Everything you read, hear, watch is an attempt to parasitize your mind with someone else’s idea. This also, of course.
Your own ideas are only things you have conceived of yourself, and even those arise from ideas given to you. Consequently, your mind is stuffed wtih ideas, concepts and facts that are not to your benefit. Yes, ‘facts’ can be as misleading as outright lies by being without context or associated with the wrong context.
The ideas, concepts and facts in your mind were very often put there to benefit others, especially government others, but a very large number of entities have vied to put their points of view into your head for a long time. Education is one example. Public education was always conceived as a way of generating citizens subservient to the state. Consequently, it has greatly changed the meaning of our history taught to students, and critical thinking about anything controversial is suppressed.
Relative to the amount of real independent thought any of us have been able to do, our minds are owned by others.
As patriots, the only defense we have is checking the information sources to decide what is true, learning about every topic so as to see it in many perspectives, and discarding ideas and concepts that do not benefit us or our families.
Sources of Information
You must be distrustful of all sources of information, including your own thoughts. However, ‘mainstream media’, MSM, is hopelessly contaminated and major web sites are following.
Scientific study of influencing minds began 100 years ago and has been very well funded by government and advertising ever since.
A third of the CIA’s budget is devoted to disinformation. Thousands of journalists around the world are paid by the CIA. The CIA owns 250+ media companies, wire services, can put any story into circulation and keep it there for years.
The FBI has a division that handles information connections. The military writes stories for editors as well as managing press connections. Ditto every other major bureaucracy in government and most corporations.
Every novelist or screenwriter who is writing about the CIA or FBI or military service or government agency will soon meet someone at a party who turns out to be an insider willing to help. Agencies often can help with publishers and reviews, … it is a very good relationship for both parties.
State and local government do as much of that as they can. Every corporation, NGO and professional organization ditto.
Militaries, political entities of all kinds and PR agencies maintain corps of online personas to guide conversations while maintaining the illusion of free exchanges of opinion.
All that is framed, filtered and spun into agendas before it reaches your mind via every show you see, every article or book you read, and very many of the ‘independent’ thinkers you hear.
My son just watched “America is not the greatest anymore” from Newsroom with me. Great scene, shows many of the stupidities of news programs, some good facts. It is a fine example of social technologies, of spinning, filtering and framing. After watching, you feel yourself part of a special group, sad and elated, emotional for what could have been, lost because of ‘them’. A great example of borrowing your emotions for someone else’s benefit, namely their advertisers. Also very wrong in many details, e.g. “we fought wars for moral reasons” — that country never existed.
Everything you see or hear or read wants a piece of your mind dedicated to their interests. In the Age of Propaganda, practitioners of the social arts can make your mind do their tricks, no problem.
Discipline In Forming Opinions
If you have an opinion without deep study, depend on it being in someone else’s interest.
You know this because you know that anyone who has opinions in areas you understand well, but doesn’t understand as much as you, has dumb opinions. In our very complex world, your unstudied opinions can be no better.
So you must resolutely not have opinions about anything you have not studied. “I have no opinion, I have not studied the issue” is a perfectly acceptable response in any social situation and will make your other opinions more valued.
That also leaves you free to attend to other’s opinions with an open mind.
Your Interests Must Be The Measure Of All Things
Your mind should be working for your interests, for your family, your community. If your ideas and understandings do not do that, discard them.
Most of what you get from ‘the news’ is nonsense by that standard. What is your interest in any of the wars the US is in? In hating another religion and the people who believe in it? In hating one foreign leader or loving another?
You do have an interest in taxes, in roads, in laws that affect you, in crime. You have an interest in people and events in your community. Study of those can further your interests. Study of other things can give you perspective to further your interests, but are not your interests.
For most things, given finite human minds and infinite complexity of the world we share, you will have to adopt other’s opinions. You can’t study enough to know what is the best vehicle for your use, the best diet for your body, the best variety of spouse, what to do for your illness, … Deciding on whose opinions to adopt is not easy, these are a few rules :
- Ideology is ‘ideas before reality’. How can that possibly work when ideas must be less complex than reality? It never has.
- Appeals to your emotion should be especially suspect. Logic is your guide to deciding, emotion may help execute.
- The world is not simple, so no simple understanding or simple solution can be correct.
- People are people everywhere, and all wildly various, so any argument that includes ‘they are’ is wrong.
- All of us would like the great majority of people in the world, if we got to know them, and they would like us.
- Most people think of themselves as good, and want to continue to do so. That is always a basis for discussion.
- Everyone has agendas, you can’t judge their ideas without knowing those.
- Compare, contrast and merge the best 2nd and 3rd and 4th and 5th opinions for anything important.
- Never give any source of information the benefit of any doubt, and be very doubting.
- Before adopting an opinion, you have to verify everything, think it through for yourself. If you can’t argue all sides equally well, you don’t understand enough to have an opinion.
- Give human long-term traditions weight. Our modern world’s evolution has not meshed with humans well enough, we therefore have too many failures of individuals. Wasting people as we do limits all of our futures, as that future will deal with the consequences.
Getting rid of all of your wrong ideas is important, but not easy. You have to work at that.
Civilization begins in our families and communities. Their interests should be the measure of all things. That is Conservative since community began.