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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Left, viewed through the prism of the DSM

After a lifetime of watching both Left and Right, it's hard not to conclude that the far Left is home to a lot of personality syndromes listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

There are certainly plenty of Democrats who are relatively normal. The ones I know tend to be not all that political, but they read the newspapers and watch TV, and by and large believe what the media tells them. After all, they're hearing it from a major network, or from a Pulitzer-winning newspaper. Most of them have the vague sense that the media lean left, but aren't fully aware of how quite how one-sided the news they get is.

These people have been brought up -- as we all have -- to believe that it's wrong to discriminate against people based on the color of their skin, or their religion, or national origin. Good people simply don't do these things. They're vaguely aware that the definition of "racism" has now been extended to merely making factual statements about racial differences; they may even realize that "reverse racism" is now considered admirable. But they also know that entire subject is a minefield, and they don't want to get into trouble. Some of them secretly wonder if their "impure" thoughts don't mean that they themselves are somehow bad. So they keep those thoughts to themselves.

The voters I've just described are referred to in certain circles as the "nice white lady" contingent: they don't want to offend anyone, and so take the path of least resistance, both socially and intellectually. They're certainly not bad people, but they don't really think for themselves, and it's just not their nature to be cynical about what they hear from the media.

So, they end up voting Democrat, especially since they keep hearing that the Democrats stand for good values. You know, like fairness, inclusion, and compassion.

And, they keep hearing that the Republican Party promotes hatred, and racism, and sexism. Who would want to vote for a party like that?

These Democrats aren't even necessarily as dumb as I'm making them sound. They're just a little naive when it comes to politics, and whose interests they're really serving, and how these "good values" have been completely turned on their heads.

And, why should people think about politics that much when there's so much else to be entertained by? There are an infinite number of books, TV shows, movies, websites, video games, sports, and so on to be distracted by. 

Other Democrats belong to, say, a teachers' union, and know that the Democrats favor unions, and are against school vouchers, and so simply vote Democrat as a matter of self-interest. And there are lots of people who work for government, at either the municipal, state, or federal level. They, too, will of course favor the party of large government, as a simple matter of self interest. And of course anyone who benefits from welfare is going to vote Democratic as well.

These are all perfectly logical ways to vote.

However, the Social Justice Warriors who are strongly attracted to the modern Left, characterized by various identity movements, political correctness, hysteria, and moral bullying, are a different matter.

In a previous post commenter Gethin pointed out how radical feminism both attracts those with Aspergers Syndrome and is itself an expression of Aspergerian thinking.

Similarly, SJWs often not only embody identifiable syndromes, but their causes and ideology reflect those syndromes as well.

For instance, narcissism. From Wikipedia:

Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a long-term pattern of abnormal behavior characterized by exaggerated feelings of self-importance, an excessive need for admiration, and a lack of understanding of others' feelings.

The type of Leftist protesters who were in evidence on the day of the Inauguration, running amok in DC smashing windows, setting a limo on fire, and heaving bricks at policemen, are a good illustration of this disorder. In fact, anytime Leftist protesters disrupt traffic, vandalize, deface property, and cause mayhem shows an exaggerated sense of self-importance -- as if they think they're actually important people accomplishing something important. And they demonstrate a complete lack of understanding of others' feelings, since they're merely alienating onlookers from their cause.

There's also a certain narcissism inherent in the way liberals will often explain their political philosophy. You'll often hear them say things like, "I'm a good person, that's why I want to help poor people. I'm compassionate. That's why I'm a liberal." They usually don't spell it out quite that fully, but that's the basic thought process. They're liberals not because liberalism works better for a society, but as an expression of their own self-regard.

Projection isn't a syndrome, but it is a common psychological phenomenon. From Wikipedia:

Psychological projection is a theory in psychology in which humans defend themselves against their own unconscious impulses or qualities (both positive and negative) by denying their existence in themselves while attributing them to others. For example, a person who is habitually rude may constantly accuse other people of being rude. It incorporates blame shifting. According to some research, the projection of one's unconscious qualities onto others is a common process in everyday life.

One of the constant themes you hear from the Left is that the Right is composed of "haters." But contrast, say, a Tea Party rally to the (much more frequent) types of rallies organized by the Left. The Tea Party tended to have orderly, almost sedate marches. Those organized by the Left tend to consist of large numbers of people who often seem to be in a state of near hysteria. These chanting, jeering, bellowing, window-smashing, fire-lighting, brick-throwing protesters often come across consumed with hatred. Yet they accuse the Right of being "haters," simply because they have the nerve to be realistic about human differences. 

So, they chant "Love trumps hate!" and feel that they're on the side of goodness and light and that their opponents are filled with ill will. Classic projection.

Munchausen's Syndrome often expresses itself on the Left these days. From Wikipedia:

Munchausen syndrome is a psychiatric factitious disorder wherein those affected feign disease, illness, or psychological trauma to draw attention, sympathy, or reassurance to themselves.

Virtually every recent hate hoax -- and there have been plenty -- falls squarely into the realm of Baron Munchausen. Not coincidentally, virtually all of these hoaxes seem to emanate from the Left.

Much of the BLM movement is predicated on the assumption that blacks are targeted unfairly by the police, but a hard look at the statistics -- which show that roughly twice as many whites as blacks are killed by the police each year, despite the fact that blacks commit over 50% of the murders in this country -- the factitiousness of their claims becomes evident.

Long after it was proven conclusively that Michael Brown did not put his hands up in Ferguson that fateful day, BLMers would howl at the police, "Hands up, don't shoot!"

Sociopathy also seems more prevalent on the Left. Sociopaths will often display a false emotionality, laying claim to nonexistent feelings in an effort to appear noble. If you want to pose as a caring human being, the easiest way is to recite leftist dogma about how your heart aches for the poor.

A classic illustration is Bill Clinton's "I feel your pain" posturing. Normal people wouldn't bother to say something like that, since it's just assumed there's some empathy there. But sociopaths feel obliged to advertise what's not there, as part of their con artistry. And the easiest way to do that is to drape yourself in the mantle of the great humanitarian, claiming that you care about the downtrodden.

The modern term for such moral posing is "virtue signaling." 

Borderline personality disorder also seems to be a part of many a SJW's makeup. Wikipedia lists the following symptoms:

Markedly disturbed sense of identity
Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment and extreme reactions to such
Splitting ("black-and-white" thinking)
Severe impulsivity
Intense or uncontrollable emotional reactions that often seem disproportionate to the event or situation
Unstable and chaotic interpersonal relationships
Self-damaging behavior
Distorted self-image
Frequently accompanied by depression, anxiety, anger, substance abuse, or rage

When you read between the lines here, the word "hysteria" seems omnipresent, and, according to Wiki, three times as many women as men are diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. Think of the stereotypical SJW reactions to anything a conservative says: "OMG! Wow, just wow!" The undertone of hysteria is there.

The black-and-white thinking seems to be reflected in many SJW's attitude: they are good and their opponents are evil.

The impulsivity is certainly seen in the chaos and law-breaking that often occurs at SJW rallies. The uncontrollable emotional reactions, like anger and rage, are in evidence at those rallies as well.

The unstable and chaotic interpersonal relationships probably contribute toward the statistic that single women vote Democratic, married women Republican (the oft-referred to "marriage gap" among voters).

Think of the recent trend of Clinton supporters unfriending others on Facebook because they supported Trump. (You never hear of the opposite.) I've heard young people say that it's "social suicide" to admit that you support Trump in certain circles. Why would this be? It's not social suicide to admit you support Hillary, even among Trump supporters.

Or think of the way SJW's will berate complete strangers because they've voted for Trump.

Sexual abnormalities such as homosexuality were long considered forms of mental illness, though the DSM stopped listing them as such a few years ago. (Gender dysphoria is still listed.) Both seem to have found a welcoming home on the Left.

If you're a female with a binge-eating disorder which has rendered you obese, you're more likely to subscribe to feminist attitudes about patriarchal standards of beauty and fat shaming. (One look at a typical rally reveals the apparent prevalence of binge eaters.)

Cognitive dissonance itself is not a syndrome listed by the DSM; it's merely a description of how people deal with conflicting sets of beliefs or facts. As per Wiki:

In psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time; performs an action that is contradictory to their beliefs, ideas, or values; or is confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas or values.

Leftists seem less troubled by contradictory facts. They protest racism, but have a strong anti-white animus. They protest sexism, but reflexively side with women against men. They hold up Hillary Clinton as a shining example of feminism, even though she rode to fame on her husband's coattails. They saw Hillary as a supporter of human rights even though she accepted money from some of the most repressive nations on earth. 

The list is way too long to get into here, and I'm certainly not saying the Republicans are immune from cognitive dissonance either. (Until Trump, prominent Republicans felt obliged to pretend that the Iraq War was a worthwhile endeavor. Many said that Mexican-Americans were "natural Republicans." And Reaganites held that "trickle down" economics was the best way to help the middle class.) But, there's a difference in degree: practically every position of the far Left incorporates some dissonance.

As I said above, supporting Democrats because they will increase your welfare is perfectly logical; but there are innumerable mental disorders which can lead one to the dole. Agoraphobia, avoidant disorder, kleptomania, pyromania, conduct disorder, and oppositional defiant disorder are all more likely to render you unemployable and on welfare. A certain lowbrow style of sociopathy which leads in violence can do the same. And substance abuse (take your choice about whether to consider this an "illness") can also be a path to joblessness.

Finally, people who are aware that they suffer from any of the above-mentioned disorders, or who are aware that they fall on the lefthand side of the IQ bell curve, are more likely to subscribe to the leftist ethos that no human being is better than any other -- in any way.

When you take a close look at these various syndromes, and think of how they express themselves into political arena, it's hard not to come to the conclusion that without all the people who suffer from them -- let's be honest, the crazies -- the Democrats would be a far less viable force. 


Anonymous said...

Simon Wiesenthal said "For evil to flourish, it only requires good men to do nothing."
Thank goodness for the internet, one can get unbiased news and views. Despite the mainstream media's leaning towards Hillary, Trump won. The credit should go to the innumerable blogs like yours which don't hesitate to call spade a spade.


Anonymous said...

Something I have noticed (this is slightly off topic, but, we will work it into our vast TAPESTRY OF TRUTH) in like YouTube or Disqus comments...

Some leftist, frequently kind of a goopy young girl (apparently) will come out with
"I am not going to cry for you" or "you are bad for (x,y,z reasons) and so I am not going to feel sorry for you"...

It is as if everyone is required to feel sorry all day every day, and, they want to get off work an hour early...

I mean, who wants people's tears? What a horrible basis for an economy, collecting tears...It is more fun not to have to bother with other people's emotions AND GET YOUR OWN STUFF independently, less work too
====Fake Baba

John Craig said...

Sherie --
Thank you.

It is amazing how the MSM glossed over Hillary's mountainous character flaws and corruption.

John Craig said...

Fake Baba --
I've somehow missed that kind of discourse, no one has ever offered not to feel sorry for me that I'm aware of. I like your analysis though. I guess evoking sympathy -- or demonstrating that they feel it -- is a goal among SJW's. And saying that they're NOT going to feel it is a roundabout method of virtue signaling.

GT said...

I really do see what you are talking about in regards to the MSM.

Here is a link for a USA today sports article asking Tom Brady to justify his association with Donald Trump. I guess this would go under liberal shaming / bulling. The article makes the assumption that Tom has not disavowed DT so he is guilty by association. Guilty of what the author stated as racism, bigotry and misogyny. All the normal name calling and the usual failing to back up the assertions with any actual facts.

John Craig said...

GT --
Just read the article. How right you are. It's utterly, utterly disgusting. So pompous, self-righteous, and morally superior, without any cogent analysis or, as you point out, facts to back it up.

And the really sad thing is, it's not all that atypical of the MSM.