I just came across this fascinating opinion piece in The Guardian, which I think is well worth flagging up. It points out the strange convergence of far right and far left, the rise of illiberalism, and the way in which people like Farage and Trump are increasingly stigmatising what they call ''the mainstream'' as some kind of bogeyman. I've been fretting over something along those lines for a while now. As the article points out, with the rise of the internet, we are less susceptible to being manipulated by big news corporations than ever before. The exchange of information is freer than ever, so the concept of a dominant mainstream trying to control us all is risible. Yet these people try to make a bogeyman out of it, and would have us believe that they are the ones telling the truth, rebelling against a monolith that keeps it from us.
It is quite obvious how this situation came about: unable to get their extreme views airtime because they are so vile to most people, the people on the political extremes have set about trying to stigmatise the mainstream which has rejected them. Most people in the media are well educated and can easily see the folly of such extremism, so the extremists are trying to find a way around them. How telling that they also try to stigmatise the education system and ''experts'' as being part of this monolithic, oppressive, mainstream conspiracy? Isn't it clear that they are the ones trying to manipulate us, trying to get us to turn against fact-checked, trustable and objective sources of information in order that we listen to their bile? The problem is, it seems to be working; people are mistaking it for some kind of countercultural independence and falling for it. These days, the concept of ''the truth'' is more up for grabs than ever; so people are being persuaded by those who claim they are being manipulated, but are, in fact, the ones doing the manipulating.
Given the views these people have towards human rights, equality and so on, I find it all very worrying. But then, how do you know I'm not an agent of the mainstream, posing as a disabled blogger, trying to get you to turn against the people rebelling against them?