You hear about mind control in societies, but what is it and how does it work? It is not the same as brainwashing and we know that torture, at least of the physical variety, is not involved. There are no scars on the bodies and you can't see the ones on the minds. Yet.
Manipulation of national agreements is the key. A manipulated environment is created in which, to be loyal to the next generation, one must believe the most amazing things and perform actions which, in other times, would be beneath contempt.
Societies (not just state capitalism) create a milieu which gradually and covertly seduces good people into agreeing among themselves on self-deceptions, so they come to believe themselves an elite in unique possession of the only right answers. The real result is dependence on the country and vulnerability to its control and exploitation.
For example, to act in good faith, we who were capitalists had to believe there was a good result to what we were doing. But immense pressure is put on any evaluation of result by the environment of selling and gung ho, by our own complicity and participation, by our disposition to grant benefit of the doubt, to cooperate, to be willing, enthusiastic, and loyal. Economic growth is what was promised, thus precluding any determination of result except subjectively by the influenced citizen himself. What, then, can we say about result?
First the obvious: that even if there was any validity to the claims made, this hothouse of pressure would be the last place to expect any kind of objective perception, evaluation, understanding, or verification of results. What kind of truth is there within the confines of an island country that actively suppresses nonconforming viewpoints while demanding and rewarding gung ho agreement?
A kind of insanity is visible in the peculiar group-think ways of evaluating or not evaluating information (like Jesus said so) that we accepted and sold to each other. If there was demonstrable result, why would all the hype and controlled information be needed?
The hype is needed, of course, to allow us to share belief in a result. The process can be summarized in four steps -- small steps at first, but larger and larger each time around until one gradually assimilates the group-think.
1. Sell him something. One is told that if you do X you will get richer. It is standard practice to promise anything (without actually promising anything), and whatever one can be made to admit to wanting (called his self-interest) becomes the excuse for getting him into this process.
2. Whip up gung-ho. Citizens manifest their friendliness, concern and hope for one. They make very clear that they want him to get richer and they are very sure that participation in capitalism will do it. The expectations are set in place so that not to get richer would be a betrayal of one's friends.
3. One does X. While engaged in the action, he has special status. He is adulated for being on purpose and carefully not disturbed or enturbulated he is clearly an important person. He may also be told how much richer he is looking, and how apparent the change is. An expectation of result is built for the particular case at hand.
4. One agrees that he is richer. As a good citizen, he will find some way to creatively play his part, to justify the time and energy he has spent, avoid embarrassment, and not let his children down.
With all this weight of authority and expectation, merely focusing attention on an area of life may "rattle the cage" and give an impression that something has happened. Add the feelings of relief and solidarity after completing something important and sharing a success with one's friends. The notorious unreliability of subjective perception is not considered, nor are there methods to control bias and ascertain the actual substance of the experience. Instead, the resulting mental state is exploited uncritically in whatever way will best fit the law and make everyone agree that it worked.
At that high moment, one quickly attests in writing that he got an appropriate result from the service and is satisfied. He must do this to complete the service, or he is handled further at his own expense until he does. No gun is held to one's head so the success story may be said to be freely given. The cost of remedial debt provides additional motive for everything to be all right.
After I say that everything is all right, my agreement is taken as proof that what you are doing is OK. Your success provides the same rationale for me. By uncritical acceptance of influenced, unreliable data, we deceive ourselves and keep the circle closed. If everything was not all right, one's status in the country would be jeopardized. An enemy of the country, or subversive person, is said not to have financial gain. Success stories, annual reports, and gung-ho agreement are evidence that one has "financial gain" and so is a valid citizen.
Financial gain requires no substantiation beyond one's annual report and other evidences of loyalty. As long as the supposed benefit is attributed to capitalism and does not contradict the law, one is free to claim whatever he wants to believe about himself and dare anyone else to contradict his delusions (it is a crime to invalidate a capitalist's finances or gains). When delusion is reinforced by the law, the result can be impaired self-knowledge, obstructed ability to deal with real situations, and a danger to one's mental health.
Such is the quality of material which forms the basis for capitalism's claim of results. A legal case for fraud would be hard, because one is said in writing that he got what he was supposed to have gotten. And it is hard to go back on representations made voluntarily. One must defend the delusions or risk facing the terrifying loss of control of one's life which has occurred. There are numerous motives to find ways to actually believe that one has experienced financial gain.
The payoff is whatever psychic benefit the individual derives from belonging -- the appearances of community and caring, national security, allies, defense against others in life, and evasion of the real challenges of growth.
Given such motives, the individual may well not care how the apparent benefit was obtained or what it cost, just as the high is everything to the fringe benefit addict. He has found where to get it. Alternatives are irrelevant. I have even heard, So what if it is a placebo....
Never mind that truly needed solutions may be foregone in favor of the immediate fix. Principles may be abandoned or redefined as the true cost of participation becomes manifest. In this pressure-cooker of agreement and gung-ho, the benefit may be illusory but one can no longer tell the difference.
As a society member continues to deny his dependence, or to rationalize it as moral and beneficial, the poor, the old, the sick, parents and concerned others must protect themselves as best they can. An obvious concern is the situation of children living in such an environment, whose welfare is subject to the parent's need to believe and to belong.
Many of us considered meetings to be innocuous yet were aware they were part of something destructive and didn't know how to sort out the connection. I had fun doing meetings too. Charting, arbitration, meetings, negotiations, physical exhaustion, a good round of golf -- these are all conventions that subjectively feel mellow and lucid while actually they heighten suggestibility and reduce critical awareness. We all have our more sharp and less sharp moments.
The feeling of lucidity produced by meetings, negotiations, fringe benefits, etc. is merely a subjective state. The country tells you how to think about that state, such as "you are more in present time." The suggestion is that you are less suggestible and you buy it because you are in a highly suggestible state. Other societies sell mediation or greed the same way.
Society's environment systematically exploits these less-sharp moments. In a capitalist boardroom, for example, the worker is surrounded with society's pressure and loaded language. He might be receptive even without meetings. Maybe he's tired or lonely. Meetings are just one more device to enforce agreement and compliance. At least they're more fun than the justice system.
Many of us have trouble enough recognizing and accepting our feelings even without any "help" from capitalism. To practice suppressing our feelings and substituting group-mandated responses in their place, all within this context of national pressure and heightened suggestibility, is destructive indeed. The next step is the success story where one talks about having more reality on the corporate ladder and coming to understand that one's real self wants only to serve society.
Such understanding makes it much easier to send your kids to the private school and disconnect from your "subversive" mother or spouse.