One place to start would be getting a better understanding of how the mind works. Try finding a good on persuasion and marketing. I personally
reccommend "The Dynamics of Persuasion" by Richard M. Perloff. The thing to remember is that you can't believe something you don't understand. So,
while all sorts of things can influence you unconsciously the most powerful type of persuasion is for things you have thought a lot about, and feel
you understand. The true believer is much more faithful, than someone who just kind of feels they should act a certain way. There is also the
influence of following the crowd. The rest of it are just various tricks. Politeness gets a response. One trick called innoculation, involves
presenting a weak opposing argument, and refuting it. Another things is that if people don't think the issue is important, they will look for cues
rather than actually analyzing the message.
Meditation will help try to get outside this cultural landscape. Also, try to learn about foreign ideas. Read books from different periods, whose
ideas are different from those of today, and study foreign things. The "Illuminatus Trilogy" by Anton Wilson and Robert Shea, helped me understand
how difficult it is to put explanations to things. Be wary of all theories and idea which claim to explain everything.
Do you really want to be deprogrammed? If you start to really understand things better, you're likely to get depressed. What do you believe in? Who
do you love? Do you love yourself? Are you attached to any ideas? When you start uncover, fallacies that have been floating in your mind for a long
time, you will often need to give up heartfelt beliefs about things. Letting go is not always so easy. Realize what you want to do.
All that I have mentioned so far are about challenging your old beliefs, and finding out how you've been duped. You can compare the beliefs of
different places, and times, but this still doesn't really provide a way to understand what is true. How do you know all the other things you learn
aren't just different delusions?
Science tries to understand these questions. Normal language doesn't really work very well, so science employs mathematics to explain these. A lot of
people don't understand mathematics. The basic idea is to look at relations between undefined terms. For example consider the two sentence: "dadtes
jajs kwidgow", and "kwidgow jajs sddf". All the words are undefined. These aren't very interesting by themselves. However, we can come up with the
following rule for manipulating these things: If we have "[1stword] jajs [2ndword]" and "[2ndword] jajs [3rdword]" we get "[1stword]" jajs
[3rdword]. So, applying this rule to the two things we have, we can get "dadtes jajs sddf". The basic idea comes from
, the most popular textbook of all time. In it, Euclid gives
five axioms which are really just like the rules for manipulating things. He then using them to prove lots of theorems, although by modern standards
he was a little sloppy. For more on this also see Gold,
Escher, Bach by Douglas R. Hofstadter
, and any introductory logic textbook. Science looks relations among various things, and so they can then
be understood in this mathematical language. The reason why this is so valuable is it allows for things to be looked at much more objectively by their
individual components, without running into as many mental blocks. Also, you can understand without resorting to making analogies to things you know,
which may not really have any relation.
The basic way science does this is by breaking things down into components, and finding relationships between them. The general study of this type of
stuff can be found under System Theory, or branches of it like System dynamics. Although, I think its important to understand how an understanding can
be formed from just a flood of data. An important book to read would be
by Stephen Jay Gould, which explains the problems with trying to blindly follow statistics to meaning. Despite its usefullness, faulty
statistics are the sophisticated way of fooling people. There is also the issue of where people focus on those who succeed, and attribute a reason
where none is there. For a more thorough view of that subject read
by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. The point to remember here too is that situations are made to special, where they really aren't. For
instance with nationalism, each nation is led to believe: they are special, chosen by god, the best, etc. So, people might try apply different modes
of thought, but often they actually follow the same patterns.
Now, all of this may be able to help you get over the the propoganda mechanisms, but should you decide drop all of that, you still need to solve
ethical dillemas. As Nietzsche pointed out "Beyond Good and Evil" a lot of morality is tied up in your position as a slave or master. If you
overcome the propoganda, you become less a slave, so you may run into questions of morality, beliefs, etc. The science and such doesn't define
morality, and neither does anything else. For that you need to look to your heart. What do you think power is, and who should hold it? Do you want to
help others acquire the same knowledge you have?
These are my thoughts on the subject, although I don't claim to know all. I merely point out some stuff which seems to help understand our world a
little better, and get away from the current propoganda system. However, you must remember while some things have changed, many remain the same. The
United States is not the only country in the world with problems.