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Monday, May 2, 2016

Reassurance in numbers

Commenter Fitzmac on Is hysteria part of the liberal psyche?:

The hysteria of the Left is their way of responding to their inner doubts that their program cannot succeed. Because they are incapable of silencing their doubts in an internal manner, they have to do it demonstratively, make a show of it, which lets them gain reassurance because they see other people doing the same thing and so can persuade themselves for a short time that their beliefs do in fact correspond to reality.

It is a matter of duplicity, but also, more fundamentally, of mental illness.

That makes perfect sense -- a large part of the reason the Left always chants at their demonstrations is to reassure themselves; it's a strength-in-numbers kind of thing.

Imagine how good it must feel to be at a demonstration and see lots of other young people like you, all screaming and raving and ranting and chanting. It must fill you with a sense of belonging, a sense of righteous fury.

It's also hard not to get the sense that the Left's histrionics are a kind of acting that isn't entirely dissimilar to what sociopaths do: it's a way of trying to convince others that they must in fact be right, otherwise why would they feel so passionately?

Think in terms of Bill Clinton wagging his finger admonishingly and saying, "I did not have sex with that woman!" This is part of a sociopath's box of tricks: say something angrily enough and people will be convinced that you're telling the truth -- after all, why else would you be so angry?

There's another group the Leftist demonstrators may have even more in common with though: toddlers. When you're three, you don't have a lot of self-control, so when you're frustrated, all you can do is throw a tantrum.

Sadly, some of those toddlers never grow up.


Anonymous said...

Good post and contribution by Fitzmac. When I read his/her comment, I really loved how insightful it was.


John Craig said...

Thank you Birdie and yes, Fitzmac nailed it.

lowly said...

For the affliction commonly called hysteria (literally, "womb disease") and known in his volume as praefocatio matricis or "suffocation of the mother," the physician advised as follows:

When these symptoms indicate, we think it necessary to ask a midwife to assist, so that she can massage the genitalia with one finger inside, using oil of lilies, musk root, crocus, or [something] similar. And in this way the afflicted woman can be aroused to the paroxysm. This kind of stimulation with the finger is recommended by Galen and Avicenna, among others, most especially for widows, those who live chaste lives, and female religious, as Gradus [Ferrari da Gradi] proposes; it is less often recommended for very young women, public women, or married women, for whom it is a better remedy to engage in intercourse with their spouses.

As Forestus suggests here, in the Western medical tradition genital massage to orgasm by a physician or midwife was a standard treatment for hysteria, an ailment considered common and chronic in women. Descriptions of this treatment appear in the Hippocratic corpus, the works of Celsus in the first century A.D., those of Aretaeus, Soranus, and Galen in the second century, that of Äetius and Moschion in the sixth century, the anonymous eighth- or ninth-century work Liber de Muliebria, the writings of Rhazes and Avicenna in the following century, of Ferrari da Gradi in the fifteenth century, of Paracelsus and Paré in the sixteenth, of Burton, Claudini, Harvey, Highmore, Rodrigues de Castro, Zacuto, and Horst in the seventeenth, of Mandeville, Boerhaave, and Cullen in the eighteenth, and in the works of numerous nineteenth-century authors including Pinel, Gall, Tripier, and Briquet. Given the ubiquity of these descriptions in the medical literature, it is surprising that the character and purpose of these massage treatments for hysteria and related disorders have received little attention from historians.

John Craig said...

Hooter tooter --
I think the historians want to keep their jobs, is why.

I do think Galen, Avicenna, et al had it right though.

Fitzmac said...

Thanks for making my comment the topic of this posts. I feel intellectually refreshed whenever I read your blog.

I want to add the additional observation that the Social Justice Warriors are strangely unconcerned with how intensely or deeply one adheres to the beliefs they hold. It's as though simply repeating their talking points is enough to satisfy them. It does not occur to them to ask how deeply committed the person is who is signaling their agreement with their positions. It is a weird contradiction. Leftists of the past were quite concerned with how much they and others in their group were willing to give up for the sake of the cause. But the SJWs are largely uninterested in this question and seem mostly to be about making noise and making sure that they are hearing the right noises from others.

My hypothesis is that their vitriol and hatred stem not only from the fact that their beliefs are totally unrealistic (which means that society will always be hopelessly racist, homophobic, transphobic, etc.) but also from the resentment at being put in a position where they have to defend their beliefs. Their resentment is not just about the difficulty of putting their beliefs into practice, but also about the fact that they even have to make an effort in the first place. SJWs have at bottom a consumer mentality, so that instant gratification is what they feel entitled to in every aspect of life. It is this expectation for instant gratification that causes them to be satisfied by even insincere displays of agreement with their beliefs. They would rather be deceived than have to make an effort. But they do not even think that far ahead, because to worry about being deceived violates their feeling that the world should conform to their wishes without them having to make any kind of effort whatsoever.

It's a wonder why they have not burned themselves out already, but the federal government and educational institutions are enabling and coddling them. How much longer can this go on? I think they are bullies who are acting this way because there is no penalty for doing so. So perhaps a President Trump will cow them into more productive and practical pursuits. But I dread what awaits us if the Democrats keep the presidency.

John Craig said...

Fitzmac --
Thank YOU.

Interesting theory, which I honestly had never even thought of before, and I think you're right. Today's SJW's are all about paying lip service to the right causes, and not about sacrifice, theirs or anyone else's. I suppose Hollywood stars are the best example of that, preaching to the rest of the country about how people have to be more environmentally conscious, then taking private jets wherever they go.

I wonder to what extent all of this comes from having been coddled to much as children. Almost all SJW's exhibit a certain narcissism -- look at me, look how noble and right-thinking I am. I wrote about that here:

Yes, under Obama the SJW's have been encouraged to act out. This country needs Trump more than it realizes. (He's a narcissist himself, but at least he won't encourage others to be self-indulgent SJW's.)

Rona said...

Insightful comment by Fitzmac, leftists certainly seem psychologically unable to entertain opposing views, or even hear them without being pained. Sometimes they even describe visible physical reaction to others opinions like being sick to the stomach, feeling convulsions, lightheaded, almost throwing up etc.

Witness their attempts to censor speech not just for being "hate" but also because it "causes harm". Normal person would ask, how can recitation of facts that itself doesn't call for violence cause harm, but to the leftist, airing of facts/ideas itself is harmful.

John, great description of them "...quivering with hatred while accusing the other side of being "haters.""

They love destroying, in any way possible, those who disagree with them, absolutely humiliating people. Homosexualists throwing parties celebrating deaths of opponents or rejoicing for bankrupting old married couple for not wanting to bake a cake. Others publishing names of gun owners in effort to start witch hunts. Getting people fired, cackling at prospect of a "bigot " being destitute and unable to feed himself.

And regardless in which field one finds a leftist, the psychology is the same. It can be climate science, gun regulation, gender/sex, diet, taxation, belief in god... The vitriol they espouse is something to behold.

And what's most infuriating is they blabber about tolerance. Tolerance! Do these creatures even understand what the word means?


John Craig said...

Rona --
Perfect summation of the leftist mentality. I've met far more leftists whom seem to be full of hate than I have conservatives. One more instance of how hypocritical they are.

And look at the way they're so often anti-white; if anyone expressed the attitudes they do about whites toward any other race, that person would be accused of being the most vile racist ever.

The longer I observe them, the more convinced I am that being a SJW is often just an expression of mental illness -- or, at the very least, a syndrome, like narcissism.

And yes, you're exactly right about 'tolerance" too. In the leftist's mind, it means "intolerance toward any other opinion." And ditto for "open-mindedness," which basically means having one's mind closed to every opinion other than their own.

Mark Caplan said...

Old-style liberal: I disapprove of what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it.

New-style liberal: I disapprove of what you say, and will defend to the death my right to stop you from saying it again.

John Craig said...

Mark --
Ha! Well put.

Anonymous said...

that FITZMAC is doing good work here...not only are FITZMAC's points well-written, closely-observed, and CORRECT...but, even better,they are unusual, slightly-at-an-angle, revealing that FITZMAC does not merely repeat the views of big fluffy media housecats...

[cats are nice though, journalists much less so]