04 June 2005

Psychological Warfare: Defining Conservatism as Mental Illness

Here is part of the text of a bulk mailing from a Society of Psychoanalytic Psychologists advertising a Scientific Meeting:

In a culture based on male domination, and in which most things feminine tend to be devalued (even if they are secretly envied and, at times, fetishistically worhiped by men), the most important thing about being a man is not being a woman.

The adult male imperative to be unlike females, to repudiate maternal caretaking (or anything that resembles it), and enact the most hypertrophic caricatures of phallic masculinity is just as powerful in politics as it is in personal life.

... femiphobia -- the male fear of the feminine -- operates unconsiously in some men to influence their choice of candidates, their stands on a variety of political issues, and their attraction to fundamentalist world views and practices.

The mailing further mentions books like The Wimp Factor (Beacon Press, 2004), and, Taken In: American Gullibility and the Reagan Mythos, (Life Sciences Press, 1990), both of which "bring the irrational in politics into sharper relief."

Well, now we know. If you've ever voted Republican, it's because you're not rational. You've got a complex about the sufficiency of your dick.

This is an example of psychologists abusing their discipline to define as diseased those who do not share their political/philosophical orthodoxy. It smacks of the way in which psychologists in Soviet Russia confined dissidents to mental hospitals. I could be wrong, but I think their liberal orthodoxy may be every bit as dogmatic and uncompromising as some of the conservatism and fundamentalism they (and I) deplore.

In any event, I reject attempts to politicize any quest for truth, be it scientific or religious, as morally wrong.

But if you're in the business, and this is your cup of tea, you can get continuing education credits for this sort of thing.

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