The Narcissism of Capital

I don’t agree with everything in this article (I don’t think capitalism is a bad thing if it’s kept under control with regulations and checks and balances), but I still really like the author’s comparison of capitalism with narcissism. He’s not wrong, especially in his observation that people with high levels of narcissism, even fullblown NPD, tend to be attracted to careers that reward with power and wealth.  This is why CEOs and top executives of multinational corporations, and politicians are so much more likely to have psychopathic or narcissistic traits than the “proles” (the rest of us).

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O Society

by Mawr Gorshin Infinite Ocean edited by O Society Mar 13, 2019

silhouette of statue near trump building at daytime
Photo by Carlos Herrero on Pexels.com

Introduction

Analysis of the 1944 film adaptation of Gaslight, leads to a recognition of ‘political gaslighting.’

In abusive interpersonal relationships, the abuser fabricates, denies, and distorts the truth to disorient the victim. The super-rich, as well as the politicians and the media who work for them, also do this lying and disorienting, but to the public as a whole.

We all know how emotional abuse can happen in families, school, the workplace, and online: psychological abuse on the ‘micro’ level. Now, let’s discuss it on the ‘macro’ level, how it exists on the geopolitical level, for this is, no doubt, a far greater problem.

Many parallels are seen in the comparison of narcissistic abuse and class conflict. Donald Trump is as obvious a narcissist as he is a…

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Why I Left the GOP (by Nyssa McCanmore)

escape-from-darkness

Running From the Darkness/ DeantheBard, 2018

 

My friend Nyssa has a fantastic blog (Nyssa’s Hobbit Hole) that covers everything from narcissistic abuse (including her own fight against church “friends” who turned her into their scapegoat), to religion (Nyssa is an Orthodox Christian) to politics.  Her posts tend to be on the long side, but they are always intelligent and insightful, never boring, and usually written like first person stories and memoirs.

Here, Nyssa describes a childhood raised by staunch Republican parents, and part of her young adulthood spent in the clutches of highly controlling and greedy evangelical megachurches headed by filthy rich “prosperity gospel” pastors, many of them shady grifters and narcissists.  These churches seemed more concerned with bilking financially strapped believers out of their income “to glorify God” if they wanted to avoid Hell, than with saving souls by teaching the Good News of the New Testament.  These churches’  pastors became ever more wealthy, purchasing opulent homes and yachts for themselves, while many of their gullible flock still lived in near poverty.

Over time, these churches became increasingly aligned with Republicanism (and the GOP increasingly aligned with prosperity gospel and right wing evangelical churches).

 The cultlike devotion to Trump, who embodied the actual opposite of Christ’s teachings, was the last straw for her and for many like her.  They were fed up with the hypocrisy, lies, and oppression of authoritarian Christianity.

People were taught that salvation was dependent on how much they donated to the church, and how much they parroted right wing political talking points, instead of just being decent, kind human beings who tried to emulate the life of the Jesus of the Bible.

For Nyssa, the final straw was when her church began to mix far right politics into its sermons, telling parishioners who they must vote for lest they burn in hell.   The cultlike devotion to Trump, who embodied the actual opposite of Christ’s teachings, was the last straw for her and for many like her.  Thinking people became fed up with the hypocrisy, lies, and oppression of authoritarian Christianity and an increasingly authoritarian Republican Party, which seemed to be in bed with these churches (Defectors call themselves Exvangelicals).

Since leaving evangelical Christianity (her conversion story from evangelicalism to Orthodox Christianity can be found here), Nyssa has continued to pursue her spiritual development in a less toxic and oppressive environment.  She began to see how far the GOP had strayed from the Party of Lincoln and Eisenhower, a party that respected the rule of law, freedom for all and democracy, to a near fascist party that was becoming increasingly cruel, nationalistic, intolerant of “the other,” and even unAmerican. Nyssa’s politics became more liberal as she realized how much the GOP had changed from the party she remembered from her childhood.    

She has found that liberalism is actually much closer to Christ’s teachings in most ways than Tea Party/Trump style conservatism is.

Here is another post I wrote about a young man, David Weissman, who voted for and supported Trump, and finally saw the light.  In my post I linked to his original post that appeared in the online magazine for the Jewish community, Forward.  Today David is a proud liberal and Elizabeth Warren supporter, and has a large Twitter following.

The Deconversion of a Trump Troll

In both Nyssa and David’s journeys, education about the facts was the key to a change of heart.

 

 

*****

Why I Left the GOP

By Nyssa McCanmore

As a kid, I was raised Republican–but not for religious reasons.  The Democrats were stupid donkeys; the Republicans were smart elephants.  Abortion and gay rights were barely a blip on the fundie screen in those days.  Adding religion to it didn’t happen until I started watching The 700 Club around 1987 or 1988.

I watched it on and off starting around age 12, but it wasn’t until around 14 or 15 that I started watching it every day, seeing it as important as my new determination to read the Bible daily.  Pat Robertson indoctrinated me into the idea that Democrats were evil atheist liberals out to destroy all we hold dear, while the Republicans were righteous warriors saving our country from baby-killers and homosexuals and big government.  I believed everything he said because he was a Christian preacher.

And yet, even though my dad was very conservative, he still told me that voting by party when the other guy is a better candidate, is stupid.  He still said not to listen to Pat Robertson or the people who say we need to put prayer back in schools.  He said that presidents could not do anything they wanted, that the courts told Nixon he had to turn over the tapes.

In college, chinks in the wall started coming as I took classes on Persuasion and Mass Media.  I learned about logical fallacies and how words can be manipulated to bring emotional responses.  I learned that The 700 Club hadn’t always told the truth about stories in the news.  I learned that Rush Limbaugh was highly manipulative, how he cut people off when he didn’t like their comments and formed the reactions of listeners.  Pat Robertson kept saying over and over that God told him over and over that Bush would win in 1992; when Clinton won, Pat’s only explanation was, “I guess I missed it.”

You can read the rest of this article on Nyssa’s Hobbit Hole.

Politicians Keep Blaming Mass Shootings on Mental Health Issues. Doctors Say They’re Wrong

It’s time to stop using mental illness as an excuse for gun violence.
It’s the guns that are the problem!

A Blog About Healing From PTSD

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“Routinely blaming mass shootings on mental illness is unfounded and stigmatizing,” read a statement the APA issued on Aug. 4, after the Dayton tragedy. “The rates of mental illness are roughly the same around the world, yet other countries are not experiencing these traumatic events as often as we face them. One critical factor is access to, and the lethality of, the weapons that are being used in these crimes. Adding racism, intolerance and bigotry to the mix is a recipe for disaster.”

To read the full article, click on this link:
https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/mentalhealth/politicians-keep-blaming-mass-shootings-on-mental-health-issues-doctors-say-theyre-wrong/ar-AAFnp8a?li=BBnb7Kz

I have had three terrifying, PTSD-inducing experiences with gun violence. In one of those incidents, I literally wrestled a gun out of the hands of a violent man. This happened just two weeks after I had given birth to my daughter. My “super human strength” was fueled by my maternal instinct. I did it to save the…

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THE HEART OF DARKNESS: THE SEXUAL PREDATORS WITHIN AMERICA’S POWER ELITE

America has a seedy, sordid underbelly, and it has for a long time. Both major political parties are guilty. Power corrupts.

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Tales from the Conspiratum

John W. Whitehead, Rutherford

“As political and economic freedom diminishes, sexual freedom tends compensating to increase. And the dictator (unless he needs cannon fodder and families with which to colonize empty or conquered territories) will do well to encourage that freedom.”—Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

Power corrupts.

Anyone who believes differently hasn’t been paying attention.

Politics, religion, sports, government, entertainment, business, armed forces: it doesn’t matter what arena you’re talking about, they are all riddled with the kind of seedy, sleazy, decadent, dodgy, depraved, immoral, corrupt behavior that somehow gets a free pass when it involves the wealthy and powerful elite in America.

In this age of partisan politics and a deeply polarized populace, corruption—especially when it involves sexual debauchery, depravity and predatory behavior—has become the great equalizer.

Take Jeffrey Epstein…

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How Being Sad, Depressed And Anxious Online Became Trendy

I’ve definitely noticed this trend. I’m guilty of it too.

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WebInvestigator.KK.org - by F. Kaskais

How Being Sad, Depressed And Anxious Online Became Trendy

Social media personas built on the illusion of happy, perfect lives are so tired. In 2019, it’s all about being Sad Online.

BY JESS JOHO

“Trendy” emotional distress on social media is part of many must-follow accounts across all platforms. Whether by retweeting the depressing relatability of the So Sad Today Twitter account (at 855,000 followers as of this writing) or commenting the obligatory “same” on a MyTherapistSays Instagram post (currently at 3.6 million). As recently immortalized by a Tim Robinson sketch in I Think You Should Leave, even if you do post pictures where you look cute and happy, it must be accompanied by a self-deprecating caption.

The era of being Sad Online is defined by a sense of reverse FOMO, a tacit agreement to redefine being cool on the internet through JOMO (the Joy of Missing Out) — then file it under social anxiety. It’s possible, though…

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The Death of Democracy: Who’s behind it and why

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The Secular Jurist

By Robert A. Vella

As humankind marches relentlessly towards a profoundly uncertain future, there’s one political change most everyone agrees is likely to happen in the 21st century – the ultimate death of democracy.  Some insist that democracy was never a good idea, and that allowing ordinary people a voice in governance was foolhardy.  Some believe that democracy has outlived it usefulness, and that it is now insufficiently responsive to an increasingly complex world.  Even some supporters freely admit that the forces arrayed against democracy have become too powerful to resist.

Putting aside the value and effectiveness of democracy for a moment (we’ll get back to it later on in this post), let’s examine the four main challengers to democracy and their distinct motivations:

CONSERVATISM.  The philosophies of laissez-faire capitalism, Christian fundamentalism, and white nationalism, have coalesced into a generally unified political ideology throughout western societies…

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America will not climb out of the anti-science hole it is jumping into

This is a depressing article. But I’m reblogging it because it must be said.

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The Secular Jurist

By Robert A. Vella

There is a quiet movement afoot in America and perhaps other western countries which no democratic society could withstand should it propagate much further.  It might even pose a more problematic existential threat to modern civilization than the current ones we face – rising populist angst, anthropogenic climate change, and war.  This movement is rooted deep within our human psyche.  It feeds off our dissatisfaction and distrust of authority.  It is fertilized by our fragile and insatiable egos.  It is often cultivated by disingenuous interests.  It is our growing predilection for anti-intellectualism;  and, more specifically, our increasing antipathy and animosity towards science.

One might assume I am referring to political conservatism, religious orthodoxy, and other doctrinaire ideologies which assert their own precepts as paramount.  One might also assume I’m referring to pragmatic reactionary movements typified by the technophobic attitudes of Neo-Luddism.  But, those assumptions would…

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Things I Don’t Relate To

Fran Nowve has some things to say about my recent post about how a furry I never met helped me cope with the prospect of my own death. I don’t agree with everything she says in her post, but it’s certainly an interesting commentary.

I was rather aghast at the story about the middle aged father of seven who identifies as a six year old girl and got himself “adopted” so he can live out his fantasy.  Of course he is an adult who has the right to do whatever he wants as long as he’s hurting no one, but what about the family he left behind?

I’m sorry, but I think that’s much weirder than being a furry. I’ve never known a furry who actually identified as the animal they were depicting (it’s not like being transgender or anything). I know a bit about the furry community because of my son, and for most of them, it’s just a fun hobby and a way for shy or awkward young people to socialize and/or explore the performing arts behind the safety of a mask. Dancing is a big thing in the furry community.  Some of them outgrow furry, and emerge with more self confidence and skills they can then parlay into careers in the arts.

Although there is a subset of furries who have a sexual fetish about dressing up as cartoon animals, most just do it for fun. It’s really no different from a Star Trek convention, and in fact this hobby grew out of the scifi community.   But due to an old episode of the crime show CSI, in which a furry turned out to be a serial sex killer, furries have gained a negative reputation.  It’s time to set the record straight.

That being said, there are some people in this world who do some very weird things, both harmless and harmful. I don’t even know what to think about the man who identifies as a little girl.   It’s one thing to be transgender, but identifying as a six year old seems beyond the pale to me.

People are strange.

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CLUSTER B

…and yet,

furries-500x333My friend, Lucky Otter, doesn’t believe I’m a psychopath. Yet, I never “felt” more psychopathic than I did reading her latest blog, A furry that I never met helped me conquer my fear of death. Her son is what is known as a “furry.” I had never heard of them until Lucky blogged about her son. I’m sorry, Lucky. I just can’t relate to this phenomenon.

dogbomb1The furry who helped her overcome her fear of death, Tony Barrett, aka “Dogbomb,” is pictured on the blog I linked to above. His face is what I can only call “creepy.” He has what I would call “a kick me face.” Furries wear animal costumes which look like pajamas with fake fur and a head mask. What I find most off-putting is the way they almost all look like “animals” you would see in kids’ cartoons. They are unbearably CUTE.

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Let’s Talk About Generalised Anxiety Disorder

I can relate to this article. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is the medical term for my chronic “free floating” anxiety that I complain about so often. Believe me, it’s a lot worse than it sounds.

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The B Journal

If there is one thing that has been like my on-off toxic partner for the past 5 years (apologies to my boyfriend), it has been the complex condition known as Generalised Anxiety Disorder. Also known as GAD, in a very brief summary, is defined as exaggerated anxiety, and worry about everyday life, that may affects your day to day living.

In a world where mental health, and emotional stigmas are being more discussed, we often talk about how we are becoming more self aware about ourselves, and we are becoming more open to talk about how we are feeling. This may cause people to explore their mental health, and in particular in times of stress, and low moods- we are becoming more and more open as a society to look for a diagnosis, and try to find a remedy for how to combat this.

Unfortunately, as with everything in society…

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How Our Cultural Ignorance of Mental Health Helped Elect Donald Trump

This author has some interesting thoughts about our ignorance about mental health, and narcissistic personality disorder in particular. A short, but important read.

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mentallyspeaking

mentally speaking trump flag

Leading up to the 2016 presidential election, I repeatedly heard politicians, pundits and voters predict or at least express hope that, if elected, Donald Trump would “rise to the occasion” or “surround himself with good people.” It infuriated me. As a mental health practitioner, I knew this would not happen. More than his policy or populist rhetoric, it was Donald Trump’s instability I feared. Most disturbing to me was few people did.

People assume that psychiatric diagnosis is a subjective science open to interpretation, but this is far from the case. Human behavior operates on a continuum. In many cases (but certainly not all) it’s a matter of degree and frequency that separates abnormal from normal. When taking Abnormal Psychology in college, we were warned of psychiatry’s own version of “medical student syndrome.”

Perhaps this is why it’s easy to justify Trump’s deviances. It’s when you take into account the…

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