Totalitarianism Warning ... Intelligent & Highly Educated are Vulnerable

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#1

Desmet got widespread attention from both mainstream and alternative media for associating public reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic with mass formation (mass psychosis), arguing that most people accepted mitigation measures issued by governments without question. And would denounce those who were critical of such measures.

With a background in statistics, Desmet studied the numbers that were presented by government and media outlets. He noticed that most of the people uncritically accepted numbers and information, even though they were often “blatantly wrong”, this phenomenon he fears has formed a mass psychology perspective.

Desmet argued that prior to the pandemic society had become individualistic and that there was a lot of “free floating” fear and discontent. This was an ideal breeding ground for Mass formation (mass psychosis).

When the Covid crisis arrived, this object of fear (“the virus”) was pointed out by governments and the media. With the intense response of mask mandates, vaccinations and social distancing it was a rallying strategy for dealing with this object of fear.

Desmet suggests that a “new social bond” was established among the people to wage “war on COVID”. This battle fulfilled their needs for meaningfulness and connection. As a result, the virus became the common enemy of both sides. Those who joined in support and those that challenged the war on COVID.

On both sides now, according to Desmet, people who ask critical question about the virus either pro or con, pose a threat to the continuity of this new world social bond.Desmet says that this new mass formation has had a huge impact on individual’s cognitive functioning; he fears a rise among the masses toward totalitarianism, on both sides.

Despite mounting information and arguments on both sides that are utterly absurd, he argues that this theory is the only explanation as to why, even highly intelligent people on both sides refuse to challenge their own narrative.


#2

Where I see this most often is over time. People within the “mass formation” who use the group to fulfill their sense of meaning and human connection are often willing to completely go against their basic morality and ideals when the group does. He terms this “self sacrifice”. The cliche of this is joining a “Cult”.

By far the biggest way to innoculate onself against this is to have social and business connections with people you don’t actually agree with, lol.
According to his third criteria, if people are tolerant of views they see as crazy - they cannot be in psychosis.
This doesn’t mean not to challenge the views. I think that’s what got us into this mess - 30 years of not challenging crazy views at the Christmas Dinner table. What it means is not having har feelings to cutting communications altogether because of opposing views.
Accepting that conflicting views do exist and are healthy for society goes a long way in keeping us out of the mas formation and thus out of mass psychosis.
It’s not arguing that should be shut down, but attempts to shut off arguments that need to be stopped.
When people refer to violent solutions, this is a sign that they are near their own personal psychotic cliff. They are so unwilling to accept that a different view is also valid that they are ready to threaten their own lives and their own freedom to shut down those opposing views - and invent any reason for it.


#3

Bret Weinstein has an interesting story of his own regarding the woke mob at Evergreen State College. As a Liberal Professor he was force fed a “red-pill” moment. He is a middle of the road voice of sanity among the insanity.

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/evergreen-professor-at-center-of-protests-resigns-college-will-pay-500000/


#4

Bret’s brother Eric Weinstein is also a voice of sanity I absolutely admire. I strongly recommend listening to his critiques of Trump from a Liberal intellectual perspective.

Contrast that with Victor Davis Hanson critique below. Understanding these two brilliant intellectual critiques present an Integral dichotomy. It helps pull both sides out of the insanity … I wish these perspectives were better represented among the conversations here.

I wish these were mandatory watching for Americans on both sides.


#5

Trump is an interesting thing.

Myself, like most “independents” didn’t really care one way or another prior to 2015.
I mostly heard of him through Kiyosaki (Author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad) and pror to 2015 I kind of place Trump and Kiyosaki in the same basic category.

Both Trump and Kiyosaki were fine doing what they were doing - getting rich. That’s the capitalist system at work. To the degree they spoke about getting rich, they made sense when they talked and when I wanted to hear about how to get rich their way, I’d read them or listen to them.

But from the very beginning I didn’t need anyone to tell me how I should think about Trump. In the beginning I’d sit through most of his speeches and hear him first hand. The deeper he got into politics, the deeper Trump fell off the sanity cliff and the less his speeches made sense.

As far as Trump is concerend, I don’t actually need anyone on the left or the right to demonize or angelicize Trump. Any day of the week I can actually listen to one of his speeches from beginning to end - if I want to waste a few hours.

Ultimately we have had trump in the public eye for over 7 years. At this point everyone should have enough data to decide for themeselvs what he is all about.


#6

@raybennett I agree 100% with your comment. For the record I am not interested in Trump either.

In the context of this topic however he is the pivotal connection to the “mass formation” or psychosis on both sides of the insanity. The crazy left derangement illustrated by Sam Harris and his comments and the crazy right illustrated by the Qanon conspiracy phenomena.

These devotees only see their side of the argument and are extremely emotionally involved. They categorize everyone into an enemy or an ally. For the vast majority of Americans they likely lean one way or another while they rationally understand the crazy politics at play in the gutter of politics.

Both Eric Weinstein (L) and Victor Davis Hanson (R ) provide a sane articulate explanation that is presented more from the side-lines as rational and reasonable commentary. I have family and friends on both sides who will not watch or even listen the opposing point of view without distress and challenge.

It’s an intense civil war because neither side is retreating and there are very few middle-ground honest sources of information, it’s all propaganda to the devotees.

I’ve be been reading this guys book and strongly recommend it. ~ Peace :slight_smile:


#7

@excecutive I guess since we both agree on the first part, what do you see as the “next steps”?
I think the individuals in these groups have deep shadows they refuse to look at in themselves and they can always go from topic to topic and ride the next media spin all the while completely ignoring any negative effects they are causing to society.

For a while I thought it would die off with the boomers and their self absorbed outlook of “me, me it’s a about me”.
But I also see this happening in younger generations. Memes are great ways to passive aggressively “say but not say” things in a single frame. They are forming “third and fourth” choices that are no better than the original two extremes.

I’d say it takes about 72 hours of willing participation for a person to experience a “breakthrough” in whatever area. This can either be intensive weekends or spaced out over a few years of once a week meetings.
The problem is that it won’t work to say " pay $1000 for this workshop and find out you are wrong about everything, lol. There has to be a different goal they will pay for and willingly participe in and this other thing slipped in on the side.


#8

I’d say YES, that’s it! … But like you I’d be looking in the mirror. The question remains how do we reach these idiots with our brilliance?

Maybe your comment will do exactly that? ~ Peace :slight_smile:


#9

I think there has to be respect for the path a person is on, and quite often those paths lead to self destruction.

Like an addict - they often have to hit rock bottom first before they are willing to recognize they need help.
And often first the enablers have to be burnt bad before they stop enabling the addictive behavior - and then the addict can hit rock bottom and then start to realize.
I see a short loop where the Trump train comes to a crashing halt.
The left is on a longer loop that cold go on for a few generations.

The reason I see the Trump side coming to a crashing halt is they are openly advocating violent action as well as illegal activity and unless Trump is electe we will see hundreds or even thousands more go to jail in the next 5 years or so. If he is elected then in a decade or so the National Government will not be able to function.
The reason the Left will take decades to hit rock bottom is because there isn’t much marching in the streets or other violent acts. BLM had a flare up in 2020 but not much since then. Again - we’d see a flare up only if Trump is elected and also only after police departments believed they were immune to any federal oversight or FBI investigations. So potentially two years into a Trump administration we’d see mass protests and violence again. But that’s only a very small part of the left. Mostly the left are working professionals who want to the government to pass laws but also want to keep their own hands clean. They generally write letters more than they march in the streets.


#10

I completely agree … I don’t care about the arguments from either side of the insanity. I think people on both sides are hitting rock bottom as this topic discussion hopefully exposed.

Now without @fermentedagave’s wit and contributions the sword fights of ideological perspectives hopefully will die down. I would like to encourage discussions that honestly assimilate and expose the craziness on both sides of the chaos.

From the above information both Eric Weinstein and Victor Davis Hanson have done that with poise, dignity and rational explanations. For certain @corey-devos sees the complete Integral picture that unites these two contrasted voices into a bigger wholistic perception. I’d like to see these types of conversations happening here more often.

Maybe now we can focus our dialogs from a higher more Integral mind-set without the emotional reflective politics polluting things? I am hoping that together we can pull the conversations up a notch or two to spiritually nurture ourselves and everyone else who engages here. ~ Peace :slight_smile:


#11

What Would it Mean to You … if What You Believed Wasn’t True?

Do our minds have effective immune systems to protect us from bad beliefs?
How do we scan out bad ideas to inoculate ourselves from misinformation and/or disinformation?

Author Andy Norman argues for a new Socratic method to challenge ourselves first. It starts with critical thinking; but being critical of our own thinking? Is that even possible? How do we apply the best practices of critical thinking on ourselves? We have to dare to challenge our own thinking to build mental immunities against our own bad ideas.

If we are not challenging our own ideas we become hyper allergic and vulnerable. We can start to reject information because of where it comes from. Even genuine true information because it comes from a source we deem as untrustworthy. (FOX NEWS … CNN … MSNBC … Joe Rogan, etc.)

A healthy uninfected mind won’t only look upstream for evidence of true beliefs, but will also care about down stream causal consequences of those beliefs. Staying open to critically analyze all points of view with healthy consistency and integrity to ones own cognitive capacity, protects the mind from corruption bias.

Immigration in the news as an example … this is a cognitive contagion that spreads to perpetuate the infected on both sides. Many are quickly hijacked by the demagogues who peddle in fear. Triggering over reactions in the minds of otherwise intelligent, rational people on both sides.

Are we committed to only hearing arguments that favor our side? I know I am just as vulnerable as Andy admits he is to this threat. Agreeing to be agreeable has to be built on yielding to the better more inclusive ideas that break the biased contagions on both sides.

I hope we can ALL champion such inclusive healthy ideas in our dialogs on this platform?

~ Peace :slight_smile:


#12

I think this is where it becomes clear that we can’t “skip” Green in the Integral model. Accepting relativism is a step along the path toward realizing that everything that we think we know is only what we have made up and deceive ourselves to be true.

A tree is only a tree because that is the function we assign it and that is what it is convenient for us to believe. We want to build a chair or a table out of it and we don’t want to believe anything other than it is useful for those purposes. So we invent in our minds what a tree is. But there are also other endless possibilities for a tree that we don’t want to recognize because it doesn’t fit into what we want. Instead of “tree” we can substitute anything else. God, morality, cockroaches, and so on and so forth.

There isn’t any absolute truth. A person’s truth is only true within their own mind.

At the same time, it is necessary to accept the invented truths as necessary for our physical lives. We have to understand that an apple tree isn’t just an apple tree, but also at the same time it is and we have to eat its fruit to live. That’s the original sin - eating an apple and making up that we have to eat to exist, so we were “cast out” of that paradise of the garden. Or instead did we choose to leave of our own free will and made conscious choices to inhabit this physical body? It’s all very muddled because the theologies passed through the mouths of cave men for millennia and then later nomads before being written down.

In the ultimate big picture - or at least the biggest picture the human mind can comprehend - we are nothing and we don’t actually exist except in our own delusions about ourselves.
The normal reaction of the mind to this state of knowing is fear, like falling into a bottomless abyss. Most people can’t face it, but that is our most natural state.


#14

double post deleted …


#15

Logical arguments have their place but logic completely breaks down and is useless after a certain point when examining “truth”.

Yes, in order to pass a certain level of progress it is absolutely necessary to understand that something can be absolutely true and also absolutely untrue at the same time.

If you don’t understand the concept, that’s fine. Maybe in your next lifetime.


#16

My Spiritual twist or tweak on this …

Maybe a step along on a path?
Toward realizing everything we know is what we have chosen to believe?
Including deceiving ourselves … if that’s your chosen belief.

With love and wink ~ Peace :slight_smile:


#17

Well, yes - it can only be a deception. It is absolutely impossible that our physical brain can comprehend all the vastness of creation. That’s just a “fact” - science. We know at our current level we cannot understand everything. Maybe someday? Well, then we are going into faith and beliefs.

So yes, it’s clear that at some point we deceive ourselves. At some levels this is scientifically proven but at also another level scientists know that even their models are based on approximations and assumptions and models and are not actually “reality”.


#18

@raybennett I’d invite you to share some of the scientific data that confirms the, “absolutely impossible” … “just a fact” ” - science “truth” you speak of?

Yes, it’s clear that some people choose to deceive … I hope that’s not happening here.


#19

Ok - off the top of my head …
Who in here can explain what an imaginary number is?
What does infinity look like? Not a fractal, but actual infinity
What does an atom actually look like? Not a model in a textbook we use to represent an atom, but what does it really look like?
Is the Universe in a cycle of big bangs, or has there only been one?
How many Universes are there now? How many have there been?
What happens when you pass through the center of a black hole?
If time slows when we approach the speed of light - what happens when something exceeds the speed of light?
Is time travel possible?
What is life?
Why do people who have near death experiences have experiences similar to people who take psychedelics?
What is consciousness?

There are hundreds of these topics that science accepts is either completely outside their realm or science only knows part of the picture.