Thursday, September 5, 2013

Etiology of Social Dementia - 10

Semper fee fi fo fum
There are various ways to look at the dynamics of national policy.

The two basic categories of national policy are domestic policy and foreign policy.

The elite corporate news media look at these categories economically, politically, and sometimes academically.

Those media members are trained and commanded, by and large, to see through their rose colored glasses provided by their elite lords who feel that they are exceptional, and even feel that the nation is likewise exceptional in and of itself.

They believe in that exceptionalism no matter what the nation does to other nations and peoples, including but not limited to, Latin America, Vietnam, Japan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Iran.

But then there is that pesky notion of a global community, a United Nations working together to improve the lot of all of humanity.

That global community sentiment is fostered in part by the fact we are the human species living on a planet with finite resources.

Which is an insight that has a psychological impact on all nations within the global community or civilization which our species has made:
"If the evolution of civilization has such a far reaching similarity with the development of an individual, and if the same methods are employed in both, would not the diagnosis be justified that many systems of civilization — or epochs of it — possibly even the whole of humanity — have become neurotic under the pressure of the civilizing trends?" - Sigmund Freud
(MOMCOM's Mass Suicide & Murder Pact - 5, emphasis added). The well known "father of psychoanalysis" indicated that our species, even in his day, had developed a species-specific neurosis.

Since Freud attached our species' neurosis to "the pressure of the civilizing trends", let's take a look at what "neurosis" conjures up:
There are many forms of neurosis: obsessive–compulsive disorder, anxiety neurosis, hysteria (in which anxiety may be discharged through a physical symptom), and a nearly endless variety of phobias as well as obsessions such as pyromania. According to C. George Boeree, professor emeritus at Shippensburg University, effects of neurosis can involve:
... anxiety, sadness or depression, anger, irritability, mental confusion, low sense of self-worth, etc., behavioral symptoms such as phobic avoidance, vigilance, impulsive and compulsive acts, lethargy, etc., cognitive problems such as unpleasant or disturbing thoughts, repetition of thoughts and obsession, habitual fantasizing, negativity and cynicism, etc. Interpersonally, neurosis involves dependency, aggressiveness, perfectionism, schizoid isolation, socio-culturally inappropriate behaviors, etc.
(Wikipedia, "Neurosis"). Other famous observers in our midst have also perceived some systemic psychological flaws in our civilization:
One would say that [man] is destined to exterminate himself after having rendered the globe uninhabitable.” - Lamarck (1817)

The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Mayr, from the point of view of a biologist, argued that it's very unlikely that we'll find any [extraterrestrial intelligence]. And his reason was, he said, we have exactly one example: Earth. So let's take a look at Earth. And what he basically argued is that intelligence is a kind of lethal mutation ... you're just not going to find intelligent life elsewhere, and you probably won't find it here for very long either because it's just a lethal mutation" - Dr. Noam Chomsky paraphrasing Dr. Ernst Mayr

Insanity in individuals is something rare – but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
(Quotes Tab). One current observer, who is not a user of the rose colored glasses, also sees the dynamic in action:
Evidence also seems to indicate that the leaders of a superpower, when not countered by another major power, when lacking an arms race to run or territory and influence to contest, may be particularly susceptible to the growth of delusional thinking, and in particular to fantasies of omnipotence.
Just as still water is a breeding ground for mosquitos, so single-superpowerdom seems to be a breeding ground for delusion. This is a phenomenon about which we have to be cautious, since we know little enough about it and are, of course, in its midst. But so far, there seem to have been three stages to the development of whatever delusional process is underway.
... no one can look at Planet Earth today and not see that the single superpower, while capable of creating instability and chaos, is limited indeed in its ability to control developments.  Its president can't even form a "coalition of the willing" to launch a limited series of missile attacks on the military facilities of the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad.  From Latin America to the Greater Middle East, the American system is visibly weakening, while at home, inequality and poverty are on the rise, infrastructure crumbles, and national politics is in a state of permanent “gridlock.”

Such a world should be fantastical enough for the wildest sort of dystopian fiction, for perhaps a novel titled 2014. What, after all, are we to make of a planet with a single superpower that lacks genuine enemies of any significance and that, to all appearances, has nonetheless been fighting a permanent global war with ... well, itself -- and appears to be losing?
(Alone and Delusional on Planet Earth, emphasis added). The neurosis and delusions come from insecurities posing as securities (When You Are Governed By Psychopaths, Ayn Rand: Patron Saint of The Plutocracy).

The next post of this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.

1 comment:

  1. Some academics seen to be pulled into the neurosis: Link