One thing that is different in free countries is that you are left alone.

Yes, there is public opinion, and yes there is peer pressure from family and friends, but indoctrination is not imposed uniformly on people, who can hide out in the cracks.

So if you didn’t like the indoctrination in Catholic schools, you could become an atheist or Baptist without being burned at the stake.

And if your prolife views didn’t agree with the professor, you could appeal the fact that he failed you in OB/GYN based on your religious views rather than your test, in which you scored an A average (been there, done that).

Yes, people had “cliques” and you might lose your friends, but you were not in legal jeapordy.

Many who lament the bias of the press do so because they have access to alternative opinions on the internet. They do not have to listen to the opposition party’s shortwave broadcast with radio quiet and windowshades drawn, for fear of being reported and arrested (Been there, done that too).

Many dictatorships merely lop off the loudmouths, and leave the rest of the people alone. This is called tyranny. Think the mullahs of Iran or Putin’s Russia.

But some utopian dictatorships go furthur, and force themselves into one’s thought processes and daily lives.

The WaPo has an article about how this is done in Cuba, where neighborhood busybodies have the power to force you to go to demonstrations, ask you your political opinions, and force you to get a pap smear. Of course, such control doesn’t go along with the normal human psyche, so after 50 years, things are getting lax, but Raul Castro is starting to rev up the snoops when he takes over.

Will Cubans indoctrinated from childhood go along with a reimposition of tyrannical control by petty bureaucrats, or rebel?

Good question.

On the other hand, closer to home, will the indoctrination of students in certain US colleges continue unopposed? John Leo’s column on the University of Delaware is here.
Having teachers impose politics in class is nothing new. Some of this is done to show their own point of view to students, but others do it as a way to make students think and learn to explain why they believe x or y.

But when a State University pays people to interrogate students and keep track of their personal opinions while giving mandatory classes, then I say this is a form of tyranny also.

Why students put up with it, I’m not sure. One suspects it was like a lot of my fellow classmates who were pro life in a medical school that was on the forefront of legalizing the abortion laws: they just wanted to finish school and get on with their lives.

So they kept their heads down, did the mandated abortion procedures, answered the questions as the teachers expected them to, and then once they were out in the real world, swore they’d never do another abortion in their lives.

The problem with indoctrination is that there is always a small space that allows freedom.


Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. Her website is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket. 

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