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recovering from herd mentality

excuse me excuse meThe three quotations below give much insight to the comfort collectivism offers. They also help explain why it is so difficult to pry someone out of group-think and the embrace of whatever community they have wrapped around their life.

The quotes brought to my mind the description a friend shared with me of his metamorphosis in middle age from the religion he was born to. In my lifetime I have repeatedly seen his story and variations at all levels of philosophical interrogation from never having questioned to vehement repudiation. It applies to all lifestyles that are accepted as a complete package defined by a strong cadre at the top and unquestioning faith in their rules for living.

Thoughtfully challenging everything is not for the timid. Finding and walking your own path, or blazing a new trail must by definition be a lonely and, if you have no experience with it, frightening experience.

I used to think it was crucial to a rewarding life; to being a complete person. I worked hard at explaining a libertarian, free existence to everyone I could reach. I now understand it can be too much for average people to handle. The middle, the mass, the group is cohesive for strong, natural reasons. Survival of the species needs a lot of that mentality to have genetically diverse continuity.

The fight now that mass media equates to mass propaganda and mass hypnosis is to keep the herd from demanding that we accept the rules or die.

Every healthy community needs the innovators, experimenters, creators and anticipators – those who will insure the survival of at least part of the group when the unusual comes to pass. The egotists, psychopaths and sociopaths at the top are right to fear the anti-totalitarians. We are natures way of preventing the entire flock from following en-mass off the cliff to extinction.

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“What I had failed to understand was that the security I felt in the Party was that of a group and that affection in that strange communist world is never a personal emotion. You were loved or hated on the basis of group acceptance, and emotions were stirred or dulled by propaganda. That propaganda was made by the powerful people at the top. That is why ordinary Communists get along well with their groups: they think and feel together and work toward a common goal.”
— Dr. Bella Dodd
(1904-1969) head of the New York State Teachers Union , member of the Communist Party of America (CPUSA) in the 1930s and 1940s, later a vocal anti-communist
Source: School of Darkness, Chapter 16 (1954)
http://genus.cogia.net/chap16.php
http://quotes.liberty-tree.ca/quote_blog/Bella.Dodd.Quote.F593


“The process of completely freeing oneself emotionally from being a Communist is a thing no outsider can understand. The group thinking and group planning and the group life of the Party had been a part of me for so long that it was desperately difficult for me to be a person again. … But I had begun the process of “unbecoming” a Communist. It was a long and painful process, much like that of a polio victim who has to learn to walk all over again. I had to learn to think. I had to learn to love. I had to drain the hate and frenzy from my system. I had to dislodge the self and the pride that had made me arrogant, made me feel that I knew all the answers. I had to learn that I knew nothing. There were many stumbling blocks in this process.”
— Dr. Bella Dodd
(1904-1969) head of the New York State Teachers Union , member of the Communist Party of America (CPUSA) in the 1930s and 1940s, later a vocal anti-communist
Source: School of Darkness, Chapter 16 (1954)
http://genus.cogia.net/chap16.php
http://quotes.liberty-tree.ca/quote_blog/Bella.Dodd.Quote.8D3F


“There had been many things I had not really understood. I had regarded the Communist Party as a poor man’s party, and thought the presence of certain men of wealth within it accidental. I now saw this was no accident. I regarded the Party as a monolithic organization with the leadership in the National Committee and the National Board. Now I saw this was only a facade placed there by the movement to create the illusion of the poor man’s party; it was in reality a device to control the “common man” they so raucously championed.”
— Dr. Bella Dodd
(1904-1969) head of the New York State Teachers Union , member of the Communist Party of America (CPUSA) in the 1930s and 1940s, later a vocal anti-communist
Source: School of Darkness, Chapter 16 (1954)
http://genus.cogia.net/chap16.php
http://quotes.liberty-tree.ca/quote_blog/Bella.Dodd.Quote.8DA0


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