Sunday, October 17, 2010


Tom McGuire calls out President Obama for his smug condescension toward the American people:

Bitterly clinging to his pop psychology, First Sociologist Barack Obama regales a Democratic fundraising event with his latest insight into the minds of the Great Unwashed:
WEST NEWTON, Mass. - President Barack Obama said Americans' "fear and frustration" is to blame for an intense midterm election cycle that threatens to derail the Democratic agenda.

"Part of the reason that our politics seems so tough right now and facts and science and argument does not seem to be winning the day all the time is because we're hardwired not to always think clearly when we're scared,” Obama said Saturday evening in remarks at a small Democratic fundraiser Saturday evening. “And the country's scared.”

McGuire is absolutely correct in noting the amazing similarities between pop psychology and how the typical leftist rationalizes his or her political beliefs. In fact, I would contend that pop psychology has risen in parallel and prominence along with the entire political correctness thing; giving all that leftist PC dogma bullshit a shiny pseudo-scientific patina.

For years now, pop psychology and its gurus have mesmerized the culture at large. All their self-help tenets have percolated through K-12 educational curricula; and been accepted wholeheartedly by the cultural elite of Hollywood and the intellectual elite of academia.

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

In a previous post, "Self Esteem Is Not Necessarily Good For You" I stated:

The pop-psychology that promulgated the widespread belief that if you nurture kid's self-esteem neglected to mention that if the sense of self was already damaged, all you managed to do was to create a narcissistic was a waste of time and money--as this article reports. If the 19th century was the age of hysteria (and basically, Freud was responding to the excessive sexual repression present in that century); then the 20th was the age of narcissism. In this new century, that narcissism seems to be morphing into an even more malignant sociopathy that pervades society and impacts almost all our social, political, and educational institutions.

Our cultural focus on enhancing "self-esteem" has resulted in the near-worship of emotions and feelings at the expense of reason and thought; on emphasizing "root causes" and victimhood, instead of demanding that behavior be civilized and that individuals exert self-discipline and self-control--no matter what they are "feeling".

We see the people who have inhaled this "psychology-lite" everywhere around us, and in all levels of society. Particularly we can notice it in the elites of Hollywood and Academia; who alternate between acting out their narcissistically empowered superiority -- demanding to be noticed, admired and loved (by you); and playing the narcissistically empowered victim -- demanding their inalienable rights and priveleges (at your expense).

I suppose hyping self-esteem, hope, and victimhood seemed like a good idea at the time. But now that we can see how foolish and deceptive it is---and how ineffective and counterproductive--perhaps it is time to end the influence of this PC pop psychology in public policy?

Ask yourself what the purpose might be in constantly using this pseudo-science; this psychology "lite" to justify your superiority? And, make no mistake about it, this PC psychology, a very powerful political tool, is also being widely embraced by many psychiatrists and psychologists; politicians and dictator wannabes--all of whom share the desire to erase the entire concept of free will from human experience and to limit free speech; control human thought; and erode human freedom:

Steven Pinker, noted Harvard psychologist and linguist delivered an address to mark Boston's Ford Hall Forum's presentation of their Louis P. and Evelyn Smith First Amendment Award to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. Pinker's speech draws valuably upon two of Pinker's hats - as psychologist and FIRE adviser in offering a sharp analysis of the threat that rising notions of psychology pose to free speech. Pinker outlines the subconscious force of the "psychology of taboo", and the theoretically innocuous speculations, such as the price of betrayal or infidelity, that "in fact are corrosive because they require people to think exactly the kind of thoughts that they should not think if they are committed friends, allies, family members." Recognize that taboo? I'm sure. Individually, it's a taboo that's hardwired; the problem rises when institutions larger than the individual, such as academia "which is, at least nominally devoted to pursuing the truth no matter how uncomfortable it makes people emotionally" begins to buttress the taboo with institutional force, banning speech and inquiry of sorts that might cause discomfort, and squarely quashing first amendment rights in the process. This is the path that leads to the University of Northern Iowa seeking to ban "unwelcome electronic communications" and it's a frightening one for sure.

Pinker's entire speech is here.

This sort of nonsense used to be limited to the academic world--supposedly devoted to free thought and ideas;but the American people, in a arguably insane moment moment of giddiness (another reality of human experience, unfortunately) chose to elect one of those know-nothing academics who have no experience outside the Ivory Tower, i.e., no experience in the real world.

In "Hyping Self-Esteem, Hope, and Victimhood", I wrote:

Becoming a victim --as we all have learned from famous TV stars, prominent politicians; religions, races, and even nations--is an advantageous state of being in many ways, several of which are:

-You are not responsible for what happened to you
-You are always morally right
-You are not accountable to anyone for anything
-You are forever entitled to sympathy
-You are always justified in feeling moral indignation for being wronged
-You never have to be responsible again for anything

I cautioned that the list above was never meant to be exhaustive; and from the behavior of our moralizing and condescending President, we can add one more key feature of embracing this faux science: you can bend and shape PC psychology to defend even the most insulting and indefensible positions.

Since you feel yourself to be 'always morally right', those who oppose you are simply the 'Great Unwashed' whose intellect cannot match your own exhalted, enligtened state of mind. These inferior beings (i.e., us) "cling to their guns and religion"; "fail to think clearly" because they are appropriately concerned about not only their own, but their children's future; and they "ignore" the pseudo-scientific dogma disguised as "facts and argument and science." Of course, the ultimate usefulness of the pop psychology schtick is that you can always fall back on the victimhood maneuver--e.g., those who oppose you must be racist (or sexist or homophobic or Islamophobic--depending on which particular victimhood group you claim membership in)

Personally, nothing infuriates me more than this sort of arrogant, ill-informed, self-promoting and supremely narcissistic refusal to look at external reality. If, on November 2nd, the clueless progressives of the hopeychangey mindset are not completely, totally, and inescapably repudiated, then we must assume that they are the ones who are "hardwired" in their narcissism and arrogance; and will never give up trying to control the likes of you and me.

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