Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Etiology of Social Dementia - 13

"Stop the world, let me off"
This series began years ago on 9/18/09, and has covered a lot of ground since (Etiology of Social Dementia, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12).

Today, let's continue the observation of strange behavior in individuals that is caused by dementia.

I am talking about the type of strange behavior which can be used as a metaphor, microcosm, epitome, or similar concept, to link that behavior to group behavior (for those who want to refresh their memory about dementia, check this out: Mayo Clinic: symptoms, definition).

That pertains to individuals, but according to the Darwin of Psychology (Freud), it can work with groups and even civilization itself:
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? To analytic dissection of these neuroses, therapeutic recommendations might follow which could claim a great practical interest. I would not say that such an attempt to apply psychoanalysis to civilized society would be fanciful or doomed to fruitlessness. But it behooves us to be very careful, not to forget that after all we are dealing only with analogies, and that it is dangerous, not only with men but also with concepts, to drag them out of the region where they originated and have matured. The diagnosis of collective neuroses, moreover, will be confronted by a special difficulty. In the neurosis of an individual we can use as a starting point the contrast presented to us between the patient and his environment which we assume to be normal. No such background as this would be available for any society similarly affected; it would have to be supplied in some other way. And with regard to any therapeutic application of our knowledge, what would be the use of the most acute analysis of social neuroses, since no one possesses power to compel the community to adopt the therapy? In spite of all these difficulties, we may expect that one day someone will venture upon this research into the pathology of civilized communities. [p. 39]
Men have brought their powers of subduing the forces of nature
to such a pitch that by using them they could now very easily exterminate one another to the last man. They know this——hence arises a great part of their current unrest, their dejection, their mood of apprehension. [p. 40]
(MOMCOM's Mass Suicide & Murder Pact - 5, quoting Freud). The "pathology of civilized communities" seems to be a contradiction of terms to those of us who see civilizations as the ultimate human accomplishment that nevertheless somehow disappear (The Great & Beautiful Lost Kingdoms, Civilizations Like Our Own Without Oil).

Those who, like Freud, venture into original thought, "outside the box," are soon ostracised, like this guy:
"In other words, a society does not ever die 'from natural causes', but always dies from suicide or murder --- and nearly always from the former, as this chapter has shown."
(The "Genes" of Culture In Civilizations, quoting historian Arnold J. Toynbee). Ok, so what strange individual behavior can we use to illustrate the concept?

Glad you asked.

The case for study today is like the professional commercial pilot who recently did a mass-murder-suicide:
"Some tragic events are a metaphor, an epitome, a simile, an analogy, or similar iconic representation of a larger reality.

Germanwings Airbus A320, Flight 4U 9525, was the scene of a mass-murder according to a French prosecutor.

In a news conference, it was revealed that the German co-pilot intentionally crashed the aircraft (Germanwings flight 4U9525 deliberately flown into mountain, says prosecutor).

Thus, we know that it was an inside job, a suicide, and a mass-murder.

We know that attempts were made to stop it, however, the cockpit door was too strong to get through, the external access mechanism was said to have been turned off, and/or a manual lock had been set, by the co-pilot." (Inside Job and/or Conspiracy?)

"The co-pilot of the Germanwings plane that crashed in the French Alps in March appears to have practised a rapid descent on a previous flight, a report by French investigators says.

The report said Andreas Lubitz repeatedly set the same plane for an unauthorised descent earlier that day.

Lubitz is suspected of deliberately crashing the Airbus 320, killing all 150 people on board.

He had locked the flight captain out of the cockpit.

Lubitz appears to have practised programming a rapid descent on the outbound leg of the flight - from Duesseldorf to Barcelona on 24 March - the preliminary report by accident investigation agency BEA said.

It added that on several occasions - again with the captain out of the cockpit - the altitude dial was set to 100ft (30m), the lowest possible reading, despite instructions by air traffic control in Bordeaux to set it to 35,000ft and then 21,000ft." (Germanwings crash: Co-pilot Lubitz 'practised rapid descent')
I remember what one analyst, who was responding to a question about the act of a professional, individual pilot who would kill 150 innocent people, along with himself.

His perplexed response was: "I can't get my head around that."

In other words, "it does not compute."

We don't have that murder-suicide perpetrator's brain to do an autopsy on, as we had when another soon-to-be professional person inexplicably killed a lot of innocent people:
I don’t really understand myself these days. I am supposed to be an average reasonable and intelligent young man. However, lately (I can’t recall when it started) I have been a victim of many unusual and irrational thoughts.
It was after much thought that I decided to kill my wife, Kathy, tonight … I love her dearly, and she has been as fine a wife to me as any man could ever hope to have. I cannot rationa[l]ly pinpoint any specific reason for doing this …
I talked with a Doctor once for about two hours and tried to convey to him my fears that I felt [overcome by] overwhelming violent impulses. After one session I never saw the Doctor again, and since then I have been fighting my mental turmoil alone, and seemingly to no avail.
(Hypothesis: The Cultural Amygdala). We call some behavior "unthinkable" or "unimaginable" because we have limits to our cognition, limits to what we are able to think:
Probably 98 percent of your reasoning is unconscious - what your brain is doing behind the scenes. Reason is inherently emotional. You can't even choose a goal, much less form a plan and carry it out, without a sense that it will satisfy you, not dis­gust you. Fear and anxiety will affect your plans and your ac­tions. You act differently, and plan differently, out of hope and joy than out of fear and anxiety.

Thought is physical. Learning requires a physical brain change: Receptors for neurotransmitters change at the synapses, which changes neural circuitry. Since thinking is the activation of such circuitry, somewhat different thinking re­quires a somewhat different brain. Brains change as you use them-even unconsciously. It's as if your car changed as you drove it, say from a stick shift gradually to an automatic.
(The Toxic Bridge To Everywhere). Our conscious cognition is very weak, compared to our subconscious mind.

That is why groups, governments, nations, and even civilization itself, can become participants in an orgy of the unthinkable.

Freud contemplated something useful that never happened, as it should have, (psychoanalysis and treatment for groups).

We now find ourselves on the edge of extinction (Civilization Is Now On Suicide Watch - 8, The "Genes" of Culture In Civilizations).

We have no idea where we are (You Are Here) or even what we are (Our Microbes, Ourselves: How the Trillions of Tiny Organisms Living Inside Us Are Redefining What It Means to Be Human).

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

A bit of an example:

1 comment:

  1. "Global Carbon Dioxide Levels Topped 400 PPM Throughout March In Unprecedented Milestone" (link)