Rocking The Indoctrinal Boat

I recently underwent a routine medical examination as required by my work. The technician who did the initial tests was a boy about seventeen or eighteen years old. He told me he was studying medicine and doing his “pre-med” at the clinic.

He was a pleasant, intelligent, young man eager to hear about Britain and what had brought me to America so relatively late in life.

Eventually, the subject came around to health care. I asked him his views on the issues presently occupying the media and politicians.

“Oh, I don’t agree with the President,” he responded, quickly, “I think his ideas are too much towards socialism.”

“What’s wrong with socialism?” I asked.

“But, this is a capitalist country,” he responded, somewhat hesitantly, “Here, everyone has the chance to make something of their lives, rather than the government running everything.”

“Not everyone has the opportunity to do well,” I said. “What about the poor people in America who can’t afford private healthcare insurance?”

“But they bring it on themselves,” he replied, “they’d rather sit back and do nothing. It’s their own fault, isn’t it?”

“Capitalism can’t make everyone well off. By it’s nature, it relies on large numbers of consumers to provide an upward flow of money to the relatively few wealthy people at the top. Because money is constantly flowing up the prosperity pyramid, away from those at the bottom, they’re denied the opportunities available to the better off – including the chance to become better off themselves. Doesn’t that make it society’s fault, rather than their own?”

The young man pondered my argument. “I’m not sure. You’ve seen a lot more of life than I. I’m still very young.”

“At least,” I said, “should those in need not have the right to basic medical care when they require it?”

“Well, I’m a Christian, so I suppose I should care about everyone……”

Hmmm…” I said, “I’m not. But since coming to America I’ve been puzzled as to why I do care about everyone, but this nation – that calls itself so Christian – doesn’t.”

At that moment, the doctor appeared who was to continue the examination. I left the young man to his pondering.

Indoctrination is a powerful tool. When utilized on a national scale its effects are impressive, not only on the ill-educated and unintelligent, but across the whole spectrum of population. This boy was well-educated and highly intelligent, but my few simple statements left him perplexed, battling the thought processes injected into his brain from the time he began kindergarten.

When I was his age, I was living in a country still reeling from the effects of Hitler’s military might. The inner cities had been blown apart and no-one was left in any doubt who was to blame for the poverty and degradation that resulted from it.

The government of the day had no option but to invest in vast programs of social and economic rebuilding. Out of it all arose the British National Health Service.

In 1946, no-one could accuse the poverty-stricken and downtrodden British of “sitting back and doing nothing”, “bringing it on themselves”, or, of it being “their fault”. One only had to look around at the devastation, the bomb-sites, the derelict buildings, to realize the fault lay squarely on Mister Hitler’s shoulders.

Is that what it will take to convince Americans that their less well-off neighbors are not necessarily ‘bumming’ off the state; that the million or so who die from lack of healthcare every year do not make that choice of their own free will?

America has never endured a modern war on its soil. Let’s hope it never will. Does human life always have to become intolerable on a vast scale before any good arises from that suffering? It would seem so, for only suffering on such a scale will force us to truly think.

Nursery, grade, high school, university – all supposed seats of American learning, yet in today’s modern society they’re utilized primarily for little more than the political indoctrination of the next generation.

Until we radically alter our education system so it helps our children to think for themselves, instead of systematically ejaculating preconceived ideals into their innocent, virginal, minds we will neither improve the society we live in, nor secure a stable and peaceful future for our species.

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5 Replies to “Rocking The Indoctrinal Boat”

  1. “The young man pondered my argument. “I’m not sure. You’ve seen a lot more of life than I. I’m still very young.””

    At least he was willing to listen and to think about your words! There are enough people around who won’t even do that.

    If you alter the education system to teach children to think for themselves, then you might get a generation of people who can think for themselves, and who can’t swallow all the lies and bull that you feed them in order to keep the gravy train flowing… 😉

  2. Excellent piece RJ! It’s so comforting for me to come here to read, and find that someone else, of similar background, sees things the way I do. We can’t both be wrong – can we?

    To be 100% fair though, we have to admit that there are some in the USA who have seen through the brainwash. Not nearly enough of ’em though. Even the ones who vote Democrat in elections tend to have some residual bad feeling about socialism – because they’ve never lived with “Yurp’s” version of it.

    Then we also have to tell ourselves that in the UK and elsewhere, even with socialised medicine, and other advantages, and no brainwash, except perhaps within family circles, there’s a good proportion of folk who rail against social programmes.
    Thinking for themselves, they still come to the conclusion that capitalism and “small government” is better.

    Duality, polarity, whatever. It’s with us always, but in the US it irks us more, for some reason. Me too. I wonder why?

  3. Like Jo, I was struck by the young man’s willingness to admit that his youth might represent a lack of experience and wisdom.

    My son’s Fifth Grade class motto was “if you believe it, you can achieve it”, which made me a little uncomfortable.

  4. I just finished watching all of “The Wire” which explored the educational system in one of its series.
    I recommend it highly if you haven’t already seen.
    Indoctrination indeed.
    Like you say, I think it takes a cataclysm of some kind to wake everyone up.

  5. Jo – methinks, it’s time this particular gravy-train dried up.

    Twilight – no, we can’t both be wrong, and I take your point that some in the US do use their grey cells to good effect. It would appear they’re in the minority, though.

    In any large group of people there are a certain number whose mental capabilities are limited to their basic needs. In Britain, I call them the ‘beer, sex, and football brigade’. Their thoughts on life are completely self-centered and rarely stray beyond these three basic requirements. There is a similar group in the US, just with slightly differing basic needs. (You might, for example, add ‘guns’ to the list).
    I’m always irked by those who refuse to think for themselves, wherever they happen to live. In America, there just seems a lot more of them.

    Iota – he was a most intelligent and thoughtful young man. I, too, was struck by his words. I have no doubt, given the right circumstances, he will develop his mindset as he matures. Whether he will ever be convinced of the benefits of ‘socialized medicine’, however, is arguable. After all, as a doctor he will be in one group who definitely won’t benefit. Medics in private medicine always earn more than those working for a government health service.

    How I hate the compulsion towards competitiveness that thrives in America: “if you believe it, you can achieve it”. Quite simply – if you achieve it, someone else doesn’t. You are right to feel uncomfortable.

    WWW – “The Wire” is only available here on HBO, but I’ve seen clips on YouTube.
    This is America’s future being flushed down the toilet by an education system designed to turn out factory-fodder for production lines that will no longer exist by the time they leave school. They’ll all have gone to China and Asia. It swells the ranks of the under-class at the very bottom of the economic pyramid – those who, in desperation, turn to drugs and crime as an alternative to life without hope.

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