Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Challenges of Overcoming Cognitive Dissonance in Peace Activism

Why is this important to address as an issue in peace activism?

Why is it important to address the issue and challenges of cognitive dissonance when engaging in social and peace activism?

What is cognitive dissonance?
Cognitive dissonance is the feeling of uncomfortable tension which comes from holding two conflicting thoughts in the mind at the same time.

We live in a country of people who for the most part, embrace cognitive dissonance. They get their news from the biased mainstream news. They have been indoctrinated to believe that whatever the ruling elite wants, the ruling elite should get. They believe that the government always knows best and are for some crazy reason, even happy to sacrifice their own life, or the life's of their children. Deep in their hearts, they know that warfare is the most extreme form of violence, and in most cases could be avoided, but their cognitive dissonance allows them to throw out rational thoughts and continue to believe in a falsehood. This is often true even if religion is not a factor.

For War to exist, it must be systematically sold to the masses, and the public must view it through rose colored glasses. Einstein figured this all out long ago:

"War seems to me to be a mean, contemptible thing: I would rather be hacked in pieces than take part in such an abominable business. And yet so high, in spite of everything, is my opinion of the human race that I believe this bogey would have disappeared long ago, had the sound sense of the nations not been systematically corrupted by commercial and political interests acting through the schools and the Press"

Albert Einstein


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