An interesting look - the origins of tyranny.

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A long essay but the more you read, the more you can see where we are today and how we got here.
From New Discourses:

Psychopathy and the Origins of Totalitarianism
Many of the greatest horrors of the history of humanity owe their occurrence solely to the establishment and social enforcement of a false reality. With gratitude to the Catholic philosopher Josef Pieper and his important 1970 essay “Abuse of Language, Abuse of Power” for the term and idea, we can refer to these alternative realities as ideological pseudo-realities.

Pseudo-realities, being false and unreal, will always generate tragedy and evil on a scale that is at least proportional to the reach of their grip on power—which is their chief interest—whether social, cultural, economic, political, or (particularly) a combination of several or all of these. So important to the development and tragedies of societies are these pseudo-realities when they arise and take root that it is worth outlining their basic properties and structure so that they can be identified and properly resisted before they result in sociopolitical calamities—up to and including war, genocide, and even civilizational collapse, all of which can take many millions of lives and can ruin many millions more in the vain pursuit of a fiction whose believers are, or are made, sufficiently intolerant.

And a bit more - two root causes.  Here, a classic example of the first is Adolph Hitler and of the second? Today's liberals - the product of our educational system after it has been corrupted by the liberal teachers who flocked to it in the 1970's - the long march through the institutions.  This work has been reinforced by the complicit media (another target). They did their work well and we are all now reaping the harvest.

Only two propositions are needed to understand this ladder exists from a single deluded person with a small cult around him to a massive and devastating political movement. The first is simpler: it is that otherwise psychically, emotionally, and intellectually healthy people can be manipulated into pathologies in these domains. That is, such a ladder exists because pseudo-realists are sometimes able to persuade people that the presumptions underlying their pseudo-real construction provide a better read on reality than others, which obviously happens all the time. Cults arise and can grow quite large.

The second is that cults can become ideological, and, more specifically, Utopian. This also happens with some documented frequency, especially in situations where some oversimplification of how to arrange the entire social order in which we all live takes on a glorious vision with a Utopian endpoint—literally, nowhere, in the original Greek (there are no Utopias, only dystopias). A reliable symptom that this is occurring is a vision over a very long time period (often a millennium), after which time all social ills will be cured, that nevertheless requires a revolution in the here and now to begin. These cults of pseudo-reality are very dangerous and threaten us and our civilizations even today.

Much more at the site.  A good psychological explanation and James presents some tools on how to recognize this and how to refute it. The 120+ comments are worth reading as well. Good stuff...

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on January 16, 2021 8:27 AM.

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