Once the Left Gets You to Accept that 2+2=5, It's Over for You
Don’t let the cry-bullies make you say that there are 5 lights
There’s a famous episode of Star Trek: The New Generation called Chain of Command, Part II. In that episode, Captain Jean Luc Picard (played by Patrick Stewart) is captured on a mission in Cardassian territory. A Cardassian by the name of Gul Madred drugs Picard, dehumanizes him, and brutally tortures him for information. However, he also does something else. Madred points out four lights on the wall to Picard and lets him know all the torture can stop and life can be much better if he will only say that there are actually five lights. This is a running theme throughout the episode.
Madred torments Picard over and over while offering to let him off easy if only he will say that there are actually five lights. Eventually, because it’s TV, Picard stays defiant, makes it through the torture, and comes out on top.
It’s easy to understand why the Cardassian would want Picard to give him information that could be used in a military attack, but why was he so determined to get Picard to say that there were 5 lights when there were actually 4? What difference did it ultimately make? Well, what the late, great C.S. Lewis said of Hell is also true of a man’s will, his character, decisions, and self-image:
During the Vietnam War, the Vietnamese used a “brainwashing” technique on some soldiers that was so subtle and brilliantly done that many people probably wouldn’t even consider it to be brainwashing, although it certainly was. They’d bring in a soldier and tell him to write an essay saying something critical about America. Of course, all of us could come up with SOMETHING critical to say, right? Then later, the Vietnamese would make these prisoners READ their essays over the prison camp’s loudspeakers. Naturally, hearing their country criticized by one of their own aggravated their fellow POWs. The Vietnamese artfully played this up by giving the POWs who cooperated better food, nicer accommodations, and better treatment while the other POWs were treated like garbage. Soon, most of the POWS were furious with the ones who cooperated and viewed them as collaborators, while those POWs felt unfairly treated. After all, they didn’t lie, did they? Everything they said was true and if they thought about it, they could come up with even more negative things about America. As this process repeated, cognitive dissonance kicked in and these POWs became ever more positive about Vietnam and negative about their own country.
Incidentally, playing on cognitive dissonance is now a centerpiece of modern American politics. In fact, once you understand cognitive dissonance, you’ll have a much better understanding of why a lot of things are happening. Here’s a little primer to give you a better idea of what it’s all about:
Cognitive dissonance is a theory in social psychology. It refers to the mental conflict that occurs when a person’s behaviors and beliefs do not align.
...Not everyone experiences cognitive dissonance to the same degree. Some people have a higher tolerance for uncertainty and inconsistency and may experience less cognitive dissonance than those who require consistency.
…As people generally have an innate desire to avoid this discomfort, cognitive dissonance has a significant effect on a person’s:
· beliefs and attitudes
· mental health
People experiencing cognitive dissonance may notice that they feel:
As a result, they may:
· try to hide their actions or beliefs from others
· rationalize their actions or choices continuously
· shy away from conversations or debates about specific topics
· avoid learning new information that goes against their existing beliefs
· ignore research, newspaper articles, or doctor’s advice that causes dissonance
Avoiding factual information can allow people to continue maintaining behaviors with which they do not fully agree.
When people tie their self-image to a belief, they will often go to great lengths to avoid doing or thinking anything that can challenge that belief.
Now, getting back to Picard and his lights. Consider the dilemma of liberals today. Their ideas are for the most part disastrous, unworkable, and impossible to adequately defend in any kind of debate. That’s why almost no one is trying to make the case to middle America that rent control actually controls rent, defunding the police will reduce crime, or that letting the homeless crap all over the sidewalk will make life better for everyone else. So, they can’t convince people with reason. Also, in America – at least so far – they can’t use the tactics the Russians and Chinese do to keep people in line. Say the wrong thing today in those countries and the secret police will haul you off to a work camp in the middle of the night.