Monday, January 30, 2017

America's Mass Psychosis. It Takes a Nation Gone Mad to Elect a Madman As Their President.

In 1984, Ronald Reagan won re-election with a campaign theme of "It's morning again in America."

Well it's morning again in America but it doesn't feel the same. There's a mad man roaming the halls of 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. The American people are waking up with a massive hangover and brooding regret.

As the New York Daily News put it bluntly, Donald Trump is mentally ill.

But American voters had two years, an amazing amount of time, to watch this man's mental infirmity. It was on display every time Trump took to a podium. There was no mistaking it. What does that say for the tens of millions who voted for Donald J. Trump and the countless others who greased his path into the Oval Office.

Has American society fallen into a mass mental illness? Chris Hedges believes it truly has.

“The comparison between totalitarianism and psychosis is not incidental,” the psychiatrist Joost A.M. Meerloo wrote in his book “The Rape of the Mind: The Psychology of Thought Control, Menticide, and Brainwashing.” “Delusional thinking inevitably creeps into every form of tyranny and despotism. Unconscious backward forces come into action. Evil powers from the archaic past return. An automatic compulsion to go on to self-destruction develops, to justify one mistake with a new one; to enlarge and expand the vicious pathological circle becomes the dominating end of life. The frightened man, burdened by a culture he does not understand, retreats into the brute’s fantasy of limitless power in order to cover up the vacuum inside himself. This fantasy starts with the leaders and is later taken over by the masses they oppress.”

“Before they seize power and establish a world according to their doctrines, totalitarian movements conjure up a lying world of consistency which is more adequate to the needs of the human mind than reality itself; in which, through sheer imagination, uprooted masses can feel at home and are spared the never-ending shocks which real life and real experiences deal to human beings and their expectations,” Hannah Arendt wrote in “The Origins of Totalitarianism.” “The force possessed by totalitarian propaganda—before the movements have the power to drop iron curtains to prevent anyone’s disturbing, by the slightest reality, the gruesome quiet of an entirely imaginary world—lies in its ability to shut the masses off from the real world.”

Meerloo wrote, “The demagogue relies for his effectiveness on the fact that people will take seriously the fantastic accusations he makes, will discuss the phony issues he raises as if they had reality, or will be thrown into such a state of panic by his accusations and charges that they will simply abdicate their right to think and verify for themselves.”

The lies create a climate in which everyone is assumed to be lying. The truth becomes suspect and obscured. Narratives begin to be believed not because they are true, or even sound true, but because they are emotionally appealing. The aim of systematic lying, as Arendt wrote, is the “transformation of human nature itself.” The lies eventually foster somnambulism among a population that surrenders to the magical thinking and ceases to care. It checks out. It becomes cynical. It only asks to be entertained and given a vent for its frustration and rage. Demagogues produce enemies the way a magician pulls rabbits out of a hat. They wage constant battles against nonexistent dangers, rapidly replacing one after the other to keep the rhetoric at a fever pitch.

To recover our mental balance we must respond to Trump the way victims of trauma respond to abuse. We must build communities where we can find understanding and solidarity. We must allow ourselves to mourn. We must name the psychosis that afflicts us. We must carry out acts of civil disobedience and steadfast defiance to re-empower others and ourselves. We must fend off the madness and engage in dialogues based on truth, literacy, empathy and reality. We must invest more time in activities such as finding solace in nature, or focusing on music, theater, literature, art and even worship—activities that hold the capacity for renewal and transcendence. This is the only way we will remain psychologically whole. Building an outer shell or attempting to hide will exacerbate our psychological distress and depression. We may not win, but we will have, if we create small, like-minded cells of defiance, the capacity not to go insane.


Toby said...

"The lies eventually foster somnambulism among a population that surrenders to the magical thinking and ceases to care."

That, and much of your post, reads like religion to me. We have gone way past thought provoking alternatives to just plain nuts.

Northern PoV said...


Still on that meme? Still obediently watching the sideshow?

A much scarier view:

Anonymous said...

In the USA even the disadvantaged have gone 'nuts'

The USA regardless of race and origin have become mutants , totally oblivious to reality be it the American dream!! Batman, Superman , US dominance,warped religion that places them to be the fourth Abrahamic religion after Judaism , Christianity and Islam.
They are disappearing so far up their own arses that they will eventually see daylight through their mouths..


the salamander said...

.. as always, thanks Mound.. this is really coherent & contemporary stuff.. bang on

As a former youth worker in triple max security, addiction & with the emotionally disturbed
this was all accepted as foundation.. where we were starting from
with the young people we were working with.. ie.. they were f_cked.. completely
Their view, & perspectives were not ours.. never would be
Their baseline, if there was such a thing, was bent or never formed
They might as well have been from another planet

Our success rate was low, real low.. they became adults
most 'graduated' into the adult penal system..
c'est la vie ..

If anyone finds my political patience limited, harsh or blunt.. well, amen
When I see the habits, patterns, manipulations etc
of juvenile criminals, addicts or the disturbed
evident in our elected or appointed 'public servants'
I get disturbed.. bad flashback stuff

Don't snow the snowman I often say..
Yes.. I know a snowjob when I see it..
& don't piss on my leg & tell me its raining..
.. get your hand out of my pocket
step away.. back where I can inspect you
you're not my friend, not even close
I've met enough psychopaths
& smell them out in about 12 secs
they have a certain stench to them..

when we find our 'politicians' suddenly espousing 'their beliefs'
and leave our beliefs abandoned.. we need outcry.
Outcry is that thing mainstream media used to do for us..
but mainstream media is now more about 'their paid beliefs'
or the echo chamber for hired 'polls' - low hanging fruit 'news'

Uh oh.. an environment for protest, and change.. radical eh?
Confrontation with the 'authorities' .. Standing Rock type stuff
Well.. all I can say is we're gettin to the gettin place
might just be surprising ...
& I don't think the bad guys win out..
not even close.. & won't be fun
but always good to see the riffraff on the run

Anonymous said...

Deranged hysterical liberal lunatics think Trump is mentally unbalanced. Too funny. What a crazy cult.

rumleyfips said...

Anoymouse: The news this morning is depressing but when I read your blurb I laughed out loud. Thanks.

Owen Gray said...

Hedges analysis is excellent, Mound. Tragic and frightening at the same time.

Toby said...

Meanwhile, Canada has issued a Zika virus warning but no other travel advisory for the United States.

Anonymous said...

This is the reality of modern day American life.

This is a modern day example of gross domestic product.

This is an example of fair income distribution and putting a roof over ones head.

This is what happens when you have an uneducated, uninformed voter .

Someone please tell me how we can solve this lunacy?


Maybe a cull is required?