There have been several times in my life where my World view was so abruptly and powerfully shook that I literally could not move forward without breaking down and rebuilding my paradigm. In direct contrast to cognizant dissonance, this dedication to maintaining a core belief system that includes the newest empirical evidence has availed me greatly. Now I haven’t always adhered to a strict discipline in this, and frankly the times I didn’t have cost me. Frantz Fannon had this to say on the subject: “Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognizant dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn’t fit with the core belief”.
In this day and age it is very easy to tell people to be open minded, however , I feel that in saying that it is implied that being open minded is any easy task- it decidedly is not. Compared to the influences of yester-year, those living in our society are bombarded on nearly every level at a near constant rate. Bombarded by what you ask? Propaganda. Advertising has wormed its way into every facet of life and it is no longer is enough to demonstrate a product or its value, nowadays the advertisers would like to convince you that there is a problem, and that their product will fix it. If that problem lies in you, your environment or in others, it matters not. The commitment to the all-mighty dollar no matter the effect on there fellow man has turned many against these people. I once heard a comedian say to the crowd before he started his set ” If you are in advertising go home and kill yourself” He got some laughs but he was not joking.
Beyond advertising social engineering is another facet of our lives that can lead to cognizant dissonance. Social engineering is defined as the use of centralized planning in an attempt to manage social change and regulate the future development and behavior of a society. A good example of this is
the belief in Democracy side by side with capitalism. Capitalism is essentially economic fascism. Noam Chomsky sums this up neatly.
In conclusion I highly encourage each and every one of you to live your lives with your eyes and ears wide open, excepting very little at face value and questioning everything, especially the systems of control and institutions that govern your lives. Be able to reconfigure the values you hold and even your entire paradigm if new truths learned warrant it. Finally I’ll add this one more tidbit- read some Noam Chomsky!
Steven William Robinson 2019