If we wish to do what’s right, we must have faith that we have a right to judge the right. Lacking this, no other “rights” have meaning.
We can sum up all of today’s indoctrination and propaganda, and almost all formal education: There’s the right way, the wrong way, and the corporate way.
This right-way-wrong-way-my-way template means it’s not your place to think in terms of right vs. wrong in the first place, but rather you must leave that to the Leader and do whatever he says without thinking. In this case, it’s not the place of the citizen to think, but to leave that to corporate and government elites. From there it’s meant to purge all thinking on right vs. wrong, except within the narrow frames allowed by the mainstream media.
To give an example very prominent these days, it’s allowable to think about the “right and wrong” of climate change in terms of self-proclaimed “belief” or “disbelief”. But any thinking in terms of right vs. wrong actions, any judgement on whether what a political organization or party or government or NGO actually does will be good or destructive, is not allowable. This is supposed to remain literally unthinkable. And as I can personally attest, for most Americans these days, at least for the ones still religiously committed to electoralism, it is literally unthinkable.
Which leads to another purpose of the indoctrination. Dissidents who try to publicize their ideas constantly encounter the abject conformists of orthodoxy to whom alternative ideas are nothing but thoughtcrime, to be rejected and shouted down in the most brainless, shrill way possible. This is an effect of being indoctrinated into the mode of thought that since it’s never the business of a non-elite to think about right and wrong, therefore by definition any dissenter must be some kind of rebel or criminal to be rejected out of hand. That’s the main reason it’s so rare to encounter a corporate system advocate who will actually engage on the level of argument. It’s not just that they tend to be stupid and are always utterly ignorant about the subject at hand, though these are also true. It’s that they reject in principle the very premise of non-elites having any kind of discussion or argument over right and wrong. That’s simply not done, according to the corporate indoctrination they have assimilated. And so it’s always been for every kind of authoritarian indoctrination.
This “pure” authoritarian mindset underlies and is prior to propaganda. Propaganda then presents the corporate way which is to be accepted and obeyed on faith, dictates the framing ideology, terminology, slogans, rituals, and prescribed actions. And it delineates the limits within which debate is “allowed” to take place. It’s axiomatic that the corporations regard this kind of “debate” as not harmful to their power interests, and usually actively helpful. Climate change provides a perfect example. Here system “debate” always assumes that business as usual (corporate globalization and the high-consumption lifestyle) can and will continue and escalate forever, that all policy proposals will never interfere with corporate profit and indeed will open up new profiteering opportunities, and that the true, necessary actions* will never truthfully be discussed. This is true of literally all system-approved climate change policy proposals.
What follows from this? The same lesson that follows from all dissident attempts to find truthful representation in the system media or to argue with system-loyal authoritarians: Either of these is a waste of time and effort which is doomed to failure. No one wants to hear it, but there is no substitute for gathering cadres, forming real organizations toward building a real social and cultural movement, every step of the way speaking directly to the people only. Only after what may be a long period of such work will the movement reach a level of cohesion and strength that it can force interaction with the mainstream and with the tribalists on its own terms.
But until then, talking to the system is as talking to a wall.
*There is one and only one way to avert the worst consequences of climate change: Greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, stop destroying carbon sinks, rebuild carbon sinks. Nothing more or less than that. All else is a lie.