Indoctrination is a powerful weapon. It breeds within us, a fear so palpable that it can paralyze our ability to question. We’re made to think, by our government, our companies, our churches, our schools, and even our families, that what our nation does- both at home and abroad- is always in the interest of justice, peace, and freedom, and that sometimes we are forced to use violence and other noxious tactics in order to uphold those ideals. Psychologically, indoctrination impedes understanding. It is our natural urge to understand, that the power structure works to expunge. They would prefer to replace our inherent curiosity and inclination to resist, with a manufactured fear that works in concert with the concept that safety is achieved through obedience.
Understanding that this doctrine is the product of an inculcated, nationalistic hubris- imposed on us as soon as we exit the womb- is truly a substantial feet. It’s common, when cognitive dissonance impresses itself upon the youthful mind, for authority to eradicate any thought that could blossom into something radical and different. The preferred tactic is isolation. The idea is to remove the urge of the individual to be an individual. By making one feel like they are on the periphery, alone and estranged, when the need for social acceptance is paramount, conformity of thought is likely to solidify. The innate fear of being separated from the herd is so strong, and the power structure so adept at manipulating that fear, we hardly notice the depth of the indoctrination as it incrementally entangles us. Why else would we follow the mainstream pattern of life’s evolution? Why would we feel like we must be good boys and girls- go to school and make good grades- find a good job and spend the majority of our adult life there- meet a mate, get married and have children- vote- go to church- save money and retire- and then die? Who benefits from this pattern? If we weren’t so indoctrinated, would this be what we’d choose for our life?
Tyranny is only tyranny when someone else does something tyrannical. One never recognizes their own actions as such. The fact is, tyranny is a malleable term, and has always been a matter of perspective. One’s own perception of a reality that he/she precipitates, depends upon one’s interests. An institution does not benefit if it is honest with its people and is allowed to be seen for exactly what it is. Therefore it must use propaganda, in order to ensure that their own people understand the truth, relative to the institution’s telling of it. Even if there are laws in place, that prohibit an institution from using propaganda on its own people, the instruments of power are such that these laws are evaded- if not ignored entirely- so that opinions are swayed, the truth obscured, and the agenda accepted.
Look at the example that was reported yesterday, concerning the blatant propaganda film being released later this year, about Seal Team Six and the killing of Osama Bin Laden. It’s been reported that the Obama administration has cooperated with filmmakers, Mark Boal and Kathryn Bigelow, by giving them access to classified information encompassing the entire breadth of the assassination. This would not necessarily be newsworthy, if it wasn’t for the fact that the administration has repeatedly circumvented FOIA lawsuits from the transparency group Judicial Watch, who is seeking information concerning the Bin Laden raid. The administration, in federal court, continues to claim that the information is secret and if leaked, could threaten national security. The interesting paradox is why, if the information could threaten national security, the administration has been leaking this information to the media while simultaneously challenging the FOIA lawsuits?
Judicial Watch also requested that the details of the administration’s collaboration with the filmmakers be released, which the government agreed to, and when one examines the transcript what is striking is the nonchalance in which the administration agrees to hand over supposed classified information. Reading this, and knowing the details surrounding Obama’s insidious war on whistleblowers, one is perplexed by the discordant parallel. The implication being, that if something is leaked that enhances Obama’s image, the administration will “unofficially” condone it, and in fact provide exclusive access in order to further the “accuracy” of the story. Conversely, if a government official decides in good conscience to alert the public to policies and efforts that are illegal, immoral, and counterproductive, in an effort to create positive change, the administration will press charges, destroy people’s lives, and send to them jail in the name of national security.
Just so we’re clear…providing classified information to filmmakers so that they can make a propaganda film that casts the administration in a favorable light, is perfectly legal. But providing transparency groups and the ACLU with the same information, or allowing whistleblowers to bring to light, illegal practices that infringe on civil liberties and/or make clear, the failings of our foreign policies, is not only illegal but punishable by decades in prison.
Recently I wrote about the prejudice of nationalism, and how it can blind us from seeing clearly, the faults of a party we have become a part of. This propaganda film (originally set for release in October, 2012- just in time for the election- but has since been pushed back to December after a public outcry) will be heralded by the democratic party. It will be condemned, because of its timing and lack of objectivity, by the republicans. The republicans will claim that Obama’s glorification for the killing of a human being, as his central thesis for his campaign, is reprehensible, even as they intentionally neglect the Bush administration’s similar gloating after the capture of Saddam Hussein during the 2004 election. The democrats won’t touch the fact that this administration attacks whistleblowers (more than all other administrations combined), refuses to grant the American public the very information it tries to secretly lend to filmmakers, even as they continue to leak so-called classified information themselves when it makes political sense to do so. If it had been Bush who was discovered making this kind of movie deal, the moral outcry from the democratic camp would be deafening. I’m curious to see how “fair and balanced” the “liberal” media will be on this obvious double standard.
This is the climate we live in. This is the propaganda-filled den of lies and deception that accompany a two-party system that is failing because of how obvious it is that they care nothing about improving America. This blatant hypocrisy desperately needs an impartial and adversarial force to challenge it by exposing the truth. The media should be that force, but it’s not. It has long been bought and sold, which is why most Americans are misinformed. The media, like our government, should be independent of private sector capital, so that it can retain an authentically objective perspective. If this were possible, we’d have a well-informed populace that could make educated decisions, based on information it could trust. If we don’t search for alternative sources of news, and we acquiesce to the liberal or conservative, agenda-pushing, TV channels or publications, then we allow the indoctrination to evolve.
Why do all governments, and democracies in particular, have a need to control their populations? Why must they insist on monitoring communication, manufacturing consent, and shifting focus from real issues to inconsequential ones, with a selective morality geared towards agendas of power? If they acted justly, why would the world have a need for secrecy? Of course I understand that power, greed, wealth, and influence are the unfortunate real world answers. But from an ideological perspective, one that can pretend for just a moment, to embrace idealism and shed the heavy cloak of reality, I’m saddened by our inability to stand united, as one species, and recognize that the great majority of us are oppressed in this world. An overwhelming majority actually. We simply refuse to collectively ban together. Do we hate one another that much? And if we weren’t indoctrinated to fear one another, for differences of culture, race, religion, etc., would we still prefer to remain isolated and controlled? Could we ever choose to rebel against the power structure, overthrow all repressive regimes, and live peacefully in a world that used its money to provide food and medicine, instead of bombs and death? The handful of egomaniacs that keep humanity under wraps, cannot be permitted to speak for us, act for us, neglect us, lie to us, and pretend that they care for us. The only thing that this system cares about is asserting its dominance. How much is enough?
Our government fears us enough to spend billions to spy on us; to attempt to control and manipulate us; to try to keep us subdued through fear and entertainment. It’s what governments have always done. At some point we have to choose to fight back. There are any number of ways to do so. Occupy. Organize. Write a blog. Turn off your TV. Find alternative sources of information. Abandon the political system. Realize it’s counterproductive to be labeled a democrat or a republican. Refuse to recognize the legitimacy of our power structure. Speak out. Educate those that are willing to learn. Use your voice. Don’t accept that this is all we have. It’s not good enough for me. It shouldn’t be good enough for you either.