Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Liberal Defenses Against Reality

It is a truism in clinical psychology -- at least the kind in which I was trained -- that a crisis is an opportunity. That is, it is as if there is an incision in the psyche, such that one can see what is going on under the surface -- beneath the veneer of normality, so to speak.

Again, we all utilize defense mechanisms in order to get through the day life. As discussed in yesterday's post, what is called a "nervous breakdown" is essentially a decompensation, which is to say, a failure of defense mechanisms. The psychic walls have been breached and reality comes pouring in.

During the past week, the collective left has been behaving exactly like a person in the midst of a nervous breakdown. Clearly, they are struggling to cope with what is happening to them -- even though nothing has happened to them as of yet, since president-elect Trump won't even take office for another two months.

This suggests to me that liberalism itself is a collective defense mechanism. Over the past eight years we have seen (once again) that liberalism isn't actually useful for dealing with reality, which is to say, the real world. However, it seems that it is extremely useful for coping with the internal world of the psyche. In other words, its main purpose is as a defense mechanism, not a rational way to actually deal with the world.

Judged on the basis of its efficacy in the world, liberalism is a failure. That being the case, any rational person would be happy to be rid of it. But liberals are not happy, to put it mildly. Rather, they are experiencing varying degrees of terror. ("Fear has won. We are all scared.")

As to liberalism's efficacy in the world, consider just the fact that crime rates are greatly increasing. People are literally less safe. And yet, liberals are feeling terribly unsafe since last week. A couple days ago a defiant Mayor Emanuel warned us that Chicago will always be a sanctuary city, and that illegal immigrants "are safe in Chicago, secure in Chicago, and supported in Chicago."

Ironically, this suggests that illegals are the only people who are safe in Chicago! Wouldn't it be nice if he could say the same of the rest of the population? Chicago's murder rate is up 72%, shootings almost 90%. Don't worry -- it's only American citizens and legal immigrants.

At Happy Acres I found this cartoon, which is funny, but even more true than funny; I don't find it exaggerated at all:

Note how it incorporates a number of common defense mechanisms, beginning with denial. In reality, all defense mechanisms partake of denial, and can even be thought of as modes of denial, some more primitive than others.

Projection is another common defense mechanism, but one must first deny in order to project -- in other words, the denied part of the psyche is projected into the environment and/or into other people.

Hysteria is also a defense, usually involving somatization and dissociation. In the former, emotional pain and conflict are channeled into the body, while the latter involves discontinuities in identity, memory, and perception. You might say that their narratives are disrupted and distorted. It is quite common in adults who were traumatized as children. If you get too close to the trauma, they begin spewing a kind of agitated nonsense. The purpose of the nonsense is to conceal the truth from themselves.

An Immortal and Undeniable Aphorism: Socialism is the philosophy of the guilt of others (NGD). Thus, projection of guilt is central to the left. White privilege means that through a kind of metaphysical magic I inherit the projected guilt of the leftist.

Think of it: to deny guilt is to at once free oneself of responsibility, duty, and obligation. Therefore it is dehumanizing. Yes we are "born guilty," so to speak, but original sin is a very different thing from projection of guilt.

The point is, the leftist projects original sin into others, and calls it "white privilege." It is obviously crazy, but without it the left cannot function. The Bob never exaggerates. The other day a Clinton spokesloon declared that white women voted for Trump due to "internalized misogyny."

Yes, there is indeed such a thing as internalized misogyny. It's called feminism. But that is the subject of a different post, so we'll let it pass for now.

What else do we have... thought control and name calling. Let's begin with the latter. As you know, we are homeschooling the lad, and I have decided to teach him a course on logic. Why logic isn't taught to every child is a mystery to me. Just kidding! Ask yourself: who would benefit from such lessons in mental hygiene? It would absolutely wreck the left.

Ever since he was old enough to pay attention to the television, I've been informally teaching him about illogical methods of persuasion. It began with the commercials, but this year in particular we have been focusing on statements by politicians and their surrogates. So many fallacies!

Hillary Clinton's entire campaign revolved around ad hominem. In the book I'm using, it is the very first logical fallacy covered. Note, however, that ad hominem is not always a fallacy, in particular, if it is relevant to the matter under consideration. If I say, for example, that "Obama is a lying POS," that's ad hominem, but it is also true and can be substantiated ad nauseam.

But to say, for example, that Trump is Hitler, is just crazy talk. Or how about the latest from evil genius Noam Chomsky, who says that the GOP is the "most dangerous organization in world history." If he's being honest, then he is literally insane.

There is another interesting twist here, because ad hominem is what is called a psychological fallacy, in contradistinction to material and logical fallacies. You might say that the latter two fallacies are located in the person or materials used in making the argument, whereas psychological fallacies are ultimately in the audience; they are in essence appeals to the stupidity and prejudices of the people you are trying to convince.

As if we didn't know that liberal politicians treat their constituents like a lunatic treats an idiot! The point is, if you are convinced by ad hominem alone, then you are probably an imbecile.

Finally, thought control. This goes to another defense mechanism. We've all heard of "controlling" people, but what does this really mean? If we imagine a spectrum, hysterical and obsessional would be at antipodes. Hysterics are "out of control," while obsessives have an unusual need for psychic control. From an Old Textbook by Professor Gradschool:

"Obsessional defenses are repetitious acts or thoughts usually devoted to some act of controlling -- displaced from anxiety about controlling an internal state, an impulse or emotion..."

Such thinking is quite brittle, and the obsessional individual is prone to intense anxiety if the defense is threatened. In this view, the entire regime of speech codes is a kind of obsessional defense, for which reason safe spaces are needed when the defense is breached.

The end.


Gagdad Bob said...

Beyond hysteria. I don't know if there's a name for it. "Psychotic idealization," I suppose.

Van Harvey said...

Repeating my question from yesterday, because it's so...odd. I'm curious how you see the NeverTrump'rs on the Right, and denial. Some of them that I know, and who are active in party politics, and formerly were fairly sensible, are now routinely dropping 'fascist!' charges, and the like, with very little to distinguish them from early 2,000's Bush Derangement Sufferers.

I was putting it down to simply misapplication of principles - droping context and shifting hierarchies - but they're going beyond that now.

No matter how I might walk them through what Fascism actually means ideologically, and its extension of political power into private thoughts, and not only the absence of evidence, but the absence of reason to look for such evidence (fears of your run of the mill tin horn authoritarian I could make sense of, but nope 'fascist!' it is)... they double down with gusto.

Really weird.

Note: I've noticed that a sizable number of them are very Libertarian leaning, on the Lincoln hater side, but by no means is it all of them.

Van Harvey said...

I wonder if Lena Dunham, frustrated over her inability to tell a joke, decided to cut out the middleman (ahem) and simply become a joke?

Gagdad Bob said...

I haven't given much thought to never-Trumpers. But as I've said before, there are two kinds of conservatives, those who believe the left's ideas are merely wrong, and those who believe leftism is demonic (there is no other word). I suspect that never-Trumpers fall into the former category.

Gagdad Bob said...

From today'a Taranto:

'Slate’s Jamelle Bouie—who a year ago described Trump as a “moderate Republican”—has a more sweeping theory: Trump voters are just bad people. We do not exaggerate; his latest piece, published yesterday, is titled: “There’s No Such Thing as a Good Trump Voter: People voted for a racist who promised racist outcomes. They don’t deserve your empathy.”'


File under That's How You Got Trump. They just cannot learn, which suggests again that we are dealing with a closed circle of compulsive ideation.

julie said...

Re. hysteria, I know of someone who, upon being told she had cancer, developed hysterical deafness. I'm not sure how long it lasted, but for a significant amount of time she couldn't hear.

The left seem to be like that, except the deafness is more like an inability to comprehend the truth. The more you try to reason with them, the more they hear word salad.

julie said...

It began with the commercials...

Oh lord, the commercials! My kids mostly watch Netflix, but when they see regular tv they soak up every message, no matter how ridiculous, like little sponges. At this age, having not yet been disillusioned by much, they believe everything. Fodder for many Teachable Moments™

And the networks wonder why people are leaving in droves...

Gagdad Bob said...

"Hysteria" is related to womb, as in hysterectomy. This is because hysteria existed in the ancient world, and the Greeks thought the various baffling physical symptoms were due to a "wandering womb." Therefore, they prescribed marriage and children, which would presumably help the womb settle down and stay in one place.

Considering how married women become more conservative, there may be something to the theory!

Also, the vast majority of hysterics I have seen are indeed single woman in their 30s and 40s. Their range of physical complaints is amazing.

julie said...

Hillary Clinton's entire campaign revolved around ad hominem.

Also, virtually every campaign ad we saw here was a massive case of projection: Trump said mean things, Trump was bad for women, Trump is a predator, Trump can't be trusted with the nuclear button...

Even the ones that had a tinge of truth re. Trump paled to insignificance in comparison to the guilt of the Clintons. And speaking of breakdowns, there are more stories coming out about the epic tantrum and meltdown she had when she realized she had lost. Horrifying to imagine someone so unstable trying to be the leader of what's left of the free world.

Gagdad Bob said...

Olbermann: hysteria, paranoia, projection, denial of reality, name calling... he's got it all!

ted said...

It hurts to be wrong more than not-True.

Van Harvey said...

Gagdad said "... two kinds of conservatives, those who believe the left's ideas are merely wrong, and those who believe leftism is demonic (there is no other word)..."

Hmm. I think the NeverTrump'rs may break down into two camps as well. I'm thinking of two people in particular who do see leftism as demonic, and conservatism as the moral choice, and yet, I think by slipping out of context (and adding in a touch of priggishness too) concluded

"Trump has behaved immoraly, therefore voting for him is immoral."

Interestingly, they are the ones who're now willing to give him a chance, now that he has been elected.

The other group, those who see the Right as an economic choice, or a logic-chopped yes/no proposition (heavily skewed with libertarians), they remain rabidly NeverTrump, Trump=fascist, etc. And those I do see oodles of denial flooding out of them.

julie said...

Re. Olbermann, Good grief.

Hysteria is bad enough in a woman; it is downright shameful in a man. Then again, he hasn't been particularly manly for as long as I've been aware of him.

I'm all in favor of a simple return to lawfulness. Pretty sure that inciting violence is a crime, not to mention the actual rioting. And any business that's found to be aiding and abetting this crap, such as the bus companies shuttling troublemakers to the riots - there are consequences for that, too, if I'm not mistaken.

I would be in favor of one new law, though - that anyone inciting violence because they don't like the fruits of democracy be granted a free air drop into any socialist country of their choosing. there, they can live the dream with like-minded folk and thus be spared the existential angst of having to live with people who disagree with them. Everybody wins!

mushroom said...

On vacation, but checking in when I can. Keep up the good work.

ted said...

The two kinds of conservatives may also be grouped into the secular/fiscal types and the religious/traditional types. Trump did well with both.

julie said...

Van, I think the neverTrumpers suffer from more than a touch of priggishness. I've lost respect for a lot of them during this election - both for their revealed hatred of ordinary, non-intellectual Americans (*cough* Williamson *cough*), and for their insistence that their candidate pass some sort of moral and ideological purity test. They refuse to understand that quite probably only a man like Trump had the sheer forcefulness of character to do what was necessary to win.

Also, I doubt any of them ever bothered to go and check out his platforms page and consider what he actually stood for, as opposed to accepting the MSM caricature of him and his campaign. There's plenty to disagree with, but nothing that's insane. I never saw anybody talk about his actual proposed policies; they just found him so personally loathsome they couldn't believe he isn't actually Hitler.

julie said...

Or shorter answer, they believed the hype that Trump is a clown, and they think he's stupid. For those sins they could not bear to even hold their noses and vote for him, no matter how evil Hillary is.

Rick said...

I don't give the NeverTrumpers credit for it, but I think they are responsible for some portion of that little extra "eye of the tiger" surge our side delivered on Election Day.
I know it motivated me even more.

Rick said...

Also, this Trump=Hitler business, am I actually insane, or are his proposals (control border, remove illegals) really nothing more than enforcing existing law?

julie said...

Pretty much.

But for the left, laws only apply to the little people who actually care enough to follow them. Mostly middle class white Christian people. Everyone else gets a pass, because of course it's the middle class white Christian people who are responsible for All The Suffering.

Van Harvey said...

Julie said "...they think he's stupid..."

Yep, the priggishness was artfully convenient, contrived, and embarrassing. But that assumption, the 'stupid' charge, and calling those who were interested in him, stupid, unprincipled, cultists, etc, I wasn't for Trump, but that really angered me. And the fact that they were based mostly upon media hyped charges - what we've been fighting since Reagan - was astounding. That they equated Fascism, which politically has a truly downright evil meaning, with a businessman with NO POSSIBLE basis in fact, that did, and does, infuriate me.

Van Harvey said...

Rick said "I don't give the NeverTrumpers credit for it..."

Ooh, but I do, I credit the NT'rs with Trump being nominated, And elected. They insulted and pissed people off, and in the climate of this year, when people weren't looking for (our any longer buying) concepts and principles, but ability to get something done, IMHO, that put Trump over the top, and I rub it in their faces at every opportunity.

Rick said...

By "credit" I mean, I don't think they were secretly desiring his election, and so developed this 3D chess move / reverse psychology strategy of pretending to be NT. The Smeagol Stratagem.

Gagdad Bob said...

Hysteria. "For a lot of people, this is the Great Depression, but this time it's emotional & physical. Our bodies r breaking down w fear & rage..."

Trump has already accomplished more than I could have hoped for.

Rick said...

Actually Bob, I believe you predicted this would happen. That when they fell, they would fall HARD. Sometime around 08 I believe it was.

Christina M said...

Speaking of hysteria...there was an image of a gold metal sculpture hanging in Anthony Podesta's house and it was compared by some of the 4chan/reddit guys who are alleging a pedo-ring in the leaked emails, to studies of hysteria and a few other even more disturbing things, and well...I'm feeling kind of hysterical myself about the implications. Demonic and depraved. Even just their art is. I can't even get beyond that. Want to gather my family close and keep them safe from the Clintons and Podestas of the world.

Christina M said...

I'm with Rick and Van Harvey on the NeverTrumpers. They pissed me off too. I told them, that Hilary voters, NeverTrumpers, and people who didn't vote, were dead to me.

julie said...

You mean that 8 foot gold statue of a headless man arched over backward, that he designed his whole house around? Yeah - it was done by an artist who is fascinated by, among other things, the polaroids that Dahmer took of his victims. In other words, it's a victim of a depraved, ritualistic murder, and it's the first thing you see when you come into the house.

Also, on the wall in Podesta's office there's a piece depicting two men eating another man. And he has an extensive collection of other stuff equally nauseating and disturbing.

But no, there's no reason to worry about a man with such peculiar tastes being a whisper away from the White House.

Excuse me while I go barf.

Van Harvey said...

Christina said " I told them, that Hilary voters, NeverTrumpers, and people who didn't vote, were dead to me. "

While I get the sentiment, they aren't dead to me, but they are well aware that their judgment in such areas no longer holds any weight with me - and their offering related advice within earshot of me is subject to peals of laughter (and not in a good way).

Joan of Argghh! said...

First thing this morning it came to me, regarding hysteria and the "wandering womb".

I think the ancients were intuiting the whole "moving target" of the Left. They move the goalposts the minute you put your finger on the problem. It's like trying to make a woman happy when she's miserable for no reason other than her own disposition. You fix one thing and she hates you for your strength, you get in the pit with her and she hates you for being weak and not leading her out of it.

Christina M said...

Julie, I wanted to barf too. T forgot to add, that I then went to get dressed for work and my scapular fell on the ground. When I picked it up, the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary holding Jesus was facing up, and I thought, how very opposed to what I had just seen, is the image of this mother holding her child, to that evil death cult; and I heard Jesus's words about the millstone in my head: "If anyone causes one of these little ones--those who believe in me--to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!" Matt 18: 6-7

I told my Bernie-supporting,lefty employer this week, who did not vote, when he started to compare Trump to Hitler, "To shut the F up." I'm not a fan of Trump, but he was the only thing standing between Hillary and the White House, and I am grateful he won. I'm still feeling unbelievable relief at the bullet we just dodged.

I'm not so benevolent as you are, Van Harvey. They are dead to me. Like zombies. Fortunately none of my immediate family members thought any differently than I did.

Rick said...

As if it couldn't get stranger, Hillary just received some award from the Children's Defense Fund. Or something:

Van Harvey said...

Julie, such 'decorations' are horrific, and horribly comprehensible - would that they were incomprehensible.

Rick, I do credit them, but no, not in a flattering way.

Christina, I'm not sure benevolent us the right word... in fact my continued comments and evaluations of some folk had often been described as being somewhat less than appreciated... but... way it goes. :-)

Oh, and thanks Fabio, very helpful! Love your book covers too!

Van Harvey said...

(Rats, Cuz already took out Fabio's comments, I was kinda curious what Google might translate them into)