Tag: Psychology

Re-Engineering the Human Reptile, or Notes From a Checkered Career

 

At the heart of the Leftist project is the idea of social engineering. The Leftist sees society the way Michelangelo saw a large slab of Carrara marble: a formless mass that needs sharp percussive tools to liberate its inner David. Whether it’s “class” structure (Robespierre, Lenin), wealth and income distribution (Obama, Elizabeth Warren), or ethnic makeup (Obama), the Leftist imperative is to chisel and bulldoze the mass into a more aesthetically perfect configuration with respect to the offending criterion. The fact that leftists have been doing this since 1793, with consistently lamentable results, has not dampened their enthusiasm. We are always just a few broken eggs short of the perfect omelet. And as far as the breakage, well, when you’re sculpting a masterpiece, the chips fly.

Leftists understood early on that the human blob resists being re-engineered, and that breaking this resistance is the central problem of their project. What’s more, redesigning institutions and shifting around society’s legal and constitutional furniture only moves the ball so far. Ultimately, the engineer must turn his attention to the human mind itself. The Bolsheviks embraced this explicitly, proclaiming their goal to be not only a new society based on new economic relations, but the creation of New Soviet Man – “a higher social biologic type,” according to Trotsky. Stalin called writers “engineers of the human soul,” and declared that “the production of souls is more important than the production of tanks.” This business about souls explains the left’s endless war against religion: it’s basically a territorial dispute, with both sides making claims to the same real estate in the prefrontal cortex and limbic system.

Genius and Suffering

 

Why are human beings never content? No matter how much civilization advances, no matter how affluent and secure we become, no matter how much knowledge and opportunity we amass, it’s never enough. Why? Because we know there’s more to be had. We know it can be better. The very thing that enables us to conquer the natural world — imagination — also robs us of an animal’s simple focus. 

Why are persons with extraordinary minds so often miserable when alone, even if they are genuinely joyful and amiable among others? Because they are forever taunted by their own vivid dreams and nightmares, by bold hopes, and by a thousand “What if…?” scenarios for every lost opportunity. Simply put, their appreciation of what is flounders beneath a relentless shadow of what could be.

Member Post

 

I have had the misfortune of knowing two individuals in my life who I can confidently call narcissistic sociopaths.  Their moral disregard for even their closest relatives and friends is shocking. They are as cruel to children and elders as to peers. At their best, they are either dismissive or manipulative. When angered, often by […]

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Member Post

 

I was talking today with someone who works for a major oil corporation here in Houston. She was telling me that her company recently invited many of its employees to a presentation in which differences between generations were discussed. The generations identified in the study were Matures (65+), Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millenials (sometimes […]

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Did Churchill’s Depression Help Win World War II? — A.D.P. Efferson

 

 In Nassir Ghaemi’s book, A First-Rate Madness, he argues that Winston Churchill’s well-documented depression (or “black dog,” as Churchill called it) may well have been the reason Churchill was able to see Hitler for who he was; whereas Neville Chamberlain, being of sound mind, could not.

Ghaemi credits Churchill’s clarity of thought to a phenomenon known as “depressive realism.” Depressive realism was discovered quite by accident, by two graduate students who were trying to test Martin Seligman’s “learned helplessness” theory of depression. Seligman believed the insidious negativity internalized by people suffering from depression as a result of early trauma precluded them from functioning as normal adults. They would learn to be helpless.