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This chapter analyzes counterfactual strategies and practices of strategic deception through the lens of affective politics. Practices of strategic deception are common communication and behavioral practices that traverse many different settings, including the military, colonial forms of power, media power, soft power, and in forms of nonphysical abuse associated with narcissistic abuse. These are shape-shifting practices that disorder, creating an indeterminacy of feelings, atmospheres, memory, perception, and attention often described as chaotic. The truth-twisting that organizes or disorders perception, memory, attention, and feeling so central to narcissistic abuse requires seriously twisted ways of knowing to understand its effects and affects. Focusing on the rise of Trumpism as a key example, this chapter explores how the field of affect studies is best placed to apprehend, diagnose, and intervene within such settings to bring these forms of coercive power and their longer genealogies into new thresholds of attention and perception.

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