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Part 5: Battling the TPP with Enlightenment, Love and a Thirst For Meaning in the Face of Death

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(Article changed on January 27, 2014 at 19:20)

(Article changed on January 25, 2014 at 02:04)

This is the last part of a five-part series: Sleeping Through the TPP Coup: Why a Trans-National Corporate Power Grab That Hurts Almost Everyone Is Arousing So Little Outcry


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Part 1: What is the Trans-Pacific Partnership, And Why Don't I Care?

Part 2: Obstacles to Anti-TPP Coordination: A Social Psychological Account

Part 3: The Puzzle of "Liberal" Obama's Support for the TPP

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Part 4: Pitting Fear of Our Complicity Against the Fear to Resist the TPP

Part 5: Battling the TPP with Enlightenment, Love and a Thirst For Meaning in the Face of Death


The first part of this series introduced the Trans Pacific Partnership "trade deal" scam, identified its potential dangers, as well as the dangers of allowing it to be "fast-tracked" through Congress. It also posed the question: why have activists had so much difficulty raising the mass awareness and mass outrage that the TPP threat warrants?


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The second part drew on social psychology concepts like ingroup favoritism, cognitive miserliness, the halo effect and cognitive dissonance to explore some potential answers to that question.


The third part applied cognitive dissonance and other social psychology concepts like conformity and obedience to address the mystery of why "liberal" President Obama is seeking fast-track authority for the TPP. It also made the case that drawing a distinction between "liberal" and "left" (one based in psychological research) can explain Obama's behavior better than collapsing liberal-left vs. conservative-right into one dimension.

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Ian Hansen is a social psychology professor specializing in cultural and political psychology and a part time activist on behalf of the good things in life.

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