Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Heroes Know Which Villains to Kill: How Coded Rhetoric Incites Scripted Violence

The publisher ibidem-Verlag has graciously consented to my placing the complete pre-publication final draft of my chapter  “Heroes Know Which Villains to Kill: How Coded Rhetoric Incites Scripted Violence,” online: https://www.academia.edu/26640115/


Additional resources can be found at my websites:
The Tools of Fear: http://www.tools-of-fear.net/get/index.php and
Research for Progress: http://www.researchforprogress.us/topic/

Some problems with using the term “Stochastic Terrorism”



My publisher ibidem-Verlag has graciously consented to my placing the complete pre-publication final draft of my chapter  “Heroes Know Which Villains to Kill: How Coded Rhetoric Incites Scripted Violence,” online: https://www.academia.edu/26640115/

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 On 26 January 2011 a clearly well-meaning and literate blogger invented the term “Stochastic Terrorism” to describe how right-wing pundits were indirectly inciting followers to acts of violence against scapegoated targets in the United States. See http://stochasticterrorism.blogspot.com/

Unfortunately, the author was also clearly unfamiliar with social science research since the 1950s. This form of incitement to action through mass media by “demagogues” can and does generate acts of violence--including, but not limited to, acts of terrorism. 

This is a well-studied process of “incitement” based on “prejudice” and “stereotyping” that involves the “vilification” or “demonization” of a named “Other” who is portrayed as threatening the survival of the “real people” of the idealized nation.

A comprehensive study of these processes is found in Gordon W. Allport’s 500-page 1954 masterwork, The Nature of Prejudice, (Cambridge, MA: Addison-Wesley). An extensive bibliography is provided in the full article

Much of the scholarly research and writing in the late 1940s and 1950s focused on the demonization of Jews in Nazi Germany; but attention was also paid over time to the targeting and vilification of communists, anarchists, homosexuals, the infirm (including those with physical or mental issues); as well as others including critics who dared to speak out against Hitler’s regime.

While at Political Research Associates in the 1990s I began researching these related processes involved in incitement to violence and publishing articles in scholarly and popular publications. In 2014 a study I authored was published as “Heroes Know Which Villains to Kill: How CodedRhetoric Incites Scripted Violence,” in Matthew Feldman and Paul Jackson (eds), Doublespeak: Rhetoric of the Far-Right Since 1945, Stuttgart: ibidem-Verlag. 

In the chapter I noted that the term “scripted violence” was the term I found the most useful in previous research and publications in the social sciences. I still think that is true.

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The publisher ibidem-Verlag has graciously consented to my placing the complete pre-publication final draft of my chapter  “Heroes Know Which Villains to Kill: How Coded Rhetoric Incites Scripted Violence,” online: https://www.academia.edu/26640115/


Additional resources can be found at my websites:
The Tools of Fear: http://www.tools-of-fear.net/get/index.php and
Research for Progress: http://www.researchforprogress.us/topic/