Education V. Indoctrination
By: Marcus Perriello | Our Voice Contributor
The field of Education is one of the most fluid and organic areas of society in that no two individuals acquire and retain information exactly alike. Areas of study have also changed over the course of history, largely reflecting the mainstream understandings of that period. What most now understand through the field of Science was once understood and taught through societal religious orders. While there are certainly many elements out there who still depend on religious doctrine to guide their daily lives and make sense of the world around them, more people are gravitating towards observable phenomena to understand the world as it continues to change before their very eyes.
It can be argued that there is a 50/50 process at work in this case: One half being External, and the other half Internal. For example, if someone witnesses a shooting, the most immediate reaction is the shock to their system of perceiving an event that is not typical of their day-to-day life. Because they do not have the experience of such events on a daily basis, they are not psychologically equipped to tolerate such an anomaly and the lack of preparation leaves the rationalizing center of the brain useless and the emotional center is left to pick up the slack. Here is the opening within which outside forces need to present a means of rationalizing the event.
This lends itself to either educating the witness or indoctrinating them. If the messenger or those controlling the messenger have a specific agenda, the narrative can be manipulated to evoke a specific response from the witness and those who are hearing about it for the first time. This is where Education takes a back seat to Indoctrination.
Using Education to indoctrinate people into a specific societal narrative put forward by the ruling elite is nothing new. Saudi Arabia using Sharia Law. North Korea being taught to ignore the outside world while simultaneously being taught to believe that everything that happens beyond their control is the will of their Supreme Leader. The United States teaching history in a politically positioned narrative to impose the understanding that America is infallible and its might and righteousness is never to be questioned. All of these are examples of Indoctrination.
The more isolated a group is, the easier it is to indoctrinate them through as system of Education. In the case of the United States, modern indoctrination methods and narratives can be traced back to the first Cold War after Russian operatives successfully acquired construction materials for the atomic bomb. From that point on, both the United States and the Soviet Union engaged in continuous indoctrination of their people through the media, Education systems, and government intimidation. For decades, these various indoctrination methods and tools were utilized with great success, keeping both sides at odds with each other and ignorant of the others’ true goals and intentions. The big presentation at the time was very simple: Capitalism vs. Communism. It was a straightforward Black-and-White narrative that was easy for the masses to digest, proving the point of Occam’s Razor (“All things being equal, the simplest explanation tends to be the right one”). However, this set of tactics at keeping the public in the dark has begun to unravel ever since the internet came along. Now people on both sides are able to access information with relative ease that would have otherwise, at that time, been deemed Classified or made outrageously expensive to dissuade curious minds from learning the truth. This proves that Occam’s Razor is not a law, but merely a theory. Knowing this, how can anyone distinguish between being educated and being indoctrinated?
The ability to question information is what separates Education from Indoctrination. Through indoctrination is a strategy designed to remove from the recipient any and all motivations to raise questions about the proposed narrative, turning the recipient into a hardwired foot soldier for those in power. A proper Education, on the other hand, allows all available questioning of the proposed narrative, as well as leaving the door open for the narrative to change, depending on a narrative, or elements within that narrative, being proven right or wrong.
One example of this lies within the legendary rivalry between the Church and the infamous Illuminati. Many know the Illuminati today as a secret society hell-bent on secretly ruling the world. Originally, this group of intellectuals were those of various fields of study that conflicted with the dogmatic teachings of the Church, posing a threat to the Church’s power over the masses. For the last few centuries, the Church and the Illuminati have been engaged in a Cold War of their own, pitting Science against Religion; Education vs. Indoctrination. While both Religion and Science have their fair shares of skeptics and ardent supporters, what is self-evident in this situation is that Education opens the mind and allows for greater adaptability in the ever-changing world, whereas Indoctrination hard-wires recipients to close the mind off to external influence through fear and intimidation. The latter creates a divisive rift between themselves and those outside their respective circles, usually taking on the form of self-preservation disguised as patriotism.
The more modern example of this paradigm lies in the spread of misinformation, or Fake News, through the various platforms and mechanisms of the digital age. As more people are seeking better education to combat their own indoctrination, many of the platforms used for this purpose are being taken over, little by little, by the Establishment elite in order to ensure their grip on power.
Facebook and Twitter are now prioritizing mainstream propaganda outlets over those favored by the mass of subscribers who have realized they are being lied to in order to avoid the wrath of the ruling elites. Mainstream television outlets, many of which are owned and under the supervision of Sinclair Broadcast Group, all have a common, biased, right-wing slant and narrative being presented by their respective pundits. As part of this indoctrination method, there is the element of intimidation which is executed via groups that work between the federal government and corporate America.
As long as those in power have access to edit the information being presented by the public, those specific individuals and organizations with whom those in power disagree, end up silenced, fired, framed, or worse. One could extrapolate from this a scenario where a Progressive, working towards systemic change and a more informed public, would likely be eliminated from professional consideration, making it nearly impossible for them to get hired. This is why Corporate America almost exclusively focuses on promoting those who are successfully indoctrinated into their system and will never question its legitimacy or correctness. Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning are examples of what happens to those within the ranks of The Establishment who attempt to expose truths to, and properly educate, the public.
It can be argued that part of the reason for real unemployment being where it is today, as well as the amount of debt being held by the United States, is because of the resistance to Indoctrination with Education. Because formal Education is so expensive that only the wealthy can afford it without going into debt, Education itself is becoming much more organic and informal. The information being sought is still readily available.
This loophole in the system poses a serious threat to The Establishment’s grip on power, as is evident by the wave of dissent and progressive outcry from the entire political spectrum for systemic change. With the indoctrinated portion of the population dwindling and the educated portion expanding, we are witnessing the aforementioned rift between the educated and the indoctrinated unfold right before our eyes. A certain axiom can be called upon at this point stating, ‘One Man’s Liberation Is Another Man’s Enslavement.’
In this case, Education over Indoctrination shackles the rich and powerful to the will of the people, whereas Indoctrination over Education actively enslaves the people to the will of the rich and powerful. As we can see, Indoctrination itself is designed to control and suppress dissent to solidify the position of those in power, whereas Education is designed to counter control and allow for the mechanisms of progress to thrive, wherever they might lead. A well-educated population is far more likely to make informed decisions based on what is needed and what can be pursued upon meeting said needs. An indoctrinated population is more likely to ignore its own strength and blindly accept the word of those in power who will only make decisions that benefit themselves at the expense of the public’s well-being. This is why Education must be a fundamental human right. This is why it is important that we recognize indoctrination methods and tools wherever they appear and address them appropriately…with skepticism.