'Liberalism' as Neurosis

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Tue, 2009-07-07 23:57

Someone just sent me this, from http://worldnetdaily.com/ just after Obamadinejad's election:

Veteran psychiatrist calls liberals mentally ill
Publishes extensive study on 'Psychological Causes of Political Madness'

Posted: November 12, 2008
6:33 pm Eastern

WASHINGTON – Just when liberals thought it was safe to start identifying themselves as such, an acclaimed, veteran psychiatrist is making the case that the ideology motivating them is actually a mental disorder.

"Based on strikingly irrational beliefs and emotions, modern liberals relentlessly undermine the most important principles on which our freedoms were founded," says Dr. Lyle Rossiter, author of the new book, "The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness." "Like spoiled, angry children, they rebel against the normal responsibilities of adulthood and demand that a parental government meet their needs from cradle to grave."

While political activists on the other side of the spectrum have made similar observations, Rossiter boasts professional credentials and a life virtually free of activism and links to "the vast right-wing conspiracy."

For more than 35 years he has diagnosed and treated more than 1,500 patients as a board-certified clinical psychiatrist and examined more than 2,700 civil and criminal cases as a board-certified forensic psychiatrist. He received his medical and psychiatric training at the University of Chicago.

Rossiter says the kind of liberalism being displayed by both Barack Obama and his Democratic primary opponent Hillary Clinton can only be understood as a psychological disorder.

"A social scientist who understands human nature will not dismiss the vital roles of free choice, voluntary cooperation and moral integrity – as liberals do," he says. "A political leader who understands human nature will not ignore individual differences in talent, drive, personal appeal and work ethic, and then try to impose economic and social equality on the population – as liberals do. And a legislator who understands human nature will not create an environment of rules which over-regulates and over-taxes the nation's citizens, corrupts their character and reduces them to wards of the state – as liberals do."

Dr. Rossiter says the liberal agenda preys on weakness and feelings of inferiority in the population by:

creating and reinforcing perceptions of victimization;
satisfying infantile claims to entitlement, indulgence and compensation;
augmenting primitive feelings of envy;
rejecting the sovereignty of the individual, subordinating him to the will of the government.

"The roots of liberalism – and its associated madness – can be clearly identified by understanding how children develop from infancy to adulthood and how distorted development produces the irrational beliefs of the liberal mind," he says. "When the modern liberal mind whines about imaginary victims, rages against imaginary villains and seeks above all else to run the lives of persons competent to run their own lives, the neurosis of the liberal mind becomes painfully obvious."


Hang on...

Ross Elliot's picture

...I'm sure I invented this at least five years ago. And Sam Pierson--if he has a memory--may verify it.

Collectivists are mentally ill. And the degree to which they are collectivist is the degree to which they are ill. No healthy individual seeks to subjugate another, either in mind or action. The healthy *revel* in their abandon. And in the abandon of others. They may not like it, but they smile in their displeasure.

More formally, Rand described the healthy state of a human: a politically free, moral--that is, egoistic--individual. Collectivists propose a system that is opposed to that state. Illness is a state that destroys health.

Collectivists are ill.

Conservatism reduced to a series of psychological neuroses

William Scott Scherk's picture

You may have been napping during a previous brouhaha, Lindsay.

Back in 2003, Arie W. Kruglanski and colleagues published "Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition," a peer-reviewed bit of social-psychology, in Psychological Bulletin. The study supposedly cost over a million bucks and was paid for by, you guessed it, the US Government.

It got a lot of play and a lot of outrage from, you guessed it, right-wingers, as it covered variables like mental rigidity, close-mindedness, low self- esteem, fear, anger, aggression, loss prevention, fear of death. Here's the abstract.

Analyzing political conservatism as motivated social cognition integrates theories of personality (authoritarianism,
dogmatism–intolerance of ambiguity), epistemic and existential needs (for closure,
regulatory focus, terror management), and ideological rationalization (social dominance, system justification).
A meta-analysis (88 samples, 12 countries, 22,818 cases) confirms that several psychological
variables predict political conservatism: death anxiety (weighted mean r  .50); system instability (.47);
dogmatism–intolerance of ambiguity (.34); openness to experience (–.32); uncertainty tolerance (–.27);
needs for order, structure, and closure (.26); integrative complexity (–.20); fear of threat and loss (.18);
and self-esteem (–.09). The core ideology of conservatism stresses resistance to change and justification
of inequality and is motivated by needs that vary situationally and dispositionally to manage uncertainty
and threat.


Certainly, an interesting

Callum McPetrie's picture

Certainly, an interesting hypothesis.

Although, it's not just "liberals" that espouse that they should have control over people's lives. Conservatives are often as bad (not that that makes leftism any better).

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