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Persuading American Students Into Accepting Socialism

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Most Americans are familiar with the term social change. It is recognized as a methodology used in our colleges, under the guise of critical theory, to convince young gullible kids that our country desperately needs, as Barrack Obama once put it, a fundamental transformation. There are an untold number of stories where conservative parents send their children to prestigious universities, only to realize when they come back, they have been thoroughly brainwashed into leftist thinking. Even in public elementary education, it is becoming evident that there is more of an indoctrination taking place than anything that resembles learning. The role education has taken in society has changed from one of creating free thinkers to a system focused on changing attitudes and restructuring what it is viewed as the old world, into a new global society. To get people to go along, they must be persuaded into believing it is in their best interest. Sadly, most Americans are unaware that this has been taking place since before the beginning of the twentieth century.

Donald Trump recently made a big move by signing an executive order targeting the use of critical race theory in public schools. There is little doubt that the use of such a theory, which aims to teach young children that America is a racist nation, has contributed to the hatred and resentment many Americans feel towards their own country. Unfortunately, this will have little effect as they have been discretely shaping opinions and attitudes in schools for over one hundred years. The main goal has been training students into a socialized form of education, envisioned by John Dewey, where they sought to change the national morality and attitudes towards their country. The Progressive Education Association, for example, was founded in 1919 (Iserbyt, p. 11) for such a purpose.  In 1927, according to Deliberate Dumbing Down of America author Charlotte Iserbyt (p.14) the state of Maine education commissioner, Augustus Thomas gave a speech in which he highlighted the process of change that would have to occur in education to bring about their new order.

If there are those who think we are to jump immediately into a new world order, actuated by complete understanding and brotherly love, they are doomed to disappointment. If we are ever to approach that time, it will be after the patient and persistent effort of a long duration. The present international situation of mistrust and fear can only be corrected by a formula of equal status, continuously applied, to every phase of international contacts, until the cobwebs of the old order are brushed out of the minds of the people of all lands. This means that the world must await a long process of education and a building up of public conscience and international morality, or, in other words, until there is a world-wide sentiment which will back up the modern conception of a world community. This brings us to the international mind, which is nothing more or less than the habit of thinking of foreign relations and business affecting the several countries of the civilized world as free co-operating equals.

The point is that for the past one hundred years or more, there has been a tremendous effort to research human behavior and what methods work best to persuade people to change their positions, and their attitudes. Many of these persuasion theories bare similarity to psychological doctrines, like operant conditioning. For instance, social exchange theory is primarily known for being a theory of economics in so far as it examines the relationship between individuals and what they are willing to pay in exchange for economic goods. In an article entitled Social Exchange Theory: An Integrative Approach to Social Conformity, published in The Psychological Bulletin 71(3), the authors note that when it comes to social behavior, social acceptance can be viewed as a “social good” which people will be willing to pay a price for. The price of course, is conforming to other’s viewpoints to feel accepted in a group of some kind. This bears resemblance to B.F. Skinner’s Beyond Freedom and Dignity when he states that social acceptance is a more powerful form of control than a police state.

The child who has learned what to say and how to behave in getting along with other people is under the control of social contingencies. People who get along together well under the mild contingencies of approval and disapproval are controlled as effectively as (and in many ways more effectively than) the citizens of a police state. Orthodoxy controls through the establishment of rules, but the mystic is no freer because the contingencies which have shaped his behavior are more personal or idiosyncratic. Those who work productively because of the reinforcing value of what they produce are under the sensitive and powerful control of the products. Those who learn in the natural environment are under a form of control as powerful as any control exerted by a teacher.

A theory called induced compliance posits the idea that positive or negative emotions, presented in association with information that contradicts one’s views, is a powerful factor in changing attitudes. In an article entitled Induced-Compliance Attitude Change: Once More with Feeling, published in The Journal of Experimental Psychology in 1979, the authors cited a study in which stimulants or tranquilizers were given to students while being asked to write essays that countered their typical beliefs. It was found that students who were given the stimulants were very easily persuaded to change their position. From this experiment, social scientists came to believe that when people are in a state of arousal, their attitudes and beliefs can be changed. How is this applied in the classroom? Charismatic teachers, skilled at trapping the attention of unsuspecting students, entertain them with meaningless jokes about parents or whatever, and then present information that is intended to sway their traditionally held beliefs. This is also known as values clarification education. It is in this state of arousal, where children are most likely to go along. Especially considering the theories mentioned earlier about wanting to be socially accepted.

A more recent article entitled Attitude Change: Persuasion and Social Influence reinforces the idea of social conformity as a change motivator. It highlights long-held notions that social change can be affected when there are concerns about one’s self-fitting in, feelings and beliefs being coherent and viewed in a favorable light, and maintaining positive relationships with others. In fact, the need to fit in can be such a strong driver of attitude change, it is not uncommon to see people change their positions primarily based on the company they are in.

These change strategies are employed against society every day not only in education, but through any means of mass communications. The right works just as hard to persuade people as the left. Consider the concept of arousal influencing attitude change and apply it to Donald Trump’s bump stock ban. First, be honest and admit that if a Democrat had done that conservatives would have opposed. Because the action was associated with a positive, arousal creating stimulus known as four-dimensional chess, people accepted the infringement against the second amendment in a passive, if not, positive way. Another example of persuasion, that was highly effective no less, was Barrack Obama insisting his views on homosexual marriage had evolved. When running for president, he was opposed because he knew the attitude of the country towards the controversial subject was not favorable. His charismatic attitude and positive character image were useful in persuading the American public to accept homosexual marriage because he claimed he had evolved to see it in a positive light. This is the same way they are presenting socialism, homosexuality, transgenderism, and even critical race theory in the classroom.

If we are going to get into the education system and make corrections, we must understand that the behaviorists have been researching human behavior for many decades. They know more about your behavior than you do. Their goal was to create an education system devoid of individuality and one that trains people to be subservient to the state. They have by far surpassed that goal and are very adept at persuading the masses into accepting things they may have never thought they would. Just look at everyone wearing a face mask over a virus with .02 percent mortality rate.

Iserbyt, C. The Deliberate Dumbing down of America: A chronological Paper Trail(1999) Ravena Ohio. Conscience Press.

Nord, W. R. (1969) Social exchange theory: An integrative approach to social conformity. Psychological Bulletin 71 (3) pp. 173-208

Rhodewalt, F. & Comer, R. (1979) Induced compliance attitude change. Journal of experimental social psychology 15(1) pp. 35-47

Wood, W. (2000) Attitude change: Persuasion and social influence. Annual review of psychology. 51 (1) pp. 539-570

Article posted with permission from David Risselada

The Washington Standard

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