This is just a view, drawn from my angle on life. I doubt and question every opinion and conclusion I draw, to find out if there is something I haven’t seen. It is always inspiring to hear a different angle on something, which widens my perspective.
A few months ago, I was chatting to the person working at the supermarket check-out and they called me ‘madam’, and I replied “oh, I don’t like being called madam.” Another customer walking past said “I love being called madam.” I asked “why?” The lady replied “because it makes me feel posh.” Fair enough.
The diversity of viewpoints and experiences among humans is vastly ignored and underestimated. In my view co-operation between humans has driven advancement and prevented disasters. It is recognised that diverse workforces are more productive than homogenous ones, at least for catering for a larger spectrum of customers.
Whereas today, discussions are become rarer and disagreements more common. People have fixed views in the way that Crusaders would travel to the Holy Land a thousand years ago to fight for their faith.
I think religion is an excellent example of dictatorship. “It is written” therefore we must believe it. There is no room for diverse points of view as those must surely fall into another religion. It is impossible to debate religious doctrine or stories as they were written so long ago. Is it any wonder people switch into a medieval syntax when talking religious stories?
We must remember there is no one answer. We are not in competition with other humans because we would gain so much more by working with them.
Today, people have become over-confident about their views, which means they dismiss or invalidate other perspectives, even if they are presented with more proof. Religious belief can hide any amount of evidence from someone’s eyes. Today, the doctrines are coming from capitalism and the pressures of the free market economy. Everyone is competing for your money and they will tell you whatever they want to in order to get it.
Hype is the flipside of perspective as human storytelling has given us the ability to present an argument from any angle. We must distinguish between fact and opinion and facts, data and numbers are impartial. By differentiating between an opinion and a proven fact, we can see the wood as well as the trees. I love that expression. If someone is just focusing on the beach trees, they are correct but they cannot see the oak, birch, limes, hazle or chestnut trees, which means they won’t have all the facts or see the whole picture of the wood.
I think we need humility with our opinions. This would ensure there is respect between people as no one would shoot someone else down for having different views. Forcing people to conform to their views is fascism as it disallows any diversity. To enforce a fascist view, propaganda, discrimination and censorship become necessary tools to make people conform. This is not unlike religion, with proven facts become increasingly forgotten.
It becomes necessary to lie or withhold information to enforce any narrative. By presenting people with ready-made opinions through the press, official bodies and government policies, it is necessary to prevent people from seeing any facts or evidence, which might lead them to question what they are told.
The real danger here is that the majority of people respond obediently to dictatorship because they don’t question everything they are told and search for proof for the themselves. Throughout human history, new ideas have naturally spread through people who question everything, who innovate new ideas and filter them through the rest of the population. Entrepreneurs know the process through which new ideas spread through populations as the Dissolution of Innovation, created in 1962 by Everett Rogers.
There is also the Wisdom of Crowds, which only works if people are allowed to freely reach their own conclusions, such as guessing the weight of an animal. The views of many different people can often indicate a more accurate conclusion than one expert or specialist with all the necessary tools at their disposal. Once a doctrine, influence, agenda, interest or manipulation creeps in, the spectrum of views and experiences to reach a natural conclusion are lost and we end up with group think, which conforms to an official narrative.
Today, all sorts of narratives creep into human discussion, which leads to heated arguments or topics, which become off-limits and unmentionable. To preserve open discussion and holistic, universal and diverse perspectives on important matters, we need to distinguish between styles of communication.
Propaganda – started by the Catholic Church to fight protestantism, propaganda is one-sided communication, which tries to force opinions by not trusting listeners with the whole picture.
Fascism – where people are forced to conform by only seeing propaganda, threatened with punishment, exclusion or confinement if they disobey.
Censorship – When inconvenient views content is removed, labelled ‘misinformation’, blamed for things going wrong and branded as enemies of the state.
Action groups deploying grassroots or authentic voices – self-elected judges and system endorsed packs of trolls ganging up on people who express views they disapprove of, using censorship to silence them. This is used to contrive public opinion to influence policemakers.
Micro-targeting – used in 2016 for the Leave Campaign and Trump’s presidential campaign. By identifying persuadable people and filling their social media feeds with propaganda, they influence their views.
All of the above are part of corporate practice, which uses tactics pioneered by the tobacco industry. After nicotine was testified in court to be addictive and the tobacco industry’s activities exposed and curtailed, corporate hype has intensified to include officially named front groups, which use all the tactics above to influence politics, public opinion and media.
How do we untangle ourselves from corporate capture?
Firstly, it is healthy to question everything you hear or are told. An under-the-radar revolution of quiet questioning would alert less attention. Information seems to be becoming increasingly opinion, judgments, conclusions, advice or perspective rather than fact. Therefore we must learn how to distinguish opinion from fact. When you hear an opinion, ask where it came from?
First and foremost, ensure that the views you end up holding work for you. Ensure they represent your best interests. By holding those views until the next time you get a chance to hear other views on the same subject would mean your mind remains open and ready to broaden as more information and angles come into perspective.
It is important not to fall into a doctrine. If you see many people expressing the same set of views on a range of topics, it is good to question and doubt those views. We must create our own views from facts and not buy in opinions from people with different interests from our own.
Another idea is, if you find yourself holding a view, to not wish to impose it on others. To present your view as a possibility will allow others to present their views. The more diverse views collected the together, the wider perspective everyone can share and the bigger and better the outcome for more people.