Brainwashed Brainwashers

God bless Hannah Arendt who invented the idea

Well, so much for thinking 'Brainwashed Brainwashers' was original. As I learned from this article by Andrew Bacevich, the idea originated with Hannah Arendt. At least I'm in most excellent company trying to reason through the psychology of propaganda and brainwashing. 

The question either phrase poses to us - especially for journalists - is why don't we give counter arguments more weight before imposing official narratives on trusting audiences? 

There are sound scientific reasons and research that provide answers. Unfortunately, they're not easy reading unless, like me, you're fascinated by such things. And that, in itself, is part of the issue. Research is not easy for most people, especially when findings counter what you already know - or think you know. Worse, in the back of our minds when confronted with challenging new information, we suspect that if we are convinced by it, the new information will become an onerous burden; we will be forced to admit we were fooled in the first place and now have to change our mind. 

Is that easy to do when we have already showered our beliefs on friends and family? Of course not. We will feel like a fool. Worse, we will be shamed and ostracized by those around us just as we shamed and ostracized others who doubted our beliefs. The thought of sounding like a Trump deplorable or a Freedom Trucker is just too much for most people. So they refuse to even consider contrary information and retreat into the safety of consensus reality espoused by the Brainwashed Brainwashers of corporate media.

Imagine how much harder it is for so-called journalists who have made a career of avoiding the truth and whose paycheck depends on not questioning the positions of their employers or understanding the truth.

At the bottom of this is another question: who is feeding the BBs and self-deceived deceivers with the false narratives in the first place? There must be a select few at the top of the food chain who are crafting the lies and expecting the BBs to sell them to audiences without questioning - no matter how ridiculous.

The workings of our minds are so ephemeral and slippery it's hard to really know, even if we're talking about ourself. The one person we lie to more than any other is our self.

Read the story at the Boston Globe website: