The groupthink mainstream of academia, media, and politics does not want to allow opposing or contradictory voices to interfere with the accepted narrative. Here are different views of one example of the mainstream preventing cognitive dissonance — through silencing a provocative voice:
A large part of the dominant left’s ideological battle against all others, is keeping alternative thought as far away from “authoritative” public platforms as possible. So no commencement address at Brandeis for Ayaan Hirsi-Ali.
A more general look at how solitude can provide an antidote to groupthink:
Avoiding groupthink is vital for inventors and scientists, who wish to bring useful and disruptive technologies and products to the public.
A look at philosopher Thomas Nagel and his maverick view of brains and consciousness:
When avoiding the group mind, one is not looking for things to believe. Rather, one is looking for provocative ideas capable of jarring the mind into alternative levels and avenues of thought. A mind looking for something to believe is a mind ripe and ready for recruitment into the hive.
The Groupthink that pervades Putin’s Russia is reminiscent of other catastrophic groupthinks of the past. Ignore the parallels at your own peril.
Vladolf Putler Vladimir Putin is tempting fate by inflaming violent passions across East Ukraine and beyond. Given the harsh trends affecting Russia’s future, he may feel he has no choice. After the slow motion collapse from the USSR, which lasted well into the early 2000s, a neo-imperialist rabble-rouser may be the best Russia can scratch up.
The old KGB grew very adept at inserting propaganda into western media outlets and activist groups. Mr. Putin did not forget his lessons from those days. He has also learned some historical lessons from old enemies of the USSR, in his stealthy, plausibly deniable encroachments into neighboring nations. These are the days of preparation for the bloody days to come.
It has been widely remarked that in his current operation to dismember Ukraine, Putin is following Hitler’s scenario vis-à-vis Czechoslovakia to a T. It might also be said that Obama is playing the supporting role of Neville Chamberlain nearly perfectly as well. Emerging from his Munich victory, Hitler exultantly proclaimed, “My enemies are worms!” Putin might well be thinking the same thing. __Robert Zubrin
It is useful to remember how the USSR survived WWII. Even after WWII, piggy-backing on the US’ nuclear program to become an atomic power, copying and stealing other western science and technology, and mooching off its client states in Eastern Europe — Russia never really recovered from WWII. Once the Eastern European satellites started leaving, and with the Exodus of Russia’s Jews to Israel and the US, the country had a choice to modernise and diversify, or to sink into a hostile isolationism dependent upon exports of natural resources. We know which way Russia finally chose.
More: The oil curse and how Putin and other dictators spread oil wealth around to diminish criticism of their harsh limitations of personal freedoms — particularly economic and political freedoms. Dictators can finance groupthink at home and abroad (using propagandists and other useful idiots in the media) if the prices of commodities such as oil & gas stay high enough.
Good news for the world is bad news for energy dictators like Putin, and vice versa.
More: Groupthink has become common in publishing, as women have taken over more writing and editorship positions. Coincidence? Women do tend to “network.” 😉 Well, not all women. Some women are fiercely independent, and can be attacked from all sides for it. Feminists in particular — given their intrinsic groupthink nature — attack independent women worst of all.
As women have taken over more roles in broadcasting, academia, politics, etc., we do tend to find more groupthink special interest efforts at the expense of the overall common good.
Any man who has a woman in his life learns quickly how influential a woman’s friends and female relatives can be in her day to day thinking processes. Many women need approval from their female friends before doing the most basic things. But again, not all women are like that.
Most people are insecure — and for good reason. There are far more incompetent shites in the world than competent, skillfully confident people. Insecure people band together to reduce exposure and to distribute responsibility.
It is never too late to have a dangerous childhood. But it takes work, and a willingness to step away from the groupthinking crowd.