Group conformity is an intriguing phenomenon. Both key for collective action and potentially toxic at the same time. Why do people, seemingly so easily, support 'blatantly false, manipulated realities' and even create arguments to support it? Interesting read in The Atlantic why most of us conform and collaborate while only a small minority stands up, asks critical questions and makes up their mind themselves. It happened to the extreme in Nazi Germany, during the communist era in Eastern Europe and currently in the form of Trumpism in the U.S. and in Putin’s Russia. According to Joshua Yaff the Russian language even has a word for it, ‘prisposoblenets’: ’a person skilled in the act of compromise and adaptation, who intuitively undrstands what is expected of him and adjusts his beliefs and conduct accordingly’. And it may happen more than we are aware of in companies, organisations, teams, groups and networks we are part of. The conformity process requires a fair deal of devious manipulation: ‘It takes time to persuade people to abandon their existing value systems. The process usually begins slowly, with small changes.’ But in the end the majority follows rather smoothly to keep or improve their benefits or simply because of nihilism, cynicism or amoralism.
Read more on The Atlantic - History Will Judge the Complicit