Editor’s Note: The group think mindset facilitates social control and limited thinking about our existence. In the still image above, Jonathan, the hero of dystopic film Rollerball visits the remote facility housing the world brain “Zero” where all knowledge and records were stored, while books have been destroyed and computers house only summary stubs of information about the world. However, “Zero” has lost his mind a bit, and gives only ‘vague’ answers to the scientists queries, if any answer is given at all.
August 4, 2013
If the human race survives into the future, the history of the current age will be entitled – A Love Affair with Authority. As the 21st century unfolds, the existential struggle between group worship of government and an inherent autonomy revolt against a popular culture of state obedience seems to forecast doom for civilization. By any measurable standard of success, the prospects of rescuing a society based upon human dignity and natural law is vanishing in a technocratic system of coerced compliance and punitive punishment. The limits of individual behavior are severely restricted to the requirements of the State and the willful confines of self-induced conformity.
The prison of institutional establishment restraints, based upon a designed hallucination of media newspeak and trendy pop culture gullibility, has the populace adsorbed in trivia and addicted to a governmental version of reality. The practice of “Free Will”, relegated to the acceptance of government dependency and peer pressure harmony, is common among the ranks of the conflict challenged. The motivation of individual liberty is foreign in the cultural cloning society that makes up the collectivist public consciousness.
Before placing primary blame on the usual suspects – corporatists, banksters, and politico sociopaths – understand the fact that the top down authoritarian framework operates on the tenet that public acceptance of the system is indispensable. What possible psychological disorder is in play that differentiates the current generations from their ancestors?
This inauspicious culture, dominated by the disorder of Groupthink, is explained in an informative power point presentation, from Psychologists for Social Responsibility. From the perspective of an “application of psychological knowledge and expertise in addressing today’s pressing societal challenges and in building cultures of peace with social justice” this left learning society offers the following breakdown.
What is Groupthink? Groupthink, a term coined by social psychologist Irving Janis (1972), occurs when a group makes faulty decisions because group pressures lead to a deterioration of “mental efficiency, reality testing, and moral judgment” Groups affected by groupthink ignore alternatives and tend to take irrational actions that dehumanize other groups. A group is especially vulnerable to groupthink when its members are similar in background, when the group is insulated from outside opinions, and when there are no clear rules for decision making.
Symptoms of Groupthink
Janis has documented eight symptoms of groupthink:
1. Illusion of invulnerability – Creates excessive optimism that encourages taking extreme risks.
2. Collective rationalization – Members discount warnings and do not reconsider their assumptions.
3. Belief in inherent morality – Members believe in the rightness of their cause and therefore ignore the ethical or moral consequences of their decisions.
4. Stereotyped views of out-groups – Negative views of “enemy” make effective responses to conflict seem unnecessary.
5. Direct pressure on dissenters – Members are under pressure not to express arguments against any of the group’s views.
6. Self-censorship – Doubts and deviations from the perceived group consensus are not expressed.
7. Illusion of unanimity – The majority view and judgments are assumed to be unanimous.
8. Self-appointed ‘mindguards’ – Members protect the group and the leader from information that is problematic or contradictory to the group’s cohesiveness, view, and/or decisions.
A critique to this Janis research presented by The Independent Review, in an abstract by Daniel B. Klein and Charlotta Stern – Groupthink in Academia: Majoritarian Departmental Politics and the Professional Pyramid, references the subject and offers an example from the ivory tower.
“The groupthink theorist wants to gain standing as a social theorist and therefore wants to avoid unnecessary controversy. Accordingly, groupthink theorists—at least those like Janis and Hart—have focused on episodes where, in hindsight, the judgment of failure (or error) is uncontroversial. The need for uncontroversial judgment is one reason why the scope of groupthink applications has been quite limited.
In this article, we apply groupthink theory to a setting where the presupposition of failure is anything but uncontroversial.”
“Perhaps the clearest way to illustrate how we see the problem of social-democratic groupthink in the humanities and social sciences is to perform a thought experiment. Imagine a doctoral student who unabashedly holds classical-liberal ideas. Ask yourself whether such a student would be able to find warm support in the elite departments of political science, sociology, history, and so forth. Ask yourself whether the student, no matter how solid his research, would be likely to win grants, have his articles published by the most respected journals, and succeed on the academic job market.”
Groupthink does not escape the bastion of mainstream conservative outlets. Maisie Allison editorial digital director of The American Conservative write in Beyond Fox News makes a valid point about The Rise of Post-Movement Conservatism.
“The groupthink is so extensive that several conservative publications seem to exist only to promote the work of other, indistinguishable movement outlets. (One typical headline from the Washington Free Beacon: “Fox News Cites Free Beacon Report.”) Here the mission ranges from “use journalism to advance the movement” to “war.” As one attendee at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s annual conference told Atlantic reporter Molly Ball last year, “You couldn’t get in an argument around here no matter how hard you tried.”
Whether in academia or the elite media, Groupthink is a requirement for career survival. Yet, in the View from the Mount article, Ideology Matters, But What Is It?, the essential component in the Totalitarian Collectivism fellowship eludes the cultural war merchants who want to avoid controversy.
“‘TC’ now rules! Few are willing to challenge the bureaucratic mechanism that is designed to compel insidious compliance. The operative standard is now one of dreadful despair while pious arguments are presented that society is advancing. Most people understand that they are now at the mercy of the commissar, but are unwilling to reject this abuse and defend their own rights. As long as this submissive Ideology is accepted, surrender is inevitable. Self-respect is in short supply, while self-esteem is fostered as a substitute for truth and honor.”
The public Groupthink is a product of the government school indoctrination, the media filter and the herd mentality to adopt acceptable behavior. The preordained outcome is the tyranny of the mob. Rewarding Idiots with Democratic Totalitarianism, invariably lead to Despotism.
“Ivory tower utopians march in the ranks of statist totalitarians by choice. Many seek to lead the charge. The “rank and file” that digs the ditches, usually lacks the skills to think independently for their self. Nonetheless, they are usually the first to rally to the cause of their sanitized Führer that preaches hope and change, with every loss of freedom. No one political theory has a monopoly on despotism. Yet the “peaches and cream” slogans of fairness and equality, that come from the ultra extreme wing of the Democratic Party, out does the worst of the GOP civil libertarian destroyers.
Dumb, Dumber and Dumbest is the end product of the collectivist education system that indoctrinates impressionable brains with reverence for the dependency society. Mush minds come out of this corrosive process. Voting for entitlements and the expansion of the democratic totalitarianism becomes the norm.”
Individual responsibility is avoided like the plague. People rationalize blame on every other factor other than their own inaction. The recent popularity of social network services and forums has demonstrated a frightening trend to extinguish Free Speech from the web. The impersonal selection of dislike or the “PC” Groupthink comments on content that offends the defenders of the cult of government are the true cowards.
The Jacobin Clubs of advocates for the public sector are prime candidates to bloody their hands in the coming terror meant to stamp out any earnest dissent against the old regime. Dropping the guillotine on the heads of anti-establishment traditionalists is good fun for the Groupthink statists that deceive themselves into believing they are “social justice” advocates. Censorship in thought precedes freedom of behavior in deeds. Civil liberties are dirty words in the urbanity of cultural authoritarianism. Elegance of polite discourse has given way to the suppression of bourgeois demeanor. The mere mention of anything positive about Christianity earns you a trip to the re-education internment camp for social consciousness.
This perverted cultural Groupthink is a religion of government worship. The reason “Strappado Wrack” essays are termed political torture, resides in the absurdity of the failed political process that has brought us all to the point of total tyranny. The believers that cling to a faux legitimacy of the Federal government are codependent Groupthink asylum nutcases. The Federal beast would collapse of its own weight, when the enablers of the oppression seek to heal their affliction and turn away from the dark side. The Janis #3 point – Belief in inherent morality – Members believe in the rightness of their cause and therefore ignore the ethical or moral consequences of their decisions is at the axis of the destruction in the character and courage that once existed in this country.
Government group thinkers are wholly confused or simple dishonest participants. The duty of every loyal citizen is not to the state but to the spirit of the America Revolution.