The Captive Mind

I am old enough to have been around when Communism and Fascism had captured the minds of millions of people including highly educated individuals who freely joined mass organizations which they believed would save humanity. The Nazi who regarded Hitler as the personification of truth had a Communist counterpart who regarded Communism as the wave of the future. These individuals believed some form of ideology represented the ultimate in knowledge and truth. This true believer’s mind had been captured by ideas, thoughts and beliefs that were regarded as more important than any other aspect of life. Today, the young Muslim boy blows himself up believing he is fulfilling some form of truth and that his death will pave the way for a better world. There are fewer people today in post industrial societies who are willing to become a disciple of some all knowing leader because cynicism has captured his/her mind just as their grandparents marched for truth in a world long ago. It appears, at initial glance, that Muslim fanatics represent the modern captured mind, but all over America at this very moment people shout Tea Party slogans which they believe are the TRUTH. A Tea Party explanation of the US Constitution is an exhibit in ignorance, but to these mind captives, nonsense about our “Founding Fathers” is laughable. Imagine terming men who ended a states right centered government in order to establish a strong federal government being termed supporters of state rights!!

The sad news is Tea Party ranting has captured the minds of millions of people and this November they will vote for people who represent a danger to their own needs and aspirations. In so doing, they are just as much a mind captive as were Nazis and Fascists and Communists. It took death and destruction to finally break the bars of conformity for mind captives, let us hope such a calamity will not be necessary to restore sanity and break people out of mind prisons.