by Chris Campbell
Laissez Faire Books
“Cultural assimilation,” former congressional staff member Mike Lofgren writes in his essay Anatomy of the Deep State, “is partly a matter of what psychologist Irving L. Janis called ‘groupthink,’ the chameleon-like ability of people to adopt the views of their superiors and peers.
“This syndrome,” Lofgren goes on, “is endemic to Washington: The town is characterized by sudden fads, be it negotiating biennial budgeting, making grand bargains or invading countries. Then, after a while, all the town’s cool kids drop those ideas as if they were radioactive.
“As in the military, everybody has to get on board with the mission, and questioning it is not a career-enhancing move. The universe of people who will critically examine the goings-on at the institutions they work for is always going to be a small one. As Upton Sinclair said, ‘It’s difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.’”