Sunday, May 21, 2017

Psychology of Tyranny.2

Probably the key concept in the theory of the unconscious is that it works its will irrationally by convincing you that you are behaving with complete rationality.  So it isn't that certain "fake news" items simply find gullible minds.  Those stories find minds primed to believe them by unconscious fears, resentments, anger, envy plus combinations of all that and more.  Supported by your own group affiliations.

So many Americans believe that crime is rampant and perpetrated by minorities and immigrants, that immigration is taking away their jobs, that foreigners are terrorists especially if they are of a certain religion or ethnicity.  They believe that whites and/or white males are discriminated against, and a black President favored blacks who got a free ride while they suffered.

 Facts say otherwise.  But there are places to go to find these beliefs reported as facts, and certainly there are politicians who live off these beliefs, one of them the current resident of the White House.

Certainly there are cases of all of these things being true.  So they become inflated for ideological and political purposes, and amplified by Fox News etc.  Blaming minorities and immigrants for the plight caused primarily by big business and the super-rich has long been an effective weapon the rich yield to keep power.  They did it when they owned newspaper chains, and they do it now when they own cable news conglomerates.

But the fears are ancient, of the Other, the strange.  Desperation feeds fears, causing people to act in self-destructive ways.  One of those ways politically is to oppose societal support--for instance, government supported healthcare for all---even if it benefits you, as long as it doesn't benefit the people you believe are evil, lazy and/or immoral.

That's behind the cruelty of the Republican healthcare plan, and the reported budget proposals to slash Medicaid and other programs for the poor.  It doesn't matter that the white majority benefits from these programs more than anyone else.  It's a combination of the image that nonwhite benefit most, or just that nonwhites benefit at all.  Update: So even though as Politico reports the regime's budget proposals hit their own voters hardest, they might not care--as long as Others are also hurt.

It also leads to situations in which the Republican administration's attack on Obamacare while the Republican House passed an extreme and unworkable replacement is causing so much uncertainty and chaos that insurance companies are bailing, which Republicans then use as an argument in favor of their plan that is causing them to bail.

Ideological arguments in the William Buckley era used to paper over these motives.  But that pretense is over.  Hardly anyone bothers anymore.  It's the naked unconscious, the Shadow operating in the light.  What could be clearer than threatening a black Congressman with lynching for daring to advocate impeachment.

Expressing such sentiments is extreme, but what was too extreme for prime time a few years ago is now mainstream.  The unconscious is loose.  It is the emperor in the invisibility cloak.

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