Believe in mind control

You can bring people to the lowest level of their existence and then offer a hand of salvation - then they believe everything

“You just have to bring people to the lowest level of their existence by depriving them of their most basic needs satisfactions such as sleep, warmth, communication, food and drink, names and identity and then offering them a 'saving hand' - then they believe everything one demands ", says the Bremen brain researcher Gerhard Roth" Our apparently reasonable ego is a shaky structure, the principles of which most people give up when their lowest biological and psychological existence is questioned. "

A prison camp is particularly useful for mind control - but a state like North Korea comes close to that "ideal." Five principles of social pressure can be identified: Isolation - cut off the inmate / citizen from information that does not fit into the system; Control - monitor the conversations, behavior, body of the inmate / citizen; Spread insecurity - stir up fear of being an ideological deviator; Repeat the lesson - indoctrination takes time; Work with strong feelings - punish dissenters, reward the true believers.

Totalitarian states like North Korea have a simple recipe for creating a sense of community and adjustment. They put the people in uniforms. This strengthens the sense of togetherness and strengthens the moral authority of the tyrant. The uniform gives participation in power, but it also demands submission and obedience by inserting oneself into a hierarchy. This conservative picture fits that North Korea has turned to a folk ideology, a doctrine of the desirable purity of the Korean race.

The longer the rule of the Kim dynasty, the more natural it appears, becoming part of a cultural tradition that is upheld for its own sake - a tradition. So are the people's tears on Kim Jong Il's coffin real? Apart from the fact that it cannot be ruled out that it is a kind of staging, one must take into account that peer pressure and fear of observation play a role. It is also clear that it is not the impoverished rural population that sheds tears, but rather privileged capital city residents.

Anyone who wants to uncover the secret of the tears of Pyongyang should realize that strong feelings are a signal to the outside world. I'm crying so i'm sad The evolutionary biologist Robert Trivers has worked out how explosive on the other hand demonstrative, "played" feelings are for the actor. He always runs the risk of being discovered and exposed as a hypocrite, especially in the spy system of a dictatorship. In order to avoid this, the cheater deceives - and we all cheat sometimes, says Trivers - not only others, but also himself. The best cheats are those who cheat on themselves. In relation to North Korean state mourning, this means: If you asked one of the grieving passers-by whether his tears were real, he would probably answer indignantly: Of course!

On the other hand, in man's fine sense of the difference between truth and lies, between sincerity and hypocrisy, lies the greatest danger for the monarchs of this world. The more the worldview prescribed from above comes into conflict with reality, the more defiant the subject reacts. Every new indoctrination, every new attempt to reinterpret and bend reality, only increases the secret reluctance, a phenomenon that psychologists call reactance.

If the pressure gives way, the hour of resistance strikes. The collapse of socialism in 1989 and 1990 was exemplary. A supposedly massive Eastern Bloc was in reality long eroded by the reactance of its citizens. Almost silently he collapsed. Most North Koreans will also be well aware of how much they are exploited and oppressed. Reactance gnaws in Pyongyang too.

One can speculate whether, decades after Skinner, brain research will eventually succeed in manipulating and remotely controlling thinking. Until then, the thoughts remain largely free. Even in North Korea.

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