We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
We flatter ourselves with the idea that we make our own decisions, arrive at our own rational conclusions, etc.
If psychology has taught us about the unconscious influences that tend to control our thoughts and choices, the current social "science" of influence and persuasion addresses the external forces that control our minds. It is darn interesting, but depressing.
As a prof of Marketing, Berger surely knows how to sell us but gives us tools to see through it all too.
I tend to be a contrarian. I have used that philosophy in investing and purchases and it has paid off. I tend to doubt what I hear and question the motives of anyone speaking and writing to the public audience. I also realize that without due caution this could make me wrong more often then correct in my judgements so I take my time and do due diligence when I am interested in something. I really believe that this works for me and could work for others as well. I fully understand in advance if anyone disagrees in fact if you do I would applaud you.
Amateur psychologists flatter themselves that we don't make any of our own decisions, but that we instead merely respond passively to outside influences. Surely the answer is somewhere in between? It would be an unusual person who was 100% aware of the outside influences that could sway him from perfect justice or rationality without his immediate conscious awareness, but that doesn't make us complete robots, either. We don't have anything like that complete a comprehension of free will and determinism.