I've often wondered how the term ''New Atheism'' gained such currency. It is a misnomer. There is nothing new about nonbelief. All of us, without exception, are born knowing nothing of God or gods, and acquire notions of religion solely through interaction with others - or, most often, indoctrination by others, an indoctrination usually commencing well before we can reason. Our primal state is, thus, one of nonbelief. The New Atheists (most prominently Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and the late Christopher Hitchens) have, in essence, done nothing more than try to bring us back to our senses, to return us to a pure and innate mental clarity.
Ideally, what should be said to every child, repeatedly, throughout his or her school life is something like this: "You are in the process of being indoctrinated. We have not yet evolved a system of education that is not a system of indoctrination. We are sorry, but it is the best we can do."
One classical role of the pulpit in Protestantism has been to 'preach sermons' which imply indoctrination more than education. Within this from of communication, there is an inherent, intrinsic inclination to intimidate, manipulate, and, hence, offend the person's most prized quality of humanness - his dignity.
Robert H. Schuller
Perhaps my children will one day pledge their loyalty to the Republican Party. Or perhaps they'll dismiss my liberalism as mild pap, and become anarchists. Either way may well be a reaction to my manipulation, my values. We are all the product of the indoctrination we received at the hands of our parents, even when we are repudiating that ideology.
I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth. I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being.
I had always been scrupulously careful to avoid the smallest suggestion of infant indoctrination, which I think is ultimately responsible for much of the evil in the world. Others, less close to her, showed no such scruples, which upset me, as I very much wanted her, as I want all children, to make up her own mind freely when she became old enough to do so. I would encourage her to think, without telling her what to think.
If you are religious at all, it is overwhelmingly probable that your religion is that of your parents. If you were born in Arkansas and you think Christianity is true and Islam false (knowing full well that you would think the opposite if you had been born in Afghanistan), you are the victim of childhood indoctrination.
For those who stubbornly seek freedom, there can be no more urgent task than to come to understand the mechanisms and practices of indoctrination. These are easy to perceive in the totalitarian societies, much less so in the system of 'brainwashing under freedom' to which we are subjected and which all too often we serve as willing or unwitting instruments.
The sportification process of bodily practices of certain society, generates new physical manifestations, essentially different, which will help in another process: the indoctrination of subjects with capital values. And this process happens in the dark, without people having consciousness of it.
Lucas Soares Adriano
Kathleen Wynne and her band of radical-left cronies think they have a handle on what constitutes human identity and also what should constitute human morality. And I think that that's being pushed in a manner in schools that's completely reprehensible. It's not education, in my estimation. It's a form of indoctrination.
Society, and the family as its psycho social agent, has to solve a difficult problem: How to break a person's will without his being aware of it? Yet by a complicated process of indoctrination, rewards, punishments, and fitting ideology, it solves this task by and large so well that most people believe they are following their own will and are unaware that their will itself is conditioned and manipulated.
A public library is the most democratic thing in the world. What can be found there has undone dictators and tyrants: demagogues can persecute writers and tell them what to write as much as they like, but they cannot vanish what has been written in the past, though they try often enough...People who love literature have at least part of their minds immune from indoctrination. If you read, you can learn to think for yourself.
A public library is the most democratic thing in the world. What can be found there has undone dictators and tyrants: demagogues can persecute writers and tell them what to write as much as they like, but they cannot vanish what has been written in the past, though they try often enough... People who love literature have at least part of their minds immune from indoctrination. If you read, you can learn to think for yourself.
In the end we beat them with Levi 501 jeans. Seventy-two years of Communist indoctrination and propaganda was drowned out by a three-ounce Sony Walkman. A huge totalitarian system has been brought to its knees because nobody wants to wear Bulgarian shoes. Now they're lunch, and we're number one on the planet.
P. J. O'Rourke
The second effort was spreading the word among the people, first, in a bid to raise their morale, and second to instil in them a sense of animosity towards the enemy, coupled with a spirit of resistence... this required us to use the language of indoctrination rather than realpolitik. People then were not in need of political analysis, they were in need of being incited and goaded.
Looking back on a 30-year teaching career full of rewards and prizes, somehow I can't completely believe that I spent my time on earth institutionalized; I can't believe that centralized schooling is allowed to exist at all as a gigantic indoctrination and sorting machine, robbing people of their children. Did it really happen? Was this my life? God help me.
John Taylor Gatto
Isn't it a remarkable coincidence almost everyone has the same religion as their parents ? And it always just happens to be the right religion. Religions run in families. If we'd been brought up in ancient Greece we would all be worshiping Zeus and Apollo. If we had been born Vikings we would be worshiping Wotan and Thor. How does this come about ? Through childhood indoctrination.
Over the span of man's history, although a phenomenal amount of education, persuasion, indoctrination and incantation have been devoted to the effort, ordinary people have never been quite persuaded that toil is as agreeable as its alternatives. Thus to take increased well-being partly in the form of more goods and partly in the form of more leisure is unquestionably rational.
John Kenneth Galbraith
Through systematic terror, through indoctrination, through systematic manipulation of stimulus, reward, and punishment, we can today break man and convert him into brute animal ... The first step toward survival is therefore to make government legitimate again by attempting to deprive it of these powers... by international action to ban such powers.
About God, I cannot accept any concept based on the authority of the Church... As long as I can remember. I have resented mass indoctrination. I cannot prove to you there is no personal God, but if I were to speak of him, I would be a liar. I do not believe in the God of theology who rewards good and punishes evil. His universe is not ruled by wishful thinking, but by immutable laws
Someone said, and rightfully, that "property is theft'." There's no way a man can stand and tell me that he owns an apple tree. I just don't believe you. And so this pursuit of position and money and power, they are all wrapped up into one package that I think is crippling, debilitating and limiting. And unfortunately, people get sucked into it and then they've got you on the treadmill. You know: ''You've got to have a good job'' and "You've got to have a good education'' - which is another word for indoctrination. We're never going to rise above these limitations we've placed on ourselves.
"The people" is that massive portion of a society that lives by its pathetic subjection to sheer immediacy or self-obviousness, and that therefore uncritically seizes upon the most simplistic and abstract ways of filling its vacuous self-consciousness. Not philosophy but dogma and rhetoric, not rationality but indoctrination and conditioning, provide the cultural junkfood by which the Many perfunctorily slake their thirst and hunger.
Without cultural indoctrination, all of us would be atheists. Or, more specifically, while many may dream up their own gods as did our ancestors, they would certainly not be 'Christian' or 'Jewish' or 'Muslim' or any other established religion. That's because, without the texts and churches and familial instruction, there are no independent evidences that any specific religion is true. Outside of the Bible, how would one hear of Jesus? The same goes for every established religion.
David G. McAfee
There have been many measures taken to try to turn the educational system towards more control, more indoctrination, more vocational training, imposing a debt, which traps students and young people into a life of conformity... That's the exact opposite of [what] traditionally comes out of The Enlightenment. And there's a constant struggle between those. In the colleges, in the schools, do you train for passing tests, or do you train for creative inquiry?
If you should prefer to understand that children are those human beings who have not yet found the grasp of their own minds, then the task you have given yourself, that task of rearing a child wisely and well, is suddenly transformed from indoctrination to education, in its truest sense, and made not only possible but even likely--provided, to be sure, one little prerequisite, which is that you are not a child, that you have come into the grasp of your mind.
The film [the white Ribbon] does try to use German Fascism as an example, but not specifically Fascism... the results of German Fascism. It shows how people are prepared or indoctrinated for an ideology... people who are already in a state of repression who have been humiliated by society and who clasp at a straw that's offered to them. And how that's then developed into a form of indoctrination.
What does seem to me poisonous, what breeds a type of patriotism that is pernicious if it lasts but not likely to last long in an educated adult, is the perfectly serious indoctrination of the young in knowably false or biased history - the heroic legend drably disguised as text-book fact. With this creeps in the tacit assumption that other nations have not equally their heroes; perhaps even the belief - surely it is very bad biology - that we can literally 'inherit' tradition.
I didn't become a Christian until many years later, when I moved to the South Side of Chicago after college. It happened not because of indoctrination or a sudden revelation, but because I spent month after month working with church folks who simply wanted to help neighbors who were down on their luck no matter what they looked like, or where they came from, or who they prayed to. It was on those streets, in those neighborhoods, that I first heard God's spirit beckon me. It was there that I felt called to a higher purpose - His purpose.
As a German philosopher writing in the aftermath of the Nazi regime, Marcuse understood the sleep inducing force of indoctrination, its power to make people forget and forfeit their own real interests. "The fact that the vast majority of the population accepts, and is made to accept, this society does not render it less irrational and less reprehensible," he wrote. "The distinction between true and false consciousness, real and immediate interest still is meaningful."
In Mexico, a poor country, higher education is of quite good quality -- and is free. Ten years ago the government tried to impose small fees. There was a national student strike and the government backed down. High tuition is not an economic necessity, as is easy to show, but a debt trap is a good technique of indoctrination and control. And resisting this makes good sense.
We have the power to defy the selfish genes of our birth and, if necessary, the selfish memes of our indoctrination. We can even discuss ways of deliberately cultivating and nurturing pure, disinterested altruism - something that has no place in nature, something that has never existed before in the whole history of the world. We are built as gene machines and cultured as meme machines, but we have the power to turn against our creators. We, alone on earth, can rebel against the tyranny of the selfish replicators.
My idea of philosophy is that if it is not relevant to human problems, if it does not tell us how we can go about eradicating some of the misery in this world, then it is not worth the name of philosophy. I think Socrates made a very profound statement when he asserted that the raison d'etre of philosophy is to teach us proper living. In this day and age 'proper living' means liberation from the urgent problems of poverty, economic necessity and indoctrination, mental oppression.
The process of spreading a philosophy by means of free discussion among thinking adults is long and complex. From Plato to the present, it has been the dream of social planners to circumvent this process and, instead, to inject a controversial ideology directly into the plastic, unformed minds of children-by means of seizing a country's educational system and turning it into a vehicle for indoctrination. In this way one may capture an entire generation without intellectual resistance, in a single coup d'ecole.
North Korea invites parody. We laugh at the excesses of the propaganda and the gullibility of the people. But consider that their indoctrination began in infancy, during the fourteen-hour days spent in factory day-care centers; that for the subsequent fifty years, every song, film, newspaper article, and billboard was designed to deify Kim Il-sung; that the country was hermetically sealed to keep out anything that might cast doubt on Kim Il-sung's divinity. Who could possibly resist?
Children are defenseless to the 'virus of dualism' in whatever form it comes in - which is why [religious ideas] should not be introduced until [children reach] a cognitive age. Religious indoctrination is not required to raise healthy children. Their imagination should be nourished... but not invalidated or shamed. [The result can] be a neurosis, which I believe, is why [people] go to religion and metaphysics when they get older... In the best scenario, children would grow through their imagination into creative adults in an environment that is based on current psychology and a science-based education.
if you do not share the universities' values, it could be a big mistake to send your children to college before they are intellectually and morally prepared for the indoctrination-rather-than-education they will receive there. Therefore, prepare them morally and intellectually and, if possible, do not send them to college right after high school. Let them work for a year, or perhaps travel (for example, given the antipathy to Israel on campuses, a trip to Israel would be both morally clarifying and maturing). The younger the student, the less life experience and maturity they have, the more they are likely to embrace the rejection of your values.
Ideally, what should be said to every child, repeatedly, throughout his or her school life is something like this: 'You are in the process of being indoctrinated. We have not yet evolved a system of education that is not a system of indoctrination. We are sorry, but it is the best we can do. What you are being taught here is an amalgam of current prejudice and the choices of this particular culture. The slightest look at history will show how impermanent these must be. You are being taught by people who have been able to accommodate themselves to a regime of thought laid down by their predecessors. It is a self-perpetuating system. Those of you who are more robust and individual than others will be encouraged to leave and find ways of educating yourself - educating your own judgements. Those that stay must remember, always, and all the time, that they are being moulded and patterned to fit into the narrow and particular needs of this particular society.
It can be considered a societal cult: one that never wants to recognize that there is another viewpoint a little less affirming than there's and, perhaps, a bit more insightful. They encourage a smile and an accepting attitude towards things that may seem, upon reflection, rather revolting. They discourage healthy analysis and critical thinking seeking rather that people simply 'just accept their lot within a grander scheme of things'. Those less interested in this soft form of indoctrination are often singled out for ridicule or shunned. Why? Because they dared challenge the accepted narrative, refusing to simply 'get with the program'. It is a cult that has entrenched itself deep within the American psyche; 'The Cult of Happy'.
I became aware of Jews in my early teens, as I started to pick up the signals from the Christian church. Not that I was Christian - I'd been an atheist since I was five. But my father, a Congregational minister, had some sympathy with the idea that the Jews had killed Christ. But any indoctrination was offset by my discovery of the concentration camps, of the Final Solution. Whilst the term 'Holocaust' had yet to enter the vocabulary I was overwhelmed by my realisation of what Germany had perpetrated on Jews. It became a major factor in my movement towards the political left. I'd already read 'The Grapes of Wrath' by John Steinbeck, the Penguin paperback that would change my life. The story of the gas chambers completed the process of radicalisation and would, just three years later, lead me to join the Communist Party.
In the problem of women was the germ of a solution, not only for their oppression, but for everybody's. The control of women in society was ingeniously effective. It was not done directly by the state. Instead the family was used- men to control women, women to control children, all to be preoccupied with one another , to turn to one another for help, to blame one another for trouble, to do violence to one another when things weren't going right. Why could this not be turned around? Could women liberating themselves, children freeing themselves, men and women beginning to understand one another, find the source of their common oppression outside rather than in one another? Perhaps then they could create nuggets of strength in their own relationships, millions of pockets of insurrection. They could revolutionize thought and behavior in exactly that seclusion of family privacy which the system had counted on to do its work of control and indoctrination. And together, instead of at odds- male, female, parents, children- they could undertake the changing of society itself.
When I argue with devout statists, sometimes other voluntaryists tell me that I'm wasting my time, opining that a particular statist is never going to "get it." I often respond by saying that that's rarely my intention. Most of the time, when I argue with statists, the goal is for ME to learn more about the mentality and psychology of authoritarian indoctrination, and to hopefully help any SPECTATORS-whether statist or anarchist-learn something from the exchange. (Both of those goals can be achieved even if the statist continues to be a lunk-headed dupe.) Earlier today, a funny but possibly profound analogy came to mind about this: When I argue with "true believer" devout statists, I'm not being a doctor trying to heal an ailing patient; I'm being a coroner, doing an AUTOPSY on a patient who is already beyond any hope of saving, in the hopes that I, and anyone observing, may learn more about the "disease" of statism, in order to better understand the nature of it, and possibly prevent others from experiencing a similar fate.
Sooner or later, all talk among foreigners in Pyongyang turns to one imponderable subject. Do the locals really believe what they are told, and do they truly revere Fat Man and Little Boy? I have been a visiting writer in several authoritarian and totalitarian states, and usually the question answers itself. Someone in a cafe makes an offhand remark. A piece of ironic graffiti is scrawled in the men's room. Some group at the university issues some improvised leaflet. The glacier begins to melt; a joke makes the rounds and the apparently immovable regime suddenly looks vulnerable and absurd. But it's almost impossible to convey the extent to which North Korea just isn't like that. South Koreans who met with long-lost family members after the June rapprochement were thunderstruck at the way their shabby and thin northern relatives extolled Fat Man and Little Boy. Of course, they had been handpicked, but they stuck to their line. There's a possible reason for the existence of this level of denial, which is backed up by an indescribable degree of surveillance and indoctrination. A North Korean citizen who decided that it was all a lie and a waste would have to face the fact that his life had been a lie and a waste also. The scenes of hysterical grief when Fat Man died were not all feigned; there might be a collective nervous breakdown if it was suddenly announced that the Great Leader had been a verbose and arrogant fraud. Picture, if you will, the abrupt deprogramming of more than 20 million Moonies or Jonestowners, who are suddenly informed that it was all a cruel joke and there's no longer anybody to tell them what to do. There wouldn't be enough Kool-Aid to go round. I often wondered how my guides kept straight faces. The streetlights are turned out all over Pyongyang-which is the most favored city in the country-every night. And the most prominent building on the skyline, in a town committed to hysterical architectural excess, is the Ryugyong Hotel. It's 105 floors high, and from a distance looks like a grotesquely enlarged version of the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco (or like a vast and cumbersome missile on a launchpad). The crane at its summit hasn't moved in years; it's a grandiose and incomplete ruin in the making. 'Under construction, ' say the guides without a trace of irony. I suppose they just keep two sets of mental books and live with the contradiction for now.