In recent times, the American media has been plagued with all sorts of problems including, sliding profits, scandals about manipulation, plagiarism, and propaganda, falling readership in the press, “dumbing down”, and so on.
Media omissions, distortion, inaccuracy and bias in the US is something acknowledged by many outside the USA, and is slowly realized more and more inside the US. However, due to those very same omissions, distortion, inaccuracy and bias in the US mainstream media, it is difficult for the average American citizen to obtain an open, objective view of many of the issues that involve the United States (and since the United States is the largest economic and military power in the world, they are naturally involved in many issues!).
From a political angle, for a nation to remain strong, it has historically needed the support of its people, including those who are not in power and those who are exploited. A level of conformity is also required, even if it is quite loose, to not only allow people to live together in society, but also, for power holders, to more predictably deal with its citizens.
“One reads about the world’s desire for American leadership only in the United States”, one anonymous well-placed British diplomat recently observed, “Everywhere else one reads about American arrogance and unilateralism.”
— Jonathan Power, America is in Danger of Alienating the World, March 3, 1999
The quote above also summarizes how America is viewed in the international community and how some of their actions are portrayed in the United States. Yet, the international community, often for very valid reasons, sees America’s actions differently.
The government of, by and for the people is now comprised of leaches flourishing in rotten swamps, prostitutes roaming bordellos masquerading as palaces of governance and fecal matter prospering in the nation’s sewers. Corporations and their minions we help elect dominate and transform society, leading us into the black holes they easily maneuver us into. We are being used and abused, yet with the dumbing down of America easily controlled beings we have turned into, comatose to the danger we have embraced and oblivious to the strings attached to our appendages.
Something eerie seems to have engulfed us in the land of the free and the home of the brave. From the land where all men are created equal has equality disappeared; from a nation espousing freedom has freedom been eviscerated. Once brave dissenters and seekers of accountability have gone missing, allowing free reign to those endowed with power. Free-thinking and analytical minds are as rare as the great apes humanity is making extinct. Rare is the citizen not captive to fear, insecurity and intimidation. The ability to question authority or to seek accountability has collapsed along with the towers of the World Trade Center. A world existing beyond the borders and shores of America, containing six billion fellow humans, has been forgotten and disregarded as ignorance to cultures, nations, beliefs and ethnicities is conditioned into our minds practically from birth.
Something is amiss in a nation where one would expect the plenitudes of Empire to trickle down into every man, woman and child. To bestow upon its citizens the tools needed to seek true freedom of thought and a path towards enlightenment would be expected of an American utopia that is more often preached rather than practiced. Yet the question arises as to the cause of why hundreds of millions continue to fall downwards into empty wells of promises unkept instead of reaching for the zenith of those fulfilled.
What mechanisms left to erode the citizenry of free thought and freedom of mind have been allowed to linger in American society, and how have they been allowed to remain when the reality of what has occurred continues to degrade the Pax Americana from the inside out?
Conditioned Producers and Consumers
Spawned from the assembly line called human procreation we open our eyes to a world ready to transform our life energies into expendable disseminators of the patterns of production and consumption that will mark our time on Earth, in essence becoming the reason for our existence. To the system called capitalism we become nothing more than a number which will in time be exploited to the full extent envisaged by man. We are given social security numbers, digits that will follow us through the journey from newborn to cadaver. To the system we are this number, easily traceable, easily conditioned.
Television begins to inculcate us with rampant bombardments of advertisements, thereby beginning to condition the young, innocent mind to a life trained for consumption. The foods we eat and the products we buy begin establishing the tastes we will forever enjoy. Associations of pleasure, ingrained tastes and smells, nostalgia of fantasy and perfection enter the young brain. It is because of this that corporations want to hook us from the first moments of infancy so loyal lifelong consumers we become.
To the innocent and pure mind television thus becomes the window to a world that is neither real nor complicated. The virgin brain sees in the shows it is blitzkrieged with a fiction that in reality does not exist. It sees perfection, fantasy, beauty, consumption and loyal acquiescence, and, with the passage of time, seeks to emulate this world in a false belief that it can be attained. Ingrained in this principle is the belief, channeled by corporations, that to achieve what can never be a person must consume and produce, be obedient to authority, friendly to her corporate masters and eager to embrace what society dictates. The dumbing down of America thus begins.
As television becomes parent, teacher, role model, babysitter and entertainer to the child, given the abandonment of historical parental roles thanks to society’s pressure to produce and consume, everything shown becomes everything learned, thus habituating a child to the role corporations have decided to bestow onto him. When everything seen on the screen is created, controlled, manipulated and disseminated by the corporate world the child’s perception of what reality encompasses will indeed also conform to the corporate vision. After image after image, fantasy after fantasy, conditioning after conditioning, the young human mind has no choice but to accept the commands of the brainwashing taking place right in front of his or her baby eyes.
It follows that children learn every behavior from their parents as well. From the very beginning entrenched behaviors to produce and consume become ingrained in the young brain. The long hours at work, the short amount of time spent with the child, the abandonment of parental roles and supervision, the incessant drive for consumption, the wasting of money and pursuit of material possessions, the behaviors of stress, depression, unhappiness, anger and frustration are all absorbed by a mind that in infancy acts like a sponge, learning human society from those closest to its environment, whether it is family or television.
In adulthood, these same behaviors will be manifested, thereby helping fulfill the role of producer and consumer the corporate world has reserved for yet one more human energy sprouting from the conveyor belt of procreation. Thanks to the television and parental subservience to the same system of their youth, one’s progeny will become the bogged down producer of the same products he or she will later voraciously and seemingly without conscious consume.
The vicious circle that is the virus of American capitalism infects seemingly from birth, inoculating children to the vices of exploitation from which they will forever derive their existence. It is at the height of innocence that the forces of capitalism attack, attaching themselves in the depths of a human brain, dissolving precepts not in tune with its compulsive and exploitive self. Once attached the virus is not easily displaced, thereby becoming personality as well as behavior. From the cradle to the grave, destiny in today’s America is guided by the corporate world and its sinister virus, helping not its host but its disseminator, unleashing wave after wave of unhappy and exploited producer and easily conditioned and controlled consumer.
Consequences of a Controlled Populace
Education in the United States has become an exercise in government and corporate brainwashing, used to achieve a citizenry devoid of analytical and free-thinking minds. The purpose, quite simply, is to retain the class warfare structure that has marked American society for decades. Education has become a tool used to make the wealthy richer and the poor more indigent. It is now a mechanism to separate the have nots from the haves, the higher castes from the untouchables. As it stands today, though certainly being eviscerated more and more daily, education is making of the masses impotent creatures of indifference, happily droned into complacency and deprived of a knowledge that once served to curtail the power of the elite that run the nation.
The result is the age of corporatism, the age of unfettered and unaccountable power and the control of the masses through media manipulation, societal fabrication and education eradication. As the world slowly passes through the sands of time the people of the United States, those living inside what has become a most hated geopolitical entity, are seeing the result of being dumbed down and of letting incompetents, warmongers, profiteers and deranged zealots run unfettered and unopposed, ransacking the globe, its people and land in the process.
Today we see the ramifications of a citizenry that has allowed itself to be made ignorant through its submission to those in power whose purposeful malfeasance continues to destroy the very essence of knowledge that grants freedom to enslaved minds. Iraq and the coming disaster in the Middle East are a consequence to the decimation of education in the United States. George W. Bush is a consequence of the dumbing down of America, to which he owes his very position perched like the vulture he is atop the dying tree of America that has been contaminated by his inept and infected claws smeared in human blood.
Those in power have succeeded in making the masses a herd of sheep following the shepherd straight into the slaughterhouse, unaware of the destiny that awaits them nor of their role in the furthering of death, destruction and violence now gripping the world. Like a deer caught in headlights, the masses are hypnotized, unable to see beyond the sight of their own meeting with a fate conditioned into our brains from infancy that is destroying freedom, knowledge and our ability to question the evils being done in our name. America today and the world tomorrow are a manifestation of this truth.
Ignorance has replaced knowledge, resulting in power running amok, incapable of being restrained, mutating and growing, feeding off our inability to escape the debacle currently gripping our collective mind.
The education system in America has been carefully eroded over the course of time, altered in such a way as to make creative and curious children barren and submissive adults indifferent to the world around them. The system now in place begins robbing a child’s ability to think for himself or herself from the very start of the education process. The class structure itself eliminates individuality, personality and energetic ability, as one teacher must educate many students competing for attention. It is here when talents that need to be discovered get ambushed instead. Yet with a class structure that has endured for decades, the child must become part of the whole, learning from books laced with government and/or corporate propaganda.
In many school districts, mostly poor ones strapped for cash, books can be dozens of years old, lacking modern thought or progress. Many books are tools created by entities with special interests that have as a purpose the teaching of their ideology or the furthering of their goals. The absurd teaching of creationism is one such example. Many corporations now create and donate books to school districts that contain references and examples to their brand names and product descriptions. Even in school children cannot escape the growing omnipresence of the corporate Leviathan which thirsts to program the innocent the way it sees fit.
Indeed, the young mind is needlessly brainwashed with a history of a nation that in many instances contradicts and even subverts the true historical reality of the United States. Only the ‘good’ that America has fostered during its rapid and short rise is taught, without ever dealing with the requisite bad inherent in an Empire that has laid claim to land and man during years of brutal conquest, both militarily and economically. Glossing over national heroes, mythifying them into deities and transforming them into perfect human beings is the role of the school book, brainwashing the young to a fictional perfection when reality begs to differ. Yet humanity must be balanced and its reality etched in stone so that future generations learn the human condition as well as its civilization.
The genocide of indigenous Americans is whitewashed; the slavery of blacks that lasted hundreds of years, oftentimes suffering barbaric treatment at the hands of their white masters is easily covered up in a few paragraphs, deceiving readers to the true horrors their ancestors committed or suffered. The subservient role women were placed under for centuries is hardly mentioned, and the great civil rights movement that helped change history for the better never gets the coverage it deserves.
The war crimes and crimes against humanity America has perpetrated worldwide to millions of anonymous people under the rubric of freedom and democracy is never mentioned, rather, they are sugarcoated and glamorized, serving as examples of America’s ‘great history.’ Also, the corrosive and damaging effects of American capitalism disguised as democracy that has condemned untold millions to the dustbins of history is manipulated to look like a chivalrous attempt to save lives and free nations.
Brainwashing unquestioned patriotism into our young one’s minds government controlled education furthers the squashing of dissent and the questioning of our sovereign’s motives. We are conditioned that our elected leaders are gods walking among men, to be trusted and never to be questioned. Their intentions are always noble, their reasoning pure. Dissent and debate, protest and curiosity are seen not as patriotic manifestations of an informed citizenry but rather as an alien afterthought not worthy of nationalistic pride.
The ingraining of loyalty to flag and country, even when committing evil worldwide, is to be allowed to continue, eventually becoming the means by which the state is allowed to declare war, economic genocide and market colonialism, without so much as a whisper from its constituency. The elite therefore bask in the glow of the radiant beam called patriotic fervor, indoctrinated from childhood, lasting until death.
Preaching the noble deeds yet hiding or disguising the evil ingrained in empire building serves only to alter history and manipulate the young, eroding our future in the process. To understand humanity in past, present and future an entire history must be taught, both good and bad, thereby creating in our future citizens the ability to grow wise to the mistakes of times past in order to comprehend the ever-changing and oftentimes complex conditions of the present. To not teach the truth of what has come before is to leave behind the keys to unlocking the door of the human condition, essentially condemning our children into repeating the errors that continue to bear witness to unnecessary suffering, death, destruction, violence and war.
The fruits of our past mistakes can be seen in our history; the essence of the human condition lies written for all to see. American education serves no purpose if the result of its actions leads to a replay of years gone by; it becomes an exercise in futility when our future repeats the blunders of their ancestors and the follies of those who once led.
Brainwash education is the means to an end, a device that entraps rather than make free. It is a valuable tool to exert hegemony over the populace. When begun from the first years of youth, becoming attached and most difficult to extract, brainwashing to suit the state and the elite’s goals is a dangerous device. When combined with the 9/11’s of history, it takes on a life of its own, becoming a Molotov cocktail ready to explode in seething rage. The system would not have it any other way.