This message of this post is quite simple; stop repeating lies you think are true. Form your own opinions instead of being fed someone else’s.
Every day you see it and hear it and read it. Someone repeating false information, someone sharing an absurd meme on facebook pushing propaganda for one side or the other, and the messed up thing is that these people think they’re expressing their own thoughts. This is being done to you and you need to realize it. For a large number of people, you’re thoughts are not your own.
Propaganda- A commonly used term but yet seemingly ignored concept…..
Propaganda is a commonly used term, each side of our political circus accuses the media of using propaganda from the other side. The problem is the concept is often overlooked for what it really is. See, the definition of propaganda is misleading information to promote a cause or viewpoint. Most people know this. The problem is the concept isn’t seen for what it really is. People assume propaganda stops with the news but it doesn’t even begin to stop there. See, around WW2 those in power realized the importance of manipulating public opinion to support their cause but our technology, understanding of psychology and global communications have advanced greatly since then. Now, the most useful method of spreading propaganda is individuals.
Belief is an interesting thing, and in all my years of research into belief I have come to the conclusion that for the most part belief is determined on a first come first served basis. In general the average person of average intelligence is going to be taught beliefs by their parents and people around them growing up. These beliefs don’t need to be proven accurate to be believed, but to be changed requires absolute proof to the individual. A person forms their beliefs without great investigation and requirement of factual evidence, but once they have those beliefs they become a part of that person that they will cling onto unless proven 100% to be untrue. See, the reason for that is quite simple. We are wired to fear being wrong. When we’re wrong on something it hurts our ego, because we latch onto ideas and beliefs we are given as if they are ours. If you hear a theory and it seems like it makes sense to you, you repeat that theory and believe it to be yours. It isn’t yours, you didn’t originate it, but your ego thinks it is.
Understanding the psychology of the ego, of a person clinging to other people’s thoughts as if it were their own (makes you think of the movie inception doesn’t it lol), those in power use that to their advantage. They find a commonly held belief, and then design specific misinformation that at the same time lines up with that common belief. When a person hears/sees that misinformation since it applies to a belief they hold as their own they are likely to accept that misinformation. Once accepted, that misinformation merges with their pre-existing belief and then that person begins repeating that misinformation as if it were their own. The misinformation spreads, the belief becomes common, the seed is planted and in many ways it is irreversible without a core change in thinking.
Taking Sides in a one sided fight
See propaganda of old was designed to get the people to choose one side over the other, for example to choose the Allies over the Axis. As things evolve however, those in power came up with the idea of manufacturing sides to manipulate everyone instead of just half. Look at American Politics. Roughly one half of the US population considers itself republican and the other half Democrat. Yet, almost all of the US population on an individual basis wants what is best for the country and the people and dislikes the government. The government is primarily controlled by those already in power, and instead of manipulating half of the people to come to try and have their way they manufacture two sides in order to manipulate all the people to do their bidding. They neatly lump issues onto one side or the other, they make the people think they have to choose one or the other, and then get the people going against each other. Now the two halves of our population are fighting each other while the politicians elected serve no purpose other than promoting the interests of those in power. It doesn’t matter which side you are on, because the options you are given as “solutions” are false. Politicians once in office are paid by the same people, so whoever wins the election is simply receiving a check. So for all the fighting and arguing, no actual change is happening one way or the other because our choices are an illusion. Plus, to make things worse, the more arguments there are the more polarized the two sides become. When a person’s beliefs are challenged they instinctively cling harder to those beliefs. So while we are fighting to prove thoughts that aren’t ours to be the correct thoughts, those who we all collectively dislike are still in power and decisions we collectively dislike are made anyway.
The Only Solution
The only solution to this is for people to come to the understanding that having an invalid opinion or thought doesn’t make them invalid. Being wrong on something doesn’t make you less of a person. A sign of intelligence is being able to adjust your opinions based on evidence presented. Even if you have to completely redefine you’re thoughts on the universe, when new information presents itself an adjustment needs to be made. Most people are unfortunately unable to do this. People cling so hard to their beliefs that they feel that if they are forced to accept that those beliefs are invalid that it will mean that they are less, it’s a shame, it’s a blow to someone’s pride and ego. When you are presented with new information, don’t deny that information to preserve your opinion. It does say something negative about a person when they actively ignore evidence in support of a false belief, even more so when they then pass on that belief knowing it’s falsehoods. If we don’t stop this cycle of spreading false beliefs and opinions then things are going to continue to polarize and within our own lifetimes there will be dire consequences. A 3 sided civil war with no borders. The “left” vs the “right” vs those currently in power. Instead of a nice tidy civil war like we had in the 1800s where there are borders and a clear definition of where the enemy is, it is going to be neighbor vs neighbor, family member vs family member, town vs neighboring town. All the while the real enemy, those in power, will pick off the best of us one by one to ensure they are the only real winners.