Events in the first half of 2020 demonstrate that millions of Americans have some mental disorders that are far more serious than we might have ever imagined.
Rational, sane, and observant people have always noted that many people are somehow able to believe in two conflicting ideas or “facts” at the same time. Politically, we see examples of this all the time. For example, people that are deathly afraid of guns (hoplophobes) but still immediately call police (with guns) when they need help. Or people that are fearful of government power, yet constantly demand either “the government must do something about this,” or “there oughta be a law!” People can believe in the God of the Bible and still believe in macro-evolution.
MOST people are able to figure out, hopefully sooner or later, that they cannot hold two contradictory beliefs at the same time – and pick one. Often, they pick the right one: the one that is objectively true. But many people sadly do NOT. And herein is one of the bigger problems in the Fifty States (and the world) today.
People who believe that two contradictory things are both true and act on them are, at least as I see it, irrational. We could even use vulgar, disparaging names for them: they are insane, or just plain nets. Or we can be nice and point out that they are childish, have never matured, and unable to behave responsibly.
Wikipedia says that George Orwell invented this term in his novel, 1984. “Doublethink is a process of indoctrination whereby the subject is expected to accept as true that which is clearly false, or to simultaneously accept two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct, often in contravention to one’s own memories or sense of reality. Doublethink is related to, but differs from, hypocrisy.”
Even if the indoctrination is something you did to yourself.
Now, supposedly, when you have “doublethink,” you are supposed to have ANOTHER mental condition. Wikiquotes explains what this is: In psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time, or is confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas, or values. Leon Festinger‘s theory of cognitive dissonance focuses on how humans strive for internal consistency. When inconsistency (dissonance) is experienced, individuals tend to become psychologically uncomfortable and they are motivated to attempt to reduce this dissonance, as well as actively avoiding situations and information which are likely to increase it.
But when the indoctrination is strong enough, apparently you don’t HAVE “cognitive dissonance.” So you have become a part of the most rapidly growing part of society. People who refuse to accept reality, and act on (and seemingly thrive on!) their dissonance. And instead, want everyone to accept their warped version of reality.
Or who apparently believe that if they just do “this” (which usually involves forcing someone else to do “this”) that the conflicting beliefs they hold will suddenly NOT conflict. Which is, I suppose, a way of validating their warped view of the universe.
Now, I suppose you think that I am speaking of the so-called “left-wing” which is running wild across the Fifty States and much of the world today. That mix of state-loving socialists and nannies and social justice warriors. And I am.
But I am also talking about their opposition, the so-called “right-wing” who want more freedom AND more cops, more liberty AND more laws, and believe that their freedoms and liberties are somehow protected by stealing freedom and liberty from the left-wingers. The kind who famously want to “keep government out of our Social Security” and who believe that “if one side is wrong, the other side MUST be right.”
And I’m talking about the politicians and the bureaucrats who seek the support of both of these groups. Who have lied (and seen their spiritual ancestors lie) so much that they can no longer tell the truth from lies. Much less right from wrong.
It used to be that most of us grew out of these things quickly. The politicos didn’t, of course – that is one reason they ARE in politics. But most people did, once they realized that unless they came to an understanding that REALITY is real, that they cannot make things up and turn them into real things without work and resources. But then, we created safety nets and welfare systems, and institutions (like schools) that let people live comfortably by providing services to people who could not cope with reality. (Parasites, in other word, which also seem to do best when being parasitic to weak and damaged other plants or animals.)
I see these people – this community – as being enemies of liberty. Destroyers of freedom. And therefore people we either have to cure or contain. Is there any alternative? Let me know if you have one.