March 23rd 2020
"It's been said that public speaking is a person's greatest fear, but I think people fear social ostracism more than anything. Even more than death."
While standing in line for an hour waiting to buy a roll of toilet paper, I asked myself why so many Americans allow themselves to be duped.
Have you ever wondered about that ? It's quite amazing.
We have an entire media comprised of television, radio, newspapers, magazines and the internet that has been outright lying to us about every single news story for the past 80 or more years, yet suddenly here they are, finally telling us the truth.
And we're supposed to believe them. Of course, most people don't realize they've been lied to for 80 or more years. They swallow whatever the media tells them, no matter how ridiculous.
So what is it about humans that makes them so gullible ?
One reason is an absolute faith in authority. Or so-called authority.
I had a friend who was the poster boy for this. If I told him something, well, it was only my opinion and probably an erroneous one at that.
But if someone in a white coat or someone appearing on television dressed in a suit and tie told him the exact same thing, then it was gospel, and couldn't I see it ?
I suspect tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions, of people are this exact same way.
Closely coupled with a belief in authority is a need to be accepted by others; a deep psychological need not to be criticized or ostracized from the pack.
It's been said that public speaking is a person's greatest fear, but I think people fear social ostracism more than anything. Even more than death.
THE DOCTOR RACKET
I've had close to a dozen conversations with people who told me their doctor had given them a terminal sentence, usually between three and six months to live. In every case the conversation has gone like this:
Me: "You know, you don't have to die. All you have to do is make a few simple lifestyle changes. First, get off all your drugs and medications. Second, get rid of all your junk food and go on a 100% organic diet. There are other things, as well, but start with those two."
Them: "Oh, I couldn't do that. My doctor would have a fit."
Me: "You just told me your doctor says you're going to die."
Them: "Yes, well, I still can't do anything so rash as you're suggesting."
Me: "Do you want to live, or do you want to be a good patient and die?"
Them: "I'm sorry, I'm going to hang up now. This conversation is making me uncomfortable."
In every case they were good patients, doing everything exactly as they were told.
In every case they died.
Fear is the driving force behind blind faith in authority. It's what cripples people and prevents them from behaving in any way that's different from the crowd. Does intelligence also play a part ?
I believe it does, although I do know a lot of otherwise intelligent people who swallow whatever lie the media tells them. After 9/11, they hung flags from their cars and houses, and were 100% behind whatever military action our president suggested. Over the last two weeks, they've been the first ones to rush to Costco, hoard as much toilet paper and water as their cart could carry, and then shout down anyone who got in their way or questioned the legitimacy of what the media was telling them.--
Questioning the media also takes time and work. It's much easier now with the internet, but it still requires a time investment. It also requires actual thinking. Yes, thinking can be hard work. Look how much easier it is to default to the stupidity of the mob.
It also requires personal responsibility.
George Bernard Shaw said, "Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it."
It's much easier to turn on the boob tube and let others tell you how to think and how to behave.
A belief in the strength of numbers also comes into play. After all, tens of millions of people all believing the same thing can't be wrong, can they ? History has shown us that almost without exception, yes, they are all wrong.
It's tough going through life while having both love and disdain for your fellow man. Love for their hearts; disdain for their cowardice, stupidity and refusal to think for themselves.
Sadly, I don't see anything changing in the near or far future. That is, if we have any future at all.-----
[Colour fonts and bolding added.].
Mike Stone is the author of A New America, the first novel of the Alt-Right, a dark comedy set on Election Day 2016 in Los Angeles - - Available on Amazon.