AuthorTopic: The Psychology of Modern Leftism  (Read 6813 times)

Offline Eddie

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The Psychology of Modern Leftism
« on: June 10, 2017, 10:07:17 AM »
I recently re-read the Unabomber Manifesto, and was transfixed by how perfectly Ted understood and was able to describe the current power struggle in America. I personally abhor violence, but other than that part of Ted's POV, I pretty much agree with him completely. It's particularly interesting to me that he figured all this out in pre-Facebook days, before the internet began to kick the "oversocialization" part into Warp Drive.

If you have some kind of nostalgic longing for the days of real class struggle in his country, the one that championed the rights of workers against the rich robber barons of industry, and the poor against the rich, please absolve yourself of the notion that the politics of the left in America today has anything to do with that. What the left is now is exactly what Ted described, but taken now by social media to a newer, more intense level of destructive groupthink.


THE PSYCHOLOGY OF MODERN LEFTISM

6. Almost everyone will agree that we live in a deeply troubled society. One of the most widespread manifestations of the craziness of our world is leftism, so a discussion of the psychology of leftism can serve as an introduction to the discussion of the problems of modern society in general.

7. But what is leftism? During the first half of the 20th century leftism could have been practically identified with socialism. Today the movement is fragmented and it is not clear who can properly be called a leftist. When we speak of leftists in this article we have in mind mainly socialists, collectivists, "politically correct" types, feminists, gay and disability activists, animal rights activists and the like. But not everyone who is associated with one of these movements is a leftist. What we are trying to get at in discussing leftism is not so much movement or an ideology as a psychological type, or rather a collection of related types. Thus, what we mean by "leftism" will emerge more clearly in the course of our discussion of leftist psychology. (Also, see paragraphs 227-230.)

8. Even so, our conception of leftism will remain a good deal less clear than we would wish, but there doesn't seem to be any remedy for this. All we are trying to do here is indicate in a rough and approximate way the two psychological tendencies that we believe are the main driving force of modern leftism. We by no means claim to be telling the WHOLE truth about leftist psychology. Also, our discussion is meant to apply to modern leftism only. We leave open the question of the extent to which our discussion could be applied to the leftists of the 19th and early 20th centuries.

9. The two psychological tendencies that underlie modern leftism we call "feelings of inferiority" and "oversocialization." Feelings of inferiority are characteristic of modern leftism as a whole, while oversocialization is characteristic only of a certain segment of modern leftism; but this segment is highly influential.

FEELINGS OF INFERIORITY

10. By "feelings of inferiority" we mean not only inferiority feelings in the strict sense but a whole spectrum of related traits; low self-esteem, feelings of powerlessness, depressive tendencies, defeatism, guilt, self-hatred, etc. We argue that modern leftists tend to have some such feelings (possibly more or less repressed) and that these feelings are decisive in determining the direction of modern leftism.

11. When someone interprets as derogatory almost anything that is said about him (or about groups with whom he identifies) we conclude that he has inferiority feelings or low self-esteem. This tendency is pronounced among minority rights activists, whether or not they belong to the minority groups whose rights they defend. They are hypersensitive about the words used to designate minorities and about anything that is said concerning minorities. The terms "negro," "oriental," "handicapped" or "chick" for an African, an Asian, a disabled person or a woman originally had no derogatory connotation. "Broad" and "chick" were merely the feminine equivalents of "guy," "dude" or "fellow." The negative connotations have been attached to these terms by the activists themselves. Some animal rights activists have gone so far as to reject the word "pet" and insist on its replacement by "animal companion." Leftish anthropologists go to great lengths to avoid saying anything about primitive peoples that could conceivably be interpreted as negative. They want to replace the word "primitive" by "nonliterate." They may seem almost paranoid about anything that might suggest that any primitive culture is inferior to ours. (We do not mean to imply that primitive cultures ARE inferior to ours. We merely point out the hyper sensitivity of leftish anthropologists.)

12. Those who are most sensitive about "politically incorrect" terminology are not the average black ghetto-dweller, Asian immigrant, abused woman or disabled person, but a minority of activists, many of whom do not even belong to any "oppressed" group but come from privileged strata of society. Political correctness has its stronghold among university professors, who have secure employment with comfortable salaries, and the majority of whom are heterosexual white males from middle- to upper-middle-class families.

13. Many leftists have an intense identification with the problems of groups that have an image of being weak (women), defeated (American Indians), repellent (homosexuals) or otherwise inferior. The leftists themselves feel that these groups are inferior. They would never admit to themselves that they have such feelings, but it is precisely because they do see these groups as inferior that they identify with their problems. (We do not mean to suggest that women, Indians, etc. ARE inferior; we are only making a point about leftist psychology.)

14. Feminists are desperately anxious to prove that women are as strong and as capable as men. Clearly they are nagged by a fear that women may NOT be as strong and as capable as men.

15. Leftists tend to hate anything that has an image of being strong, good and successful. They hate America, they hate Western civilization, they hate white males, they hate rationality. The reasons that leftists give for hating the West, etc. clearly do not correspond with their real motives. They SAY they hate the West because it is warlike, imperialistic, sexist, ethnocentric and so forth, but where these same faults appear in socialist countries or in primitive cultures, the leftist finds excuses for them, or at best he GRUDGINGLY admits that they exist; whereas he ENTHUSIASTICALLY points out (and often greatly exaggerates) these faults where they appear in Western civilization. Thus it is clear that these faults are not the leftist's real motive for hating America and the West. He hates America and the West because they are strong and successful.

16. Words like "self-confidence," "self-reliance," "initiative," "enterprise," "optimism," etc., play little role in the liberal and leftist vocabulary. The leftist is anti-individualistic, pro-collectivist. He wants society to solve every one's problems for them, satisfy everyone's needs for them, take care of them. He is not the sort of person who has an inner sense of confidence in his ability to solve his own problems and satisfy his own needs. The leftist is antagohistic to the concept of competition because, deep inside, he feels like a loser.

17. Art forms that appeal to modern leftish intellectuals tend to focus on sordidness, defeat and despair, or else they take an orgiastic tone, throwing off rational control as if there were no hope of accomplishing anything through rational calculation and all that was left was to immerse oneself in the sensations of the moment.

18. Modern leftish philosophers tend to dismiss reason, science, objective reality and to insist that everything is culturally relative. It is true that one can ask serious questions about the foundations of scientific knowledge and about how, if at all, the concept of objective reality can be defined. But it is obvious that modern leftish philosophers are not simply cool-headed logicians systematically analyzing the foundations of knowledge. They are deeply involved emotionally in their attack on truth and reality. They attack these concepts because of their own psychological needs. For one thing, their attack is an outlet for hostility, and, to the extent that it is successful, it satisfies the drive for power. More importantly, the leftist hates science and rationality because they classify certain beliefs as true (i.e., successful, superior) and other beliefs as false (i.e., failed, inferior). The leftist's feelings of inferiority run so deep that he cannot tolerate any classification of some things as successful or superior and other things as failed or inferior. This also underlies the rejection by many leftists of the concept of mental illness and of the utility of IQ tests. Leftists are antagonistic to genetic explanations of human abilities or behavior because such explanations tend to make some persons appear superior or inferior to others. Leftists prefer to give society the credit or blame for an individual's ability or lack of it. Thus if a person is "inferior" it is not his fault, but society's, because he has not been brought up properly.

19. The leftist is not typically the kind of person whose feelings of inferiority make him a braggart, an egotist, a bully, a self-promoter, a ruthless competitor. This kind of person has not wholly lost faith in himself. He has a deficit in his sense of power and self-worth, but he can still conceive of himself as having the capacity to be strong, and his efforts to make himself strong produce his unpleasant behavior. [1] But the leftist is too far gone for that. His feelings of inferiority are so ingrained that he cannot conceive of himself as individually strong and valuable. Hence the collectivism of the leftist. He can feel strong only as a member of a large organization or a mass movement with which he identifies himself.

20. Notice the masochistic tendency of leftist tactics. Leftists protest by lying down in front of vehicles, they intentionally provoke police or racists to abuse them, etc. These tactics may often be effective, but many leftists use them not as a means to an end but because they PREFER masochistic tactics. Self-hatred is a leftist trait.

21. Leftists may claim that their activism is motivated by compassion or by moral principles, and moral principle does play a role for the leftist of the oversocialized type. But compassion and moral principle cannot be the main motives for leftist activism. Hostility is too prominent a component of leftist behavior; so is the drive for power. Moreover, much leftist behavior is not rationally calculated to be of benefit to the people whom the leftists claim to be trying to help. For example, if one believes that affirmative action is good for black people, does it make sense to demand affirmative action in hostile or dogmatic terms? Obviously it would be more productive to take a diplomatic and conciliatory approach that would make at least verbal and symbolic concessions to white people who think that affirmative action discriminates against them. But leftist activists do not take such an approach because it would not satisfy their emotional needs. Helping black people is not their real goal. Instead, race problems serve as an excuse for them to express their own hostility and frustrated need for power. In doing so they actually harm black people, because the activists' hostile attitude toward the white majority tends to intensify race hatred.

22. If our society had no social problems at all, the leftists would have to INVENT problems in order to provide themselves with an excuse for making a fuss.

23. We emphasize that the foregoing does not pretend to be an accurate description of everyone who might be considered a leftist. It is only a rough indication of a general tendency of leftism.

OVERSOCIALIZATION

24. Psychologists use the term "socialization" to designate the process by which children are trained to think and act as society demands. A person is said to be well socialized if he believes in and obeys the moral code of his society and fits in well as a functioning part of that society. It may seem senseless to say that many leftists are over-socialized, since the leftist is perceived as a rebel. Nevertheless, the position can be defended. Many leftists are not such rebels as they seem.

25. The moral code of our society is so demanding that no one can think, feel and act in a completely moral way. For example, we are not supposed to hate anyone, yet almost everyone hates somebody at some time or other, whether he admits it to himself or not. Some people are so highly socialized that the attempt to think, feel and act morally imposes a severe burden on them. In order to avoid feelings of guilt, they continually have to deceive themselves about their own motives and find moral explanations for feelings and actions that in reality have a nonmoral origin. We use the term "oversocialized" to describe such people. [2]

26. Oversocialization can lead to low self-esteem, a sense of powerlessness, defeatism, guilt, etc. One of the most important means by which our society socializes children is by making them feel ashamed of behavior or speech that is contrary to society's expectations. If this is overdone, or if a particular child is especially susceptible to such feelings, he ends by feeling ashamed of HIMSELF. Moreover the thought and the behavior of the oversocialized person are more restricted by society's expectations than are those of the lightly socialized person. The majority of people engage in a significant amount of naughty behavior. They lie, they commit petty thefts, they break traffic laws, they goof off at work, they hate someone, they say spiteful things or they use some underhanded trick to get ahead of the other guy. The oversocialized person cannot do these things, or if he does do them he generates in himself a sense of shame and self-hatred. The oversocialized person cannot even experience, without guilt, thoughts or feelings that are contrary to the accepted morality; he cannot think "unclean" thoughts. And socialization is not just a matter of morality; we are socialized to conform to many norms of behavior that do not fall under the heading of morality. Thus the oversocialized person is kept on a psychological leash and spends his life running on rails that society has laid down for him. In many oversocialized people this results in a sense of constraint and powerlessness that can be a severe hardship. We suggest that oversocialization is among the more serious cruelties that human being inflict on one another.

27. We argue that a very important and influential segment of the modern left is oversocialized and that their oversocialization is of great importance in determining the direction of modern leftism. Leftists of the oversocialized type tend to be intellectuals or members of the upper-middle class. Notice that university intellectuals [3] constitute the most highly socialized segment of our society and also the most leftwing segment.

28. The leftist of the oversocialized type tries to get off his psychological leash and assert his autonomy by rebelling. But usually he is not strong enough to rebel against the most basic values of society. Generally speaking, the goals of today's leftists are NOT in conflict with the accepted morality. On the contrary, the left takes an accepted moral principle, adopts it as its own, and then accuses mainstream society of violating that principle. Examples: racial equality, equality of the sexes, helping poor people, peace as opposed to war, nonviolence generally, freedom of expression, kindness to animals. More fundamentally, the duty of the individual to serve society and the duty of society to take care of the individual. All these have been deeply rooted values of our society (or at least of its middle and upper classes [4] for a long time. These values are explicitly or implicitly expressed or presupposed in most of the material presented to us by the mainstream communications media and the educational system. Leftists, especially those of the oversocialized type, usually do not rebel against these principles but justify their hostility to society by claiming (with some degree of truth) that society is not living up to these principles.

29. Here is an illustration of the way in which the oversocialized leftist shows his real attachment to the conventional attitudes of our society while pretending to be in rebellion aginst it. Many leftists push for affirmative action, for moving black people into high-prestige jobs, for improved education in black schools and more money for such schools; the way of life of the black "underclass" they regard as a social disgrace. They want to integrate the black man into the system, make him a business executive, a lawyer, a scientist just like upper-middle-class white people. The leftists will reply that the last thing they want is to make the black man into a copy of the white man; instead, they want to preserve African American culture. But in what does this preservation of African American culture consist? It can hardly consist in anything more than eating black-style food, listening to black-style music, wearing black-style clothing and going to a black-style church or mosque. In other words, it can express itself only in superficial matters. In all ESSENTIAL respects most leftists of the oversocialized type want to make the black man conform to white, middle-class ideals. They want to make him study technical subjects, become an executive or a scientist, spend his life climbing the status ladder to prove that black people are as good as white. They want to make black fathers "responsible," they want black gangs to become nonviolent, etc. But these are exactly the values of the industrial- technological system. The system couldn't care less what kind of music a man listens to, what kind of clothes he wears or what religion he believes in as long as he studies in school, holds a respectable job, climbs the status ladder, is a "responsible" parent, is nonviolent and so forth. In effect, however much he may deny it, the oversocialized leftist wants to integrate the black man into the system and make him adopt its values.

30. We certainly do not claim that leftists, even of the oversocialized type, NEVER rebel against the fundamental values of our society. Clearly they sometimes do. Some oversocialized leftists have gone so far as to rebel against one of modern society's most important principles by engaging in physical violence. By their own account, violence is for them a form of "liberation." In other words, by committing violence they break through the psychological restraints that have been trained into them. Because they are oversocialized these restraints have been more confining for them than for others; hence their need to break free of them. But they usually justify their rebellion in terms of mainstream values. If they engage in violence they claim to be fighting against racism or the like.

31. We realize that many objections could be raised to the foregoing thumbnail sketch of leftist psychology. The real situation is complex, and anything like a complete description of it would take several volumes even if the necessary data were available. We claim only to have indicated very roughly the two most important tendencies in the psychology of modern leftism.

32. The problems of the leftist are indicative of the problems of our society as a whole. Low self-esteem, depressive tendencies and defeatism are not restricted to the left. Though they are especially noticeable in the left, they are widespread in our society. And today's society tries to socialize us to a greater extent than any previous society. We are even told by experts how to eat, how to exercise, how to make love, how to raise our kids and so forth.

In case you might jump to the conclusion that Ted was some kind of prescient voice of today's alt.right, please disabuse yourself of that notion. He makes even shorter shrift of neo-cons, whom he simply referred to as fools.


http://doorofperception.com/wp-content/uploads/The-Unabomber-Manifesto.pdf



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Offline RE

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Re: The Psychology of Modern Leftism
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2017, 10:16:29 AM »
I recently re-read the Unabomber Manifesto, and was transfixed by how perfectly Ted understood and was able to describe the current power struggle in America. I personally abhor violence, but other than that part of Ted's POV, I pretty much agree with him completely. It's particularly interesting to me that he figured all this out in pre-Facebook days, before the internet began to kick the "oversocialization" part into Warp Drive.

If you have some kind of nostalgic longing for the days of real class struggle in his country, the one that championed the rights of workers against the rich robber barons of industry, and the poor against the rich, please absolve yourself of the notion that the politics of the left in America today has anything to do with that. What the left is now is exactly what Ted described, but taken now by social media to a newer, more intense level of destructive groupthink.


I find it abhorrent to call the "modern left" left at all.  It is in no way left, in practice or in principle.  It's Fascism with Window Dressing.

You have to go a ways back in time to find anything truly left of center.


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Offline Palloy2

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Re: The Psychology of Modern Leftism
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2017, 06:34:35 PM »
Complete mumbo-jumbo by someone who can't define his own term "leftism", without admitting that leftists are unaware that they are mis-leading themselves, or that there is not a very good reason to hate TPTB and America -  a definite pointer to alt.right. I can't believe you want to inflict this crap on DD, let alone be transfixed by it.
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Offline Eddie

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Re: The Psychology of Modern Leftism
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2017, 06:58:58 PM »
I can't believe you want to inflict this crap on DD, let alone be transfixed by it.

I never expected you to agree. But he nails it pretty well from where I'm sitting. Calling it mumbo jumbo doesn't make it that. Inflicting? Really?

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Offline Palloy2

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Re: The Psychology of Modern Leftism
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2017, 10:30:55 PM »
Quote
But what is leftism? ... When we speak of leftists in this article we have in mind mainly socialists, collectivists, "politically correct" types, feminists, gay and disability activists, animal rights activists and the like.

OK got it - everyone who is hated by the alt-right.

Quote
But not everyone who is associated with one of these movements is a leftist.

OK - there are exceptions, thank goodness.

Quote
What we are trying to get at in discussing leftism is not so much movement or an ideology as a psychological type, or rather a collection of related types. Thus, what we mean by "leftism" will emerge more clearly in the course of our discussion of leftist psychology.

And who is going to define their "psychological type? - A psychologist? Or you, an alt-right hater?

Quote
Even so, our conception of leftism will remain a good deal less clear than we would wish, but there doesn't seem to be any remedy for this.

Using clear and concise language would do it.

Quote
The two psychological tendencies that underlie modern leftism we call "feelings of inferiority" and "oversocialization."
Quote
By "feelings of inferiority" we mean not only inferiority feelings in the strict sense but a whole spectrum of related traits; low self-esteem, feelings of powerlessness, depressive tendencies, defeatism, guilt, self-hatred, etc.

Quote
When someone interprets as derogatory almost anything that is said about him (or about groups with whom he identifies) we conclude that he has inferiority feelings or low self-esteem.

So if someone feels they are being talked down by the rich and powerful, and they feel powerless to speak back (because they are not asked to write Op-Eds in WaPo), that is because they have feelings of inferiority and low self-esteem and are therefore leftist? Is nobody powerless in Amerika?

To even pretend you can follow this crap is ridiculous.

Quote
Leftish anthropologists go to great lengths to avoid saying anything about primitive peoples that could conceivably be interpreted as negative. They want to replace the word "primitive" by "nonliterate." They may seem almost paranoid about anything that might suggest that any primitive culture is inferior to ours.

Whereas, we all know ALL other countries culture ARE inferior to "ours".

Quote
Those who are most sensitive about "politically incorrect" terminology are not the average black ghetto-dweller, Asian immigrant, abused woman or disabled person, but a minority of activists, many of whom do not even belong to any "oppressed" group but come from privileged strata of society.

Is nobody allowed to feel solidarity with other oppressed people?

etc. etc.
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Offline RE

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Re: The Psychology of Modern Leftism
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2017, 12:19:20 AM »
TK makes two major errors with his analysis.

First off, it's the logical fallacy of gross generalization.  He attributes a whole plethora of psychological behaviors to "lefties" which may or may not be true for any individual lefty.  His argument in a nutshell is "All Lefties are whiny brats with an inferiority complex".  You can see why anyone who is left political leaning would find this insulting.  ::)

Second and equally important is that what he is describing isn't Lefty at all.  Lefty is what Marx, Trotsky & Lenin were describing with communism.  There are no communists to be found in the FSoA.  They were effectively eliminated in the 1930s and the last ones routed out and exterminated in the 1950s by Uncle Joe McCarthy.

I certainly do not approve of mealy-mouthed political correctness and I do NOT have an inferiority complex for sure.  If anything I have precisely the opposite problem, an Ego bigger than the Known Universe.  ;D  However I am most certainly a Lefty, I don't think you can GET any further left than I am.  So where do I fit in TK's taxonomy of Lefty Psychology & Motivations?  ???  :icon_scratch:

This is pandering to typical alt-right thinking overall, I am sure Brandon "Lexington & Concord" Smith would be in full agreement with it.

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« Last Edit: June 12, 2017, 01:36:14 AM by RE »
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Offline Eddie

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Re: The Psychology of Modern Leftism
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2017, 05:35:22 AM »
What TK describes is what actually exists, not some imagined former glory of the left. Both you (RE) and you (Palloy) identify strongly with the tenets of Marxism and the Reds of yesteryear, which doesn't even exist anymore, other than in the minds and hearts of a very few, like maybe Chris Hedges or a few others.

 What TK describes is a type of leftist (they might not even call themselves that, most likely they'd call themselves "liberal" or maybe "social democrat") that I run into all the time, and it includes the NBL suicide cult, and the people who think the country's social problems can be engineered into harmony by awarding special minority status to certain groups like blacks, gays, transgendered and women.

I run into these people constantly on the net in various places in the doom community. They always have some kind of agenda:

People shouldn't have children

People shouldn't make money. Money is evil/sinful.

People should give their wealth to other people who got screwed over.

Whatever it is they think, it always involves somebody else changing their behavior to suit their ideas of fairness and redistribution of (other peoples) assets.

When TK wrote this, the concept of alt.right did not exist and Richard Spencer and Brandon Smith were in diapers. TK was a violent anti-industrial monkey-wrencher who wanted to strike directly at real participants in the corporate rape of the planet. Therefore, in my view he was and is a revolutionary, a real one, and a true leftist who had nothing but contempt for what passes for the left and the right in modern times.

The main thing that's changed since he wrote his manifesto is that the process has proceeded to a new level, because social media is a powerful force for homogenization of mores and social constructs. Conformity is rampant, and critical thought is absent among those in this country who consider themselves liberal Democrats.

The alt-right is just a reaction to this, pure and simple. Ted wasn't some kind of early version of Brandon Smith. He was a big picture thinker who looked at the right and the left and  rejected both, seeing through their fallacies and calling them out.

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Offline RE

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Re: The Psychology of Modern Leftism
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2017, 06:11:51 AM »
What TK describes is what actually exists, not some imagined former glory of the left. Both you (RE) and you (Palloy) identify strongly with the tenets of Marxism and the Reds of yesteryear, which doesn't even exist anymore, other than in the minds and hearts of a very few, like maybe Chris Hedges or a few others.

Whether it exists or not or even in just the minds of a few enlightened people, it is a disservice to those of us on the real left to call anything that goes on currently in Amerikan politics as "Left".  I take it as a direct insult to be associated with anyone like Killary Klinton because she is supposedly a "lefty".  THERE IS NO LEFT IN AMERIKAN POLITICS.  There are only various flavors of fascism.  Until you acknowledge this and stop calling these people Lefties and disparaging the left because you see it as wimpy people who want to take other people's money (which it is not because the the money was stolen though criminal rackets), I will remain disappointed in you.  It's shallow thinking.

Quote
What TK describes is a type of leftist (they might not even call themselves that, most likely they'd call themselves "liberal" or maybe "social democrat") that I run into all the time, and it includes the NBL suicide cult, and the people who think the country's social problems can be engineered into harmony by awarding special minority status to certain groups like blacks, gays, transgendered and women.

I run into these people constantly on the net in various places in the doom community. They always have some kind of agenda:

People shouldn't have children

People shouldn't make money. Money is evil/sinful.

People should give their wealth to other people who got screwed over.

Whatever it is they think, it always involves somebody else changing their behavior to suit their ideas of fairness and redistribution of (other peoples) assets.

There are no "other people's assets".  The asset is the Earth, and it belongs to all people.  It doesn't need to be a perfectly flat curve ont he wealth distribution end, but it simply unconscionable that some people have 3 homes and others have none.

Quote
When TK wrote this, the concept of alt.right did not exist and Richard Spencer and Brandon Smith were in diapers. TK was a violent anti-industrial monkey-wrencher who wanted to strike directly at real participants in the corporate rape of the planet. Therefore, in my view he was and is a revolutionary, a real one, and a true leftist who had nothing but contempt for what passes for the left and the right in modern times.

alt-right as a philosophy most certainly existed when TK was alive, it just didn't have the label.  He wasn't a "true leftist", he was what today is called alt-right, and would be quite comfortable joining Brandon Smith in his hole in Montana with the rest of the Liberty Party fanatics.

Quote
The main thing that's changed since he wrote his manifesto is that the process has proceeded to a new level, because social media is a powerful force for homogenization of mores and social constructs. Conformity is rampant, and critical thought is absent among those in this country who consider themselves liberal Democrats.

The alt-right is just a reaction to this, pure and simple. Ted wasn't some kind of early version of Brandon Smith. He was a big picture thinker who looked at the right and the left and  rejected both, seeing through their fallacies and calling them out.

I do agree TK was a big picture thinker and was quite disgusted with what he saw on both sides of the political landscape.  I don't think there is much difference between the current behaviors of either wing of Amerikan Fascism than when TK was alive and now.  Wasn't he alive when Bill Clinton was POTUS?  If not he was certainly alive when Lyndon Johnson was.  If he was alive today though, you could best label his thinking as alt-right.  Live with it.

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Offline Eddie

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Re: The Psychology of Modern Leftism
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2017, 07:13:46 AM »
I firmly disagree that TK was in any way related to the rabble that goes by alt.right. That's your construct, and it's in error. You have to take him at this word. His manifesto is an honest attempt to describe reality, and (in other parts of the manifesto than the bit I quoted) he tears the right a new ass. He was a "de-industrialist" willing to use terrorism to achieve his ends.

I apologize for insulting any "true leftists" out there. How about I call the people I'm describing  "delusional democratic collectivists" since that's exactly what they are, and I can leave you and Palloy out of it, because I wasn't talking about either of you, or people like you.

TK might be best called an anti-corporatist, since he saw (and he was right) that the corporations (and those those own big chunks of them) are the problem. He was and is a revolutionary, in spite of the efforts to paint him as mentally ill.

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Offline RE

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Re: The Psychology of Modern Leftism
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2017, 08:35:26 AM »
I firmly disagree that TK was in any way related to the rabble that goes by alt.right. That's your construct, and it's in error. You have to take him at this word. His manifesto is an honest attempt to describe reality, and (in other parts of the manifesto than the bit I quoted) he tears the right a new ass. He was a "de-industrialist" willing to use terrorism to achieve his ends.

I apologize for insulting any "true leftists" out there. How about I call the people I'm describing  "delusional democratic collectivists" since that's exactly what they are, and I can leave you and Palloy out of it, because I wasn't talking about either of you, or people like you.

TK might be best called an anti-corporatist, since he saw (and he was right) that the corporations (and those those own big chunks of them) are the problem. He was and is a revolutionary, in spite of the efforts to paint him as mentally ill.

Since I have not read TKs full manifesto, I can't say whether he is equal opportunity for his loathing of the right.  Why don't you put up the section where he tears them a new asshole?  The section you cherry picked out here was to demonstrate the type of  politically correct nonsense you despise so much, like statue and confederate flag bashing, black lives matter and safe speech zones.  Right now, the section you chose puts him right in there with Brandon Smith.  You'll need to demonstrate why he is not in that camp.

What we really need is new nomenclature for the fascists of the Demodopes Party, because I am not willing to give up my proud label as a full on, in your face LEFTY.  ;D  Put me in charge, you'll get the White Tornado of Wealth Redistribution such as the world has never seen. I'll make Mao look like a fucking Capitalista Pigman. lol.  Forget the Criminal Rackets of Gated Professions too!  Kiss that Gravy Train goodbye!  Perhaps we can call them the "alt-left"?

In terms of being a "true revolutionary", I do agree TK was that, and he had the method right too.  Unfortunately, he was a "Unabomber".  What is needed for a successful revolution are "Multibombers".

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Offline Eddie

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Re: The Psychology of Modern Leftism
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2017, 01:27:48 PM »
I think Ted picks on the left because he viewed the power process in America to be dominated by the (evolved and somewhat perverted) left-of-center ideologies that were still in full swing at the time of his writing, which was done in the early 1990's (and thought up much earlier, I think).

I don't think he saw exactly how the very problems he identified would cause the reaction we now call alt-right, and how all that would play out. But he did say this:

49. For primitive societies the natural world (which usually changes only slowly) provided a stable framework and therefore a sense of security. In the modern world it is human society that dominates nature rather than the other way around, and modern society changes very rapidly owing to technological change. Thus there is no stable framework.

50. The conservatives are fools: They whine about the decay of traditional values, yet they enthusiastically support technological progress and economic growth. Apparently it never occurs to them that you can’t make rapid, drastic changes in the technology and the economy of a society without causing rapid changes in all other aspects of the society as well, and that such rapid changes inevitably break down traditional values.


Ted was mostly anti-technology, and not anti-left per se. He also said:

83. Some people partly satisfy their need for power by identifying themselves with a powerful organization or mass movement. An individual lacking goals or power joins a movement or an organization, adopts its goals as his own, then works toward those goals. When some of the goals are attained, the individual, even though his personal efforts have played only an insignificant part in the attainment of the goals, feels (through his identification with the movement or organization) as if he had gone through the power process. This phenomenon was exploited by the fascists, nazis and communists. Our society uses it too, though less crudely. Example: Manuel Noriega was an irritant to the U.S. (goal: punish Noriega). The U.S. invaded Panama (effort) and punished Noriega (attainment of goal). Thus the U.S. went through the power process and many Americans, because of their identification with the U.S., experienced the power process vicariously. Hence the widespread public approval of the Panama invasion; it gave people a sense of power. [15] We see the same phenomenon in armies, corporations, political parties, humanitarian organizations, religious or ideological movements. In particular, leftist movements tend to attract people who are seeking to satisfy their need for power. But for most people identification with a large organization or a mass movement does not fully satisfy the need for power.

This goes a long way toward explaining Trump and Nigel Farage and all the other backlash. They are a reaction. They wouldn't even exist if the mores of the left (which is much more of a left-center position that actual far left these days) weren't causing a lot of unintended consequences.

The American Socialist Party folded a long time ago. The man who ran on their ticket for POTUS went so far as to say that it was because the Democratic Party co-opted every plank in the Socialist platform. Even though we've had nearly a generation now where the pendulum has swung back toward conservatism, much of the accepted social behavior remains rooted in LBJ's Great Society initiatives and the Environmental Movement and the principles there-in ---- which is why Trump is facing so many headwinds as he tries to unwind as much of it as he can get away with.

TK's take on industrial society is spot on, and if what he said happens to kick liberals right in their sacred cow zone, then so be it. It's the truth, and I'm not the only one who thinks so, not by a long shot.

(from Wiki)

In The Atlantic, Alston Chase reported that the text "was greeted in 1995 by many thoughtful people as a work of genius, or at least profundity, and as quite sane."[76] Chase himself argued, however, that it "is the work of neither a genius nor a maniac. […] Its pessimism over the direction of civilization and its rejection of the modern world are shared especially with the country's most highly educated."[76]

UCLA Professor James Q. Wilson wrote for The New Yorker that the manifesto was "a carefully reasoned, artfully written paper… If it is the work of a madman, then the writings of many political philosophers — Jean Jacques Rousseau, Tom Paine, Karl Marx — are scarcely more sane."[77]

University of Michigan Professor David Skrbina has written several essays in support of investigating the Unabomber's ideas, one of which he entitled "A Revolutionary for Our Times."[78][79][80]

Paul Kingsnorth, founder of the Dark Mountain Project, wrote an essay for Orion Magazine in which he called Kaczynski's arguments "worryingly convincing" and "may change my life."[81]


TK was not writing a manifesto to call out the left. He was calling out Industrial Civilization. Anyone who reads the manifesto and fails to see the truth in how TK shows modern society fails at the human level doesn't have much understanding of humans and their behavior. I posted the stuff about the left, not because I'm some alt-right asshole, but because it bears a great deal on the whole thing about tearing down monuments in the South, and stained glass windows at Harvard, and other similar ill-conceived campaigns of social justice.


« Last Edit: June 12, 2017, 01:41:56 PM by Eddie »
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Offline RE

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Re: The Psychology of Modern Leftism
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2017, 01:40:07 PM »
I think Ted picks on the left because he viewed the power process in America to be dominated by the (evolved and somewhat perverted) left-of-center ideologies that were still in full swing at the time of his writing, which was done in the early 1990's (and thought up much earlier, I think).

In that case he was REALLY off the mark because for my entire life span the power process in Amerika has NEVER been dominated by anything remotely "left of center".  The only thing it is left of is far right.

Quote
I don't think he saw exactly how the very problems he identified would cause the reaction we now call alt-right, and how all that would play out. But he did say this:

49. For primitive societies the natural world (which usually changes only slowly) provided a stable framework and therefore a sense of security. In the modern world it is human society that dominates nature rather than the other way around, and modern society changes very rapidly owing to technological change. Thus there is no stable framework.

50. The conservatives are fools: They whine about the decay of traditional values, yet they enthusiastically support technological progress and economic growth. Apparently it never occurs to them that you can’t make rapid, drastic changes in the technology and the economy of a society without causing rapid changes in all other aspects of the society as well, and that such rapid changes inevitably break down traditional values.

This is hardly an equivalently insulting take down of the right as he did to the left.  He remains basically alt-right from what you have dug up so far.

Quote
TK was not writing a manifesto to call out the left. He was calling out Industrial Civilization. Anyone who reads the manifesto and fails to see the truth in how TK shows modern society fails at the human level doesn't have much understanding of humans behavior. I posted the stuff about the left, not because I'm some alt-right asshole, but because it bears a great deal on the whole thing about tearing down monuments in the South, and stained glass windows at Harvard, and other similar ill-conceived campaigns of social justice.

As I said, you used the original quote from TK because it applied to politically correct attitudes and policies that bug you.  You didn't use it to demonstrate TKs anti-industrial philosophy, which I am aware was his primary focus and I do agree with.  But he still fits as alt-right politically so far.

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Offline Eddie

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Re: The Psychology of Modern Leftism
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2017, 01:47:36 PM »
In that case he was REALLY off the mark because for my entire life span the power process in Amerika has NEVER been dominated by anything remotely "left of center".  The only thing it is left of is far right.


I disagree with that assessment. At least as far as social policy. The body politic covers a lot of ground. The US tried to become a social democracy, but for various reasons, it worked out less well here than in Europe, in the short run..... In the long run, the European social democracies are failing too.
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Offline RE

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Re: The Psychology of Modern Leftism
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2017, 02:26:15 PM »
In that case he was REALLY off the mark because for my entire life span the power process in Amerika has NEVER been dominated by anything remotely "left of center".  The only thing it is left of is far right.


I disagree with that assessment. At least as far as social policy. The body politic covers a lot of ground. The US tried to become a social democracy, but for various reasons, it worked out less well here than in Europe, in the short run..... In the long run, the European social democracies are failing too.

In the long run, Capitalism is failing too!  Everything fails in the long run, that is the nature of Entropy.  The question is on the way to failure, how equitable is your society, how long does it take for it to fail, and how many people suffer along the way to failure?  Capitalism ranks very low on equity and suffering.  The number of 3rd World people who have been subjected to horrible living conditions due to capitalism is beyond counting.  Social Democracies have been less cruel and rapacious along the way here.  I would certainly hold my head up higher if I had been born in Stockholm in 1957 rather than in NY Shitty.

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Offline Eddie

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Re: The Psychology of Modern Leftism
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2017, 02:49:34 PM »
History is quickly forgotten. The Swedes settled Delaware, and owned both African and Indian slaves. Likewise, Guadaloupe, St. Barts, and Tobago. The Danes were slave owners too, and settled the USVI, as you know from my writing.

Social democracies only work well where populations are homogenous.

I don't really have a problem with social democracies in general. How would you like to be a Swedish teenage girl right now going to a predominantly Muslim school, which is increasingly the norm in Sweden?

It's corporatism, much more so than simple capitalism, that has led to the rape of the planet. Without intergenerational wealth, capitalism doesn't necessarily lead to what we ended up with imho. (Yeah, i know you disagree, and I know Palloy does too.)

No political system in existence today is immune from collapse.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2017, 03:29:30 PM by Eddie »
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