Originally posted by thesonofsaul
I saw this word in a different thread and it piqued my interest. Is forced instruction brainwashing only if it runs counter to the dominant culture? Or is the dominant culture a form a brainwashing as well? If the latter is true, is it possible to avoid being brainwashed into believing that some opinion or another is a natural truth? If we have been brainwashed, how can we tell the difference?
I've posted this elsewhere:
1. a method for systematically changing attitudes or altering beliefs, originated in totalitarian countries, esp. through the use of torture, drugs, or psychological-stress techniques.
2. any method of controlled systematic indoctrination, esp. one based on repetition or confusion: brainwashing by TV commercials.
3. an instance of subjecting or being subjected to such techniques: efforts to halt the brainwashing of captive audiences.
Also, brain-washing, brain washing.
[Origin: 1945–50; brain + washing]
1. to instruct in a doctrine, principle, ideology, etc., esp. to imbue with a specific partisan or biased belief or point of view.
2. to teach or inculcate.
3. to imbue with learning.
[Origin: 1620–30; in-2 + ML doctrīnātus ptp. of doctrīnāre to teach; see doctrine, -ate1]
Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.0.1)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.
Certainly every society tries to brainwash its citizens into accepting its values (e.g. in schools, through the legal system etc.). There's no way to avoid it and, quite frankly, no need to in a good number of cases.