Thursday, February 9, 2017

Leftism as a giant alcoholic family

When we speak of codependence, we usually speak of an unhealthy relationship based on unspoken lies, in which one unhealthy person gets their needs met by caring for someone else who cannot or will not take responsibility for their actions. The benefit to, say, the drunk father, being cared for by his daughter or wife, is obvious.  But what is the benefit to the care-giver?

One, they get a simple morality.  Their job is to care for this person, and they become virtuous in doing it.  Two, they are able to marginalize their own lack of emotional development through constant attention to the other.  They don't have to be authentic because they are needed.  Three, they get to feel superior to the person they are caring for.  This is not hard, but this silent condescension is I think an important aspect of it.  They are handed self esteem on a plate.  These are on the plus side of the balance sheet.

But they are trapped on the other.  Outside of this relationship, they are helpless and alone.  They have a world of inner turmoil that has been at a slow boil all their lives.  They have to live in a complex moral world where the right decisions are often not obvious, and integrity demands considerable perceptual work be done to even approximate a diligent goodness.  And the world doesn't care about them at all.

Obviously, these sorts of unhealthy relationships do not develop overnight.  Mild alcoholics can become more severe, and then yet more severe, especially if somebody is picking up the messes they leave.  Constantly the decision has to be "in or out".  And if the decision continues to be "in", rationalizations have to enter, boundaries have to become blurred, the difference between right and wrong made problematic, lies have to be told.

I have been alienated from my brother since childhood, because we lived in a home where we both hid.  But I remember a specific moment, sitting at a kitchen table, in a "family meeting", where I basically gave him a simple decision: side with me and sanity, or side with them and lunacy.  He chose them, and I have had little honest to say to him since.

These moments are like what Edward de Bono called "catchment areas".  When rain falls on the ridge of a mountain, if it falls 1' one direction, it flows down one side, into a river far away.  If it falls 1' the other, it can flow into an entirely different system.  The Continental Divide is a great example of this.

Likewise, seemingly small decisions can have enormous consequences.  One small lie, can lead to another small lie, which leads to bigger lies, which leads to an entire world view built on sand, which requires continuous reinforcement.

I have from time to time mentioned "Judgement in Nuremburg", and the Nazi judge, played as I recall by Burt Lancaster, who asked Spencer Tracy "How could I have known it would lead to all this?"  Tracy replied "you knew the moment you sentenced the first innocent man to jail."

What I am feeling in the current emotional landscape, which is being emoted with political language, is that the Left is a big fucking codependent family.  This is their only family.  This is the only home they know.  They have spent countless hours lying and rationalizing and ignoring their own acknowledged moral standards, their own truths.  They sided with the alcoholic.  They cared for him because they needed him.  And now they don't know what to do.  They don't know who they are.  They have no benchmarks for honest moral judgments.  Their assumed superiority is unmasked as simple cowardice and self delusion.  And they stand naked to all the feelings that this cult allowed them submerge in outwardly rational activity oriented around what they were able to convince themselves was useful activity.

Where can they go?  Well, for starters, they could return to genuine Liberalism, to standards of thinking and behaving, to demands for honesty and integrity, to effective policy.

This is a whirlwind we are living in, a demented, demonic whirlwind.  I don't know when it will stop, and it seems likely to get worse in the short and medium terms.  But it is sick as hell, and we can only thank God these fascists are not operating under Hillary's protection.

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