How much free will does anyone really have? We each live within the space of a hundred years, within a temperature range of about 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and are confined by gravity, education, social and economic class, race, gender, upbringing, the law, custom, history, and our own psychological limitations. Additionally, we are conditioned to believe we should spend about 1/4 of our short existence earning money to spend out of proportion to our needs, to worship clocks and technology of every kind, to hate and fear those who are different, to procreate without regard to the future, and to believe each one of us is special, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. As Jim Morrison said, “We chased our pleasures here, dug our treasures there. . .” Who among us can break on through to the other side?
In my novel, I had my protagonists grapple with these various forms of brainwashing, to explore if it were possible to shake loose from invisible shackles, and what alternatives might exist to wearing them. What if we refused to believe, say, and do what the “authorities”–family, government, peers, advertisers, schools, religionists, the media–tell us? Who programs you?