Tuesday, November 15, 2016

My Magnanimous Response to Liberal Cries for Help

Although I would prefer to move on, it's difficult to concentrate on anything else while this collective nervous breakdown of the left continues to unfold. And it is a nervous breakdown, or at least mirrors precisely what we mean by that colloquial term.

For exactly what happens when someone goes bonkers? Think of the many colorful variants: losing it, shattered, unhinged, screw loose... There must be more synonyms for craziness in the thesaurus than for most any other word, although I want to focus on more descriptive ones that evoke a visual image: unbalanced, crackbrained, not tightly wound, out of one's skull, beside oneself, wild-eyed, etc. There is a kind of folk wisdom embedded in such terms, as they are rooted in the experience of what the crazy person looks like to the observer.

The whole spectacle is of course superschadenfreudilisticexpialidocious, but only up to a point, that point being the threshold of violent acting out.

For example, Instapundit links to hasbeen screenwriter Paul Schrader, who writes that the election "is a call to violence.... This attack on liberty and tolerance will not be solved by appeasement. Obama tried that for eight years. We should finance those who support violent resistance. We should be willing to take arms.... Alt right nut jobs swagger violence. It’s time to actualize that violence, like by Civil War Michigan predecessors I choose to stand with the black, the brown and the oppressed."

Who knew Taxi Driver was an autobiographical instruction manual? "Listen, you fuckers, you screwheads. Here is a man who would not take it anymore. A man who stood up against the scum, the dogs, the filth, the shit. Here is a man who stood up."

When a previously functioning individual loses his mind, we call it "decompensation." Of course, this can happen for genetic and biochemical reasons, but obviously this isn't what is occurring here, except in the sense that people who are genetically more vulnerable to mental illness are likely to be on the left.

Indeed, the whole mindset of the left is rooted in identification with victimhood, which is rarely healthy, even if you are an actual victim, the reason being that it is paralyzing to locate agency outside oneself (at least in a free society), and legitimizes primitive instincts of revenge. Nevertheless, it is a seduction to do so, and leftism is the seductress.

The feminine connotation is not accidental, for femininity is associated with maya, which is in turn broadly associated with illusion. As the Buddhists rightfully say, of all the forms of maya, that of woman is supreme. All men know this, while only some women do; but if they don't, it is only because it has been hammered out of them by feminism and other deviant ideologies.

In the cosmic scheme of things, the power of maya is not necessarily supposed to be a bad thing. Yes, it is an appearance, but an appearance of reality, precisely! Thus, is there anything on earth that surpasses the divine beauty of woman? Ask a man. For his real opinion. Or better, just observe how he votes with his... feet.

Nevertheless, the distinction between reality and appearances opens up a kind of space for ceaseless cosmic mischief. Think of the "femme fatale," the seductive but deadly charmer. And this can be traced all the way over the historical horizon and back down to the ground, for consider the subtext of Genesis 3: serpent seduces Woman, and Woman seduces Man.

From what and to where? Clearly, from reality (Eden, God, vertical paradise, celestial union, etc.) to appearances (earth, maya, separation from the Principle, etc.). We've posted on this subject before, for example, on the importance of God's first question to Adam, Where are you, bro? This prompts the first recorded human lie (the first lie having come from the serpent, who is symbolically closest to earth and therefore farthest from heaven).

God's question conveys the idea that Adam is literally in a new space. The lie reveals that this space is no longer rooted in reality and truth.

Incidentally, is any of this intended to be a criticism of womanhood in any conventional sense? No, not at all, except insofar as it illuminates a kind of reciprocal weakness in men and women. If you want proof, look at a map of female voting patterns, in which Clinton wins in a glandslide. Women are obviously much more susceptible to the political Lie than are men.

But men are susceptible to their own forms of the Lie. I suspect that they are attracted to leftism for very different reasons, at least on average. That is to say, women are likely seduced by the "nurturing" state, while men are attracted to the bullying state (and you can't have one without the other). Look at Obama: in what other legitimate context could he act out his bullying instinct? I mean, Michelle would kick his ass. Maybe as a teacher... or community organizer, but that's about it.

Back to craziness and decompensation. Decompensation presumes that we all have psychological defense mechanisms of varying degrees of maturity, intensity, and pervasiveness, e.g., denial, projection, repression, reaction formation, and others. The most primitive would be outright denial, while healthier ones include sublimation and humor. Ha!

Even so, every defense mechanisms partakes of denial, for that is what a defense mechanism defends us from: reality.

Decompensation "refers to the inability to maintain defense mechanisms in response to stress, resulting in personality disturbance or psychological imbalance." This may ultimately end in "persecutory delusions to defend against a troubling reality."

I don't normally like to merely "psychologize" people with whom I disagree. First of all, it's too facile and is easily misused. It is enough to take the left's ideas seriously, and to simply point out the errors in fact and logic.

But in the past week the left has been... crying for help, you might say. And I use the word "crying" advisedly, for we've all seen those video compilations of liberal freak-outs, not to mention all the stories about university safe spaces for electoral trauma. Cleary some kind of psycho-political breakdown is occurring.

Forgive me if I'm rambling, because I'm thinking this through in real time, and you are the beneficiaries of these not yet half-baked musings.

The reaction of conservatives can scarcely have been more different when we lost in 2008 and 2012. Yes, we were downcast, but I don't remember much in the way of assault and arson.

The first thing that occurs to me -- and we've discussed this idea in the past -- is the distinction between what are called the "paranoid-schizoid" (PS) and "depressive" (D) positions in developmental psychology. I hate to get all pedantic, so I'll be brief.

Fortunately, there is a wiki entry on the subject. Let's see if it suffices.

"A position... is a set of psychic functions that correspond to a given phase of development" and "can be reactivated at any time.... The earlier more primitive position is the paranoid-schizoid, and if an individual's environment and up-bringing are satisfactory, she or he will progress through the depressive position."

Correct. Here is what happens when PS defenses come to the fore (I am removing references to the "death instinct," since it is not strictly necessary to understand the phenomena):

"Paranoid refers to the central paranoid anxiety, the fear of invasive malevolence. This is experienced as coming from the outside, but ultimately derives from [projection].... Paranoid anxiety can be understood in terms of anxiety about imminent annihilation and derives from a sense of the destructive instinct of the child.... [T]he immature ego deals with its anxiety by splitting off bad feelings and projecting them out. However, this causes paranoia.

"Schizoid refers to the central defense mechanism: splitting, the vigilant separation of the good object from the bad object."

As for the depressive condition, it involves a more mature resignation and acceptance of reality; moreover -- and this is important -- it involves integration of primitive splitting of good and bad and therefore tolerance of ambiguity: "In working through depressive anxiety, projections are withdrawn, allowing the other more autonomy, reality, and a separate existence."

This goes to one of the most primary differences between left and right, for example, as outlined in numerous books by Thomas Sowell (such as The Vision of the Anointed). That is, conservatism is characterized by the tragic (read: depressive) vision of man, while leftism is always rooted in some harebrained utopian scheme. And utopia always evokes bullying (up to and including terror), because the enemies who stand in the way of utopia must be eliminated. How could any decent person be against a perfectly just and equitable world?

When I see the rioters throwing their tantrums, or the college students huddled in their safe spaces, or shellshocked MSM journalists on the brink of tears, I see children terrified by paranoid-schizoid ghosts of the nursery.

We're out of time...


ted said...

But men are susceptible to their own forms of the Lie. I suspect that they are attracted to leftism for very different reasons, at least on average.

Bullying, yes. It may also be they are attracted to the women of the left, like a young man may be drawn to the "easy" woman. But they always marry the conservative (if not politically, lifestyle wise at least). This was Charles Murray great insight about the leftist elite, they don't vote with their feet. They think liberally, but live conservatively.

Anne B. said...

"The reaction of conservatives can scarcely have been more different when we lost in 2008 and 2012. Yes, we were downcast, but I don't remember much in the way of assault and arson."

Nor do I remember anything in the way of conservatives videotaping themselves crying and saying "Fuck" a lot, and then posting it to YouTube. I have to admit, the crying really mystifies me. When I cry, I get a runny nose and puffy eyes, and look like Medusa's less charming sister - the last thing I want is for anyone to SEE me in that condition. Yet people post pictures of themselves in that condition.

julie said...


I literally lol-ed.

To continue...

julie said...

On the Schrader quote, good grief. Of course, what he advocates is precisely what has been happening, inasmuch as people are being paid and bused in to the cities to riot.

I don't know how many leftists are really willing to take arms, though. Seems like they prefer to have someone else pay for it and do the dirty work, while they hold signs and make sad faces.

My daughter in particular has a habit of glancing sidelong at herself in the mirror (if she's near one) while she's crying. Presumably because she wants to know what it looks like, she isn't that sad, and she wants to be sure the theatrics are believable. All these people weeping and wailing on camera are doing the same thing, except that it's vastly more stupid when they do it.

As to the right, the most common response to losing the last couple of elections (that I know of) was to buy more guns and make sure there's enough food on hand should any kind of disaster strike. Otherwise, just getting on with living. Exactly as we would have done had the beast won this time, though perhaps we would have been a little more grim than last time.

Van Harvey said...

"The reaction of conservatives can scarcely have been more different when we lost in 2008 and 2012. Yes, we were downcast, but I don't remember much in the way of assault and arson."

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.

Van Harvey said...

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.

Anonymous said...

Where to begin?

The adult sized tantrum that is currently being thrown is extremely amusing to observe (at least from the safety of the suburbs. It has confirmed my suspicion that the left, while intelligent, is unable process information in a rational manner. While this seems to be a "dog bites man" type comment, my primary concern has been if we manage to beat the left (however temporally that may be) they would adapt.

This is heartening. The left is not only reckless, but is hopelessly ossified in its thinking that will prevent it from changing course. Granted it may be a grim event, but dare we hope that the end of the left is in sight?


Gagdad Bob said...

Oh, I wouldn't go that far. They'll be back. And never underestimate the stupidity and cravenness of the GOP.

swiftone said...

"Never underestimate the cravenness of the GOP." That struck me funny. The whole political class is standing with their fingers in the air to see where the wind blows. It really is a popcorn moment.

Anonymous said...

Remember back in 2011, when the media lectured us on the need to adopt a "new civility"? This came in the wake of the Tucson shootings,in which said media attempted to place the shooter's motivation on Sarah Palin and her map. When it became starkly plain that there was absolutely no evidence that the shooter was indeed motivated by Palin, instead of admitting their egregious "error" the media instead pivoted to a broader narrative that said it was the discourse from the right, the "tone". They and their god-emperor Obama then called for a "New Civility," a call that they ignored from day one. I may be the last person qualified to say this, but these people collectively are evil.

Gagdad Bob said...

The left is demonic.

julie said...

This morning, the leftist press are losing their minds because Trump had the sheer audacity to go to dinner without them!!!.

Clearly, it's time for more riots. This snubbing must not stand!

Ann Kellett said...

You and Michael Trust at anonymousconservative.com are doing more than anyone to interpret these surreal times and lead us through them. Thank you for being a voice of insight and clarity!

doug saxum said...

This was really very interesting.

"To be continued..."

Dammit Bob!
Quit working and submerse yourself in Slack.