Toxic Popularity

Popularity that focuses on conformity enforcement

When conformity enforcers overwhelm diversity generators, all of us are in trouble. Spartans--fundamentalists, militia groups, fascists, and ultra-nationalists--can freeze the machinery of collective mind.  A shutdown of urban diversity devastates that exercise of collective acumen we call an economy.  Christian Fundamentalism has been shown by the research of sociologists Alfred Darnell and Darren E. Sherkat to retard the learning of children raised within its grasp. Darnell and Sherkat sum up a common Fundamentalist attitude in the following words: "No schooling is better than secular schooling."  Then there's the paralysis of thought which outright battle brings. When World War I erupted, Sigmund Freud was horrified by the sudden "narrow-mindedness shown by [even] the best intellects, their obduracy, their inaccessibility to the most forcible arguments."  Such closings of the mind may explain why authoritarians are prone to ignore it when their approaches flop. They often goose-step from one year to another rigidly glued to backfiring ways.


Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century

Chapter: The Kidnap of Mass Mind

Page: 203-204

Howard Bloom

Published: August 14, 2000