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Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Progressivism as a mental illness
As we ponder the temper tantrums by current progressives and offer analyses of the driving force behind blatantly bad behavior, we might consider the studies by psychiatrist Lyle Rossiter, M.D. in his 2011 book, The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness. His website offers a synopsis of his clinical findings, which include:
1. The laws and moral codes--the rules--that properly govern human conduct arise from, and must be compatible with, the biological, psychological. and social nature of man.
2. The liberal agenda's Modern Parental State violates all of the rules that make ordered liberty possible.
3. The modern liberal agenda is a transference neurosis of the modern liberal mind, acted out in the world's economic, social and political theaters.
4. The liberal agenda's Modern Permissive Culture corrupts the foundations of civilized freedom and is destroying America's magnificent political achievements.
The Liberal Mind asks and answers the following critical question: Why would anyone want a political system that restricts personal freedom instead of enhancing it; denounces personal responsibility instead of promoting it; surrenders personal sovereignty instead of honoring it; attacks the philosophical foundations of liberty instead of defending them; encourages government dependency instead of self-reliance; and undermines the character of the people by making them wards of the state?
Dr. Rossiter's studies may be condensed to the proposition that modern, progressivism is a form of mental illness, characterized by the failure of such individuals to grow up emotionally and thus remain in a perpetual infantile state. Their behavior is that of "Spoiled Brats."
A companion read is the 2010 book Pathology of the Elites. How the Arrogant Classes Plan to Run Your Life by Michael Beran. He defines "false benevolence" as the cover used by progressives to impose a strict political and social control over the citizenry in the name of "enlightened pity."
Amongst a plethora of such behavior, none is more typical and revealing than President Obama and his recent claim: "I am confident in this vision because I'm confident that if I -- if I had run again and articulated it, I think I could've mobilized a majority of the American people to rally behind it," Obama told his former senior adviser, David Axelrod, on Monday's "Axe Files" podcast. "I know that in conversations that I've had with people around the country, even some people who disagreed with me, they would say the vision, the direction that you point towards is the right one."
Just count the number of times Obama uses the pronoun "I" in just these few sentences. A two-year old toddler might match him.
Charles G. Battig, M.S., M.D., Heartland Institute policy expert on environment; VA-Scientists and Engineers for Energy and Environment (VA-SEEE). His website is www.climateis.com