Magnificent example of populist rabble rousing! Krista Erickson stands up for the "little man" - the eternal Taxpayer - against that nasty liberal / artist Margie Gillis. Gillis manages to come off with some dignity despite the ambush - good thinking Margie!
Students of Authoritarianism (or aspiring führers), study the video carefully! Observe how Gillis' past statements are ripped out of context - "Canada not a compassionate society" - and then used to beat up Gillis. The internal dialogue of the viewer is being artfully programmed here by spinmeister Erickson: Oh! what a naughty, arrogant woman! how unpatriotic! and how terribly, terribly ungrateful, taking a million dollars from the Taxpayers in grants (over 39 years and for salaries for many aspiring artists, admittedly) and then claiming Canada is "not compassionate", tsk, tsk, tsk.. Oh, yes, it's all there, all the tools of the demagog's trade, masterfully - and yet apparently instinctively - deployed: the misquoting, the baiting, the rabble rousing followed by pandering to the baser instincts roused. Beautiful Krista, beautiful, you are a master..
Aside from the tactics employed, the video is also a showroom of the populist psychology on many different levels (astute observers could list more):
- reduction of life to the purely quantitative: how much is it worth?
- behind the rhetoric of hairy chested "individualism" and the incessant cant of "freedom" (or "democracy" in foreign affairs), the desire to suppress the natural diversity of opinion found in modern societies, the constant pressure to conform to rigid normes and to force others to adopt herd normes of conduct, belief, life-style, occupation..
Presently reading "The Authoritarians", a free access online text by an American prof of psychology teaching at the University of Manitoba, another recommended window into the populist / authoritarian mentality:
(One wonders why he chose to do his research on authoritarianism from a base in Canada given that he is American and the US seems to be the major current source of authoritarian thinking on the continent. Did his topic of research put him in the way of too many stray bullets.. )
Internal blog link: later article on Krista's bullying populist attack on the arts