- How do students come by the opinions they hold, especially those acquired in the course of schooling?
They have adopted them on the naked authority of teachers who acted as if they were productive, not cooperative, artists—teachers who indoctrinated them by didactic instruction that was not accompanied by any acts of thinking or discovery on their part.
I have used the phrase “naked authority” to signify the authority arrogated to themselves by teachers who expect students to accept what they tell them simply because they occupy the position of teachers. The only legitimate authority is the authority of the reasons relevant or the evidence supporting whatever is to be understood.
- My guess is that you would find that the intellectual elite is the most heavily indoctrinated sector. It's their role as a secular priesthood to really believe the nonsense that they put forth. Other people can repeat it, but it's not that crucial that they really believe it. But for the intellectual elite themselves, it's crucial that they believe it because, after all, they are guardians of the faith. Except for a very rare person who's just an outright liar, it's hard to be a convincing exponent of the faith unless you've internalized it and come to believe it.
- For those who stubbornly seek freedom around the world, there can be no more urgent task than to come to understand the mechanisms and practices of indoctrination. These are easy to perceive in the totalitarian societies, much less so in the propaganda system to which we are subjected and in which all too often we serve as unwilling or unwitting instruments.
- We have not yet evolved a system of education that is not a system of indoctrination.
- Doris Lessing, The Golden Notebook (1962)
- We may distinguish both true and false needs. “False” are those which are superimposed upon the individual by particular social interests in his repression: the needs which perpetuate toil, aggressiveness, misery, and injustice. ... Such needs have a societal content and function which are determined by external powers over which the individual has no control; the development and satisfaction of these needs is heteronomous. No matter how much such needs may have become the individual's own, reproduced and fortified by the conditions of his existence; no matter how much he identifies himself with them and finds himself in their satisfaction, they continue to be what they were from the beginning—products of a society whose dominant interest demands repression. ... In the last analysis, the question of what are true and false needs must be answered by the individuals themselves, but only in the last analysis; that is, if and when they are free to give their own answer. As long as they are kept incapable of being autonomous, as long as they are indoctrinated and manipulated (down to their very instincts), their answer to this question cannot be taken as their own.
- Herbert Marcuse, One Dimensional Man (1964), pp. 3-6
- In just the measure that education aims to develop the individual with independence of judgment rather than to indoctrinate him with tradition and custom and official dogma, to that degree it separates him from the mass and is successful insofar as it emancipates his mind from the tyranny of herd opinion.
- Everett Dean Martin, The Conflict of the Individual and the Mass in the Modern World (1932), p. 17
- And this is why we must throw everyone into the brine of socialism, so that the hide of capitalism will peel away and the heart will attend to the heat of life around the blazing bonfire of the class struggle and enthusiasm will originate!