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PARANOID POLITICS
Psychology Today ^ | 11/6/09 | Ken Eisold, PhD

Posted on 11/06/2009 7:02:18 AM PST by steve-b

If we hadn't gotten inured to the relentless outpouring of "crazy" ideas from the extreme right, we would be forced to wonder what is going on - and what it means.

By "crazy" I mean the birthers or those who see a fascist (or communist) take-over of the Federal Reserve Bank, or attempts to indoctrinate school children. In America, we have always had conspiracy theories and exaggerated suspicions of political or economic plots. Richard Hofstadter wrote "The Paranoid Style in American Politics" 45 years ago, but he was referring largely to fringe groups. Now, however, these paranoid ideas are mainstream, retailed on Fox news and plastered over the internet, as Thomas Frank pointed out last week on The New York Times website (See "From John Birchers to Birthers.")

Hofstadter was careful to point out that he used the term "paranoid" descriptively, as an analogy, not as an actual diagnosis. But I think the pathological implications of the diagnosis are relevant. Paranoia starts with virulent hatred towards others, who are seen to be thoroughly deserving of contempt. The intensity of the hatred spills over, and the blurred object is seen as hating and attacking in return. Hatred entirely fills the space. That's what makes it seem so out of touch with reality, so crazy.

It seems clear to me that those who spew invective and baseless accusations display the classic outlines of paranoia. They are suffused with hate, and they feel persecuted. But that is not all there is to this new proliferation of paranoia. Something is changing in our culture, something that makes these pathological processes acceptable, even normal.

Today, intensity and conviction have acquired their own legitimacy. In the dark 30's of the last century, as Europe was strangling in the grip of fascism, William Butler Yeats wrote "The Second Coming," his apocalyptic vision of the end of civilization, ending with these powerful lines:

The best lack all conviction While the worst are full of passionate intensity.
But now, after several more catastrophes have afflicted us, unimaginable to Yeats, passionate intensity has become a kind of defense, a source of stability, a means of survival. We are forced to respect it, admire it even, as an antidote to the helplessness that threatens us face to face with our world. Certainly, that makes it harder to see that it is, also, a form of madness.

This is all the more true as traditional authorities have been so thoroughly compromised. Politicians sell their services for campaign donations, regulators routinely approve questionable practices, priests abuse their trust, insurers scheme to deny coverage, brokers sell their clients dubious investments, and so on and on.

In this climate, truth itself has become questionable. If it hasn't been sold to the highest bidder, it is simply more and more difficult to find - or to believe in.

So, if we can't have truth, at least we can have conviction.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: paranoia

1 posted on 11/06/2009 7:02:19 AM PST by steve-b
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To: steve-b

I counter the authors diatrobe......with common sense.


2 posted on 11/06/2009 7:05:59 AM PST by Doogle (USAF.68-73..8th TFW Ubon Thailand..never store a threat you should have eliminated))
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To: steve-b

someone needs to send this idiot the uk mail story about
soviet infiltration of labour party.


3 posted on 11/06/2009 7:06:05 AM PST by gussiefinknottle (woof!woof!woof!)
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To: steve-b
It seems clear to me that those who spew invective and baseless accusations display the classic outlines of paranoia.

Based on this, I have to declare the author to be paranoid.

4 posted on 11/06/2009 7:07:05 AM PST by ClearCase_guy (Play the Race Card -- lose the game.)
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To: ClearCase_guy

“Paranoia starts with virulent hatred towards others, who are seen to be thoroughly deserving of contempt.”

Yep. I second the diagnosis.


5 posted on 11/06/2009 7:11:33 AM PST by SatinDoll (NO Foreign Nationals as our President!!)
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To: steve-b

The Soviet Union also used to designate dissidents to its fasco-communist system as insane and institutionalize them.

Too bad for the good doctor, I think rhe totalitarian revolution may have just missed its moment (although just what happens with Obamacare remains to be seen).


6 posted on 11/06/2009 7:11:37 AM PST by Piranha (Obama won like Bernie Madoff attracted investors: by lying about his values, policy and plans.)
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To: steve-b

This idiot has just decribed modern liberalism to a “T”. The psychlogical term for that is “projection”.


7 posted on 11/06/2009 7:13:24 AM PST by snowrip (Liberal? YOU ARE A SOCIALIST WITH NO RATIONAL ARGUMENT.)
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To: Doogle

This is pretty much the standard MO of the left -

the behavior (IE, pushing fascism & deviancy on our society)

isn’t bad,

but pointing it out is a “hate crime”.


8 posted on 11/06/2009 7:13:31 AM PST by MrB (The difference between a humanist and a Satanist is that the latter knows who he's working for.)
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To: ClearCase_guy
Exactly.

And I would ask him to explain the benefits of teaching children to worship Obummer, the Marxist now posing as a Fascist.

And would he also explain why anyone would spend $1.7 million to keep his birth certificate from seeing the light of day.

At this point the reason why one would spend that much leads one to believe that there is something as serious or maybe more so than where he was born.

And please explain how it is to our advantage as citizens to have the government run by Van Jones, Cass Sunstein, Mark Lloyd and the others who “turn to Mao in times of need”, person selected by Valerie Jarrett.

9 posted on 11/06/2009 7:16:26 AM PST by old curmudgeon
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To: steve-b
Oh I love it.

The psychological sickness of the LEFT is called projection.

That is, those who cannot be honest with themselves or objective (analytical), project subconciously their own bigotry on to others. They interpret the world in terms of their own personal psychology.

And so we have Mr Eisold and Ms Pelosi.

Hey, at the Suntrade Institute we don't "hate" Barack Obama, we'll sit down and have a beer with him any day. Rather it's just he is an incompetent misguided individual, along of course with his Rahm backers, who has absolutely no business being President, or in any position of executive management.

Now how much more objective can we be?

Johnny Suntrade

Can't say the same about Nancy Pelosi however, this is a genuinely bad person.

10 posted on 11/06/2009 7:19:34 AM PST by jnsun
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To: steve-b

Ignore your lying eyes.
Ignore facts, logic and common sense.
Instead rely on what the media (which has been inarguably shown to be hopelessly biased) tells you to think.
Yea, you tool. I’ll get right on that...


11 posted on 11/06/2009 7:21:05 AM PST by astyanax (Liberalism: Logic's retarded cousin.)
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To: snowrip
This idiot has just decribed modern liberalism to a “T”. The psychlogical term for that is “projection”.

Unfortunately for the Dr. his article could not be worse timed. A PhD in psychology at Fort Hood recently expressed his contempt for hate filled conservatives as well.

12 posted on 11/06/2009 7:22:19 AM PST by Louis Foxwell (He is the son of soulless slavers, not the son of soulful slaves.+)
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To: steve-b

Yet another shrink with resoning problems.


13 posted on 11/06/2009 7:23:23 AM PST by Marty62 (former Marty60)
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To: steve-b
Oh! I also noticed he forgot to mention:
THE VAST RIGHT WING CONSPIRACY!!!
But I suppose that's not paranoia, just political expediency?

14 posted on 11/06/2009 7:26:31 AM PST by astyanax (Liberalism: Logic's retarded cousin.)
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To: steve-b

Watch out! I heard this guy Ken Eisold is a “circle jerker”!


15 posted on 11/06/2009 7:27:47 AM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: steve-b
You forgot the "Barf" alert.

Yes, shrinks have the corner on "crazy," this morning, what with that Muslim colleague of theirs, "acting out" his rage down at Fort Hood, yesterday.

(Ahem.) "Denial ain't just a river in Egypt."

Where do they teach you to talk like this? In some Panama City "Sailor wanna hump-hump" bar, or is it getaway day and your last shot at his whiskey?

Sell crazy someplace else, we're all stocked up here.

16 posted on 11/06/2009 7:31:23 AM PST by Prospero (non est ad astra mollis e terris via)
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To: Prospero
You forgot the "Barf" alert.
LOL! It's steve-b.
Were you expecting something relevant and rational?
17 posted on 11/06/2009 7:35:10 AM PST by astyanax (Liberalism: Logic's retarded cousin.)
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To: ClearCase_guy
“This is all the more true as traditional authorities have been so thoroughly compromised. Politicians sell their services for campaign donations, regulators routinely approve questionable practices, priests abuse their trust, insurers scheme to deny coverage, brokers sell their clients dubious investments, and so on and on.”

This self-proclaimed expert forgot to add:
psychoanalysts who peddle dubious theories and books on same.

There is a very good reason why these self-proclaimed experts are coming out of the woodwork along with the MSM in denouncing those who don't fall in lock step with them with the name calling such as paranoia.

That is because they are losing their inability to hold the masses in their hands by proclaiming what they peddle is the truth and the only truth. Ditto Obama and his Kult.

18 posted on 11/06/2009 7:41:38 AM PST by Sparko (Barack Hussein Obama: Mmm, mmm, mmm... Peace Prize. Now no one is equal to Me in My Sight.)
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To: steve-b

Like most psychologists I’ve met, he manages to put everyone who agrres with him, in the catagory of the sane, and anyone who disagrees with him as being mentally unbalanced. Typical of the true paranoid, and typical of thowse who adapt to the wold by using psychobabble to bullshit people into releasing their rationality to craven little freaks like this. Who want to see the decriminalisation and normalisation, of every form of deviancy, such as pedophilia and incest. Don’t believe me? just check out what the sicko freaks that have slithered their way into the leadership of the APA have to say on these subjects. Most psycholists and psychiatrists are anal retentive control freakls, just like the DemoLiberal perverts, and they labor under the fervid dreams of Stalinistic control over the populations.


19 posted on 11/06/2009 7:51:01 AM PST by DGHoodini (Iran Azadi!)
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To: steve-b
As a proud birther and fellow who has been around a while this article is projectile vomit. Where is the Barf Alert?
20 posted on 11/06/2009 7:51:57 AM PST by Nuc1 (NUC1 Sub pusher SSN 668 (Liberals Aren't Patriots))
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To: steve-b

So....this explains Bush Derangement Syndrome. I knew there was an answer to it.


21 posted on 11/06/2009 8:04:25 AM PST by Timocrat
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To: DGHoodini

One of the historical policies of collectivists, monarchists, and tyrants in general

is to classify the opposition to their rule (or ideology) as insanity in order to justify disposing of those who oppose them.


22 posted on 11/06/2009 8:06:10 AM PST by MrB (The difference between a humanist and a Satanist is that the latter knows who he's working for.)
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To: steve-b
"By "crazy" I mean the birthers or those who see ... attempts to indoctrinate school children."

That's been going on by the left for decades. Or shall we dig out all the "Dear Leader" videos of singing schoolchildren ?

23 posted on 11/06/2009 6:16:22 PM PST by fieldmarshaldj (~"This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps !"~~)
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To: steve-b
By "crazy" I mean the birthers or those who see a fascist (or communist) take-over of the Federal Reserve Bank, or attempts to indoctrinate school children.

Psychology today?
Physician, heal thyself.

I stopped reading right there.

If the present government meets all the qualities that define Fascism, taking over the management of private companies, if not fascism, what is it?

If school children are forced to sing the praises of the great leader, like some despotic African thugocracy, if it not child abuse and indoctrination, what is it? If it is not the politics of the personality cult, what positive behavior does that fall under?

Clearly, as the Texas maggot so clearly demonstrated yesterday, psychology does nor normally attract the mentally healthiest of individuals, typically.

So this is what we can expect from them? oxymoronic psychobabble?

24 posted on 11/06/2009 6:38:17 PM PST by Publius6961 (…he's not America, he's an employee who hasn't risen to minimal expectations.)
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