Saturday, August 08, 2009

The Ill Logic of the Left

Do you need to know the whole story? Why not. This old post came to my attention this morning because it generated some automated comments that I had to delete. The title of the post looked interesting -- Marriage Counseling Between Islamists and the Left -- so I reread it. It had potential but needed some work, so I have endeavored here to flesh it out.

In The Symmetry of God, Bomford cites a typical but fascinating example of how the symmetrical logic of the deep unconscious mind applies to three-term propositions. Up to now, we have been discussing the symmetry of two-term propositions, for example, how it is that the left can turn a quintessential patriot such as General Petraeus into a traitor, while transforming their own treasonous beliefs and actions into patriotism.

In terms of conventional, aristotelean logic, this makes no sense -- as indeed so little of the leftist project makes sense. For example, when they dissent, it is the highest form of patriotism; when conservatives do, it is nazism. How can this be? Are they just cynical and calculating? Or is there something deeper going on?

Human beings are not "logic machines." Or, to be precise, there are at least two distinctly different forms of logic that govern thought: the machine-like asymmetrical logic of the conscious mind and the very unmachine-like symmetrical logic of the unconscious (and I believe supraconscious) mind. One of the most important points to bear in mind is that we might believe a person to be illogical, when they are in fact obeying a different form of logic: symmetrical logic (as elucidated by the brilliant Chilean psychoanalyst and logician Ignacio Matte Blanco).

Indeed, this was one of Freud's central insights, that the sick person was actually logical in his own way. One of purposes of therapy is to expose the unconscious logic that is causing pain or dysfunction.

But it is also critical not to automatically "pathologize" all symmetrical logic, as many scientistic, atheistic, or rationalist types do, for without it, we would not be human. Rather, we would be hyper-rational Vulcans with no "emotional intelligence," no interior understanding of things, no ability to comprehend God, religion or art, and no ability to love or create.

In reality, our "humanness" takes place in the transcendent "higher third" that unifies symmetrical and asymmetrical logic. The more "harmonious" this marriage, the more healthy the person. You might say that it gives depth to asymmetrical logic and height to symmetrical logic. Love, play, creativity, and worship would all be impossible without it.

To take an example ripped from this morning's headlines, it is obviously kooky for the left to regard citizens who don't want the state to take over their healthcare as "fascists." For one thing, logically speaking, anyone who wants a smaller and less intrusive government is the polar opposite of a fascist.

But in the unconscious mind, where symmetrical logic rules the night, it is the work of an instant to convert terms to their opposite. This is how we may understand what makes the leftist tick: whatever he accuses others of, is what he is unconsciously guilty of. Thus, when he says, "you are astroturfing," he means "I am astroturfing." When he says "American citizens are behaving like fascists," he means "we and our union thugs are behaving like fascists." When he says "you are a racist," he means "I am preoccupied with race and cannot see beyond it." Etc.

This is nothing new. The left does the same thing with criminals. It makes no sense to a psychologically healthy person, but to an unhealthy person, liberal victimhood is psychologically empowering, because at least it allows the self-proclaimed victim to externalize their subjugation while secretly being responsible for it. Consciously they look like masochists, but unconsciously they have internalized a sadistic part that positively glories in the abuse. This is why self-proclaimed leftist victims are always such bullies. But because they are victims, they can consciously deny their aggression. Who's a bigger bully than Keith Olbermann?

This is also why, for example, Al Sharpton panicked at the idea of Henry Gates and Sgt. Crowley getting along. If there is no hostility between the races, then Sharpton is not only out of business, but he is stuck with his own internal sadist, with no one to project it into. The left must keep racial discord alive. One cannot be opposed to the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor because she is an idiot and a leftist hack, but because she is "Latina." One cannot think that Obama is a socialist joker. Rather, one must be racist.

A leftist can be a typical loser whose failure is entirely self-generated. But proclaiming oneself victim means never having to say I'm a sorry-ass excuse of a human being. Perfect! You oppress yourself all the way to secular godhood, for the victim is the sacred liberal icon who justifies all of their intrusive and oppressive policies. In the liberal world, you are not innocent until proven guilty, you are guilty unless granted victim status, and then you are never guilty.

The victim is the "cause" of the victimizing state that will pretend to rescue him. Thus, in its own self-interest, the state must produce more victims to prop it up. In terms of the present debate, if we are all victims of evil insurance companies, then we need to be rescued by the state. But once the rubicon of socialized medicine is crossed, then we will have fundamentally altered our relation to the state. We will have become a nation of dependent serfs, not free citizens. We really will have become victims.

Things can get a bit more complicated in a three-term proposition. Bomford uses the example of a social worker intervening in a case of domestic violence. Outwardly, it looks straightforward enough: the social worker is rescuing a victim (usually a woman) from a persecutor (usually a man).

However, as Bomford writes, each of the parties may unconsciously experience the intervention as a persecution of the actual persecutor, a bullying of the bully, or "a new persecution from which the apparent persecutor has to be rescued by the victim." In other words, the rescuer (the social worker) becomes the persecutor of the persecutor (the man, who is now her victim), and the victim (the woman) mobilizes her unconscious defenses to become the rescuer of her own persecutor. Both she and her abuser will now see the social worker as the persecutory threat to their dysfunctional relationship.

This pattern is so commonplace, and yet, seems to defy logic. However, it makes perfect sense if you understand that people commonly marry disowned and projected parts of their own psyche. Therefore, in this case, the masochistic woman is married to her inner sadist. If she leaves him, or if he is punished by the law, then her own internal sadist will attack her, resulting in unbearably profound guilt and depression.

But it gets even more complicated. For example, many people are drawn to social work (and to the helping professions in general) because of an unconscious sense of victimization that they try to spuriously heal by projecting into others. This is why these fields (including my own field of psychology) are so overrun by leftist do-gooders with rescue fantasies. The leftist feels victimized by anyone or anything that arouses their tendency to feel victimized. Thus, in the above scenario, on a deep unconscious level the real abuser -- the persecutor -- becomes a sort of rescuer who rescues the social worker from her feelings of victimization, allowing a temporary discharge of victim feelings.

Again, think of the typical leftist activist who is "rescued" from an otherwise meaningless life by entertaining persecutory fantasies of global warming, or "income disparity," or "male oppression," or "racial profiling," or what have you. This explains why the leftist clings to his persecutor long after the persecution has stopped. The left cannot "let go" of George Bush, any more than the radical feminist can let go of her symbolic "rapist" or the Islamist can let go of his Jew hatred, for these are the organizing principles of their own rage and hostility. Six months ago I predicted that the left would be unable to let go of George Bush. I was right. They cannot let go because "he" (their fantasy) is a vital part of them.

Later in the book, Bomford considers the three term proposition of God, Jesus, and man from this angle. Consciously, it is said that Jesus died to atone for man's sins against God. Good enough.

But since Jesus is all man and all God, one possible unconscious conclusion (among many) would be that Jesus (God) died for God's sins against man. This thought is "not permitted" consciously, but it would certainly make sense to the unconscious -- i.e., that the "reconciliation" between God and man works both ways. I am quite sure that this is an example of how the richness of religious symbolism reaches way down into regions of the mind which bypass the conscious awareness of the ego.

Remember, in the deep unconscious, there is no rigid distinction between fantasy and reality. Let's say human beings have an issue with their creator. Let's say they are angry at the existential mess they're in, and that they secretly do blame God for this unfair and unjust world. But you can't express this anger directly, any more than the child can express his homicidal rage toward the parent without fear of retaliation.

In the Christianized unconscious, there may well be the perception that God has "atoned" for this mess by suffering and dying for man, thus balancing the scales, so that we may relate to God in an unambivalent manner. We are purged of our anger toward God. He's paid the debt in full.

I'm not saying that this is the case, mind you. This has to do with man's unconscious perception, not with God per se. Imagine someone from another planet, trying to understand people who wear a little tortured man around their neck. What, are these people sadists?

As a matter of fact, yes. But some of us are forgiven.

17 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

I'm reminded of a passage from Heart of the World:

Earlier on, Father, you and I were one, and they stood outside of us as enemies, and from a distance we took counsel to see how they might be helped. Today I stand in the midst of our enemies; I have become a traitor to your justice, and if you want to strike out at them, strike first at me. I cover them like a hen protects her chicks. I take their place.

8/08/2009 08:33:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes. There is simply no way to understand this in the absence of bi-logic.

8/08/2009 08:40:00 AM  
Blogger sehoy said...

In the Christianized unconscious, there may well be the perception that God has "atoned" for this mess by suffering and dying for man, thus balancing the scales, so that we may relate to God in an unambivalent manner. We are purged of our anger toward God. He's paid the debt in full.

I'm not saying that this is the case, mind you. This has to do with man's unconscious perception, not with God per se. Imagine someone from another planet, trying to understand people who wear a little tortured man around their neck. What, are these people sadists?

As a matter of fact, yes. But some of us are forgiven."

This is spectacular. Knowing this would have saved me years of anguish. Lots to chew on today.

Guess I'm going to have to check out "Heart of the World" too.

8/08/2009 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger jp said...

Since Abdul hasn't had a chance to post today, I just want to remind him, in advance, that all your base are belong to us.

In other news, in the world of artifical intelligence, there doesn't seem to be any difference betweem asymmetrical logic and symmetrical logic.

Symmetrical logic would seem to be directly connected to the fact that all personalites are unique.

Bob also notes:

"In other words, the rescuer (the social worker) becomes the persecutor of the persecutor (the man, who is now her victim), and the victim (the woman) mobilizes her unconscious defenses to become the rescuer of her own persecutor. Both she and her abuser will now see the social worker as the persecutory threat to their dysfunctional relationship."

There is a different problem when police are called to the scene of domestic violence. The responding officer can't turn his back on the victim because there is the risk that he will be attacked by the victim.

8/08/2009 10:35:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Oh yes, it's fascinating, really. It's as if there is an aggressive mind parasite that is passed from mind to mind.

8/08/2009 10:59:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Sehoy - yes, do read it, when you can. It's quite simply the most beautiful thing I've ever read. Unlike the other stuff I've read by HvB, it's not a scholarly work, it's really just pure art.

8/08/2009 11:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Demon possessed liberal fascist in action. Imagine this person being in control of your healthcare.

8/08/2009 12:04:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

It seems he's taking behavioral cues from his master. Am I wrong, or is that interview just a step removed from the SEIU thugs beating a guy for handing out flags?

8/08/2009 12:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Be that it may leftism is evil, as you suggest. Still, some counterforce to raw conservatism, which defaults to a "nature red in tooth and claw" form of capitalism which leads to exploitation, is essential. This has been historically proven out.

How do you explain this needed counterforce and its relationship to your theology? Difficult to do if you paint economic government regulation as inherently evil. A necessary evil?

The need for some forms of regulation, such as anti-trust laws, are beyond controversy at this point. Again, the majority of environmental regulations are nothing less than commone sense formulated into code. The will of the people is not frivolous and the rule of law currently in place is not to be panned as illogical unless you identify exactly how conditions would be improved by rescinding specific codes.

What I think you're take on leftism could use is a thoughful separation of which parts of code are essential and which aren't. Then come up with a terminology that allows you to allow some items you would otherwise have to term "socialist."

In short, sirrah, you're brush is too wide and general and this one doth complain! Respectfully, Mr. Bar.

8/08/2009 07:03:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

You're trapped in some sort of dualism that you're projecting into me. No economically informed person denies the importance of the state and other institutions in ensuring the transparency of the market, that promises are kept, that contracts are enforced, that money is sound, that property rights are respected, etc. This has nothing to do with leftism.

8/08/2009 07:26:00 PM  
Blogger sehoy said...

Dr. Bob,

It's the end of the day, pitch dark, and I have helped my husband take down a dead tree, so there was lots of time for reflection on this post.

Of all the posts you have written,
and there have been many, that ended up in my notebooks (more than you can imagine), this has been, by far, the best post.

Why?

Because it has made me love God more. I am intoxicated.

You have described a God that is worthy of love.

I wish I could inspire my sons to love my God the way you have made me love HIM today.

Best wishes to you and Julie. I Will check out " Heart of the World." I haven't had any luck with the search engine though. Can you direct me?

Christina aka godsdog

8/08/2009 07:40:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Thank you. I am quite touched and humbled. Here it is: Heart of the World. A remarkably beautiful book of visionary truth. Can't really be described. Can only be experienced -- or not, depending on the case.

8/08/2009 07:49:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

" But once the rubicon of socialized medicine is crossed, then we will have fundamentally altered our relation to the state. We will have become a nation of dependent serfs, not free citizens. We really will have become victims."

I put up a post looking into one of the items of an email of horror quotes making the rounds, with the line by line references linked into the house bill - you can look and decide for yourselves. It seems pretty clear to me, that if just 1% of the email's descriptions are correct, it will transform this nation into the perfect liberal state,

"You oppress yourself all the way to secular godhood, for the victim is the sacred liberal icon who justifies all of their intrusive and oppressive policies. In the liberal world, you are not innocent until proven guilty, you are guilty unless granted victim status, and then you are never guilty."

, and like every good victim monger, it means to take control of our lives in every way possible.

If anyone doesn't want to become a victim, time to stand up and say so.

8/09/2009 02:51:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

anonymous said "Still, some counterforce to raw conservatism, which defaults to a "nature red in tooth and claw""

It would be interesting to see how you transform a political philosophy which defends peoples individual rights, their rights to make their own decisions, and retain the benefits and responsibilities from doing that, and a Govt designed to defend those rights.

"The need for some forms of regulation, such as anti-trust laws, are beyond controversy at this point."

Anti-trust laws are evil, and that point is beyond controversy at this point. Wasn't that a helpful point to make? Define your terms. There are already laws on the books against theft and fraud. Anti-trust laws have no relation to actual crimes. What you will find, if you actually look, is that some rich proregressives with political pull, sought to limit competition from more able business people with less political pull, and got their buds to write laws forbidding people to make up their own minds and to make their own choices. That is what 97% of all 'economic regulations' boils down to.

"The will of the people is not frivolous..."

Yeah. I'll be sure to tell those people who are unable to build on their land because someone found a freak of a mouse nesting on it.

"...and the rule of law currently in place is not to be panned as illogical unless you identify exactly how conditions would be improved by rescinding specific codes."

I'm sure that's just the process the allies went through when reconsidering the law codes left over from the nazi's.

How about instead, we revert back to laws which protect and defend rights and punish actual crimes, and then if you can show how some environmental law is needed, because it damages the property or lives of individuals (and many pollutions scenarios do fit the bill), then they can be put back on.

In short, sirrah, you're brush is bald.

8/09/2009 03:06:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

The left does the same thing with criminals. It makes no sense to a psychologically healthy person, but to an unhealthy person, liberal victimhood is psychologically empowering, because at least it allows the self-proclaimed victim to externalize their subjugation while secretly being responsible for it."

And yet, most of those who embrace leftist ideology never consider unborn (and sometimes born) babies as victims when aborted because it threatens the mother's convenience and "freedom."

Nor will we often see many on the left helping those who were hurt by criminals, or dem,anding harsher punishment and more justice (why does society allow sex offenders that will likely reoffend, out of prison?). Instead they embrace the criminal, having faithy s/h/it can be "reformed."

Great post, Bob!

8/09/2009 04:31:00 PM  
Blogger sehoy said...

Dr.Bob,

Thanks for the link. I have ordered the book.

8/11/2009 09:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Six months ago I predicted that the left would be unable to let go of George Bush. I was right."

The left continues to mock (and politically, to run against) Joseph McCarthy and Richard Nixon decades after their deaths. That the same would be true of Bush less than a year after his term ended should not be surprise.

How long did the Republicans 'wave the blood shirt?'

Change takes decades, because it happens only when people die and their beliefs are forgotten.

8/14/2009 03:53:00 AM  

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