"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities."--Voltaire "It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong." Voltaire, 1694-1778 "Once spirit was God, then it became man, and now it is even becoming mob." Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche Groupthink is a term coined by social psychologist Irving Janis (1972).
Although in case of wars we probably have more of have a deliberate effort of the elite to enforce their views of society via propaganda mechanisms.Lord John Acton's (1834-1902) famous sentence, "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely." (Letter to Bishop Creighton, April 5, 1887) reflects the same idea.In other words, the phenomenon was recognized long before fascism conducted its large-scale social experiment on German and Italian people and Bolsheviks brainwashed Russian population, creating a secular religion out of Marxists philosophy.The term "groupthink" is closely related to such terms as propaganda, social influences on individuals, group cohesiveness, and, especially, brainwashing.There are several similar terms with the most popular alternative term being "political correctness".At the same time many achievements of humanity (for example dominance of secular states) are due to people who sacrificed their lives for defending their own view of things and events.Which during Middle Ages was related to questioning the religious dogma. Beating the war drums is a sur way to increase group cohesiveness and was used and abused by elite since antiquity.There are three basic premises of groupthink: Individual actors on social scheme adjust their actions based on both pressures and contributions of others as well as the way they view the social scene.The latter is connected with the important concept of reference group.Reinhold Niebuhr in his famous book, Moral Man and Immoral Society (1932) said that The idea that persons who look and act morally in personal lives, quickly revert to immoral behavior as the members of the group is not new.Niebuhr just exposed the hypocrisy of the arguments the ruling group use to justify their favored position and to restrict the opportunities and participation of the other groups that are marginalized.