristics of the individual. 

Yet, the irony is that the aim of the hypnosis conducted by the group is to transform the libido of the individual so that it subjects itself to the “ego-ideal” of the group which has now been replaced by something else. And in the context of Mainstream America today and in the context of Mainstream Britain during its imperial peak, the “ego-ideal” stood for either the Anglo-Saxon male or the Anglo-Saxon female, given that the prevailing notion of ‘Enlightenment’ or ‘Renaissance’ discourse and thinking was that the Anglo-Saxon race is the most “distinct” or “superior” race on the planet to borrow from Le Bon and Rhodes.

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