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Group Think: primary cause of financial deception!

February 13, 2013

Most people do not think as individuals. Since reality is relative and uncertain, those who are the strongest in their beliefs rule over the masses. Group think emerges from this reality!

Why is there so much confusion and misunderstanding on the issues of where our economy is going? The majority of gold bug speakers sense that our monetary system is seriously flawed. Yet most of these speakers, and the media hosts which promote these speakers, perpetuate the illusions of money as a physical object (a paper note). Most continue with the rhetoric that our Fed is ‘printing’ to much money. This view then creates a ‘group think’ mindset among those who follow these pundits. Most attendee’s at a Cambridge House Conference or similar event assume that the media hosts and leading gurus are speaking with accuracy and full knowledge of reality. Group think emerges when people attending these conferences believe in the accuracy of the words emerging from their chosen gurus.

Personally, I have attended dozens of monetary and economic conferences where the leading guru’s continue with inaccurate descriptions of how our monetary system works. The media hosts (who cover these events) perpetuate the views of these select gurus and then support all their concepts (by words like: I fully agree with Mr. Guru’s view). This mindset of ‘group think’ does more harm to the cause of these conferences (which should be to present accurate descriptions of events and also to seek real truth about the issues). What is needed IMO is for more challenges to the views of the leading gurus and their perceptions.

Challenges initially create confusion and uncertainty in an attendee’s mind…but later challenges lead to much more serious thinking by all the attendee’s at these conferences. Learning and self-knowledge then can emerge within the attendee’s own mind. Why not allow real contrarian philosophies at these conferences (isn’t this the American way)? Why should only the Austrian view of economics (for example) be presented and allowed? Our current model (globally) is Keynesianism (a math based model that is much different from the Austrian model). Why not allow guru’s who hold this view present their contrarian perceptions on the issues? Give this some thought for future conferences!

To be fair, however, I must admit that most conferences presented by the establishment hosts (most University promoted events) also attempt to avoid any views of the Austrian philosophy. This results in another form of ‘group think’ for these attendees. All this ‘group think’ creates a learning environment which distorts reality and minimizes the learning curve for those listening to all these gurus. What is needed IMO is a much more decentralized and open concept when serious issues are presented. Contrarian views from many angles and philosophies provides for less ‘group think’ and for real learning and growing. The tendency, however, is for promoters of events (Austrian or Keynesian) to seek out ‘like’ minded presenters which hold similar philosophies to the stronger minded guru’s that desire no conflict or disagreement with their own perceptions and conclusions.

The result of this mindset by the promoters of these events is a type of ‘group think’ (a mentality of ‘we are all Austrians and/or Keynesians at this conference’) where any contrarian views must be eliminated from the agenda. This mindset promotes the view that ‘we are right’ and those with different perceptions ‘are wrong’. This is more like ‘indoctrination’ rather than open and free market ‘education’. The one conference that has tried to promote real contrarian thinking within their events has been the annual FREEDOM FEST Conference, promoted by economist, Mark Skousen: Mark seems to desire to seek ‘truth’ and ‘reality’ at his conference events and usually seeks out a strong group of thinkers with diverse views and philosophies. More conferences of this type are really needed today as the issues are much more complex than mere Austrian or Keynesian philosophies.

In conclusion, I would suggest that the subtle concept of ‘group think’ is extremely pernicious and ubiquitous and may be difficult to overcome. Human nature seems to desire ‘like’ minded thinking to avoid conflict and confusion. I witness this mindset among practically every social, business, scientific, educational, and religious gathering. The strong gurus who present their perceptions seem to desire that their views be promulgated as the only ‘right’ views. The media hosts then play into this ‘group think’ to promote their own similar perceptions. The less strong attendee’s (at these conferences) then tend to ‘fall’ for the ‘image’ that these strong gurus portray. Image and past acclamations from similar strong gurus perpetuate this ‘group think’ mindset.

Take the time to listen to these two videos for more understanding of ‘group think’: and That is my missive for today. Give this missive some thought when you attend another Cambridge House Conference, Money Show Conference, Freedom Fest Event (or even your local church). I am:

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