Indoctrination entails spreading an idea by duress. It leaves the victim with no other choices. Control isn’t freedom. Indoctrination is psychological slavery.
On Power and Fear
Power is a tenuous thing. Wherever power seeks to control, it is surely underscored by fear. The greater the level of control an agency seeks to seize, the greater the fear. The thinking goes that differing factions or ideologies are a threat to the establishment. Feeling threatened is the byproduct of fear, a lack of confidence. The evidence of this phenomenon can be seen clearly in cases of dictatorship; the more power a dictator sought over the citizenry, the more paranoid they became.
Thus, paranoia – fear – became the dominant driver in all actions and decisions. The more power grows, the greater the fear. What is the fear, then? That the power will be taken away. Because power is never given away freely, it can only be taken. Liberty must be fought for. Power knows this. It seeks control out of fear. Like the insecure husband who control his wife’s every action; he fears she will not be faithful. Why does he fear this? It is driven by insecurity, low self-esteem. This fear can also manifest from the thought that one would be at the mercy of whomever supplants the current wielder(s) of power. This thought is especially present among people who have not treated other fairly. Those who have leveraged power for personal gain or to oppress other groups will likely fear reprisal. But almost always the fear is exacerbated by low confidence.
Low Confidence Feeds Fear
This low confidence is present in any person or institution which strives for control. They fear something inherent in the opposing idea. Because ideas are powerful, one needn’t be limited to fear of the literal sword. Low confidence perceives opposition as a threat, and the natural reaction is to try to control the situation. The likeliest course is to suppress opposing ideas. Control is the opposite of liberty. Do not allow an institution to convince you they are for liberty while trying to exercise utmost control. Nothing is more perfidious to a nation than the illusion of freedom, to a person than the illusion of knowledge.
None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
This all ties in with the dissemination of ideas, one such method being indoctrination. The easiest way to spread any idea is through indoctrination, which essentially entails pillaging a mind in its most defenseless state (youth are a prime example) to implant the chosen ideology. Indoctrination relies on subterfuge to mask the forceful injection of these ideas, culture, etc. One is essentially creating an army of drones.
An army of drones is an army of slaves.
Indoctrination = Psychological Duress
Remember that slavery need not be limited to the physical. There are many ways to enthrall a person. Indoctrination amounts to intellectual slavery. The perpetrators are essentially leaving the victims with no choice. One can argue that an individual always has a choice, but it is important to note that in taking advantage of the weakened state of the intended victims, they are like a wolf asking the rabbit why it doesn’t resist.
It must be said that if an idea must be spread by force, it isn’t a very strong one. Any ideology that suffers from waning proponents feels the nagging fear that it is losing its relevance. Instead of bolstering the ideology with sound argument, it takes the easy road and attempts to persuade by force. Persuasion by force has another name. Duress. Religion has been guilty of this all throughout history. Convert or die. It is no longer about the idea at that point, but about control. The fear of opposing ideas.
It is doubt that causes one to stoop to indoctrinating others. Doubt in the veracity of the idea. Again, this stems from low confidence in the idea. Like an athlete who cheats to win. The confident have faith in their abilities. Strong ideas have nothing to fear. Persuade with a strong argument, not duress. Indoctrination is psychological slavery, and slavery is rampant.
The secret of freedom lies in educating people, whereas the secret of tyranny is in keeping them ignorant. – Maximilien Robespierre
Other Forms of Manipulation
When we consider the topic of spreading ideas, we must look at other ways in which people seek to control those with opposing ideas. Remember, a strong idea need not fear opposition. It can stand on its own merit. Another way to control others is through manipulation. Shaming others into submission is a common tactic. We see this in online all the time. Mob shaming essentially says, “Conform or suffer.” Other ways to manipulate someone include passive-aggressive behavior, making threats, gaslighting, and verbal abuse. When a person uses these tactics to control another individual, such as in a relationship, it is always viewed as toxic. It is unacceptable in interpersonal relationships, so why would it be otherwise in online discourse? The answer is, it’s not. It is a weak substitute for a strong argument. Remember, just because everyone around you is doing it, that doesn’t make it suddenly acceptable. Strive to be better. Improve your arguments. Replace weak ideas with stronger ones. Cultivate a sense of self-awareness and relinquish the desire to control others with opposing ideas. Do not use manipulation. Do not use indoctrination. Indoctrination is psychological slavery.