Americans have been stuck in a terrible rut these past few years and it is beginning to hurt. The main tactic of the political elites is to convince people to stop thinking and to just accept groupthink. 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 probe of Russian interference of elections 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, 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.”
America has been divided into camps that look for others to tell them what to think and then act on those instructions as if they came down from above. The problem is that what is presented to the unthinking as fact is usually just plan wrong. Vaccines do not cause autism. Trump did not collude with the Russians. Covid-19 was not invented to train the masses to obey government orders. This has come down to whatever one side says the other must take the opposite position.
This has come down today for people trying to understand the Ukraine crisis. If someone on the right sees the New York Times of CNN calling Putin evil, they reactively say Biden is the one who caused the war. On the other side if FOX news says it the left must react and call it a lie, whatever “it” is.
In the coming weeks I will examine this problem and try to bring some back to the point of intelligent discussion. All I have ever asked of anyone is to PLEASEThink before they react.