Propaganda works; that one of the main reasons that having a national news media that does little else in its “reporting” is so dangerous and destructive. Naturally, planting slanted, shades, manipulated and biased versions of facts and reality in the minds of trusting citizens (not to mention children) works best on trusting, badly educated, pliant and gullible minds, especially those inclined toward conformity. Thanks primarily to my habitually skeptical and iconoclastic father, I am anything but inclined toward conformity, and I’m proud of that, though it has caused me much pain and inconvenience over the course of my life. That proclivity also kept me from wasting money and brain cells on pot, led me to cross student picket lines when the SDS tried to shut down my college classes, and is the reason why I cannot be embarrassed by old photos of me with hair to my shoulders, wearing pink-tinted John Lennon spectacles and a tie-dyed shirt and flashing the peace sign. There isn’t one. It’s also the reason I used my law degree to get a job running a health care organization and to become an ethicist.

So you can imagine my horror to discover that the relentless pounding on the news media, along with other segments of the culture, on the bonkers, deceptive and unethical concept that any activity that doesn’t end up neatly aligned with racial and ethnic demographics must be considered an example of systemic racism or bias is seeping into my consciousness despite my determined resistance to it. First, I read a feature in yesterday’s New York Times Business Section under “Personal Finance” in which the Times published a set of college application essays “on money and life.” Let’s ignore for the purposes of this post the fact that all five of the essays featured were endorsing the mandated woke agenda: a condemnation of unwanted sexual attention in public, a lament about the need to conserve money, a celebration of a stay-at-home mother who rejected the role, an ode to day care, and a swipe at a lack of caring in America and the fact that “sometimes the color of my skin speaks before I can.” They were all extremely, suspiciously, even, well written and interesting. But I was immediately distracted by the weird demographics. Four out of the five were women. Only one of the five wasn’t “of color.” Surely, this distribution was intentional. What did it indicate? A bias by the Times against whites and men? I found myself checking on the identity of the Times reporter, Ron Lieber. Yup, he’s white and Jewish. Did he feel he had to tilt his article way from men and white lest he be accused of sexism and not being sufficiently “antiracist?”

I don’t want to notice these things. They were impressive essays, and they can’t possibly be just five among thousands—they’re too good: I know all too well how poorly most students write. This, however, is what indoctrination has done to me. Like hypnotist, the news media has been repeating, drilling into my subconscious, “Race and gender is everything! Everything! You must be vigilant about skin color and whether it is being given enough weight! Obey! OBEY!”

Well, it could have been worse: I might have been persuaded that I was a chicken.

In horror, I went downstairs and plopped next to my dog to join my wife in watching (for the hundredth time), the film version of “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society,” one of her favorites. It is about a writer who falls in love with a local farmer in the process of researching events during World War II that occurred on Guernsey Island, as she hopes to write a book. It’s a terrific film, but this time, all I could think of was that there were no black actors. Well, of course there weren’t: the Channel Islands are as white as you can get, the flashbacks to the Nazi occupation provided no opportunities for gratuitous non-traditional casting (Stormtroopers of color?), and the story is about white people, just like the novel—and there’s nothing wrong with that. Or is there?

It’s getting to me, worming its way into my perception and priorities like the ugly bug Kahn puts in Checkhov’s ear in “The Wrath of Kahn.” I resent it, but I don’t know what I can do about it. If the constant proganda is reprogramming me, what is it doing to everyone else?

12 thoughts on “Oh, No! I’m INDOCTRINATED!!!

  1. Continuous Propaganda Morphs the Thinking of Society

    The expression of opinions or actions carried out deliberately by individuals or groups with a view to influencing the opinions or actions of other individuals or groups for predetermined ends and through psychological manipulations.
    Harold Lasswell

    This shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone that’s observed society and the world of politics for a while; propaganda is the most manipulative form of public communication that exists, it morphs the thinking of those that consume it, it’s fueled by implicit bias, it manipulates the masses both positively and negatively causing polarization of opposing viewpoints and, most importantly, it’s distributed almost instantly via modern digital media which is the most consistent rapid disbursement platform to deliver propaganda that has ever existed.

    Propaganda needs the following to effectively manipulate the public:
    1. Message that is relatively popular
    2. Message must trigger core emotions
    3. Message must build upon implicit bias
    4. Message must be consistent
    5. Message must be delivered from a “trustworthy” platform
    6. Message must be repeated ad infinitum.

    The message mentioned above does not even have to be true or fact based, it can be innuendo and/or lies. Paul Joseph Goebbels the Reich Minister of Propaganda of Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945 put propaganda into practice building it to absurd levels of public acceptability using these principles:

    If you repeat a lie (aka propaganda) often enough, people will believe it.

    If you repeat a lie (aka propaganda) often enough, it becomes the truth.

    If you tell a lie (aka propaganda) big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.

    If you repeat a lie (aka propaganda) long enough, it becomes truth.

    If you repeat a lie (aka propaganda) many times, people are bound to start believing it.

    What do modern day propagandists use as their “trustworthy” platform of delivery, the modern digital media that’s designed to deliver instant gratification.

    “The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.”
    Malcolm X

    Fighting propaganda in the 21st century is a never ending task.

    • Have you watched “Five Came Back” about directors who enlisted in WWII to create propaganda films for the War Department? Interesting. Some started out as propangandists; others ended as documentarians of evidence of war crimes.

      I mistrust all documentaries: free choice of what facts to include and what to exclude. See the Netflix show. Three episodes, as I recall. Some interesting perspectives, and especially of individuals who “unwed” themselves from agit/prop.

  2. What is happening to you?

    Anne Boleyn cannot be black; the residents of Guernsey can’t either. Or the Nazi occupiers.

    If one has a choice, include minorities where race doesn’t matter or doesn’t distort historic reality. That is an exemplary stance to take.

    But it is hard enough to present history without political objectives: adding race to the equation only makes it more complex and untenable. If there were no black Geurnsey residents or black German Nazis, who does it serve to create them?

  3. But what about the women. Jack? How can you forget the WOMEN? There must have been female stormtroopers. And you can’t leave out a General-ette or two — one each for of the World Wars. You remember theim, don’t you, Jack? Don’t you? . . . .

  4. What is it doing to ordinary people? It’s making them mad and prone to believe every crazy conspiracy theory they’ve ever heard or will hear, or they’re nodding their heads, but since it’s become so absurd, mostly they’re mad and listening to alternative news sources. Not sure who is winning that game. No one trusts the mainstream media. They’ve burned that bridge and given no inclination they intend to do better so… the masses simply don’t need them. I think the Wall Street Journal is about the only old school news with any credibility left at all.

    • I’d include the Daily Mail and the New York Post. Washington Times? Real Clear Politics is good because they link to contrasting stories on most every topic they cover. Left and then right.

      • I do not believe those are considered “mainstream media”. Daily Mail is or perhaps was a tabloid from the UK… NY Post leans right, as well as WA Times. Real Clear Politics I’m not familiar with, but I’ve always had the impression it is newer, like Axios and still proving itself.

    • The reason that too many people embrace that American today is fraught with system racism contrary to any reasonable examination of the facts is that American is full of people who are lazy and unmotivated. For them, it’s an easy decision to embrace victimization rather than taking a good hard look at their behaviors that lead to lack of economic success and personal respect.

  5. Saw the movie, “Red,” the other day. It never occurred to me that Morgan Freeman was a token black guy for the film.


    • Just about every film he’s in that could be said.

      Maybe like Sidney Poitier he’s just simply a fantastic actor.

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