◄Dave► has an excellent post up on Thoughts Aloud about thought and emotion as they relate to politics.
- On thinkers he says, “thinkers tend to prefer to rely on their own wits, live an independent existence, take entrepreneurial risks, and accept responsibility for the consequences of their failures. They tend not to seek or rely on leaders for direction, and do not generally find causes or identity politics compelling.”
- On feelers, “Feelers are more sociable, prefer the security of groups of simpatico friends, and readily follow the direction of group leaders. Their need to belong makes them vulnerable to groupthink, and susceptible to the notion that the group is more important than any individual.“
I’m not a big fan of this terminology, but the points are valid. I’m going to switch the terminology towards individualists and followers, since I think there are far too many groupthink intellectuals out there (socialists), and thoughtless individuals (couch potatoes).
Both of these would appear to be valid ways of going through life, but at some point the followers run into a problem of scale. The very strength in numbers that gives them power also robs them of their free choice. Once a group gets to a sufficient size, it takes on an identity of its own. It becomes simple minded and self serving, bloated and corrupt. Those followers that make up its members find themselves in the position of opposing many of the policies of the collective; but having the choice of being with it or against it, left out on their own, they continue their support.
Individualists have been blamed for many of the problems of society, from the destruction of family values, to corporate greed, to the collapse of the economy. I would argue that we are a relatively tiny portion of society, and that we have been vilified by the collectives as a way of passing blame to those who are not organized enough to defend themselves.
- “Family values” is just a code phrase of conformity. Having grown up in several different family units and situations, I can say with confidence that it was enlightening, and that there is no single right way to raise a family.
- Corporate greed is a problem of the collective. We should mistrust those in power and those organizations that have grown too large. When they stop serving us, we should stop serving them. “The difference between corporations and governments is governments have a monopoly on force. It’s a lot easier to vote with your feet or your wallet than it is to change a government with your vote.” -P.J. O’Rourke
- The collapse of the economy can be blamed on a great many things, but to claim that the government was powerless to stop it and lacked the ability to regulate it is ludicrous. They control the tax rates, the interest rates, the laws, the tariffs, the subsidies, minimum wage, and the printing of money, and we are expected to believe that they were powerless?
At the feet of those disciples who sacrifice free thought for membership, we can clearly lay a great deal of the worlds problems, from partisanship, to war, to oppression, to censorship. These are not the tools of individuals. This is mob mentality.
Too many run the daily news through a filter of religion and partisanship before they form their opinions, and even more these days have become too lazy even to do that, instead relying on tailored media to save them the effort of forming their own opinions, and offering them false outrage on a platter. If you only listen to the news sources that match your politics because all of the others are biased against you and make you angry, then you are a part of the problem, not the solution. Form your own opinions. Emotional response has been shown to physiologically inhibit rational thought when watching politics. Don’t get angry at the other guy, seek deeper understanding and push solutions.