Thursday, February 09, 2012

Pot calling the kettle Jungian

One of the eventually disconnective insights I had during my years working with Jungian analysts is that when it came to applying his psychology to social issues, it was very curious how little different were the attitudes, values and analyses of these professionals from opinions one could hear at any garden party in Mill Valley. I don't recall running into anyone who found that a deeper psychological view changed any of their previously held opinions; it only seemed to confirm them. Or if it could have worked to disconfirm them, the new insight was compartmentalized.

I am not so arrogant as to believe that I am free from the confirmation bias.  Looking back on my history, I can easily see that I have changed my mind more than twice. You could read this as an openness to experience and new ideas (which readers of Ex Cathedra might find a startling thing for me to say, but this blog is only 5 years old and I have been around considerably. I used to be a liberal).
Or a chronic inability to stick with.

Anyhow, I bring this up because when I find myself exploring areas on the net where nice people are not supposed to go, --I'm not talking porn (where almost everybody least the men) but race and gender, etc. --I find myself thinking, in part, psychologically. And amazingly, my psychological analysis confirms my political opinions!

Take, for example, racial hate groups.

The Nation of Islam. The Black Panthers (old and new).

Now most liberals are not set up to expect the phrase "racial hate group" being followed by Black groups. After all, Lenny Bernstein had the Panthers over the cocktails, didn't he? And Eric Holder's DOJ has told us that their apparent intimidation of white voters was only apparent. And association with the Reverend Minister Farrakhan, while a little edgy, is not a one-way ticket to social and political suicide, is it? Even all-American (!) Snoop Dog was there.

On the other hand, "right-wing militias" and "white supremacists" and Aryan Nations types...utterly beyond the pale (pardon the leuko-pun). As I noted about the Danish film Brotherhood, all the elements are in place very swiftly for us to know that everything about this group will be bad. Sympathy with any of their positions, no matter how mildly expressed, immediately taint you as reprobate. Curiosity about them might show something less than Righteous Condemnation and therefore leave one open to suspicion.

On the other hand, given "what Black people have suffered", you can understand why the Panthers or Farrakhan overdo it a little. No wahm sayin?

I will admit that, for instance, it is very hard for me to be psychologically curious about the Occupy Wall Street phenomenon.

I guess that's for the same reason that I find the human wrecks on Hoarders hard to watch than I do a set of interviews with a serial killer.


Anonymous said...

1. But maybe anyone who uses "confirmation bias" analysis to invalidate his own opinions is simply confirming an internalized Christian bias that he is a sinner rather than an objective describer. ... The deepest need of any self with a death wish is to hear "Wrong again!" from his sources of knowledge.

2. If one can see only what one wants to see, one may as well really see what one wants to see, rather than simply confabulate it.

Anonymous said...

Maybe all those Mill Valley garden Partei professionals have been gaslighting Ex Cathedra. ...

"Liberalism" has been well critiqued as curiously congruent with wars and the flowering of armaments (exported to poor countries even by Scandinavia; the Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela never call'd for the destruction of the Afrikaaners' armaments industry, and indeed the post-Apartheid regime has kept the armaments export system humming).

Maybe the Jungian psychotherapist heals the white educated-class psyche by affirming non-integration or "compartmentalization."

The Jungian shrink observes along this line: »Your social persona for garden parties is a generous liberal. Your shadow you divide into a bad un-groovy side of racist sexist homophobic white males whose violence is kept around for repeated condemnation and otherness kicks, and a good side of groovy justify'd violence by Black Panthers. Why do you feel that there is a problem or psychical 'disease' in any of this?

»You have the only real roles in your psychodrama -- the good generous conscious liberal and the evil white male 'other.' The official saints — MLK, the Mahatma, Nelson Mandela — are cardboard cutouts with about as much street cred as the original saints had for John Hawkwood.«

Anonymous said...

Formerly there could have been a justify'd complaint in terms of charisma or street cred. In the olden days, the Black Panthers intimidated white cops. We read in awe in "The Closing of the American Mind" that the Cornell faculty made the curricular changes demanded by black students when those students brought guns onto the campus.

But today, the Department of Justice, that is the state, intimidates white voters.

Desublimation desublimation everywhere, but not a drop of charisma to drink!

That is, the white male low-class racist sexist outsider of Anglo-Saxony or Europe is only bad (in dangerous comparison, maybe, with Wehrmacht soldiers, whose uniforms far outdo the charisma of leftwing military attire like that of Fidel and Che). ...

We have return'd to something like the psychic dispensation of post-WW1. The politicians (including pro-conscription Suffragettes) and churchmen and industrialists and academics of 1914-18 had to pretend to be enthusiasts for non-military solutions to conflict. Charisma was alienated to gangsters and even to actors who play'd gangsters in movies. Apparently the inner circle of National Socialism enjoy'd watching American gangster movies of an evening. ... The real powers and principalities and intellectuals had to seem mature boy scouts.

But there is no charismatic appeal in the pathetic "rightwing" losers who mass-murder teenage Norwegian secularists (nor yet in ArtDeco gangsters of the 1920s-30s, or Islamists who hijack airplanes and fly them into skyscrapers). ... For a while in the 1960s, there was suggestion of a possible congruence of violence, charisma and justice (shooting death squad paramilitaries in order to potentiate land reform). ... In the 1920s and 302 in Europe there was street fight fun -- well for lots of young guys street fights are fun -- between cops and fascists and communists. I bet not as fun as paint ball, however, although more fun than freezing to death in Operation Barbarossa, or dying in a Japanese prison camp during a war for the Pacific (the earth of which blood shed in the supreme sacrifice Randians such as Ron Paul would like to give away in order somehow to fund social security c.2052 for young voters concern'd for liberalizing drug laws).

But now everything's only either hejira cheled (fleeing) blogging for Salon or for Stormfront (»What the heck is 'race'? We're all only for white nationalism like Dante and Shakespeare and Monzart!«).

The result is a there with no there there, as Heidegger would say.

Anonymous said...

Desublimators don't even attain to the level of Nietzsche's "last man" who has a self but merely doesn't self-transcend.

Anonymous said...

Rachel Corrie was came from about as vibrantly diverse a milieu as skim milk, yet she's called a "progressive martyr".
Oddly enough, Olympia WA is almost parodically White/middle/upper middle class; it makes Portland OR look like Compton CA.
And no word yet on when her family is going to "go back" or "cease occupying" their home on lands taken from the Natives who were herded onto reservations so that they could live a North European "Progressive" enclave dream.

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