Monday, September 28, 2009

Where Organizations Go To Die

Why does a simple commment, based on what can be found in Bastiat's essay, What is seen and not seen, return to me what amounts to little more than the impugnation of my character? David French cribbed a few notes from the military, who are apparently quite aware of the dangers of groupthink:

Illusion of Invulnerability: Members ignore obvious danger, take extreme risk, and are overly optimistic.
Collective Rationalization: Members discredit and explain away warnings contrary to group thinking.
Illusion of Morality: Members believe their decisions are morally correct, ignoring the ethical consequences of their decisions.
Excessive Stereotyping: The group constructs negative sterotypes of rivals outside the group.
Pressure for Conformity: Members pressure any in the group who express arguments against the group's stereotypes, illusions, or commitments, viewing such opposition as disloyalty.
Self-Censorship: Members withhold their dissenting views and counter-arguments.
Illusion of Unanimity: Members perceive falsely that everyone agrees with the group's decision; silence is seen as consent.
Mindguards: Some members appoint themselves to the role of protecting the group from adverse information that might threaten group complacency.

It's truly sad to see all eight trotted out for what amounts to a quibble over an example. When the trouble comes, I wonder if anyone will be able to see it for what it is. I was worried by Iceland. The crowds knew something was wrong but it looked like the propaganda worked so well that even though they were willing to throw the bastards out, their slogans made it sound like they'd just put new socialists in. So, apparently, I can't expect anyone, not even my friends to get it, even after great big obvious examples blow up in their face. Oh, the joy.

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