It might be unpleasant to acknowledge, but regardless of where we live, we have all been (to some extent) brainwashed. And America is no exception.
“One believes things because one has been conditioned to believe them.” – Aldous Huxley
The Cambridge Dictionary defines brainwashing as “To make someone believe something by repeatedly telling him or her that it is true and preventing any other information from reaching him or her.”
Today, the most conspicuous victim of this phenomenon is Russia. Since Ukraine had the impudence of declaring independence a few years ago, Russian citizens have been brainwashed into believing that “this province” had to be “denazified” and purged from evil western thoughts.
The Ukraine situation is of special interest to me, and I have been spending a lot of time researching the subject. YouTube has been particularly helpful in this endeavor and helped me through various sources to better understand this Shakespearian tragedy.
My sources of information are various news channels, but also independent Russian English-speaking vloggers who specialize in broadcasting to the West. They wander mainly through the streets of St Petersburg and Moscow and query passersby about Ukraine. Older folks are staunchly supporting Putin, but younger people (when they dare) clearly opposed him but are often reluctant to talk candidly. Fear (reminiscent of the Nazi Germany era) is now omnipresent in the Russian Federation.
Most of Russia, especially the elderly population, has been brainwashed into believing that the country is under imminent attack from the West. These people, with scant computer knowledge or access, rely almost exclusively on state-sponsored news and fully believe everything they see on the tube. Just like my own mother did, 60 or 70 years ago.
The computer-savvy younger set on the other hand, with VPN access to foreign sources, is not as gullible and knows exactly what is happening in Ukraine. They oppose Putin’s policies but are visibly afraid to frankly say so.
The tragedy of this conflict is that the Russian people are not war-hungry monsters who want to conquer the world. Many are highly educated, speak fluent English, and are open to the West. But the muzzling of the press and the alarming suppression of foreign news leave many citizens highly susceptible to distortions and lies.
Brainwashing and bloody conflicts will only stop when the main instigator is silenced and neutralized by his peers.
The sooner, the better… for the world’s sake.