Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘totalitarian regimes

Brainwashing or Behavior Priming? Any difference in consequences?

Note: Re-edit of “Any differences between behavior priming and brainwashing? June 28, 2012)

Have you submitted to a scrambled-sentence test? For example, rectify these sentences:

1. him was worried she always

2. from are Florida orange temperature

3. shoes give replace old the…

How quickly do you think you can work out each scrambled sentence?

Suppose among the ten scrambled sentences there are words such as worried, Florida, old, lonely, gray, bingo, wrinkle, forgetful…scattered throughout the sentences…Is there anything common among these words?

Undergraduate students participating in these tests, behaved for a short time as old people do after the test: They invariably walked slowly, back bent…

The unconscious Big Brain was picking up on these common denominator words, behind its locked door…

The unconscious mind got the clues and was telling the body of the test-taker: “We are in an environment that is concerned about old age. We better behave accordingly…”

The unconscious mind is acting as a mental valet, taking care of minor details to act accordingly, so that we can be freed to focus on the main problem at hand…

John Bargh experimented with two groups of undergraduate students.

Group One worked scrambled sentences sprinkled with words such as aggressively, bold, rude, bother, disturb, intrude, infringe…

Group Two worked with words like respect, consideration, appreciate, patiently, yield, polite and courteous…

After the test, each student had to walk the corridor to an office to meet with the principal researcher.

A confederate researcher was to block the entrance of the door and converse with the main researcher, a long and pretty boring conversation…

Group One subjects ended the conversation and barged into the office within 5 minutes. Group Two subject waited for the conversation to end before getting in.

Group Two students could have waited for much longer if the protocol was not set for only 10 minutes of conversation…

There are these mental clinical cases called ventromedial prefrontal cortex,  a part of the brain situated behind the nose.

When this part is damaged, the individual is unable of judgment and making decision.

The patient is functional, intelligent and highly rational but lacks judgment. For example, if the patient is asked to choose between two appointment dates, he will analyse and offer all kinds of pros and cons for 30 minutes and still be unable to decide on any date…

The mental valet is not working in this case to guide and orient the patient toward more important tasks at hand…

When mentioning a brainwashed mind, you visualize someone robbing a bank or doing violent acts without his full will, or being induced to describe details of his childhood against his will…

Maybe there is a subtle factor or a catalyst that shifts behavioral priming into the qualitative condition of brainwashing

I posit that brainwashing is very much like priming a brain, but done on successive and frequent occasions, verging on a continuous situation where the mental valet is working full-time and barely able to liberate the mind to focus on more important tasks to reflect on…

Think of totalitarian regimes of communism or the Catholic Church dominion in Europe for 9 centuries of the dark Middle Age period.

People had to navigate an environment of restrictions and limitation in ideas, opinions, objects, products, hair style, fashion…

The neuropsychology Benjamin Libet demonstrated that we become conscious of a decision half a second after our body gets prepared to react to a decision.

For example, the disparate “I” in our constitution and brain parts contribute to the decision.  It is sort every single muscle has an “I”, our genetic constitution has an “I”, every section and network of neurons has an “I”.

All our “I” have to reach a working consensus before the body react and a decision can be carried out. Isn’t that how a skill is described?

Neuroscientist Patrick Haggard wrote: “When we talk of free-will, we mean the richness of the act, of our capacity of acting intelligently, of not reacting in the same manner to the same stimuli…”

You may read about the priming of the thief-program in the link of note 2.

Note 1: Article inspired from a chapter in “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell

Note 2https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2011/10/31/deterministic-or-free-will-behavior-what-is-priming-the-thief-program/

Do you have a past? What of generations who grew up without a past?

We take it for granted that every individual must have had a past, that he can recollect bits and pieces of his past, can make some sense of his past…

Many societies take it for granted that their generations had a past, it always had…

There are generations of people who had a past, good or bad memories, and then an “iron curtain” of a theocratic or totalitarian regime fell down and transformed lives. These generations with a past could feel the loss and the void in their current life-style.  They can compare, evaluate, analyze the past and the present situations, they may eventually master this lever to forecast how the future will unfold if no change and reforms are attempted, confronted and grabbed…

What of generations born and living within theocratic and totalitarian regimes?

These generations cannot have any memories and images of a different system and life-style, except if they had a few opportunities to watch foreign movies, documentaries, books, and listen to foreign music, poetry… of other alternative cultures and life-styles.

What if all “imaginary” alternative cultures are banned and you cannot construct different versions of possible existence and life-styles?

The generation with No Past to remember can only talk of stolen kisses, films they had never seen, lack of cool breeze on their bare skin…

The generations with No past long for the ordinary, the taken-for-granted aspect of a peaceful life… They loath mostly the absurd and arbitrary acts of transgression on their ordinary life, the trampling on their open spaces… like the desire of wearing pink socks, dropping the veil in public if they feel uncomfortable, using a comfortable swimming trunk, lounge freely on their balconies, read whatever books that strike their imagination, listen to varieties of music…

The generation with No Past keep dancing with their arbitrary jailers, and never feeling that they have the power to protest and confront the jailers…

How could you internalize your individuality and describe the image you have of yourself if society move, act, speak and dance identically, as delimited by strict regulations?

This section was inspired from a page in “Reading Lolita in Tehran” by Azar Nafisi.

Talking of a society indoctrinated in a cult, the self-effaced individuality, and evaluated on the degree you match the “dominant normal people”, evolving within a closed circle of like individuals…

With the exception of the Catholic Church theocratic dominance for 10 centuries in Medieval Europe, most of the theocratic and totalitarian systems were established in the 20th century, increasing, and expanding eastward…  Iran Islamic Republic took power in 1979, and The Moslem Brotherhood cults are established in Tunisia, Egypt, Turkey, and shortly will take control in Afghanistan and Pakistan

Communist regimes that flourished since 1917 in the Soviet Union, China…had their fascist counterparts in Nazism, Fascism, military dictatorship… with their cultist versions.

Theocratic and “civic” totalitarian systems share many components and diverge on a few:

1. There are all “radical”: They want to impose their value and moral structure on the society

2. They ban all reading and knowledge sources that diverge from their “world view”

3. They do their best to obliterate the past, (the Evil Past), in order to institute the future life-style and concepts…

4. Religious abstract notions, implicitly and explicitly, are the basis for their projects: They want the eternal and absolute and go the extra miles to force the citizens to pay the heavy price of their absurd and arbitrary outlook to commemorating their everlasting achievement

Theocratic regimes are straightforward: Here is the archaic Book, you behave according to the prescription of the Book, don’t hurt your brain interpreting the Words of God… Otherwise, you are a criminal element and only execution is your lot for disturbing the decency and homogeneity in the communities.  This radical leftist woman who proclaims that she is willing to wear the veil if it can secure the Independence of Iran is basically aware of the coming persecutions and want to be “covered” and isolated…

Totalitarian regimes are more subtle: Their ultimate goals are fundamentally of the religious-kinds in seeking the absolute and the eternal, but the mechanism is camouflaged under “scientific processes” for the progress of mankind, in peace, equality, comradeship…. The main brainwashing technique is to make alternative materials very scarce to obtain, and listening to alternative opinions even harder to hear. It is no longer natural and work an individual reflective opinion, and seeking an individual “open space” to regain your freedom

In “Democratic” States brainwashing is performed by the richest elite class who rules the institutions and the mass news media. One major difference is that the past is not obliterated “if you are willing to do your due diligence…” to extract alternative stories…


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

October 2020
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