Let me start by saying that everyone
here will find Brave New World
and Brave New World Revisited
, by Aldous Huxley, extremely interesting. You should read both, (which you can get as one book
), but as many of you probably have a hard time reading without feeling guilty about not doing schoolwork, you can just read Brave New World Revisited
, which is pretty short. I actually didn't finish the last couple chapters of Brave New World Revisited
; it's really interesting even if you just read half a chapter.
But anyway, I posted this because I wanted to see examples of brainwashing
in other peoples' lives. In chapter 8, "Brainwashing," Huxley explains that Ivan Pavlov
found that dogs when subjected to extreme stress all at once or to lesser amounts of prolonged stress, their brains would "go on strike"; the dog would go unconscious or act weird. The same is true for humans, which was shown during the two World Wars. Most sane people can stand about 30 days of fighting before they break down. The people who can take this stress indefinately are not sane.
As a or dog person reaches or just passes this limit of endurance against stress, he becomes more suggestible. "New behaviour patterns can be installed while the dog is at or near the limit of his cerebral endurance, and these new behaviour patterns seem to be ineradicable. The animal in which they have been implanted cannot be deconditioned; that which it has learned under stress will remain an integral part of its make-up."
Here are the ways that "psychological stresses" can be created:
- "[S]timuli are unusually strong."
- "The interval between a stimulus and the customary response is unduly prolonged and the animal is left in a state of suspense."
- "The brain is confused by stimuli that run counter to what the dog has learned to expect."
- "[T]he deliberate induction of fear, rage or anxiety markedly heightens the dog's suggestibility."[/list:u]
Physical stresses that increase suggestibility are "fatigue, wounds and every form of sickness.
This passage about a "successful" preacher reminds me of school. "He would open his sermon with a long and detailed description of the torments to which, unless they underwent conversion, his hearers would undoubtedly be condemned for all eternity. Then, when terror and agonizing sense of guilt hada brought his audience to the verge, or in some cases over the verge, of a complete cerebral breakdown, he would change his tone andpromise salvation to those who believed and repented." It worked.
I tried to find an example of where this happened for me in school, and I found it. My first and fourth grade teacher (She switched grades when I was in second or third grade.) was one of those extremely strict ones who always made you write in complete sentences and assigned lots of boring, stupid work. She frequently yelled at me for my bad writing, generally because it was too short for the given time period. (Most of the writing was done in school.) My writing didn't improve at all, but I found it pretty hard to break the practice of answering all written questions in complete sentences even though other teachers sometimes didn't really want you to do that. I can't quite remember whether I found the work in first and fourth grade stupid, but if I did, I certainly didn't say anything about it. I worked extremely hard at all my work from first grade until ninth grade.
So, try to find examples of brainwashing in your lives or the lives of others whom you know well. If you find anything, please at least post that found something. (I just want to see if others can actually relate to this.) You're certainly welcome to explain how this brainwashing occurred. It will probably take you a few hours, as it did for me, and it might be harder to find examples for people on these forums than for most people; it's possible that school did a bad job at brainwashing you. As it should take a while and many of you have already started school, you can think about during boring classes at school if you don't have anything to read or any homework to do.
This last part isn't related to the rest of what I've said, but I can't help mentioning it. If I were required to write something like this for school, I would probably dread writing it. I would be given some stupid requirements and given a strict format in which it would have to be written. I probably wouldn't be able to choose an interesting topic, and I would know that it would be graded by an idiot. Even if I were somehow allowed to write this particular article for school, I would hate writing it because I would always be worried about the teacher's grading. I did not have to write this for school, however. It took me about 40 minutes write all this, and it wasn't boring at all.