People take their fears and hatreds and petty sins and pretty them up with lies. They deny their feelings, reinterpret them to make themselves look more moral and caring than they actually are, and then make up elaborate rationalizations for their self-deceit.
Authoritarian children grow up angry and resentful because authoritarian upbringing requires abusive treatment. To make matters much, much worse, the child is told to be grateful for his mistreatment and love his abuser. The child does what he is told because children will do anything for love.
So he grows up angry at his parents but unable to accept that anger, which he is told is wicked, immoral, disloyal, wrong, sinful, ungrateful. The anger does not go away; suppressing emotions makes them stronger. It must go somewhere, so the angry abused child-adult looks for another target.
Our elite know this instinctively. They were once children too. This is how our elite control the masses. They give angry people a target for their anger. They give hurt people a chance to inflict that hurt on others in indiscriminate revenge. They give needy people a chance to satisfy those needs.
In other words, an ideology.
But you can't admit your ideology is simply anger, gluttony and fear. More denial, more lies, more manipulation, more suffering follow.
Meanwhile the very rich become rich beyond imagination. The bodies from the war crimes pile up. The people erupt every couple of weeks with violence when the minds teetering on the balance tip over into hysteria and anger. Lies triumph.
Torture is wrong. It hurts people terribly, unnecessarily, cruelly. It's immoral. It must be punished to stamp it out. It must be condemned so it never becomes routine.
But hurt repressed people want to hurt others, as relief from the hurt. Ego-starved people know they would feel good about themselves if they could prove they are special. People forced to obey want to force others to obey, to normalize the abuse and in revenge for the abuse. They all hide the violence of their emotions as much as they can but constantly look for a chance to ease the pressure. They threaten violence, stoke it when they can, vote for violent leaders, and cultivate rationalizations for their harmful actions.
Which brings us to Megan McArdle, our longitudinal study in authoritarian dysfunction. But that will have to wait for a later date.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
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Thanks, Anatole David.
Will this come before or after your big part 2 on Elizabeth Warren?
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