Brainwashing for freedom

“If you don’t pay your buck-oh-five, then who will?”

– Team America: World Police

Western Civilisation thrives on the principles of freedom.

Yet, at every turn, there’s someone trying to take those freedoms away.

It can be hard to spot sometimes. After all, no one has the ‘freedom’ to murder anyone… and that makes us all much safer. In a way, it makes us even freer – we’d have fewer options about where to work and how to enjoy ourselves if knife-wielding maniacs were a constant threat.

It’s true in that case… but even when it’s not, that’s how it’s often sold.

This new infringement is for your safety, will enhance your freedoms or is no big deal.

I’ll pick an example with a little distance from right now:

In the aftermath of the GFC, corporations asked job applicants for their social media login details. They said it was no big deal and that applicants were happy to do it – mostly because it was either that or starve to death.

That seems quaint now. In a world where Facebook knows everything about you – even if you don’t have an account – and can use the Instagram app to literally own your phone and its contents, what a user can see in their own account is a tiny amount of data.

Folks seem a little too keen to give up their privacy and autonomy. People tut while watching the Social Dilemma, but then go right back to using Facebook anyway – even when there are privacy-respecting alternatives.

This might concern you.

And you might wonder how to get folks to value their freedom and privacy again.

The good news is it’s easier to brainwash someone than most folks realise.

If you’re a student of military history or psychology, you’ll know it happens all the time. The enemies of freedom have brainwashed American soldiers into switching sides many times throughout history.

Like when China got their hands on US soldiers during the Korean War. All that information is out there.

It didn’t matter how patriotic or strong-minded these warriors were. They didn’t know the psychology that was at play, so they didn’t know what they were supposed to resist.

With a few strangely simple techniques, consistently applied, the Chinese military flipped more of these soldiers than you might believe.

Like anything else, it might be simple but it’s not easy. Even when you control everything about someone’s environment – which you do when you have prisoners of war – it takes consistency and discipline, not just knowledge.

I’m not shaming these soldiers for breaking. I can’t imagine what it would have been like, living among the dirt, cold, hunger and humiliation of capture, not having so much as a razor to tidy your face.

I’m giving kudos to the Chinese for being clever. Evil, but clever.

But if enemies of freedom can use this against us…

Then we can use it to defend our freedoms too.

You can’t kidnap someone and brainwash them – call that bad news for the purposes of this, but it’s good news in every other sense.

Especially because you don’t need to.

I lay out an ethical and effective framework for brainwashing folks into loving freedom. It’s on pages 27-29 of this month’s Phronesis Accelerator.

You really don’t have much time left, though. I send that issue out in hours, not days – and once it’s out there, it’s out of here.

Grab it here:

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