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Harry Browne: The Group Trap

I've been digging on Harry Browne since last night when I picked up How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World after 8 years or so. I first read it right before all this Ron Paul stuff started - probably in 2006, checked out from the Minute Man Library system.

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Here is the beginning to Chapter 6: The Group Trap

The Group Trap is the belief that you can accomplish more by sharing responsibilities, efforts and rewards with other that you can by acting on your own.

It's an easy trap to fall into. It's a common expression that "in union there is strength." Just the opposite is true, however. You achieve more for yourself when your rewards are dependent upon your own efforts rather than upon the efforts of other people.

When you join a group effort to achieve freedom, you waste precious resources on an endeavor that has very little chance of success. In the same way, group efforts are common in business, marriages and even friendships, and there too the Group Trap can cause subtle problems.

Groups are not living entities. They don't think or act; only individuals do (His emphasis, not mine.) And yet, any group effort is based upon the assumption of a group purpose that overrides the individual differences of its members. Its expected that the group will act as a single unit with a unified purpose.

Only individuals think -- and each one thinks differently. Their interests and desires may overlap, but each person will continue to define his own objectives and have his own opinion concerning the best way to achieve those objectives.

Perhaps each person entering a group unconsciously assumes that it will act in unison for his objectives, and by his methods. But every other participant probably has the same assumptions about his ideas.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0965603679
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Reflections on what comes up for you, as individuals?

Groups get cowed by their own form of political correctness as well. That's what I see.



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jrd3820's picture

Oh, well this was easy enough....

My thoughts as an individual on group think. As an individual group think made me think of the libertarian movement and unkonwuser just told me the libertarian movement promotes individuality.

Here is my response

But does it?
Submitted by jrd3820 on Wed, 04/02/2014 - 15:31. Permalink

It is supposed to, but I've been hanging around the libertarian crowd my whole life, and I am constantly told what I should do, say, think, read, watch, or listen to in order to be a 'libertarian.'

I posted a blog link from NPR in a comment a week or so ago. It wasn't an NPR political hit piece where they take cheap shots, it wasn't an NPR save the world follow the UN's orders type piece where they make emotional and unfounded pleas for people to follow their cues, it was simply a blog about stargazing and finding new planets. Someone had to point out it was from NPR and point out their lack of satisfaction of that.

I have been told by libertarians that choosing to read certain authors makes me not libertarian. Certain musicians...some I love, certain movies, actors, TV shows...anything that doesn't gel up perfectly with everyone else and their perfect ideas of how to be a perfect libertarian can cause someone around here or someone around the libertarian crowd to be criticized.

I have been told who to vote for, who to campaign for, what to eat, what to wear, what I should do with my free time, who to associate with, who to not associate with....and so on and so forth by self proclaimed libertarians for as long as I can remember.

Sooooo......does libertarianism *really* promote individualism or is that just big talk and a pipe dream?

...

It's hard to be an individual. Groups spend too much effort trying to tear you down.

Kinda like your Hemingway quote.

Michael Nystrom's picture

The nail that stands out will be hammered down

That is what they say in Japan. It is a very harmonious society, if you except that part, (lol).

I saw your comment over there. I agree. The Libertarian set has its own political correctness.

I have been told who to vote for, who to campaign for, what to eat, what to wear, what I should do with my free time, who to associate with, who to not associate with....and so on and so forth by self proclaimed libertarians for as long as I can remember.

That is really hilarious. Kind of sad that it takes so long for people to realize it.

Yeah, NPR is bad, the NY Times is definitely bad. You wouldn't want to be caught dead reading that paper over here. (Nothing I love better on Sunday than a cup of coffee and the New York Times.)

jrd3820's picture

haha nevermind

You already responded over there. Those are my thoughts on groups though. One of the most authoritative groups I have encountered happens to be a group of individualists....

And isn't it ironic?

Dontchya think?

It's like rain on your wedding day.

That being said, since all groups are authoritative I do love this group the most for some crazy reason...

It just frustrates me that some people don't see the irony in all of it.

Michael Nystrom's picture

No comments?

jrd3820's picture

lol, I'm trying to keep up teacher

I really am...but I had a few more things to say to you and unknownuser in the 'we are not screwed thread'

And then my Mark Twain thread needed to be posted. I wanted to do it earlier this AM but I was thinking of 5 letter words with the letter J that end in o, but I could not think of any.

I shall comment shortly here.

deacon's picture

hmmm

jello
jolts
joist
joint
joust
joins
D

Leave an indelible mark on all of those that you meet.
OH... have fun day :)
d

jrd3820's picture

I needed it to end in o I think....I can't remember

jello might have worked. It's too late now, I've moved on and am now out of vowels.

Thanks Deacon!

deacon's picture

:)

yeah,I got all giddy with myself knowing soooo many words that started with J,and then it happened,I had one of them moments,and forgot it needed an OOOOOOO
D

Leave an indelible mark on all of those that you meet.
OH... have fun day :)
d