Tag: joshua d glawson

Groupthink Is a Threat to Justice and Reason

By Joshua D. Glawson | United States

In the world today, it seems as though there are more people who identify with one group or another. All the while, they attempt to dispel any criticisms of that particular group. We see groups with extra protections under various laws such as “hate crimes,” for example. Also, the State often grants special rights to various groups, such as “gay rights” and “women’s rights.” These protections and positive claims rights came about as a consequence of groupthink, collectivism, and variants of so-called “social justice.”

Of course, this is not to say that these groups, or others, do not deserve rights. Rather, the point of Justice is that all are equal under the law and have the same negative claims rights as others. When everyone is equal, there is no need to specify additional rights for any specific group. Thus, adding classifying terms to “rights” and “Justice” negates the purpose of both. Without any modifiers, equality under the law guarantees Justice.

Throughout history and today, there have been many situations where groups, majorities, or the judicial system itself have hurt individuals. Even when the innocent face negative impacts, there is no need to provide extra rights for them or their groups. There should, instead, be a movement to correct the imbalance and enforce equal rights. Providing extra weight for the side of the proverbial scales that someone is robbing is a dangerous idea. When you add to one, you must either take away from another or grant extra rights. Regardless, equality fades, and with it, so does Justice. When an unjust act occurs, it is brought before the law to help determine retribution for the losses or grievances as a cost to the offending party. This, of course, brings the scales of Justice back to an even keel.

What is Groupthink?

As people continue to scramble for their identity found within a group rather than by themselves, they neglect their very own person and trade it for a herd mentality. This, in turn, leads people to form collective beliefs and partake in groupthink.

‘Groupthink’ is a word that social psychologist Irving Janis coined in 1972. Dr. Janis provided eight symptoms of what he determined to be ‘groupthink’ that are as follows:

  1. Illusion of invulnerability –Creates excessive optimism that encourages taking extreme risks.
  2. Collective rationalization – Members discount warnings and do not reconsider their assumptions.
  3. Belief in inherent morality – Members believe in the rightness of their cause and therefore ignore the ethical or moral consequences of their decisions.
  4. Stereotyped views of out-groups – Negative views of “enemy” make effective responses to conflict seem unnecessary.
  5. Direct pressure on dissenters – Members are under pressure not to express arguments against any of the group’s views.
  6. Self-censorship – Members do not express doubts and deviations from the perceived group consensus.
  7. Illusion of unanimity – Members assume the majority view and judgments to be unanimous.
  8. Self-appointed ‘mindguards’ – Members protect the group and the leader from information that is problematic or contradictory to the group’s cohesiveness, view, and/or decisions.

A Destroyer of Justice

Much like Orwell’s 1984, the concept of ‘groupthink’ arouses the mind to do one of two things. First of all, it can dismiss correct claims when one already has a particular groupthink and blind faith. This idea, called Identity-Protective Cognition, is often observable across the spectrum of ideas.

Alternatively, ‘groupthink’ can spark the awareness of the reader to be self-critical and skeptical of our own place in the world as an individual, while pushing to rid him or herself of the mob mentality. As social creatures, we often rely on groupthink, as it is a lazy way of finding knowledge and belonging. However, it is a philosophical sloth, detrimental to logic, rational thinking, and Justice itself.

Groupthink robs the individual of their Reason, as it relies on subjective beliefs of elites and majorities. Groupthink also robs the individual of exploring and growing, as it limits the interactions and thought processes of what one can and cannot explore. A species of collectivism, groupthink breeds the “us versus them” mentality over truth and Justice. In turn, this acts as a conduit of human and social regression, rather than flourishing and progress.

How to Avoid Groupthink

In order to best combat ‘groupthink,’ the individual must self-assess and question him or herself. This is especially true when red flags of collectivism and groupthink arise. As the study of methodological individualism demonstrates, through and through, only the individual acts and only the individual thinks. To rob yourself of your own individualism and capacity to Reason by granting it to the sporadic oscillations of groupthink is the antithesis of what it means to be a person. Simultaneously, it obliterates the very Justice that the groupthink mob falsely claims it fights for.


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Politicon 2018 Recap

Joshua D. Glawson | United States

Politicon 2018 was another success. Held in the LA Convention Center on October 20th and 21st in Los Angeles, California, the annual “Comic-Con” of politics continues to include people from all political perspectives, discussing and debating, presenting and mingling. The largest corporate news source present was MSNBC who provided free tote bags freshly made in front of you and a huge stage in the center where news anchors spoke on contentious topics such as race and sex, among others.

The greatest blatant comical relief was nearing the comical caricaturized Trump blimp who was portrayed in the image of a whiny baby holding a phone, probably Tweeting something sour.

There were not as many vendors this year, and the LA Convention Center was probably too big and spread out to host Politicon, as opposed to the Pasadena Convention Center where Politicon has been held for two years prior. Some people were confused as to where to go and when people were speaking.

Nevertheless, Politicon was a great time this past weekend. A couple of key heated debates were that of TurningPoint USA’s (TPUSA) Charlie Kirk versus The Young Turks’ (TYT) Hasan Piker:

and a debate with TYT’s Cenk Uygur versus Fox News’ Tucker Carlson:

 

Of course, both of these so-called debates were riddled with logical fallacies, emotions, and inconsistent philosophy such as the role of government and its limitations, fear-mongering on both sides, the push for regulations of technology and people, etc. Coincidentally, another bruise in American politics was present posthumously, i.e. the Nixon Foundation, with the former US President’s lackluster limo including deflated tires and all, and a booth displaying various images of Richard Nixon.

As a side note, in response and staunch opposition to Nixon’s policies is what helped start the Libertarian Party in 1971; and the ’71’ in “71 Republic” is an homage to the founding of the Libertarian Party.

It was great seeing some familiar faces, such as former Presidential candidate Austin Petersen; former Vice President candidate, photographer, entrepreneur, and owner of the award-winning marijuana company Lit.ClubJudd Weiss; Libertarian writer and speaker – Avens O’Brien; Libertarian Party of California State Chair – Honor “Mimi” Robson; the Mises Institute; Free and Equal Elections‘ – Christina Tobin; along with many others.

I, Joshua D. Glawson, was also there representing 71 Republic, donning a costume, taking notes, and speaking with various people:

I look forward to next year’s Politicon, and I hope to see more libertarian scholars present to accurately debate those that only want to impose the State on everyone for their own constantly changing agendas and overall Statism.


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