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The psychology of modern leftism (and its effects on America)

Posted April 25th, 2013 at 06:15 AM by hinkage

Almost everyone will agree that we live in a deeply troubled society. One of the most widespread manifestations of the craziness of our world is leftism, so a discussion of the psychology of leftism can serve as an introduction to the discussion of the problems of modern society in general.

But what is leftism? During the first half of the 20th century leftism could have been practically identified with socialism. Today the movement is fragmented and it is not clear who can properly be called a leftist. When we speak of leftists in this article we have in mind mainly socialists, collectivists, "politically correct" types, feminists, gay and disability activists, animal rights activists and the like. But not everyone who is associated with one of these movements is a leftist. What we are trying to get at in discussing leftism is not so much a movement or an ideology as a psychological type, or rather a collection of related types. Thus, what we mean by "leftism" will emerge more clearly in the course of our discussion of leftist psychology.

Even so, our conception of leftism will remain a good deal less clear than we would wish, but there doesn't seem to be any remedy for this. All we are trying to do is indicate in a rough and approximate way the two psychological tendencies that we believe are the main driving force of modern leftism. We by no means claim to be telling the whole truth about leftist psychology. Also, our discussion is meant to apply to modern leftism only. We leave open the question of the extent to which our discussion could be applied to the leftists of the 19th and early 20th century.

The two psychological tendencies that underlie modern leftism we call "feelings of inferiority" and "oversocialization." Feelings of inferiority are characteristic of modern leftism as a whole, while oversocialization is characteristic only of a certain segment of modern leftism; but this segment is highly influential.

This brings me to my next point: liberalism and 9/11.

The anti-American alliance is made up of self-loathing liberals who blame the Americans for every ill in the Third World, and conservatives suffering from power-envy, bitter that the world's only superpower can do what it likes without having to ask permission. The truth is that America has behaved with enormous restraint since September 11.

Remember, remember. Remember the gut-wrenching tapes of weeping men phoning their wives to say, "I love you," before they were burned alive. Remember those people leaping to their deaths from the top of burning skyscrapers. Remember the hundreds of firemen buried alive. Remember the smiling face of that beautiful little girl who was on one of the planes with her mother. Remember, remember - and realise that America has never retaliated for 9/11 in anything like the way it could have. So a few al-Qaeda tourists got locked without a trial in Camp X-ray? Pass the Kleenex. So some Afghan wedding receptions were shot up after they merrily fired their semi-automatics in a sky full of American planes? A shame, but maybe next time they should stick to confetti.

I love America, yet America is hated. America is hated because it is what every country wants to be - rich, free, strong, open, optimistic. Or do you really think the USA is the root of all evil? Tell it to the loved ones of the men and women who leaped to their death from the burning towers. Tell it to the nursing mothers whose husbands died on one of the hijacked planes, or were ripped apart in a collapsing skyscraper. And tell it to the hundreds of young widows whose husbands worked for the New York Fire Department

To our shame, George Bush gets a worse press than Saddam Hussein. Remember, remember, September 11. One of the greatest atrocities in human history was committed against America! No, do more than remember. Never forget.
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Comments

  1. Old Comment
    Toujours's Avatar
    I completely disagree with the original blog. I also don't like your accusation that "Americans tend to be extremely self-centered, arrogant and have undeserved know-it-all attitudes". You're free to say whatever you want about America as a country; I understand your dislike of it and think it's valid. However, you really have no leg to stand on when you say not to generalize an entire culture but defend your right to say Americans are arrogant, self-centered, etc. You generalized a massive country of hundreds of millions of people. You're in the wrong here. Have you met a statistically significant random sampling of Americans? Then you have no right to make that sweeping insult towards all those people. You insulted me, you insulted my friends, you insulted nearly everyone I know and have interacted with my whole life. You are in the wrong here. Just because hinkage is also wrong does not make your sweeping insult less wrong or more appropriate.

    The reason I didn't bother refuting his blog is because he peppered the blog with "liberals are self-loathing" and "because people died in 9/11, no one else deserves thought". Those kinds of people generally cannot be reasoned with at all - trust me, I've tried.

    If you think hinkage is wrong, feel free to say he is those things you feel. Don't try to extrapolate his opinions out to insult a massive population of people out of misplace defensiveness.
    Posted April 26th, 2013 at 10:06 PM by Toujours Toujours is offline
  2. Old Comment
    dʒɹʌmpfʼt̚'s Avatar
    The problem with all of them is that only the stupid people get world news coverage. It's pretty sad to see a sea of reasonable people when you actually live here, but all you see is "AMERICANS ARE FATTTTTT" abroad (especially China, in my experience :P)
    Posted April 26th, 2013 at 10:25 PM by dʒɹʌmpfʼt̚ dʒɹʌmpfʼt̚ is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Yusshin describes a pretty popular perception of Americans abroad though. I find it silly for Americans to be offended at anything with all this talk of exceptionalism. I mean isn't it OP enough with being the largest economy, military, cultural reference point - plus all this freedom like no other country has?

    Besides, American culture is a lot more "arrogant", but let's use "direct" to sweeten things up a little. American business culture is definitely one of the most aggressive in the world. Also, its a lot more individualistic and more tolerant of self-promotion. One thing that East Asian cultures lack ( I speak from experience ) is the ability to sell yourself so ... Shall we say shamelessly? It's partially out of individualism to promote and define yourself differently from the crowd, and this can oftentimes be interpreted as arrogant. Yeah its a stereotype, but that's where it comes from.

    Yusshin addressed a culture, not individuals. A culture is about shared societal values, not your individual characters. I find it to be different than plain racism because it doesn't have a racist/imperialist context. American identity is definitely not racially based, but on holding a common ideology - and that makes it all the easier to attack. By self-centered, she means that Americans often see themselves as a standard that the rest of the world must compare to, not that you don't care about your families and friends. The former is a lot easier to stomach. It also stems from exceptionalism and is the reason for many unqualified generalizations, in turn, about other countries. Another reason might be due to the lack of political differences in the country both as a status quo and historically - which would explain the superficial level upon which the average American could describe socialism and communism having never experienced it themselves but through the lens of the victor. Throw in democracies vs. dictatorships too.

    Anyways, we are Canadians, and as Canadians one of our national pastimes is to think of how we're not Americans XD. Any possible insult that comes from us is basically poking you with a bubble-wrapped finger. I don't think there's much more ludicrous than an American getting offended by what a Canadian has to say.

    I challenge any of you to make "broad idiotic generalizations" about Canada that we don't already joke about among ourselves. I think if Americans acted more like Canadians, they could take an insult or two, hmmph.
    Posted April 27th, 2013 at 12:32 AM by Kanzler Kanzler is offline
  4. Old Comment
    Toujours's Avatar
    She didn't address a culture. If she addressed a culture, she would have said "American culture is ____". She didn't say that. Speaking about the culture is different than speaking about the people - I may disagree, but I'm not offended by it. She addressed the people as a whole. As much as you want to reframe her argument to be more palatable, talking about the culture is different from speaking about how Americans are.

    I don't think of Yusshin as Canadian. I think of Yusshin as Yusshin. I don't care what country she's from, it has no bearing on what she said or why it was insulting.
    Posted April 27th, 2013 at 08:52 AM by Toujours Toujours is offline
  5. Old Comment
    dʒɹʌmpfʼt̚'s Avatar
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BlahISuck View Comment
    Yusshin describes a pretty popular perception of Americans abroad though. I find it silly for Americans to be offended at anything with all this talk of exceptionalism. I mean isn't it OP enough with being the largest economy, military, cultural reference point - plus all this freedom like no other country has?

    Besides, American culture is a lot more "arrogant", but let's use "direct" to sweeten things up a little. American business culture is definitely one of the most aggressive in the world. Also, its a lot more individualistic and more tolerant of self-promotion. One thing that East Asian cultures lack ( I speak from experience ) is the ability to sell yourself so ... Shall we say shamelessly? It's partially out of individualism to promote and define yourself differently from the crowd, and this can oftentimes be interpreted as arrogant. Yeah its a stereotype, but that's where it comes from.

    Yusshin addressed a culture, not individuals. A culture is about shared societal values, not your individual characters. I find it to be different than plain racism because it doesn't have a racist/imperialist context. American identity is definitely not racially based, but on holding a common ideology - and that makes it all the easier to attack. By self-centered, she means that Americans often see themselves as a standard that the rest of the world must compare to, not that you don't care about your families and friends. The former is a lot easier to stomach. It also stems from exceptionalism and is the reason for many unqualified generalizations, in turn, about other countries. Another reason might be due to the lack of political differences in the country both as a status quo and historically - which would explain the superficial level upon which the average American could describe socialism and communism having never experienced it themselves but through the lens of the victor. Throw in democracies vs. dictatorships too.

    Anyways, we are Canadians, and as Canadians one of our national pastimes is to think of how we're not Americans XD. Any possible insult that comes from us is basically poking you with a bubble-wrapped finger. I don't think there's much more ludicrous than an American getting offended by what a Canadian has to say.

    I challenge any of you to make "broad idiotic generalizations" about Canada that we don't already joke about among ourselves. I think if Americans acted more like Canadians, they could take an insult or two, hmmph.
    Quote:
    Because there's no…people.

    -John Caparulo
    anyways really now

    I think it's less "YOU'RE MAKING FUN OF ME" and more that all our stereotypes are kinda harsh.

    I mean, all Canadians live in igloos? They all say "eh"? If that was me, no matter how "serious" you are, I would know that that's a joke.

    However, America…we're all obese, we're all anorexic, we waste our resources, we opress other nations for oil? That's a lot harsher than the igloo stereotype, now is it?

    Spoiler:
    Let's see. Obesity? Everyone in my town is thin and not a tub-of-lard like they think we are. Even if everyone else outside of my area is, I've just disproved that.

    We're all anorexic models? Again, they're not that thin, they're healthy.

    We waste our resources? No, we, don't, our government and the people who control it tend to do that way more than what we do.

    We opress- okay just gonna tell you here. That's the government. Not us.
    Posted April 27th, 2013 at 09:10 AM by dʒɹʌmpfʼt̚ dʒɹʌmpfʼt̚ is offline
  6. Old Comment
    Yusshin's Avatar
    I still stand by my experience and the fact that, again, not everyone is like that, but that's the impression tourist Americans give. It's not a good one. It most certainly doesn't make us want to be America, as the OP has suggested.

    Also, we ride polar bears, too :3
    Posted April 27th, 2013 at 11:46 AM by Yusshin Yusshin is offline
 

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