Questioning your brainwashing

The rewards are few, the work is hard and you'll lose friends

PressVsPresI would love to say that I'm no longer brainwashed. But every time I do, my nose gets rubbed in my own hubris. I recently made an offhand comment about the failure of Soviet-style central planning but, fortunately, I was corrected by friends who shed a light on the issue where I never really looked before. 

Being brainwashed is forgiveable I suppose. After all, seventy plus years of Cold War propaganda has left me - and everyone I know - with a lot of unquestioned bad habits of thought. Most people can't see it. They refuse to even entertain the question and, in fact, they double down on denial of government/media brainwashing when challenged. It just sounds too crazy to them. They think it's impossible that all their friends, family and neighbors could be deluded. They can't imagine that their elected representatives or their trusted news sources could be similarly deluded. Or worse, be in on the brainwashing. Then they look at those promoting contrary narratives - the Trumpers or the Freedom Truckers or the Putin apologists - and that settles the issue for them. Only deplorables doubt official narratives.

They know they're not brainwashed because their corporate news sources reassure them that they're not. It doesn't occur to them to wonder about how much influence governments have over the media - directly and indirectly. Maybe they don't know how much the media, especially newspapers in Canada, depend on govenment subsidies, not to mention access to critical information. 

GuidetoHoaxTitleThe fact is everything is stacked against individuals questioning propaganda that is supported by overwhelming consensus. Attached to this post, are a couple of the most important documents released lately on this issue. They provide details and insight on revelations coming from Twitter executives about how the social media company was pressured by american government agents and politicians to help manufacture Russiagate in order to demonize both Donald Trump and Russia. If you don't know that the FBI investigation into Russian collusion with the Trump campaign cleared them both, it's because that news was largely hidden from you. These articles tell the story, if only you'll give them a chance. (And don't you dare dismiss me as a Trump supporter; I'm not.)

But that's my point with this post; there is a lot of reading required - and reflection - that goes against what brainwashed people think they know. And it doesn't stop there; if officials and journalists will misrepresent one story, there are likely many more like them.

The cognitive dissonance is personally formidable; it's so much easier to just accept what everyone else accepts as true. But the social dissonance is even worse. If you change your mind because you've learned something new, you will risk the same kind of shaming and alienation that you have heaped on the believers of 'fake news' yourself. It's hard to imagine the courage required on top of all the hard work. 

The final barrier to questioning your brainwashing is the embarrassment of admitting that you've been wrong for so long. Fortunately, you're in good company; almost everyone has been fooled including the brainwashed brainwashers who have invested their careers in sharing unquestioned delusions with their vast audiences. It will be even harder for them to find the humility to consider that the truth is more important than their personal esteem.