Indeed there is no shortage of groups. Name any subject and you have a group. And why not? Humans are a scared lot and find safety in numbers. Its these numbers that create lobbies and pressure groups, its these very numbers that help to change the course of history , and help in the removal of despots. Be it at the family level or international, groups have played a vital role both in creation as well as destruction. Political parties have been routed, countries have bowed down to the pressure of international group-ism, evil social customs have been wiped out, new laws have been made and old ones removed, movements have been started and even nature has found its support in group movements. Any issue has become an invitation to group pressure tactics where the like-minded band together in the hope of success. This will go to any lengths and end up in fast unto death.
Thus if there is something that hurts Freedom of Expression and Speech outcome the journalistic and news world with vehement protests, if it’s something against the teachers then they go on strike together, if it’s a religious act or utterance against another then there is a big hue and cry and there are marches and even riots, and if it concerns the labor then the Unions are always waiting to join in at the drop of a hat.
The Rulers want something and the ruled want something else altogether. There is group-ism within the administrative structure and then to top it all there is the group-ism within groups. Then there are the WhatsApp groups and the Facebook groups, various intellectual elite societies and the Freemasons and professional groups. There are also groups at all status levels, and job types…..it’s hilarious…the list is huge …and not to forget the religious groups and the caste and nationality. In India even the people of each states having common language and culture band together and have their own organizations…it’s amazing how the likeminded and the people with similarities always get together and may even refuse so called outsiders to come in. Thus we have political parties…groups comprising people with common ideology and then there are groups formed by ages and educational groups like the literary clubs and the scientific groups and then not to forget those made on the basis of sex, caste, color, creed etc.
The way these groups form coalitions and separate is yet another amazing phenomena. There are various reasons ranging from the personal whims and fancies of the leaders of groups or those within groups, to that of a common threat. So when the minor parties are wining, the larger parties will form a coalition to register a win if they are short in the number of votes, never mind the differing ideologies and thought polarities…and once they win, again start the internal dissensions! This of course does not benefit the common man or those that are not part of any groups though the latter are few in number as these are individualistic people and are not followers by nature.
The psychology under which a group operates is quite different from say the individual, when he acts alone. The group has its own structure and system and together with rules and regulations has a hierarchy and office bearers etc. in the event it is a well-organized. Even in loosely knit groups there is a tacit understanding between the individual members and work fine as long as there is unity among them along with a certain like mindedness.
Then there are groups that are formed instantly when the issue touches the very core of human existence, and they disappear just as fast, once the issue is resolved And now there are varied groups formed on the net some of which are such that the members don’t even know each other but come together for a common cause across all borders.
Although groups are a very good support system yet they are not always the ultimate system in that many times it will fail to support you especially if one goes against the current and are a dissenter. The last of which are rarely appreciated as a matter of course anywhere. Too much adherence to groups can hinder individual progress and render you ineffective in your personal life and identity formation and make you at times faceless. One can hide very well in a group but one can hardly excel on one’s own terms especially if you are given to independent thought and assertiveness. Then there is the constant crossing over from one group to the other and change in loyalties which completely shatters the belief and trust factor. So the word commitment just doesn’t form a part of the picture.
It’s very important to choose the group one wants to join. The reason for this is that it could completely change you and your thinking process, sometimes to the point that you seem like a stranger to your near and dear ones. Joining groups to enhance status or due to societal or peer pressure or just because one feels unsafe could leave one more depressed and unstable. Many times one will end spending time on needless activities that neither enhances your knowledge or personality and one becomes just one of the sheep in the flock.
What makes one joins groups and does it really help in achieving your goals and enhancing your personality and development? Or is it just a convenient escapism from fear of being alone or responsibility and accountability? Has the individual become ineffective? The groups seem to be getting larger and larger and everything is banding together…soon there will only be group thought and group activity and group wars and competitions and perhaps all the leaders will also form a group to control the rest of humanity…a small group controlling all the other groups! The individual thought, originality and creativity may well vanish in this Game of Groupism, making everything common.
Perhaps entire humanity will only unite in the scenario of a threat to the planet from outer space. Until then we will remain divided in groups.