From the book by Andrey Sokolov and Tatiana Sokolova "The world and humans for students and their parents".
Of course, we will not talk about manipulators here - the long and flexible arms of robots that assemble cars and televisions. We will not talk about magicians who distract the viewer with an elegant gesture, manipulate the viewer's attention in order to show focus, surprise and delight.
We will talk about manipulations, the purpose of which is power, destruction, deception, subordination of one person to another.
What dangerous manipulations can occur in our life?
For example, propaganda. This is a way to manipulate consciousness and attitude, views and emotions, and, finally, the behavior of many people at once.
Propaganda is used by many people had by the powers to achieve their goals.
The most primitive and ancient manipulation is the creation of the image of the enemy, incitement to hatred of others.
For example, a certain ruler of a certain tribe could announce to his relatives that he knew for certain that an evil tribe had settled in the neighboring forest, plotting to kill all “our” children, eat all “our” supplies and take “all our” women.
If the ruler was convincing and artistic enough, then he kindled in his fellow tribesmen a great desire to destroy another tribe.
Of course, this other tribe did not even know what, in the opinion of the foreign leader, they were hatching insidious plans. This other tribe lived quietly in the neighboring forest, did not touch anyone and did not gather. But the neighbors, enraged by the leader, were already rushing to "take revenge" and, as a result, destroyed the peaceful tribe, to please the wishes of their leader.
This was the case in antiquity. And so it was less than 100 years ago. These were the techniques used by the Nazis in Germany to turn Germans against Jews and Roma. And against other nations too.
These are the methods used by the Black Hundreds, starting Jewish pogroms, this is how priests inspired Christians to crusades against Muslims, this is how Catholic priests turned their flock against the Huguenots, this is how the Bolsheviks turned the poor against wealthy peasants and factory owners, this is how Mao and Pol Pot set up peasants of their country against scientists.
The text of the false accusations could change, but the result remained unchanged. Blindly believing the leader, people went and killed other, innocent people.
And again we will have to return to Immanuel Kant, who believed that it is immoral to see another person as a means. A person can only be a target.
After all, what happened in reality when the leader called on his tribe to attack the neighbors? He urged his fellow tribesmen to become the means by which he would destroy other people. And the goal of this leader was not people and their safety, but power and wealth.
The same situation arises when manipulating people. In this case, there can also be an appeal to negative emotions - anger and hatred. But another tactic is often used - "beat on pity". Pseudo-beggars and gypsies resort to it, trying to deceive a person and take his money. Parents resort to it when they say that they should be pitied or "we did so much for you." Children also use it. And marriage partners. And the authorities of states.
And sometimes it is manipulation in order to get something with the help of another person, i.e. use the other as a means to an end. And sometimes this is true and the person needs to be pitied and helped. And this is where analysis is important. After all, if you receive the signal "give me this and that" because I am unhappy, then it is probably a matter of manipulation - a person uses you as a means to obtain a certain resource. But if a person asks you for advice, tries to sort out the problem with you, if his goal is your opinion or what you decide, then perhaps we are talking about help. Indeed, in this case, the goal is you, and not any specific resource that you possess.
Another sign of manipulation is immediacy, fast. The manipulator demands an immediate response from you, leaving you no time to think. After all, a manipulator affects emotions. Emotions are an older way of reacting. Emotions flare up before thinking, before consciousness, before thought. Emotion can lead to an act that you later regret.
The manipulator cannot control your thinking - sooner or later the brain will recognize the lie, no matter how the manipulator hides it. But the manipulator can manipulate your emotion by bypassing consciousness. So a loud sound makes you flinch first and only then think. So the call "hit" or "give", denounced in a cunning emotional form, allows the manipulator to get an action from you before you have time to understand and analyze something.
So, give your brain some time. Move away from the manipulator, turn off the TV, look out the window. Ask yourself a question - what if everything is not what you are told. Analyze and make the right decision.
How to recognize manipulation?
If you feel that someone’s story is causing you a surge of emotion - hate or pity, the urge to immediately grab your wallet, or jump into a fight - breathe out. And then one more time. And further. And now, having slightly separated thinking from emotions, analyze what you heard, saw, learned.
You may have been manipulated. In any given situation, what appears to be true may be manipulation, but it may indeed be true. This is why your brain developed and trained to learn to distinguish one from the other.
Another feature of manipulation is that the manipulator will never strive for universal friendship and cooperation. The principle of a fair contract is not its principle. The manipulator's goal is always to get something for himself. Received by trickery, not through honest voluntary exchange. Exceptions to this rule are extremely rare. After all, the purpose of the manipulator is to divide people, to deprive people of will, resources, strength, and thus gain power over them.
Manipulation is a powerful, fearsome and bloody weapon.
But each person is quite capable of protecting his head from the influence of a manipulator.
And this is a very simple remedy. It's called doubt.
Be like scientists. They don't take anything for granted. They recheck everyone, look for different sources of information, set up their own experiments, go and find out if this is really the case, or someone is trying to deceive them.