- / -
From a strategic perspective, the current situation calls for careful attention to the relation between "outrage" and the "outrageous". Most obviously, the comments and actions of Donald Trump are widely considered "outrageous". They have evoked "outrage" on the part of those opposed to their implications -- most recently in the post-inaugural 2017 Women's March (List of 2017 Women's March locations). On the other hand it could be said that Trump succeeded by expressing the "outrage" of those who believe that their concerns had been systematically neglected by decades of elitist policy-making -- a neglect which could be readily recognized as "outrageous", especially to the extent that it has been denied.
From a wider perspective, this pattern can be recognized in other contexts -- and prior to the successful election Trump. This is partly evident in the rise of populist movements in other countries, expressing "outrage" at decision-making from which they have not benefitted to the degree they feel to be appropriate. Again such neglect of their concerns can be considered "outrageous". A distinctive take has been evident in the articulation by the Occupy Movement, specifically concerned at the inequity between the "1%" and the "99%". The "outrage" articulated by this movement was remarkably framed by Stéphane Hessel (Time for Outrage! 2010).
Less evident, but implied, are the highly problematic conditions of the underprivileged in many developing countries. Their neglect could indeed be considered both an "outrage" and "outrageous". The consequence has been partly evident in Islamic radicalisation and the strategic use of suicide bombing -- deemed "outrageous" and incomprehensible. The military efforts to eradicate both have been directly associated with the movement of a large number of asylum seekers to the countries most associated with those military efforts and the manufacture of the weaponry needed. This movement has evoked "outrage" by increasing numbers of citizens in those same countries, whether or not they benefit economically from the arms industries.
There is therefore a curious parallel to be recognized between the "outrageous" initiatives favoured by populist movements (as exemplified by Trump supporters) and those of jihadist terrorists. Clearly there is considerable irony in the efforts of the former to eradicate the latter -- to whatever the degree to which the reverse can also be held to obtain. Rendering understanding more difficult are the historical instances of revolutionary movements through which people have sought freedom from perceived oppression -- and been typically framed as "terrorists" in the process.
The concern here is whether widespread expression of "outrage", through "demonstrations" and movements of "protest", is strategically inadequate to the situation -- even when it encourages what is framed as "resistance". This inadequacy can be explored in relation to the protest movements and marches at the time of the decision to intervene in Iraq in 2003. It can also be explored in relation to the limited achievements of the Occupy Movement and other concerns evoking "outrage". Rather than the Time for Outrage! of Stéphane Hessel, is it now a Time for the Outrageous ?
Clearly such initiatives are most valuable in expressing "outrage" but have little of strategic value to offer thereafter -- recalling the limited capacity of progressive movements to elicit widespread political support. This weakness is evident at the present time in which it is "Not-Trump" which is framed as the strategy eliciting consensus, but without any real consensus on "Post-Trump" possibilities. The "Post-Trump" vacuum may well be filled by other inanities evoking even greater "outrage".
The focus here is on whether Donald Trump has succeeded to date through being "outrageous" -- as might be asked of the surprising success of radical Islamic movements (whether Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or ISIL). The Occupy Movement could then be accused of "not being outrageous enough" -- as with the massive "movement of resistance" in opposition to the policies which Trump has articulated, or the populist reaction to cultural destabilisation by asylum seekers. Whether unwittingly or not, it is possible that Trump makes skillful use of his provocative statements as distractants, perhaps best compared with use of decoy flares as counter-measures by aircraft seeking to reduce vulnerability to missile strikes.
Commentators have assiduously followed the heat of the "flares" -- in a fruitless effort to bring him down. Through being ever more more "outrageous" Trump off-footed his critics and opponents. The question is how to recover the strategic initiative.
Rather than responding to the outrageous with ineffectual outrage -- as is the current tendency -- the question here is can the outrageous be met more effectively with the outrageous, as previously suggested (Responding outrageously to the outrageous, 2017). A proposal to move the UN could be one possibility (Build the Wall -- Move the UN HQ? United Nations principles are not consistent with "America First", 2017) . Others merit careful consideration in order to take engagement onto more advantageous ground.
Whilst any suggestion to move the UN HQ is in many respects "outrageous", it should not be forgotten that the current period is one of outrage -- whether as articulated by Donald Trump, by those who oppose him, or by suicide bombers. Thus for Time Magazine: The Old Washington adage of "Watch what we do, not what we say" is hard to apply to someone as serially outrageous as Donald Trump (6 February 2017).
The question here is whether the remarkable degree of association in the media of Donald Trump with the "outrageous" and expressions of "outrage" provides a clue to a more appropriate response to his proposals than the expression of outrage alone. Introducing a themed issue of The Economist, it is argued that:
As Donald Trump rages against the world he inherited as president, America's allies are worried -- and rightly so. To understand Mr Trump's insurgency, start with the uses of outrage. In a divided America, where the other side is not just mistaken but malign, conflict is a political asset. The more Mr Trump used his stump speeches to offend polite opinion, the more his supporters were convinced that he really would evict the treacherous, greedy elite from their Washington salons. (An insurgent in the White House The Economist, 4 February 2017; emphasis added)
Trump's own "outrage", evoking the sympathy of his supporters, is illustrated by the following:
The play on "outrageous" and "outrage" has been the specific focus of commentary by Rex Huppke:
After years of being outraged at conservative outrage over the predominantly non-outrageous actions of President Barack Obama, I am now outraged by the outrage of liberals over the less outrageous actions of President-elect Donald Trump because those particular outrages cause us to gloss over the outrageous things he's doing that are actually outrageous (Trump outrage can be outrageous -- and dangerous, Chicago Tribune, 21 November 2016).
The expression of outrage by Trump, can then be understood as meriting a careful response, as argued by John Bew:
Rather than reserving judgement until he had heard the testimonials of his intelligence experts or generals, Trump set the bait and cast the line by venturing his opinion that torture works. Having opted for outrage instead of the moral high ground, he then revealed that he was happy to cede to the better judgement of General James Mattis, the US secretary of state for defence, whose disgust for such methods is well known. (The UK can't avoid dealing with Donald Trump - but we must engage intelligently, New Statesman, 3 February 2017)
Other indicative examples are offered by the following.
The past decade has also seen outrage evoked by the "outrageous" acts of suicide bombers, technically labelled as a primary instance of "terrorism", as variously indicated by the following search results:
Terrorism / Outrage:
Terrorism / Outrageous
Terrorism? Presumably those labelled as "terrorists" can be understood as endeavouring to justify their actions as a response to the experience of outrage and indignation at perceived "wrongs". However the justification for such perceptions, and especially for the outrageous actions to which they give rise, is necessarily framed as "wrong" by those exposed to the consequences.
Any action to constrain and eradicate the perpetrators is then necessarily justified as being "right" -- however outrageous these may be variously held to be. The deprecated actions of the other -- evoking outrage -- are considered to be in no way morally equivalent to any response to them, whatever the brutality employed, as clarified by a Former Ambassador to the United Nations, Jeane Kirkpatrick (Myth of Moral Equivalence, Imprimis, 1986). No capacity to transcend such binary thinking has been developed by global civilization, and especially by the Abrahamic religions ( , Terrorism, Rape and other Cruel Acts in the Bible, Call to Monotheism
Of particular relevance to this argument is the central understanding of the outrageous in relation to the very definition of terrorism.
As indicated, for example, by Adrian Guelke (Terrorism and Global Disorder, 2006):
It is common for definitions of terrorism to emphasize that the term encompasses categories of violence widely viewed as outrageous in any circumstances, such as hostage-taking and the deliberate killing of innocent bystanders or non-combatants. Such a simple approach to the issue of definition attracts many adherents, some of whom have expressed intense irritation with the tortuous debates that continue to take place on the definition of terrorism, because they make the simple assumption that the targeting of non-combatants provides an obvious answer to the problem of what constitutes terrorism.
What this approach overlooks is that the term, terrorism, is very commonly used in relation to the assassination of political leaders or attacks on security forces of all kinds that fall outside this simple definition. It also overlooks the importance of context in how an act of violence is viewed and whether the term, terrorism, is universally employed to describe it.
In particular, however outrageous, political violence that takes place within a zone of conflict tends to be seen in a different light to violence against a backdrop of peace. (p. 182; emphasis added)
For Charles Townshend (Terrorism: A Very Short Introduction, 2011):
Terrorist action may be auxiliary -- one element of a larger military or guerrilla strategy; it may be confined to limited goals (revenge, publicity, political statement, release of prisoners, ethnic autonomy); or it may be 'absolute' -- the pursuit of political goals through the systematic use of terror alone. It is this absolute, independent terror strategy, rather than terrorist action per se, that should properly be labelled 'terrorism'. It has a unique logic, which we can trace across the last century.
It was first distinctly outlined in Johannes Most's Philosophy of the Bomb, an anarchist tract of the 1880s, and rests on a number of connected propositions:
-- outrageous violence will seize the public imagination;
-- its audience can thus be awakened to political issues;
-- violence is inherently empowering, and 'a cleansing force' (as the later anticolonial writer Frantz Fanon put it);
-- systematic violence can threaten the state and impel it into delegitimizing reactions;
-- violence can destabilize the social order and threaten social breakdown (the 'spiral of terror' and counterterror);
-- ultimately the people will reject the government and turn to the 'terrorists'.
Thus terrorism properly so called is not just the use of violence for political ends; not just outrageous violence; not just violence by the armed against the unarmed; it is conceived as a free-standing, sufficient, and decisive political strategy. (pp. 13-14; emphasis added)
Any such association of the outrageous with terrorism raises the further question as to what is considered an "outrageous" source of terror, but is excluded from conventional definitions of terrorism? It could be argued that "terrorism" has been carefully crafted as a concept by legislative provisions -- "conceptual gerrymanderring" -- to exclude the vast majority of processes by which people are "terrified" far more frequently.
These processes would include mugging, rape, torture, domestic violence, bullying, intimidation, rackeetering, shootings, sex slavery, and the like (Varieties of Terrorism -- extended to the experience of the terrorized, 2004). As a consequence the unprecedent provisions for the current detection of "terrorist threats" avoid both the detection of such processes (as being irrelevant) and any need to respond to their perpetrators (with similar urgency).
Rape as terrorism?
Torture as terrorism?
Intimidation and bullying as terrorism? Given the terror experienced, it is variously argued that these are a form of terrorism whether at school, in the workplace, within the military, or as a feature of neighbourhood racketeering:
The outrageous statements and initiatives of Donald Trump, as well as those of religious fundamentalists of all kinds, exemplify the implied dilemmas. These are central to the concerns of just war theory and of what might be termed "just torture theory", irrespective of any collateral damage or miscarriage of justice. Trump has made his appreciation of the use of torture and "black sites" a feature of his presidential campaign and his early statements as president (Donald Trump may be seeking to reinstate torture methods for detained terrorist suspects, News.com.au, 26 January 2017).
Of course, just war theory encourages the disassociation of what may be perceived as state-sponsored terrorism from what is otherwise deprecated as terrorism in the Global War on Terror. The USA has itself provided support to terrorist and paramilitary organizations around the world, as extensively documented via Wikipedia. Any such association is readily denied as inconsequential.
|Steven P. Lee: Intervention, Terrorism, and Torture:
contemporary challenges to just war theory (2006)
|The context of war alters perceptions of rape in four distinct ways. War turns rape into an act of a state, nation, ethnic group, or people. (A)trocities by soldiers against civilians are always considered state acts" during wartime. Second, war provides an excuse for rape's perpetration. In some sense. war changes the universal censure of rape toward something resembling complacent acceptance (though not, of course, justification). Third. rape simultaneously becomes part of the war effort, albeit an unjust part. The context of war alters the cause, intention, and purpose of rape. Finally, while all rapes effectivcly objectify the victim, an oppositional objectification of the enemy that extends beyond combatants to encompass civilians of all ages and genders is usually in place well in advance of any occurrence of war rape. (p. 275)|
The argument can be taken further with respect to the thousands of "problems" variously perceived, framed or denied by different international constituencies -- as profiled by the World Problems Project as part of the Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential, and in relation to the strategies of thousands of bodies profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
It could then be said that those many bodies are motivated in their strategies -- as profiled in the Global Strategies Project -- by those selected problems which evoke outrage and indignation within their constituences. Their strategic response may well involve actions which other bodies perceive to be outrageous and unjustified. This is one aspect to the challenge of so-called "wicked problems", as discussed separately (Encycling Problematic Wickedness for Potential Humanity, 2014).
Of particular relevance is the outrage evoked by the subtleties of so-called structural violence and the outrageous strategies whereby it is effectively increased. This refers to a form of violence wherein some social structure or social institution may harm people by preventing them from meeting their basic needs. Institutionalized adultism, ageism, classism, elitism, ethnocentrism, nationalism, speciesism, racism, and sexism are some examples of structural violence as proposed by Johan Galtung.
Many of Trump's discriminatory proposals merit consideration in this light, engendering problems for some and perceived as appropriate solutions by his supporters -- however outrageous. Trump is recognized as having successfully articulated their outrage -- neglected by other.
More generally, the multiplicity of problems and strategic responses then raise the questions:
What makes a problem or a strategy "outrageous"? Why may either be considered with indifference rather than "outrage"? For example constant media exposure of severe suffering, as with mass starvation, or the precarious condition of refugees, can be seen as engendering psychic numbing, as discussed separately (Starvation Imagery as Humanitarian Trump Card? Counterproductive emotional blackmail engendering worldwide indifference, 2016).
However outrageous they may be considered by some, examples of what evokes only limited outrage -- perhaps unfortunately -- might include:
It would seem that the "outrageous" is a deprecated characteristic of "them" in contrast to the normality characteristic of "us" -- righteously "outraged" by their behaviour. Some may of course pride themselves on being outrageous as an expression of identity.
However there would seem to have been a marked drift in terminology in recent years from concern with deviation from the "normal", to preoccupation with deprecated forms of "extremism", and to anxiety in the face of "radicalism". The latter is readily associated with "fundamentalism". The difficulties with such distinctions can be variously discussed:
As these variously imply there is great confusion as to whether the extreme and the radical should be valued as expressions of risk-taking and creativity or deprecated because of their problematic implications for others. This is especially evident in the case of sport and finance. It is curiously evident in the manner in which "radical" is both valued in political initiatives and deprecated through its association with religious fundmentalism and terrorism.
The radical can be considered as a characteristic of the surreal. This has been remarkably exemplified in a country especially proud of its philosophical heritage. There the outgoing prime minister has been responsible for framing a comprehensive strategy for the detection and eradication of "radicalisation". Simultaneously the primary candidate for the presidency has specifically identified his core strategy as "radical" (Radical Innovators Beware -- in the arts, sciences and philosophy -- terrifying implications of radical new deradicalisation initiative in France, 2016; François Fillon, 'Radical Conservative' Who Could Be French President, Agence France-Presse, 22 November 2016). The outgoing prime minister has also been a candidate for that position -- but failed in that ambition.
On the occasion of Brexit, as notably deprecated by France, the "radical reform" announced by the new Prime Minister of the UK clearly needs especially careful consideration in the light of the French deradicalisation initiative and its future response to the UK (Theresa May just promised radical economic reform, The Independent, 12 July 2016; Theresa May Will Be More Radical Than Most People Realise, HeatStreet; Boris Johnson returns as Theresa May unveils radical cabinet, Financial Times, 14 July 2016).
The framing of political strategy in terms of "radical" is also problematic given the stress placed on "eradication" of the radical (Eradication as the Strategic Final Solution of the 21st Century? 2014). The confuision is further highlighted by the radical policies of Donald Trump:
Missing from such labelling by politicians, academics and the media is the sense in which it is a form of intellectual "word play" -- fundamentally disconnected from the emotional dimension of outrage in reaction to the outrageous. Understood in this way, political parties frame the policies of their competitors as strategically outrageous -- especially when promoted as radical responses to intractable issues. The appearance of reasoned debate in parliamentary assemblies may well disguise impassioned discourse better characterized as the dramatic expression of outrage -- in which rational argument is secondary if not irrelevant. "Alternative facts" may be deployed to advantage whenever convenient.
It is curious to recognize the assumption that the conventional formalities of strategic discourse and academic argument have no place for emotional argument -- despite the value to impassioned articulation. The interface is especially evident in legal proceedings where a jury may (need) to be swayed by emotional arguments -- irrespective of any hard evidence.
It is in this sense that outrage is understood etymologically as "the passing beyond reasonable bounds" in any sense. Tthe expression of outrage may include the appearance of reasoned argument, but this is not required to follow the conventions and constraints of logic, or to eschew the use of logical fallacies.
An experience of indignation is a typical precursor to the expression of outrage. It is appropriate to recall that the title in French of Stephane Hessel's catalytic injunction was Indignez-vous ! (2010). In the absence of any meaningful equivalent to "indignify yourself" in English, this was translated as Time for Outrage ! Of interest however has been past use of "indignation meeting", in America, England and Australia. This was a common means of expressing popular outrage by passing and publishing resolutions -- : a meeting held for the purpose of expressing and discussing grievances. [Google currently offers some 64,000 results for "indignation meeting"]
In addition to commentary on righteous indignation from a religious perspective, Wikipedia notes that:
Indignation has a large role in politics. This is because politicians hold the power to offend many people based the decisions that they make. The decisions that politicians make impact hundreds, thousands, or millions of people. Certain decisions they make may cause many constituents to feel indignant because they feel like those decisions go against what they stand for or believe in, especially if the constituents belong to the same party as the politician. Politicians themselves also feel indignant because if people are not in favor of their policies or are competing against them, they will attack their self-construct. For example, this can be seen when politicians are debating. The other politician typically questions their policies and procedures in hopes to make their competition feel indignant. By doing this, the hope would be that the debate would be stifled.
Outrage as a consequence of indignation is of course a primary characteristic of collective protest. The argument here questions whether this is as effective as demonstrators assume in engaging with outrageous opponenents. It can however be argued that, aside from any effect or "impact", it is is of fundamental value in "consciousness raising". The subtlety of this phenomenon calls for careful insight into its relationship to radicalisation and fundamentalism -- especially given the manner in which they are variously appreciated and deprecated.
Is a raised consciousness to be understood as implying a form of radicalisation and the activation of a more fundamental world view? How is a valued radical perspective to be distinguished from one that is to be deprecated? Given the implied subtlety of both radical and fundamental insight, how are their dimensions to be recognized, as with extremism (as noted above)? The challenge is evident with respect to the following:
radical new ideas
The obvious difficulty is that all these terms imply a challenge to "normal" which may be valued or deprecated, as can be variously argued (Norms in the Global Struggle against Extremism: "rooting for" normalization vs. "rooting out" extremism?, 2005; Counteracting Extremes Enabling Normal Flying Insights for global governance from birds on the wing and the dodo, 2015). The latter highlights the value of political extremes in governance, irrespective of how each extreme may deprecate the strategies of the other as outrageously inappropriate.
Being experienced as outrageous, there is clearly little scope for rational discourse between extremes. The challenge is further exacerbated through the subtlety of the world view of each, calling into question "normal" interpretation of the tangible. This is well illustrated by the extraordinary insights and hypotheses of fundamental physics. Clearly the various religions have their analogues which elude conventional discourse and pose a fundamental problem of communication within a religion, let alone between religions -- as exemplified by understandings of being "born again" (Varieties of Rebirth: distinguishing ways of being "born again", 2004; Web Resources on Being "Born Again", 2004; Strategic Opportunities of the Twice Born: reflections on systemic camouflage of mass deception, 2004).
The current period can clearly be said to one of outrage -- whether as articulated by Donald Trump, by those who oppose him, or by the Occupy Movement -- as remarkably framed by Stéphane Hessel (Time for Outrage! 2010). Such outrage is also evident in the various forms of terrorism.
As with jihadists, it could be said that Donald Trump has succeeded to date through being "outrageous". The Occupy Movement could be accused of "not being outrageous enough" -- as with the massive movement in opposition to the policies he has articulated, notably under the banner of "Resist".
The strategy has been variously acclaimed, but seldom called into question:
In the spirit of this argument, outrage needs to be met with outrage of a "higher order" -- however that is to be understood -- as a means of outmaneuvering the current outrageous initiatives envisaged by the USA. How did Trump succeed in outmaneuveruing those opposed to him? How did radical Islam succeed in reframing global priorities?
Clues as to how this might be understood were discussed separately in terms of psychosocial disciplines (including philosophy), psychology, martial arts, and psychodrama (From whom is new insight to be expected? 2017).
With a non-rational dimension as necessarily fundamental to expression of the outrageous, the transformative role of drama merits careful consideration, as can be explored in the case of Mikhail Gorbachev (Gorbachev: Dramaturge ?! Participative Democracy vs. Participative Drama, 1991). This would be consistent with the showmanship with which Trump has been associated in the past, as noted by the emphasis of The Economist on Trump as a vaudeville impresario (The Impresario-elect, 3 December 2016).
The strategic issue of the times is whether those opposing Trump can put on an even more attractive show -- from the perspective of the media. Are progressives capable of articulating a more striking story -- namely one that is more outrageous? (How storytelling explains world politics, from Spain to the US, The Conversation, 6 February 2017). The latter offers insightful comparisons between the successful political narratives of Trump and the leader of the left-wing Podemos movement of Spain.
Do the radically religious offer further clues -- given the unexpected success of jihadists for which no "eradication" initiative has yet proved viable? Could the "wind be taken out of the sails" of both Trump and the jihadists? What would it take to beat them at their own game?
An earlier exploration of this possibility was framed in terms of "negative strategies" (Liberating Provocations: use of negative and paradoxical strategies, 2005). Rather than resisting and seeking to eradicate, are clues to be found in the slogan: Don't push the river -- guide the canoe. This is consistent with a basic principle of martial arts, as argued separately (Engaging an Opposing Ideology via Martial Arts Philosophy: reframing the challenge of Trump and Jihadism as worthy opponents, 2016).
There would seem to be a poorly explored confluence, nexus or complex system, involving:
Given the challenge this nexus represents, it could be considered remarkable that so little effort is made to explore why it gives rise to violence, as argued separately (Global Incomprehension of Increasing Violence: matching incapacity to question the reason why, 2015). This is all the more suspicious in that violence has become a central feature of many forms of entertainment, notably as purveyed via the media -- a pattern dating from the gladiatorial arenas of ancient Rome. Trump is necessarily familiar with the attraction of violence given his sponsorship of one of the most violent sports through Affliction Entertainment, namely mixed martial arts (Mihael Crowley, Donald Trump's other blood sport, Politico, 30 August 2016).
Trump has evoked outrage through narrowing the focus of the first two on Islam, associating the third with the particular attitude of Islam to women. Rather than resist his articulated concern, a strategy meriting consideration is to render it more inclusive, taking it much further.
The argument is usefully illustrated by the release of a report by the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse (Child abuse: 7% of Australian Catholic priests alleged to be involved, BBC News, 6 February 2017). Over 4,440 people claim to have been victims between 1980 and 2015. More than 1,000 Catholic institutions across Australia were identified in claims of sexual abuse, with a total of 1,880 alleged perpetrators between 1980 and 2015. The average age of the victims was 10.5 for girls and 11.5 for boys. On average, it took 33 years for each instance of abuse to be reported.
As argued above, the threat of such abuse necessarily implies a high degree of terror for the victims. There is little excuse for failing to extend the definition of "terrorism" to include such behaviour. The religious system within which it was enabled suggests that Trump should be encouraged to extend radically the scope of his preoccupation beyond Islam (Trump team wants anti-terror program to only target radical Islam, New York Post, 2 February 2017).
Given the long-established associations between penis and gun, Trump could be encouraged to give far greater thought to the terror potentially associated with confrontation with either. Whether pointing a gun or pointing a penis, the implied threat merits consideration in a fruitfully extended understanding of terrorism. It is remarkable, for example, that the incidence of gun crime in Chicago should currently be dissociated from terrorism (762 murders. 12 months. 1 American city. CNN, 2 January 2017; Chicago records 762 homicides in 2016, up 57 percent from previous year, Fox News, 1 January 2017; Why 2016 has been Chicago's bloodiest year in almost two decades, Newsweek, 15 December 2016). The focus on homicide clearly obscures the underlying terror associated with mugging and rape.
The outrage evoked with respect to Trump's declarations regarding abortion, could be reframed by encouraging his recognition that subjection of women to rape also merits consideration as a form of terrorism -- potentially to be framed as placement of a bomb in a womb, perhaps metaphorically to be understood as an "improvised explosive device". Given the degree of complicity of religious institutions with abuse of those in their care, they are increasingly vulnerable to being challenged regarding the outcome.
Trump has made no statement regarding bullying, itself readily to be considered as terrorism, given the terror it evokes. Bullying is widely acknowledged -- most notably in prisons, the workplace, hospices, the military, and educational institutions. His apparent lack of sensitivity to the phenomenon suggests a vulnerability to strategies in that regard. This is especially the case in that he has been widely accused of bullying behaviour (Edward Luce, Donald Trump, the bully in America's pulpit, Financial Times, 6 February 2017; Jack Shafer, Trump the Bully, Politico Magazine, 27 January 2017; Jesse Singal, An Expert on Bullying Explains Donald Trump's Mean, Consequence-Free Rise, NYMag, 15 September 2015).
Past use of "indignation meetings" (as noted above) as a means of voicing grievances, suggests that some such facility could be an appropriate complement to physical protest and demonstration. Clearly the web already provides a variety of opportunities for "indignation meetings" in cyberspace, most notably through the social media.
Another facility could however be imagined, namely some form of "Wiki-indignation" to hold and interrelate the wide variety of extant grievances by whatever constituences these are expressed.As implied above, indignation is intimately related to outrage and probably questionably distinguishable from it. Indeed "grievance" implies a more reasoned degree of protest than may need to be voiced as outrage. Possibly a Wiki-outrage could be combined with a Wiki-indignation in some way. Again it is appropriate to recognize the extent to which various online petition sites may serve a closely related purpose -- although these would primarily serve as vehicles for the more popular expressions of outrage. A facility is required for the expression of minority perspectives as well -- for the outrage more conveniently neglected and forgotten.
Potentially more intriguing and provocative is a Wiki-outrageous to hold perspectives and proposals considered by some to be appropriate counter-measures in a context of competitive outrage -- as suggested by the checklist above. The facility with its various facets might then be better named Wiki-rage.
Whether understood as a Wiki-outrage or a Wiki-indignation, the argument above points to the manner in which the thousands of "problems" -- aleady profiled by the World Problems Project -- could be recognized as the focus of "outrage" or "indignation" for some. As noted, these are a driving motivation for the global strategies -- as profiled in the Global Strategies Project -- as a consequence of the outrage and indignation variously evoked within existing constituences. Of some relevance within those frameworks is the provision of sections within profiles for exaggerated claims -- implying a more emotive degree of indignation or outrage -- whether in support of the insight, or in fundamental opposition to it (as is evident in the case of abortion or birth control, for example).
Potentially more intriguing again is the sense in which the profiles of existing "problems" and "strategies" variously embody the "outrageous" -- as would be required by a Wiki-outrageous -- especially in that they may well advocate or involve actions which other constituencies perceive to be outrageous and unjustified.
As a database the profile keywords could be used to extend its functionality by generating search strings for any search engine -- combining a given keyword with "outrage", "outrageous" or the like. The number of hits in any case would offer a sense of the outrage with which the issue was associated -- effectively constituting an Outrage Index, for example, to be compared with results for an Outrageous Index. The approach is somewhat similar to that available through Google Trends.
|Indicative comparison of "outrage" (blue) with "outrageous" (red)
(using search results in Google Trends)
The outrage evoked by many issues is readily associated with righteous indignation and recognition of "evil", as variously recognized by the highest authorities in framing the contest between "good" and "evil" (Evil Rules: guidelines for engaging in Armageddon now, 2015; Radical Disaffection Engendered by Elitist Groupthink? Democratic rehearsal of the final battle between the Forces of Light and Darkness, 2016). This suggested a similar generation of search strings, as discussed more extensively (Encyclopedia of Evil Claims, Claimants, Counter-claims, and Sigils: proposed facility in support of current global strategic priorities, 2016).
The argument above has stressed the non-rational dimension of outrage in response to the outrageous -- equally unreasonble. This recalls the so-called "animal spirits" of John Maynard Keynes, namely the instincts, proclivities and emotions that ostensibly influence and guide human behaviour -- although these would seem to neglect the anger inspired by righteous indignation.
If systems of outrage elude conventional systemic thinking, it may nevertheless be possible to offer some form of global understanding of them through metaphors of the "heat" and "cold" of anger with which it is associated. One lead is provided by the focus of the Encyclopedia of Human Thermodynamics, for example. Tempting in this respect is the sense in which outrage can be considered in cyclic terms, as some kind of vortex resembling a cyclone or an anticyclone in a global weather pattern. Such metaphors may be especially insightful with respect to decision-making in the chaotic conditions foreseen for the future (Weather Metaphors as Whether Metaphors, 2015).
Some such approach is relevant given the considerable resources now being allocated to new forms of simulation -- questionably related to the data mining commitments of the security services. Notable initiatives include:
Using the GDELT data, John Beieler has produced an Animated Protest Mapping: 1979-2013 (2013). Other maps, of less relevance to this argument, have been produced (Jeremy Bender, These Are The Countries That Have Destabilised The Most Over The Past 3 Months, Business Insider, 11 October 2014; Council on Foreign Relations, Global Conflict Tracker, 7 Febryary 2017; Beverly J. Silver, The Time-Space Mapping of World Labor Unrest, 2004; Sahan Savas Karatasli, Global Social Protest Research Group, Arrighi Center).
Patterns of outrage might well be fruitfully represented through animations analogous to the following remarkable visualizations of global weather conditions forecast by supercomputers, as prepared by Cameron Beccario.
|Screen shots of visualization of global weather conditions forecast by supercomputers (updated periodically)|
|Ocean gyres suggestive of global patterns of outrage
(images reproduced from Wikipedia)
|NOAA - here, img, Public Domain, Link||Avsa (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons|
|Outrageousness and outrage in cyclic terms|
|Cyclic complementarity||Interlocking cycles forming a global network|
As a further indication, the contrasting patterns, configured as a polyhedral approximation to a globe, could be explored as illustrated by the following animations. These derive from a separate argument whose theme is of some relevance to the outrage expressed regarding Trump's attack on cherished values (Flowering of Civilization -- Deflowering of Culture: flow as a necessarily complex experiential dynamic, 2014).
|Alternative animations of a 12-fold dodecahedral pattern
-- suggestive of outrage and outrageousness as cyclone and anti-cyclone
Framing outrage and outrageousness in cyclic terms -- through reference to ocean gyres -- recalls the first stanza of the much-cited poem by W. B, Yeats of a century past, especially appropriate to the challenge of global governance at the present time.
|The Second Coming|
|Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Karen A. Feste. Terminate Terrorism: Framing, Gaming, and Negotiating Conflicts. Routledge, 2015
Adrian Guelke. Terrorism and Global Disorder. I.B. Tauris, 2006
Steven P. Lee. Intervention, Terrorism, and Torture: contemporary challenges to just war theory. Springer, 2006
Charles Townshend. Terrorism: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press, 2011
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