It was [midwits] in Vietnam who were most likely to turn traitor. They are the most easily led by the nose class of persons.
Stockdale spent 8 years in the infamous Hoa Lo prison, the “Hanoi Hilton,” and observed many things about the human condition.
One was the varying effects of Vietnamese communist propaganda on various types of men.
Rough, uneducated soldiers were largely immune. A sergeant from Tennessee met every attempt to break his loyalty with one word: “BULLSHIT!”
Stockdale, highly educated (having studied philosophy) was also largely immune. He could show his captors how THEY were misreading Marx …
The men who turned coat were the moderately smart, moderately educated. THESE are the class that are MOST susceptible to propaganda.
What many of us have noticed:
Flattery and negging … are the weapons used to convert the midwit into the service of Marxism. You’re stupid if you believe in the Christian sky wizard, and the ‘invisible hand’ of Capitalism. You’re dumb if you think you have freedom. But you’re smart if you understand Marxian dialectic. You’re smart if you see through to the great wisdom of Socialism. Only the educated and wise, you see, are capable of understanding the nuance. Your own insecurity is a weapon in their hand. Your desire to be perceived as intelligent is soon used against you.
Whereas the “stupid rubes” are largely immune. They point, laugh, and say “you’re full of shit.” It doesn’t matter if you call them stupid. That is something they’ve heard from city-slickers since the dawn of civilization. And you can flatter them all you like, but they are largely immune to that, too. For them, fancy words are about as useful as a windshield wiper on a goat’s ass.
The city boy with a 125 IQ who gets his 4 year degree, on the other hand, is extremely vulnerable. He’s intelligent enough to notice that he’s above the norm, but will likely always feel small in the presence of greater men. Academia can easily mold him into a good Socialist by playing the flattery/negging game. He is invested in his status as better than others, and that is the easiest lever with which to move him.
Of course, the highly intelligent, highly educated folks tend to be relatively immune to this sort of thing. If you are very secure in your intellectual capacity – and this is more a matter of knowing your limitations than anything else – the lever will not move you. Only truth will do. …