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The Closing of the American Mind

With apologies to Saul Bellow, the state of American thinking today is worse than it was in 1950! (Anybody ever read "The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit"? We have become a bunch of automatons. And anyone who dares to express an idea or thought that doesn't match with the group is criticized, ostracized and often physically attacked. I suggest everyone who reads this find a copy of the U.S. Constitution and read it. If you have a little more time, you might try, "The Emancipation Proclamation".

And my concern, to perfectly clear is that most American's have become group thinkers, unable to have an independent thought.

by: MrJohnKC


November 28, 2014 (5 years ago)

12 Replies & Comments

I agree with what you say except for the last sentence. I suspect lots of Americans are still capable of independent thought but are reluctant to speak them out loud because they will be burned at the stake as non-conformists. And that is truly going back to the 1950s ! (and maybe the 1650s too).

by: scribeworks

Message #1

April 04, 2015 (4 years ago)

I do not agree, I think that in the USA, more than anywhere else, people do not hesitate to voice their ideas out loud without worrying what others will think. Most of all, even the silliest idea will always federate people around it.

by: G-337

Message #2

April 12, 2015 (4 years ago)

Anybody can voice their ideas, the problem comes when those the idea or opinion is not free, but a conditioned response created through propaganda and intimidation. That's what the group think concept means.

by: G-679

Message #9

January 13, 2016 (3 years ago)

Yeah, I hear that. I can understand what you're saying there. And also--and I'm not trying to be anti-family here--also, a lot of conditioning comes from our own parents. But of course, part of becoming an adult is learning to cultivate our own opinions, yes?

by: Miss B.

Message #10

January 13, 2016 (3 years ago)

Thanks to both responders. As I frequently say, I respect everyone's opinion, but please do not regard that as acceptance. Scribeworks, I sincerely hope that you are correct. I am sorry, I just don't see it. Guest, Sorry, I don't see that either. I agree that silly ideas get lots of attention, and there is no reality check. It really does feel like a nation of sheep!

by: MrJohnKC

Message #3

April 15, 2015 (4 years ago)

Oh, that is nonsense, MrJohnKC. People who scream "sheep" are often angry that not everyone around them agrees with their every thought and word. Look, if the news channel upsets you, then change over to a different station. Change your media source, change your news papers, change your friends, open your mind to others' views. No one is forcing you to change your thinking. Absolutely not. Maybe you are the one who is doing the forcing.

People tend to group around others who have thoughts and feelings similar to theirs. I do NOT the exact same thoughts and feelings, but similar. This is normal. This is natural. This is part of being a social animal and a normal part of the evolution of survival. It was the exact same way when our founding fathers created our country(an example of group thinking), or is there some reason you think none of them really wanted an independent nation?

If it wasn't for group thinking, black Americans would still be sitting at the back of the bus.

Still Sarah

by: Still Sarah

Message #4

April 16, 2015 (4 years ago)

Still Sarah,
Thanks for your comments, but we are still very far apart. If you want a small example of what I am talking about you might visit any high school or college. identical clothes, hairstyles and tattoos. Another example is Benghazi. The mainstream media says it is a "non-issue", so it is. And your comment about Black Americans (yes I capitalize it!) made me laugh. Many, many people in this country were willing to follow along with racist policies. It was the few and brave who actually caused the change. And of course, it became mainstream, and now people who could care less about anybody but themselves have jumped on the bandwagon!

by: MrJohnKC

Message #5

April 17, 2015 (4 years ago)

Wait, so...an example of the demise of independent thought in the United States is of high school girls wearing patched jeans? Is that what you're saying? This is the sheep-like behavior that scares you?

I hate to say this, but fashion has been an important part of social behavior in all countries for many centuries, and that includes our forefathers. So...not such a great example, small or otherwise. This is just an example of social bonding.

I'm glad that the idea of black Americans being allowed to sit at the front of the bus made you laugh. Of course it started out with the few and expanded to the group. This is what I meant by social evolution and group thinking. But I thought you called this sheep behavior?

Oh no, you call it "jumping on the band wagon". So basically, anyone who defends the civil rights of the minority is just jumping on the band wagon. Is that right? I think you are surrounded by bad examples. This sort of reflects back on my first post to you when I suggested that you change your friends. If a media source is distressing or people close to you offend you, change them, and I'm quite serious.

Still Sarah

by: Still Sarah

Message #6

April 17, 2015 (4 years ago)

I agree with MrJohnKC and his comment about everybody getting the same tattoos. More generally, as soon as someone famous does something, you'll have plenty of guys doing the same, for no other reason that because a celebrity did it. Same for Art, someone will find a bronze cast bullshit a master piece, and millions will also be in awe at it... #UniformThinking

by: G-395

Message #8

June 04, 2015 (4 years ago)

I thought this was a rather provocative topic. I am bumping it in hopes of getting more comments.

by: Miss B.

Message #7

May 11, 2015 (4 years ago)

agent provocateur

by: G-691

Message #11

January 19, 2016 (3 years ago)

In my opinion the problem is due to everything is based on either politics, party or a particular leaning like right or left. Our thinking needs to be issue based instead.

by: G-967

Message #12

June 18, 2016 (3 years ago)

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