The Scott Beauchamp affair is reminding me of this, from 1984:
A Party member...is supposed to live in a continuous frenzy of hatred of foreign enemies and internal traitors, triumph over victories, and self-abasement before the power and wisdom of the Party. The discontents produced by his bare, unsatisfying life are deliberately turned outwards and dissipated by such devices as the Two Minutes Hate, and the speculations which might possibly induce a sceptical or rebellious attitude are killed in advance by his early acquired inner discipline...called, in Newspeak, crimestop. Crimestop means the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc, and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction. Crimestop, in short, means protective stupidity.
At first it seems amazing that Orwell could have precisely described today's right-wing blurgh world sixty years ago. But the right-wing blurghs are just an outgrowth of human nature, which never changes. (In particular I'm always been struck by the consistency with which such people are unable to understand analogies.)
The operative word here is "believe," for as soon as the question is about conviction of faith the human mind will be immune to facts. The brain actively resists information that does not fit the story of the operating belief system, and Read more...