I’m not clear on where this trendy sophistry of pondering the nonexistence of free will got started, but it is in itself as threatening a tactic of mind control as I have ever seen. Upon acceptance, by means of free will, this falsehood sets in motion an ethos of continual rationalizing and blame-shifting based on a background presumption of “well, I’m not really in charge of myself anyway, so I’m not to blame.”
I should have known this author was missing the far bigger picture about the controlling of minds early on, when he began right away to focus on analogies out of fantasy fiction as his working context, rather than address the very most obvious of all real-world forms of mind-control, which are education, advertising and propaganda. Working continually and more or less interchangeably to deliver the same set of post-hypnotic suggestions, these three factors are not required to by-pass or overshadow free will in real time as its working substitute. Quite contrarily, the hypnotic tactics of indoctrination are based entirely on the existing precondition that people are very much in possession of free will, and seek not to replace it but to steer it in a given direction.
Consequently, people grow up thinking of themselves as enlightened and high-minded liberals with social consciences and concern for the planet, because at every step they have been given a choice: decide to accept the nonstop dogma instructing you who to be, or don’t. Everyone ever born had a choice as to whether to accept or reject conditioning imposed on them, and it is no evidence of free will simply not existing to observe that more people CHOOSE a path of least resistance by taking the incoming dogmas at face value but usually not very seriously. Just going through the motions for the sake of securing acceptance in one’s surroundings but never questioning the principles underlying them, IS A CHOICE. One doesn’t have to do it, but given the extreme consequences of thinking for oneself, most choose not to.
This is the bread and butter of education, advertising and propaganda: not that people must be controlled, but rather that given an extreme imbalance between the rewards for conforming and the consequences of noncompliance, people can be guided in the direction of choosing the path of conformism, for themselves. It is absolutely an exercise of free will to capitulate to dogma and thereby be not necessarily under control, but unthreatening to those whose aims for control are not bothered with the behavior of the individual at all, but with the general and manageable direction of entire civilizations.
One can turn and swim upstream any time one chooses. Not choosing to, is free will, just as much as choosing to is.
“Mind control” such as this author is over-indulging in as a topic, is as good as absent in everyday life in terms of some puppet-mastering mechanism of replacing choices with commands. Because it isn’t necessary. Controlling people’s behavior is not even about subverting their free will, but rather training it like a pet dog, into conforming to systems of reward and punishment. It is not an over-ruling of the will but a re-directing of it.
Mind control such as education, advertising and propaganda could not even possibly work if there were no such thing as free will. Their entire stock in trade is the herding of free will, not the replacing of it. People can be controlled, only when they decide to be controllable.
From where I sit, anyone stupid enough to buy into this “no such thing as free will” fad in mind-candy flavorings, has already been gotten to by some force they already decided to acquiesce to, not because they actually ARE stupid but because they decided, that the rewards might be greater if they acted as if they were.