'...every form of tyranny...'
0 comment Thursday, August 21, 2014 |
Thomas Jefferson famously said "I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." We've all heard this quoted, or read it, but it's significant that he specifically said ''tyranny over the mind of man."
Often when we hear the word 'tyranny' we automatically envision the old Communist regimes in Eastern Europe where people were shipped off to gulags or mental institutions for dissenting from the regime and the Party. This hard totalitarianism, with its roundups of dissidents, or its midnight knocks on the door, is not the only kind. Though the systems could and did imprison (and sometimes kill) the bodies of dissenters, they could not always imprison the minds of their subjects.
It's commonly said, by those with direct experience of these regimes, that the people in general did not truly believe the ideology whichwas the basis for the Communist regimes. Newspapers, radio, and television, as well as movies, offered only the accepted party line on anything, and heavily censored anything that belied the official belief system. However, it seems that this information control was rather clumsy and transparent, and many people thus saw through it, inwardly rejecting it while outwardly conforming, and discreetly keeping silent.
Sometimes it's a temptation to wonder if the same is not true in the Western countries, where our politically correct, mandatory multiculturalism and ''equality'' are the dictates of the day. There is, certainly, a core of people who, for whatever reason, have managed to reject the lies at the heart of the prevailing order. But are these people sufficient in numbers to form any significant opposition?
Sad to say, I think the majority in our country, and perhaps in all Western countries, are fully indoctrinated, so much so that they have no idea they have even been programmed to think as they do. I think many are indoctrinated so thoroughly that they believe the ideology of the regime to be their own, independent beliefs, and what's more, they would probably be willing to give their lives or take the lives of others for the sake of those beliefs.
True believers, no matter how bereft of truth the system to which they've pledged themselves, will do this. How many cults have made the headlines, as their benighted followers commit suicide or go to the extreme of killing the ''traitors'' who desert the cult or question its tenets?
Thomas Jefferson was a man who chose his words with great precision and care, as he did all things. When he wrote the phrase, 'tyranny over the mind of man,' he did so for a reason.
Imprisoning men's bodies does not confine their minds. The Left knows this. It's often said, however, that an idea can't be killed. When the Communist regimes imprisoned people like Solzhenitsyn, they did not destroy his ability to think freely. When a dissident or resister is killed, his ideas often spread because of his death. You truly can't kill ideas, but the tyrants know that you might kill an idea a-borning, and stop it from becoming fully formed and growing. And you might, to a great extent, render many people incapable of conceiving a free idea. You might intellectually sterilize or stunt people by steady, unrelenting propaganda, especially if it's started as early as possible in life, and sustained. You might, if you wished to do this, use everything from advertising to movies, to plays, music, literature, the visual arts, sports and games. Soon, as the propaganda takes hold, people propagate it without even realizing they are passing it on, like a virus. It becomes part and parcel of the whole culture.
To truly condition people and diminish their ability to think freely, you might also make plenty of mind-numbing, dulling drugs available, from the illegal ''street drugs'' to the respectable kind, prescribed by your kindly doctor and dispensed by the pharmacist. Have you ever noticed how many people you meet are on some kind of mood-altering drugs these days? The children are on various drugs for 'ADD", or ADHD or whatever it's called now, and the adults are often on antidepressants or sleep medications. Why are our medical professionals so eager to press these things on us? Every time I visit the doctor, the routine question ''are you depressed?'' is asked. Whose idea is it to importune people to take antidepressants? Is it some kind of official policy?
I am not impugning the character of doctors or other medical workers. I don't doubt that they believe they are doing only what is for our benefit, but I wonder why as a people we are so medicated.
A population that is harried and stressed by unstable conditions, uncertainty about tomorrow, and grieving, in some cases, the loss of the familiar, may feel more need to medicate their feelings away, and our government is probably happy to encourage this trend, as they become increasingly involved in our medical and health business. But a population that is anxious, stressed, and medicated for it will be less likely to be able to think clearly and judge rightly.
The ideologues who shape our culture do not want a populace with the time, the acuity, or the inclination to think and evaluate for themselves. The ideologues, those soft totalitarians who sit in seats of power, want to influence if not control our thoughts. Not only are our thoughts fair game, but our feelings, our emotions, our attitudes, our opinions, our moods, our wishes, aspirations, dreams, hopes, and expectations. They want to dictate the language we use, the words we choose to express ourselves. Obviously, via our entertainment, they want to shape the most private and personal fantasies and urges, too, and then enslave us to those as well.
Even our most sacred impulses are being shaped by the insidious influence of the prevailing ideology, which of course is, like the true God, a jealous 'god' who wants us to have no other deity but itself. Our churches, being led by and populated by imperfect people, has also fallen prey to the world's belief system, and the propaganda, which wants to govern how we relate to God as well as to our fellow man.
The Bible tells us not to fear those who kill the body. The soft totalitarians, the mind tyrants, may not kill dissenters outright, but they want to abort our ability to think and to feel as free men and women.

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