The Mass Fallacy: Unsustainable Responses to the Dissonance of Oppression
Fallacy: the Function of Community is to Determine What is Truth
If you wanted to conquer the world, the method would be simple, yet brilliant: change the basic definitions of community. Utilize a behavioral intervention to perpetrate a mass hysteria with the goal of creating dissociative mental states as the norm. Utilize the need for homeostasis in each individual (and the penchant for laziness) and create institutions that force the balance of reason and emotion into unhealthy, irresponsible, poorly informed, yet comfortable choices. Seat the fallacy in institutions, because humans typically do not question the institution—the proverbial “they.” Create a sense and sensitivity to scarcity. Construct relationships as zero-sum propositions, in which each party must give an equal share to add up to an ever-diminishing one hundred percent.
Under the guise faith, convince a generation that blind belief without question ensures that “rightness” is preserved as a bulwark against loss, pain, and distress. Support that generation to teach their children a need for rightness as an action rather than an identity of justice. Define “right” as “truth,” “truth” as immutable, and immutability as strength of faith. Subtly, remove the greatest power from each individual: choice—the choice to challenge, the choice to question, and the choice to be great. Reduce a once empowering choice to a sophomoric question of in-group versus outsider—a question of a desire to belong. Since you all want to belong—we all want relationship—you do not care what the cost is. The institution has provided comfort that you can see. Others have conformed and prospered. You join with the others in our new blind faith, without question, with no request for reciprocity, and build the strength of our immutable truth. You know it is the truth—the ultimate level of our development potential—because it is not the “evil” you were participating in before.
Explanation: The Fallacy in Psychological Terms
Basically, your dissonance with your social role has been rectified by assuming a group identity instead of working to create consonance with a clearly defined individual identity. This allows you the luxury of aggregate success–you are a success because you belong to a successful corporate body. But, this is not success grounded in living up to your full potential. It is ultimately hollow in the face of hardships because the individual parts are not strong enough to endure. If you are ever to really succeed, you must redefine your role, continue to gain information from multiple sources, and endure the disappointment of inconsistencies by actively testing the fit of new information with your previous knowledge and the outcomes you can observe.
I submit that your unsustainable responses to your dissonance—your attempt to regain balance and comfort—can take three forms: deception, distraction, or disillusionment. Each of the forms describes a state of mind, suggested by your environmental inputs, affecting choice behavior. Deception suggests a set of information that is error-laden and incomplete. You have no means to make informed choices, and your lack of information keeps you from insisting on better data. Deceived, your choices appear more limited than they are in reality. Distraction keeps valuable information away from you by focusing your attention on other things, often irrelevant things. You argue and protest, but the allowance you seek is a trifle, an insignificant victory when compared against your just reward. Disillusionment paints you into a corner of powerlessness and helplessness. You remove yourself from considering the choices available. You are told that you do not have the authority to determine your role and make choices. Disillusionment states that you have not grown into it or earned your role.
Your single most important strength is your power to make a choice. Until now, your choices have lacked a defined role, have been misinformed, and have been made for speed and convenience rather than sustainability. It is now time to invest in the real you. Define your individual passion–your role. Learn and continue to seek information from diverse sources. Endure productively the process of time. Succeed!
Challenge: Your Identity is tied to the Fallacy
The challenge is that you do not believe me. You have been so brainwashed. The current fallacy is so much a part of how you construct your identity that my proposition threatens your core identity. As a matter of self-protection, you resist this new information. I present through this text an exercise in cognitive restructuring that offers a beginning to your reprogramming. I hope you will re-educate yourself and reclaim your power. Note that your resistance (be it anger, confusion, or uncertainty) is the residual inclination toward individual choice—the confirmation that you are not completely lost.
Recognize that this text is not a call to make me a king—to credit me with your re-education and reclamation. Granted, it is not about you, but it is your responsibility. It is your choice ultimately to live in the spirit of the power you were granted in the beginning. It is your responsibility to take your rightful place, to get the information first-hand, to stay in the race and endure. To succeed, you must be able to define roles for yourself, determine truth for yourself, and encourage yourself. This text will point out bread crumbs. It is up to you to choose the path.
[This text is excerpted from the Prologue of Deceptions, Distractions, and Disillusionment: Barriers to Your Success and Ours available NOW! by Dr. Michael A. Wright from MAWMedia Group, LLC.]