Nocturnal Stinkubations of the Left (12.01.10)
According to Tomberg, "Just as the full reality of human life consists of days and nights -- of the bright day-consciousness and the dark sway of the unconscious (or subconsciousness or superconsciousness) -- so the full reality of humanity's biography, the history of mankind, consists of a day aspect and a night aspect. The day aspect comprises the account of the actuality of that which has become, and the night aspect embraces the activity of becoming."
Another way of saying it is that there is horizontal history and vertical history, both individually and collectively. Each involves a different kind of causation. Horizontal causation may be linear or non-linear, but it operates from past to future. Let us call this the "causality of the day."
But vertical history does not operate on the basis of mechanical causation. Rather, it is guided organically and teleologically by a goal, or what is called finalism. For example, many patients -- especially the more sophisticated ones -- come into psychotherapy imagining that there is some event or experience in their past that is causing their present troubles. If they can just remember and identify what it was and bring it into the light, then the vexatious pattern that is imposing itself upon their psychic life will be drained of its potential to cause problems.
But it doesn't work that way. This is because the thing they're looking for is not in the past but the present. It is not "behind" but "below," influencing things from the bottom up. Furthermore, it does not work in a mechanical way, nor is it like a "pressure cooker" of instinctual energy that needs to be released. Rather, it has a goal and an agenda of which we are unaware. We want one thing but it obviously wants something else -- something very specific, usually a certain kind of relationship, even (or especially) if it brings pain or frustration. The conscious self registers the complaint, so to speak, unaware that the complaint, or symptom, represents the achievement of an unconscious goal. Cutting edge neuropsychoanalytic research suggests that it is not a figure of speech to say that the left brain doesn't know what the right brain is doing (or worse yet, knowing or being).
One of the reasons liberal solutions don't work is that they fail to take into consideration the nocturnal aspect of history. And one of the reasons they fail to do so is that leftism in general consists of a meme-pool of the over- and undereducated -- or maternalistic elites (the dreaded "vaginocracy dentata") and the losers for whom they know what's best. Furthermore, this pathological dance creates a "night time" influence of its own, in that the solutions and programs enacted by the elites inevitably make the problems worse, thus creating a greater need for maternalistic elites (an odd conglomeration of "men with breasts" and women without them, e.g., feminists).
Looked at collectively, this pattern is entirely self-defeating, just like a codependent patient who constantly complains about her husband, unaware that her codependency -- her narcissistic rescue fantasies -- fuel her husband's behavior. But there is a great side benefit to the codependency, as it allows the woman to 1) project a damaged part of herself into her husband, thereby distancing herself from her own psychic pain, 2) feel contempt for, and triumph over, the weak and devalued part, and 3) elevate herself and feel morally superior to others.
Thus, we should not be surprised if we see in leftists the same pattern of projection, condescension, and sanctimony. Can I get a witness? Thank you. Where would the left be without their projected racist fantasies of the po' hepless negro? It is quite striking how blacks can tolerate the utter contempt that liberal politicians and the MSM have for them. They are infantilized, held to lower standards, excused of behavior that would not be tolerated in others, and worse. Only on the left could a low life thug such as Al Sharpton run for president without provoking comment, much less deep soul-searching. It is not ironic. It is inevitable.
But it takes two to tango to a tangle of pathology, and it is always tempting to overpathologize the abuser and underpathologize the abused, when the dysfunctional system needs both parties in order to function as a national rescue party -- to party heartily (or in the end, heartlessly). Masochists are on the lookout for sadists, driven to find their missing half just as much as the sadist seeks the weak masochist.
Regarding the excessive projection of the left, one thing about projection is that, because it warps and distorts reality, certain aspects of reality will be grotesquely exaggerated, while others will be ignored. In other words, true or "forced" projection is not a subtle process. It is ultimately rooted in a prior crude psychological splitting that makes the projection possible. (In other words, a psychic content must be "split off" before it can be forcefully evacuated from one's head into another human "container.")
For example, we all know how loving and compassionate liberals are, especially toward the terrorists who wish to destroy our civilization. The terrorists are given a pass because liberals project "victimhood" into them -- e.g., they are victims of poverty, or of imperialism, or of Jews, or of Big Oil, or of George Bush. And this codependent "idiot compassion" simply creates more terrorists.
On the other hand, no such compassion is felt toward Scooter Libby or Dick Cheney. Just a couple of days ago there was another primitive hatefest at huffingandpissed when Vice President Cheney was taken to the hospital because of a blood clot. The primitive projection is quite palpable, which is nothing new if one has any acquaintance with the base base of the left.
What is so incomprehensible -- incomprehensible in the absence of psychoanalytic knowledge, anyway -- is the hatred directed toward a public servant such as Cheney but the absence of hatred toward the terrorists. When something this illogical is going on, you know that it is governed by night-time unconscious processes of which the person is unaware. How can it be that Cheney is the one deserving of denigration, death, suffering, and hellfire, while admitted terrorists at Gitmo are deserving of the full panoply of civil rights -- even the presumption of innocence despite having admitted their crimes?
The psychological splitting of the left is so conspicuous that one cannot fail to notice it. One often hears, for example, that we are involved in a "war for oil" motivated only by greed. But there are three things necessary for life: oxygen, food and water, and energy. The left has no difficulty whatsoever declaring war upon those who supposedly "threaten our air," as this is one of the bases of environmental radicalism.
In reality, the air has never been cleaner since we have been capable of measuring it, but this does not stop the radicals from characterizing President Bush as the moral equivalent of Hitler because of his failure to embrace the Kyoto protocols -- which if enacted would represent a direct war on food by radical groups. In exchange for a marginal and temporary decrease in the global temperature a few decades hence, the environmentalists would allow millions to die as a result of the catastrophic effect on the global economy, including food production.
One often hears leftists repeat the meme that President Bush has not "apologized" for this or that. But when have leftists ever apologized for the destruction wrought by their policies? One reason they fail to do so is that one must be able to see by night in order to become cognizant of the vast damage -- both to visible (not to mention vanished) bodies and invisible souls. As Thomas Sowell has noted, liberal policies are guided by feeling -- in particular, a self-deluding "compassion" -- not by thought. As such, they never take into account what he calls "phase II," or unintended consequences of their policies. This is because their idiot compassion blinds them to the system of destructive incentives a policy puts into place.
For example, any sensible person knows that rent control causes housing shortages, minimum wages cause unemployment, affirmative action diminishes excellence and damages blacks, socialized medicine leads to deadly delays and rationing, lack of competition among schools leads to deterioration in education, welfare makes husbands unnecessary and therefore civilization impossible, economic development is the cure, not cause, of pollution, a weak military provokes our enemies, etc.
As such, leftist policies inevitably backfire, but no one ever apologizes for them. How many families were destroyed and how many young black men killed or incarcerated as a result of of LBJ's oh, Great! Society programs blackfiring? Conservatives, because they generally have lives, don't have time to stage pseudo-events called "demomstrations" in which the unwashed carry around signs bearing the ungrammatical. If they did, they might chant slogans such as:
"Democrats -- a 40 year war on poverty and still no exit strategy!" "Bush spied, terrorists died!" "Help stamp out literacy -- support teachers' unions!" " From each according to his abilities, to each according to his accomplishments." "Keep your socialism out of my paycheck!" "I support journalism, but not its mission." "Give peace a chance. Kill our enemies." "Liberals: always there for you when they need something." "America is the best place in the world to be a woman or minority."
Fortunately, just when leftism was at the peak of its day-time influence in the 1970's and 1980's, a classical liberal counter-movement was incubating by night. It achieved a sort of ascendency in the 1980's, but once again we did not realize that counter-forces were gathering and reconstituting themselves by night, only to re-emerge in the third millennium. They had to change the name to "progressivism" to conceal the fact that it is the same old socialist whine in a new battle.
Yesterday Walt suggested an idea for a topic, that is, what I mean by the cooncept of "satanic," which is "a very saturated word that is both evocative and provocative... and it would be interesting to hear your expanded version."
Yes, I have no hesitation whatsoever in calling the left satanic (as a metaphysics, not necessarily the individuals under its influence). In fact, I am spiritually compelled to do so. But I suppose it would help to explain what I mean by "satanic," because I am quite sure I don't mean it in the way any leftist would hear it -- or be capable of hearing it. The question is, what collective forces does leftism embody? What role does evil play in the collective psychic economy? I hope to get to this question soon, if not sooner, assuming nothing else seizes me during the night.