Let's move on to a more subtle expression of the sociopathic narcissism; i.e., the veiled threats that are being uttered directed toward the SCOTUS, who in the last several days have been annoyingly uncooperative in following the accepted narrative of the postmodern political left on the issue of Obamacare. How dare they question it!!
In a post, "Nice Court You Have There; It Would Be A Shame If Something Happened To It"; Wretchard writes:
By saying Obamacare is so self-evidently wonderful and legitimate that only someone crazy would disagree with it, Blumenthal makes you wonder why this matter is even before the Court in the first place. For the answer to that question, see “begging the question”.
What is less clear is whether Blumenthal, in reminding the court that the Executive Branch had the monopoly on physical power, was not engaged in a kind of subtle menace. After all, the Court’s power is not based on “credibility”. It is based on power vested in it by the Constitution. What would the administration say if someone argued that the president’s authority was based on “credibility” rather than his legal power as chief executive?
The left will seek to de-legitimize the Supreme Court, possibly the same way that the President did in his 2010 SOTU speech when they had the audacity to disagree with his position. How dare they rule contrary to his position? Remember, as Obama has reminded us with regard to Obamacare--He cares doncha know? Any who oppose his benevolent policies for the good of all are uncaring, racist, sexist, wealthy jerks.
And that's the essence of the argument. The left cares deeply about these things. We Republican and conservative and Libertarian troglodytes are throwbacks in human evolution, too stupid to appreciate the scientific workings of the minds of Progressives like of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid--let alone Barack Obama! (the solution is to re-engineer humans to conform to the progressive dream!)
Isn't it interesting that the progressive postmodern left always seems to FEEL that their emotions are...scientific? That just because they FEEL something is good that it is "reality-based" and necesarily and undebatably true? Isn't it interesting that they always think they can re-engineer humans to adapt to their silly schemes--make them better somehow?
If that's not an affront to reality, then I don't know what would be. It is also the hallmark of people in a psychological fantasy bubble, sometimes called psychological denial.
I have written extensively on the pervasive psychological denial of the political left (see here, here , here, and here, for example).
It is important to point out that denial is an "equal opportunity" defense mechanism engaged in by all human beings--progressive or conservative; Democrat or Republican. It is an involuntary, built-in psychic response designed to protect an individual from precipitously having to face unwanted, unacceptable or threatening feelings, thoughts or behavior. The mind simply blocks out reality and truth--and sees what it wants to see; and feels what it wants to feel.
Psychological defenses can be a symptom of a much larger psychological problem; or they can be a temporary and even healthy adaptation to reality.
Feelings can be useful pieces of data with which to understand reality, but they are certainly not the best tool for that purpose; and a reliance on them to the exclusion of using reason and critical thought is a strategy that cannot succeed for long-term survival. When assessing how appropriate one's feelings are in a given situation, it is often necessary for the contents of the unconscious to be explored and brought to the conscious level and considered. Unconscious internal conflicts--such as the desire to always please or displease your parents; or the need to feel superior and more compassionate than others, for example-- can easily mask the inappropriate aspects of the feelings, making them worthless as a means of understanding the external world.
Taking this kind of action as a method of checking and understanding one's own feelings is a process called "insight" or "self-awareness". Some people do this quite naturally and honestly. Some learn in therapy or when they are in crisis. But if insight is absent then one's feelings have the potential to do great harm --both to one's self and to others.
Some unconscious factors, or psychological defenses, that can make one's feelings untrustworthy are: 1) the person you are responding to has become symbolic of someone else in your life (displacement, fantasy, or perhaps distortion); 2) focusing on one particular aspect of a person, you ignore other, more objective data that are available to you about the person (denial); 3) you place your own unacceptable feelings onto the other person--e.g., I'm not an angry person, -- he's an angry person! (projection or full-blown paranoia).
The truth is that there are countless ways that unconscious processes within ourselves can distort our responses to others and to reality itself.
Growing up and attaining maturity requires that we take a moment to consider such factors playing a role in our emotions before we act on those emotions. If we come to know ourselves and understand our own weaknesses, vulnerabilities, limitations and secrets; then our emotional responses to people or to the world can be very valuable tools to help interpret the world. But they are only tools, and if not used wisely, they can do more harm than good. Feelings cannot be used in a court of law--for good reason. And they are not ultimate truth in the court of reality, either.
All too often, mistakes are made; feelings can simply be wishes that have nothing whatsoever to do with the reality. If we are lucky, we discover this before too much damage is done.
The key to gaining control over behavior that is motivated by unconscious defenses is to make them conscious. This requires that a person be able to reflect on his or her behavior or feelings and on the contents of one's mind; and with honesty and forthrightness develop some insight into why one feels, thinks, or acts a certain way. This is particularly important if the way one is thinking, feeling or acting is causing serious problems to one's self or to others.
The inability to reflect on one's own behavior or the contents of one's mind and motivations is exactly why so many political debates boil down to acrimonious accusations.
YOU'RE PROJECTING! NO! YOU ARE. YOU'RE IN DENIAL. NO, YOU ARE!
How can you decide if someone is "projecting" versus accurately responding to and interpreting objective reality? How do you determine if someone is "in denial" or responding to reality?
In other words, how do you tell if the use of a defense is a SYMPTOM of some underlying psychological problem versus whether it is ADAPTIVE AND HEALTHY and indicative of an acceptance of truth or reality?
In order to be adaptive, a defense:
• should regulate, rather than remove affect – that is, instead of totally anesthetizing a person, the defense would just reduce the pain (and therefore make it easier to cope; rather than to avoid coping altogether)
• should channel feelings instead of blocking them (i.e., allow a healthy expression of those feelings in a way that can discharge them in socially acceptable ways rather than keep them hidden and motivating behavior)
• should be oriented to the long-term; and not simply the short-term
• should be oriented toward present and future pain relief; and not focused past distress
• should be as specific as possible (i.e., be as a key is to a lock; not as a sledgehammer applied to a door)
• the use of the defense should attract people and not repel them (Vaillant points out that the use of the mature defenses --i.e., humor, altruism, sublimation etc.-- is perceived by others as attractive and even virtuous; while the immature defenses are perceived as irritating, repellant, and even evil).
Having laid out the tools, the reader can decide for him or herself if the current responses of the political left--either to the Trayvon Martin case; or to the "unexpected" questions of the Supreme Court Justices on Obama's Health Care Initiative--are symptomatic of a larger issue; or are a healthy adatation to reality.
Now, what happens when psychological denial ceases to be unconscious and becomes deliberate, willful, and consciously evil behavior-- in spite of all the accumulated evidence of its malignant impact on real people in the real world?
At that point we can safely assume that we are no longer dealing with a purely defensive structure in the psyche; we are dealing with aggressive, unadulterated sociopathy.
Let me go back to the beginnings of Obamacare.
Jay Nordlinger at National Review described a perfect example of this kind of deliberate, malevolent sociopathy:
Several readers have asked me to respond to Diane Watson. I do so wearily. She is the Democratic congresswoman from L.A. who said last week that President Obama’s health-care critics were racist — and who heaped praise upon a) Fidel Castro, b) Che Guevara, and c) Cuban health care. She said,You need to go down there and see what Fidel Castro put in place. And I want you to know, now, you can think whatever you want to about Fidel Castro, but he was one of the brightest leaders I have ever met. And you know the Cuban revolution that kicked out the wealthy — Che Guevara did that. And after they took over, they went out among the population to find someone who could lead this new nation, and they found . . . an attorney by the name of Fidel Castro.
It was clear, from her tone, that she regards Castro as a kind of Christ figure. (To listen to the congresswoman, go here.)
I’m afraid I can’t say anything more about these subjects than I have already said. Let me offer a piece from 2000: “In Castro’s Corner: A story of black and red.” And a piece from 2007: “The Myth of Cuban Health Care: Michael Moore gives it a powerful boost.” And, in this FAQ column, you will find suggestions about what to read concerning Che Guevara.I’m afraid that mythologizing about Guevara, Castro, and the Communist dictatorship will never end. Indeed, it will get worse after the Castros and Cuban Communism pass. I used to think — I’ve had arguments with Armando Valladares about this (he is the heroic Cuban dissident who wrote Against All Hope) — I used to think that Castro-lovers in the United States were merely ignorant: They knew not what they said or did. How could all these “liberal Democrats” support a police state? A totalitarian dictatorship?
But, some years ago, I stopped thinking that: I had to swallow that these people — certainly some dismaying percentage of them — actually like it: actually like the dictatorship and all the murderous oppression that goes with it. You can’t remain entirely ignorant or naïve after 50 years of this dictatorship. And that is a very, very bitter pill to swallow.
One more point: Many of the leaders of the Cuban democracy movement are black — “Afro-Cuban.” President Bush gave the Medal of Freedom to one of them (the political prisoner Oscar Biscet). Many of Castro’s most ardent supporters in the United States are black: Charlie Rangel, Maxine Waters, Randall Robinson, and so on. What must the black Cuban democrats think of these Castro champions?
Very, very little, I can tell you. (Emphasis mine)
The traditional medical definition of sociopathy is a personality disorder characterized by a lack of social responsibility and failure to adapt to ethical and social standards of the community.
If we think about that definition for a moment, we can perhaps begin to understand what is going on in our world today; and the reason that a huge number of people have embraced a fundamentally sociopathic--and "progressive" lifestyle, all the while convincing themselves that they are "compassionate", "post-racial" and just.
Under the pervasive influence of postmodern philosophy and rhetoric, the ethical and social standards of the community have, unfortunately, been slowly evolving and eroding.
In western culture, ethical and moral standards used to be anchored to the real world (i.e., to reality); but in the postmodern wilderness in which the political left and most of its most visible spokespeople--i.e., leaders in the Democratic Party-- wander aimlessly, ethics and morality are relative and "anchored" to feelings and whim; which inevitably unleashes the baser and more vile aspects of human nature.
The 20th century became the playground (and litter box) for the narcissist; and by the time the 21st century rolled around, malignant narcissism was not even considered deviant, it had gone mainstream. Since psychopathology continually evolves and worsens if it is not confronted and dealt with, what we have now in our culture, particularly the political system, is the endstage of psychological evolution under postmodernism: the sociopath who disguises his or her sociopathy by selflessness (now marketed as "hope and change").
These selfless sociopaths are people who basically could not care less about an individual human being.
They think in terms of movements and achieving some grand scheme of "social justice"--which is far from real justice and the search for truth.
Individual human beings are expendable; it is the collective or State that matters; and, as long as they stand in the way of the implementation of the sociopath's great ideas and compassionate execution of those ideas they can be ignored, marginalized and even killed. To this type of mind, individuals are merely the fodder used to build "great" societies from the all the utopian fantasies and collectivist wet-dreams.
It used to be that with the rise of civilization, political sociopaths--selfless and selfless-- were (thankfully) few and far between. Even so, when they appeared in history, they wreaked havoc and destroyed lives with great abandon for "the greater good". Needless to say, a central aspect of the 'greater good' was always the advancement of their own glorious self and their ideas.
We can thank primarily the postmodern political left and its useful idiots for the persistent, unyielding, and willful celebration of--and ultimately mainstreaming of--malignant narcissism. We have entered the age of postmodern sociopathy and nihilism.
What does it matter if the lives and freedoms of so many individuals are sacrificed to the murderous oppressors of the world; or, for that matter, even the compassionate oppressors of the Democratic Party--who, after all, want only the best for you of?
If you "kick out the wealthy" then you have the wonderful socialist paradise of Cuba or the currently evolving one of California; or the magnificent utopia of North Korea with all their misery, poverty, oppression and progressive enlightenment!
Under the uber-enlightened and progressive reality-based left, wealth will be redistributed and the human mind enslaved--but so what? As the eminent leftist and quintessential nihilist Joseph Stalin once remarked, "Death solves all problems - no man, no problem."
In the long run we are all dead anyway, right?