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View Diary: The Lesson of the Secessionists (13 comments)

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  •  You understand (1+ / 0-)
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    ricklewsive
    I offer no scientific evidence for the existence of tyranni (Republicans) and democrati. I nevertheless assert that I have seen them
    ...why I can't take this seriously?
    •  Good point. (0+ / 0-)

      What I should have said is that I don't have scientific evidence of my own, but there are others who have noticed these varieties. The most recent, and probably the most important, is E. O. Wilson. He emphasizes this dichotomy in his book: The Social Conquest of Earth. There are others: John Quincy Adams, Lord Acton, the American Psychiatric Association, the Merck Manual for Physicians, John W. Dean in his book, Conservatives Without Conscience, and many more.

      One such observer is I. W. Charny. He is a practicing clinical psychologist, a professor of psychology and family therapy at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, executive director of the Institute on Genocide and the Holocaust in Jerusalem, and president of the International Association of Genocide Scholars.  In the first paragraph of the Introduction to his book, Fascism & Democracy in the Human Mind, A Bridge between Mind and Society, he writes:

      Many years ago I decided in my role as a psychologist and psychotherapist that I would try to contribute my understanding of how our human mind works to the vital study of the Holocaust and genocide; that is, to see what psychology can contribute to our understanding of how everyday, ostensibly ordinary human beings can turn into the rotten destroyers that many of us have become. Now, after many years also as a genocide scholar, I am returning to my ongoing home field of psychology in the hope of contributing new understanding about the workings of the human mind based on what I have learned about our species from the study of genocide.
      Charny has identified two general types of human minds. He likens their development to computer software in which we are given a certain version of mind software at birth and our life experiences act upon that original software and shape it into one of the two types of minds. Charny also asserts that psychotherapy can convert one type of human mind to another. His two types of human minds are: Fascist Mind and Democratic Mind.

      But a lack of scientific proof on my part still does not diminish my belief that such varieties exist. Jimmy Carter went to the trouble to organize his thoughts about them and develop a list of their essential characteristics.

      And, not to be disagreeable, I don't see how any observer of human nature can think that such a split is part of our species.

      Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

      by hestal on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 09:54:32 AM PST

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      •  Right with ya there (0+ / 0-)
        I don't see how any observer of human nature can think that such a split is part of our species.
        Though I suspect a typo.

        I see authoritarian/anarchist tendencies in any individual to be a point on a curve, not a binary state. That's all.

        •  It was a typo. (0+ / 0-)

          I find it interesting that you asked me for scientific proof but offered none yourself. Such unjustified certainty is a mark ot Varietas Tyrannica. Among other characteristics, many of which are similar to those Jimmy Carter listed in his description of Christian Fundamentalists, tyranni, in the most extreme form, think they have an almost divine right to rule. They possess certainty based on some internal feeling, or instinct, that only they have access to. Tyranni expect you to defer to them in all things—they are often extremely intolerant. They feel superior to other people and some even require adulation.

          Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

          by hestal on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 10:34:19 AM PST

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        •  I agree that there's a curve, not a binary state. (0+ / 0-)

          In addition, the authoritarian/anarchist tendencies in any adult are a result of the interaction of inherent traits with cultural training and personal experience.

          I don't doubt that there are traits that can make people more vulnerable to becoming authoritarian.  Research suggests that some people are more fearful, more likely to see themselves as threatened, than others.  One study found that girls who were highly fearful at 5 years old were likely to be fearful adults, and to be politically conservative.  Conservatives aren't necessarily authoritarian, but according to researcher Bob Altemeyer, fearfulness is a fundamental trait of authoritarian followers.

          Yet we don't even know which personality traits that show at 5 years old are genetic, and which are developmental or learned.   For instance, children who were abused at a very young age tend to have a larger amygdala, which (among other things) processes fear.  We don't know what other experiences may make people particularly prone to fearfulness, nor how much is fixed by genetics.

          I suspect it's true that in many cases, by the time a person is well into adulthood, their basic personality is set.  Few authoritarians will change significantly at age 40.  That's quite relevant to how much time we chose to spend arguing with our Glenn-Beck-lloving Uncle Frank, and how much flexibility we expect from right-wing politicians.

          But there is no basis in research for deciding that humanity is divided into two inherently different varieties.  Especially for young people, a great deal of change is possible.

          --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

          by Fiona West on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 11:22:53 AM PST

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          •  Don't you see how silly your arguments are? (0+ / 0-)

            I suppose that you believe that the only between good and evil, fairness and unfairness, love and hate, inclusion and exclusion, nonviolence and violence, peace and war, liberty and tyranny is simply a few points on a spectrum. How about life and death?

            Where is your proof? I cited others who agree with my assertions where are yours? How do you refute my authorities? Are you an authority in and of yourself? How absurd.

            Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

            by hestal on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 11:46:27 AM PST

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