People’s minds can go wrong for a number of reasons – most of them completely unknown to us, and likely to remain that way. This is because our minds depend on our brains (in some strange way) – that are so complicated they will never be completely understood. We have made some progress in understanding them – we know certain regions do certain things. But how these regions work together, we do not know.
Our group interactions – that depend on our minds, that depend on our brains – will never be completely understood either. And we have to resort to some elaborate guesswork here – that every advertiser and every politician works at, full time.
They all know that people can be fooled easily. And they work hard at fooling them. And they work even harder at making people more and more foolish. The net result is that people are getting more foolish all the time.
Let me use an example. My Sister was part of the Women’s March on Washington. She felt she had to do it – and when it was over, she felt satisfied she had done it. That it had accomplished little, did not even cross her mind. What was going on there?
We have always known most of our motivations are unconscious – but we persist in believing just the opposite – that we are rational creatures, and consciously rational creatures. This is clearly an illusion.
Anyone who wants to influence other people has to appeal to their unconscious motivations.
Let me use another example. Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism – had the uncanny ability to attract followers – despite his many failings. They were able to overlook them, and do whatever he wanted them to do. Even giving him their daughters in polygamous marriages.
What was going on in their minds? Did they even have minds?
They had minds, but defective minds – that made them look for a leader they could follow. A common defect that seems to be built-in to the human mind.
Another defect is its instability.
The best example here was the French Revolution – that was very idealistic, but became unstable – and destructive.