This blog post, an instant candidate for the Ethics Alarms Awards’ most unethical blog post of 2015, initially had me fooled. It announced itself as a list of the “16 Basic Principles of Mass Indoctrination,” and since there has been a lot of that going around lately, especially as the news media clears its collective throat to cover for President Obama’s failures and stump for a Democrat to succeed him, I scrolled through it. Indeed the principles listed were all spot on:
1. Start while they’re young.
2. Create the illusion of political freedom.
3. Use simplistic stereotypes to sway public opinion.
4. Mix facts with lies.
5. A big lie is more convincing than a small lie.
6. Give the masses “bread and circuses” to keep them well-fed and distracted.
7. Simplify complex issues by portraying them as dichotomies. Eliminate nuance.
8. Spread propaganda by all means possible.
9. Ostracize dissident voices through ridicule or defamation.
10. Faith in the correctness of a religion or ideology is more powerful than force.
11. Manipulate history records to support your religion or ideology.
12. Control different sides of the same debate and you control the outcome.
13. The masses are less swayed by reason than by stirring their emotions.
14. Drive the opposition in a corner. When they fight back, act like a victim.
15. Label all non-conforming behavior as pathological and promote “cures” for them.
16. Use rituals and mass events to keep people occupied and strengthen their faith.
Each was also illustrated, often very effectively, by a drawing, chart or cartoon. When I hit #14—“Drive the opposition in a corner. When they fight back, act like a victim”-–the illustration was the cartoon above, a standard issue, anti-Israel, fact-slanting slur coming uncomfortably close to anti-Semitic bigotry. More importantly, given the topic of the post, the cartoon embodied many of the techniques of indoctrination that blogger “Aspie Savant” was supposedly warning against. Among them: #3. Use simplistic stereotypes to sway public opinion, #4. Mix facts with lies, #8. Spread propaganda by all means possible, #9. Ostracize dissident voices through ridicule or defamation, #11. Manipulate history records to support your religion or ideology, and #13. The masses are less swayed by reason than by stirring their emotions.
Wow: a post condemning mass indoctrination that suddenly employs six out of the sixteen mass indoctrination methods cited! What’s going on here? In fact, what the hell is going on here?
Was this entire post just a set-up to make a typical pro-Hamas/ anti-Israel/ poor Palestinians argument? Is the author really so biased and ideologically slanted that he simultaneously deplores indoctrination techniques but can’t even recognize when he’s using them himself? Is he making some kind of complex, Mobius strip, double-reverse satirical argument ridiculing critics who engage in the same tactics they claim to deplore?
I have no idea. At this point, I’m grateful for the list, but I would never trust this blogger’s judgment or analysis regarding anything, since he obviously lacks integrity, consistency, objectivity, perspective and judgment.
I’m grateful for the list, though.
Too bad Aspie Savant doesn’t understand it.