In these times of growing confusion and delusion, we must learn all we can about how to keep our minds free from coercive manipulation.
People who intimidate others for speaking freely are getting a lot of ink on today’s front pages. Somewhere on one end of the spectrum are college students who agitate to fire professors and administrators who aren’t enough in line with politically correct agendas. Then, way on the other end of the spectrum, the death cult called ISIS executes those it perceives to be out of line with its agenda.
Obviously, it runs a wide gamut. But if we’re honest, we can see that these cases represent different stages along the same well-worn path of tyranny. The dynamics are similar wherever there is obstruction of the free exchange of ideas. They include: using silencing tactics to achieve conformity of thought; blind rage and intolerance towards any ideas that diverge from the agenda; and all-out efforts to eliminate perceived enemies.
But the visible actors who are shutting down freedom seem not to be free agents themselves. They act more like recruits whose behavior has been conditioned through political correctness, an effective behavior modification tool. It’s been entrenched for decades in the West, in education, media, and pop culture. With terrorists, we know that indoctrination is far more direct.
Either way, messing with your mind—or coercive thought reform—is a common denominator of any agenda that depends on shutting down real conversation. Whatever the grievance du jour, it serves mostly as a distraction from the main goal: collectivist conformity that ends up empowering an elite. Campuses are prime recruiting grounds.
Indeed, there seems to be a lot of mind-hacking going on. One example is how elites from the divestment movement recruit and mobilize college students to agitate for them and shut down free speech. The National Association of Scholars just put out a report on that, which is cited in Joy Pullmann’s insightful Federalist article, “The Anti-Speech Agitator’s Handbook.” Can we at least start trying to understand how mind-hacking works on us?.........
Ten Resources to Jumpstart Conversations about Mind-Rape Prevention
Why not start a mind-rape prevention book club? Students who wish to retain their sanity on PC-conditioned campuses should be especially interested in exploring this. But everyone should try to learn how to fight mob psychology either on their own, or, ideally, in conversations with others.
Below is a very select list of books and other materials that can help to inoculate the mind against mass delusion. None of the titles are recent. That’s partly because I’ve found the greatest clarity and respect for independent thought in material written decades ago.