Thursday, December 22, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

PURE PROGRESSIVISM PERMANENTLY DISFIGURES

Here are the results of a real-world experiment on the differences between capitalism and socialism:

NK vs SK

The graph comes from a post at The Corner and it illustrates the quite astonishing differences between the two Korean countries who went their separate political and economic ways decades ago.

What happened to North Korea is a perfect example of what happens when the Progressive agenda is implemented in its pure, unadulterated form. Everyone in NoKo was equal; wealth was perfectly redistributed (it just wasn't created); and from a "green" standpoint, NoKo was a radical environmentalist's wet dream:

korean night

We have the ability right here in the U.S. to conduct social experiments like the above by permitting states to go their own way with the social justice, Obamacare, progressive agenda and see how they do. The difference will be that people will be free to escape from the resulting oppression (as they are in California, at a record rate)and flee to states that have a less progressive (and more pro-capitalist, pro-freedom) agenda.

The legacy of North Korea is a reality that is hard to face for the dedicated proponent for "social justice" and all the other leftist/Marxist bull; but the facts are right there for all who care to look.

Or, read This paper from a number of years ago about the connection between POVERTY and GOVERNANCE:
A growing body of academic research is showing us that the two are both sides of one coin.

Indeed, the empirical link between poor governance and poverty received a boost the same week of the conference when economist William Easterly released an important new working paper for the Center for Global Development.

Easterly has spent his career inside foreign aid circles. Within those circles, it has been widely believed that impoverished nations suffer from a self-perpetuating "poverty trap." This poverty trap is almost impossible to escape without a big push from wealthy countries -- hence the logic of foreign aid.

This view, while not entirely new, has been most recently championed by the economist Jeffrey Sachs of the Earth Institute at Columbia University -- whom the New York Times just editorialized is an "A-list economics geek." The only problem with this storyline, according to Easterly, is that "evidence to support the narrative is scarce."

Easterly found that, "Over 1970-94, there is good data on public investment for 22 African countries. These countries' governments spent $342 billion on public investment. The donors gave these same countries' governments $187 billion in aid over this period. Unfortunately, the corresponding …increase in productivity… was zero."

If half a trillion dollars of investment and aid can't raise economic output, then what can? "The paper instead finds support for democratic institutions and economic freedom as determinants of growth that explain the occasions under which poor countries grow more slowly than rich countries." In other words, poverty -- and its alleviation -- are directly linked to governance.


Along these lines, It is also worthwhile to read some of the peer-reviewed scientific papers (from 2005 - 2011) that definitively link economic prosperity to FREEDOM.

Poverty has a cure, people.

It is not an instantaneous cure, but it works miraculously over time to pull entire societies and nations up from economic stagnation and misery.

Policymakers whose goal is fighting poverty need to pay attention to the link between economic freedom and prosperity. The freest economies have a per-capita income of $29,219, more than twice that of the "mostly free" at $12,839, and more than four times that of the "mostly unfree."

It is ECONOMIC FREEDOM that is the true cure for poverty.

Not MORE TAXES. Not MORE REGULATION. Not MORE FREE STUFF. Not GOVERNMENT CONTROL OF THE ECONOMY nor THE REDISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH.

Just look at North Korea and South Korea. Dark vs Light; Poverty vs Prosperity.

And, consider not only the economic toll inflicted by pure progressivism over the long term, but also the human toll. Leftists are fond of trotting out individuals who have not prospered under capitalism--they lose their jobs or their homes; but at least they are free to move on and try again; and others are free to help them if they want to. North Koreans are helpless; trapped inside a progressive utopian fantasy and ruled by a series of malignant narcissists (and the next in line doesn't appear to be much different than his father); with no help available and no possibility to get out alive.

As Mark Krikorian notes:
After almost a lifetime under the rule of the Kim Family Regime, North Koreans are broken, morally, psychologically, socially. You can’t just go back to the status quo ante — the society there entered modernity (sort of) under this perverse and demonic system and has been permanently disfigured as a result.


Pure progressivism permanently disfigures people. The free market may knock you down, but you are free to get up and try again...and again.

It is CAPITALISM, or the free market, that brings societies and people out of poverty.

For those on the Left who pay lip service to fighting poverty and achieving social justice; but who reflexly denounce capitalism, free trade, and globalization; who routinely demonize capitalists and entrepreneurs who create wealth (and jobs); I strongly recommend that you STFU, and let those evil, greedy capitalistic bastards, pursuing their own selfish, profit-making agendas, do their thing.

I say this only because it's for your own good--not to mention, everyone else's!

UPDATE: I just noticed this WSJ article by Jeb Bush, which is related:
Congressman Paul Ryan recently coined a smart phrase to describe the core concept of economic freedom: "The right to rise."

Think about it. We talk about the right to free speech, the right to bear arms, the right to assembly. The right to rise doesn't seem like something we should have to protect.

But we do. We have to make it easier for people to do the things that allow them to rise. We have to let them compete. We need to let people fight for business. We need to let people take risks. We need to let people fail. We need to let people suffer the consequences of bad decisions. And we need to let people enjoy the fruits of good decisions, even good luck.

That is what economic freedom looks like. Freedom to succeed as well as to fail, freedom to do something or nothing.


Check it out.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

WHAT TO DO WITH A GREEN YOUNG MAN ?

John Miller posts a sample of the poetry of Barack Obama:

What to do with me, a green young man

Who fails to consider the

Flim and flam of the world, since

Things have been easy for me


My response to the green, young man:

What shall we do with a green, young man

Who's become the flim and flam of the world?

Things have been made too easy for him

Give him his hat and show him the door

So he can face reality for a change


Feel free to adapt your own suggestions in the comments

Photobucket

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

TIME MAGAZINE'S "PERSON OF THE YEAR"

Once again, Time Magazine claims to have taken the pulse of the country and has selected its "Person of the Year".

Oh Yay.

Instead of selecting, say...I don't know, the NAVY SEALS who killed OBL, for example, we get The Protester (sample OWS protester below)

Photobucket

My comments are not to denigrate those courageous individuals around the world, particularly the Arab world, protesting tyranny (and likely to only get more tyranny for their trouble); but Time made it clear the OWS was right up there alongside groups like the Syrian protesters, who are risking their lives on a daily basis.
No. Time just HAD to include the ridiculous OWS crowd, a series of wretched hives of scum and villainy--not to mention uselessness (except to the Democrats who want to pretend that the OWS protesters stand for something other than what the protester above clearly stands for).

I think this says a lot about the current psychology of our media. Or, should I say, its psychopathology?

Ask yourself why the OWS crowd got so much attention in the first place and you will understand why the Time would dearly love to be able to link them to freedom protests around the world. In fact, the article above linking to their announcement gives OWS a rather prominent place in the middle of real protesters for freedom.

Except for several teensy weensy details.

These protesters weren't for political freedom. They wanted more governmnet control.
These protesters weren't for economic liberty. They were for the redistribution of wealth.
These protesters weren't for the right to live their lives and pursue their happiness as they choose, they were for entitlements and handouts.

In my professional opinion, the picture above just about sums up the content of the OWS movement; or, to put it another way, what a load of crap.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

YES THEY HAVE NO BANANAS (OR CUCUMBERS)

Ask yourself WHO is actually having the sexual thoughts about bananas and cucumbers, and you will understand the role psychological projection plays in the Islamic oppression of women.
An Islamic cleric residing in Europe said that women should not be close to bananas or cucumbers, in order to avoid any “sexual thoughts.”

The unnamed sheikh, who was featured in an article on el-Senousa news, was quoted saying that if women wish to eat these food items, a third party, preferably a male related to them such as their a father or husband, should cut the items into small pieces and serve.

He said that these fruits and vegetables “resemble the male penis” and hence could arouse women or “make them think of sex.”


It's hard to imagine a better example of the paranoid fear of female sexuality. The article once again reminds me that much of Muslim culture (particularly in the Middle East) has evolved into a structure for the sole purpose of containing female sexuality. This containment has not only become a key aspect of the worship of their god; but it also is a key factor in individual personality development; as well as the main pollutant of all social interactions.

The men of Islam are obsessed with sex beyond even the wildest imaginings of the Western male's mind. And the obsession is extremely bizarre and pathological.

So frequently do we joke about men's preoccupation with sex and female body parts in the West, that we have failed to notice that the Muslim world is literally consumed by female sexuality and the fear of it. It is ironic that both Muslim men and women are under the mistaken impression that Western society is oversexualized compared to them, when in fact, it is practically impossible to be more obsessed with sexual matters than they are in Muslim communities.

Consider for a moment a culture that would prefer to let little girls die in a burning building than to risk having them run out of said building not clothed in properly modest dress; and tell me that such a society is less preoccupied with matters of sex than we are in the West.

Enormous effort goes into veiling women, dressing women modestly, silencing women, covering women's bodies, punishing women, controlling women, reviling women, humiliating women, beating women, subjugating women, avoiding the dishonor of women, keeping women uneducated, policing women, infantilizing women--in short, dehumanizing women -- all under the guise of "protecting" and "honoring" them as they relegate them to animal-like status.

The women in this misogynistic Islam are brainwashed from birth into thinking that this cultural preoccupation somehow is necessary and that it "liberates" them in some bizarre manner.

Amazingly, this medieval culture has grasped the fundamentals of both Orwellian and postmodern rhetorical rationalizations, that are so prominent in certain intellectual quarters within our own culture! I have heard the canned rationalizations coming from th lips of muslim women myself; and they all claim that it frees them from having to be "sexual objects."

Honey, go eat some bananas and cucumbers.

Monday, November 28, 2011

UPDATE

Life continues to go on....

I have been writing a book and will finish by the end of this year. In addition, a lot of other things have been going on in my life and taking up my time this past year, making it difficult for me to be able to blog: but I have hopes of intermittantly putting up some posts in 2012, particularly for the election.

Stay tuned...and have a wonderful Holiday Season!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

THE UNIVERSE IS SOOOOOOO UNFAIR !



For all those brilliant and virtuous Occupiers out there, remember that the struggle against reality is a bittersweet, neverending battle; but the fight for social justice goes on--even to Infinity and Beyond!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

SEPTEMBER 11, 2011


ENTITLED TO FREEDOM

Our Legacy is Freedom,
But we fritter it away
With every new entitlement
That passes every day

Entitled to food...
But who will grow it?
Entitled to learn...
But who will know it?
Entitled to housing...
But who will pay it?
Entitled to truth...
But who will say it?
Entitled to health care...
But who will provide it?
Entitled to leadership...
But who will decide it?

With every new entitlement
We make each other slaves
Jefferson and Lincoln
Are weeping in their graves

The Founders fought for Liberty;
Each generation passed it on
And with the blood of Patriots
Liberty is won.

Freedom to succeed and win;
Freedom, too, to fail.
To learn and grow from our mistakes
And not expect a bail.

Freedom to pursue our lives
And Freedom just to be;
Not Freedom from our folly
Or from reality.

But in this generation
Entitlement is king.
We're all the slaves of victimhood
Let narcissism ring!

Our legacy is Freedom
But we fritter it away
With every new entitlement
That passes every day

Don't expect a handout
Except for one of love;
Don't demand a bail-out
Except by God above

Freedom's our entitlement;
Our Legacy; our Creed
Freedom's our entitlement;
The only one we need.

And on this day of memory
Let's remember why they died
And why our soldier's still fight on
And why our people cried;

Freedom was attacked that day
And Freedom's towers fell;
An Evil that fears Liberty
Plunged us into hell.

Let us stand and face all threats
Once again, let's roll
And remember Freedom's challenge
And answer Freedom's call.

Freedom's our entitlement;
Our Legacy; our Creed
Freedom's our entitlement...and
It's the only one we need.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

OB-LA-DI, OB-LA-DA

Recent events in my life have made me re-evaluate my priorities and goals (going to Hawaii definitely helped in this regard). While I enjoy blogging, it still takes up a lot of my time and energy; and, believe it or not, I don't care for politics as much as I care about ideas and the philosophy behind them.

I would like to begin to concentrate on other writing projects and distilling some of my own ideas into other formats. Unfortunately, blogging over the past year has often felt like a ball and chain that prevents me from going in that direction. I know I have taken extended time off from blogging in the past and have always come back to it...that's because I truly hate what is happening in the world, especially in my beloved country where I see a constant erosion of of liberty; the slow, cancerous growth of collectivism; and a spiritual and moral stagnation brought about by postmodern philosophical ideas that have infiltrated into our culture.

Blogging has allowed me to imagine that I am doing something to fight against these forces of collectivism and postmodernism. I hope that it has been the case that Dr. Sanity has had some positive impact in fighting this battle.

I am truly grateful for all my loyal readers and the support and comments you have made over the last 7 years. When I first started blogging, I had no idea that my psychological blog would reach so many people, and I have been pleasantly surprised that people actually read it and debate the ideas (Dr. Sanity has had over 4 million visits over the years!).

I'm not giving up on blogging, but I would like to focus on other areas of my life right now. It's definitely time for a change!

Perhaps I will return to write about the Presidential Election next year.

Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on. Be well.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

WHAT REAL RACISM LOOKS LIKE

These days, you hear the term "racism" and "racist" used with wild abandon by the political left as a strategy to attack those who disagree with their ideology or their policies. Many live in fear, for example of saying anything that might be remotely construed as "racist", since that has become the most horrifying accusation (whether true or not) that can be hurled at another human.

RACISM is defined by the Mirriam-Webster Dictionary thusly:
a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race


Here is a rather perfect example of the term in practice, described by Roger Clegg:
Disgusting Little Boxes

If you want to be disgusted, take a look at the front-page story in today’s New York Times, “On College Forms, a Question of Race, or Races, Can Perplex.” It’s about how selective colleges and universities are wrestling with the problem of how to deal with applicants who check more than one box for race and ethnicity: which mixes are to be most favored, whether it’s better to be mixed or pure, what do to about students who refuse to check any box, and how to tell if a student is really sincere in his or her self-identification or is just “gaming” the system. Now, maybe it’s just me, but I think a lot of people will find it really sickening to read about how these politically correct educrats sit around and give a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down to an 18-year-old based on his racial and ethnic mix. As for “gaming” the system, were we supposed to lament the fact that a black applicant 100 years ago might try to pass for white? I think our condemnation then and now should be more concentrated on the racially discriminatory system itself rather than on those who tried or try to game it.


Real racism is indeed truly disgusting; and nowhere is it more real and objectively manifest than in the left's politically correct posturing and in the perpetual victimhood scams perpetrated by their compassionate policies--you know, the ones that infantalize other races and ethnicities and keep them "in their place" so that the truly superior denizens of the political left can manage their lives.

Friday, June 10, 2011

HAWAII

It's been more than 30 years since I was on the island of Oahu. Back in the day, when Pan Am was around they used to have discount flights to Hawaii from LA and I went several times while in Medical School.

It was lovely then; and, while a lot more crowded and big city-like, Waikiki is still lovely. I used to stay in the old Moana Hotel (still there) but this visit I am in the Marriott. Here's the view from my window:

WAIKIKI BEACH



DIAMOND HEAD



This is still truly a paradise and there is no direction that you can look that does not present a rather breathtaking scene.

Not looking forward to coming back!

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

SO MUCH COOLER ONLINE ?



For all those online addicts; twitter freaks and cyberpaths out there -- GET A REAL LIFE !

It's so much more fun.

BTW, I'll be on a business/vacation trip to Hawaii for the next week so blogging will be light!

Monday, June 06, 2011

THE SHAMELESS WEINERS OF THE LEFT

In a series of posts on the political left and the seven deadly sins of narcissism, I discussed the utter shamelessness of the left, who because of a profound belief in their own superiority--intellectually and morally-- to the rest of us plebes, behave rather shamelessly in situations that would make ordinary people blush with mortification, admit to our wrongdoing and resign our public post. This is not to suggest (as a commenter notes) that only one political party has narcissistic traits (it is, sadly, a reality of our current political process, which generally REWARDS excessive narcissism). But let's compare and contrast the Weiner story with Republican Chris Lee (N.Y.) who resigned immediately after the accusations against him posting a shirtless photo to someone on Craigslist surfaced in February. Lee didn't pretend he was innocent; nor did he place responsibility for his behavior on a mysterious "hacker".

Weiner is being urged to "do the honorable thing" (and no, I don't mean to suggest that he should put a bullet in his brain as might have been done in the remote past when a person of consequence did a shameful thing and could not live with the ramifications when it became known. No, he should merely R.E.S.I.G.N.; at which time he could pursue his fetish as a simple private citizen and not rationalize to himself that he is "doing the people's business" or that this affair has been a "distraction" from "important work."

Weiner will have speak to the press imminently, but typically progressives are urging him "Don't quit!"

Any bets as to what he will do? My money is on him buying into the Bill Clinton Plan--after all, he's a really really big and important man (as photos suggest) doing important work....

Andrew Stiles offers these possibilities of which the first is the most honorable and therefore probably the least likely scenario (I will apologize and feel ashamed if he proves me wrong--but then, I'm not much of a public figure):
•Resigns
•Apologizes for “careless behavior,” appeals for privacy
•Admits he “has a problem,” will enter rehab (the Tiger Woods option)
•Remains defiant, calls Andrew Breitbart a “jackass”
•Announces candidacy for Mayor (more press than Romney got!)

UPDATE: He will not resign. He lied. He's made mistakes. He never had a physical relationship with those women. He's going the Bill Clinton route.

Utterly shameless and predictably dishonorable.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

THE 'MAGIC' KINGDOMS

Did you know that North Korea is one of the happiest places on earth? A veritable Disneyland of pleasures and entertainment for its citizens! Imagine that!
It's official, North Korea is one of the 'the happiest places' to live in the world, but only according to country's own regime.

Kim Jong-il's own television station has told the nation that there is hardly anywhere else on earth where people are so smiley.

The joy index, released yesterday, scores the extremist country's allies very highly, with China scoring a perfect 100 out of 100 for quality of life and happy residents.

North Korea comes in a close second, with a score of 98, followed by the country's pals Cuba, Iran and Venezuela who all make the top five.
The happiest countries ranked out of 100.


Here are the official rankings:

1. China - 100
2. North Korea - 98
3. Cuba - 93
4. Iran - 88
5. Venezuela - 85
152. South Korea - 18
203. United States - 3

It's nice to know that happiness doesn't depend on stupid things like freedom...or even food, in the case of North Korea.

It's interesting though that the top tier countries all share something in common: They all employ deceit, trickery and subterfuge to camoflage their real economic and social state. Leaders like Kim cannot accept reality, so must disguise it with "scienctific" polls and propaganda like the one above.

Remember when most Americans thought of the Soviet Union as "equal" in prosperity because they flaunted their weapons and space program? It wasn't until I had a chance to see the country up close and personal, that I realized it was basically a third-world country; the people united in a profound poverty, standing in line daily to get basics like bread and milk. It was dirty and grimey; and the people I met could feel their very souls slipping away.

Communism tends to do that to a person. Socialism does it slightly more slowly, but the end result is the same.

What ties the megalomaniacs of North Korea and Iran together is their obsessive shame-avoidant behavior, a cultural attribute which is the flip side of their individual malignant grandiosity. China notably is also a shame culture; and as for Cuba and Venezuela, consider them completely shameless (see my discussion of shame and shamelessness here).

For both the grandiose and shameless individual, as well as the shame-avoidant one, reality itself must be distorted in order to protect the self from feeling low self-esteem or shame.

Overweening narcissistic grandiosity that is characteristic of all the leaders of these "happy" countries; they are all tyrants and demigogues. Typical symptoms of grandiosity that can be observed in your typical autocratic ruler/megalomaniac like Kim, Castro, Chavez, or Ahmadinejad are:
• Continual claims for attention and admiration
• Cold and uncaring behavior toward others
• Other people are seen only as an extension of the self to be manipulated and/or eliminated as needed; an inability to relate to people as people or separate from oneself
• Inflated/exaggerated sense of self-importance
• Hypochondria, or an obsession with individual body parts and illness

The "magic" kingdoms they all rule are places on the globe you want to avoid; places where misery and desperation are high. The people there are far from happy--they are not even allowed to pursue their own happiness; rather, they are the property of the State.

And, if the dear leaders who run things opened up their borders to free travel for even just a day, you would witness a mass exodus on the party of the "happy" citizens there.

I dare them to prove me wrong.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

THE POLITICAL LEFT AND THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS OF NARCISSISM -- Part III

Since Part II was posted, we have witnessed yet another example of the shamelessness of the progressive left. Instapundit has the roundup:

YA THINK? Peter Ingemi: Too Many Coincidences In Weiner’s Tale.
Related: Is America Ready for ‘WeinerGate’?

UPDATE: Weiner’s office refuses to say if lewd photo is of congressman. No police investigation underway. Meanwhile the press is covering for him like it did for John Edwards, and Mickey Kaus is mocking them for it.

ANOTHER UPDATE: More on Weiner from Kaus. Alibi one has collapsed already.

MORE: Bryan Preston: How Long Before Weiner Blames, Fires A Staffer?
So now Weiner has lawyered up (why does the victim lawyer up? Because he’s not the victim!), dodged specific fact-based questions about the photo and whether he has contacted Cordova (because the facts aren’t in his favor for one reason or another), and is calling the tweet a “prank.” From “hacked” to “prank” is a major, but strategically useful, climb down.

The next step is to find a staffer to blame the “prank” on, which will be a staffer who had some access to his social networking accounts. Deputy communications director, something like that. Weiner finds a way to compensate the staffer for taking the fall (promises to find them another job outside DC or his district), lets them take the fall, and attempts to move on. And the media, which can’t even get the basic facts in this whole thing straight after several of us blogger types have helpfully published detailed timelines for them, will do their best to let him move on.

It’s interesting to compare the press treatment of this issue to, say, the Mark Foley affair."


Indeed, the entire affair is a perfect example of the utter shamelessness of yet another member of the elite progressive ruling class. Of course, Weiner might be completely innocent, but his behavior indicates otherwise and it will be interesting to see how this affair unfolds. I predict it will go on and on and on without Weiner taking any responsibility or experiencing any shame or guilt--much like the John Edwards fiasco. You can count on Weiner to continue to portray himself as a poor, helpless victim, and not doing the things he needs to do to actually prove his innocence (e.g., call in the authorities).

Meanwhile, Ann Althouse notes the difference in the way the media treats these cases:
Imagine if Anthony Weiner were a Republican. (I know, it's such a hackneyed visualization, but it's important here.) The liberal/lefty blogs would be shredding him mercilessly. I'm not saying Weiner's not getting his hair mussed. But if he were a Republican, the feeding frenzy would be of a different magnitude entirely.


Being a lefty means never having to say you're sorry...or even admitting you were wrong, for that matter. It's no wonder the ideology has a certain appeal for a large number of people.

Next on our list of the deadly sins of narcissism is:

EXPLOITATION

Exploitation can take many forms but always involves the exploitation of others without regard for their feelings or interests. Often the other is in a subservient position where resistance would be difficult or even impossible. Sometimes the subservience is not so much real as assumed.

Of course the left doesn't see it as "exploitation" of others; they see it as forcing you to do what they think is best for you or for "your own good." The key is that they truly believe that THEY know what is in your best interests and your own good more than you do (see Arrogance for more details).

This social relationship ideal--where they are in charge because they are superior people, and you are subservient to their good intentions-- is characteristic of the political left and it exemplifies the psychological modus operandi of all the various do-gooder utopians: that is, they seek to have power over others, but rationalize this desire away by telling themselves they are doing it for your own good.

You feel exploited by the relationship; they feel powerful and self-righteous.

Sometimes it seems as if the ideology of the poltiical left is incapable of seeing others as separate individuals with feelings, needs and wants unique to the individual. Instead, they can only think in terms of the collective and tend to see others as fodder for the IDEAL that they support.

For all the lip service given to compassion and caring for others, the individual in the throes of this particular form of malignant narcissism (which I refer to as "narcissistic idealism") also completely reject the needs of the individual and exploit him or her in the service of their IDEAL/IDEOLOGY. Eventually, the enslavement--whether religious or secular--snuffs out human ambition, confidence, energy and self-esteem. These "do-gooders" cause considerable human misery and their ideologies can lead to genocidal practices and unbelievable atrocities on a grand scale, all in the name of the IDEAL or GOD. Appropriate benevolence and compassion toward others can only occur when there is an acceptance that other people are separate individuals; with thoughts, desires, wishes and beliefs that may not necessarily coincide with the sacred ideology; and that those others have a right to be so.

C.S. Lewis wrote:

"Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."

The social engineers of the left, motivated as they are by their creative utopian aspirations--expressed by the desire to impose (forcibly, if necessary) universal peace, social justice and brotherhood upon humanity--are completely oblivious to the malignant side of their own natures.

The leftist's desire for power is direct and absolute; and this is a direct consequence of the utopian ideology that drives him. Like a small child, but no longer an innocent one, the typical progressive truly believes that his whims and feelings and "good intentions" are all that matter in the world.

There is no area of your life which will escape his intrusive psychopathology, because he justifies it by saying he is really doing it for your sake.

The clever leftist always manages to hide these darker motivations--the envy, greed, and desire for power--and pretend they don't even exist--even to himself. He tells himself he does not possess such dark motives; that his motives are pure and uncontaminated by the kind of self-serving goals the selfish capitalists pursue. He tells himself that the "greed" of others is to blame for his plight; never his own. He tells himself that it is others who are "selfish", never him. He does what he does "for the children" and some undefined "greater good."

The banal platitudes and silly slogans he chants during his protest marches make him feel oh so good about himself and demonize those who he believes are stealing his rightful piece of the pie. Experiencing too much knowledge and insight about his inner state would make him extremely uncomfortable; perhaps even causing him to question some of his basic assumptions about himself or his beliefs.

This is the essence of the "dilemma of the utopians". They see themselves as so pure and righteous; so correct and virtuous; how is it possible that their beautiful utopian dreams always turn into such horrible human nightmares?

You can then count on the true leftist believer to close his eyes not only to his own internal reality, but also to the external reality that proves the uselessness of his beliefs in the real world. Few on the left have ever acknowledged the nightmare of the Soviet gulag; or Lenin's purges; or China's crackdowns. Few have ever even accepted the incredible human cost their ideologies have taken on humanity; the death the suffering and misery, the abject poverty.

When you consider the historical --and catastrophic -- human consequences that have ensued whenever their perfect utopias are implemented, it is little wonder that they will ignore, deny and distort any information that exposes the underlying envy and rage that drive their sociopathic selflessness. Their precious self-esteem would surely plummet, and their self-esteem must be preserved at all costs.

BAD BOUNDARIES

Having porous boundaries to their own self, narcissists do not easily recognize where they end and other selves begin. They have a hard time accepting that others are separate and are not extensions of themselves. Others either exist to meet their needs or may as well not exist at all. Those who provide narcissistic supply to the narcissist are treated as if they are part of the narcissist and are expected to live up to those expectations. In the mind of a narcissist there is no boundary between self and other.

Watch how the "compassionate" people of the left turn on a member of one of their many victimhood groups when that individual dares to disagree with them. They see them as traitors to their race or gender or whatever. If you are black or female or gay you are not supposed to have your own ideas about what is right and wrong--and god help you if you do, because you will be the recipient of an intense campaign of vitriol and hate for your audacity to think independently.

The underlying reason that the boundaries are not well formed is because the fundamental defect in the narcissist is a defect of the Self.

deepest motivations--i.e., they are a bunch of grandiose and narcissistically entitled children whose major goal in life is feeling good about themselves. And, like the narcissists they are, without constant stroking, the brittleness of their faux self-esteem is obvious. They can never quite be sure in their deepmost selves that they--or their ideology--are good enough to prevail. So they are scared. REALLY scared.

After Obama's victory in 2008, Byron York attempted to understand this curious phenomenon:"In Time of Victory, Why is the Left So Angry?" :

I asked William Anderson, a friend who is a political conservative, a medical doctor, and a lecturer in psychiatry at Harvard. "They are angry, but I think they are also scared, and I think it's because they have a sense that their triumph is a precarious one," Anderson told me. Democrats won in 2008 in some part because of the cycles of American politics; Republicans were exhausted and it was the other party's turn. Now, having won, they are unsure of how long victory will last.

"They see that they have a very small window of opportunity to do all the things they want," Anderson continued. "They see the window of opportunity as small because they know in their deepest hearts that the vast majority of the American people wouldn't go for all of the things they want to do." So they are frantic to do as much as possible before the opposition coalesces. And the tea parties might be the beginning of that coalescence.

Then there is the question of self-image. Watching Garofalo and Olbermann discuss the tea parties, it was impossible to avoid the sense that they saw themselves as two good people talking about many bad people. "One of the things about narcissism is that it looks like people who are just proud of themselves and smug, but in fact narcissism is a very brittle and unstable state," Anderson told me. "People who are deeply invested in narcissism spend an awful lot of energy trying to maintain the illusion they have of themselves as being powerful and good, and they are exquisitely sensitive to anything that might prick that balloon."[emphasis mine]

These are two sides of of this political narcissism that defines Obama and his leftist base. The grandiosity and smugness on the one hand; and, on the other, the brittleness and anxiety that comes with maintaining a false self-image. Just imagine what we are in for not that they have received a resounding rebuke from the American people.

One simple psychological maneuver that Obama and the progressive left can continue to deflect that anxiety and keep their fear at bay; AND at the same time pump up their already over-inflated egos and self-righteousness is to escalate their attacks on the Republicans in congress (especially their leadership) and to continue to bash former President Bush. The left externalized blame for their own inadequacies before Obama was elected; as well as in the first two devastating years he has been in power; so it is hardly likely that they'll stop now as they begin to see their power and control being wrenched from them.

We can count on the fact that they will remain completely inadequate and fall quite short of even the simple tasks of leadership. You will see that Obama and his minions will now blame Republicans for their own inadequacies on the homefront. And, when it comes to their failures in foreign policy, they will still have Israel as a scapegoat that can be flogged when the occasion demands it.

The anger and rage (that are so much a part of malignant narcissism) that the political left has nurtured and cultivated over the years will not go away. They need it desperately to keep their fragile, rotting narcissistic and grandiose self image--even if they have to destroy this country to do so.

Several people in the comments wonder what can be done about this situation...how do you deal with people like this? They wonder what use it is to describe and understand the behavior they exhibit; or even to appreciate the psychological strategies that are used by the narcissists among us as they exercise the seven deadly sins in the political arena.

The answer is very simple.

A knowledge and understanding of the psychology of the progressive left and the strategy and tactics they use to accomplish their agenda is extremely important and must be disseminated to voters. Obama and his allies have portrayed any opposition to him and his policies as racially motivated, but I think it is more likely that his entire election as POTUS has a great deal to do with a desire on most Americans' part to demonstrate (once and for all) a complete indifference to racial factors. The media were complicit in this desire and chose to ignore Obama's past, showing a striking lack of interest in past behavior, associations, and Obama's general lack of qualifications and experience for the job (This was clearly not the case with that uppity woman Sarah Palin, a conservative Republican governor, who obvioulsy was stupid because she didn't know her proper place in the feminist's mandatory victimhood and grievance league).

In our system there is one way to make change and that is to VOTE. The narcissists who are running things got there because a majority of people voted for them. Most of the elections are very close, so it is crucial that all efforts be made now to make people aware of how they are being manipulated and exploited by the Democrats and their leftist base--all for the purpose of a socialist/progressive agenda that promises everything but will deliver nothing as soon as the money runs out; that promises "hope and change", but will deliver the same old Marxist bulls**t we have been hearing for the last century--and the same misery and despair.

Even in Psychiatry it is difficult to deal with the severely malignant narcissists. Treatments are not particularly effective and they generally resist all efforts to help them change. Politicians are not patients, however, and they don't seek help for their malignant and often destructive behavior that can play out on a grandiose political scale and impact the lives and fortunes of most Americans.

BUT WE DON'T HAVE TO ELECT SUCH PEOPLE TO POLITICAL OFFICE;

AND, WE ESPECIALLY DON'T HAVE TO RE-ELECT THEM ONCE THEIR CHARACTER HAS BEEN EXPOSED AND WE SEE THEM FOR WHAT THEY ARE.

The entire purpose of posts like this is to give intellectual and psychological ammunition to people who are tired of the same leftist tropes and rhetoric; who are tired of the government spending your money and becoming ever more intrusive into YOUR life. Remember, "....it is this single-minded pursuit of the irrelevant by the self-important that constitutes the greatest catastrophe of our time."

Like Dorothy in Oz, we have always had it within our power to bring this country home.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

THE POLITICAL LEFT AND THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS OF NARCISSISM - Part II

In Part I, I discussed the first two deadly sins of Narcissism (Shamelessness and Magical Thinking) and how they are owned primarily by the postmodern progressive left. Today's topics are the next three narcissistic sins: ARROGANCE, ENVY, AND ENTITLEMENT.

Let's start with how the political left actively works to diminish, debase or degrade their political opponents--not in any appropriate way by attacking their ideas; but in a deliberate attempt to destroy them personally so that in their opponents' destruction their own self-worth can be puffed up. In fact, the sine qua non of the progressive political left is the politics of personal destruction.

In this, they have been aided and abetted by the Gurus of Self-Esteem. Most people confuse "self-esteem" with what I will refer to as a "sense of self". It is the latter--not the former, that is so often screwed up in the angry, violent, grandiose, and generally narcissistic people in the world. If you have a healthy "Self", you are likely to have a healthy self-esteem--which is not the same at all as a high self-esteem.

The psychological defect in malignant narcissism is a broken or distorted sense of one's SELF. The excessive self-esteem and swaggering arrogance that you see in a typical bully comes from a distortion of reality that person has with regard to their own self. It was once widely believed that low self-esteem was a cause of violence--and you see that idea reflected today in the platitudes and rationalizations for terrorism or any destructive behavior-- but, the reality is that most violent individuals, groups and nations think very well of themselves.

The triumvarate of cognitive contradictions promulgated by today's narcissistic left, and which claim to be based on "scientific" psychology includes the hyping of (1) self-esteem (i.e., increasing your self-worth without having to achieve anything; (2) hope (i.e., achieving your goals without any real effort) and (3) victimhood (i.e.,it's not your fault that you haven't achieved anything or made any effort).

The first of these cognitve contradictions leads to inappropriate arrogance and an inflated sense of one's own self worth; which, since it is not based on anything real but only only on the denigration or debasement of others, is extremely fragile and must be defended--violently and ruthlessly, if necessary--when challenged.

ARROGANCE

To the extent that a person's behavior is mostly motivated by perceived insults to their self--i.e., their narcissistic core; then the "insult" will usually prompt a typical display of narcissistic rage directed toward the unfortunate individual whose person or ideas threatens them.

Such rage responses are invariably destructive, mean, and often incredibly petty. These rages are generally not beneficial to society-at-large (in fact, such actions often have strong sociopathic or antisocial elements to them) , although the person in the throes of narcissistic rage will often convince themselves that they are behaving perfectly appropriately and even for "the good" of others. You can often imagine them chanting to themselves, "I am so special! I am so special!"; or like Homer Simpson, "I am so smart. S-M-R-T, I mean S-M-A-R-T", as he accidentally sets the house on fire.

Far too often, narcissistically flawed individuals are hopelessly attracted by the grandiose opportunities of the political arena (as well as the Hollywood arena) like moths to a flame. Their sense of self is starkly invested in the desire for power over others (always justified to themselves, of course, as being "for their own good"); a constant need admiration and adulation; and grandiose, often insatiable ambitions.

This arrogance thuse makes them remarkably adept at the "politics of personal destruction".

For the narcissist it is always a zero-sum game he or she plays with other individuals. From the perspective of the narcissist, if someone else "wins", the narcissist "loses". It cannot be otherwise, since on some level they know that their own talent and skills are way overblown. Hence, they cannot hope to "win" based on those talents alone. Thus, the behavior of the classic narcissist is mostly directed toward making others lose so they can win by default. To that end, there is no behavior or tactic that is considered out-of-bounds or over-the-top.

Ad hominem attacks are preferred since the narcissistic is hopelessly outclassed on the battlefield of ideas. Watch carefully and you will notice that whenever an idea or proposal is brought forth regarding the economy that is inconsistent with their ideology, the postmodern left attacks the person whose idea it was, NOT the idea itself except through gross distortion and deception. Paul Ryan and Chris Christie are just two recent examples of conservatives who are personally attacked to ensure that their ideas are not discussed in any rational or civil manner.

And, as mentioned previously, watch the rage and vicious insults that are casually expressed toward anyone who should know their place in the leftist victimhood heirarchy (e.g., a woman or a black conservative for example) dares to disagree with their political positions.

Hence the current state of political discourse and the ubiquitous personal attacks that have become the trademark of all political campaigns to some extent, but which are constantly decried by the left, even as they desperately try to pin anything bad that happens on their enemies, the conservatives or Republicans.

The tragic shooting of Representative Giffords by a paranoid schizophrenic is a case in point. The left self-righteously and arrogantly pinned that one on Sarah Palin, a go-to whipping boy girl for the left. They desperately need for Palin or any female conservative to be identified as eeeeevil, so that they can bask in the glow of their own goodness and self-righteousness.

Frankly, a schizophrenic is truly sick in every medical/physiological/biological sense of the word; but the progressive left suffers from an illness that is
philosophical/moral/spiritual and ethical sense.

If you want to understand why politics has become so virulent and personally vicious you need not look any farther that this sad truth. While politics still occasionally brings out those who have strong personal integrity and values; often it is the people of no integrity and values who are obsessively attracted to the field and are triumphant--and that is true on both sides of the political spectrum.

By that, I mean that those who would actually make the best leaders generally opt out of the process, because they tend to be too healthy to generate the continual rage necessary to destroy all opponents; or they lack the required-- and mostly distorted --sense of personal "perfection" and grandiosity that drives the power-hungry.

I am frequently reminded that it is hopelessly naive these days to expect the electorate to vote for a person based on what that person actually stands for; instead, these days most people respond to the negative campaign ads that slice and dice the other guy; and are mainly influenced by botoxed faces and Hollywood-packaged good-looks rather than the content of any candidate's character. And, the less they know of that character, the better (witness the character with tabula rasa who was elected in the last Presidential election)!

Real personal integrity and character comes from having a consistent set of values and exhibiting behavior driven by those values. Today's classic narcissistically-driven politicians can only flutter in the political winds, and zelig-like easily take on whatever characteristics their public care to project onto them.

Arrogance is not necessarily a vice--or even a deadly sin--when you actually have achieved something in the real world to be arrogant about. But spending other people's money and claiming it is your divine right to do so; looting other people's wealth; or seeking to control other people's lives so that you can feel virtuous and powerful is about as deadly a sin as there is. Wretchard writes in "The Fatal Phrase", a post about arrogant serial seducer and former head of the IMF (and the socialist party in France) who incredulously asked a hotel maid he was forcing himself on, "Don't you know who I am?"
People actually like to feel important. they crave recognition and using the words “don’t you know who I am” indicates they believe they’ve arrived and the waves should part before them.


John Kerry is rather notorious for this same behavior. And who can forget Qaddafi's "Tokyo Rose" Cynthia McKinney who assaulted a police officer at the Capitol back in 2006 because he had the temerity to ask for identification from her. Not surprisingly, because he did not immediately recognize her, she framed the encounter that she was a "victim" of 'racial profiling' (see #3 in the cognitive contradictions listed above).

This is not the kind healthy self-esteem which allows a person to face real threats in the real world very effectively because the narcissist cannot deal effectively with threats they do not perceive as personal--why should they care much about any other kind, unless the polls indicate they should?.

That is why candidates like Obama are so attractive: because this same voting base that once adored Hillary now find her too too obvious and coarse, and have swung over to the unknown, tabula rasa candidate on whom they are able to project their own fantasies without any intrusion by harsh reality.

The best leaders are not obsessed with themselves; with polls; or with accumulating power by pandering to all sides. Those leaders may, in truth, have many other personal flaws--but not particularly of the dangerously narcissistic variety. Whatever those flaws (and we all possess them), they are characterologically able to be more concerned about dealing with external reality; rather than in preserving a distorted and fragile internal one.

Avenging petty slights and insults is not a high priority to a psychologically healthy person. Those healthy individuals are far more likely to direct their psychological energy toward dealing with real-world geopolitical threats that endanger both their country and the people they have the responsibility to protect; rather than using that country or the power of their office to counter threats to their endangered self and act on their grandiose fantasies about themselves.

The latter is the same psychological pathology that is rampant among dictators and dictator wannabes of all stripes. Their concern about others in their group/nation is purely of the “l’├ętat c’est moi” variety.

That the needs of the nation, or the people they serve, might be different from their own; or that doing the right thing is often different from doing the popular thing, are foreign and dangerous concepts. The only reality they know--or care about--is the one inside themselves.

This aristocratic arrogance that is characteristic of a typical narcissist makes them view all issues through the prism of their own sad little egos.

Let us turn for a moment to another great poobah of unrestrained narcissism and aristocratic arrogance; the pious and morally righteous ex-President Jimmy Carter; who provides a case demonstration of the those who claim genuine superiority over others. "James Taranto tells this pertinent story about Carter by way of John Sugg:
Carter fittingly used a parable to illustrate how he'd like to see the political/religious debate unfold.

"I was teaching a Sunday school class two weeks ago," he recalls. "A girl, she was about 16 years old from Panama City [Fla.], asked me about the differences between Democrats and Republicans.

"I asked her, 'Are you for peace, or do you want more war?' Then I asked her, 'Do you favor government helping the rich, or should it seek to help the poorest members of society? Do you want to preserve the environment, or do you want to destroy it? Do you believe this nation should engage in torture, or should we condemn it? Do you think each child today should start life responsible for $28,000 in [federal government] debt, or do you think we should be fiscally responsible?'

"I told her that if she answered all of those questions, that she believed in peace, aiding the poor and weak, saving the environment, opposing torture . . . then I told her, 'You should be a Democrat.' "


Geez. I have met many 6 year olds with a clearer grasp of morality than this tired old man who never met a dictator that he couldn't support; and who appears to think that if someone disagrees with him, then they are clearly against peace; against the poor and weak; against the environment; and for torture!

Just as Barack Obama and his sycophants (or Cynthia McKinney and hers) believe that anyone who challenges them must be racist.

These are examples of the two fundamental types of malignant narcissists -- the "grandiose" narcissist, whose exaggerated sense of self-importance is dominant; and the "idealistic" narcissist, whose exaggerated self-righteous veneer of concern for others masks an underlying obsession with imposing their views on everyone else.

Both types are a plague on humanity; and both represent well-traveled avenues and justifications for limiting freedom and imposing tyranny. The "grandiose" narcissist shares the same psychology as any thug, bully, or tyrant; while the "idealistic" narcissist is the basic psychological fodder for the many groups (run by the grandiose types) who desire to impose their beliefs onto others.

Most narcissists go back and forth between the two basic types, since they are actually flip sides of the same psychological coin. Aristocratic arrogance and pious self-righteousness might appear to be opposites at first glance, but they both are hallmarks of individuals who are unhealthily obsessed with their own sad, little selves.

ENVY

Gaghdad Bob at One Cosmos, took up this topic in "The Envy of the Left (or No Good News Goes Unpunished)"), and I will quote him at length:
According to Webster's, envy is defined as "malice," and a "painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another, joined with a desire to possess the same advantage." The psychoanalytic understanding of envy is that it is an unconscious fantasy aimed at attacking, damaging, or destroying what is good, because of the intolerable feeling that one does not possess and control the object of goodness. As such, it is an aspect of what Freud called the death instinct, since it ultimately involves a destructive attack on the sources of life and goodness. Particularly envious individuals cannot tolerate the pain of not possessing and controlling the "good object," so they preemptively spoil it so that they don't have to bear the pain.

What is critical--and so perverse--about envy, is that it is not an attack on "the bad" or frustrating, but a hateful attack on what is good. As a result, the psyche of such individuals confuses what is bad and what is good, and cannot experience a sense of gratitude toward the good, the sine qua non of happiness and mental health. The envious person does not want to have a relationship with the good object, but wants to be that object. If it cannot be the object, then it attacks it to eliminate the tension.

Yesterday was an instructive but disturbing case study in the many ways of envy. Here we had such wonderful news coming out of Iraq, but the left found a multitude of ways to devalue, attack, and "spoil" the news through their excessive envy--by ignoring it, by downplaying it, by qualifying it, and by completely assaulting it with near-psychotic delusions.


Bob goes on to detail the general discontent on the left when good news came out of Iraq during Bush's term. If you can recall back to that time, there was NEVER anything that was positive about that war for the left. All good news was twisted and made to appear bad. Harry Reid even went on about how the "war was lost", and this meme was repeated over and over again as the left sought to undermine any and all progress there. The MSM was entirely complicit in this.

Contrast this sharply to the accolades (albeit grudging at times) that many conservatives and Republicans gave to Obama for ordering the operationthat killed Bin Laden. I heard it repeatedly said, even on eeevil Fox News! Granted that they all would have preferred that the previous Administration had been successful at this; and were annoyed that Obama (in his usual arrogant "It's all about me" way took more than his share of the credit); but nevertheless, they managed to control their envy because they realized what a positive event this was for the country.

You would be loathe to find a progressive who, even today, is willing to give Bush any credit at all for his actions on behalf of the U.S. Everything Bush ever did was bad; the same things when Obama does them are wonderful beyond belief.

Bob concludes:
Envy is such an important but generally ignored concept, probably because people don't want to consider the sinister ways it operates in their own lives. But it is a key that unlocks many mysteries, particularly in politics. So strong and ubiquitous is envy, that you cannot have a political system that doesn't accommodate or find some way to manage envy. You might say that one party will generally represent the envied, the other the envious. Guess which ones.


ENVY is, without doubt, the underlying emotion behind the Marxist trope, "from each according to his ability; to each according to his need". The "enlightened" and morally bankrupt left has always believed that economic self-interest means simply voting yourself a share of the money earned by others. They wouldn't know how to create wealth if their lives depended on it; that's why they seek power over others--they see it as the only way they can survive in the real world; but since they cannot admit that to themselves, they will seize other people's wealth with one hand, while signing the political bills that make it impossible to create the wealth on which they themselves depend.

The truth is that they deeply hate those who create the wealth they want to steal, and seek to destroy them--even though at some level, they understand they cannot survive without them.

They count on the fact that this reality never spoken of in polite society.

The envy of the postmodern progressive left is palpable. It is malignant and it consumes them. But they don't care. They have convinced themselves that they stand for things like "peace" and "freedom" and "truth"--but they have really chosen to ally themselves to the side of darkness and despair, slavery and oppression, lies and distortions; and they can no longer even appreciate when a truly magnificent achievement takes place before their very eyes unless they can claim credit for it.

ENTITLEMENT

What can I say about entitlement and the left's preoccupation with it that hasn't already been said? In this area, the political left's narcissism has run completely amok. Any challenge to their supposed superiority is met with rage. In typical projection, they perceive all opposition to them and their policies to be based on the most sinister of motives; people who oppose them are always characterized as lacking intelligence (never mind that Bush got better grades than Kerry--that fact was always downplayed because Bush had to be portrayed as stupid and inept).

This is how they puff up their own inadequate egos. But sadly, denigrating others is never enough for long to keep those egos inflated. They must find others to debase and destroy, like an addict who needs the high.

Narcissists always want more. Whatever you do is never good enough for them, and they also generally show no gratitute or express any thanks--even when someone goes out of their way for them. Like the most spoiled of royalty, they merely expect that they should be the center of your world at all times.

This attitude is normally seen in toddlers, who want what they want and they want it now. Every parent has had to deal with this kind of whining. When you see this attitude repeatedly in an adult, then you know you are dealing with psychopathology. Many adults whimper at the slightest inconvenience, delay, or restriction. Why? Because, like toddlers, they are convinced they deserve what they want when they want it. They are "entitled" to it.

And the left envision a entire society of entitlement. Their doctrines of multiculturalism and political correctness are all designed to use entitlement as a justification for redistributing the wealth of others. Their various special victim groups are taught to see everything through the prism of their race, gender, religion, sexual orientation etc. That way they can never mentally leave the ideology of the left and are trapped forever in it, demanding that their needs and feelings always be the first priority of others.

Case in point provided by Mark Steyn:
Since most of The Corner's metropolitan pantywaists seem to be cowering in terror from the light flurry devastating Washington this morning, let me offer this headline from the sports pages of The Seattle Weekly:

Gay, Mentally Challenged Biracial Male Cheerleader Claims Discrimination
He was allowed to join the high-school cheerleading team but was not given a set of pom-poms and was prevented from wiggling his hips. So naturally he wants Washington to take political action. This sounds like a job for Harry Reid and Rahm Emmanuel, with their well documented interest in biracial males and the mentally challenged.


In psychiatry we use the term "sense of entitlement" to describe the outrageous attitude of some of our more narcissistic clients who believe that the world "owes" them and they want to collect NOW.

This sense of entitlement has seeped into the culture and we have that good old progressive mentality to thank for it. The psychopathy such an attitude engenders is not a pretty sight. But there's a lot of blame to go around, starting with parents unwilling to set limits; as well as the entire worthless "self-esteem" movement that hypes self-esteem at the expense of self-responsibility and accountability.

All these factors have led to a culture of entitlement which encourages dysfunctional and highly antisocial behavior where the only concern is for one's own needs of the moment and their gratification. Many other factors in our culture reinforce this sort of behavior and even reward and enable it.

The influence of the cult of victimhood grows ever wider as the celebration of victimhood and the sense of entitlement promoted by a quasi-religious leftist/Marxist dogma has become a way of life.

As I have noted many times before, this sad situation has come about in part, because so many of the clueless individuals on the political left have an intense narcissistic need to see themselves as "champions of the oppressed"; hence the constant need to find and maintain an oppressed class of people to champion. Is it any wonder that our "gay, mentally challenged, biracial male cheerleader looks to government to solve all his problems and reimburse him for all his "suffering"?

This attitude also dovetails nicely into the Marxist dialectic (which is the foundation of the entitlement culture) and its greedy, grasping promotion of envy and egalitarianism. The world is divided up into two groups, you see: the oppressors (i.e., white, male,heterosexual, Republican, Americans, Israelis; etc. etc) and the oppressed (everyone else).

The political left proudly stands in solidarity with the oppressed victims of the world; and it is worth noting that their stance is particularly ego-gratifying if those they champion are undeserving victims (i.e., similar to Alfred P. Doolittle's "undeserving poor"-- who have needs as great as the most deserving of victims; in fact, their needs are even greater).

We are seeing more and more ridiculous stories like the one to which Steyn links. Each one more ridiculous than the last in a never-ending attempt to out-entitle each other.

As you can see, there is quite a bit of overlap in the political left's use of Arrogance, Envy, and Entitlement in the field of politics. At the heart of each of these deadly sins is the belief that their ideology produces superior people with superior intellect, entitled to have power and rule over others. But the "superiority" and sense of entitlement that they desperately cling to is just a thin disguise for the deeper and darker emotions of envy and hatred of the good.

In Part III, the narcissistic sins of Exploitation and Bad Boundaries will be covered.

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

THE POLITICAL LEFT AND THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS OF NARCISSISM - Part I

This will be a multi-part post that discusses how postmodern progressive leftism encourages and rewards malignant narcissism and sociopathic behavior. I have discussed elsewhere both the sociopathic selfishness and the sociopathic selflessness that characterizes the malignant variant of narcissism.

Between the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, a fundamentally fascist (i.e., a nationalistic socialist) movement; and with the second wind that has been given to the remnants of the 20th century's failed socialist and communist 'experiments' (in which millions of people were slaughtered by the compassionate and progressive left), we have truly entered a golden age of narcissism where, as Wretchard has commented, "....it is this single-minded pursuit of the irrelevant by the self-important that constitutes the greatest catastrophe of our time." In this "golden age", personal responsibility has been trashed; reason and truth trivialized; and the celebration of victimhood is the pinnacle of self-empowerment and self-actualization.

INTRODUCTION

In a book titled WHY IS IT ALWAYS ABOUT YOU? The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism, authors Hotchkiss and Masterson identify what they call the "seven deadly sins" of narcissism and their origin:

1. Shamelessness: Shame is the feeling that lurks beneath all unhealthy narcissism, and the inability to process shame in healthy ways.
2. Magical thinking: Narcissists see themselves as perfect using distortion and illusion known as magical thinking. They also use projection to dump shame onto others.
3. Arrogance: A narcissist who is feeling deflated may reinflate by diminishing, debasing, or degrading somebody else.
4. Envy: A narcissist may secure a sense of superiority in the face of another person's ability by using contempt to minimize the other person.
5. Entitlement: Narcissists hold unreasonable expectations of particularly favorable treatment and automatic compliance because they consider themselves special. Failure to comply is considered an attack on their superiority, and the perpetrator is considered an "awkward" or "difficult" person. Defiance of their will is a narcissistic injury that can trigger narcissistic rage.
6. Exploitation: Can take many forms but always involves the exploitation of others without regard for their feelings or interests. Often the other is in a subservient position where resistance would be difficult or even impossible. Sometimes the subservience is not so much real as assumed.
7. Bad boundaries: Narcissists do not recognize that they have boundaries and that others are separate and are not extensions of themselves. Others either exist to meet their needs or may as well not exist at all. Those who provide narcissistic supply to the narcissist are treated as if they are part of the narcissist and are expected to live up to those expectations. In the mind of a narcissist there is no boundary between self and other.

The ideology of the political left in all its various iterations--socialist, communist, radical environmentalism, progressive; call it what you will-- is, at its core an essentially narcissistic and self-indulgent pursuit of power, with all the unhealthy psychological attributes that implies

This is not to suggest that narcissism or sociopathy exit merely within the political left. Clearly it does not. But, having made that qualification, today's progressive leftist is steeped in and encouraged by an ideology that rewards only feelings and not critical thinking or truth; fantasy and not reality; and good intentions instead of actual outcome in the real world. The seven deadly sins of narcissism outlined above lead the the poor, innocent and unsuspecting lefist into cognitive dissonance in his thinking patterns and wreak all sorts of misery and spiritual destruction on the people who are the targets of the leftists' supposed goodwill.

But they neither care nor notice, since the primary determinant of why they do what they do is to make themselves feel good; to escape for one brief moment the emptiness of their own individual souls and the self-hatred and rage that motivate them.

Let's discuss these psychological 'sins' one by one and see how they accurately describe the psychology that is the basis of modern leftist thought.

EXCESSIVE SHAME AND SHAMELESSNESS
I have written about shame extensively in connection to the Arab World, a culture that is primarily a shame-based. In the case of the Arab world, I explained, they were plagued by an excess of shame, which was the underlying root cause of their societal dysfunction.

OTOH, utter shamelessness, the flip side of excessive shame, is highly characteristic of those who think themselves superior to others and not governed by the rules that ordinary mortals subscribe to.

To understand how related these two extremes of shame are, we need to discuss exactly what shame is and why it is necessary for both individuals and society as a whole.

Shame itself, is often an underappreciated psychological state. Particularly in the modern world, but also throughout history, shame-- in limited quantities and small doses--has facilitated civilized conduct and made both individuals and cultures behave more appropriately.

Healthy shame, in fact, keeps us in touch with reality, and reminds us of our limitations, faults, and humanity. To quote Dirty Harry on the subject, "A man's got to know his limitations."
When an individual experiences healthy shame, he or she may not be very happy to have embarrassing weaknesses and defects made obvious, but this awareness can be both insightful and humbling. As long as an individual is capable of self-doubt and self-reflection about his behavior; he is able to remain open-minded and willing to search for a better understanding of himself and others.

The key point, whether you are talking about excessive shame or shamelessness--that is the absence of shame even when shame would be appropriate, is that the emotion that drives both states is identical. Like the two sides of the same coin,excessive shame and shamelessess are inseparable. Individuals very often flip-flop between the two extremes when they cannot process the reality of their own unacceptable feelings or behavior.

It is for this reason, the political left shares with the Arab world a basically ""shame culture and why each are fascinated with, and admire (and emulate) the other's behavior.

One way that the shame culure plays out on the political left is in their response to ethical and moral challenges.

Next time there is a huge scandal in the news (sexual or otherwise), note the underlying mental gymnastics that permit the media to "forget" to report ethically inappropriate actions by Democrats compared to Republicans. If such actions go unreported--or only make it to Page 6 of the news, it is as if somehow the behavior is minimized and/or trivialized.

This almost never happens when it is a Republican who has strayed or had a broken moral compass--a topic that can stay on top of the national headlines for weeks on end. And note, that if a Democrat's unethical or scandalous behavior DOES make the front page, you will be unable to discover which political party he or she is actually a member. It may be mentioned, but farther down in the lede; more often it is not even mentioned at all.

Now, ask yourself how a typical Republican responds to scandal. Generally, he or she is capable of feeling both shame and guilt about the behavior in question, whether it is in the public or personal domain; and frequently this acknowledgment of his behavior leads him to resign from office sooner, rather than later. Often, he will retreat entirely from public life. The conservative tends to have high moral standards that he expects not only of himself, but of others and is ashamed when he violates them; even more so when the knowledge of his violation is made public (which Democrats can always count on the press to do). At this point, psychological denial about the behavior cannot be maintained.

This reality is also twisted by the left, who pounce on the supposed "hypocrisy" of conservatives who, for example, preach family values but then have affairs or behave badly. Indeed, this is precisely my point. When a Republican or conservative behaves counter to his standards, he experiences a healthy dose of appropriate shame.

Democrats and those on the left HAVE NO MORAL OR ETHICAL STANDARDS TO BEGIN WITH (that's what moral relativism is all about), hence when their reprehensible behavior is exposed for all to see, they are utterly shameless about it. They have managed to convince themselves that they are, on the whole, morally superior to the common riff-raff (and certainly compared to evil Republicans and conservatives they perceive themselves to be virtual saints; champions of the poor and oppressed and leaders in goodness). For such a person how can any traditional rules of behavior apply? When you subscribe to an ideology that emphasizes how loving, compassionate, and caring and "reality-based" you are as its central theses, then you are home free! So, even when your reprehensible behavior is made public, then you are not mandated to feel any shame--shame is for losers.

And, as a last resort, if you begin to feel too uncomfortable, you can always play the victimhood card--because, after all, if you did something bad someone or something else must have made you do it.

In this regard, I will cite only two recent examples--John Edwards and Barney Frank. Both of whom created a three ring circus proclaiming their innocence and purity endlessly ad nauseum, despite all evidence to the contrary, knowing that they would be defended by the ever loyal useful idiots of the left for as long as possible.

After all, they are better people than the rest of us and this entitles them to behave badly.

Many Democrats and certainly most leftists are completely shameless in the sense that they will never ever, for as long as they can possibly get away with it, going to admit to bad behavior. And in those rare cases where they simply cannot wiggle and maneuver and lie and deceive; or self-righteously tell you how wonderful they really are and all the wonderful things they have done for the 'little people'; they will simply pretend they are still virtuous and have been victimized in some way. What's sad is that they often believe it themselves.

Vanderleun recently wrote a piece about "Democrats and socialists gone wild". In it, he describes the exploits of three of the latest acts of shamelessness by those on the left. In both instances, there are rants and rages against those who accuse them (often by the intellectuals of the left); and for as long as possible they will pretend they are victims of bad behavior by others (this is psychological projection). Note John Edward's latest rant, for example. And how can we ever forget the "I did not have sex with that woman" moment during the glory days of Bill Clinton's victimization by Monica Lewinski?

Let's face the truth here. We all sin and engage in reprehensible behavior from time to time. We are all certainly capable of it. But the shamelessness about it that I am describing is really only typical of those individual with significant narcissistic defects in their personality. Again, without a doubt, narcissists and liars and cheats exist on both sides of the political aisle. But a narcissist in a guilt culture behaves somewhat differently than a narcissist in a shame culture (see the link on shame cultures vs guilt cultures for a discussion of this).

In general, Republicans and conservatives believe they have better ideas. But Democrats and leftists believe they are better people.

This makes all the difference in their experience of shame--or their lack of experiencing it.

MAGICAL THINKING, or Fairy Tales Can Come True.

The second deadly sin is "magical thinking". In psychiatry, this phrase describes a pervasive belief that one can control things or persons or events with one's thoughts or feelings (that's where the "magic" comes in). There is ofter a considerable amount psychological distortion going on, as well as psychlogical projection (see also here). These creative psychological maneuvers serve to maintain the magical thinking and obscure reality and truth, which is far too threatening for the fragile ego of the leftist.

How are these maneuvers manifest in the behavior of today's left?

In general the postmodern political left, which touts itself as "reality-based" is far from it. They emphasize the acendency of feelings over reason--and, as witness to this, they are primarily concerned about feeling good about themselves. They care little about the actual outcome of the social programs that they support, it's all about them and their supposed "compassion". They blindly perpetuate the victimhood mentality since creating and nurturing victimhood and perpetual grievance expands their base and brings in new recruits for their ideology. But let anyone one of those 'victims' from an approved victimhood group break away and empower themselves and you will begin to see the sometimes rather vicious hatred that underlies their loving compassion for the oppressed.

Any who oppose their anti-poverty schemes must "hate" the poor; any who want to empower minority groups to take responsibility for their lives and fortunes are described as 'racist'; any who think that the content of a person's characteer or the qualifications for the job trump race or gender or sexual orientation, are by their definition racist, sexist or homophobic--take your pick.

The highway to today's hell is paved with all their wonderful intentions. They mean well, and therefore if you oppose them by presenting better ideas, you must, by definition, be evil.

In order to preserve the fantasy that people with leftist beliefs are "better people" than those evil righty conservatives we see repeated instances of psychological projection (externalizing their own feelings onto others) and distortion of reality.

Further, we can witness even more of their political "magical thinking" in the foreign policy initiatives of the Obama Administration; as well as in the parallel fantasies that have characterized most of the economic policies of the White House and Democrats. They have the strange notion that reckless spending can go on forever on any program that they deem "essential" and for a "good cause" (when that is determined by the left it becomes sacrosanct).

First, let's take a look at current foreign policy.Bruce Thornton has written about the magical thinking that seems to dominate Obama's thinking:
Worse, however, is the magical thinking that lies behind the mantra of “diplomacy.” This faith in talk is predicated on assumptions about human nature and state behavior difficult to validate by the historical record. It reflects a Western Enlightenment idea that force is an outmoded relic of our primitive past, to be replaced by rational discussion in which give-and-take dickering, negotiation, respect for the other side’s position and demands, and a mutual, sincere desire to adjudicate grievance and avoid conflict can resolve disagreements. The key assumption is that in the end all people are rational and want peace and comfort more than any other good.


Obama has pushed the "reset" button on a number of fronts, but surprise! We are still hated, only now we are also routinely mocked because Obama is perceived as weak and uninvolved. Over the past two years we have routinely thrown our friends under the Obama bus; while appeasing and bowing to our enemies. We have routinely focused on the less important (to our national interest anyway) issues like Libya and Quadaffi; rather than take a strong stance on Iran, a major and imminent threat, not only to the region, but to our national interests in the region. Time and again, Obama has resorted to his supposedly "magical" rhetoric, as if words without the necessary backbone to stand behind them. When he actually does something like give the order to go in and take down Bin Laden (and, I still believe that all the psychological evidence suggests that Obama had to be dragged kicking and screaming into that action, but when it turned out ok was perfectly willing to take all the credit) many on the left had a hissy fit and rushed to condemn it as somehow being "inconsistent with our values."

It's hard to be consistent with one's values when those "values" change on a daily basis depending on which way the wind blows. Remember, the goal is not reason or truth or consistency to values, but promoting a particular ideology. That is why there the left demonstrates "subjectivism and relativism in one breath, dogmatic absolutism in the next."

For them, their magical thinking is absolute...magic. It makes all those unpleasant realities simply go away when they do not fit into their philosophy

Meanwhile, on the economic front it is undoubtedly clear that there is a considerable amount of magical thinking going on on both sides of the political spectrum when it comes to the economy, but recently there has some attempts to start a rational conversation that could address the serious problem with debt and spending this country is faced with. The Ryan Economic Plan, which calls for both tax cuts AND decreased spending is a case in point. Yet, far from using this as a starting point to discuss reality, it has instead been used for the purpose of villifying Republican who now stand accused of wanting to push granny off a cliff.

This new ad put out by the Democrats could just as easily been produced by a grossly psychotic individual, completely out of touch with reality; so severe is the distortion and deception it demonstrates. Meanwhile, in keeping with the magical thinking, the left seems to believe that doing nothing is a safe strategy (and it might well be from a political or ideological perspective; but reality probably isn't going to agree with them for very long; but hey, "In the long run we are all dead", right? So only think in the short run and imagine that all these problems will go away; meanwhile grab as much power as you can now.

Narcissists just know that their fairy tale can come true. They believe as fervently as any religious fanatic that their wishes and feelings are more powerful than reality.

Unfortunately for all of us, what those wishes and feelings actually create is usually a freakin' mess for others to clean up.

In Part II, I will tackle the narcissistic sins of Arrogance, Envy and Entitlement.

UPDATE: Vanderluen notes in the comments that he has a related post on the left and the Seven Deadly Sins (you know, those Biblical ones: PRIDE, ENVY, WRATH, SLOTH, LUST, AVARICE and GLUTTONY. Check it out.