Framing our unconscious: How language can be used to influence your thoughts, actions and beliefs beyond what you could ever expect (consciously)
Theoretical physicist, Leonard Mlodinow appeared on the Dylan Ratigan show today to discuss his new book Subliminal: how your unconscious mind rules your behavior. Prior to introducing this guest, Dylan stated, “Revolutionary new neuroscience is proving that the way that our brain perceives so called facts in front of us dictates our emotional and overall experience in reality” Leonard Mlodinow discussed the implications current neuroscience research has on our very thoughts, actions and behaviors. Since most of what we do is essentially determined unconsciously, the author notes, the brain is using whatever data it has available to inform your conscious mind about what decisions to make. This readily available data, in the form of current topics in the news, for instance, combined with our previous experiences impacts the way we see the world, what we believe, and how we relate to others.
According to the author, the way you see the world isn’t the way the world actually is, it just so happens to be the way you feel about things based on your previous experiences, and the information you are exposed to. Therefore, being able to tap into these feelings by controlling the information that is readily available for people to consume, according to current neuroscience research, has the ability to impact our entire belief system. It just so happens that the radical right wing has spent billions of dollars in think tanks to figure out exactly how to tap into these feelings. This is why they hire people like Frank “The Liar” Luntz to craft specific language that is purposely designed to influence us on an unconscious level, so that the “frame” becomes the reality we see.
To make matters worse, the media itself, from the newspapers we read, radio shows we listen to, and news stations we watch are almost entirely corporately owned and controlled. Taken together, the influence of the “corporate media” combined with the “frames” Frank Luntz uses to manipulate us, is having a major detrimental impact on our culture. Ironically, those in the “privileged sector” who are responsible for this pure and utter immoral manipulation are successfully using framing language to also convince us that we should blame “illegal immigrants”, “welfare recipients”, and “latte sipping liberals” for the problems they are responsible for creating.
When we accept the right wing “frames”, we tend to believe that those who are born ‘privileged’ in this country actually earned their money, and so we shouldn’t “punish the rich.” We tend to believe that a healthcare system that would actually provide healthcare for all is somehow a “Government take-over of healthcare.” We tend to believe that asking people in the privileged class to contribute to our Democracy by helping to fund the very public services and resources that they utilize more than the rest of us is “class warfare.” As an alternative, we tend to believe that giving more of our tax dollars to the privileged in this country is providing “tax relief” to those we tend to believe are “job-creators.”
Belief in these frames enables the status quo of income inequality to continue without objection. The danger in not objecting is that more of us are sinking into poverty, losing our jobs, our homes, and experiencing higher levels of stress, anxiety and depression. It explains why were eating too much, smoking too much, drinking too much, and committing more crimes, all while those at the top are being showered with the wealth that we all help to create. Despite all of this evidence, and the fact that the United States is still the richest nation on the planet, the frame “we’re broke” that is being used to perpetuate all of the immoral and devastating effects of income inequality persists. Of equal importance is the fact that any attempt by progressives to reverse this disastrous trend is framed as a “Government intrusion into your life.”
This is why we all need to understand the power of language in shaping not only who we are, but who we are becoming as a nation. America works together, not in isolation from each other, where one privileged class prevails at the expense of everyone else.