The Free Dictionary  
mailing list For webmasters
Welcome Guest Forum Search | Active Topics | Members

To swallow and follow, whether old doctrine or new propaganda, is a weakness still dominating the human mind. Options
Daemon
Posted: Saturday, February 23, 2013 12:00:00 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/7/2009
Posts: 29,903
Neurons: 88,887
Location: Inside Farlex computers
To swallow and follow, whether old doctrine or new propaganda, is a weakness still dominating the human mind.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935)
Thommy
Posted: Saturday, February 23, 2013 4:20:32 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 1/24/2010
Posts: 156
Neurons: 464
No,I cant't agree.
If this is so then only the weak human mind.
Perhaps she hints at the development in
Germany in the 30's of the past century
(I can't see a reason for her opinion in her
native America at that time)even there were
a majority not committed to the Nazi regime
but they had established a very whizzy
framework to get a grip on that majority
with unfortunately that fatal ending.
However,the old Europe,including Germany,has
learnt from its history.
That doesn't mean that no weak human mind exists
today but,fortunately,this time the majority has
a grip on that minority.
MTC
Posted: Saturday, February 23, 2013 8:50:53 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 1/18/2011
Posts: 2,780
Neurons: 8,606
Gilman, a feminist, wrote mostly about women's issues. I doubt she had the advent of Nazi Germany on her mind when she wrote the quoted line. It is more likely she was speaking about the role of women in a world dominated by male "doctrine...(and) propaganda," though I have been unable to pin down the context. Perhaps a Gillman scholar or at least someone more familiar with her entire opus will comment.

But taken out of context the quotation states a truth of human existence. Generally, people are prone to follow established doctrine and propaganda in fields from science to politics. Most people are only too happy to "swallow and follow" convention, as Gilman says. Conformity--even slavish conformity--is the norm, not the exception. Innovation, especially in something as entrenched as sex roles, is not greeted kindly. Just look at the battered history of Feminism. Not to mention Science. In that field orthodoxy has such a grip on minds brilliant and feeble that it takes a full generation or longer for new ideas like Relativity to be accepted.

Perhaps human society would be impossible without the herd instinct. An iconoclastic world in which every individual in the herd thinks original thoughts, is it really possible?

Verbatim
Posted: Saturday, February 23, 2013 2:33:03 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/3/2012
Posts: 2,159
Neurons: 246,654
Daemon wrote:
To swallow and follow, whether old doctrine or new propaganda, is a weakness still dominating the human mind.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935)


Hard to tell what inspired this thought, precisely, but it hints at Gilman's contempt for that human fault of credulity which turns rational individuals
into herds of mimicking followers. It is this fault that propels ideology, and we see it evident today as it must have been in Gilman's own time.

Group ideology, especially when instigated by dogma, demands nothing less than bondage of the individual intellect of the many to the collective passion of a few.
And it does get what it demands, with tragic effects.
DarkMoon
Posted: Saturday, February 23, 2013 7:40:12 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 11/22/2009
Posts: 16,657
Neurons: 46,684
The beginning of the quote "to swallow and follow..." makes me think of the red pill or the blue pill dilemma now.

Morpheus: I imagine that right now, you're feeling a bit like Alice. Hm? Tumbling down the rabbit hole?
Neo: You could say that.
Morpheus: I see it in your eyes. You have the look of a man who accepts what he sees because he is expecting to wake up. Ironically, that's not far from the truth. Do you believe in fate, Neo?
Neo: No.
Morpheus: Why not?
Neo: Because I don't like the idea that I'm not in control of my life.
Morpheus: I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you're here. You're here because you know something. What you know you can't explain, but you feel it. You've felt it your entire life, that there's something wrong with the world. You don't know what it is, but it's there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad. It is this feeling that has brought you to me. Do you know what I'm talking about?
Neo: The Matrix.
Morpheus: Do you want to know what it is?
Neo: Yes.
Morpheus: The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us. Even now, in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window, or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work, when you go to church, when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.
Neo: What truth?
Morpheus: That you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else, you were born into bondage, born into a prison that you cannot smell or taste or touch. A prison for your mind. Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself. [Opens Pill box and empties the contents into his hands and outstretches his hands] This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill [opens his right hand revealing a translucent blue pill], the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill [opens his left hand revealing a similarly translucent red pill], you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. [Neo reaches for the red pill] Remember: all I'm offering is the truth. Nothing more.

Sorry, just watched a rerun of The Matrix again. Anxious
MTC
Posted: Sunday, February 24, 2013 6:27:43 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 1/18/2011
Posts: 2,780
Neurons: 8,606

To Dark Moon:

It is not by accident Gilman's quotation reminds you of The Matrix. Gilman describes being isolated in a Matrix-like world in her famous short story, The Yellow Wallpaper. In the unlikely event you have not read the very short (6000 word) story already, here is a link:(http://www.scaryforkids.com/yellow-wallpaper/)
MTC
Posted: Sunday, February 24, 2013 6:32:51 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 1/18/2011
Posts: 2,780
Neurons: 8,606

Users browsing this topic
Guest


Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.