“Groupthink occurs when a group values harmony and coherence over accurate analysis and critical evaluation. It causes individual members of the group to unquestioningly follow the word of the leader and it strongly discourages any disagreement with the consensus
The problem with today’s politics, academics and general discourse is the invasion of groupthink into almost everything. Some of it intentional, such as the Russian probe of the last election and others that just take off and take over any attempt at facts to dispute it.
“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” (p. 9). 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”
On the Russian probe, we recently discovered that the collusion accusation came from the Clinton campaign shortly after they lost the election. In their book “Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign” the authors reveal how the blame was to be discussed.
“That strategy had been set within twenty-four hours of her concession speech. Mook and Podesta assembled her communications team at the Brooklyn headquarters to engineer the case that the election wasn’t entirely on the up-and-up. For a couple of hours, with Shake Shack containers littering the room, they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument.”
In this aspect of groupthink, a political talking point has been spread by the Democratic party elites and pounded into the head of anyone who will listen, until it is accepted as unalterable fact, even though to date there has been no proof. In the beginning, it is just a talking point for the party faithful to carry forward, but soon evolves into groupthink by its acceptance and adaption by the press and then social media. For many it is so accepted that regardless of what any investigation determines or what facts are brought forward, it was the Russians that caused HRC to lose the election and Trump and his people colluded in the effort.
This is a very dangerous position for any people to find themselves. In the past, it has been confined to small groups and was still dangerous. The operational commanders of the US armed forces in the late 1930’s and 40’s knew of the dangers of Japanize aggression but had determined they were incapable of a major attack on US positions, then came Pearl Harbor.
Currently groupthink has been used to argue other political points. The repeal of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and its replacement the American Health Care Act (Trumpcare) are being declared the death of millions of Americans who will be thrown out into the street and made to live without any health insurance. As the bill is still being worked out and major elements of Obamacare will remain, this is obviously blind panic. Today the President will declare the US will withdrew from the Paris Accords on the environment. Again, millions if not billions of people will die and American leadership will wain and we will become a pariah in the world. Currently the US has made great strides in environmental protection, well beyond that of most of the world. We have replaced coal with natural gas at great savings both economically and environmentally. While I feel for the coal industry it is unlikely that the end of the Paris Accords will bring back coal in any major way. It is just not economical.
Groupthink however has now made anything associated with President Trumps administration instantly odious to all of humanity. There is nothing to see here, move on, we have decided and if you do not agree you are a fascist, homophobe, racist, deplorable. In fact I agree with a lot that Trump is doing as well as disagree with a lot of other things he does. This is because I refuse to give into the easy road of groupthink. I will leave you with some words of wisdom, not mine.
We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
“If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking”
George S. Patton
So, everyone PLEASE THINK.