Brainwashing —according to Webster's online dictionary is - a forcible indoctrination to induce someone to give up their political, social and economic beliefs and attitudes to accept contrasting ideas.
To the average person, the concept seems to only have a place in science-fiction stories. While this type of mind-control does exist, there is a different and more prevalent style.
This is the brainwashing Aldous Huxley describes in Brave New World. In his book, humanity has become concerned with basically nothing but pleasure via instant gratification In Neil Postman's forward of his own book, Amusing Ourselves to Death, he gives a comparison of George Orwell's 1984 and Huxley's Brave New World.
"What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one (1). Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egotism (2). Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. (3) Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny "failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions." (4) In 1984, Orwell added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World,they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. (5) In short, Orwell feared that what we fear will ruin us. Huxley feared that our desire will ruin us. (6)"
It turns out Huxley, rather than Orwell, predicted a spot-on set of mores that happen to apply to our culture. Take a look at the individual concerns of Huxley.
(1) The popularity of books is rapidly declining. This is especially true in Generation Y. Endless streams of television shows are zombifying the watcher rather than books expanding the imagination of the reader.
(2) Our society revolves around competition. If you aren't "number 1" than you are nothing. We encourage greed and bigotry. We have no emphasis on community. No one acts like we are all children of Mother Earth. We are taught to view each other as competitors, and ourselves as the highest priority.
(3) Television shows spew out pointless information. Reality TV shows are not reality. What news does make it through the useless programming is a victim of media manipulation.
(4) Conspiracy theories are met with negative connotation. The mainstream media doesn't mention any credible theories, only the most unreasonable claims. The closest the media comes is mentioning Alex Jones. Else those trying to wake others up are usually met with apathy due to the programming of egocentrism among us.
(5) Our primary concern is pleasure in the moment. Junk food laced with cancer-causing preservatives are looked at as a delicious treat. Take a look at the drugs society accepts and promotes. Caffeine and Nicotine to keep us productive and Alcohol to make the pain go away. (Which combined cause upwards of 700,000 deaths per year)
(6) We are hungry for more and more, whatever it may be. Corporate greed murders millions of children and we are too preoccupied by the score of the game or what celebrity made a sextape. We cannot be satisfied because we want satisfaction every single moment.
Before you claim brainwashing is impossible, make sure you are not already brainwashed yourself. Now that you are aware of the problem, it is easy to halt it. Simply implore yourself to look deeper. If you wish to find the cause, follow the money.
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