The very heart of all extremism is indoctrination, and the underlying principle of that indoctrination is often victim-hood. Indoctrination is empowering because it allows a victim mentality to form that absolves individual accountability. The only reason you couldn’t be or do better in life is because of XYZ circumstances which were out of your control, held captive by the XYZ enemies of you and your people.
This is false empowerment, which will allow no personal growth, which in turn further fuels the indoctrination and “proves,” it to be true in the minds of the indoctrinated. Seldom do the indoctrinated truly resolve to ask “If all of these people like me have achieved and become more, why can’t I,” or they brush it off as those who have made personal achievements obviously shilled for the enemy. This is what circular logic is, it is a self-fueling fire that allows the individual to shirk all responsibility for themselves, while simultaneously enabling the indoctrination to continue and grow more powerful.
The truth of the matter, however, is that only through accountability can someone actually make a breakthrough to become and do more, which unto itself dissolves the indoctrination. Personal accountability is not easy, it is in fact a path of most resistance and as such, it is far easier to fall back onto the crutch of one’s victimhood/indoctrination. If society as a whole marched to the edge of a cliff and only those who marched away from the edge could survive, which would be the easier path to take? Marching through the throngs of people, each of who is pushing and shoving against you, or calmly walking with them to their inevitable demise?
Indoctrination comes armed with mental weapons; music, documentary, books, lectures, historical revisionism, and conspiracies that can tie point A to point 3. These weapons of indoctrination help make it all easier to remain complicit and docile towards those professing a lack of personal responsibility and victimhood. The tools of indoctrination make the lack of culpability go down like a spoonful of sugar does for medicine.
It’s easy to hate a perceived enemy when it removes all responsibility for your shortcomings, when the “enemy,” is dehumanized and seen as a heartless beast. Through this indoctrination, it becomes all too easy to not only hate a perceived “enemy,” but to actively work against their wellbeing and even commit atrocities towards them. Remember, they hate you, they want to wipe you out, hold you down, they are inhuman, and they don’t think, act, or feel like you do… this is the cornerstone of both extremism and indoctrination. This… is the “why,” “what,” and “how,” questions answered in one fell swoop.
It is powerful and freeing to be indoctrinated because having the weight of responsibility lifted from you allows you to place all the blame for your failings on a perpetual boogieman. This removes stress, depression, and feelings of inadequacy, and allows one to function without care for the ramifications of their thoughts and actions, much like a child when the adult’s backs are turned. All you have to worry about is the invented enemy, your only focus becomes subverting anything the enemy does, no matter how innocuous what they do or say is.
Today, conspiracy theories are widespread throughout even mainstream society, because people have learned that it is far easier to place the blame than it is to accept it. A conspiracy made of false equivalences and finding less than reputable “sources,” that offer confirmation bias is much easier than saying, “I need to do or be better.” Google and the internet offer a plethora of connect-the-dot conspiracies to choose from, whereas you can have a conspiratorial idea and easily within minutes of looking, find things that will confirm it.
The fact of the matter is, for every conspiracy theory and point of indoctrination, there is an equal but opposite conspiracy theory with just as much proof!
So what is truth, what is real, and what is fiction? If every bit of indoctrination is a fallacy, then the truth must indeed lie in individual culpability and responsibility, rather than in group blame and or blaming your own missteps on others. Taking personal responsibility and placing any and all blame on the shoulders of whom it belongs is the gateway to true freedom from indoctrination. I did, me, mine, my, I’ll do better, and I’m sorry, over they, them, those people, their fault, and I can’t because of XYZ enemies.
Indoctrination is everywhere today, propaganda is in most media we digest, just waiting for ripe minds to ingest it and make them the next perpetual victim. Remember if you can be made to be into a victim, if you can be made to believe absurdities, you can be made to commit atrocities.
© 2022 Frederick W Cook
This article was originally featured on Son of Sinai