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Cognitive dissonance: recipe for totalitarianism
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Cognitive dissonance theory, published by Psychologist Leon Festinger
in 1957, is the awareness that two or more beliefs (cognitions) that we hold
are contradictory. "Awareness that two cognitions are dissonant, or that our
cognitions and our behavior are contradictory, is sufficient to motivate us
to reduce the discrepancy," wrote Spencer Rathaus in Psychology, Fourth
Governments in particular, with the aid of the dominant news media,
intend to control public perceptions and behaviors by incessantly employing
scenarios which create cognitive dissonance among the masses. This is the
the recipe for totalitarianism. According to the work of Festinger and
others, if you present people with a concept that contains properties that
are in conflict with one another, in order to restore balance, people have a
tendency ignore the discrepancy--sweep it under the rug.
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"In order to put public opinion into our hands we must bring it into a
state of bewilderment by giving expression from all sides to so many
contradictory opinions and for such length of time as will suffice to make
the (manipulated) lose their heads in the labyrinth and come to see that the
best thing is to have no opinion of any kind in matters political, which it
is not given to understand, because they are understood only by him who
guides the public. This is the first secret."
We only have to go back in history a couple of months to the
Clinton/Lewinsky scandal and the impeachment process to see how "the first
secret" works. By the time the Senate decided to keep Clinton in office, the
American public was so confused and disgusted that it was happy to move onto
being confused and disgusted over the bombing of Iraq.
For many of us who have been frustrated in our attempts to awaken the
American public as to our collective peril, now we can understand why most
people refuse to awaken--they have been purposefully fed a full menu of
contradictory concepts so that their only unconscious recourse, in an
attempt to maintain "balance" (sanity) is to bypass the contradictions and
continue living their lives with intended ignorance.
"The most powerful weapon in the hands of the oppressor
is the mind of the oppressed..."
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