I have always been interested in the problem of irreconcilability of views and opinions of people. Why do people form political parties? Why the views of one group are reactionary, and the other’s - radical? What are the underlying sources which form our opinions and beliefs? Why the majority of people - bad at sorting out the most basic problems of mathematics or physics, almost rejecting the following of the logic - are absolutely confident in the "correctness" of their political beliefs or moral attitudes, which, in principle, are not subject to verification or rationalization?
I have been working for 55 years, engaged in experimental and theoretical physics, I have written 30 monographs and many hundreds of scientific papers. Every day I had the opportunity to make sure that it is so difficult to reach a deeper understanding of the relatively simple physical problems.
In order to write only one book, it is necessary to study the problem for years, read thousands of scientific sources, but even then there is no guarantee of the correctness or of the absolute accuracy of the declared results. And it's about relatively simple device problems or basic properties of substances.
And here we speak about complicated and confusing world problems - and absolute confidence in the correctness of one’s own opinion, the absence of doubts, the rejection of alternatives, other possible choices, the other’s thoughts, and often - hatred or intolerance towards the views of the opponent.
Once Anna Akhmatova with her inherent openness and candor wrote a brilliant line: "If you only knew from what rubbish the verses grow, without shame
". So, if the great poet's poems grow out of the litter, then from what (sorry for badmouthing) crap, are born the opinions of the majority living creatures, proudly calling themselves Homo Sapiens? This question gives rise to a series of others: What is the "public opinion
" and how does it arise?
What kind of thought processes are taking place in the mind of every member of society, and how are they influenced by public opinion? Should I trust the opinion of the majority or give preference to the experts, specialists, single geniouses? Who can better express the deep interests of the people - legitimate "spokesmen of public opinion
" or outcast dissidents?
Feeling rhetorical character of all these issues, I would venture, based on my own life experience, to say that being neophiles, nonconformist and dissident, long before studying of the problem of the public opinion’s formation, I was aware of how much dirt and filth it consists of. I was aware of the fact that the key role in its formation is played by such factors as people becoming zombie under the influence of power, of the church, of the media, of propaganda, of censorship, of pseudo-morality, and - even more – by the lowest level of competence of the population.
According to the famous researchers of mass consciousness, a mass-man gives his opinion, almost without knowing anything about the subject, and without possessing adequate scientific means of its analysis.
More or less competent opinion can only be formed by the people - experts, analysts, researchers, experts, surveyors - while the vast majority of the population has no opinion, because it lives only according to what they will say on TV.
As stated by Friedrich Dürrenmatt
, all collective grows, but its spirit is reduced. And again: "The mass is impulsive, excitable and changeable. It is led almost exclusively by the unconscious
In totalitarian countries, public opinion is prepared as beef or meatballs, teaching children from the school years to read the TV, to run in the gas masks with the sticks to repel nuclear attacks. Worse still, the vast majority of the population of these countries are absolutely sure that only their opinion has a right to exist, and the dissidents have to be done away with.S. Hayakawa
: "If in every given situation you see only what is seen by the others, then you are a mass-person
". The mass "social consciousness
" inherently feel as "the whole world feels", it is satisfied by the unity and identity with the opinions of the others. As a result, it is not so important to have your own freedom of opinion, it is important to have freedom to have others’ opinion.
Totalitarianism does not simply lead to massification phenomena- it turns people into insects or sprats: the life and opinions of the individual are of no importance. And on the top no one opinion pays attention to the opinion of the little fish. As a result, people are degrading, society is degenerating. Society becomes to be dull, violence begins to dominate and reign in it as well as indifference to justice and truth. Cynical contempt for the thoughts and human dignity is ruling in such a society.
The Chief editor of the online portal "Daily Journal
" Alexander Golts
testifies to the fact: "In the course of public opinion polls, “dear Russians” recognized: “Yes, we know that the Kremlin tramples on international law, but we still welcome it”. The sad truth is that Putin and Kiselev are not only the manipulators, they are also exponents of the most outdated and violent, the most obscurantist perceptions of their fellow citizens.
In recent years, the Russian government in conjunction with the corrupted "leaders of public opinion
" feeds the nation with chauvinistic and xenophobic rhetoric, thus forming -step by step – not public opinion, but mass insanity.
Putin does not believe in freedom and democracy, in the existence of alternatives and opportunities: he thinks that everything can be bought and sold - journalists, opinions, whole state. He recreates an outdated violent system (very much the same as the old Soviet one), in which public opinion means only one point of view, coming from the leader’s lips. And if the facts and actual events are contrary to the ideology of the "Russian world
", then it should be punished "with the utmost rigor of the law
Russian "public opinion" has nothing more to put on the table of world politics and the world of thought. The Russians have only two last trumps left: "but we produce the rockets
", "Our armor is strong and our tanks are fast