Skip to comments.The Liberal Mind: The psychological causes of political madness
Posted on 12/04/2006 9:07:44 AM PST by 13Sisters76
The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness By Lyle H. Rossiter, Jr, MD Monday, December 4, 2006
Dr. Lyle H. Rossiter, Jr.,a forensic psychiatrist, explains the madness of liberalism in his new book The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness. You can read an excerpt below, and read more at his website libertymind.com.
Like all other human beings, the modern liberal reveals his true character, including his madness, in what he values and devalues, in what he articulates with passion. Of special interest, however, are the many values about which the modern liberal mind is not passionate: his agenda does not insist that the individual is the ultimate economic, social and political unit; it does not idealize individual liberty and the structure of law and order essential to it; it does not defend the basic rights of property and contract; it does not aspire to ideals of authentic autonomy and mutuality; it does not preach an ethic of self-reliance and self-determination; it does not praise courage, forbearance or resilience; it does not celebrate the ethics of consent or the blessings of voluntary cooperation. It does not advocate moral rectitude or understand the critical role of morality in human relating. The liberal agenda does not comprehend an identity of competence, appreciate its importance, or analyze the developmental conditions and social institutions that promote its achievement. The liberal agenda does not understand or recognize personal sovereignty or impose strict limits on coercion by the state. It does not celebrate the genuine altruism of private charity. It does not learn historys lessons on the evils of collectivism.
What the liberal mind is passionate about is a world filled with pity, sorrow, neediness, misfortune, poverty, suspicion, mistrust, anger, exploitation, discrimination, victimization, alienation and injustice. Those who occupy this world are workers, minorities, the little guy, women, and the unemployed. They are poor, weak, sick, wronged, cheated, oppressed, disenfranchised, exploited and victimized. They bear no responsibility for their problems. None of their agonies are attributable to faults or failings of their own: not to poor choices, bad habits, faulty judgment, wishful thinking, lack of ambition, low frustration tolerance, mental illness or defects in character. None of the victims plight is caused by failure to plan for the future or learn from experience. Instead, the root causes of all this pain lie in faulty social conditions: poverty, disease, war, ignorance, unemployment, racial prejudice, ethnic and gender discrimination, modern technology, capitalism, globalization and imperialism. In the radical liberal mind, this suffering is inflicted on the innocent by various predators and persecutors: Big Business, Big Corporations, greedy capitalists, U.S. Imperialists, the oppressors, the rich, the wealthy, the powerful and the selfish.
The liberal cure for this endless malaise is a very large authoritarian government that regulates and manages society through a cradle to grave agenda of redistributive caretaking. It is a government everywhere doing everything for everyone. The liberal motto is In Government We Trust. To rescue the people from their troubled lives, the agenda recommends denial of personal responsibility, encourages self-pity and other-pity, fosters government dependency, promotes sexual indulgence, rationalizes violence, excuses financial obligation, justifies theft, ignores rudeness, prescribes complaining and blaming, denigrates marriage and the family, legalizes all abortion, defies religious and social tradition, declares inequality unjust, and rebels against the duties of citizenship. Through multiple entitlements to unearned goods, services and social status, the liberal politician promises to ensure everyones material welfare, provide for everyones healthcare, protect everyones self-esteem, correct everyones social and political disadvantage, educate every citizen, and eliminate all class distinctions. With liberal intellectuals sharing the glory, the liberal politician is the hero in this melodrama. He takes credit for providing his constituents with whatever they want or need even though he has not produced by his own effort any of the goods, services or status transferred to them but has instead taken them from others by force.
It should be apparent by now that these social policies and the passions that drive them contradict all that is rational in human relating, and they are therefore irrational in themselves. But the faulty conceptions that lie behind these passions cannot be viewed as mere cognitive slippage. The degree of modern liberalisms irrationality far exceeds any misunderstanding that can be attributed to faulty fact gathering or logical error. Indeed, under careful scrutiny, liberalisms distortions of the normal ability to reason can only be understood as the product of psychopathology. So extravagant are the patterns of thinking, emoting, behaving and relating that characterize the liberal mind that its relentless protests and demands become understandable only as disorders of the psyche. The modern liberal mind, its distorted perceptions and its destructive agenda are the product of disturbed personalities.
As is the case in all personality disturbance, defects of this type represent serious failures in development processes. The nature of these failures is detailed below. Among their consequences are the liberal minds relentless efforts to misrepresent human nature and to deny certain indispensable requirements for human relating. In his efforts to construct a grand collectivist utopiato live what Jacques Barzun has called the unconditioned life in which everybody should be safe and at ease in a hundred waysthe radical liberal attempts to actualize in the real world an idealized fiction that will mitigate all hardship and heal all wounds. (Barzun 2000). He acts out this fiction, essentially a Marxist morality play, in various theaters of human relatedness, most often on the worlds economic, social and political stages. But the play repeatedly folds. Over the course of the Twentieth Century, the radical liberals attempts to create a brave new socialist world have invariably failed. At the dawn of the Twenty-first Century his attempts continue to fail in the stagnant economies, moral decay and social turmoil now widespread in Europe. An increasingly bankrupt welfare society is putting the U.S. on track for the same fate if liberalism is not cured there. Because the liberal agendas principles violate the rules of ordered liberty, his most determined efforts to realize its visionary fantasies must inevitably fall short. Yet, despite all the evidence against it, the modern liberal mind believes his agenda is good social science. It is, in fact, bad science fiction. He persists in this agenda despite its madness.
Lyle H. Rossiter, Jr, MD is the author of The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness. He received his medical and psychiatric training at the University of Chicago and served for two years as a psychiatrist in the United States Army. He is currently in private practice in the Chicago area.
Copyright © 2006 Salem Web Network. All Rights Reserved.
Well at least he didn't try too hard to dress this opinion piece up as pseudo-science.
My gosh- This really should be a wake-up call to all those who love their freedom and individuality to fight the good fight against lunacy- there are some corrections I'd make on his article though- like hte fact that liberals think the only ones victimzed are the ones ifghting back using terrorism as their vehicle of war.- the ones that they murder, in the minds of liberals, 'had it comming' to put it bluntly- they won't come right out and say this- but that IS what they beleive- a quick look at Jimmy Jihad Carter's statements will make this all too sickeningly clear! http://sacredscoop.com
A dose of their own medicine.
And now we understand the liberals' passion to undermine their own country: A strong, militarily capable America is all that stands between them and their envisioned worldwide, peaceful utopeia.
And now we understand the liberals' passion to undermine their own country: A strong, militarily capable America is all that stands between them and their envisioned worldwide, peaceful utopeia.
He clearly thinks, as did our founders, that there are objective truths about the nature of man. For example, "Power Corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely" would be considered such an objective truth.
"Even when a person appears to act unselfishly, he has a selfish reason for acting unselfishly" might be another objective truth.
That leads to whether the leaders are different from the followers. The leaders probably fall into several camps. In one camp are the cynics... Bill Clinton, James Carville. They reach the pinnacle of selfish unselfishness.
Another type are the true believers. They often have enough charisma and sincerity that they can have quite a following. Al Gore and John Kerry will deny that they are acting selfishly in promoting their current crusade... and it is a crusade in the true religious sense of "my perfect religion will wipe out your flawed religion".
Political madness on the Left vs. political cowardice in the White House.
wonder what he can cover in the rest of his book since he seems to capture the entire problem in his opening.
I was merely commenting that he didn't try to make his opinions sound like science. I usually see this from the left - such as the studies showing Republicans are more "authoritarian", etc.
Ping for later read/reference.
Volume II of the DSM is devoted entirely to BDS.
First and foremost; Liberals believe everybody is born good, and conservatives believe everybody is born selfish.
So rank and file liberals are panic stricken. They believe everybody else is good just like them...but...they themselves live lives with few standards of moral behaviour, they are cheats, law breakers, drug users, hedonists, and thiefs. But they rationalize it. They only act that way because "someone", the big "they" have it out for them and have treated them unfairly so they thus reacte negatively.
They would be "good" if only thy weren't abused, so to speak, by "them".
But they would like to live in a "good" world and believe everybody can be good, it is inside them. (that idea is their "supreme" moral value, it forms the basis, a tenet of faith for their liberal religion) People then only behave badly because of negative external forces.
All liberals justify their personal immorality by blaming it on someone else, therefore if the world is a bad place it is a mystical "somebody else" that is causing the conditions that create such down and out, bad luck, behaviour.
Liberal solution? Find out who "they" are that are causing everybody to behave badly. (They must be very large and powerful since the world is so screwed up). Then organize an opposing power that will attack and somehow destroy or at least hold in check those large powers that are causing so much harm. (but they must select an appropriate enemy)
You know who they have found as the enemies (conservatives mostly). Anybody who believes in rugged individualism, and believes that people are inherently selfish and therefore to counter it they must submit themselves to a higher power and commit themselves to living to a higher standard of morals and consciously discipline themselves to live lives to the standards given by God. This way they overcome their personal failures. They do it by themselves, not by demanding, and waiting, for someone else to give it to them.
If you are selfish, and don't know it,(liberal) you can never ever solve your problem yourself (because you think you are really good inside already). You will blame someone else (naturally) and then get aggressive when things get worse.
If you are selfish and know it you will work to overcome that selfishness. Hence voluntary charity coming much more from Christians (who believe they are born selfish) than liberals. They work to overcome it themselves.
This then is the psychology of a vast stratum of the world population. It exists because it has been taught to them by their masters who require them to think this way in order that they may be subordinated. It is a Hegelian power technique adopted by Karl Marx, and most every other succesful dictator.
The liberal leaders promote a utopian idealism (releasing the "goodness" in everyone by stopping the evil forces) Their program constrains the individual achievers (who are happier, thus they must be opperssors) and proclaim it is they who are creating the environment that causes the other good liberals to be bad (poverty, pollution, bad politics, big corporations, the police...)
Since rugged individuals would fight against socialism then it is only natural that the liberal leaders identify them as the reason for their individual problems.
Also if all liberal minions discovered the secret to the conservatives happiness then the leaders would lose their power base.
Thus the conservative must be "demonized" as well and made to look stupid and unattractive so that the rank and file (rack and pinion) liberal would never consider adopting their idealogies.
So the successful individual must be attacked, and visciously so. (these individuals tend to be Christians and ones who have used their skills to build big corporations or reap real wealth...etc. A corporation is just an organized efficient group of individuals who are all productive and not whiner liberals)
How can rugged individuals be so successful? Don't they need others to help them achieve? (yes) Does tht mean they force others to give them more wealth? (the liberals say "yes", the truth is obviously "not" because liberals are deliberately kept ignorant of the way money is "created" by production. Libwerals are taught it is a zero sum game and there is only so much wealth to be shared.)
Rugged Individuals are successful because they do not define their goodness on what other people think of them. They do not define their morals by what other men tell them. Their moral beliefs comne from God, the one power that is supreme in authority to all States and insitutions created by liberals.
Liberals cannot succeed when rugged individuals do not require or submit to their authority.
Liberals believe an individual must work for the good of the whole. A rugged individual believes he must work for his own good and the greater glory of God.
A nation of uncompromising Christians will destroy liberalism, and everybody in that nation will be better off in every way possible.
A nation of liberals has no standards and the selfish perversions of the rulers (who are believed to be good like themselves) will destroy the society.
This is why liberals can think Clinton is good. They believe he is just like them, "good" (not)
I don't know, it sounds to me like that's just what he's trying to do, starting with the title -- "The Liberal Mind: The psychological causes of political madness" and moving on to this: "As is the case in all personality disturbance, defects of this type represent serious failures in development processes."
The thing about such off-the-cuff analyses of large groups is that they're always true about somebody. But the kinds of analyses constructed by the other side are also always true of someone as well. So abstract attacks from one side and the other balance out.
On a specific question, someone's political opinions may very well amount to madness, but it's a lot harder to say that about an abstract political tendency, unless you want to turn it into a cliche, which he does. In some situations ways of thinking that could be categorized as liberal are appropriate, in others they aren't. It doesn't look
There's nothing wrong with the conflict of political opinions, but dressing opposing views up as pathologies is a mistake, whoever does it, if only because it replaces arguments with dismissive labels. Even if one is right, eventually the arguments fall away and all one has are the labels.
Half my sentence got lopped off: "It doesn't look like the author put very much effort into sorting out the distinctions."
This makes any non liberal a radical.. ->> like me..
The United States needs RADICAL change not conservative change..
You know like what was proposed in the Contract with America 1992/4..
The root psychological force that drives leftism can be summed in one word: envy. It is an evil state of mind and the source much misery in the world. The leftist leaders are driven by vanity, another evil state of mind that is closely paired with envy. Followers are driven by simple envy, inflamed by the leaders.
Women very generally are more vain and envious than men, which is why leftist voters are more often women.
Thanks for the post. I just bought a copy of the book - 19.95 with shipping included.
You are on to something. I would say however is that a true Christian does work for the good of the whole when he submits in faith to Christ.
Liberalism is actually a manifestation of rebellion against God, as it is the work of the original rebel, and the author of the original “victim mentality,” who, being cast down from his unmerited position due to his self - exaltation, insinuated that God had a malevolent purpose in requiring obedience (Gn. 3:1-5). He thus fosters rebellion to the laws of God, because He hates God and the laws which represent His wisdom and character, which is contrary to that of the devil (Jn. 8:44; 10:10).
Under the rebellion which the devil promotes, personal culpability for sin is replaced with blaming the One who made the laws, or whatever Moral Authority represents Him (like rulers who say the believe in traditional moral values). And thus such must be denigrated because they stand in the way of the Liberals desire to “climb up some other way” rather than by submission to the moral absolutes of the Bible. And because such threaten the rebel with the reality of the consequences of sin, and the measures needed because of man’s proclivity to it (unless laws serve the liberals purpose). It is in sympathy with demonic Marxist Communism, which likewise promises a utopia built upon rebellion against God. I wish to avenge myself against the One who rules above. (Karl Marx)
In the liberal mind, man is not a fallen creature, and like the devil, it believes he should be on the throne, rather than in submission to his Maker (any god they believe in assents to this ethos). And as man is not a fallen being, no measures need to be taken to counteract his sinful proclivities. The Liberal Mind basically rebels against the need for moral laws of a Biblical type, and especially those regarding sexual activity, finally even promoting to join together what God has (sexually) placed asunder.
The need to work by the sweat of one’s brow to earn bread is rebelled against, as instead a victim and entitlement mentality is fostered. In reality they would rather we not even need to wear clothes. Such was much the utopia of hippies, who still essentially promote such (modified) today within the “establishment.”
It sees child discipline an unnecessary and cruel, and works to deliver the child from the necessity of submitting to parents.
Related to this (actually), war is protested by default, not because it usually is driven by lust (at least by one side) and is horrendous, but because in their mind man cannot possibly be as bad (unless it is Pres. Bush) as to necessitate a Just War. And as it is based upon a false premise, such protests have no answers (lay down all weapons, and all will do likewise, as it is ALL your fault these basically good people attack us). Likewise felons are characteristically seen as all victims of the all evil Moral Authority.
They make merchandise of the effects of the fall as they promise to remedy poverty, etc. with pie in the sky ideas at others expense, not their own, and with programs that are demonically designed to produce worse or the same results. Yet like a typical religious cult, they must sometimes have or support some valid ideas by which to justify themselves, patching some holes on a leaking ship while they steer it toward an iceberg.
(Ezek 18:30) “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel [read USA], every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.”
(Prov 14:34) “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.”
(Acts 20:21) “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”