Investigating political madness
These are two sets of comments on the post at Instapundit on Maybe Their Mental Health Wasn’t That Good Before the Election, previously discussed here. The first set are actually four different comments made by “Gagdad Bob” which I have strung together.
The deeper structure of human nature hasn’t changed since the arrival of liberalism. Liberalism is a new way to be mentally ill, but not the illness as such. It is similar to how fear of aliens is a way to be paranoid. Paranoia has always existed, but the objects of paranoia change.
Being that I am a clinical psychologist who has seen countless liberals, I would say the majority have been just ignorant or of low intelligence. No need to reach for a complex explanation. The more activist kind — the true believers — are another story. For them, liberalism can be anything from a substitute religion to a massive defense mechanism to covert sociopathy. There’s no one-size-fits-all explanation.
I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt that they think they are doing good, but in fact are sadists. It reminds me of why Homer Simpson wanted to become a police officer: “because it combines my desire to help people with my desire to hurt them.”
If liberalism didn’t exist, the unconscious would invent it as an ideal way to embody and express so much pain and conflict. In so many ways it’s the perfect vehicle for a host of irrational psychological, spiritual, and existential issues, which is why it is so difficult to eradicate. It is immune to reason, the same way an illness is. (And yes, it is important to distinguish between the cynics at the top, the true believers in between, and the passive & manipulated masses below.)
This then is a comment put up by AndrewZ along similar lines.
Identity politics creates mental illness because it makes people paranoid. It teaches them to see other people not as individuals but as representatives of a category. The categories are organised into an elaborate hierarchy of victimhood and oppression and all social interactions are treated as an expression of the power relationships between the groups.
A person who has internalised this way of thinking will start to see everyone who belongs to one of the designated oppressor groups as a threat and will feel acutely uncomfortable in their presence. They will feel that they are surrounded by enemies who are just waiting for an opportunity to do something terrible to them. Since they have been trained to interpret everything they see and hear in terms of power relationships they will see threatening messages everywhere, and their heightened self-consciousness will make it seem as though it’s all aimed at them personally.
The SJWs are so full of rage and so ready to lash out because they really do think that they are under constant attack. They need to scream and shout to relieve the unbearable psychological pressure of living in a state of permanent siege. That’s also why many leftist writers have such a breathless, frantic style full of hyperbole and wild accusations. It’s the desperate strung-out voice of the paranoiac, surrounded by phantom menaces that nobody else can see.
To somebody in that state of mind, it would be impossible to conceive of a rich white male Republican – the apex predator of oppression – wanting to do anything other than establish a brutal tyranny. So naturally they go into a state of panic when such a person is elected President.
For me, it is all just a phenomenon which is beyond my understanding. That it is real and out there, of this I have no doubt. But it does make things much more difficult, and to me, these people really do seem deranged.