Propaganda

“A lie told long enough is accepted as truth.” Lenin

The key to really great propaganda is to have a grain of truth, a thread that leads back from the lie to some minuscule fact. Whether in politics or the emotional mind propaganda is everywhere.

Post hoc ergo propter hoc, or false cause, is a well known logical fallacy, yet its prevalence continues unabated. Why? Because (in my humble opinion of course) we as a country have become intellectually and emotionally lazy; we are not taught critical thinking or informal logic anymore and the effects have become devastating.

It is the adolescentization of America…

Guns, immigration, race, gender; the list is becoming endless, and only serves to divide us, to create a rift between people that is based on propaganda. I heard someone the other day talking about how it is sexist for a man to be “giving orders to a woman”. The woman being Siri or Alexa… It creates an atmosphere of gender inequality. Or some such crap as that. When I was a kid the Roadrunner and Wyle E. Coyote battled it out every week on Saturday morning, yet no warnings or disclaimers of “do not try this at home” were necessary. Why? Because we were not idiots. Because there was no YouTube or Instagram for our idiocy to turn viral and other idiots following suit.

Another delightful perspective, also with respect to gender, came from an article in the New York Times. The author, a self-proclaimed heterosexual male, decried the use of gender pronouns (he, she, him, her etc) and called for a wholesale revamping of the language to eliminate these bias-producing terms and replace them with “neutral” identifiers such as “they.” This attempt – and people are buying this crap – is nothing less than the devolution of our language, culture and humanity.

Up here in the foothills of the Appalachians we view the changes in culture with a rather guarded and skeptical eye. This doesn’t always work in our favor; we too often remain intentionally ignorant, holding onto the old ways. We label y’all “citiots” (or at least I do, having thought up that word on my journey to the Big Town this morning…)

There is value is civil discourse but that value has been propagandized into near-extinction, just as logic and reason have. I mourn for this country.

We propagandize ourselves as well. Our emotional mind takes a grain of truth and turns up the volume, creating noise. “If I’m so smart why aren’t I rich?!” Grains of truth but no correlation to reality. A pattern is formed of believing the propaganda without checking the facts, without any critical thinking turned towards our own emotions and experience, We judge and are reinforced by our judgment. More fallacious thinking (confirmation bias.)

Check your premises, do your research. Be truly informed so you can make an actual argument. Stop buying what the world and your own mind is selling. It’s propaganda.

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