Skip to comments.What Is Liberalism? (Answer: A Mental Disease!!!)
Posted on 02/23/2013 6:06:21 AM PST by Kaslin
President Obama is said to have made the case for a liberal public policy agenda in his State of the Union speech the other night. But what is liberalism?
The conventional view is that liberalism is an ideology. In fact it is a sociology.
An ideology is a set of ideas that cohere. Socialism is an ideology. So is libertarianism. Suppose I told you that socialists believe the government should nationalize the steel industry and the auto industry. You would have no difficulty inferring what their position is on nationalizing the airline industry. Right? Suppose I told you that libertarians believe in a free market for tinker toys and ham sandwiches. You would have no difficulty inferring that they also believe in a free market for Rubik's Cubes.
Sociologies are different. They represent a set of ideas that are often incoherent. These ideas are likely to come together not because of reason, but because of history or happenstance. Not only do the ideas not cohere, they may be completely contradictory.
Take the issue of preschool education forcefully endorsed by the president the other night. As David Brooks explained, the issue is really about allowing poor children to escape from the anti-education atmosphere of their homes to a place that will at least give them a chance to learn. Given a persons position on preschool education for four year olds, shouldnt you be able to predict how he will think about allowing poor six- and seven-year-old children to escape from bad schools? As it turns out you cant.
Brooks explains the preschool issue this way:
This is rude to say, but heres what this is about: Millions of parents dont have the means, the skill or, in some cases, the interest in building their childrens future. Early childhood education is about building structures so both parents and children learn practical life skills. Its about getting kids from disorganized homes into rooms with kids from organized homes so good habits will rub off. Its about instilling achievement values where they are absent.
Okay, so how is that different from the situation faced by slightly older children trapped in lousy schools where teachers couldn't care less what they learn? It isnt. Yet so many of those who favor preschool education (a new and expensive entitlement) are reliable opponents of vouchers, charter schools, firing bad teachers, closing bad schools or any other remedy that offends the teachers unions. And that includes President Obama.
Then there is the issue of the minimum wage. The minimum wage does almost nothing to relieve poverty. Thats because almost no one who is a head of household is earning the minimum wage for any length of time. However, I think it is fairly well-established that a higher minimum wage gives teenagers in above-average income households more pocket change, even as it closes off job opportunities for poor, minority teenagers. (Remember, the black teenage unemployment rate is about twice that of whites.) If you want to maximize job opportunities for low-income youngsters, as President Obama says he does, you certainly wouldnt want a minimum wage standing between a minority youth and his first job. Yet creating that barrier and making it permanent is part of the Obama agenda for the labor market.
A related issue is public policy toward unions. There is no mystery about what a union is. It is an attempt to monopolize the supply of labor to employers. In most all cases, unions confer special (monopoly) status on workers who are solidly middle class, allowing them to seek above-market wages by closing off competition from those who earn less and have less. Yet encouraging labor unions is another core pillar of the Obama presidency.
Finally, our federal deficit is almost totally caused by entitlement spending on the elderly. Our government routinely sends Social Security checks to billionaires and pays their medical bills to boot paid for in part by a 15.3% payroll tax imposed on the parents of the children to whom the president would like to provide preschool education.
The zip codes in America where people cash the largest Social Security checks are the very same zip codes where Medicare spends the most dollars on the average enrollee. And unlike the income tax, every worker pays the payroll tax no matter how poor. Yet these are the programs that President Obama resists reforming.
Some readers will be quick to point out that the Democratic Party dating back to the days of Franklin Roosevelt consists of a coalition of interests and that winning elections requires satisfying each of those interests. Fair enough. But we are here talking about thinking, not winning elections.
Politicians will invariably search for some intellectual justification for what they do. Since their policies are incoherent, no ideology will serve their purpose. What they need is a sociology a way of thinking about the world that defends the indefensible. They need intellectuals who will apologize for the mixed economy welfare state without any obvious sense of embarrassment. For the Obama administration, that sociology is liberalism. Its adherents once called themselves "liberals." Today, they are "progressives."
Thomas Jefferson and his political associates realized quickly that coalition politics in the United States would always need to be conducted EXTERNAL to the legislative bodies (Congress and legislatures). They also realized that to make sure their group maximized its chance of winning seats they'd need to shoot for 50% + 1 vote!
Their Federalist opposition held out to the bitter end to the idea that we were best off with men of property and influence selecting quality officers of government.
BTW, TJ won that debate ~
During the struggle over the United States Bank others realized that there was a common interest among other diverse groups for pursuing beneficial legislation in the realm of financial affairs and public works (highways, canals, fostering technology, steam engines, railroads, etc) ~ and so developed the first big competitor to the Democrat/Republican party ~ the WHIGS!
They can be seen in retrospect to have made a major failing in not securing a socially beneficial position and reputation with regard to other issues ~ they appear, at this time, to have actually thought you could be neutral on slavery! In the end they were replaced by the Republican party which included the Abolitionist movement in its make up of coalition partners. They also picked up the residual Whig bodies at the state and county levels.
BTW, the Federalists still didn't make a comeback ~ it was like the nation forgot all about them, which, indeed, was the case!
By the time FDR moved into the White House the coalition partners for Republicans and Democrats had changed. In fact, FDR won by a landslide equal to the landslide Hoover had carried just 4 years before, so it was pretty obvious somebody jumped out of the Democrat and into the Republican party!
Who were they? There were two groups ~ in terms of numbers ~ the unemployed and the dispossed. Blacks jumped too but they didn't have the numbers to be significant at that time ~ after all, they were effectively disenfranchised in the Southern states.
Subsequently smaller special interests began to gravitate around each party in terms of ideology ~ which brings us to 2013 and it's still the same old Jefffersonian democratic model ~
It also shares some characteristics of a religion: an orthodox set of beliefs, a list of sinful behaviors and beliefs (gun ownership,opposition to abortion), as well as sacraments (abortion). And anyone who doesn’t share these beliefs is evil, a sinner to be punished.
I"d like to suggest that when we drill down into the data to the BLUE PRECINCTS we find a common feature ~ lots of surface water with lots of mosquitos. In contrast, you do the same thing for the RED PRECINCTS we find a far lower density of mosquitos.
That takes us right to encephilitis ~ as an example of a mosquito born disease. Let's say there's a virus carried by mosquitos that's milder than encephilities, but they are the vector. It's simply been overlooked by the epidemiologists, or maybe the liberals know about it already, but they're keeping their findings quiet.
The first NIH agency to find its budget whacked by the Obama regime turns out to be the one that focuses on epidemiological studies.
Without joking about it, there may well be a disease behind the problem many call "Potomac Fever".
All of which points to liberalism being a brain disorder caused by a common virus
The Democratic party is the home of the depressed, the schizoaffective, agnostic nihilists, earth and celebrity worshipers, dopey non productive people and decadents of all sorts. Its a fools errand to assume that a reasonable social consensus can ever be achieved again in this country. Does any rational Republican believe that political solutions can be reached with Obama?
actually a sociology.....
This piece still does not correctly answer the question, what is liberalism. It answers the question, what are the effects of liberalism.
Liberalism is a way of organizing human thought. To put it most succinctly: it is where a person can construct the reality in which they live as one that is detached from the real, outside world. In this internal reality, the things they want to be true can be true and the things they want to be excluded can be. Moreover, it is a world where the person can define right and wrong, which he continually does so that he never does any wrong.
In this world, when he suffers from human failures and violates his own rules, he is also free to give himself a pass just this one time, and to excuse his failures.
Thus, in this world, there is no sin, and therefore no need to repent and ask God for forgiveness. There is no right or wrong, only relative shades of gray. Because in their own minds they never sin, they don’t need a Savior. They are always good, or at least have good intentions, which count just as much as being good.
To a person thus afflicted, the external world imposes itself on them, but they don’t have to accept it unless they want to. Indeed, since their reality is inside their own mind, the things, events and rules of the outside world are used as the “bricks and mortar” with which to construct and maintain their inner world.
Their inner world is their self-identity. When an outsider imposes himself on that inner world, the result is a clash of identities. When outside facts become too critical of this perfect inner identity, these facts must be destroyed or the person who imposes them must be destroyed in an act of self defense. Thus the liberal dodge or personal attack that liberals are known for.
It is impossible to get a liberal to acknowledge a fact or point of logic that conflicts with their internal reality. A person who attempts to do so is attacking their very person. This is why liberals often lash out with a complaint about “hate” when dealing with others. If you object to something a liberal wants to advocate, you “hate” his identity.
As to when liberalism takes hold in a person’s mind, I can only speculate that during the transition from being a child (where make-believe play is common) to being an adult, the person never gives up on sliding into make-believe. But instead of having tea parties with unicorns, in adult make-believe, unicorns traverse rainbows from one gold pot to another to make a pollution free world possible with affordable housing and no hunger or hateful people who never go to war and who always ride sustainable public transit.
Liberalism is the most widespread mental disorder of our age. The challenge for the rest of us is manifold. One of them is- how do parents help to ensure their children don’t suffer from this debilitating and dangerous mental disorder. I think by emphasis that play is play but real is real. The other challenge is how to rescue
If only the CDC would devote funds to find a cure...
He can be blunt and abrasive, sometimes petty, but he's frequently right on target.
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.
Agreed. Though sometimes a little "over the top" (by design, no doubt), Savage is worth listening to and reading if you want to know what others will be saying and writing about weeks, months and even years down the road. I truly respect his intellect and insight into how people -- particularly those in positions of power -- think and behave.
“Dr. Lyle H. Rossiter, Jr.,a forensic psychiatrist..”
oh yeah, missed that,now i’m impressed !!!!!!
I started watching a show on MSNBC this morning about Detroit. The host says there are two Detroit’s, the one Mitt Romney said to let go broke and then to magnificent city.
Her two guests talked about everything that was wrong with Detoit except the actual problem. The first was the unions put the companies out of business or forced them to move out of Detroit and the second was that social services ate up the remaining tax base.
When they said the problems Detroit had were not limited to Detroit, my thought was they are correct. Every blue city has the same issue. And what do they all have in common?
All that education and liberals are still ignorant.
Response: I don't think Liberalism is a mental disease. A division of the Liberal populace into at least two parts is necessary. Part one is the the liberal in a high leadership position.(Often an alien.). Such people are vicious, malicious but highly rational individuals. Then there is the second class liberal. The Second class is totally emotionally based. They have become so non-rational as to be controlled by Pavlovian techniques. Jean Jacque Rousseau is their father. He introduced "feeling" into Western Society. The trail leads directly through Rousseau to Hegel to Marx. Some of the key terms used to control the "feeling" based Second class liberal are "struggle," "the system." "capitalism," "rights," "the poor," "the children," "the disabled," etc. etc. (you can add more terms.) When such words are flashed the Second Class Liberal becomes so emotionally responsive that he will do anything to get tension relief such as orgasm, leg tingling, eyes protruding, slight flecks of saliva forming at the corners of his mouth. He will even kill all in good conscience.
The above is a brief summary. Sorry for its brevity.
The liberal mind is uniquely wired to isolate any thoughts of long term consequences from their wild-eyed utopian schemes. The liberal mind also has an internal “firewall” that prevents it from seeing any connection between promoting programs for “social good” and their own self-serving interests (i.e., buying votes from their constituencies).
No wonder Head Start is failing. Doesn't surprise me to hear Davis Brooks saying this.
“All that education and liberals are still ignorant.”
“Education” is indoctrination!
The ONLY education IS self-education!
Is Nancy Pelosi a pie-in-the-sky dreamer, or is she a hard-nosed greedy realist? Is Harry Reid a lunatic, or is he just a greedy rat? We allow the Democrats to hide behind a facade of being caring, but somewhat naive, ideologues. Some are, but the leaders are self-serving, self-absorbed SOBs. They are not misguided children. They are hard-nosed, thieving rats.