Saturday, April 28, 2012
Every society that has been taken over by a dictator has been subject to this. It always starts out as little things that later turn into a lot. How else could Germany have been taken over without a single weapon fired? The media was controlled and manipulated to the point where Hitler's views actually made sense to the common person. He was everyone and everything. The same can be said for any other dictator in history.
Most of the time, the insecurities and fears of the people are taken and then exploited. They are made to believe a set of ideas that often don't make sense and go against everything they believe in. They are willingly forced to give up their own freedom, an oxymoron that seems strange and nonsensical without context. After 9/11 happened, politicians preyed on the fears of Americans to pressure us into a war we never should have entered and to force us to undergo invasions of our privacy that we never should have had to go through.
American media seems to using these very tactics more and more. Many people are unaware of how they are influenced by it, unaware of how subtle wording can gradually shift their thinking. Often this is done to support big businesses. Of course, creating a culture of consumerism and need for more (and telling the mass public how important it is that is) is directly beneficial to them and keeps this going. However, even the news outlets stoop to this. I have noticed their bias and brainwashing tactics including but not limited to Israeli-Palestinian relations, SOPA, Occupy Wall Street, and psychiatric medication (that's not even including the topics that many specific newscasts skew). Often their reasons have to do with creating sensationalistic story but often... Often it's something quite more.
And, of course, this isn't always something that occurs in a society alone. Sometimes it can occur in a cult too or even just a family. This brings me to my mention of the things that ended up inspiring me to write this.
Cults slowly draw people in. Just like with everything else, they say things that make sense and they make claims that are appealing. The crazier stuff only comes out once they've been there a while. Of course, if there are children involved, this really isn't even a necessary thing. One can just bring out the crazy thing and let it all out and they'll believe it; they don't have the proper critical thinking skills to differentiate right and wrong.
The commenter was stating how annoyed they were at the assumption that all religious people were brainwashed. I'm sure that plenty would disagree with this but I don't necessarily see how this is that crazy of an assumption. The morals that Abrahamic religions teach go against the morals of modern society and yet somehow people feel the need to cling to these religions anyway, cherrypicking which parts of it that they want to believe. They also happen to be scientifically impossible. Yet whenever its followers show the slightest bit of skepticism, they are told to squash these remnants of reason and have "faith". Many of these followers were indoctrinated as children, told that that particular religion was right and that was the only true way to go while being taught to sense for certain "spiritual feelings". Not to mention, these beliefs can often coexist with a strong belief in Hell, homophobia and other beliefs of intolerance. How is that not brainwashing? In many instances, many oppressive leaders used religion to not only justify what they were doing, but to convince people that it was right. Religion is only one example of brainwashing in our society; just like all other examples of brainwashing, the level of its severity can be varied.
While there isn't no true way that we can prevent ourselves from being brainwashed, I think there are definitely ways to prevent it. This can only be done by acquiring both education and proper critical thinking skills.
Hopefully, American society will one day encourage critical thinking and actual intelligence. After all, it could have consequences more severe than we would like to think if we don't. Until then, I guess we're stuck with Snooki and corrupt news agencies.