To some extent, we are all capable of becoming slaves to the ideologies of others. But what if the world's elite could successfully infiltrate our educational system and other sources of information, and use their seemingly unlimited power and influence to indoctrinate us to their ideological agendas? Would we be savvy enough to recognize and fight against this thinly veiled form of brainwashing?
That's just one of the tantalizing questions set forth by the new documentary titled Hidden Influence: The Rise of Collectivism, an intriguing expose on the perils of conformity, the means by which we are taught to view the world through the prism of propaganda, and the importance of reclaiming individual thought and identity.
According to the film, powerful social influencers have mastered the art of spreading their ideologies through our politics, economic systems, and various forms of media. Inundated with these manufactured realities, the public too often fails to consider the true source of the information they're being fed, and they allow themselves to become mere pawns in a series of skillfully manipulative games. These tactics are nothing new. In fact, they were revealed to the public as early as 1928, when Edward Bernays, long considered the father of public relations, published a book titled Propaganda. In it, Bernays expressed the reality that, "we are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of."
Perhaps the most insidious of these tactics involves the global education system, an arena by which the majority can be controlled into accepting revolutionary and radical ideologies. The film accuses the world's major conglomerates of pushing their economic and social agendas by infiltrating schools and universities under the protective cloak of philanthropic foundations. These charges are supported by one of the film's most impressive interview subjects, Charlotte Iserbyt, a former senior policy advisor for the United States Department of Education.
Throughout history, we can point to various instances when the spread of social ideologies has inspired catastrophic and demoralizing results. By exposing the machinery responsible for many of these movements, Hidden Influence: The Rise of Collectivism provides the blueprint for a more informed public and a demand for increased transparency.