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In the Name of God بسم الله
notme

Countering mob mentality

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Salam

Are there any tried and verified ways to break mob mentality? Can an observer make individuals think for themselves when they are being swept up by a fanatical crowd? Or will they only think for themselves if they want to, and maybe not even then?

Is there any hope for avoiding history repeating? 

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This is a great question. I can only think of one way. In general this kind of mob mentality and associated demagoguery arises from dissatisfaction. I think solving the dissatisfaction is the first step in solving it.

An example from here in the UK is this Brexit farce. Whether right or wrong, the people who back Brexit have been convinced of some truly ridiculous lies, e.g. about immigrants coming into the UK. Will they listen to facts like UK immigrants are a net positive for society? No they won't. Why do they feel like this? Because they can't get a well-paid job. If everyone had a well-paid job and no one was living in poverty, they would be unlikely to blame "immigrants" for their situation.

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32 minutes ago, abdulhamid said:

Sorry to follow up my own post, but an interesting feature is that these "mobs" also view us, (muslims) as having a mob mentality in the same way. How would it feel if someone decided to fix our views? Awful. So it's super tricky.

Right. Atheists are certain that religious people are brainwashed. We are certain that they are wrong.

What I'm thinking about, specifically, is the demagoguery surrounding Trump in the United States, and other leaders or causes elsewhere in the "civilized" world. Politicians acting like idiots doesn't surprise or disturb me anymore. The mindless crowd cheering them on in their atrocities does. 

It reminds me of Nazi sympathizers who, after the war, claimed "we didn't know", or "I was just going along with the crowd." We warn our kids about peer pressure, but can even fully mature adult avoid it? Or are they really without conscience, and simply need the crowd as a place to hide? 

 

34 minutes ago, abdulhamid said:

I think solving the dissatisfaction is the first step in solving it.

Living the Star Trek future. :) That's what I want for my kids and future grandkids. 

It's going to take us a lot of wise choices and a long time to get there. 

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The parallels with the Nazis are very strong. In that situation, the Jews/foreginers were scapegoated for peoples' general dissatisfaction. Same with Trump - he's blamed Mexico, Muslims, Women, China, etc etc. People will believe anything as long as it agrees with their preconceptions. In this case: it's not my fault I am poor. Confirmation bias at its worse. SAD.

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