“For years we have been fed philosophical presuppositions smuggled in as fact. It’s an old trick, ever young. Tell people over and over and over again that life is in essence a mindless material/biological trap and over time they will believe it. Of course there are unspoken exceptions — those who are the masters of this con-game, . . . ” – E Curtin
What is the explanation for the brainwashing of so many – Americans when it involves the nefarious, unspeakable deeds of their government? Why are so many so easily duped time and again? Why is there such a vast ignorance of the truth behind national and international affairs?
I would suggest that the answer lies not just with the specific issues themselves and the lies and propaganda used to befuddle the American people, but with the cultural and social background that frames Americans’ thinking. The latter serves to cut to the root people’s belief in their own power to think freely and clearly about the former. Invade people’s minds over many years with an ongoing series of interconnected memes, occupy their minds with alleged facts that induce a frenzied depression, and then fooling them on specific issues — e.g. Ukraine, Iraq, Syria, etc. – becomes much easier.
I am a sociology professor, and my students always laugh when during a discussion of memory, social and personal, I ask them about their forgetties (the actual word is forgetteries, but the shorter rhyme gets more laughs). They think I’m joking. Maybe you do, too. I’m not.
But when I suggest that if they “possess” the faculty to remember, then they must “possess” the faculty to forget, they are astonished. You can’t forget, they reply, you just don’t remember; you can’t retrieve the memories that are stored in your brain. In other words, there are no forgottens, just temporarily unavailable memories. From there we are onto a discussion of retrieving (I think of dogs), processing (their word for thinking and mine for making American cheese), and all the computer lingo that has been the surround of their lives. Like fish in water, the mechanistic computer memes have been their environment since birth. They are shocked at the suggestion that there might be more outside the cultural water, and that they could go there.
And they have a lot of company.
This may sound flippant, but it’s crucial for understanding why so many Americans can’t comprehend and pay attention to the ways their minds are scrambled and confused about life and death issues, how their country has fallen victim to the military-industrial-intelligence apparatus that operates deep in the shadows, and oftentimes right in the open. Continue reading