The Group Is All
“A single thought simultaneously held by several people isn’t some miracle. The course of history is a process of liberation from that circumstance, and the emerging miracle was one individual thinking his own thoughts. That was the great change. And now people want to reverse it. They want to go back. They want to call it evolution.” (The Underground, Jon Rappoport)
More and more, education is entraining children to think of themselves as part of a group.
This is one basic way to cut off the consciousness of being an individual and what it really means.
The government, the State, has now become the beneficent leader of The Group, and if you need confirmation, just ask any politician. He’ll give you a sound bite or two.
People enmeshed in the current culture don’t realize that, as recently as 25 years ago, the promotion of America as One Group played like a faint tune in the far distance.
Now, it’s being urged by the State with wall-to-wall rhetoric straight out of some cheesy TV church; and the pastor-hustler is taking in contributions with one hand while doling out bribes with the other.
Only he’s got militarized police all over the land and an awesome surveillance apparatus to back him up.
But he loves you. He really cares.
And suckers from Maine to Chula Vista are buying in. Count on the brief appearance of some messianic figure in the Presidential Primaries who will try to out-Obama, Obama, if only as a keynote speaker at a convention.
Behind the freebies and the “we’re all in this together” lurks, however, the same monolithic State, obsessed with control. Domination.
The Individual is the target. The objective? Convincing people that conceiving of themselves as distinct from the herd is a delusional, outmoded, cruel, psychotic, hopeless act.
“You’re against The Group. You don’t care about humanity. You reject the force that is trying to bring aid to everyone everywhere: that force is government.”
This is part of the con. The hustler’s larger role involves strolling up to his mark and purring in his ear, making promises, offering sympathy.
It’s all about “we” and “us” and “everybody” and “humanity” and “the people.” It’s syrup poured on the innocent and the confused.
The Left argues that the mega-corporations are in charge. The Right argues it’s government. As Robert Anton Wilson once wrote: “They’re both right.”
The Corporate State, looked at from any angle, is in the business of reducing the individual to undifferentiated mush.
The technocratic wet dream of hooking 10 billion brains to a super-computer, and thus giving birth to “enlightened consciousness,” is the pseudoscientific version of a collective utopia. The “right answers” to all questions are fed back down a pipeline into every mind.
But it turns out there is the right to be wrong, which is to say, the individual has the freedom to dissent from any and all groups.
He can think, and act on what he thinks, without consulting a manual. He can perceive reality on his own terms. He can go further and invent realities.
He can oppose the mob and the machine.
If none of this ignites a spark in his mind, he can lie down and wait for the steamroller.
Somehow, the most diehard advocates of the State ignore American foreign policy: war, wholesale destruction. They studiously develop amnesia on that front. They don’t bother trying to probe the personality of a government that professes to solve the problems of 300 million people at home, when that government pursues perpetual war abroad.
“…when he [the independent individual] merges his person into an organizational structure, a new creature replaces autonomous man, unhindered by the limitations of individual morality, freed of humane inhibition, mindful only of the sanctions of authority.” (Stanley Milgram, “Obedience to Authority,” 1974)
Yes, inside The Group, authority takes over, and its prescriptions replace ethics.
“We are not talking about mere instinctive conformity — it is, after all, a perennial failing of mankind. What we are talking about is a rationalized conformity — an open, articulate philosophy which holds that group values are not only expedient but right and good as well.” (William H Whyte, Jr.)
Replacing individual values with group values invokes a formula: “the greatest good for the greatest number of people.” This is magnetically attractive for the young on two counts. One, it seems to involve a simple rational calculation. And two, it spreads “the good” around like jam to “everyone.”
Of course, it’s a total con. Who decides what the greatest good is, in any given situation? And who enforces it with laws and guns and courts and prisons?
“If she herself had had any picture of the future, it had been of a society of animals set free from hunger and the whip, all equal, each working according to his capacity, the strong protecting the weak…Instead—she did not know why—they had come to a time when no one dared speak his mind, when fierce, growling dogs roamed everywhere, and when you had to watch your comrades torn to pieces after confessing to shocking crimes.” (George Orwell, Animal Farm, 1945)
The Group does not move forward, it devolves. It reverts back to primitive impulses, while justifying its so-called principles as instruments of the highest order.
“One egg, one embryo, one adult—normality. But a bokanovskified egg will bud, will proliferate, will divide. From eight to ninety-six buds, and every bud will grow into a perfectly formed embryo, and every embryo into a full-sized adult. Making ninety-six human beings grow where only one grew before. Progress… ‘Ninety-six identical twins working ninety-six identical machines!’ The voice was almost tremulous with enthusiasm. ‘You really know where you are. For the first time in history.’ He quoted the planetary motto. ‘Community, Identity, Stability.’ Grand words. ‘If we could bokanovskify indefinitely the whole problem would be solved.’” (Aldous Huxley, Brave New World, 1932)
Yes, the perfect Group. Humans made in hatcheries, according to plan. Group identity replacing individual identity. The All of the All.
Why bother with individual achievement? Why bother with “thoughts that separate one person from another?” Why-can’t-we-just-get-along becomes: why can’t we all think the same thoughts?
We can, with enough generations of programming. With synthetic production lines in birth-hatcheries.
Greatest good for the greatest number becomes a different kind of number.
For those who don’t want to take things that far, there are less radical versions of The Collective Glob in the propaganda mall. From the mystical to the political, there is a whole range of messages.
They all include the word “we”. For some reason, I never signed up for that “we.” Maybe you didn’t either. This article is for you.