If the person who voted for Trump or Brexit against their own interest, believes he or she did it out of their own free will, ignoring the multiple ways in which they have been manipulated, why is it so hard to believe that a woman, wearing niqab or a burka should not be able to believe in her own freedom of choice? Manipulation that works as intended is almost unnoticeable. It settles deep in our self. It becomes part of the way we perceive ourselves. It becomes us. Manipulation that can easily be spotted is pointless. We wish to make it own decisions. We need to believe in our own liberty. Religion and politics, both seem to want is to make a deliberate choice of following their course. Salvation is only granted to those who choice the path of salvation.
Manipulation needs to disguise itself as being something sensible. Something that assists us on our path forward. With this disguise it becomes tricky to distinguish between real personal urge and Reaktion to manipulation and in my youth I might have simply responded to the conundrum by proclaiming that there is just no free will and everything is the result of being manipulated. But now, I wouldn’t go as far. We need some fundamentals to base or discourse on. Some things just need to be assumed for us to create a working society. And one of these things is the assumption of a free will. Let’s just assume that. Let’s just work on the basis that free will is possible.
But this assumption leaves us stuck in some absurdity. On one hand, the assumption needs to be made to provide democracy some kind of foundation, while at the same time we come to realize how vague this concept actually is. If even those people who are being manipulated believe in their free choosing, who are we to tell them otherwise?