posted on Dec, 9 2008 @ 02:57 AM
To the mods: Sorry if this is the wrong forum. It directly addresses some things posted in this forum, but the actualy subject matter makes it
questionable. If you decide that it would be a better fit somewhere else, please move it.
Recently I've been seeing a lot of concern about the US government given the current economic crisis. Most central is the concern that the govnerment
is preparing to take control, strip us of our rights, etc. Inevitably, someone will say that we can't just be sheep, and that we have to rise up and
take back our freedom, but few realize how hard this would actually be.
I'm not going to deny that there may be some true leaders amoong the ATS crowd, but I'm afraid that as much as most of you would like to believe
that you'd be able to start some kind of rebellion, you'd probably have an easier time learning a new language from scratch and moving to another
There are many obvious, easily-visible reasons that starting a resistance would be difficult. They have armies with guns, tanks, bombs, etc while we
just have guns. I'm not going to talk about those, but rather the underlying, psychological barriers preventing people from creating the change they
Note that all of these phenomena have a wealth of experimental evidence backing them up and have been replicate time and again in laboratory
-The bystander effect
This is the name given to the phenomenon that demonstrates that the more people are present, the less likely anyone is to do anything. This should be
concerning given the size of our country. This can happen for two reasons:
1. Pluralistic ignorance: People assume that, because no one else is doing anything, there must not be anything to worry about. Let's face it. In a
true crisis, 99.9% of the public wouldn't do anything. At this point, pluralistic ignorance kicks in and most people assume that the government
isn't doing anything bad at all.
2. Diffusion of responsibility: Ok, so it's gotten bad enough that the public is concerned now. Well, now we have a new issue. It's one that
EVERYONE here has encountered. It's the "someone else will take care of it" and "it's someone else's problem" issue. Quite simply: the more
people present, the less responsibility we feel, and thus the less likely any one person is to act.
People don't want to believe that they're being controlled. So what do they do? Seek out evidence and ONLY the evidence that suggests that they are
NOT being controlled. This is one of the biggest reasons it's hard to sway anyone's opinion. They'll consistently only look at the evidence that
supports their point of view. So what are we left with? A country that has thoroughly convinced itself that it is not being controlled.
This is more of a problem in individualistic cultures like the US, but people have a tendency to take credit for their own accomplishments
(dispositional factors) but blame anything and everything outside themselves for their failures (situational factors). For our little rebellion, this
means a lot of in-group fighting. As long as we're doing well, we're fine. But the moment we suffer even the tiniest setback, everyone's blaming
everyone else, and the resistance soon crumbles.
These certainly aren't the only psychological principles barring us from actually making a change, but I'm throwing them out there in the hopes that
if a situation ever arises where we DO have to fight back against the government, we can recognize and combat them. I also know the repuation
psychology seems to have on these forums, but the principles I listed are all ones we encounter in everyday life. It's just no one thinks about them
and how completely detrimental they are to any sort of change, to the point where they can even completely prevent it.
[edit on 9-12-2008 by Tsuki-no-Hikari]