Feedback loops

One of the questions about communism, socialism, and their ilk is “how can it happen?” Dr. Santy gets into the psychology involved but that still begs the question about how major groups of a society can fall into such delusions. Powerline provides another hint in Like Falstaff in reverse, part 2

Ambinder cites Obama’s (erroneous) reference to Churchill in his press conference last week as proof. Ambinder adds that a senior administration official confirms that Obama was citing Sullivan.

This is reference to the President’s severe mischaracterization of Churchill regarding WW II prisoner treatment. It provides an example of reaching out to others to find rationalizations for support. When that reaching out is to false prophets rather than reality, trouble can occur.

The point is one of feedback loops. People seek out others who make them comfortable. This is a process of finding positive feedback loops. Without maturity and discipline, this can be a matter of avoiding unpleasant realities that may cause dissonance or other discomfort. Like the teenager with the wrong friends, it can lead to an ultimate discomfort, but that is off in the cloudy future and more easily dismissed than current realities.

In this model the idea is that you can have a bunch of small malignancies that feed off each other and aggregate as others join the bunch for comfort. If there is no significant effort to correct the malignancies, they will grow and become a festering mass that is a severe social and governmental illness.

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