“Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups” is a quote attributed to George Carlin, and honestly it sounds like something he would have said followed by “Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that”.
I fancy myself a keen observer of human nature, though I am not a psychologist, I have stayed at a Holiday Inn (inside American joke). People like groups. There is comfort in a group and certainly more power within the dynamics of a group. Some groups have rules, codes of conduct. Most groups have a common goal, possibly a direction or some perceived or hopeful outcome. There might be a leader, there might be several leaders, maybe even a figurehead but there are certainly the masses, the sheep, because without the sheep it isn’t a group. A flock, a herd or a mob of one is just that, one.
The six o’clock news will always give groups airtime. Political rallies, protest marches, high school car washes, pray gatherings always get camera time, a cute mindless reporter and sixty seconds. When was last time you saw a lone man with a sign marching on the sidewalk on the television. Maybe when the police take him down for unlawful assembly.
We are a society of groups. Churches seem to be the most prevalent of all the groups around. A church checks off all the “group” boxes; rules-check, codes of conduct-check, direction-check, hopeful outcome-check, leader-check, figurehead-check, and sheep-check, check. If the churches of the world ever banded together oh what they could accomplish.
But that isn’t likely to happen. Why you ask? Doctrine. Though all Christian churches have the same figurehead and hopeful outcome they can’t agree on the rules, codes of conduct or direction to get them there. Honestly, I am good with that. I think it keeps the world honest and safe. Can any of you imagine a society where all the Christian churches of world rally around the leadership of Franklin Graham. Man that scares the shit out of me.
I realize this post is likely to piss some of you off. Just to let you know, I am okay with that. I am happy, most days, that there are groups out there for people to join. But I am even happier that there are groups that oppose those groups, maybe even your group. Because at the end of the day what scares me most is the power of stupid people in large groups.