“Stochastic terrorism”, the weaponized DOJ’s new rhetorical kill shot against MAGA Republicans – and how to defang it
From Instapundit, posted by Ed Driscoll:
The ultimate flaw in accusing Sarah Palin of being responsible for the shooting of Gabby Giffords was that concrete details were provided to support it. When concrete details are provided, they are able to be held up to scrutiny.
By focusing on specific actions of Sarah Palin, whether by proxy through her political action committee releasing the target map, or her tweets using gun analogies for political battles, the fact that the shooter was not only disconnected from their influence but disconnected from reality overall interrupts that narrative.
But the term “Stochastic Terrorism” eliminates this problem. Someone can be ‘guilty’ of “Stochastic Terrorism” without any attacks even occurring.
So, what is ‘Stochastic Terrorism’?
Stochastic Terrorism is a truly clever piece of rhetoric that one can admire for its pure propagandistic potency.
The concept itself is certainly coherent. In almost any population of sufficient size, there will be people — commonly considered “crazy” or at least considered “unhinged” — who get caught up in political emotions in a way that is more extreme than the average citizen, and are set on a course that ultimately results in them committing violent acts.
This possibility is not often predictable in specifics (e.g. ‘Mark Stouffers’ will shoot ‘Debbie Brownstone’ on June 12th) but predictable in the sense that someday, someone, will commit some act. This randomness, the inability to know when, who, or what will be involved but knowing eventually something will, is the ‘stochastic’ part of Stochastic Terrorism.
If one assumes people motivated to carry out an attack are not attacking purely at random (that is, attacking just anybody who happens to be nearby at the time), they will attack with targets in mind. That suggests someone with broad reach can count on somebody listening to them can be activated like a Manchurian Candidate and that Manchurian Candidate will focus on the targets the Stochastic Terrorist wants.
The lack of direct call for violence is then framed as being strategic — it creates plausible deniability. The Stochastic Terrorist gets “the best of both worlds.” They get to “mathematically” rely on their targets being the victims of an attack with no record to be found of them ever actually asking anyone to do so.
By labeling someone as a Stochastic Terrorist you can influence others to associate some of the most immoral and violent acts imaginable with the person being labeled regardless if any violent acts have occurred.
Here’s how to fight it:
First get a Twitter account. Then, when you see a story about acts of violence against ordinary citizens or Conservatives, or the FBI arresting Pro Lifers, or some story like that, Post it in your twitter feed. Then add the line: OMG! Look at this awful #stochastic_terrorism! @DOJCrimDiv @DOJPH @FBI. Don’t threaten, don’t swear, don’t be vulgar. Did I mention don’t threaten? Yeah. Don’t.
The # is a topic heading, in this case #stochastic_terrorism. The@ directs your tweet to that person or organization, in this case the DOJ and the FBI.
What this does is turn their new rhetorical device against them by associating it with criminal acts which the Left would prefer to ignore, primarily committed by them or their allies, and directs these acts to the attention of the DOJ and FBI. When a lot of people do it it forces the recipients to notice, and makes the term “stochastic terrorism” lose its punch. To multiply the effect, when you see anyone posting “OMG! Look at this awful #stochastic_terrorism! @DOJCrimDiv @DOJPH @FBI” retweet it as a quote tweet. This is how things are made to go viral on Twitter.
Progressives love to use this to influence policy, both in government and at the corporate level. They hate it when it is used against them. It was just this tool that cut Mark Brnovich out of the running in the Arizona Senate race.