“Incestuous amplification”

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“Incestuous amplification” is defined by Jane’s Defense Weekly as:

“a condition in warfare where one only listens to those who are already in lock-step agreement, reinforcing set beliefs and creating a situation ripe for miscalculation.”

The civilian version of this condition is called “risky shift” or “group polarization.” A condition where like-minded individuals who only converse with each other end up believing a more extreme version of what they thought before they began talking.

Sounds to me like the Bush administration is suffering from a little “incestuous amplification.”

It seems that any indivdual imbued with the mindset of a particular group will eventually conform to that mentality and even take it to extreme levels.

In an article on AlterNet.org titled “March of the Banana Republicans” by John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton, this control by numbers concept is carried over to what the Republicans are doing to our society. By forcefully pushing a conservative agenda the people will eventually adapt to this mentality and pass it on with even more intensity than they were recruited under. I liken this idea to another psychological condition:

Societal Stockholm Syndrome. Virtually anyone can can get this syndrome if the following conditions are met:

  • Perceived threat to survival and the belief that one’s captor is willing to act on that threat.
  • The captive’s perception of small kindnesses from the captor within a context of terror.
  • Isolation from perspectives other than those of the captor.
  • Perceived inability to escape.

Wow, this sounds like the life of every American who lives under the Bush administration… Doesn’t it?

» Jane’s Defense Weekly
» March of the Banana Republicans [Alternet.org]
» Societal Stockholm Syndrome

  1. Wow, you could also apply this to Bush’s detractors. Given that the Bush administration has been very secretive, many liberal sites often assume the worst case scenario for whatever news does escape.

  2. Now, what I really want to know is what’s the name of the syndrome/condition that so many conservatives are part of. You know, those who defend Bush, through thick and thin (Abu Ghraib and the like).