Discovering what's actually true in today's world is a difficult endeavor, despite the fact that we now have the internet right at our fingertips like never before. That's because there's simply too much information out there now to try to sort through it all, especially when it counters the official narratives being spread by the mainstream media. Much of what people are told is "news," in other words, is little more than propaganda designed to control people's thoughts while suppressing all forms of thought that are independent or critical.
"From mainstream media to social media. From 'real' news to 'fake' news. From Facebook political pokes to Twitter Trumpisms. It's getting more and more difficult to navigate the wide-open waters of the information age," writes Gary McGee for Waking Times about the severity of this widespread problem.
"All too often we take the easy route and unquestioningly stick to our political party line. But when it comes down to it, it is our responsibility alone to think clearly. It's not our chosen news outlet's responsibility. It's not our teacher's responsibility. It's not our political party's responsibility. It is ours and ours alone."
One conspicuous tactic that the propaganda overlords love to employ on the masses is known as "newspeak," which centers around the idea of keeping people confined to thought "baskets" that prevent them from discovering the full truth about the matter. Oftentimes there's a little bit of truth contained in newspeak in order to cleverly disguise the full extent of it, while simultaneously making those who fall for it believe that they've attained understanding.
In his book The Common Good, Noam Chomsky writes about how newspeak, a term that was first coined by George Orwell in his famous book 1984, is used to create the illusion of free speech and press while accomplishing the exact opposite. Chomsky refers to newspeak as the "smart way to keep people passive and obedient" while limiting "the spectrum of acceptable opinion." As long as the conversation remains within this spectrum, those under the delusion of newspeak will believe that they are debating the facts, and thus remain pacified.
Many conservatives will assume that such a tactic only resides on the liberal end of the spectrum, but the fact of the matter is that it also occurs on the conservative side. One example of this is President Trump's repeated use of the phrase "fake news" to describe news outlets that criticize his policies or actions. While some news outlets may, indeed, be guilty of purveying fake news, the constant use of this phrase reiterates into his supporters' minds that anything critical of the President is automatically fake, which shuts down their critical thinking skills and keeps them in a constant state of "acceptable" opinion.
Another common brainwashing tactic within this same vein is known as "doublethink," which basically defines a particular concept with its opposite. A few examples of doublethink in 1984 include concepts like "freedom is slavery," "war is peace," and "ignorance is strength." These concepts represent manifestations of mass mind control, under which many Americans have unfortunately fallen victim.
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