Re: If you could buy elections Ross Perot would have won
"So while most people are too stupid to see through this, nevertheless you are immune and your own support for curtailing free speech through the use of oppressive campaign laws cannot possibly be the product of the same types of forces?"
No, I am not immune. Science tells me that I am not immune, and to believe otherwise would be an indication of severe narcissism.
Spending money isn't free speech. Oh, I realise that you Americans think it is, but you're wrong.
I'm pretty sure all campaign laws that exist in the USA are the result of exactly the same sort of money-buys-influence, screw-the-actual-voters approach to politics that has rotted that nation to the core. That's why laws about how the voting process works - including campaign contribution limitations - should ideally be determined outside of the voting process itself. Regulatory capture is a thing; you can't expect people who depend on getting elected to be able to properly set up regulations that ensure elections are as fair and impartial as possible. That's asking the fox to write the rules about who gets to guard the henhouse, and when.
Consider instead evidence-based legislation in this matter. I.E. the practical application of science to solve a problem.
"If you really take your own assertion seriously you should right now be disappearing "through the looking glass"-style into an MC Escher engraving depicting the Cretan Liar paradox."
"Why do I think it is a left-right issue? Because you seem to want to use that (dubious, exaggerated, hyperbolic) assertion as an excuse to make people you disagree with shut up,"
How on earth did you come to that conclusion? Nowhere here are my views on what the rules for voting, campaign contributions, etc listed. I certainly don't believe that anyone should be prevented from speaking their piece.
"by preventing them using money to reach an audience."
No. I want to see "he who has the most money wins" removed from the equation. This is handled in rational countries by providing a fixed amount of funding to all political parties from state coffers and disallowing private campaign contributions. Numerous studies have proven this to be a far cheaper and fairer way to run political campaigns.
Yes, taxpayer money ends up going towards running political campaigns, but every party gets an equal amount to make their case. That means it really does boil down to the strength of the message. Additionally, I would personally make lying on the campaign trail a crime. Honest mistakes are one thing, but purposefully misleading people is another.
" Which is typically a left-wing preoccupation."
In case it has slipped your notice, I have repeatedly stated that everyone participates in this tomfoolery. Additionally, there are more political divisions than merely "left" and "right". At least, there are in civilised countries.
""The poor still don't all vote for us, in spite of the welfare state! They must be indoctrinated by the Fox. Let's do something about it". No, they hate you. "But we keep offering them more and more money for doing nothing!". That's why they hate you."
And now you're just spouting your own bizzare strawman propaganda. Have you tried taking your meds?
""Manipulate" is just a pejorative term for "persuade". Hyperbole."
Incorrect. Persuasion is the application of logic to appeal to the rational mind. Manipulation is taking advantage of emotion - typically as part of group dynamics, rather than individually - to get someone to act in a manner that is counter to their own interests and/or counter to logic and rational thinking. Our species is exceptionally vulnerable to emotional manipulation and when used in non-political contexts the exact same practices and techniques are considered crimes. In many cases they are considered forms of psychological abuse.
Intent matters. Someone who is persuaded is left feeling like they had a say in reaching that decision, that they are satisfied with the decision made and that a level of trust exists between them and the persuader. Manipulation leaves the individual feeling dirty or used. The equivalent of "buyer's remorse" sets in almost immediately.
Truthfulness and transparency of the process and arguments also plays a part.
And if you have a problem with that assessment, don't take it up with me. Take that up with Robin Dreeke, head of behavioral analysis at the FBI.
" it isn't decades - it's millennia - the earliest extant academic work on the subject is 2400 years old. But pretend it is a new problem and you can pretend new measures are needed."
Actual science on the matter - very specifically the use of double-blind studies into group dynamics - only really began in the early 1900s. The early results of which were used most effectively by the Nazi party of Germany to win over a significant chunk of the German populace. They went on to win an election against what were considered to be very long odds.
There is a difference between philosophers writing down their thoughts on a topic and actual science.
"control is an exaggeration. They attempt to persuade them to vote in particular ways."
Incorrect. It is entirely possible to control people through manipulation of their emotions. That isn't persuasion. It isn't appealing to rational, conscious thought. It's grabbing someone by the instincts, and leading them around. This covers all sorts of topics ranging from "think of the children" to "save the pandas" to "don't tread on me".
"ommercial advertising however distasteful is trying to sell stuff not control the vote. Conflating two things only related by their methods not their objectives to make the problem look bigger. Hyperbole."
Who is conflating anything? I only mentioned that both practices employ the same techniques and the same people. Money flows from both the advertising sector and the political campaign sector into the same research. The results of that research benefit both practices. They share techniques. More importantly, it means the research going into "how to manipulate and control entire nations worth of people" is funded by coffers much - much - larger than those of mere political donations. It's relevant information to the discussion.
As for your summary, let me pick some nits of my own.
"Everyone uses what they know of human nature to persuade others to do what they want, and have done since time immemorial. "
Wrong. Sociopaths use what they know of human nature to manipulate others. Humans with a conscience and some form of empathy use logic to attempt to persuade others. Those who seek to manipulate rely on the emotive arguments to convince people to do things that are not in their best interest. Those who persuade rely on logic and truth to convince people to do something that is in their own interest.
Sociopaths only make up about 10% of the population.
"Advertisers try to get you to buy stuff. Politicians try to get you to vote for them. Kids try to get out of doing their homework/get you to lend them twenty to go to the cinema."
Interestingly enough, you have indeed struck upon something here, however unintentionally. All of your examples are of individuals using emotion - and more often than not falsehoods - to get someone to do something that not in their best interests. You don't even have an example in your summary of someone using truth and logic to get someone to something that is in their own interests.
To me, this speaks volumes not only of how you view the world, but how you treat others and the level to which you are capable of dehumanizing others.
"This sometimes works, even though people know that is what they are doing"
This almost always works, when the craft is employed by a skilled practitioner. This is because our species is exceptionally vulnerable to emotional and instinctual manipulation. Rational thought and logic are still relatively new evolutionary adaptations and they can be easily overridden by emotion.
"and they do since they do it themselves."
Actually, research shows that about 90% of people generally refrain from manipulating others once into adulthood*. Empathy is something we develop as part of regular socialization. Part of this empathy is that we consciously avoid both attempting to convince people to do things that are not in their best interest and using people's emotions and instincts against them.
And none of this is a "left" or "right" issue. There are sociopaths on both sides of that particular divide, gleefully ready to manipulate others without remorse. You seem perfectly okay with this. Frankly, that makes me not at all okay with you.
*The exception to this is child rearing; especially at a young age, children only respond to emotional triggers, not logical ones. By age six or so they are generally able to respond to logic most of the time, but will still remain vulnerable to emotive manipulation for the rest of their lives.