• cultures have a collection of available and acceptable forms and structures to express experience
  • forms are normalized through repeated usage
  • dominant narratives have authority; they can cause not only cooperation but collaboration
  • this breaks down when narratives are called into question
  • narratives can blur the lines between internal vs external, personal vs group identity, and description vs prescription
  • authors contradict earlier point by saying facts don’t counter disinformation, after complaining about exactly that as a “weakness” earlier
  • authors highlight their inability to utilize fact-based narratives
  • authors overstate the point that people prefer read narratives and easily accessible meaning
  • the advice here contradicts advice elsewhere that people more strongly hold narratives they piece together themselves
  • conclusion is wrong in assuming that it’s purely because people prefer disinformation narratives to truth; often they don’t have access to truth, eg COVID narratives
  • authors’ narrative frame prevents them from seeing that the “psychological warfare” of other states often is undoing their own psychological warfare against US citizens
  • authors double down on that, unable to comprehend that “post primacy status of liberal democratic systems” is due to unwinding domestic propaganda, eg about race, and actual system failures, eg in banking, that manipulation can no longer conceal
  • authors don’t understand open exchange is meant to unwind such domestic propaganda; view themselves as “virtuous manipulators”
  • authors don’t realize that open exchange and consistent/comprehensive narratives are designed to combat weaponized narratives because of their own “virtuous manipulators” bias
  • authors are unable to give a useful distinction between “narrative warfare” and “information warfare”
  • authors are mistaken and information is not raw data
  • authors seem unable to accurately assess the damages of their policy recommendations
  • narrative warfare is a fight over meaning and identity
  • focus on what identity layers are being constructed or undermined
  • authors seem pathologically unable to recognize the role truth plays in narratives
  • authors use a strawman that the only way to employ truth is repeating a lie with “no”; in doing so, they contradict their earlier frustrations about facts undermining their narratives
  • authors are clearly unable to accurately assess Russia, due to their own biases
  • authors seem unable to realize they’re “high on their own supply”, and that these actions are helping NATO rather than destroying NATO
  • authors don’t seem able to grasp how becoming estranged from truth damages themselves; delusions are a mental illness – and they’re creating society level illness
  • authors don’t seem able to reason about narrative warfare, eg focusing on the insanity of the West solidifed Russian resolve (contrary to their claim)
  • multi-level narratives are more effective:
    • meta narratives frame the “big picture”
    • strategic narratives guide policy actions
    • tactical/ground-level narratives influence particular groups
  • authors seem obsessed with fear based narratives; deeply pathological
  • authors say all we need is bluster and potential but that failed in Ukraine because Putin was willing to resolve conflicting narratives with hard power, overwhelming our proxy; similarly seems to be failing with China
  • authors seem to exhibit “magic bullet” thinking
  • authors seem unaware of other types of narratives; full scope of potential


  1. humans are influence by narratives because they seek meaning and organization to events
  2. narrative warfare is the usage of weaponized narratives to attack a population
  3. yes – per authors’ point in earlier chapter, conflicting true facts are a prime way to undermine a narrative based on disinformation, eg “how do you explain X?”; a narrative unable to give meaning to facts and experiences is replaced by a new narrative which “better explains”