Transparency

transparency

When we know what's going on we can change it.

 

Knowledge

knowledge

The more we know, the better ideas we have.

 

Rationality

rationality

The more objective thinking we do the better decisions we make.

 

Compromise

compromise

We all live together and and depend on each other.

 

Humans are easily convinced of things without any support. This is done to us - cults, repressive regimes, anecdotes/rumors/memes, religions, controlled education, ideologues, charismatic leaders. And we do it to ourselves - emotional needs, the desire to be superior and right, tribal instincts, self-segregation, the universal search for answers. Sorry, but we are often sheep. However, there is an antidote to much of the brainwashing we fall prey to. It's knowledge. There is a reason extremists try to insulate their groups from the rest of the world, whether it is the North Korean government, Jim Jones or the Hutterites. More common organizations, such as political parties and "issue" groups also brainwash; we are just more inured to it so we don't realize it is happening to us.

They also use fear to prevent defections and promote mental acceptance. Punishments range from name-calling, to excommunication, to family shunning, to removal of financial support to confiscation of property to death. What those who brainwash fear most is unbiased education, exposure to the lives and ideas of those not brainwashed and broad knowledge. The more knowledge and understanding people have, the less easily they are brainwashed and the more they can make rational decisions. What that means is that we should promote unadulterated education, wide exposure to ideas and personal interaction between disparate people.

“I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think” ― Socrates

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