We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The United States of Cognitive Dissonance

Click here to access article by CJ Hopkins from CounterPunch.

Hopkins argues (maybe tongue-in-cheek) that Americans (and many in the world) are infected with a deadly mind disease called "cognitive dissonance". And he describes how this process works: (I have taken the liberty of changing the pronoun and corresponding verb.)
Imagine [yourself] strapped in a chair like Alex was in Clockwork Orange, barraged with images of frightening terrorists until [your] mind accepts them as “the enemy,” at which point “the enemy” is immediately switched, and now it’s Hitler that is coming to get [you], which, after a time, [you come] to accept (and [forget] the former terrorist “enemy”), at which point “the enemy” is switched once again, and now it’s Putin and the Russians who are after [you]. And so on … until [your] mind just snaps and surrenders to whatever official “reality” is being fed into it any given day. At which point [they] have rendered the subject [yourself] a totally compliant, scramble-headed, functionally psychotic member of society, whose attention span is about twenty seconds, and whose brain [they] can fill full of fancy pharmaceuticals to keep it from completely melting down in response to the stress of the cognitive dissonance that it has to deal with on a daily basis.
Are our fellow Americans really like this? Well, I know of some who fit this description, but others more skilled (and therefore employed and paid well) are simply following the orders of their capitalist masters and agents in order to feed their families and pay their next month's mortgage payment. Most of them don't believe such nonsense, but they feel that their only choice is to go along to get along. These people are well educated and indoctrinated to follow orders and thus are employed at living salaries to serve the capitalist ruling class in the latter's corporations. Possibly many other Americans who are employed as wage workers (if they are lucky) at less than living wages, and less skilled and less educated, are like this. I simply don't know. I do know that the key to the ruling class's success is dependent on the salaried workers willingness to serve the interests of their capitalist masters and agents.

Hopkins also observes that such conditioning seems to be tapering off, and he argues that this is because Trump's attackers can not come up with any proof to support some of their crazy notions about Trump. However, I think it is tapering off because Trump is slowly being turned (or intimidated) to support a dominate faction in Wall Street that is promoting an anti-Russian agenda.

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