Here is a small excerpt from one chapter of a book by Robert Jay Lifton.
The language of the totalist environment is characterized by the thought-terminating cliché. The most far-reaching and complex of human problems are compressed into brief, highly reductive, definitive-sounding phrases, easily memorized and easily expressed. These become the start and finish of any ideological analysis. In [Chinese Communist] thought reform, for instance, the phrase “bourgeois mentality” is used to encompass and critically dismiss ordinarily troublesome concerns like the quest for individual expression, the exploration of alternative ideas, and the search for perspective and balance in political judgments.
[I]n addition to their function as interpretive shortcuts, these cliches become what Richard Weaver has called “ultimate terms”: either “god terms,” representative of ultimate good; or “devil terms,” representative of ultimate evil. In [Chinese Communist] thought reform, “progress,” “progressive,” “liberation,” “proletarian standpoints” and “the dialectic of history” fall into the former category; “capitalist,” “imperialist,” “exploiting classes,” and “bourgeois” (mentality, liberalism, morality, superstition, greed) of course fall into the latter.
Totalist language then, is repetitiously centered on all-encompassing jargon, prematurely abstract, highly categorical, relentlessly judging, and to anyone but its most devoted advocate, deadly dull: in Lionel Trilling’s phrase, “the language of nonthought.”
If you read the whole chapter you get a very good idea of why I call Reeducation that. People keep trying to explain Reeducation theory to me. They say it is not what I think it is. Slogans, for instance, they say are helpful and freeing. Yes, I suppose so, if one wishes to be freed from thought.
I could of course qualify this, as I well understand why people attend some forms of Reeducation. Nevertheless, for purposes of the wider world I do insist that my point stands.