The Attack on Unforgiveable Meanings
Polanyi used several examples to illustrate his point. Take the human face. Although we can recognize a single human face out of a billion, we cannot say how we do so. Each face is constituted of the same features--eyes, nose, lips, etc.--but these merely become the background in apprehending the whole face. We could not see the face without these subsidiary particulars, but the face cannot be reduced to them.
As a matter of fact, there are some autistic and psychotic people who are unable to recognize faces. Instead, they see only the disconnected fragments of a face, which they cannot integrate into a meaningful expression.
Although there is no indication that he knew about Polanyi, the psychoanalyst W.R. Bion noted that particularly ill individuals actually reverse the process he describes and attack or prevent the emergence of unwanted meaning. I personally see this all the time. That is, even a neurotic individual will often attack or block the emergence of a particular meaning so as to reduce it to its meaningless particulars. Once you understand this process, you will see that the left (in its broadest sense) habitually engages in it, both voluntarily and involuntarily. For example, it is the reason why they think the economy is doing poorly despite the fact that it is performing spectacularly. Stock market at an all time high? Don't mean nothin'. Alls I see is that dang prevert congressman.
What is political correctness but an all-out assault on the ability of people to arrive at certain unwanted conclusions? What is deconstruction but a frontal attack on any meaning that places western civilization in a positive light? There are no conservative deconstructionists, because what is specifically being deconstructed--that is, attacked--is the truism that America is a good and decent nation, that western civilization is a uniquely precious gift, that America is not a racist-sexist-homophobic society, etc. None of these conclusions are permissible on the left. They must be assaulted both intellectually and physically, as when the fascistic Columbia students attacked the Minutemen last week.
Yesterday I made the point that science, properly understood, can only exist in a free society. Amazingly, some commenters disagreed with this axiomatic statement, which only goes to show how far cultural relativism has seeped its way into the collective mind. Has anyone ever heard of Soviet psychiatry, which is simply leftist psychiatry writ large, or drawn out to its ultimate implications? For in the Soviet system, the definition of mental health was dictated from the top down, determined by the needs of the collective. One was “sick” to the extent that one had thoughts, beliefs or behaviors that were inconsistent with the needs of the glorious revolution. Freely discovering one's own meaning--which is the meaning and purpose of liberty--is precisely forbidden.
In psychoanalysis, the purest of psychotherapies, the first rule is to “say whatever comes to mind.” Ironically, you could even say that one is “cured” when one is finally capable of actually doing this. But in any totalitarian society, saying whatever comes to mind is what one must never do. Eventually one is not even aware of the suppression, because it becomes internalized. There are whole areas of the psyche that are marked off with signs and barriers: do not enter! One eventually suppresses oneself, and even projects the part of oneself that wishes to be free into others.
This is at heart of the Islamist pathology. You could say that their own “id”--understood in the much broader sense as all that is unactualized and stillborn within the psyche--is projected into aggressive and sexually degenerate Jews and infidels. Importantly, once something is banished from conscious awareness, it undergoes a bizarre transmogrification, as it is subject to the very different laws that govern unconscious logic. This is why the rhetoric that emerges from the Muslim world takes on such florid and bizarre proportions, as documented every day by memri.org. It probably also accounts for the phenomenon of Bush derangement among the left’s kook base.
Imagine a Palestinian going to a Palestinian psychiatrist and free associating. “You know, I’ve been having these weird thoughts.... I don’t think that Jews are responsible for all my problems.... In fact, I’m starting to think that they’re an admirable people, and that we should be imitating them instead of murdering them.... Let’s be honest, Doc, Arabs have contributed nothing to the world, but just by being in proximity to Israel we were the most prosperous Arab ecomomy, but we stupidly destroyed all of that with the meaningless intifada. We actually cheered when those planes went into the Twin Towers, but now I’m starting to have second thoughts, Doc. Am I crazy?”
“Yes. Not just crazy but evil. As a way of curing you, I am recommending that you be hung by your ankles from the nearest lamp post and be disemboweled by an angry mob.”
Is it really any different in America? Of course it is. Here they don’t string you up by your ankles, but merely fire you or ruin your career, like Lawrence Summers at Harvard, who had the temerity to utter a banal scientific truth about the differences between men and women in that ovary tower of maleicious feminist drivel. Conservatives are routinely vilified in this manner by the left, merely for having ideas of which they do not approve--Robert Bork, Rush Limbaugh, Samuel Alito... the list is endless. You will notice that they never actually engage the ideas, but attack the person who holds them as being malicious, evil and sinister. This is why the left must rely on scandal and judicial tyranny to advance its otherwise unpopular agenda. In a battle of ideas they lose every time, which is why it so so critical for them to keep the Foley matter on the front burner.
The matter of leftist control of my profession becomes particularly annoying for me every two years, when it is time for me to complete my 36 hours of continuing education in order to renew my license. Ironically, it is the one time of the year that I must temporarily suspend my education in order to absorb some semiannual left wing claptrap.
In a previous post, I wrote of my experience with the oral examination to became a psychologist. The examiners read you a little clinical vignette and ask you questions about it. What are your thoughts? How would you treat this person? What’s their diagnosis? They then change little details, asking what you’d do in this or that situation.
But then they come to the really, really important part, the holiest of holies, Cultural Competence. This is where you are presented with the opportunity to fall over yourself--which you had better do--in demonstrating how politically correct you are. It is one of the best examples I know of for how the left insinuates itself into virtually every profession, converting political dogma into what is essentially law. For a license is a legal document, and it is therefore “illegal” for me to not toe the leftist line on issues of multiculturalism, cultural relativism, victimology, and political correctness.
Normal people don’t think about these things, but leftists are not normal people. As activists, they are always active. You and I may go about our lives earning a living, raising our children, enjoying our hobbies, but the activist has no life, so he is actively involved in making your life more difficult. He will not cease his activity until there are no victims left on whose behalf he can activate.
So anyway, just when you think you’ve covered the clinical vignette from every possible angle, out comes the cross-cultural screw ball: what if the patient were African American?
African American! Oh my God! A negro! What would I do? That changes everything! They're not like us. They’re a completely different race, I mean, culture. The same rules don’t apply. They don’t think like you or I do. What’s crazy for white folks might be normal for them. Don’t forget the anger over slavery. And don’t forget they won’t trust you, because you’re white. No, that’s not paranoia. Perception is reality. You d’ Man. You an authority figure, and they don’t trust authority. And don’t forget, they have a matriarchal culture, so don’t mention the “F-word” (father). They just choose to organize their families differently, so don’t be projecting your own racist 1950’s Ozzie and Harriet values about marriage or the need for a mother and father. And remember, they’re rough on their kids, so don’t call it abuse. Mama don’t play!
I wonder how this process works for blacks taking the psychology exam. Are they presumed to be “culturally incompetent” to treat white folks? Are homosexuals incompetent to treat heterosexuals, secular psychologists incompetent to treat Christians? To even ask the question is to expose the nuttiness of the left.
But that’s not the end of the leftist fruit hoops through a licensed psychologist must jump. Oh no. They can’t risk you lapsing into cultural incompetence once you’re licensed. At heart you are an incorrigible racist and homophobe. Steps must be taken. The mandated thirty-six hours of re-indoctrination is another chance for the activists to activate.
My mandatory ethics class was a case in point. In over twenty years of seeing patients, only a couple come to mind who had AIDs. And yet, my ethics class was obsessed with the rights of homosexuals, in particular, those with HIV (not that it's a gay disease!).
Here are some samples from the course:
“HIV/AIDS has its own unique ethical issues. Because HIV can be transmitted through sexual activity and by sharing drug equipment, it evokes significant personal feelings and judgments in the general public, as well as in health and social service providers.”
You shall not judge the victim! Don't be leaping to conclusions about their "drug equipment." It's not like they smoke cigarettes in public or something.
“The principle of justice assumes impartiality and equality. It means that a clinician will treat all clients equally and give everyone their due portion of services. This principle applies to the individual client as well as on the larger societal level.”
You shall not prefer certain people or cultures over others! Doing so is unjust. And make sure that 13% of your patients are black and 52% are women. After all, that's their "due portion" of your services.
“Individuals have the right to decide how to live their own lives, as long as their actions do not interfere with the welfare of others. This principle respects the unconditional worth of the individual and promotes the concepts of self-governance, self-determination, and self-rule.”
You shall not make any moral judgments! Doing so is immoral. Everyone is unconditionally valuable, except for people who think they aren't. And we must value self-determination and self-rule, except for official victims whose lives are determined and ruled by white male victimizers.
“The impact of welfare reform may augment concern about access issues. Adding restrictions to a population that is already disenfranchised will require more creativity, patience, and determination on the part of the clinician who is trying to advocate for a client.”
Your job is not to "treat a patient” but to advocate for a client! And you must help your disenfranchised client register to vote (Democrat, of course), so that we can undo welfare reform.
“For some counselors, the knowing transmission of HIV is as serious as hearing their client threaten to kill someone. There are differences, however, between knowingly transmitting HIV and murder. For one, the campaign to stop the transmission of HIV has encouraged people to protect themselves. Therefore, every individual is responsible for safer sex practices, so it is not entirely the responsibility of the person with HIV.”
You are not a victim if someone intentionally gives you HIV. Hey, wait a minute, I don’t get this one... Finally, a real victim!
“Providers should consider the following questions: How can providers, and society in general, ensure that resources are distributed fairly?"
Easy. By becoming Marxists, of course. To each according to his need, and all that.
"How can such allocations be free of bias and assumptions about certain individuals, cultures, and populations?”
Umm, by having a load of politically correct cultural biases and assumptions about them?
“Cultural issues often are glossed over... For example, a gay, African American client may have difficulty dealing with his homosexuality and as a result may be having anonymous unprotected sex impulsively.”
Hmm... What if he's a closeted congressman who sends dirty instant messages? Should we cut him any slack? And what if having impulsive anonymous unprotected sex is the whole point of the subculture? Shouldn't we be sensitive to that?
And my favorite: “Dual relationships should be avoided if possible. A clinician who knows a client via a past sexual encounter should not assume a professional role with that client.”
I looked up the word encounter: a chance meeting; a direct often momentary meeting.
Do not, under any circumstances, be a provider of mental health services to a client with whom you’ve had a chance, momentary meeting without your clothes on.
Not that there’s anything wrong with it. You're probably just an African American who can't admit you're gay. Either that or you’re Bill Clinton.