I haven’t wanted to criticize Mattias Desmet and the received theories of mass formation, because I’m just happy that folks are finally beginning to recognize what I’ve been arguing since the start: that the world indeed got swept up into mass hysteria.
I'd concur. I'd suggest the predisposition to mass formation psychosis is general levels of laziness (which leads to ignorance in the literal sense), low levels of critical thinking, and rapid dissemination of propaganda/narrative. The first two have been building for decades. The third is the official COVID narrative.
A major achievement of both our host and Mattias is a general, or at least growing, recognition that a mass formation/psychosis is a real and present phenomenon. The concept is not new of course, but its revealing to see that we are in the biggest one in history.
It seems clear that totalitarians can either hijack or even found such occurrences; perhaps these ones are a particular subset of the wider social phenomenon that Mark is discussing.
Fascinating to see how this progresses, if I'm not first interred in a camp with no internet or something (Canada)
Pretty much what I have been thinking, but just like you, I've seen no reason to criticize the details. And I still think that there are much more important things to focus on for the moment.
I agree with you, Mark, that there are many reasons why mass hysteria and mass delusions occur in society, and it does not necessarily happen based on the conditions brought by Mattias Desmet. Still, from what I understand, his analysis is directly linked to the idea of totalitarianism and how political agenda may induce this phenomenon or enhance it when these prerequisites are fulfilled or present in the society in a sufficient manner.
For example, we know from the past that this phenomenon can simply be induced by fear and superstitions without the need for any precursor conditions mentioned by Mattias. The only difference is, when that happens, delusions move in their own directions and vanish on their own over time. When political agenda takes advantage of this phenomenon, the crowd can be steered in a certain direction with a specific goal in mind. As long as the masses are controlled by propaganda and the media, they cannot be freed unless the system is at its end of a natural life cycle and is close to self-destruction.
What we are dealing with is the greatest betrayal of trust that has ever happened in human history. Short overview of what happened, how it happened, and possible directions where things might progress into.
I've found this book: “Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margins of Error” particularly useful in understanding why ALL people, even the most sanguine among us, tend to cling to erroneous beliefs beyond reason and often at great cost. It's a fascinating study of how powerfully we identify with our beliefs such that giving them up often triggers a major identity crisis. Our beliefs form our identity. Understanding this has helped me understand the human species more than any other book I've read.
Read/listen to it free today: EBook-"Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error" on Scribd. Check it out: https://www.scribd.com/book/163560786
Audiobook- "Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error" Check it out: https://www.scribd.com/audiobook/237598854
Check out Scribd - the membership for readers! Use my link to sign up and you'll get 60 days free: https://www.scribd.com/gatx/6fks6s
Thanks for that. While it's obvious that mass hysteria is ongoing, I didn't find his premises convincing either, but didn't have a clue how to go about refuting them.
This explanation, that it's an emergent property of social networks, fails to account for how a proportion of the population do not get swept up in the mass formation.
I think Desmet's "well there's 30% who don't" without any supporting evidence or justification (that I've heard) is weak too.
Whether it's due to psychological temperament, IQ, access to technology, their career status, pre-existing cognitive priors, or other factors, there's a non trivial group of people who haven't believed the narrative from very early on.
Interesting. I think social media, internet, smart phone, the global village, translates to the first truly global mass hysteria. Not possible pre-social media, smart phone. Have to look at the nature of this mass psychosis, virus mania. This is a problem that has been building over decades, getting worse and worse. More to say...
It starts off with amygdala hijack, which then psychologically primes the brain for mass formation. In the amygdala hijack phase (about 3 months) people are zombies, alone and terrified. Emerging from this phase they develop mass formation as a coping mechanism. I also think Mattias is far too Freudian. We don't need that mumbo-jumbo in the discourse.
I already had a few questions and disagreements with what Mattias is saying, particularly when it comes to solutions and overcoming totalitarian regimes/tyranny.
And, of course -- you would be correct! The addition would be "for a mass of people at a certain level of personal empathetic development." In this case, it would be people primarily at an Authoritarian level, who function largely on belief and are poorly grounded in their own brains regarding reality.
That would explain why we didn’t all fall for it.
It's not necessarily a criticism to engage with someone's ideas and enhance or otherwise talk them through. Do you have the ability to arrange a call? Many things work themselves out through open debate in my experience.
I had reservations about the four precursor conditions. Not that I dismiss them entirely, but that they are anything new and were particularly acute in 2019. I keep wondering, could so many have been swept along without social media. I was incredulous as I was one of only 2 people able to see it from March 2020 on my Facebook feed. I eventually quit in mid 2021 as I could no longer relate to any of my friends and family. They all may as well have joined the Moonies or become Scientologists.
It's not spontaneous or a 'network effect'. It's a very specific group of entities driving this bus.