Human affairs aboard Spaceship Earth have always been screwed up, and there has never been enough food and other necessities to go around. Unfairness has ever abounded. Homo sapiens form and join organizations and groups to increase their chances of getting their needs met, a right guaranteed by the US Constitution.
This article, “’Patriot’ Paranoia: A Look at the Top Ten Conspiracy Theories,” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, presents conspiracy theories accepted as doctrine and dogma in US hate groups.
Abraham Maslow postulated a hierarchy of human needs, ascending from needs for food, clothing and shelter to safety, security, belonging, love and self-actualization. While members of groups may profess to believe the doctrines and dogma of their organizations and groups they are also attempting to satisfy their personal needs. This applies to members of hate groups as well as members of other types of groups.
All organizations and groups consist of leaders and members. Some are more positive than others, ranging from very negative to very positive.
US hate groups while relatively negative have not caused serious agitations and disruptions in the US, unlike political and religious groups in the Middle East, who are now tearing their countries to shreds with violence and war.
Republican doctrine and dogma (such as the notion that cutting taxes, or not raising taxes, for the rich creates jobs) is much more harmful to society than the conspiracy theories of hate groups. And then there are the agitations created by the doctrines and dogma of organizations such as large corporations, the National Security Administration and the Democratic Party.
The problem is if leaders and members of any organization or group believe their doctrines and dogma are “the truth”, and if this “truth” is reinforced over and over in group meetings with rituals, recitations, affirmations, sermons and speeches, regardless of how irrational it might be, it can work as well as real truth for creating group cohesion and feelings of security, love, superiority and satisfaction for group members and leaders, which, unfortunately, can lead to hubris, chauvinism and patriotism, which can lead to hatred, conflict, paranoia, and in worst cases violence and war, causing a loss of security, and much else, for everyone.
Getting needs met can often cause needs not to be met and organizations and groups are mixed blessings. More cooperation and less competition are needed to satisfy more needs for more people. How to make that happen seems forever elusive. Focusing more on facts than doctrines and dogma would be a good place to start.
Richard John Stapleton is an emeritus professor of business policy, ethics and entrepreneurship who writes on business and politics. He is the author of “Business Voyages: Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata and Tools for Discovering and Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds.”