the Informed

Indoctrination: Welcome to the Cruel World

The degree to which a person is indoctrinated into society and its preconceptions is largely a product of his or her ability to exercise critical thought and sift through what is truth and what is fiction. What results from a mind that drifts aimlessly through the minefield of modern thought is a life barely worth living. When a person becomes trapped in this maze, they become victim, an individual indoctrinated and assimilated, a willing cog in the corporate and elitist machinery that rules this desperate planet. They become indoctrinated into the largest and most heinous cult the world has ever seen.

With the advent of the idea of free will also came the notion that one should be responsible for one's self and one's actions. The debate has gone on for centuries; whether or not anyone actually has free will at all, but whether we do, or whether we are guided and shaped by forces of nature beyond our understanding remains to be seen, at least until we understand the natural world more fully. Nature versus nurture, this eternal debate continues, and yet here we remain, trapped in our own minds, perhaps completely unaware of that which shapes our thoughts and deeds. Maybe we are nothing more than a foregone conclusion based on our particular atomic makeup.

It would be hard to argue, however, that we are not to some degree, whether large or small, influenced by that which we see, hear, read and feel. Some of our greatest thinkers believe that we are heavily shaped by these influences - shaped in such a way that the buying into these ideas has formed our very consciousness, our way of thinking and our filter through which everything we experience is passed. What else could explain the fact that we accept some things so ludricrous that, when really picked apart and looked at from afar subjectively, are truly insane. Unneccesary death and destruction, poverty, war, inequality, intolerance, greed, corruption and looming environmental collapse, all phenomena too often justified as merely "human nature". Make no mistake - these things are not our nature. They are learned behavious, nothing more and nothing less. If we have been suffering through a kind of pre-pubescent societal growth as a species, are we not now due, and in fact in desperate need of, a step change in our thought and our actions? Are we not ready to break the chains of preconceived ideas and eschew the indoctrination system that has bound and gagged us for so long?

Indoctrination, however, is terribly insidious and has many, evil forms. For most of us in Western culture, and in fact most of us on this planet, it starts with our early education as infants. But this process really kicks into high gear when we enter the public school system at the tender age of four or five years old - a system created at the birth of the industrial revolution for the express purpose of creating a class of workers, of slaves, of compliant citizens. Why else would a so-called system of education be so It becomes clear that there is a brutal and insidious quashing of will to the end of creating a mediocre and passive populousthoroughly geared toward mediocrity? Why would we not want to create a system that acknowledges and promotes independent thought? The answer lies in their need to create a worker class, and this is exactly what was done two centuries ago and carries on in full force to this day. If we take a closer look at our modern educational system, it becomes clear that there is a brutal and insidious quashing of will, of free will, to the end of creating a mediocre and passive populous. For there to exist a slave and a master class whereby the slaves refuse to revolt, a system needs to be created where the slaves are neither aware of their position, or are unwilling and too sedated to care or to act. For such a world to exist, there needs to be a subtle, yet strangely opposed brutal and pervasive training, training that needs to start at a young age, include all of the elements of social life, and continue on, self-perpetuated for all time, unrelenting and unquestioned. And this is indeed what has been going on - for a very long time, long before you were ever a thought. What makes it so difficult to analyze is that most people are unaware of the problem at all, and most people tacitly accept the state of the world as a fait accompli. But it does not have to be so. Change is as simple as a thought.

So how, then, does a society dupe virtually all of its citizens into believing that there is really no other way, that things are in fact supposed to be like this? And why are there some people who can see through this charade and try to call out, often regarded as lunatics, or maybe somethimes even shamans? 

Let's start with the idea of nationalism, perhaps the most powerful and manipulative of all the Making it clear without a shadow of a doubt that they have bought into an arbitrary set of ideasforms of this evil that society subjects its young to. Children, holding their hands on their hearts five mornings a week, singing a propaganda song of indoctrination at the start of their school day, making it clear without a shadow of a doubt that they have bought into an arbitrary set of ideas that makes their country separate from the others by virtue of a virtual line drawn in the proverbial sand. That we ram this thinking into the minds of little children is obscene, obscene in the sense that it robs them of their ability to consider that the world may have moved on, that the time for notions like nationalism have faded, like so much dust in the wind. While ideas like nation had a purpose at some point in history (as did monarchy, patriarchy, and the lot), it would seem that in our ever-diversifying and ever-evolving world that a concept like this must, at some point, run its course. And it has.

To better understand the ways that ideas like nationalism can trap the mind and disallow progressive thought, let's take a look at the realm of sports. Noam Chomsky brilliantly espoused the indoctrinal power of sports thusly:

Take, say, sports -- that's another crucial example of the indoctrination system, in my view. For one thing because it -- you know, it offers people something to pay attention to that's of no importance. [audience laughs] That keeps them from worrying about -- [applause] keeps them from worrying about things that matter to their lives that they might have some idea of doing something about. And in fact it's striking to see the intelligence that's used by ordinary people in [discussions of] sports [as opposed to political and social issues]. I mean, you listen to radio stations where people call in -- they have the most exotic information [more laughter] and understanding about all kind of arcane issues. And the press undoubtedly does a lot with this.

You know, I remember in high school, already I was pretty old. I suddenly asked myself at one point, why do I care if my high school team wins the football game? [laughter] I mean, I don't know anybody on the team, you know? [audience roars] I mean, they have nothing to do with me, I mean, why I am cheering for my team? It doesn't mean any -- it doesn't make sense. But the point is, it does make sense: it's a way of building up irrational attitudes of submission to authority, and group cohesion behind leadership elements -- in fact, it's training in irrational jingoism. That's also a feature of competitive sports. I think if you look closely at these things, I think, typically, they do have functions, and that's why energy is devoted to supporting them and creating a basis for them and advertisers are willing to pay for them and so on.

A way of building up irrational attitudes of submission to authority. We live in a world whereby indoctrination has enslaved most of us, yet instead of understanding this and thus working to regain our rational minds, we cannot even consider the point Chomsky makes. So many (and I'm sure you know more than a few) are so deeply invested in this notion that to consider that it's naught but a form of mind control is too much to bear. Let alone considering that everything they've ever been told is a form of thought control. When George Orwell wrote about the year Nineteen Eighty-Four, he was not writing about the future, he was writing about his present day, about the propaganda machine at work in his epoch, the world of 1948. Because this indoctrination has been going on for so many decades, it is so difficult to see through the shroud that many choose simply to ignore its existence. The Emperor wears no clothes. Most people think that he does, and to consider otherwise would be admitting inferiority and defeat.

Let's pause at this point for a moment to consider the problemWhen George Orwell wrote about the year Nineteen Eighty-Four, he was not writing about the future, he was writing about his present day, about the propaganda machine at work in his epoch of mind control and its definition. In its purest form, it is the manipulation of another's mind for the purpose of creating a system of behavioural patterns that is predictable to those perpetrating the manipulating. This begs the question then, at what point is what we teach our young not a form of mind control? This is an important question, and it could easily be argued that it's all mind control. And if this is the case, then it follows that we then need to be cautious in our teachings, and in fact allow the young minds of the world to find their own way. The best we can feasibly do is to teach them the hows of learning, and let them roam into the world armed with that, trusting in their innate ability to succeed and be powerful beings. We now have access to the world's collective knowledge, and even though it's available at one's fingertips, the indoctrination system is working overtime to ensure that Google searches remain benign. If you need proof of this, go to any city in the world and look at its trending topics. Hastag irrelevance. That's what we do with our access to the collective treasure-trove of knowledge. Especially the young.

While education, nationalism, sports, politics and religion remain the most powerful tools for the indoctrination system, its spokesperson and around-the-clock advocate and news reader is the mass media and its weapons of propaganda. The machine works tirelessly to disseminate disinformation and keep the minds of the people docile and submissive, all the while allowing them to think that they have free will and are free men and women. Some would say, what's wrong with a form of slavery if the slaves think they are free? What's wrong is that the natural world is on the brink of collapse, economies are on the brink of collapse and injustice and inequality and greed run amok while people do nothing. This, my dear readers, is a huge fucking problem.

In the US in 2005, the average teenager spent 3 hours per day watching television. Forget FaceBook, YouTube and the rest, this figure just represents TV consumption. Thousands upon thousands of hours spent ingesting and digesting crap media, reinforcing ideas and patterns that hinder and enslave the mind. It's not simply the vast amount of mass media that's the problem here, it's the repetition of inane ideas, crammed down the throats of the young and impressionable for years that perpetrates this crime. Hollywood as a propaganda machine, FOX News, hours upon hours of sports programming, sit-coms, rom-coms and porno-dot-coms all working together to enslave a population, so masterfully executed that the victims are not even aware of their unmaking. Our collective consciousness is clogged with garbage. Garbage in, garbage out.

And here's where things get really ugly: politics and religion. While religion remains the grand poo-bah of indoctrination, akin to only the most insane doctrines like those found in cults around the world, politics, too, remains cult-like in its ability to keep the masses in a perpetual state of unyielding submission. If religion gets them at a very tender, young age, politics joins the chorus at a later stage of development and compliments it and amplifies it as it builds upon already held so-called truths. The degree to which people are willing to sell their minds to an idea is unparalleled in any other realm. People will kill for these ideas in a heartbeat, hate their neighbours and espouse fear and ugliness in its name. Look at the current state of opinion toward Islam, as the mass media continues to portray the ideas that a tiny minority hold, making the people believe that this represents all Muslims. People burn themselves alive for a cause, killing as many enemies as possible, in the name of Allah, in the name of Jesus, of Capitalism, of The Elite, unwittingly galvanizing the power of these ideologies forever in the minds of the believers.

A definition of "cult" from
a: great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work (as a film or book); especially : such devotion regarded as a literary or intellectual fad
b : the object of such devotion
c : a usually small group of people characterized by such devotion

But people are not sheep, dare not think it for a moment. While some may be in this state temporarily, so many are joining a growing voice, a critical mass of awareness, and they are deciding to wake up. Humanity has the capacity to create a world of infinite sustainability in harmony with nature, with each other, with the universe as a whole. We will explore the stars, we will create justice and equality, and every human being will have the power to chose their own adventure, to make their free will known to the universe. But first we must free our minds and remove the pollution and the static.

So what keeps us from living in this better reality, this Nirvana, this Utopia? Is it all in our minds? And if it is, do we then have the power to simply choose to think differently, and not in the crappy Apple advert sense of the bastardization? Think differently.

'Cause I know the biggest crime is just to throw up your hands
Say this has nothing to do with me
I just want to live as comfortably as I can
You got to look outside your eyes, you got to think outside your brain
You got to walk outside you life to where the neighborhood changes
- Ani Difranco, Willing To Fight

Systems of indoctrination breed the disease of ignorance, but there is hope. Realization and acknowledgement are the first steps, but what really needs to happen is for all people to reeducate and reprogram their minds to live in accordance with the natural world from which we are borne and to which we are forever bound. If we cannot find a way to effect change, we are doomed, and that is the truth dear reader. Any change, any real and lasting change comes from the restructuring of your brain, of our collective consciousness. You can do it if you try.

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