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The conditions to set up mass formation psychosis include lack of social connectedness and sensemaking as well as large amounts of latent anxiety and passive aggression. When people are inundated with a narrative that presents a plausible "object of anxiety" and strategy for coping with it, then many individuals group together to battle the object with a collective singlemindedness. This allows people to stop focusing on their own problems, avoiding personal mental anguish. Instead, they focus all their thought and energy on this new object.
As mass formation progresses, the group becomes increasingly bonded and connected. Their field of attention is narrowed and they become unable to consider alternative points of view. Leaders of the movement are revered, unable to do no wrong.
Left unabated, a society under the spell of mass formation will support a totalitarian governance structure capable of otherwise unthinkable atrocities in order to maintain compliance. A note: mass formation is different from group think. There are easy ways to fix group think by just bringing in dissenting voices and making sure you give them platforms. It isn’t so easy with mass formation. Even when the narrative falls apart, cracks in the strategy clearly aren’t solving the issue, the hypnotized crowd can’t break free of the narrative. This is what appears to be happening now with COVID-19. The solution for those in control of the narrative is to produce bigger and bigger lies to prop up the solution. Those being controlled by mass formation no longer are able to use reason to break free of the group narrative.
First of all this is a brilliant thread. Thank you for this tangential and thoughtful OP LHC. Well said friend.
originally posted by: LoneCloudHopper2
a reply to: musicismagic
I actually never went camping. I've got backwoods hiking many times, and have taken many nature trails, have gone fishing, and even set up camps. My family used to 'camp' but not out in the woods, just one relatives' properties. It would be nice to actually go camping this year.