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A False Choice
False Choices: The Most Effective Form of Propaganda Known to Man. . .
In a detailed Hub, I explained all the techniques of an expert propagandist, and how he or she uses such devices to dominate the populace into submission. However, last night, in a moment of deep sleep and introspection, I came to realize I overlooked perhaps the most effective method of propaganda known to mankind. This propaganda technique is so effective, that it's been implanted in our culture since birth. In fact, just before I wrote a word in the body of this Hub, the Hubpages algorithm matched me up with subject matters that had to do with parenting.
There is much truth in what the machine is saying. The child/parent relationship is in fact completely totalitarian in nature. Yes, we could argue the necessity of such an arrangement, but it's totalitarian none the less. We first learn propaganda strategies from our own parents. Parents must use these techniques in order to maintain control. One of the most common used strategies is the false choice. A strategy I overlooked in my own Hub, in part because we've been raised that to even question the concept of a false choice is immaturity. A false choice is mercilessly used on children, but is it also used on adults? You bet! Now let's have a look at some definitions. . .
What is a False Choice?
A false choice is when offered choices that either lead to the same result or no results. It is a propaganda technique used to hand the individual the illusion of choice. The propaganda technique is gut wrenching. Often leaving the individual with the hardships involved in making a choice without the benefits. The hardship involved in making a choice is being burdened by having to make a decision. The benefit of making a choice is that of freedom. A false choice aims to put the responsibility of burden on the individual, while at the same time removing their individual freedom. In the end; an individual will slowly lose their rights to genuine self determination.
How does a False Choice Manifest?
A false choice has many victims of all ages, race and both genders. A false choice can culturally develop in any region; however I find nations that enjoy wealth and privilege are far more vulnerable to its grip. Poorer nations face a harsh reality of confronting direct brutality, where there is no choice, not even false choices. The false choice is used to plant the seed of discord in wealthier nations; succumbing them to tyranny.
I have observed first hand false choices being used by every parent towards their children in a way that I don't believe was done back in my grandparents’ era. Parents of today don't want to be seen as the authority figure; rather they wish to be seen as friends. The reality is parents know they're the authority figure. The child, while perhaps not always content with such an arrangement, knows this reality as well. However, in an effort to not look like the "nasty commando" just telling their kids what to do, I have seen parents hand out a list of false choices to their children that simply lead to the result the parents wanted in the first place. Parents hope that by doing this they give their kid some illusion of choice and freedom. I would go on to say it's a fool's hope. Children are simply not that stupid. They know what we have here is a totalitarian relationship. They may even be happy with that arrangement for now. I remember that what I couldn't stand as a child was being fed this manipulative illusion that I somehow had adult-like responsible choices to make. The "choices" were truly nothing but false choices strategically plotted out by my own parents to mould me down a certain path they thought best. I would go on to say that sometimes there's no substitute to either yes or no. That, and a casual acknowledgement that yes; your parents are your dictators.
The sad end result of this false choice propaganda is that it's especially easy to pick up; and children learn how to manipulate their way ahead in life by using such strategies incredibly fast. While they certainly can't use such techniques on their own parents, they certainly use it on other children, their friends, and maybe even the parents of other children.
Once they become adults they continue from where they left off. . .
When was the Last Time you didn't make a False Choice?
False choices come at many different levels of intensities. Anything from being given a choice as a child between eating two separate dishes of food you don't like; to choosing between being gassed or worked and starved to death in camps by that certain overly mentioned brutal regime.
The objective of any successfully implemented false choice is to make you, the victim, feel responsible for what you perceive to be your own actions or choices. After all, you're an individual of "personal responsibility," right? That's the attitude you've been told good men, and good women, are supposed to have. If you chose it, you must own it, right? That's what the propagandist wants you to think. . . Now you're starting to see the deeply hidden emotional power in a false choice. A slave master always desires that the slaves feel deserving of their fate. A false choice is a vehicle that provides the means for such destructive thinking processes.
The world is currently littered with false choices:
Go to college, get 100K in debt, slave your ass off for five years OR accept the fact you'll be toiling away at minimum wage working in McDonald's for the rest of your life. . .
A false choice.
Keep your money in the bank and lose money from inflation or pay into the Wall Street Ponzi scheme.
A false choice.
Pay your taxes to support the imperialistic wars or don't pay and live a life behind bars.
A false choice.
Pay half of your hard earned income to feudalistic landlords or banks on the overpriced shelter or live a meager existence on the streets.
A false choice.
Republican or Democrat? Conservative or Liberal?
A false choice.
What to do When Presented with False Choices?
The same way a child does when presented with such "choices." Simply sit on your butt and pout. Refuse to play into such a manipulative game and recognize the futility of it. While on the surface this may come across as immature, doing nothing is the responsible course of action when confronted with a false choice.
Unfortunately, there are far too few who are willing to do nothing and be off their merry way when confronted with a false choice. The few, the enlightened, who choose to do so can expect many nights alone. The punishment of refusing to play ball is often being ostracized by society.
-Donovan D. Westhaver