From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
"As a result of decades of complacency created in part by the fog of television, and the ongoing corporatization of the government, the American people find themselves the victims of creeping fascism. Like the proverbial frog placed in a pot of warm water upon a lighted stove, we hardly notice the gradual loss of our freedoms. By the time we awaken to reality—if we ever awaken—we will find ourselves parboiled. By then it will be too late to extricate ourselves. One by one our basic freedoms are being stolen from us by those who purport to represent our interests."--a certain Charles Sullivan (not to be confused with the jazz musician) in opednews, 2005, referring to events in America post-9/11
Creeping normality or death by a thousand cuts is the way a major change can be accepted as the normal situation if it happens slowly, in unnoticed increments, when it would be regarded as objectionable if it took place in a single step or short period. Examples would be a change in job responsibilities or a change in a medical condition.
American scientist Jared Diamond has invoked the concept (as well as that of landscape amnesia) in attempting to explain why in the course of long-term environmental degradation, Easter Island natives would, seemingly irrationally, chop down the last tree:
- Gradually trees became fewer, smaller, and less important. By the time the last fruit-bearing adult palm tree was cut, palms had long since ceased to be of economic significance. That left only smaller and smaller palm saplings to clear each year, along with other bushes and treelets. No one would have noticed the felling of the last small palm.
- Principiis obsta
- Shifting baseline
- Boiling frog – a (false) creeping normality metaphor
- Camel's nose – creeping normality metaphor
- Gaslighting, psychological abuse by alternately manipulating minor events, then denying these events ever happened when the abused questions said events
- "First they came..."
- Foot-in-the-door technique
- Moving the goalposts
- Overton window
- Slippery slope – an argument, sometimes fallacious
- Salami tactics
- Technological change § Technological change as a social process