"Be modest in manner and calm in bearing, for men avoid the excitable man who is a weak reed to lean upon in times of stress and a hazard in danger."
"Be modest in manner and calm in bearing, for men avoid the excitable man who is a weak reed to lean upon in times of stress and a hazard in danger."
This is something that hit me the other day. People who like groups are generally people who have something to gain by being in a group. People that dislike groups are generally people who have something to lose by being in a group. Think about that for a second.
If you're not too bright and you are put into a group the chances are that you just improved your situation. It's an upgrade to go from your lower position to that of a group that is at a higher position. Conversely, if you are doing well yourself and are put into a group the chances are that you just worsened your situation. It's a downgrade to go from where you currently are to that of a group that is at a lower position.
Look back at school. Remember doing group exercises in school? Some, or rather most, students loved working in groups. I did as well. It was fun and made the work less monotonous and more social. Working in groups was fun at school. But do you also remember how some students didn't like working in groups? Some students would get pissed about having to work in a group. There was a reason for this and it wasn't solely because they were anti-social. Or even if they were anti-social they were anti-social for a reason.
But then there were also those students who loved working in groups. I mean loooooooooved it. Maybe you were one of them. To these students working in a group was a saving grace ensuring them that they were going to pass this assignment. Working in a group meant that no matter what the others would have to carry their weight in order to get a passing grade. These students who loved groups were generally students who weren't as good on their own. These are the people that needed somebody to help lift them up, or at least they would opt for and embrace that option when presented to them.
So in school we saw the beginning of this brewing. We saw how the really smart kids would be like, "Ah crap, I gotta work with these numnuts?", while the dumb kids would be like, "WOOHOO!! GROUPS FTW!! LET'S GO TEAM!!"
But take a step back and really look at what is going on here. You are seeing a fundamental part of human nature taking place here. You are seeing the divide between smart and dumb. You are seeing individualism vs collectivism. You are seeing both the people who support these things as well as the results of these things.
Dumb students love groups because they know the smart students will carry their weight.
When a smart person worked in a group their grade would not improve. It would usually go down. It's possible their grade would stay the same and they would just carry the weight of everyone else and do extra work to do so, or they would take a loss and get a worse grade as a result of the dumber or less willing participants in their group. They knew this going in which is why they got pissed when the teacher came out saying that this was a group assignment.
And then of course the dumb or lazy students cheered when they knew they were doing groups because it meant they were going to get a better grade despite the amount of work they did. They knew the smarter students with more hustle were going to get it done for them since their butt was on the line too. And so the dumb students embraced groups like a fly on honey. They couldn't get enough group activities. Not only did their grade improve on the assignment but they also didn't have to work as hard. It was pure win, at the expense of the smarter, more willing students.
But it doesn't stop here.
Of course the school itself is a group. Dumb people go to college and school because they can't find the information or don't have the patience and discipline to seek out the information on their own. Books, the Internet and especially real-world experience offer much more value than a school ever will, but that's not a group activity so count most people out. Most people would rather go to college because that is easier than going to the library. School is a group and like most groups gives people the security they desire. They would much rather lean on school than lean on themselves. People want to be guided by somebody else rather than navigate their own life. There's a reason why many of the smartest people in the world either didn't go to school or dropped out of school.
And then we have family. We see this same dynamic happening with family. Maybe smart/dumb isn't quite the right scale to use, but something along the lines of this is prevalent. You have some children in a family who are more family oriented and some who are less family oriented. This orientation is based on a similar group mechanism. We have some children who need family and others who do not. And of course, the ones who need family are usually not as smart.
The family is the group. And the child is the individual. For children who develop slower, or who make poorer decisions, or who do a number of things that limit their growth, the family becomes a solution to their circumstance. When they are struggling to get on their own two feet it is advantageous for them to leverage the resources and support of the family, or group.
"Why develop yourself when you can stick around and have the family look after you?"
And so they do. And sometimes to the point that they never want to leave the family, or to the point that they develop a mutually exploitative relationship with the family. They stay loyal to the family so long as the family provides for them. And in this sense they never really grow up, they never really leave the nest. This is why we see more and more Millennials living at home. Why leave when you don't have to? Why leave when the group brings you up? Why develop yourself when you can stick around and have the family look after you?
And it's a touchy relationship because of course the family loves their children and wants to help them as much as possible. But at what point is it helping the child and at what point is it hurting the child?
Meanwhile, you have the other children who are more capable and more disciplined who are able to support themselves outside of the family. To them the family is a group that may bring them down in certain areas. After all, if we are supposed to learn from our families and surpass them, what does this surpassing look like? How does a group respond to an individual that has learned what they need to know and has now gone beyond? What does the master do when the student now surpasses them? Well, some will embrace it and nurture it, most will fight it. Most groups do not like it when an individual breaks free and shines the light back on them in their wake.
And so we have a rather peculiar relationship when the child improves themselves and goes beyond the group. When you are close to the group it's okay. But when you make the group look useless and unnecessary then it becomes a problem. A mark of intelligence is independence and groups don't want this. They want dependence and complacency.
And of course we have religion. Religion itself is a group. Religious people prefer groups because it allows them to avoid taking responsibility themselves and working on themselves. It it weren't for a group, most people probably would not be religious. If it were not for all the non-religious aspects of religion people probably would not join. People like the social aspect, the events, the singing and all the other group parts of religion. I'm not saying it's bad, I'm saying groups are for the less intelligent. Nobody wants to go home and read a book and actually study the material. But lots of people want to go to a social gathering where they can all validate each other in not doing the work themselves.
The religions themselves know this which is why they present to us a philosophic principle that is often overlooked. There are both exoteric and esoteric aspects to religion. Depending on the level of the student of each religion the religion itself will take a different form. The exoteric aspects are what the religion teaches the group while the esoteric aspects are the deeper mysteries that are unlocked individually by people who actively seek it out. Christianity has it, Judaism has it, Islam has it, all religions have it. Jews are quite familiar with Judaism but few talk of the Kabbalah. Muslims love Islam as a group but few talk of Sufism. Christianity is big on the group version of the Bible but few people will explore the deeper individual dimensions of Freemasonry or Astrotheology.
"Enlightenment is not a group activity"
Of course this all makes sense because group religion has to service the lower common denominator. This means that the message invariably must be dumbed down otherwise it would confuse a lot of people in the group. So the message of all major religions is watered down and concealed in an exoteric veil that the vast majority of people can easily relate to and understand. This ensures that you can reach the widest range of people possible. It confuses smart people and appeases dumb people. But of course dumbing down the message also takes away the true potency and value behind the religion. When you dumb it down too much all that is left are confusing stories that are childlike and contradictory. Sure there is value in them, but far less value than the esoteric version that you have to unlock yourself.
And most individual philosophers and students of religion know this. They know that the actual stories and histories in the religious texts and dumbed down and created for a less discerning audience. They know that actual true wisdom is something you have to seek out and synthesize yourself. Actually getting a grasp on spirituality is something that you have to do within, internally. You do this as an individual not as a group. Even religious leaders like Buddha and Jesus say exactly this. The really good stuff only comes when you sit quietly and meditate on it individually, on your own.
So religion itself is a group and the idea of getting good information through a group is just not possible. The group has to appeal to the least intelligent person and by doing so keeps away the really good stuff. The really good stuff can only be understood once you have awakened yourself to a certain level, and the higher level you reach the less people there will be until finally you are alone. All the ancient schools of wisdom and all the ancient philosophers talk about this because this is the true nature of religion, philosophy and wisdom. True religion, spirituality and philosophy is unlocked from within, not from without in a group. Enlightenment is not a group activity.
Let's move over to immigration. We of course have people emigrating from some countries and immigrating into others. Why? Because of course the country they are immigrating into is better to them.
A country is a group. When a group takes in a smart person it brings up the group. When a group takes in a dumb person it brings down the group. The reason so many Americans are upset about immigration is because America is an individualistic society. America is more about the individual than the group. People who favor individualism are generally smarter because you don't need to depend on the group. The group needs you but you don't need them.
But when we have people who champion the group coming into a country then you're going to have the same result that happens in school when the people who love groups get together. They're going to tug at the rest of the students holding up the fort. You're going to now have a tug pulling down the people who don't need the group. The smart people are now going to be supporting and working extra time just so less smart people can have their group.
I'm not saying immigration is bad. However, if the immigrants are under the group mean then you're going to have a tug down. If the immigrants are above the group mean then you're going to have a tug up. There are consequences to actions.
And now we reach the real meat of the matter. Socialists are collectivists. Socialists love groups. And why wouldn't they? They have everything to gain.
Capitalists are individualists. Capitalists aren't against groups, but they let the individuals decide. And when you've looked at this type of thing long enough you can start to reach a rather loose but general conclusion:
The smarter 1/2 of people lean capitalist. The dumber 1/2 of people lean socialist.
This may take some time to really sink in but let it. Think about the kind of people who favor socialism and then the kind of people who favor capitalism. Think about what the socialists have to gain through socialism. Think about where they currently are and then where they will be after socialism. Will they move up or down?
And now think about capitalists. Think about where they are and where they will be after socialism. Not the socialism financed through government to make more money for the state-capitalists. Think about the everyday capitalist who owns a business, pays their taxes and provides jobs for people. Are they better or worse with socialism?
It's obvious. Socialism is great for the lower 1/2 of society and terrible for the upper 1/2. Conversely, capitalism is terrible for the lower 1/2 of society and great for the upper 1/2.
But it's not that capitalism is even bad for the lower 1/2. It's just that socialism appears to be better for them -- at the expense of the upper 1/2 of course! Just like those days in school. You have the socialists who love groups and who want to pull the capitalists in so that they can leverage some of those extra resources the upper 1/2 created.
Do you see the point I'm trying to make here? Again, of course I'm painting with a very broad stroke, but there is most certainly truth to this stroke. Step in the other side's shoes.
If you're a capitalist you like working hard and building. You like the risk and reward aspect of life. You like putting effort into something and then getting a result from that effort. You like the challenge and growth gained through capitalism. And because you are fairly smart it comes natural to you. This is what makes you smarter. This is what fuels your growth. And if something is challenging you don't give up, you look for a way through it. You don't give up and you are always trying new things and working towards something better.
But now what about socialists? What if you're not as smart? What if you're not very good at anything? What if you're not able to grasp concepts as quickly? What if competition to you means that you're going to lose? What if you were at the bottom rung of your school? What if you don't have a good work ethic? What if you don't have the desire to work? What if personal growth isn't at the top of your priorities? Well then, capitalism looks absolutely terrifying to you.
"Rather than embrace their individuality socialists instead embrace the group and try to force it on everyone else."
And perhaps deep down a lot of socialists know this. And deep down this fear keeps them locked up in their shell and finds ways to point the finger at others instead of at themselves. Rather than blaming themselves for their current situation they instead play the victim card and blame everyone and everything but themselves. Rather than embrace their individuality socialists instead embrace the group and try to force it on everyone else. They need the group. The group is a solution to them. The group will help pull them up to where they want to be.
And the best part about the group: majority of people want the group. There aren't a lot of people who can do it on their own so the group sounds great to them as well. The group is a comfortable, inviting safety net there for those who need it. And it is quite enticing as well. Why work on yourself when you have someone else to save you? Why spend your time learning when you could spend your time marketing socialism and avoid real work?
Think about it. This is the core stuff that is really going on beneath all this.
Look, I'm not saying groups are bad or that collaboration should be avoided. Far from it. I'm saying that we should recognize the incentives and reasons why certain people favor group situations. 2 smart people in a group is far different from 2 dumb people in a group. 1 smart person and 1 dumb person in a group is different. 2 smart people work together. 2 dumb people pull each other down. 1 dumb person pulls down the 1 smart person while the smart person uplifts the 1 dumb one. Just realize what is going on. We're talking about an energy exchange here. We're talking about choices, incentives and desires.
And yes, some people bring different skillsets to the table and mixing them actually creates a net positive. I get all that. I'm not talking about that. I'm talking in the very general sense where all conditions are looked at as equal. I'm looking at in the sense where not everyone brings their A game to a group in their respective area of expertise.
I'm all for helping people. I'm all for bringing people up. Just be careful on how you do it. Sometimes the best way isn't to bring somebody into a group, but rather to teach them how to stand on their two feet. We've all heard the saying, it is better to teach somebody how to fish than give them a fish. Groups give people fish. Individualism teaches people to fish. Who do we really want to become? What do we really want? Or have we become too comfortable living off the teet of the group?Filed under: Personal Development, Life Shortcut, The Easy Way Out, Hurting Others While Helping Yourself, Makes Sense To A 3rd Grader, Still In School, Easy A, Eazy-E, Dr. Dre