Skip to comments.The American Left as "crisis cult"
Posted on 07/29/2006 6:22:28 AM PDT by Harrius Magnus
The American Left as "crisis cult"
Clinical psychologist Robert Godwin proposes an interesting framework for understanding the increasingly bizarre behavior of the American Left at his very interesting website One Cosmos. Drawing on the work of psychoanalytic anthropologist Weston LaBarre, he posits that the left has become a crisis cult such as are found in societies whose bedrock assumptions break down in the face of the superior strength of foreign cultures impinging on their territory.
Probably the most famous of the crisis cults are the cargo cults which developed in Melanesia.
The Cargo Cults believe that manufactured western goods (cargo) have been created by ancestral spirits and intended for Melanesian people. White people, however, have unfairly gained control of these objects. Cargo cults thus focus on overcoming what they perceive as undue white influences by conducting rituals similar to the white behavior they have observed, presuming that the ancestors will at last recognize their own and this activity will make cargo come. Thus a characteristic feature of Cargo Cults is the belief that spiritual agents will at some future time give much valuable cargo and desirable manufactured products to the cult members.
The crisis cult LaBarre wrote most about were the Ghost Dancers among Native Americans in the 19th century
when American Indians were facing the complete dissolution of their way of lifeloss of their hunting territories, near extinction of the once vast buffalo herds, a series of disastrous military defeats, multiple droughts, and new and fatal diseases. The Ghost Dance was a fantasied solution to all their problems, involving the widespread idea that a new skin would slide over the old earth, covering up the whites and all their works, and bringing upon it new trees and plants, great buffalo herds, the ghosts of the dead, and the great departed warriors and chiefs. This utopia would come about if only each person in all the tribes danced the elaborate Ghost Dance.
...progressives are having to cope with a catastrophic collapse of their world and all of its comforting myths. As each myth crumbles in succession, they become increasingly frantic in papering over reality with the downright strange beliefs of their progressive crisis cult.
Thus come delusional assertions: Bush is an idiot despite degrees from Yale and Harvard; Republicans are questioning the patriotism of Democrats; the monitoring of international phone calls signals the onset of totalitarianism; and (my favorite) Air American founder Sheldon Drobnys assertion that Karl Rove is behind the anti-Semitic posts at Daily Kos.
I think it is almost unquestionable that the Lefts belief systems have proven incongruent with the real world. Communism didnt work and only survives as a pretext for despotism in North Korea and China. Welfare is a trap, and poor peoples lot in America has improved since access to it was term-limited. Higher taxes on the rich depress economic growth and throw people out of work. The list could go on.
With their gods having failed them, leftists have turned to cant, ritual, and hysterical repetition of their golden oldie playlist of slogans. And most of all, to demoinization of their opponents. It is fairly primitive, and often comic, with tinges of tragedy.
Metaphors are an effective way to understand such bizarre behavior. The more the merrier.
Hat tip: Larwyn
Thomas Lifson 7 27 06
Love it, and very true I do believe.
Good article, but I DO question the Patiotism of Democrats!
Yes, that leapt out at me also. It is only the deluded fool who does NOT question their patriotism. Actually, it is beyond that -- there's nothing left to question. They're traitorous, treasonous pieces of sub-human filth. End of story.
This brings up something I've been telling my wife for quite a while. It is not simply that the left is WRONG about so much, it is that their belief system is simply crazy. They are quite literally, no humor or exaggeration intended here, delusional and out of touch with reality. If you believe that Israel is the bad guy, that welfare is good, that communism is good, that America is THE evil force in the world, that government spending creates economic expansion, that putting underwear on Islam heads in Ass Grab prsion and flushing a koran in Gitmo are national tragedies, then you are one sick dude, simply and literally living in another world with very little grasp of reality. This has always led me to question my own beliefs, after all, if so many millions of people can be crazy, can't it be that I AM THE NUT. This quickly leads to the realization that I cannot PROVE that Ass Grab prison is not a nightmare, I cannot PROVE that Bush didn't lie and children die, and on and on. BUT, the one thing that we can be certain of, the one thing that can never ever be denied is that MILLIONS OF PEOPLE HAVE, FOR TWO HUNDRED YEARS NOW, RISKED AND WILLINGLY GIVEN UP EVERYTHING THAT THEY HAVE JUST TO GET TO THIS COUNTRY. AND THEY STILL KEEP COMING. To me, this is unassailable and it tells me that this country is every bit as great as I always believed.
(Go Israel, Go! Slap 'Em Down Hezbullies.)
"Actually, it is beyond that -- there's nothing left to question. They're traitorous, treasonous pieces of sub-human filth. End of story."
Beat me to it...
Good article, but I DO question the Patiotism of Democrats!
You have stumbled into an essential truth. It is the Patoi-tism of the left that is unique and curious. Their language is strange but oddly familiar, as though it referenced a past not quite ever in focus. It is a sort of gibberish with sounds vaguely reminiscent of language spoken when we were children.
Liberal-speak is full of dire predictions unmatched by anything in the real world. Their promises describe the ever changing phantasmagoric illusions of their idyllic fantasies.
These are a strange and wonderful people who need not so much to be listened to as played with. Coulter's astounding wisdom clarifies our relationship with liberals. They are pets. They are for play, for frittering away the hours of tedium that sandwich the serious business of living in the real world.
Is it any wonder liberalism is centered in the entertainment industry?
I don't question their patriotism; I question their existence.
It's well worth visiting the cited author's website:
I don't question there patriotism, I question which side they are on, period.
I know, I checked out the site and immediately added two quotes to my list of stickies:
"Billions of dollars are made in the gap between infantile entitlement and parental failure."
"Leftists always want to put us out of their misery."
"I suspect that most little boys who are on ritalin or other drugs actually suffer from a disease called being a little boy."
I'm going to do some lurking at that blog for sure.
Marxism and today's American brand of it comes down to two things.
1) Lack of self esteem
2) The belief that there are actually people that give a flying F about your lack of self esteem.
Of course these people are wealthy and influential. People look up to these self proclaimed champions of the poor, minorities, elderly, social misfits, environment, anti war, animal lover people to help shape their lives. Give them structure if you will.
Because many people see this world in those terms, they gravitate to these "leaders". Stupidity knows no bounds and these leaders know this. Marxism wasn't founded by stupid people, nor was Islamofascism. To believe that is was puts us into the same "stupid" category.
For the most part, it is formatted on a mob mentality or groupthink paradigm. Control the environment and you can control the people. Use the tools available to you to promote your agenda. Take the MSM. Journalists from Columbia are the same people with the same lack of self esteem. They feel by writing damaging articles against the fabric which they are taught to hate in college, they feel better about themselves.
There was an article recently that said Republicans are happier people. Well, we have a better feel about self esteem and self worth. We go out and earn our keep. We have faith in the lord and in ourselves. We take responsibility for our actions. We believe in people and not in having someone take care of us.
This is what is wrong with the American left. The difference between the American left and the left in other countries is we tell Americans, "It is your country. You are free to make your fortune or not. You are free to express your emotions and to take responsbility for your life." In other countries, you try this and you get a bullet in the head or put into a gulag or reeducation camp.
Unfortunately, our message from the right either isn't clear or is being censured from the left as this is the lefts biggest fear, that people will understand that they choose their life and not some Marxist with a self esteem problem. Which explains why they claim victimhood.
Hear, hear! That is the only metric that really matters. We take more immigrants than the rest of the world combined, which only stands to reason, as this country is greater than the rest of the world combined.
His solution: let the state decide the level of consumption by using some 'scientific way' to allocate resources. That way, every body will only consume according to his/her need. When I pointed out that that exactly command economy is about, he said, "well, may be, but in the past, they didn't use science to allocate the resources"...
I kept asking him how do we know that we already pass the threshold, so he gave examples of 'catastrophic' result when someone introduced a new species to the sea. But, he conceded that we don't really know how far men contribute to many natural phenomena today. He also conceded to my argument, however, that 'carrying capacity' assumes some constant use of factor production(s) and technological change. In other words, 'carrying capacity' is dynamic. And, if that is the case, then his argument of passing the threshold become somewhat moot.
During the debate, we kept getting to the point that we both agree that we don't know much about the impact of environmental change, and yet, I pointed out to him, he kept choosing the negative scenarios.
And the paranoid Al Gore is their new "Rock Star".
I couldn't agree more.
I don't question their patriotism: I know for a fact they have none to question.
I still see their wretched, insane socialism advancing or holding on nearly front.
Property rights have taken a horrendous beating in the last 30 years, culminating in Kelo.
I can't legally buy a full auto without shelling out stacks of cash and bowing to the fascist federal functionairies.
And federal spending has gone up about 100% in the past 10 years, and that's with the republicans controlling the house.
Too damn much government for me.
What I don't understand about the left, (and I now think the left in America and the world is as dangerous, if not MORE dangerous than the insane, psychotic Islamofascists), is how totally unrealistic, unpragmatic and how incredibly naive, unaware and out of thouch they are with the reality that there is a large group of Muslims who have killed a large number of us and want to kill every single one of us!
Do they really not think that as soon as the psycho Islamofascists get nuclear weapons they won't use them on us? Do the "liberals" and leftist fruitcakes in this country really think the Muslims won't nuke NYC and DC?
But what do you really feel about them :O)
(you nailed it)
They are pitiful but not to be pitied. One does not pity snakes = one give them a wide berth or cuts off their head
"Do they really not think that as soon as the psycho Islamofascists get nuclear weapons they won't use them on us? Do the "liberals" and leftist fruitcakes in this country really think the Muslims won't nuke NYC and DC?"
They don't care, and They don't care, are the answers to your questions, IMO.
I don't question Democrats' patriotism. I know that many (most) are not patriotic and a some of them are just outright traitors.
This is not only a problem that the left faces. This is the end result of a Romantic Outlook that effects quite a few on the right as well. So much so that for a while this was my tag line.
Warning: Not a Romantic or hero worshiper. Attempts to tug at my heartstrings annoy me, and I bite
While the left is busy destroying itself we too must take care that we do not allow the Romantics to take charge of our side or we will soon go down the same path.
"I don't question Democrats' patriotism. I know that many (most) are not patriotic and a some of them are just outright traitors."
I agree and wonder when push will come to shove with these people? What happens when a Congressman or Senator or other government official sells nuclear or defense secrets
to someone who uses it to commit a major act of war on us? Will anyone in this country EVER be tried or imprisoned for sedition on treason?
Will it ever get to a point for the very survival of the country (say to stop the Muslims from nuking an American city) that someone will actually have to just shoot some of the traitors within the government to stop the destruction of our freedom and country? Read Vince Flynn's "Term Limits".
I'm probably not the only one wondering what a romantic outlook is, what is it?
I think there is something to this
Bill Whittle asks: "Which direction do the rafts go?"
It is the most ardent emotional nonsense and is quite frankly the most dangerous of all philosophies because it allows no room for human nature in its true form nor does it allow room for deviation from The Ideal what ever that ideal is.
While you will find a high number of Romantics following such ideals as communism and environmentalism you can also find them on the right.
Always they seek to return to a past mythical golden age when all was glorious. The reality that such an age never existed will not stop them because they refuse to believe it.
I don't question their patriotism. They have none to question.
Sorry but it is still too general to help me.
From the subject line I presumed the article focused on the left's long tendency to promote and use rolling "crisis" topics to invoke their political agenda.
School shooting > immediate calls for gun control.
Hot summer > it's America's fault and global warming, must ratify "Kyoto".
Terrorists launch rockets into Israel > Bush's fault, need the United Nations.
During the previous administration, the WH coordinated message with their allies in the MSM, and this became almost a soviet-style propaganda operation.
Good explanation of the Leftwing-Moonbat BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome) psychology!
I was only looking for something to me help understand your posts, I don't really want to start studying Rousseau.
A couple of examples of groups on the right that embrace Romanticism would probably help me to figure out enough for use as it relates to this thread.
Ayn Rand is one. Pat Buchanan could be classified as another. Robert Heinlein would be a third. Although their philosophies are different in many ways their outlooks are the same in that they are Romantics.
BTW you should study Rousseau.
Now I get it, but the only philosopher that has ever triggered an interest in me, was when I came across Thomas Reid in my 1903 set of Americana encyclopedias.
I think philosophy would have been different for me if the professors had introduced me to Reid, instead of trying to explain why a dumb ass like Nietzsche was so brilliant.
For philosophers I enjoy Locke, Smith and Hume, to list the top three. But one of the things I found important is not to hero worship. They were a bunch of very clever guys with interesting ideas some which I even agree with. :)
But perfect they were not nor do the best of them claim to be.
As far as questioning patriotism goes, the Left is most certainly not in support of the America that actually is, the one they fill up entire days inventing accusations and condemnatory rhetoric for. Their "patriotism" consists of an admiration for an America that exists only in their minds. When they say they are "progressives," that's what they think they are progressing toward. In fact they're crawling after an ever-receding mirage and it is the rest of us who they blame for it.
I'm clearly not the guy to discuss philosophy with, but here is a link on Reid, I would be surprised if he doesn't at least get some agreement from you (since you hate Romanticism).