Americans are experiencing what is best described as a constant state of chaos. A society plagued by an alleged killer virus, mass shootings, and violent riots in response to fabricated racial injustices. Our national identity as a people who stand for equality and individual liberty is under continuous attack, as our society is divided by lies of white supremacy and wealth inequality. Economic devastation from forced lockdowns, leave millions in a state of desperation. Mask mandates and social distancing have isolated us from the interpersonal connections we need as human beings. Our values are demeaned, and most people do not know where they stand amidst the confusion. A deliberate feeling of hopelessness is being created with the intent of shaping the mind into a willful state of conformity.
Political conditioning is an attempt, based on Pavlovian techniques, to rewire the very nerves and reflexes which drive human behavior (Meerloo, 1954, p. 810) into a predictable pattern. It is, as Meerloo writes in Rape of the Mind (p. 30), “taking possession of both the simplest and the most complicated nervous patterns of man.” To accomplish this, feelings of constant terror, isolation and hopelessness must prevail (Meerloo, 1961, pg. 30). Once the mind is broken down, it is more susceptible to reprogramming techniques which condition it to the desired behavior (Meerloo, 1954, pg. 810). Confusion is a powerful tool in accomplishing this task. Interviews with concentration camp victims (Meerloo, 1964, pg. 30) revealed a loss of logic, a sense of nothing having any validity, as being the most effective tool in destroying their morale.
Americans are living through a massive misinformation campaign where nothing is consistent except for the pushing of fear and uncertainty. On one hand, we are being told 500,000 people died of Covid-19, on the other, it is quietly revealed they readjusted these numbers to reflect co-morbidities. This deliberate contradiction of information is intended to create the necessary sense of unsureness to keep people in the dark. The constant exposure to senseless mass shootings also serves this purpose. There is no explanation why people are losing their minds and committing these acts. It brings our national identity into question and brings “moral pressure” (Meerloo, 1961, pg. 30) bearing down on a population that values gun ownership. The constant portrayal of a lone gunman who purchased his weapon legally before committing the act brings into question the very nature of man himself, and the laws that govern him. Is man capable of freedom, or does he need to be controlled for the betterment of society?
Forcing the entire nation to mask themselves in response to Covid-19, along with shutdowns and business closures, creates feelings of social isolation and hopelessness (Brenner & Bhurga, 2020), which are leading to higher suicide and depression rates. Masks conceal our individual identities and prevent us from seeing emotional expressions which are essential in forming the relationships needed for communities to overcome difficult, traumatic events (Van der Kolk, Mcfarlane & Weisaeth, 1996, pg. 24). Social distancing prevents us from coming together under the pretext of fear. Without emotional connectedness, it is impossible to fight off feelings of desolation and, to make any meaning out of life (Van der Kolk, Mcfarlane & Weisaeth, 1996, pg. 24). Political conditioning in this context seeks to program the minds of men into automatic responses to stimuli based on the fear of the unknown, and guide us into compliance by providing the solutions to the problem which alleviate this fear (Meerloo, 1961, pg. 31).
Political conditioning programs man into reflexive behavioral patterns through a system of social rewards and punishments. The primary goal is to “condition and mold man’s mind so that its comprehension is confined to a narrow, totalitarian concept of the world” (Meerloo, 1961, pg. 22). What this means is that men are trapped in a system of definitions set for us. Our reactions to words such as “Never-Trumper, MAGA, hope and change, liberal, conservative, climate deniers, racist and anti-vaxers, as a few examples, are manifestations of conditioned responses associated with rewards and punishments. Trump supporters, for example, are rewarded when they believe Trump is insulting an anti-American leftist, just as a liberal is praised for their anti-American attitudes by a leftist professor in a University. So-called Never-Trumpers, as another example, were isolated and shunned when questioning Trump’s motives. These rewards and punishments control our behavior and keep us in a box which defines our values for us. Another good example is the mainstream media, and the Propaganda Model (Herman & Chomsky, 1988, pg. 1) Herman and Chomsky write (pg. 1) that the mainstream media’s job is to “inculcate individuals with the values, beliefs, and codes of behavior that will integrate them into the institutional structures of the larger society.” As Meerloo states (pg. 28), “he who dictates and formulates the words and phrases we use, he who is master of the press and radio, is master of the mind.” The result of this conditioning is a society programmed to respond in the desired manner to whatever stimuli is presented to them. It is creating a society of discontented people, unable to come together on a common ground of any kind. As Van der Kolk, Mcfarlane & Weisaeth state (pg. 24), social support is essential for overcoming any societal trauma.
The essay “The Psychology of Pleasure,” found in Ayn Rand’s The Virtue of Selfishness (pg. 43), highlights the importance of accomplishment and pleasure as it pertains to the psyche of human beings. When man strives to achieve value, he gives meaning to life, he creates reasons to keep struggling. Man’s self-esteem is tied to the view he holds of himself. This view is shaped primarily by productive work and human relationships (Branden, 1964, pg. 44). When there are no human connections, or nothing meaningful to accomplish, the erosion of man’s soul and his will to go on sets in. Rand herself argues in her article Our Cultural Value-Deprivation that the fundamental life force of any society is the philosophy which drives it. In America, rugged individualism, and the idea we can achieve our dreams based on our own efforts is the fundamental value we once shared. Americans hold jealously to the ideals of liberty and personal responsibility, and it is this philosophy that is under attack.
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