"I know my enemies, they're the teachers who taught me to fight me" - Rage Against The Machine

Don't get brainwashed

Me ranting about how schools brainwash people.
by SoulRiser

(This was written with government schools in mind. Although it might apply pretty well to any school, come to think of it... even private schools, only in a slightly different way.)

A long time ago, before schools were compulsory, education was seen as an opportunity only the lucky people could have. Nowadays everyone has to go to school, and now it's basically brainwashing. Think about it: you are told to obey the Authority without any complaints, you are to change yourself to be the way they want you to be, you are to learn and memorize everything they tell you. Students who question the Authority and would rather think for themselves are seen as trouble-makers, and the students who blindly obey the Authority, no matter how stupid the rules, are rewarded. So basically schools indirectly teach you to let others higher than you think for you and make your decisions. Most students probably don't see it. They probably don't care. That's why the students who do see it feel so helpless, because there are so few of them who actually want to change things.

A teacher at my school once said, she was explaining Biology work to someone, and that student kept asking her why it works that way, and how they found out, stuff like that. She told us how frustrated it made her that he couldn't accept it as fact and just study (memorize) it that way. He was showing actual interest in the work, and she would have nothing of it!

Don't believe everything you are told. The more you conform to the way they want you to be, the more control they have over you. Think for yourself, decide on what you believe, and question everything the education system says. Don't ever give up, don't ever let anyone convince you that they know better than you what you need in life, because as soon as you give up and agree with them (or even just pretend to go along with it), they have control over you. If you just pretend to go along with it, then if you protest to something they tell you to do, they will see you as unsure of yourself, as if you can't make up your mind what you believe and would be better off to let them think for you. Make up your mind now, and stick with it.

Update: 15 May 2009

So, it's been more than 10 years since I wrote this, and I figured it'd be a good idea to see if I still agree with everything I said. If I had to rewrite this now, I wouldn't use the word "brainwash", because it sounds too cliche... but the general idea is still the same. Think for yourself, no matter what anyone says. Also, ignore the last bit I said about "making up your mind now and sticking with it"... just in case you get it wrong the first time, it's good to allow yourself to change your mind later. People get things wrong all the time, that's how you learn. Nevermind people who would think of you as unsure of yourself, overly judgemental people aren't really worth worrying about anyway. Just let them freak out or do whatever. They probably mean well, they're just scared of the unknown.

Written by: SoulRiser
14 March 1999

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