Boiled Like a Frog
Q. How do you boil a frog? A. Put it in a pot of cold water and turn on the heat.
HaHa. LOL. Yeah, not so funny when it happens to you and me. And I have news for you, it’s happening ALL THE TIME.
The heat is being turned up so slowly you don’t even realize it and soon it may be too late.
This is a silly metaphor with very serious real world implications. Incrementalism is the process of making very small, but steady changes over time, chipping away at tasks, ideas, theories or beliefs. Over time, perceptions, attitudes and social beliefs can be changed without being noticed. Incrementalism is an incredibly effective way to move a person or society in a new direction with very little resistance. Moving from point A to point Z may be very difficult and sometimes frightening, but moving from point A to point B to point C and then finally all the way to Z is much easier and can be done with much less resistance. The Chinese have a saying, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with but a single step”. Others have called it gradualism. I call it incrementalism. Different words. Same results.
Saul Alinsky, in his 1971 book, “Rules for Radicals”, in one of the best known primers on modern social progressivism, proposes a multitude of tactics using community organizers and their groups to seize power using incrementalism to bring about radical societal and political change. Here are just a few of the best known tactics: 1) “Power is not only what you have, but what an opponent thinks you have. If your organization is small, hide your numbers in the dark and raise a din that will make everyone think you have many more people than you do.”, 2) “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules. If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules”, and 3) “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions. ” Sound familiar? These tactics and many others are used today, successfully, to change our perceptions concerning a myriad of social and political issues. Do you recognize these tactics? They are being used every day by radical organizations, politicians and the main stream media to move the country towards a new and dangerous direction.
Remember the opening the credits of the 1950’s TV show “Superman”? Superman would fight for “Truth, justice and the American way”. Of course, this was phrase was in reaction to the Cold War and the fight against communism. Later in the 70’s after a painful defeat in Vietnam and Nixon’s Watergate, the phrase changed to “truth, justice and freedom.” And lastly the phrase was shortened to just “truth and justice.” It appears that in reaction to the countries humiliating loss of a homogenous and unifying core set of values, the popular culture picked up on this and reacted by mimicking the changing values and perceptions.
Our current tax system relies on incrementalism to squeeze more and more tax revenue from us. It happens slowly and steadily in a way that is nearly imperceptible. For instance an employee earning $50,000 per year grosses $1923.08 per 2 week pay period. If federal and state withholding is 25%, this employee loses $480 per pay period, taking home only $1443.08. On average, this person pays $1040 per month in withholding to the federal and state government or $3,120 per quarter or $12,480 per year. Of course, because of withholding, the employee only sees the take home pay, not really noticing the amount of taxes that have been paid. Withholding is a more painless way of taking taxes. Incrementalism reduces pain and lessens resistance.
Watch out for incrementalism in your life. It’s all around us.
via Boiled Like a Frog.