Politics in America
Part 5: The Consequences of a Psychotic Social Psychology
by Robert L. Kocher
A paragraph earlier in the series states one of the most important principles in understanding the present American social condition as well as understanding the history of the last 35 years.
While not organically deficient, many of the young of that period (the 60s and 70s) fell into and/or systematically created a psychological condition which had the same ultimate effect as organic mental deficiency. Within their physical and psychological isolation from any other world, many in a generation of youth began to create a warped isolated self-referencing social reinforcement system irrelevant to, or divergent from, reality. Through this social reinforcement system which psychologically dominated their environment, a consensual validation evolved in which they, having defined the values of a warped teen-age culture as all-important, ceased the process of maturation after attaining that level. Within that social system they lived in a virtual state of progressive distortion and ignorance. They subjectively invalidated reality or responsibility through exclusive reference to a system or social consensus of rebellious denial that they constructed.
They rapidly found themselves in a powerful coalition with that smaller proportion of people from previous generations with similar mentalities, or in coalition with angry alienated members of previous generations who were eager to interpret their activities in such as way as to reduce demands upon them for maturation while simultaneously using them as tools to attack American society.
In order to continue to isolate themselves from reality or responsibility, and within what became a coalition, a pathological self-referencing social psychology continued to evolve. This pathology acquired massive social leverage with the help of the media. It has become the dominant social force in America for the last 30 years.
Essentially, a coalition of people who were motivated by antagonism and also threatened by reality and maturation, wanted a magical world in which there were no rules, no limits, or no demands for maturity and responsibility to intrude upon the Peter Pan fantasies or impulses of a perpetual child’s world. To accomplish this they needed a self-referencing system to describe themselves favorably while denying reality, often by devising ways to describe reality unfavorably. They began to concoct a language or system of interpretation in which pathology or corruption were not only denied, but were interpreted as being virtues. Meanwhile what had been considered strengths and virtues in previous generations were systematically re-described as faults or as forms of mental illness.
I’m Not Immoral; I’m Not Irrational
A system of cultural/moral relativism was developed in which there were supposedly no absolutes. Since there were supposedly no absolutes to be used in judgment, no judgments could be made and there was no accountability. Any personal standards or roles were re-labeled arbitrary socially-imposed values or stereotypes. Under this system of relativism, there was no absolute morality and, hence, no immorality. There were only differing entirely arbitrary value systems or different systems of morality under which it was nearly impossible to be immoral. The standard off-the-shelf rebuttal for any criticism became, “I’m not immoral, I just have different moral values than you do.” Anyone disagreeing with one of those differing moral or ethical value systems was to be immobilized or intimidated by being accused of trying to impose his or her arbitrary values on other people, or of judging other people according to those arbitrarily-held values and was labeled “judgmental.”
Eventually, the principle was extended to, “I’m not irrational, I just have a different system of logic and rationality than you do.”
(For parents or other adults who were faced with this, it was maddening. Thirty years later when a graduate of this system, in the form of the President of the United States, exercised his own system of rationality and language in court to the point of contesting what the meaning of “is” and “sex” were, it was equally maddening.)
There is an old story that is applicable here. Two partners who owned a grocery store bought ten thousand cans of fish at an exceptionally low price. When the fish was delivered, they made a comparison between what they had bought and what their competition was selling. Upon opening a can of their competitor’s product, they found the fish was a fresh pink color and tasted good. When they opened cans of their product, they found the fish had deteriorated to a white mush and didn’t taste fresh. The question became how to sell their shipment of crummy fish to their customers. They re-labeled the cans “Special High Quality Fish—Guaranteed not to turn pink in the can!” Then they raised the price and they stuck the customers with it.
Similarly, in the 60s and 70s there was an extensive system of re-labeling to convert or interpret pathology as virtue:
It was all guaranteed not to turn pink in the can. The trouble was that it contained intellectual and social food poisoning. Reality was re-labeled out of existence. People who remained lucid enough to know they were being subjected to dishonesty were then labeled anti-intellectual.
Essentially, a large subculture rationalized license to do what it wanted to anyone else. Those who protested against being abused or lied to or who protested the consequences had their observations devalued by becoming labeled as intolerance, rigidity, controlling and whatever—thereby immobilizing appropriate reactions. Thus, there was enforcement of a type of oppressive unreactive verbally mediated blandness that had the effect of insulating both the practitioners and the victims from the reality of what was taking place. A bland verbally constructed and enforced psychological world was created where facing the truth was no longer a necessity and nobody could be confronted with anything. Subjectively, if nobody is allowed to react to anything and nobody is reacting, then it could be argued that there must not be anything important going on to which people should be reacting. Blandness is a form of reality-denial.
The terms inverted conceptualization, self-referencing system, self-referencing system of social psychology, have been used here to refer to a system of thought which began to develop and continued developing. At some point, the proper term to apply would be delusion or delusional system. A delusion is an idea, conceptualization, or obstinate belief in an idea that a person continues or actively defends contrary to evidence, common sense, and reality. Whether this system of mental functioning is termed a delusional system or an inverted conceptualization, it’s important to note such systems generally meet psychological needs.
There were six major consequences to this inverted conceptualization, four of which met the psychological need of the people making the conceptualization and two of which were incidental, but important, effects:
1.) Reality-based reasoning was stigmatized or subjectively discredited, meeting a need for those people to desensitize themselves to, and disregard or discount, reality-based criticisms or standards. Nobody had to pay attention to “old-fashioned right-wing ignorance” that threatened to ruin everybody’s fun.
2.) Absolute irrationality and a warped inverted conceptualization of reality became superficially elevated in status and character. Mental disorder became re-labeled into being a form of intellectuality or liberation.
3.) Under the new order, responsibility or the most minimal expectations for honesty or maturity could be avoided by calling them a stereotype, an arbitrary social value, an arbitrary moral or value system, or whatever. It created a world where one never needed to mature or meet any realistic standards for maturity or meet any standards for responsibility. A person was no longer required to be anything. The consequence is that a large proportion of people of several generations are diffuse bland nonentities who aren’t anything.
4.) It bestowed nearly unlimited license to use or abuse other people, sexually or otherwise. Cold exploitation was, for practical purposes, re-labeled an accidental difference in value systems between the two people involved, and as such was to be forgiven and not judged by what had come to be labeled as harsh, arbitrary judgmental standards.
There were two additional effects.
5.) It produced an increased number of depressive reactions combined with blandness within the population due to the effect of licensed increased exploitive behavior on victims who had their indignation and rage reactions immobilized by the warped rationalizations devised under the inverted system and who consequently become psychologically depressed.
This has produced an inversion of the American national character in the last several decades. Two recent examples of the degree of bland immobilization within the population come to mind:
During the 1988 presidential debate, Dukakis was asked if he would continue to be against capital punishment if someone raped and killed his wife. His answer consisted of some bland mumbling and a reiteration that he still did not believe in capital punishment. He showed no signs of capacity for anger or indignation.
If you had asked any man that question 35 years earlier, the answer you would have obtained would have been that he would be ready to stomp whoever did it into the ground. By contemporary standards of pathological blandness, that healthy, spontaneous anger-reaction is not only considered inappropriate, but sufficient to certify one as insane.
In a second instance, I saw a TV news segment several years ago in which outside drug dealers, apparently affiliated with a series of street gangs based in California, had simply walked in and openly taken over the main street of a small- to middle-sized town in Virginia or West Virginia. They were filmed stopping traffic or approaching automobiles stopped for red lights attempting to make drug deals in daylight without opposition. Nobody knew how to put an end to it. Forty-five years ago the people of the town would have risen up in indignation and slain the bastards.
Repressed resignation and submissiveness has become an American characteristic in the last 30 years, to the point where Americans have not only lost their indignation and capacity to fight, but will defend those who abuse them and even seek out inverted abusive relationships in their private and political lives.
Parenthetically, a major reason for the high crime rates of the last 35 years is that criminal or destructive elements in America are confident in the assurance that the general American population is too psychologically incapacitated and submissive to defend themselves or offer any active opposition. Cars full of psychopaths run up and down city streets randomly shooting people for amusement because nobody ever shoots back. 
Neither do thugs face any long-term risk. Having confidently proliferated to such an extent that neither the justice system or the prisons can hold them, they are assured that they have overwhelmed and, are now immune to, the justice system. It has come to the point where nothing short of a bloody armed revolution in which the people rise up to reclaim the American streets will restore order.
In refutation, opponents of what is being said here argue that the element of personal risk must not be a deterring factor among the thugs since so many of them seem to be killing each other in demonstrations of territorial control or in demonstrations of gang commitment or whatever. I hear this while living near the murder capitol of the world, Washington, D.C. However, that argument simply demonstrates the success of the internal criminal element psychology.
In fact, although there may be deaths distributed throughout the gang population, it has a paradoxical effect. The proportionate perceived risk to any individual member remains small at any given moment and the killing of any single member of the organization contributes to a esprit-raising tough-guy unconcerned-about-risk image that bolsters gang culture while further immobilizing the general population. There remains a confidence in a lack of serious widespread active opposition and lack of immediate risk from the general population in any particular criminal act.
Criminal elements are far from fearless. They simply have nothing to fear. There’s a great difference between the two conditions. When Bernard Goetz shot four of them in a New York subway a decade ago, the mugging rate in New York decreased for a week out of fear that the public had finally developed enough indignation and backbone to fight back. In a demonstration of the degree of perversion of the administration of law under the liberal political power structure, Goetz was subjected to more serious attempts at legal prosecution than would be incurred by most of the thugs and psychopaths in New York. Ten more Bernie Goetzs in New York over a four-month period would have ended mugging permanently.
This series is not meant to be an exposition on criminal behavior. The point is, there has been a wave of bland unreactivity throughout all aspects of American life. The result has been to convert people into the role of predictably bland, unreactive depressed victims in personal and well as public life.
Eric Hoffer was correct when he said the psyche of the American people was rendered submissive and incapacitated by the protest movements of the 60s and 70s. Americans have become a submissive people. Much of this stems from the continual outrages they were subjected to on a daily basis during the turmoil of the left-wing protest movements of the 60s and 70s combined with support from sympathetic elements in the media who still support the irrationality of those movements to this day. The American people were forced into swallowing their rage and indignation night after night by what was presented on TV. The suppressing of rage and indignation became a habit that they are unable to break and which has been passed as a cultural characteristic. The public was forced into submission and has never thrown off the submissive yoke. It is conditioned to cave in to anyone professing countercultural views. The more irrational the views, the quicker the American public caves in—even to the point of hating themselves for holding any remnants of rationality. Criminally insane elements have found it possible to operate freely by rationalizing their activities with radical theorizing. On successive half hours they assume roles as psychopaths, sociologists and left-wing socioeconomic theorists.
6.) It produced a cultural instability.
Over time, these inverted thought processes continued to develop and a series of inverted “life styles” also developed, rippling through the American cultural fabric. During the past 30 years, an elaborate network or coalition of mutual support for rationalization of their shared patterns of life and thought has developed as people of the same immature and/or pathological mentality reinforce each other in a united group psychological defense. For practical purposes they have become unionized. As a group, they have their own union-approved or coalition-approved psychiatrists, psychologists, anthropologists, clergy, educators, magazines. They have their own plan for sex education to reinforce their “life styles.” They have their own conceptions of economics, their political figures leading the same life styles and, for practical purposes, their own political party as “generational politics” became the main thrust of the Democratic party. What has evolved is a facade of academic validity and a pool of authorities who reference each other and seem intimidating in number when listed in a role call. They are overwhelming, not because there is any validity to what they are saying, but because they can manufacture impossible pathology faster than it can be refuted.
The Psychotic Inversion
In past periods, being psychotic would be environmentally corrected. In the rural or demanding industrial environments of previous periods irresponsible pursuit of irrationality would result in the corrective consequence of starvation. In recent periods many people have lived in a highly artificial environment in which they have little other to do than play mind games and denial with each other and not only can they survive while doing it, it’s become a social demonstration of cleverness and creativity. It will even get someone on TV talk shows at thousands of dollars a night.
If their bizarre theorizing were relegated to the world of speculation, the situation could be dismissed as a nuisance. However, the rationalizations are regarded as license and are accompanied by demands for instant social implementation. In recent years they have become numerically formidable and a powerful, if not dominant, sociopolitical force. Practitioners have implemented their oppositional-defiant inversion and not only has none of it resulted in the supposed social improvement, each implementation has resulted in a progressively destructive turn of events. Virtually every facet of American society from its marriages, to the illegitimacy rate, to destructive drug usage, to the suicide rate, to the educational system, to even the basic economy, have deteriorated. Under this same psychotic inversion, the cure for the destructive consequences is argued as being more of the same destructive process that produce the destructive consequences.
As part of the network in the 60s, there were the Dr. Timothy Learys as pipers of drug-youth culture. There was Bishop James Pike using hallucinogenic drugs to undergo what he claimed were intensified religious experiences. His attempts were quite successful. He took a strong dose of underground drugs and then walked blithely off the edge of a cliff, meeting his god a little sooner and by a method somewhat different from what he expected. Although he is dead, his church continues today with a mentality having just about the same level of sanity and realism he did. During the 70s, one of the staff members of the Carter Administration (I believe he was a science advisor if memory serves me correctly) declared he didn’t understand the objection to such a benign drug as cocaine.
In the past 25 years, there has been a string of coalition-approved actresses apparently purposely getting pregnant and having babies by various leading men, ballet dancers, writers, and whoever. They seem to be doing it to identify themselves with and banner a new liberated woman’s husbandless family life style.
Vice-president Dan Quayle was subjected to ridicule in the media for his criticism of the fictitious Murphy Brown character on TV. The character on TV may have been fictitious, but the life style and the mentality and the level of stupidity aren’t. The show was designed to appeal to that mentality and without a large audience of that mentality it wouldn’t survive. The ironic element is that show star Candice Bergen recently came to the epiphanic conclusion that Quayle was correct.
Last night a late-night TV talk show featured yet another mindless young actress  declaring she was three months pregnant from the bozo male lead in the film she just finished. She’s thrilled to death. She titters that marriage is not to be a part of this arrangement and she’s not certain that it was a serious relationship.
Unbelievably, women are chasing the fad with the same sense of seriousness and excitement as they have for the latest dance craze. Men in the singles culture are talking about women who are complaining their biological clocks are running out, who cannot maintain a relationship with a man, who are using men sexually to become pregnant, then pushing them out the door. There is a complete lack of a sense reality or consideration involved. The children involved are real and will continue to exist and have needs after the fad is no longer the latest form of amusement or social protest. Babies are born without the inconvenient belief that somewhere there should be a serious relationship.
New coalition-accepted touchy-feely schools of psychiatry and psychology sprout up like dandelions. Additional union-approved authorities are created at the rate of hundreds per month as similar mentalities obtain Ph.D.s from politically correct university systems which have become little more than self-perpetuating fop preserves. The network is dedicated to group reality-avoidance or reality-denial through fabricating a fantasy world of unreality in which conceptions of cause, effect, or responsibility are absent. It is known as the counterculture—which has become, in fact, mainstream American culture.
The Spread of AIDS
As a concrete example, an issue of Cosmopolitan in the 80s highlighted an article by a liberal doctor which said, essentially, that AIDS infection is not a serious risk among heterosexuals. The article was immediately added to the pool of rationalizations supporting free sex. For months afterward sexual liberationists, male or female, quoted it as absolute and exclusive authority to show there were no consequences to permissive sex, providing theoretical support for aging eternal teen-agers to continue doing what they had been doing. No other articles that had been written or no other evidence or nothing that other authorities in the field express in the way of contradiction to the Cosmopolitan piece were considered or given any credibility.
At that point the evidence was irrefutable that AIDS was freely transmitted through a variety of paths ranging from breast-feeding to heterosexual sex. Part of a then current TV documentary concerned a heterosexual non-IV-drug-using couple. The wife died of AIDS, having become infected through a blood transfusion. The husband then tested positive and was walking around with a time bomb inside his body. The virus could activate and kill him at any time. He caught it from his wife before they knew she had it. [Note by Zola: an unorthodox view on HIV may be found in Dr.Turner’s article “What is the Evidence for the Existence of HIV?” ( http://zolatimes.com/V2.30/aidsexis.html).]
It was known for some period that the population of central and western Africa is being wiped out by AIDS being spread almost exclusively by heterosexual sexual relations. The rate of AIDS infection is doubling each year. In May 1990, 7.8 percent of the population was infected. By spring 1991, 15 percent of the population was infected.
The disease has only lately spread into Zimbabwe from the Western and central areas, and given the latency period the area has only begun to feel the deaths. In several years there will be thousands of orphans created each week, many of whom will also be infected. The entire middle of Africa is being depopulated faster than people can be buried. This is shown in the following news excerpt:
“The Zimbabwean government says it plans to introduce a 3 percent income tax levy on individuals and large corporations to raise money to fight HIV/AIDS.
“The health and child welfare ministry said it plans to create a special fund for the tax, which will be automatically deducted from people’s pay cheques. The government estimates that 700 people die each week from AIDS-related diseases, and that 500,000 children have been orphaned by the disease since the late 1980s.”
South African Daily Mail & Guardian, October 28, 1999
An April 3, 1997 Washington Post piece by Jim Hoagland cited studies by a French physician indicating 50 percent or more of the troops in the armies of seven African nations were HIV positive.
Public health figures from 1995 indicate 10 percent of AIDS cases in America were resulting from exclusively heterosexual contact.
The virus transmitting the disease is mutating at a fast rate and could become more communicable. In terms of the possible consequences, at least some degree of behavioral caution is reasonable. However, a reasonable amount of caution or correctness was not what was desired in the Cosmopolitan article or elsewhere. What was and is desired, is anything that can be grasped at or devised as rationalization for unrestricted immediate gratification.
Surgeon General Koop was enraged over the Cosmopolitan article. Singling it out publicly, he quoted various clinical studies in refutation. In turn, the sexually liberated, having a temper tantrum over being presented with evidence of possible serious risks in engaging in sex with strangers who are engaging in sex with other strangers, were enraged with the Surgeon General.
The Cosmopolitan episode of insane rationalization is typical of a continuing number of similar episodes and an ongoing power struggle, punctuated by temper tantrums, between a large borderline-psychotic subculture and reality. Unfortunately, the borderline culture and the counterculture have an almost exclusive leverage and representation in the mass media and the social sciences. Without having the power of the Surgeon General, there is no way of breaking through the system of censorship with sanity or truth.
The reality, in this particular case, is that the disinformation is massively deadly. This goes beyond amusement or even irresponsibility. Cosmopolitan magazine, its then publisher Helen Gurley Brown, along with the magazine’s lunatic authority, are guilty of deliberate crimes against humanity by willingly proselytizing such disinformation in the face of irrefutable contrary evidence and such consequences. Unfortunately it’s not an isolated instance in American culture. Unfortunately, a large-scale defective mentality in American culture continues to make the magazine one of the most popular in the country. The people who buy, distribute or otherwise support it are as criminal as those who publish it.
There is a pattern in this which is the convergence and fusion of three elements. Some of the following integrates areas discussed earlier.
1.) There is a set of personal attitudes characteristic of a borderline psychotic subculture.
2.) There is a degenerative psychological condition.
3.) There is a pathological process of avoiding reality.
Within the set of attitudes, there are two sub-factors. The first attitude is one of primitive unattenuated egocentricity and unattenuated desire or impulsiveness taking precedence over all else. We are seeing a pattern in which people want everything they see or can think of immediately without any reasonable sense of limits. The second sub-factor is one of almost compulsive opposition to anything remotely representing objective reality. Reality, in any form whatsoever is an enemy that threatens to impose limits upon their behavioral or intellectual patterns.
In terms of their psychological condition, the involved individuals have no concepts of basic reality. There is not a clear-cut sense that the external real world is real, and unforgivingly real. There is not a well-developed sense of cause and effect. There is not a sense of serious real consequences. I don’t have a fully adequate term for this condition in ordinary conversation. At times I use the term derealization, which is a psychiatric term that is technically not correct in this usage, but seems to relate somewhat closely. At other times I use the phrases, alienation from sense of reality or dissociation from reality.
The best I can do is attempt to explain the condition by example and analysis.
Part of my growing up was the learning of cause and effect and consequences. At all times in life I was reminded, either by physical events or by adults, of the consequences of my actions. Another part of growing up was learning that those consequences became more serious as I undertook more serious roles. The consequences of hitting a tree with an automobile were more serious than hitting a rock with a tricycle. A junior high school flirtation was far different from engagement to be married. The misspelling of a word in a second grade weekly spelling test would not be as far-reaching or serious as failure to score in the top 10 percent in the Graduate Record Examination and the Miller’s Analogies Test. Being late for kindergarten would not have the same level of seriousness as being AWOL from the army. As one becomes older, responsibilities become more serious and consequences become more serious.
There is also a more profound facet in the psychology of being integrated or non-integrated with reality.
Several years ago there was considerable national attention to an incident in which a teen-age boy beat another kid to death with a baseball bat because he “wanted to see what it felt like to kill someone.” There have been a series of similar occurrences that have been disturbing for fear they represent an underlying major cultural trend.
The teen-age boy did it. He knew it when he did it and he knew what he was doing. According to published accounts, he was not a particularly hostile or vicious kid. He seemed puzzled by the seriousness of the situation. The seriousness and the reality of what he was doing was not real to him. Somewhere, there was a psychological dissociation, a lack of sense of proportion or a lack of sense of reality about what he was doing when he beat the other kid to death. Something very important and fundamental is missing from his mental functioning. That which is missing is a sense of the seriously real, a sense of reality.
In recent weeks two males at a college raped a coed, took videotapes of the event, then showed the tapes before groups of other students at the college. One of the students who saw the tape finally turned them in. Again, there was a lack of adult seriousness.
What’s the Big Deal, Dude?
Within this condition, the denial of reality or lack of sense of reality is so profound and obvious that there is no way of discussing or refuting the issue at hand. Someone in this condition can be standing next to the body with the murder instrument in his hand, asking you what there is to be so excited about. No answer is possible because no verbal discourse or proof could have greater validity than physical evidence and action. The real issue is that somewhere, somehow, there is something lacking in their basic mental structure so that a sense of seriousness or reality does not penetrate their awareness.
This type of incident is very dramatic and therefore generates attention. However, this dissociation from a sense of the real has been a strong characteristic of American cultural patterns and trends for more than 25 years.
During the explosion of drug use during the 60s and early 70s people were swallowing junk or injecting themselves with junk they knew nothing about with no sense of the reality or potential seriousness of what they were doing. It wasn’t real to them. The time they spent in the unreal world of drug influence intensified their sense of unreality.
Major proportions of people in America are running their sex lives with the same dissociation from a sense of reality or seriousness. What they are doing is not subjectively any more serious and real to them any more than reality was to the teen-ager while killing someone with a baseball bat. They know what they are doing. They know it feels good, but they have no sense of the reality of what they are doing, nor do they have a sense of the consequences. They don’t sense the reality of the consequences of engaging in extramarital affairs or the reality of bringing children into the world. This unreality is reinforced by the unreality portrayed in the media.
National personalities, including political figures, exhibit the same condition. In my opinion, Senator Gary Hart exhibited persistent long-term patterns of dissociated sense of reality and dissociated seriousness. As an example, after challenging the newspapers to catch him, he immediately jumped into a mess with Donna Rice, disregarding the reality of what he was doing and the reality of the consequences. There was no realistic sense of proportion between what he was doing and the seriousness of running for president. Like the teen-ager who killed the other kid with baseball bat, he was puzzled by the seriousness of the outcome. Hart’s problem was described in the press as one of lack of character. However, there is additionally a more profound problem in an attenuated sense of serious reality. A person can be unethical, immoral, sociopathic or whatever, but if he has any sense of reality he will attempt to operate in a clever enough way as to preserve credibility or avoid being caught and avoid destructive consequences. Hart does not have that level of reality-contact. Hart does not have a distinct sense of what is seriously real.
In addition, Hart’s activities were little-kid stuff. Hart’s frame of reference resembled that of a child or teenager. It is the expectation or frame of reference of the level of seriousness that a kid might have after accidentally hitting a ball though a window. He expected to be looked upon, and unconsciously looks at himself, as going through a passing juvenile episode rather than being a 50-year old adult offender in a situation of adult importance and adult long-term consequences. At the very most, the Dean of Students might call him in and threaten to put him on probation for a semester, after which he would be eligible for reinstatement to the debate team. Hart has the mentality of an immature college kid and has never left that world. This condition is shared by a significantly large proportion of Americans in recent decades.
However, in the post-college-sophomore adult world, destructive consequences to a marriage are more serious and last longer than a semester. Most consequences are more serious and last longer than a semester.
Bill Clinton shows the same alienation from reality as Hart. He has simply never never come close to entering the serious adult world where pulling a strange woman into a hotel room and sticking his penis in her face is incongruous with running for president.
The mentality is common enough within the general population so that men such as Gary Hart or the Clintons, who symbolize perpetual college sophomore values and mentality, are therefore insured the support of strong constituencies who recognize them as one of their own. When Hart and/or Clinton can score one and carry it off, it’s a vicarious victory and source of both amusement and legitimization among those who share the mentality and life style.
Bill Clinton’s extramarital activities did not profoundly diminish his acceptability during his quest for the presidency because he had a solid constituency doing the same thing, and his activities are a validation of their life style and values. Concurrently, any criticism of Clinton was not only a criticism of Clinton, but also an indirect criticism of THEM. This constituency, including a number of Hollywood play-actors and play-actresses who live like psychotic heathen, immediately rallied to this indirect criticism of themselves by initiating a cry in defense of Clinton, asserting that personal life should not be a factor in evaluating a candidate because they also don’t believe their personal lives should be viewed as a reflection upon their acceptability.
The political effect has been a catastrophe of moral inversion. The raising of character and maturity issues may be valid and necessary in choice of the country’s leadership, but has the opposite of the intended effect. The misreading of this has been disastrous for Republicans (among others) as well as for the nation. It’s also become forbidden to address behavior causing American social and economic degeneration, because it offends the politically and socially powerful proportion of people engaging in that behavior.
One of the reasons the area has become forbidden is that it has not been addressed with seriousness, depth, incisiveness, and determination on a unified front. There has also been inhibition. There has been fear to confront the issue. There has been a mild approach to exploring the problem by some Republicans. The result of that approach has been to provoke full rejection among those who disagree without being forceful enough to break through the opposing arguments. This results in the worst of both worlds.
One of the dangers that should be recognized is that absence of character, or absence of a sense of serious reality in a person’s personal life is a serious indication of incapacity in a person’s professional or political life. It indicates absence of a very necessary mental structure in a person’s psyche. While a person with such absence may be able to run for public office by affecting public charm or by utilizing political polls, when it becomes necessary to make decisions or exercise judgment, they are lacking critical mental structure necessary to make that judgment or provide consistency. There is a facade without consistency or reliability.
Bill Clinton’s personality structure is very much similar to Hart’s and shows the same deficient sense of reality. There have been a number of comments regarding the inconsistencies and chaos at the White House. One of the early widespread comments regarding the Clinton administration was that it was in need of adult supervision. After early chaos, David Gergan was brought into the staff to devise an image of maturity. A political cartoon portrayed Gergan changing diapers on a baby labeled “White House Staff.” The label should more appropriately have been: “The President.”
The problem with the Clinton White House was not that it needed adult supervision. Mature adulthood is supposed to be a qualification for the presidency. These are middle-aged adults who campaigned for president, vice-president and whatever. The problem is that these are people who are supposed to be adults who do not need adult supervision, but they are not. Instead, they are unruly high school kids or immature college sophomore radical mentalities who are middle aged and happen to have made it to the White House.
One of Clinton’s attempted solutions to the problem was to get himself a new two-hundred-dollar hair cut and look cute while he went back out on the charm circuit where he’s still the most impressive kid on the high school debate team. If Air Force One tied up traffic for an hour while was on it getting that hair cut, he was serious when he said he didn’t know it. He doesn’t have enough reality contact to understand it—or anything else. Bringing David Gergan or anybody else in as dean of student affairs might have obscured it, but didn’t change it.
Within a short period of time Gergan did achieve wonders in obscuring the Clinton immaturity. However, he didn’t do America any favors. In what should be considered nearly an act of treason, he sold America a Trojan horse that otherwise would shortly have been exposed—and needed to be exposed for the protection of the American people from a condition of madness.
Before going farther, let’s give some meaning and definition to the term “reality-testing” which will be used in a few seconds as well as periodically throughout the remainder of this series. Somewhere in the healthy adult mental architecture is an intellectual process by which one objectively evaluates the outside world. This disciplining process discriminates between what is real and what is not real. It discriminates the real from fantasy or wish. It stabilizes a person and prevents serious denial of reality.
But, the process developed for avoiding reality in contemporary liberal culture is an extension of reality-dissociation and is profoundly pathological.
Rather than consider a given issue in terms of the reality of a situation, it is dealt with as a public relations problem, or as a public image problem and as an exercise in social psychological engineering. This returns to the earlier concept of a child developmental environment which produced belief that reality can be debated out of existence. In this case a synthetic collection of reality-oppositional assertions and denials is devised and the process of reality-testing is perverted into being a choice between subjective contrasting opinions or assertions rather than recourse to fact. The numerical predominance of the stream of reality-oppositional assertions being manufactured is used to out-vote reality. This becomes further developed into a subjective devalidation of reality by exclusive reference to a social psychological support group defending and arguing for the collection of oppositional assertions. Thus, as a group defense, a set of artificial, and often psychotic, rationalizations is devised to intervene between the group and reality.
Consequently, as part of the public relations oriented defense we are inundated with theories denying or minimizing the virulence or effect of venereal disease, or theories minimizing or denying the effect of extramarital sex, or theories minimizing the effects of recreational drugs, or whatever it happens to be. When confronted with potential consequences, the list of bogus theories is recited in response to questions regarding responsibility.
The pool of anti-reality rationalization which has developed has served to further insulate the people involved, meaning people on the political and life style left, from the corrective influence of testing ideas against reality. The synthetic crazy world which they have created has become a distorted frame of reference against which they test their ideas. If the ideas are destructive, the solution is to hire more media and public relations machinery. This pool of rationalization and it’s prevalence in the media has created a very powerful synthetic peer pressure upon several generations who, due to their undeveloped ability to test reality and their weakened values, are dependent upon peer pressure or peer evaluation to make decisions. The result has been a social drift which has steadily eroded or pushed back the boundaries of reality until psychopathology has become the norm while stable mental health and contact with reality have become stigmatized. What is developing is a socially reinforced inversion, a progressive psychopathology, and a self-destructive self-indulgence which feeds itself and is destroying the country. The former lunatic fringe has become the voice of moderation compared with the vanguard of social psychopathology. Psychopathology and delusional systems have become a social art form.
Social Art Form
Someone was puzzled by the term social art form. The best way to explain it is to go back to something I wrote more than 30 years ago.
When Susie graduated from high school she was bland, boring, a nobody, a social failure. In college she got her mind messed up and came back warped as a pretzel. Now, she looks to be in a state of suffering and people want to know why and what happened. She’s evasive and angry and people want to know why. She has a million conflicts and problems she can parade and which irritate the hell out of other people around her and in which people can become involved. Both she and other people can devise an infinite number of intriguing interpretations to her condition. She, or other people, can deny, evade, or devise counter-interpretations to what is going on so as to meet various personal needs and/or political prejudices. All this activity surrounding her is mistakenly viewed as intellectual and emotional depth.
She may be a mess, but for the first time in her life she is at least something and people will pay attention. If she were to give up her mental disorder, she would need to go back to being plain old bland and boring Susie, which would be a clearly unpleasant outcome. She is dependent upon mental disorder as a substitute for a personality. Consequently, all hell could not pry her loose from her condition.
In absolute seriousness, a proportion of people in recent decades have consciously or unconsciously set out to achieve a provocative mentally disordered state along with the most elaborate and artistic interpretations of that state as possible to create a type of personality structure and social role for themselves. The designing and parading of such a condition is considered evidence of creativity and has become a fashionable (social) art form.
A by-product of this has been the evolution of a theatrical politic which is designed to be as warped and provocative as possible so as to both draw attention to, and serve as a personality for, those who espouse it. Numerous play-actors and play-actresses have devised lunatic political and social positions so as to keep themselves in the limelight, off the stage as well as on the stage. Unfortunately, in a generation many of whom don’t have much else going for them, this theatrical politic has become a major political force.
The network of self-indulgent rationalization devises a new “life style” what seems like nearly every six months. In the last 30 years we have had open marriage, group-commune marriage, living together unmarried, semi-open marriage, several general types of recreational and mind expansion drug movements, free love, open relationships, several dozen kinds of consciousness raisings and mental expansions, free sex, experiential development through massage, astrology, semi-free sex, the wearing of quartz crystals to attract and concentrate mysterious psychic powers, husbandless families, semi-commitment which isn’t commitment, schools of psychotherapy which in practice are vehicles for creating and reinforcing mental disorder rather than cures, and so on. There have been new wave, new age and new potential life styles. As if to ice the cake there have been two TV segments (Geraldo and Oprah Winfrey) in which various law enforcement authorities and witnesses estimate there are currently in excess of one million Satan worshipers in the United States, complete with sacrifice of animals and humans, including babies. It is quite believable in terms of being consonant with the decreasing level of mental stability and values in the general population and makes as much sense as any of the other psychological trends in the past 30 years.
Pick an Adjective
From the following conveniently vague words:
And don’t forget empowerment.
Take any two or three words, string them together in almost any order, describe them with words like bold, new, progressive, human; then it’s likely to become next month’s social movement and life style. It dominates the popular liberal magazines, many churches, TV, radio talk shows, popular psychology programs, the singles culture, and the design of the educational system. It’s glamorized in the life styles portrayed in movies. It’s impossible to avoid being surrounded by it. For years, living in America has been approximate to being imprisoned in a huge mental institution.
The situation parallels a sick-joke of the 1960’s which went: “Have you heard about the new Helen Keller doll? You wind it up, then it walks into walls.” Helen Keller, for those too young to know, was a woman who was born blind and deaf, but nevertheless overcame her disabilities to become a person of accomplishment.
It is not a joke to make the observation that for the last several decades a significant proportion of the American population has become psychologically warped and debilitated to the point that, for practical purposes, they are blinder, deafer and more helpless than was Helen Keller. Mindless to the reality of consequences, they wind each other up on the latest fad or slogan, then walk blindly into walls, or drugs, or from one vague warped live-in “relationship” to another, or pregnancy, or AIDS, or more-advanced psychopathology, or whatever else it happens to be.
As the immature and militantly irresponsible have entered new phases and “life styles” which have become the latest fads, the country has been delivered from psychiatric wards full of one type of psychopathology to another at six-month intervals, with alienated people who are certified mental health professionals or university-certified social theorists leading the dance. Under self-designed lifestyle treatments and distorted psychotherapies designed to protect them from facing maturation, from facing themselves realistically, or from accepting responsibility, participants become progressively intractable. “It happens that once someone has experienced the bold new self-actualizing consciousness of bold new free expressional exploration and has expanded into a higher dimension of identity development which releases natural energy and new alternatives in exercising statements of bold new progressive personal decisions, choices, and freedoms, he or she invariably shows expanded sensitivity.” That’s psychobabble and new-speak meaning worse temper tantrums than ever when they don’t get their way, and has become sufficient evidence of sensitivity and energy release due to mental expansion.
After having acquired new experiential liberation through explorative mental expansion, their word is no good. You can’t trust them. They continue to be oblivious to the pain and turmoil they inflict on those around them. They show little impulse control. Their relationships are shallow. They have no sense of responsibility. They have no realistic sense of cause and effect. They still have no realistic conception of the emotions of others—rather, based on their own egocentric convenience they fabricate convenient delusional theories of how they demand that other people are supposed to feel at any given moment. They talk in an evasive language which is designed to invalidate reality and attack sanity. Openness or liberation means they have rationalized subjective permission to brazen it out without conscience. Achieving license to obtain their demands and destroy other people is called empowerment. But, they say they have heightened personal explorative humanistic development awareness, which sounds weighty and is too vague to argue with.
A conversation with such people is like playing a Las Vegas slot machine with vague abstractions and euphemisms painted on the wheels. You can keep pulling the handle and various word combinations keep coming up, but you never win the truth. They operate within a psychotic circular self-referencing language and de-reasoning structure that is impossible to penetrate with reality-oriented discourse. If asked for evidence of personal explorative development or asked what constitutes development, the reply might be that they have attained experiential energy self-actualization. If asked what experiential energy self-actualization means, they may reply it is evidenced by their increased consciousness sensitivity awareness—and so on indefinitely. If you finally point out that they don’t seem to be in much better shape than they were in twenty years ago, you are accused of being judgmental.
Masters of Evasion
The people who employ this are, both as individuals and as a group, profoundly psychologically undermining. They are on a continuous universal crusade and offensive against concepts of reality which would pin them down to responsibility or make them accountable. They can fabricate psychotic levels of evasion faster than anyone can keep up with it during conversation. Within this subculture, reality or fact are viewed as some kind of Fascist conspiracy.
Assuming the person reading this series is sane, when attempting to deal with those exhibiting this set of psychological patterns, you’ll find your conceptions of life and interpretation of actions are so different from theirs, you’ll be forced to the conclusion such dealing isn’t possible and one of you must be crazy, which for practical purposes is true. The question is, Who is the crazy one. They will attempt to undermine you psychologically so as to convince you that you are the crazy one, which isn’t true. If they are successful in undermining and reprogramming you, they will drive you crazy. They are well equipped to do it. They employ endless psychological theories concocted by themselves and people with mentalities similar to themselves, many having elaborate academic credentials—all of which are designed to evade reality and undermine people.
On a broad level, as part of a group psychological defense, a network of oppositional-defiant personalities has created and reinforced a very dangerous anti-therapeutic or anti-psychotherapeutic psychology in which the internal psychological limiting mechanisms which make up ordinary values or conscience have been systematically desensitized and logical processes have been dismantled. Utilizing anti-therapy and conscience-desensitization, they have been moving themselves, and America, into advanced psychopathology and into psychotic and/or sociopathic personality systems which tend to be irreversible.
Meanwhile, under unrelenting psychological pressure and simple fatigue from attempting to fight this pathological system, the psychological health of America has been continually eroded. Increasing proportions of the country have become incrementally co-opted into a progressively pathological condition.
The general American population has been subjected to a continuous confrontation with an undermining set of values or psychology presented through the media and through a virtual reality which is presented to the public. While the people who are subjected have been directly confronted with this mentality, they are not able to confront it because their counter-arguments and appropriate rage are useless against the TV sets, movies, magazines and bureaucracies which are the intermediate vehicles delivering pathology.
For years, one could, and still can, watch the values of drug culture, the counterculture and the sexual revolution portrayed attractively on TV and in movies. What little questioning that was presented was a token presentation of inane caricatures so as to portray any opposition in as ludicrous a light as possible. It’s equivalent to dragging out the old amateurish Reefer Madness film made by the government in the thirties as representation of opposition to drug usage. While it is now fashionable to portray crack in particular, and to a lesser extent cocaine, as dangerous to demonstrate token responsibility to looking at the drug problem, most of the original drug staples of the counterculture have still never been seriously questioned in the national media. It is a fact that not once, in twenty-five years, have I seen a serious authoritative examination of the damaging psychological effects of drugs on national TV. Nor will one see serious examination of the sexual revolution or any of the other pillars of the lifestyle political left. That’s not going to change within the climate of submissiveness in the general population. Shouting at the TV screen, “That’s not the way it really is!” doesn’t help. The same pathological fantasy will continue to be re-presented the following night.
If, instead of shouting at the TV screen, one shouts publicly, the people who produce this stuff posture in melodramatic indignation coupled with the assertion that you represent a near-criminal McCarthyite repression of first amendment rights to freedom of expression or artistic freedom.
The developmental atmosphere for children has been filled with it.
If, after having read magazines or seen movies or subjected to other oppositional-defiant disinformation portraying the threat of heterosexual AIDS or problems with drugs as being the delusions of right-wing ignorance, your daughter spends years coughing her guts out with AIDS or spends the remainder of her life fighting a drug addiction, you may not be very happy. This happens to be the real issue.
There is a peculiar contradiction associated with liberal arguments regarding this. When it comes to violence on TV (only certain kinds of violence, mind you, and not some of the lunatic trash violence set to music on MTV) liberals are adamantly against it as it supposedly has an inescapably negative effect upon children. When various types of irresponsible sexuality or other pet projects are saturated into the same media, THAT’s entirely different. Liberals respond to complaints with the equally adamant assertion that if values are taught strongly enough at home, media content mysteriously will have no effect. Yet they believe it is necessary to censor out values they disagree with as being too dangerous.
Rather than continue to live in turmoil and disrupting powerless rage over continuous confrontation with the irrational oppositional-defiant juggernaut, many people have psychologically surrendered. Probably 95 percent of the people I know, or have met, many of whom were adamantly against such values 30 years ago, have compromised or slowly changed their values to some extent as a result of the relentless hammering and confrontation with the illusion that this pathology is mainstream and must consequently be accepted. The general population is losing healthy reality-testing capacity.
As increasing proportions of the population have succumbed to the social pressure to participate in the illusion, the illusion of widespread participation has graduated from being an illusion to being fact.
Then, too, the consequences of a system of behavior exert psychological pressure once that behavior becomes widely adopted. A woman may start out with one concept of the type of man she may want to marry. However, when the last nine men she has had a date with are shallow trendy goofs, and when that’s the only thing she seems to be meeting, and when the next one is likely to be as bad or worse than the last one, there will be pressure upon her to change her view on what kind of man is acceptable so as to have some kind of social life. A man may find that his girlfriend has picked up VD from an outside source or that his wife is sterile from VD as a result of her previous activities. Or maybe the woman he is dating is also sleeping with somebody else on alternate nights. That may not be what he originally wanted, but he’s under psychological pressure to accept it because the alternative to accepting it is a constant resentment which precludes any relationships with women at all. He must swallow it. A woman may have originally been adamantly against abortion or sexual permissiveness, but when her daughter becomes one of the 10 percent of teen-age girls who become pregnant each year or when her daughter started living with a man in one of the new life styles, she comes under psychological pressure to change her attitude to make the situation acceptable. Your attitude of rigorous prosecution of drug users may change when it is found one of your kids is using or selling the stuff.
People have been heard to say over and over again in the past 35 years, “What can you do?” What people do is compromise into the surrender of a type of acceptant involutional numbness (under which may be an immobilized rage). In some cases they come to actively endorse what they formerly rejected in an effort to talk themselves into making it more palatable and to reduce their rage reactions.
As a substitute for reality-testing and as a substitute for reality-contact within the inverted subculture/countercultural axis, there has evolved a borderline psychotic subjective psychology of Feeling, Being and Now. This system of psychology, and the environment it creates socially and in the media, encourages the feeling and immediate acting out of primitive impulses—termed removing hangups—while dismantling necessary healthy psychological repressive mechanisms. This is the Feeling and Now part of this psychology. The “Being” part means that one inhabits a continuing momentary existence with no reference to the past or the future, especially in terms of cause, effect and consequences. Prevalent theorizing integral with this psychology tends not to differentiate between detrimental psychological repression and healthy or necessary psychological repression. In the psychology of Being, Feeling and Now, all psychological repression or suppression is viewed as undesirable. According to the doctrine, people are exhorted to feel all their primitive impulses and at the same time, “If it feels good, do it.”
This psychology runs contrary to the most basic principles of mental health. It’s a recipe for disaster. In the first place, not everything that feels good is ultimately good for you or for other people that are required to live with you. Furthermore, a moderate amount of automatic healthy psychological suppression or repression is necessary to function sanely. This repression is an unconscious or subconscious conflict-reducing and personality-stabilizing mechanism in the mature adult mentality. It is a necessary form of self-control.
On a practical level, people shouldn’t have their primitive impulses so released from repression or other control so that they become like the three-year-old playing with the bottles and cereal boxes at the supermarket and refusing to leave. Nor should they want their sexual impulses to be so unrepressed or uncontrolled so that they, as married men, go out of control over every woman who walks past, deserting their wives and children while chasing passing impulses. A moderate amount of sexual repression or suppression is necessary to reduce temptation and psychological conflict as well as keep marriages together. This is what some schools of psychiatry refer to as a healthy amount of reaction formation and repression.
A psychological environment advocating excessive loosening or dismantling of all internal repressive and control mechanisms produces increased internal conflict with resultant anxiety, increased indecisiveness, increased tendency to compromise to passing and trivial impulses. It reverses the growth and socialization process, producing a sociopath or borderline psychotic.
As a correlate of the psychology of Feeling, Being and Now; there are a number of schools of psychology or psychiatry as by-products of the inverted or borderline/psychotic network which have distorted the roles of feelings in human life. They theorize feeling is an important signal informing the individual about the acceptability or harmfulness of a situation. As a consequent, the individual should be emotionally uninhibited, “free of hangups,” so as to feel as much as possible.
While there is a hint of truth in this, not only is it highly oversimplified and distorted; it is often used as an attempt to rationalize a dangerous credibility for immature and pathological levels of mental functioning in which immediate feelings, impulses and immaturity are the directing force in life. Decoded, it means these are self-centered people with a frame of reference that there must be something wrong with anything they don’t feel good about, and that the purpose of the world should be to please them. It’s an encoded method of saying they want their way about everything and if they don’t get their way and consequently don’t feel good, it’s wrong. Spoiled children have been saying that for thousands of years. In recent years spoiled children have taken advanced degrees from universities and converted those demands into grandiose sociological theories and glittering abstractions.
Certainly, adult feelings are important and valid feedback mechanisms, providing important information about the environment and relationships. However, and very importantly, primitive feelings and impulses are not valid feedback. If I am functioning on such a primitive level that, like the previously mentioned child, I have temper tantrums and refuse to leave the supermarket, that doesn’t mean there is something wrong with the supermarket or something wrong with a society that doesn’t build supermarkets for the exclusive purpose of letting me play with the bottles and cereal boxes. Similarly, if someone is uncomfortable in a particular social relationship, that may not mean there is something wrong with the other person in the relationship. It may mean, and often does mean, that the person with the unpleasant feeling is functioning at too primitive a mental level to be able to engage in adult relationships.
In recent decades, as a result of the psychology of Feeling, Being and Now, we have seen large numbers of people who, when required to make choices or when required to use self-discipline, say it doesn’t feel good and therefore there must be something wrong with the necessity of making choices or developing self-discipline. They are supported in this by a dangerously high proportion of mental health professionals and social theorists.
However, adult responsibilities and adult functioning inherently require an amount of discomfort. They require a person to do things and make sacrifices that are unpleasant. It’s often a requirement to experience discomfort for the sake of long-term benefit. The discomfort of the plow in the spring is a prerequisite for an autumn harvest. This knowledge and this concern about long-term consequences is the dominant factor in mature realistic adult decision-making with the consequence feelings sometimes don’t change the reality of what should be done and are irrelevant. But, this realistic conception is no longer typical among many in the present population of Americans and there are too many people wrestling with conflicts between immediate feelings or impulses and long-term reality that wouldn’t be conflicts if they had mature self-control ability and tolerance for discomfort.
In simplified orthodox Freudian terminology, it would be said the Id, which is the source of basic primitive impulses, must be controlled by both the Ego (rationality), and the Superego (conscience), or the result is a borderline psychotic who is not disciplined and integrated enough to hold his or her life together. In terms of this, not only has the childrearing system been deficient, but the American social and intellectual environment have become an assembly line, dismantling self-control mechanisms, dismantling Ego and Superego structures or mechanisms, while encouraging Id strength and expression, producing a steady stream of borderline psychotics and psychopaths. The destructiveness of this situation absolutely cannot be overemphasized.
This borderline psychotic mentality; the coalition of individuals sharing this mentality; the psychology of Feeling, Being and Now; have all overwhelmed and taken over many American institutions —including American politics.
More next time.
 A review of this paragraph happens to coincide with a period in which there were twenty-two random killings during a six-day period in Washington, D.C. The random murder death rate probably would be ten times what it is except for two factors. The people doing it are too incompetent or full of drugs to be very good at it. The emergency medical facilities have become better at saving lives.
 The terms mindless and actress are interchangeable eighty percent of the time. While it is not an absolute prerequisite to have mental instability to become an actress, such a condition is definitely not prohibitive. They are forever losing their identity in preparation for their latest role or finding a new self-identity in a role. The role they are in is as valid to them as real life and real life is no more valid than a role they are playing. If they can satisfy their insatiable desire for attention by being erratic in outside life, it’s as fulfilling as adoration from an audience while on stage. Many of them are perpetually on stage in their private and political lives.