Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Anger

I had some dreams last night I won't share that showed me clearly that the path to managing anger is accepting it, and recognizing its importance for mental health.  It is as unhealthy to never feel righteous anger as it is to continually be angry.  All emotions serve purposes, and pretending otherwise is a recipe for self deception and for the same emotions to come out anyway, but in all the wrong places and at all the wrong times.  They have innate wisdom, but when you push them down, they become profoundly stupid.

And it occurs to me that anger, too, is a profoundly social emotion.  It tells us when someone is transgressing community standards.  We feel anxiety when we ourselves break the rules, and anger when others do.  The two go together.

And what I feel is that unexpressed anger leads to emotional and thus perceptual rigidity.  As I have commented from time to time, conservatives by at least one standard of measurement are more complete, and thus arguably more healthy, human beings than leftists.

Jonathan Haidt posits five moral foundations for all human societies, which like musical notes and colors can be combined and recombined endlessly: Care/Harm, Fairness/Cheating, Loyalty/Betrayal, Authority/Subversion, and Sanctity/Degradation.

Conservatives tend to have some concern for each of these, whereas Leftists focus only on the first two.

What I would submit is that, in making of "Compassion" a rigid ideology, the proper role of spontaneous anger is completely destroyed.  The way markers which would be offered automatically disappear.  The very capacity for non-ironic social inclusion is eradicated.  They become a society unto themselves, and at that one based only rhetorically on actual compassion, and actually based on the expression of the anger they do not know how to allow themselves to express in the right places.

As one obvious example, when you invite someone into your country, and care for them, and they attack, degrade, and very literally shit on your streets, anger is the appropriate response.  That is the worst imaginable affront to hospitality and kindness.  This has been utterly unacceptable behavior in substantially all human societies for recorded history.  But the Left makes of their complicity in such assaults on decency--here, sanctity and loyalty--a virtue.

As I have said often, you cannot make of any one virtue a god.  Or, if you choose, an idol.  At least, not in historical senses.  I have made of persistence, the rejection of self pity, and perceptual movement gods, but there is no content in this, inherently.  Persistence and movement and time will allow what was stuck to fix itself, and not feeling sorry for yourself prevents self obsession and all the delusions which follow.

In theory and to a great extent practice, any democracy is a self organizing system, and what it creates as Emergences depends nearly entirely on the ideas in play.  Bad ideas will INHERENTLY and ineluctably lead to bad things.  The quality of thought in a democracy is vastly more important than in any other possible system, and as I think has become obvious, we have been trending stupid for a very long time, and I will again submit that this rests on a dogmatic rejection of spontaneous social feeling,and particularly righteous anger.

Hell, we see some on the Left trying even now to justify crimes against children, and a resolute desire to ignore Islamic crimes against women and gays, even though these are groups they have invested enormous effort claiming they care about.

There are no actual principles in play.  I cannot say this enough.  There is a smoke screen, and uncontrolled, completely unconscious anger which seethes through everything they do.

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