Social proof is so powerful it’s really what keeps us in line. Orwell called it groupthink.
Sorry, I totally didn’t fully qualify what I meant with that last sentence. I was referring to the ‘in/out’ fear that comes into play when for instance someone brings up a non-mainstream opinion, such as the nuke hoax, or the impossibility of space travel, or whatever. Social norms, programmed by the propaganda, use people’s existing social mechanisms to label ‘outsiders’ as such. The ‘outsider’ then quite often drops his avenue of being different, as there is a warning light going on in his subconscious indicating that he will have no friends if he keeps this behaviour up.
This is the crux of the cognitive dissonance that many people suffer from – their intelligence tells them one thing, but their amygdala tells them under no circumstances to push it, OK? All the propaganda is designed to make sure even doubters understand what they are meant to be thinking, so that when under pressure, they can conform easily and stop worrying about being alone.