Dangerous Group Thinking

In George Orwell’s novel 1984, O’Brien tells the rebel Winston, “Power is inflicting pain and humiliation. Power is in tearing human minds and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.” O’Brien is incorrect. Whether an individual believes in God or not, power is the ability to not be dependent on any other human as their source of power. The most powerful people are those who can fulfill their purpose, and convince others of their views without forcing them to believe the same. In the novel 1984, Orwell paints a picture of a society that discourages individual thoughts. United States society is certainly not like that, and the men in power are certainly not that corrupt, but the tribal mindset still exists in Many different pockets. The mob mentality has caused unnecessary damage to our property, and it simply doesn’t help to bring about change.

Recently, there were riots outside of trump tower following the election, prior to that Black Lives Matter race riots in Charlotte, S.C, 50 years of rioting in Detroit, Cartels have been bringing crime to Mexico and southern border states, and Political factions have been fighting in L.A. for the past 25-years. The situation is far from out of control, and at the same time, it is no doubt that organized crime has accounted for much of the crime in the United States, in the form of the KKK, or cartels, or gangs, or riots. Family is extremely important to me, and my church is extremely important to me. However, in order for me to help either of these institutions, I must learn to reason as an individual, to think creatively of my ‘group’ and also to think critically.

However, protests in the first place may not be easy to control, due to the mob-mentality. When people are in large groups, they tend to forget about consequences and lose track of their moral code. Psychology director Tamara Avant at South University describes this as a result of deindividuation. Change can be brought about positively, as a result of self-purification and a clear process. Martin Luther King Jr. describes a healthy process for protest in A Letter From Birmingham Jail. No matter what process that is chosen for change, violence, and blackmail can only make matters worse. Petitions and referendums are my personal favorites because I believe them to be more reason based processes.

I typically make an appeal to those in power for change, in some form of policy or whatever. In this blog, my main point is to appeal against the pointless violence. Most people that read this article will probably have nothing to do with the Gangs and Riots. to those people, I encourage you to not fall to that level. Question systems, but use reason and due process, that you have as free citizens to speak out against corruption.

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