It was probably simple fear that brought many people to the center of Prague on Saturday. And the term “ordinary” should be taken with a grain of salt. Fear is powerful. He can bring out the worst in people.
Václavák was probably filled to a certain extent with people who fear nothing less than their entire existence. They are worried about whether they will be able to handle the rising prices of food and especially energy. They are afraid whether they will pay for gas, electricity, and therefore heating and hot water in the winter. Will it be beyond their power to cook lunch?
It is unwise to mock people in such a marginal situation, to call them fools, Putin’s sell-outs, as is happening on social networks.
Fear has an unpleasant tendency to grow. The bigger it is, the more it clouds the judgment of its victims. A frightened person is more willing to listen to manipulators and preachers of fake solutions.
“We’ll Take Our Country Back”
According to the police, 70,000 people protested in Prague. The participants demanded the resignation of Petr Fiala’s government. According to the prime minister, pro-Russian forces are behind the action.
Psychologist Jan Kulhánek wrote succinctly about it some time ago on the specialized portal Psychologie.cz. He looked at the matter from the opposite angle and compiled the “Handbook for Manipulators and Mob Leaders”. Let’s go through it to know what not to do and what to warn people about when stressed by ominous slips.
- Systematically present people with messages, stories and images that will create and spread a sense of threat, anxiety and fear in society.
- A larger part of society will stop verifying ghostly information, confronting it with a different point of view. They begin to have a great need to clarify and simplify the whole problem. It is enough to help them with the right stickers and directions, which will be simple and logically comprehensible.
- Put more pressure on the saw and try to create the feeling that the situation has no solution. After the initial resistance, anxiety and then resignation to one’s own activity will probably come, but there remains hope for salvation from above.
- Give them such salvation with a simple instruction – explain to the crowd (yes, at that point society is mostly behaving like a crowd) that others are incapable, look where they got us, while you are not afraid and have a solution. In doing so, you will only be repeating ideas that you have already pushed on people before. This way your ideas will seem familiar, logical and therefore believable to them.
Do you still find yesterday’s demonstration on Wenceslas Square funny?
The government should admit that it faces the danger of radicalization of a section of society. It is no longer enough to hire PR experts and pay for explanatory billboards, although that is also necessary. However, as we said above, part of the public will already be deaf to them.
As the Czech press office reported at the end of the week, the European Commission is considering the possibilities of capping energy prices and other steps to limit the record high prices of gas and electricity. He will present the plan of a possible course of action on September 14.
If this happens, the key is to get this information to the most remote cottage, to a studio apartment in the basement of a block of flats in a slum. Communicate it to people who have already lost faith in the government, in the media and are drowning in the mire of misinformation.
Writing three sentences about it on Twitter is really useless. It may be necessary to resort to an extremely expensive but effective door-to-door campaign.
If we don’t want to throw the fear-paralyzed masses before unpredictable, anti-democratic and quite possibly dangerous self-proclaimed messiahs.