#35 – Community in America: Toxic Groupthink

Continuing on the theme of “worldview” (in Current Events essay #34) and its relationship to community, we continue our desperate search for a way out of the madness that characterizes the behavior of our species in the Global Village.

Let’s start with a definition of “community” itself. Derived from Anglo-Norman and Middle French communite means joint ownership or people coming together to make decisions about where they are, who they are and how they should behave. “It evoked a cozy, friendly, simple place in which people live in easy harmony and cooperation, each with a role to play, each mattering to the whole.” (1)  Anyone who thinks this defines community in America today must live on another planet.

Well then, what would be an accurate definition of our community and why isn’t it working, why isn’t it sustainable? “Community can do powerful things to us, as anyone who has ever felt trapped in a small town or dissented from a religious group knows pretty well. A community can liberate or encourage conformity; it can include or keep people out.” (1)  What Carina Chocano is saying is that a community’s worldview determines our identity and of course who we think we are drives our behavior.

Since our worldview consists of our beliefs, attitudes and values an unhealthy belief can be self-destructive.

“One of the most self-destructive beliefs we have is in the other whether that other is a fellow human being or ‘nature’ including animals. Living in this shattered, disintegrating and delusional paradigm, we will hopefully come to realize, also has the effect of shattering our psyche.” (2)

The evidence of a deteriorating American community continues to pile up. “Compared with their parents’ generation, boomers have higher rates of obesity, prescription and illicit drug abuse, alcoholism, divorce, depression and mental disorders. As they age, many add to that list chronic illness, disabilities and the strains of caring for their parents and for adult children who still depend on them financially.” (3)  Click on the links below to continue the search for how to create a sustainable community in the U.S.


Insight # 35:  Reversing the disintegration of the human community will include transcending the illusion of the other.



  1. Chocano, Carina. “Group Think.” The New York Times Magazine. April 22, 2018, pages 10-11.
  2. Henry, Roy Charles. Science and Philosophy: The Failure of Reason in the Human Community. My Simple Reality, 2015, page 168.
  3. Bahrampour, Tara. “Boomers Killing Themselves at Alarming Rate.” The Denver Post. June 5, 2013, page 15A.



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