Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Horror of Group Think: My Strength and Blind Spot


For good and ill I'm animated by a visceral horror of 'group think,' which I find oppressive and nearly always void of clear thinking. Discoveries quickly turn into cant; e.g., the latest spread of the possibly useful term "intersectionality," which in the hands of rhetorical bomb throwers and well-meaning hangers-on is racially reactionary. Before that, there was "multiculturalism," which sounded good until it was almost instantaneously turned into a lefty version of 'alternative facts' and an excuse for not learning how to do research. Before that, there was Germany, enthralled to Hitler.
Much of the time, my revulsion of the herd's bleating serves me well; but many other times, it does not. A good analytical tool for parsing some of my opinions is my antipathy to group think; rarely is that enough to understand what may seem to be the contrariness of my view, but if you start there, you'll have a good idea of what I'm reacting to, e.g., my defense of the upcoming HBO show, CONFEDERATE, which is in part animated by my distrust of the instantaneous, almost joyfully-shared group rage against it; or more recently, my unwillingness to join the FB lynch mob calling for the head of Joel Osteen, who I believe really does deserve severe criticism for the long con perpetrated by 'Abundance' gospel (I'm forgetting what it's actually called), but who didn't appear to have done anything wrong during Hurricane Harvey. 
If I don't call out 'group think' on the right of the cultural and political spectrum as often it's because I almost never take the right seriously; I usually don't care what they're saying within their own bubble. Though, of course, those of us to the left could stand to listen better to the more thoughtful and iconoclastic--when not morally vile--voices on the right.

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