I came across an idea serendipitously, and thought that it applies rather well to what I suspect may be going on around Michael Gove at the moment...
It's the concept of 'incestuous amplification'
, originally a US military term for the effects of embattled groupthink; this is the definition from Jane's Defense Weekly
'Incestuous Amplification: 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 economist Paul Krugman
has blogged about the phenomenon recently in relation to the Iraq War and to US government fiscal policies.
In a way it's stating the obvious about what can happen when a group has a 'mission' in which others may not believe; but I think it's an interesting concept to add to the debate around what Gove believes he's doing, and why such an educated and apparently bright man seems to be so unwilling to brook any disagreement.
Update on forced academisation
- see here
for trailer for Acad£mies and Lies: the Parents, the Politician and the Carpetbagger