I was standing in line in one of those stores with lots of checkout lines but few cashiers. As I stood there, even with social distancing, I couldn’t help but hear this loud speaking woman address her companion, “The problem with those people is that they are all brainwashed.”
I’m not the confrontational type and the loud talking lady was in the next aisle, so not really in talking distance. I would have had to yell and I could never do that. What bothered me the most about her comment was it probably never occurred to her that we are all victims of brainwashing.
We are brainwashed as children to uphold the status quo, to believe what older people tell us, to accept what is written in our textbooks, to be Americans without question. “I pledge alliance … ”
Every country uses propaganda to help control the masses. If you’re the type who remains unaware that the intent of those in power is to keep power, wake up. In this country those in power equates to those with money. Those with power/money have a vested interest in keeping the masses under control.
Those who seek to keep control are good at it. They know this control is important to maintaining their wealth. This isn’t a new concept. But it does seem like over the centuries those in control have become much more efficient and calculating at how they keep control.
An educated person is harder to control, which is why those in control in the United States have made a concerted effort to lessen our ability to learn. I believe it is intentional.
The first generation to benefit as a whole from universal public education was the baby boomers. World War II’s victory and subsequent economic growth of the ’50s created this countrywide boom that included new schools in most communities. Baby boomers received a better education than their predecessors and the results proved disastrous for the power brokers.
When these educated baby boomers reached college age, where more of them were attending college than any previous generation, the learning increased their awareness and awareness created concern. Racism, sexism, homophobia, war and greed were all exposed and what followed was the upheaval of the 1960s.
The lesson wasn’t lost on the rich and powerful. Learned people know how to think. Thinking people tend to challenge issues that seem wrong. To deal with this, education was systematically dismantled. It was gradual but it was deliberate. Public school funding reduced and little by little private schools began to appear. Today these private schools are pervasive throughout the country and they are populated by the more affluent, those with connections, those who are part of the ruling class. The rest of the population is left to flounder.
We are now suffering the results because undereducated, uninformed voters elect poor leaders. Poor leaders lead us astray with propaganda and it seems to be working just fine.
There were no “Weapons of Mass Destruction” that caused the death of more than 4,000 U.S. soldiers and close to 300,000 Iraqis. There were no “compromised emails” to investigate right before an election. Now, we are being told there are no climate change problems, there is no pandemic and racism doesn’t exist.
We are fed propaganda every day and it is most effective because the ability to think has been reduced. We have all been brainwashed. I’ve been brainwashed, you’ve been brainwashed, that lady in line has been brainwashed.
It’s a quick process to brainwash when there isn’t much usable brain to wash.
Gabriel A. Fraire has been a writer more than 45 years. He can be reached at gabrielfraire.com.