“I do not want the peace that passeth understanding.  I want the understanding which bringeth peace.”—Helen Keller

 

 

ne problem that I’ve seen with psychology as it’s currently practiced, is that it tends toward a thinking that I’ve gotten to think of as “antinomie.”  Unless and until the damage done by hyperthymic dysfunctional behavior is so unambiguous that expecting acceptance of it would be untenable, it would be treated as if of course it’s just slightly excessively normal human imperfection, or the slightly excessively normal vicissitudes of life, and anyone who wouldn’t accept such things would be condemned.  Nineteenth Century sociologist Emile Durkheim wrote of the “anomie” of the newly-developing industrial society, meaning that nothing was nominal, nothing could be taken as a norm even a moral norm.  Old-fashion moral norms seem irrelevant, and, in the same spirit, even moral norms based on such practical facts as the gravity of the consequences wouldn’t weigh too heavily in the minds of those who cause the consequences.  To many people, at least some versions of la vida maníaca would seem pro-freedom, or, at the very least, like something that’s right for some people, so no one should try to change them.  The supposed suppressors look pretty scary.

 

  

 

Antinomie takes anomie one step further.  It isn’t just away from treating things that one should be able to count on as nominal, but against treating things that one should be able to count on as nominal.  One who objects to an immoral act as if it’s more serious than just something that doesn’t suit his preferences, is treated as if since he’s not adjusting to, adapting to, functioning with, remaining undisturbed by, compensating for, fitting in with, and feeling contented with, this reality, then he’s just a maladjusted maladaptive dysfunctional disturbed and decompensated misfit and malcontent.  He could also seem judgmental, unforgiving, controlling, etc.  Depression is the only dread disease of which many of the causes seem sacrosanct.  As can be seen in Nietzsche, the weak could easily seem to be the dangerously WILLFUL ones, since everyone’s beliefs regarding what they deserve are shaped by their own SELF-WILLS, and the weak can exercise their supposed SELF-WILLS only in ways that would seem mollycoddle, “dishonest” and “ignominious,” whereas red-blooded strength is “honest,” proud, and at least forgivable (i.e. must be forgiven).  We must appreciate all the hidden dangers of unchecked “victim-power.”  As Niebuhr wrote, power, which would include victim-power, “cannot be wielded without guilt, since it is never transcendent over interest,” over (hidden and surreptitious) SELF-WILL, though we dare not talk in such overgeneralized terms when passing judgment on overt sinful power.  We fear fearmongering, but not greed-mongering.  “Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace; Taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is not as I would have it,” could happen to anyone.

As one could see in the Great Crash of 2008, such a laissez faire concept of personal response-ability could seem good ’n’ gutsy, until you see the consequences of the moral bankruptcy.  (Of course, this self-response-ability must include the same self-justifying, fatalistic, conformist, simplistic, “upbeat,” absolutist, unconditional, predictable, and dogmatically necessary illusions as laissez faire economics has, the very illusions that got our economy into such trouble; after all, people will do only what they feel motivated to do.)  Economist Steven Landsburg said, “Most of economics can be summarized in four words: ‘People respond to incentives.’  The rest is commentary,” and that’s also how this sort of self-help could be summarized: You’re the only one who has a reliable incentive to solve your problems, and nothing that disagrees with this “natural” pragmatism could matter, no matter what chaos and helplessness result.  Realism simply must be oriented around the fact that you absolutely can change what’s tactically wrong with your own reactions, and absolutely can’t change what’s morally wrong with others’ actions; not being realistic would be ridiculous (said sardonically, or maybe to encourage victims to empower themselves in what laissez faire economists would call “tough love,” though the expression “tough love” originally meant the authoritarian and coercive approach that parents could use on their teenagers who have drug problems and the like).  Our economy reward$ those who think like this.  And even if this sort of thinking leads to a worldwide economic catastrophe, it could always be blamed absolutely on the supposedly mollycoddle weak.  (We all know how insidiously dangerous they are!)  All relationships and marriages considered codependent are treated just as fatalistically, whether or not the problem person is addicted.  As Greenspan said, that’s what works; even behavior problems who aren’t addicted aren’t motivated to change so expecting them to do what they don’t feel an incentive to do won’t work.  Victimhood doesn’t produce anything, so why should we give it any credit?  The ends justify the means, since the ends, functionability and good coping skills, are necessary.  Is someone sociopathic?  Avoid him since you’re incompatible!  End of story!  NO ONE HAS A RIGHT TO ENDURABILITY!  Endurability has to come from somewhere.  Either we have self-responsible self-reliance, or we have nanny-ism, whining, trauma-drama, etc.  Both the economics that led to the financial crash, and self-help for anyone in trouble including addicts’ family members, wear the cloak of realism, which is both all-important and expected of all red-blooded people.  After all, we must have an un-ignorable incentive to do certain things that we may or may not be able to do.   One could say that the fix is in, not in the sense that a conspiracy put the fix in, but in the sense that our untermensch-bashing cultural norms did, so it’s predictable that if you’re the one with the problem, you’d be held response-able for “empowering yourself,” “taking care of yourself,” etc., by solving it.

 

THE GREATEST RISK IS NOT TAKING ONE, AIG ad from 2001, so if you tried to restrain this you’d seem profoundly: weak, whiny, defeatist, controlling, unrealistic, counterproductive, opinionated, manipulative, negative, moralistic, etc.  Sure, post-scandal AIG CEO Edward M. Liddy said, “I have seen the good side of capitalism.  But over the past six months, since agreeing to take the reins of AIG and reviewing how it was run in prior years, I have also seen instances of the bad side of capitalism,” but one could also call the gutsiness of AIG in its PIG era, “character-building,” giving plenty of backbone and fortitude.

 

 

In theory this means self-responsibility, self-reliance, gutsiness, anti-controlling, good coping skills, realism, conventionality, respectability, etc., but in practice this means that nothing except, “Can I change this?” including the most basic morality and concern for the weak, can really seem to matter.  Sure, you could recognize that destructive sinfulness is destructive sinfulness, but in the end you’d have to forgive it, or you’d be maladjusted and suffer the consequences of this weakness.  (“YOU VILL ENJOY!”)  Frank Buchman, leader of the Oxford Groups, the club on which AA and then Al-Anon was based and until recently was called “Moral Re-Armament,” (Sinclair Lewis’ novel It Can’t Happen Here, from 1935, includes Buchman in its list of currently trendy “Messiahs.”) said, “D’you know Heinrich Himmler?...  Say, you ought to know Heinrich.  He’s a great lad....  [Hitler] lets us have house-parties whenever we like.”  Anti-Nazi British travel-writer and journalist Robert Byron, who got a chance to observe Nazism up close, wrote in his diary, “Himmler apparently dotes on the Oxford Group [How cute.] and writes to its English members discussing their troubles with them,” so he was their Dear Abby.  This was the same Himmler who said, in his speech on October 4, 1943 to the SS Group Leaders in Poznan, “Most of you know what it means to see a hundred corpses lying together, five hundred, or a thousand.  To have stuck it out and at the same time—apart from exceptions caused by human weakness—to have remained decent fellows, that is what has made us hard,” but that personal strength concerned one of the Nazi practices that Buchman didn’t like.  It’s pretty obvious what the “Dear Abby” version of that would advise those in trouble, who are members of an honored group of people who are working on their own resolute and impassively accepting attitudes.  Anything less than, “Happiness is an inside job,” (in general), or, “Things happen.  It’s what we do when they happen that’s key,” (in general), would have been too weak-spirited and blaming for Himmler, so he was their perfect “Dear Abby.”  The only suggestions that Himmler would have made in a Dear Abby letter would have been, (1) courageously change what you can, and, (2) serenely accept what you can’t, since anything else would have mollycoddled WEAKNESS.

Himmler Logic, after all, would focus on whether the person with the problem seems to have a weak (as in literally WEAK) character, and would be quick to interpret inadequacies in problem-solving as weaknesses of character, so the weak seem contemptible, blameworthy, and, possibly, insidiously dangerous.  This self-responsible self-help approach is also like the “exemplary dualism” of the Militia Movement, like classifying people as redbloods or mollycoddles, or as übermenschen or untermenschen; this preaches that those who seem to have (literally) strong characters are the allies of decent people so are at least forgiven, and those who seem to have (literally) weak characters are the enemies of decent people.  This leads to some predictable distortions in our conceptions of right, wrong, shame, etc.  Take the Nazi might-makes-right ethos, remove the racism and war crimes, and you’d have what Western culture considers to be the only conception of personal responsibility that works, which is what Hitler’s, Wagner’s and Nietzsche’s main inspiration, Schopenhauer, actually wrote about.

The question of whether “it” can happen here, all depends on whether or not “it” includes the aspects of Nazism and Himmler that Buchman’s formula for living didn’t include; if not, “it” happens every day.  The “it” in It Can’t Happen Here included merely an ambiguous, covert, attitude-of-gratitude racism (“It was understood... that all Jews of all conditions were frequently to sound their ecstasy at having found in America a sanctuary, after their deplorable experiences among the prejudices of Europe....  The allegiance of all such Negroes as had the sense to be content with safety and good pay instead of ridiculous yearnings for personal integrity Sarason got by being photographed shaking hands with the celebrated Negro Fundamentalist clergyman, the Reverend Dr. Alexander Nibbs, and through the highly publicized Sarason Prizes for the Negroes with the largest families, the fastest time in floor-scrubbing, and the longest periods of work without taking a vacation.”), so the “it” in modern America could include merely an ambiguous, covert, attitude-of-gratitude form of the strong horrifying the weak.  A classic cliché expression is, “There is no alternative,” to the power dynamics of our economy, and another way to say this is that there is no alternative besides dictatorship and/or Zimbabwe-style economic failures, so every time that these power dynamics horrify us, we should be grateful that we’re not instead dealing with dictators’ outrages, and/or economic failures including massive unemployment, irrespective of any indefinable abstractions such as integrity.  If you’re in a Wagnerian conflict, and you simply must deal with your realities, then you simply must deal with them as Schopenhauer prescribed.  The psychology of, “You don’t want to think/act like a weak person, do you?” could be called a form of neo-Nazism.

 

 

 

Yet, in a society with rampant depression, one could just as easily call that “pragmatic logic”: the weak courageously change what they can (themselves) and serenely accept what they can’t (everyone else), and what one deserves is completely irrelevant.  You can’t change your enemies, except for one.  Yet the limits of the threshold of human endurance are a fact, and if we don’t deal with it, it will deal with us.

“Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace; Taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is not as I would have it,” is all about what the weak should do, believe, and take responsibility for.  Even sophisticated psychology tends to classify people, aspects of human nature, desires, etc., into categories that are very German, Freudian: übermensch means ineradicable so at least forgivable, while untermensch means true shamefulness, suspiciousness.  (And, of course, treating this moral bankruptcy as necessary for realism seems a lot better than does treating this as admirably open-minded and gutsy.)  These Oxford members no doubt tended to take his ideas about coping skills, to heart, since they wanted self-improvement that would build fiber.  After all, we must accept that if you win, you win, and if you lose, you lose.  That self-responsible self-motivation is also how, and why, market discipline works; we must discipline even perfectly innocent failures.  The more that the weakness of the weak is blamed (What exactly is to blame when someone doesn’t protect himself well enough to succeed?): the more that they’d be motivated to take responsibility for taking care of themselves, the more hope that they’d have that they could change what causes their problems (themselves), and the more that we could all have faith in this red-blooded worldview.   Prejudice against the weak means an optimistic and patriotic faith in The System, and focusing on how the weak could hopefully solve their own problems if only they made themselves worthy, changed what they can. “Personal strength,” “strength of character,” etc., tend to mean literally strength, transcending “weak” but natural and warranted feelings.  As Langdon Gilkey’s On Niebuhr says, “Thus transcendence is perhaps the key word in Niebuhr...”  Übermensch imperfection such as sinfulness would have to seem at least forgivable, while untermensch supposed imperfection would have to seem to be an insidious (as in “the hidden lie,” and, “We are all victims of victims.”) expression of weak people’s SELF-WILLS.  Dictator or no dictator, just about all of those in any society must define “personal responsibility” in basically the same predictable way and truly believe it, or different people would play by different rules, and plenty of people wouldn’t take the rules to heart when fortitude would be most necessary.  No doubt plenty of Oxford members who weren’t Himmler’s advisees, could have been just as easily, since they were just as free of whiny resentment; all “good” members followed the same school of psychology.

Himmler’s advice would have said that when we deal with our own troubles, the strong do get forgiven and the weak don’t.  Sure, this is stereotypically Nazi, but it would also be the most pragmatic (in the microcosmic sense) and well-adjusted approach. These are exactly the benefits that psychologists often get from using the AA approach, or other pragmatic approaches.

 

 

(This is the heading of the section of Al-Anon’s workbook Blueprint for Progress, Al-Anon’s Fourth Step Inventory, for those who seem to be codependent to take a fearless moral inventory of behaviors, including helpful ones, that are labeled as “controlling.”  Frankly, just about any helpful behavior in a relationship that’s considered codependent, would be considered “controlling,” as in, “Sure, you think that what you’re doing is trying to help, but supposedly trying to help someone is a great way to control him.”  This morality-based “control” is in the same sense of what the Mississippi preacher mentioned by Bobby Kennedy’s administrative aide James Symington, meant by tyranny, “One preacher let me into his church, and told me, ‘You represent a tyranny.’   I said, ‘How do you think black people feel living in Mississippi with no rights?’   He said, ‘Well, it’s better to have a lot of little tyrannies than one big one.’”  Control based on one person having power over another, is only a little tyranny.  Of course, if those driven into depression, anxiety disorders, etc., by such behavior, instead fixed themselves by taking antidepressants, choosing to think positively, eating more omega-3 fatty acids, etc., that wouldn’t seem controlling, anti-freedom, manipulative, resentful, etc.  If you object to sinfulness, that’s really your will-to-power.  One could only ask: if control, resentment, etc., really were character defects so the person who had them got bad karma, what would be the learning experience that he’d get to teach him what’s wrong with them, that he be reincarnated as an SOB so he could see what it feels like to be on the receiving end of victim-posturing control tactics?)

 

The epitome of antinomie has got to be the entire unredacted Serenity Prayer as originally written by Reinhold Niebuhr, which goes as follows: “God, grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.  Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace; Taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is not as I would have it; Trusting that You will make all things right if I surrender to Your will; So that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with You forever in the next—Amen.”  “God, grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference,” doesn’t necessarily mean, “Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace; Taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is not as I would have it,” but is necessarily that unconditional, all-or-nothing, and

The only question that one could honorably ask about his own problem, no matter how much hardship, sinfulness, etc., was involved in it, is, “Can I change this?” over and over and over again to optimistically look for ways in which he could change each aspect of it if he were good enough.  No society can be truly anomic or antinomic, since each and every problem has to get solved, and no society could be undecided as to who is personally responsible for doing so.

 

 

For example, the Gam-Anon chapter of Gamblers Anonymous’ handbook, includes, “The aim of the Gam-Anon program is to aid the individuals involved with a compulsive gambler to find help by changing their own lives....  Living or being associated with a compulsive gambler creates its own kind of hell.  For most people, it is a devastating experience...  At any moment the house might be lost or the furniture repossessed.  There may not be enough money to put food on the table or clothe the children....  The meeting is opened with a moment of silent meditation and closed with the Serenity Prayer.”  And the philosophies of such ladies’ auxiliaries to Twelve-Step groups, have inspired a lot of current self-help psychology in general.  If it’s your problem, you’d better just help yourself.

At first, the gambler’s wife would look at the real problem, his gambling, ask herself, “Can I change this?” and answer, “No.”  Even if someone caused her problems that couldn’t be attributed to a mental disease that made him not guilty by reason of insanity, she still absolutely can’t change others’ actions and can change her own reactions.  Next, she’d think, “No law is forcing me to stay married to him.  Can I change this?”  If she can afford to, she’d answer “Yes,” move out, and whenever her new desperate living situation caused her problems, she’d ask about each aspect of each one, “Can I change this?”  If she can’t afford to leave, then she’d have to look at each of the realities that he caused for her, and ask about each aspect of it, “Can I change this?”  In any case, the only choices that she’d have available to her would be this pragmatism, or those big realities making her life very dysfunctional.  Those who face their problems solely along the lines of, “Can I change this?  Can I change this?  Can I change this?  Can I change this?  Can I change this?” would probably be most likely to succeed.  This is the main idea of all victim correction as a panacea, such as that no matter what caused 34,000,000 Americans to suffer from serious depressive disorders, they can’t change this, but can each change their own brain chemistries through anti-depressants.

When it comes to the ethical responsibility that we take seriously,

 

Those who want to be pragmatic naturally would tend toward self-help, and self-help for those in trouble has tended to use the ladies’ auxiliaries of Twelve-Step groups, those like Al-Anon, as role models.  Typical of the Al-Anon approach to those in trouble, is the following, out of their vintage comics:

 

Yes, that pamphlet that she’s reading, which she got from her first Al-Anon meeting, is titled “Living with an Alcoholic.”  Learning how to live happily with an alcoholic, is what would constitute self-help for her, since that’s the reality that she must deal with.  Neo-Buddhism, the peace that passeth understanding, means failsafe coping skills. 

And this isn’t only because his disease of alcoholism seems so disabling that alcoholics should therefore be treated as not guilty by reason of insanity.  Since all wives absolutely can’t change their husbands’ actions but absolutely can change their own reactions, then the victims will simply have to correct themselves.  You mustn’t really care about “the elephant in the living room” if you can’t change the elephant.

 

 

 

 

Sure, these norms cause rampant depression.  The homepage of the Mental Illness—What a Difference a Friend Makes website, by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, says, “An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older—about one in four adults—suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year.”  As the title suggests, this website is about getting the friends of the 26.2% of the American adult population, to support these people rather than stigmatizing them.  The ways in which one friend treats another, is one of the few sociological factors of this huge social problem, that we could honorably take seriously.  If we take the other sociological factors seriously, we could seem to be trying to manipulate like untermenschen, and/or to restrict the übermenschen.

Antidepressant Treatment—the Essentials, by John H. Greist, MD and Thomas H. Greist, MD, a book on how general practitioners could give their depressed clients better medical treatment, says, “According to National Institutes of Mental Health figures, 20,000,000 people or approximately 15% of the U.S. adult population suffers from a serious depressive disorder in any given year.”  To say that as doctors treat the million of Americans who suffer a serious depressive disorder in any given year, they should know this rate since it would help the doctors treat each individual as if their depressions simply are their problems, completely ignores the fact that this involves an unnaturally high rate of helplessness, happening to millions of people, year in and year out.

 

 

 

 

 

Yet if you care about even that, as a social problem rather than just as 20,000,000 separate problems inside of each of the victims, much as Jane was treated, you’d seem to be BAD: resentful, defeatist, manipulative, blaming, controlling, etc.  If you just brushed this social problem aside, you’d seem GOOD: well-adjusted, non-judgmental, optimistic, realistic, mature, corrigible, independently achievement-oriented, etc.  All this would probably be put across in very NICE terms, as if those who say such things are just trying to HELP you, make you more well-adjusted and confident.  You’d be a far more productive and cooperative member of society if you didn’t care, and no society could function without its citizens’ productivity and cooperation.  Everyone knows that what’s at fault, is inside the millions of victims.

 

 

 

Just as the old joke says, “Simply because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean that they aren’t really out to get you,” simply because one’s sense of impunity is pathological doesn’t mean that he can’t really get away with what he wants to do.  One of the big pedo-priests that few ever heard of, James Janssen of the Davenport Iowa Diocese, showed an obliviousness toward his own predations that was very typical of extreme Hyperthymic Personality Disorder.  In 1954 was his first reported attempt to sexually abuse a boy.  In 1956, he was caught “in the handball court [of the YMCA] with two boys in a very improper activity.”  In 1959, he molested a boy in front of his church, in full view of the boy’s father and grandmother, and a nun.  Janssen sexually abused many other young teen boys, including in sex with up to three other priests in his sex ring, including group sex.  (When one of the other pedo-priests in his sex ring got in difficulty with the law, a letter about this from Bishop Daniel F. Walsh of Reno-Las Vegas to Bishop Gerald F. O’Keefe said that this was, “either through his own fault or through the manipulation and control exercised by this woman,” so it’s pretty clear who the hierarchy did distrust).  Sometimes, the boys’ mothers could see that something strange was going on.  He also led plenty of boys in plenty of sociopathic behavior.  Yet, since those above him in the hierarchy were enablers, he was able to get away with it.  Only in 1997 did he get a letter greatly limiting what he could do as a priest, and only in 2004 was he defrocked.  A letter from 1961, from Chancellor Fr. Maurice J. Dingman to Bishop Ralph L. Hayes, expressed fear that a victim’s mother would turn Janssen in, “If she does the matter could break in the papers and become nationally known.  Father Hopkins wants to avoid any scandal,” but also fairly confident that she wouldn’t.  In 1958, Maurice J. Dingman, who was just becoming bishop, signed an oath saying, “I... do hereby swear that I will maintain secrecy regarding all facts of this case.”  Sure, the enabling committed by much of the Catholic hierarchy is certainly more extreme than the enabling committed by the usual forgiving person, but both are based on the same very traditional principles of forgiveness.

Our Fathers, by David France, says about Joseph Birmingham, the same pedo-priest who abused Paul Cultrera of Hand of God fame, “According to [a journalist’s] sources, he was by far the most pathological about his assaults, methodically moving from boy to boy like a champion at a pie-eating contest.  With some of the priests she’d researched, their victim types were apparent—fatherless children, or drug-addled teens, or the meekest altar boys.  Birmingham was indiscriminate.  He was voracious.  His type was the next one.”

Yet in fact, since Birmingham hunted for his victims in church, many of them in religious classes, and when they or their parents did turn him in to his superiors they just transferred him to new hunting grounds, his pathological sense of impunity was actually very accurate.  Our Fathers also includes, “...the Birmingham [survivors’] group was unique in one key way.  More than anything, they wanted the church to save itself,” unlike the abuse survivors who tended to be run-of-the-mill parishioners.  He didn’t become notorious until after he was dead, when everyone wasn’t so forgiving.  To whatever degree his pathology involved a lack of caring about how much the abuse hurt his victims, Cardinal Law and the other enablers in the hierarchy had the same lack of care, whether or not they had any pathologies.

And if, instead, one’s pathological sense of impunity is along the lines of, “Übermensch SELF-WILL, including destructive or disruptive behavior, is at least forgivable, but untermensch SELF-WILL or supposed SELF-WILL, including whininess, resentment, evasions of response-ability for one’s own problems, etc., isn’t,” and those in his society, in the end, have the same sorts of attitudes, then he really would be able to get away with his übermensch destructive or disruptive behavior.  Germany, itself, has certainly been able to get away with more than it deserved to!  Both Birmingham and such übermenschen rely heavily on unconditional Christian forgiveness.  To whatever degree their pathology involved a lack of caring about how much the destructive behavior hurt their victims, those who focus so much attention on how the victims need to be corrected, have the same lack of care.

 

(Cartoon generated by “Build Your Own Meat”)

 

The “seven propaganda devices” that the Institute for Propaganda Analysis observed in the 1930s being used by those such as fascist Father Charles Coughlin, which were then described in The Fine Art of Propaganda in 1939, were: Name Calling, Glittering Generality, Transfer, Testimonial, Plain Folks, Card Stacking, and Band Wagon.  That’s exactly what you’d expect to hear from both the typical person with Hyperthymic Personality Disorder, “tend to be rash and show poor judgement,” and the untermensch-phobic victim correction as a panacea.  Both would be very quick to call those who object to sinful behavior, willfully untermensch names, as if they’re somehow choosing to be weak for “fun” and/or profit, and, therefore are the real victimizers.  Both of these would use Glittering Generalities along the lines of “pro-freedom,” to mean that those who don’t supposedly victimize them with their untermensch tactics, are pro-freedom.  A good reputation would be transferred from such things as Christian forgiveness, and people who’ve succeeded because they dealt with their own problems successfully enough.  Both hyperthymics and our social norms would say that the testimonials of these successes would “prove” that if only the victims of the problems took care of them well enough, they’d benefit.  Both would be able to talk about how American plain folks are those who most believe in this sort of self-reliance, and how those intellectuals who don’t are so unpragmatic.  Both would stack up plenty of sophistry to “prove” what they’re saying, and insist that only this sophistry is valid, since only it would show the victims how they could handle their own problems the most pragmatically.  Both could also tell these victims to join the bandwagon, since our norms so push people in the direction of unconditional self-reliance.  Those who insist that you minimize others’ destructive behavior since then you’d be more well-adjusted, would also insist that rashness and poor judgment constitute mistakes, not a personality disorder.  Then again, this same logic would also work for the typical non-violent sociopath.

Unfortunately, there may be a good reason why the sort of rationale that would further fascism, and the sort of rationale that would seem to justify the behavior that one would expect from Hyperthymic Personality Disorder, match.  Many have said that the Romantic Era of Central European culture had greatly shaped Nazism, and hyperthymic genius was a big topic in the Romantic Era.  This era also made a virtue out of exactly the sort of vibrant gutsiness that makes hyperthymics so attractive, and it’s exactly this gutsiness that gives a Wagnerian outlook its excitement.  The romanticism of the Romantic Era is probably the only romanticism that works, in that no matter what problems the free-spirited übermenschen cause for the untermenschen, they have the motivation to solve their own problems, and they don’t want to look as if they’re manipulatively “finding blame,” playing the victim role, evading their response-ability for their own welfare, etc.

(This calligraphic font is the German style of calligraphy, and is actually called “Fraktur.”  Its fluid dynamism is exactly the sort that you’d expect from hyperthymics, but its sturm und drang, especially with its name Fraktur, is also what you’d expect from German culture.  Also, to most people “calligraphy” has connotations of a Medieval formality, though Fraktur has a fluid dynamism that might even look hellacious to some, all of which is very similar to the German culture, involving both the “good German” authoritarianism, and the aggression for which no one really takes responsibility since “That’s human nature,” and those who object would seem very untermensch: vindictive, resentful, whiny, manipulative, repressive, etc.)

 

The “best” Fraktur comes off of SS documents and publications,

yet even old-fashioned and formal German calligraphy could be Fraktur, as in the following snake-like heading (with a lower-case s that looks more like a sword or a lower-case f) of the “Family Register” pages of an antique heirloom German Bible:

 

Niebuhr’s The Nature and Destiny of Man, in the chapter “The Easy Conscience of Modern Man,” includes a discussion of what Niebuhr called “physiocratic” theory, meaning how market discipline disciplines.  According to that, as long as someone wins a competitive adversarial contest he deserves to be treated as a winner, and as long as he loses, he deserves to be treated as a loser.  Yet families that operate along the lines of “I must courageously change what I can and serenely accept whatever I can’t, and if I don’t I’m too passive and resentful,” have got to be the ultimate physiocracies.  First off, the law certainly doesn’t treat any addiction as if it’s enough of a disease that addicts are not guilty by reason of insanity.  But even if we assume that addicts plainly and simply are passive victims of their diseases, the fact would still remain that even if a husband’s behavior problems couldn’t possibly seem to result from a disease taking away his free will, the wife would still be absolutely incapable of changing his actions, and absolutely capable of changing her own reactions.  If she succeeds at preventing this from having bad effects on her life she’d be a winner, and if she doesn’t, she’d be a whiny loser.  And even if she divorces him the physiocracy would continue, since whatever realities she must courageously change in order to be a “winner,” would have been determined by what he did.  This would pretty much include all 29 of the rationales on my Standard Rationales for Victim Correction as a Panacea webpage, especially: #1 But This Would Benefit You!, #2 STRENGTH of Character, #4 Some Imperfection Must Be Tolerated; Some Mustn’t Be, #5 Schopenhauer’s Idea of Manipulation, and #6 Women’s Responsibilities.

 

 

As any market disciplinarian would tell you, motivation is the only driving force that we could count on to get done what our society needs to get done, and she would be motivated to prevent these problems, while he wouldn’t be.  Holding the husbands morally responsible probably wouldn’t work, while holding the wives response-able for their own welfare, probably would.  Addiction has got to be the ultimate example of this, in that addicts could be motivated to stop the destruction by “hitting bottom,” even if this means that the entire family goes into poverty, but couldn’t be otherwise motivated to stop, and motivation is everything.  Quite literally, there’s nothing more to these family dynamics, than, “If he has the power to create the realities that she can’t change, then that’s the reality that she must deal with, and if he doesn’t, then that’s the reality that she must deal with.  If she does have the power to change it then that’s what she’s to do, no matter how much courage that would take, and if she doesn’t, then she’s to serenely accept it.”  As long as all of the problems in a society are confidently taken care of like this, then everyone will be confident, and all problems will be taken care of, by those who are selfishly motivated to do a good job.  No one would be guilty of doing anything that could possibly be labeled as the sort of un-American weakness that Reaganomics would condemn, such as passivity, whining, controlling, etc.  Naturally, the victims of anything would very much want to succeed in life, deal with their own problems, feel serene and well-adjusted, etc.  If she ends up as a loser and failure, that probably wouldn’t be easy on her conscience!

As Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything, by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner says, “Economics is, at root, the study of incentives: how people get what they want, or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing.  Economists love incentives.”  In the sort of self-empowerment promoted by groups based on, “God, grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference,” it’s to be accepted that what each person gets is what he wins, rather than what he deserves.  This gives to the people who have the problems, the incentive to deal with them as productively, stolidly and Stoically, as possible.  On the other hand, the victimizers rarely ever have the sort of incentive to solve the problems they cause, that we could rely on.  Freakonomics goes on to say, “The typical economist believes the world has not yet invented a problem that he cannot fix if given a free hand to design the proper incentive scheme.  His solution may not always be pretty—it may involve coercion or exorbitant penalties or the violation of civil liberties—but the original problem, rest assured, will be fixed.”  The victims would be far more likely to serenely accept the violations of their rights necessary for the incentives, if these violations didn’t come from a centralized authority.  And if our system of incentives weren’t this results-oriented, where if you win you win and if you lose you lose, just imagine how many people (especially those who looked pathetic) would get what they wanted by manipulatively playing the victim role!  Even assertively standing up for one’s own rights, could be said to reflect one’s own SELF-WILL, and, therefore, reflect a hidden self-centeredness.

I have two webpages that tell of how this sort of stolid ideal, has affected psychology in general.  On my Candace Newmaker’s Experience webpage, I go into how the psychologists of this little adoptee, smothered her to death because they had her do a simulated “rebirthing,” and when she screamed that the “birth canal” was smothering her to death, her therapists ignored her because it seemed that of course her screams were just a manipulative machination to get out of therapy.  In 1990 another young adoptee being treated by the same clinic killed herself because when she came home from school and said that she’d been molested, her “therapeutic foster parents” acted as if this was a manipulative machination, and when she asked what would happen if she slit her wrists or took an overdose of drugs, the responded as if this was a machination, and told her calmly that she would die.

On my Breaking Important Confidences for Your Own Good webpage, I have excerpts of a document about a lawsuit against one marriage counselor who “reveal[ed] the most confidential of information disclosed to him by each” spouse, which also tells of another marriage counselor doing the same.  Obviously these therapists didn’t benefit by doing this, so the only reason why they would have done it is that it fostered greater stolid self-determination in their clients.  In cases like this, since the therapists hurt their own self-interests, they must have been true believers in the notion that übermensch is GOOD, and untermensch is BAD.  Within certain limits that may not be reasonable (since the real world isn’t always reasonable), the stronger you are, the less likely you are to seem mentally unhealthy, maladjusted and whiny, and the more likely your interests are to seem exciting.

The entry on Niebuhr in The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, 2001, says that he “defended Christianity as the world view that best explains the heights and barbarisms of human behavior,” so we’re simply supposed to accept the existence of barbarity, and change our vulnerability to barbarisms.  Only in some situations  does the Serenity Prayer become the Barbarity Prayer, to varying degrees, but in those situations, unvaryingly, the response-ability goes absolutely to the person whose welfare is at stake.  The oldest root of antinomie is the old Christian doctrine of Antinomianism, as defined on page one.  Such culturally promoted “reversals,” also including those regarding pragmatism and respectability, are why Black street slang refers to victim-blaming as “The Flip Game.”  The Merriam Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary says that the word Antinomian is derived from “anti-” and “nomos,” Greek for “law,” and defines Antinomian as, “one who holds that under the gospel dispensation of grace the moral law is of no use or obligation because faith alone is necessary to salvation.”  This  is based on the unconditional forgiveness of the New Testament.  More on this is on my webpage on Niebuhr’s book set The Nature and Destiny of Man. with an alcoholic, is what would constitute self-help for her, since that’s the reality that she must deal with.)

One historical description of anomie is by Thomas Jefferson, written as industrial society was just beginning to grow out of a society of economically self-sufficient farmers, in query 19 of  his Notes on the State of Virginia:

But we have an immensity of land courting the industry of the husbandman. Is it best then that all our citizens should be employed in its improvement, or that one half should be called off from that to exercise manufactures and handicraft arts for the other? Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God, if ever he had a chosen people, whose breasts he has made his peculiar deposit for substantial and genuine virtue. It is the focus in which he keeps alive that sacred fire, which otherwise might escape from the face of the earth. Corruption of morals in the mass of cultivators is a phaenomenon of which no age nor nation has furnished an example. It is the mark set on those, who not looking up to heaven, to their own soil and industry, as does the husbandman, for their subsistance, depend for it on the casualties and caprice of customers. Dependance begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition. This, the natural progress and consequence of the arts, has sometimes perhaps been retarded by accidental circumstances: but, generally speaking, the proportion which the aggregate of the other classes of citizens bears in any state to that of its husbandmen, is the proportion of its unsound to its healthy parts, and is a good-enough barometer whereby to measure its degree of corruption. While we have land to labour then, let us never wish to see our citizens occupied at a work- bench, or twirling a distaff. Carpenters, masons, smiths, are wanting in husbandry: but, for the general operations of manufacture, let our work-shops remain in Europe. It is better to carry provisions and materials to workmen there, than bring them to the provisions and materials, and with them their manners and principles. The loss by the transportation of commodities across the Atlantic will be made up in happiness and permanence of government. The mobs of great cities add just so much to the support of pure government, as sores do to the strength of the human body. It is the manners and spirit of a people which preserve a republic in vigour. A degeneracy in these is a canker which soon eats to the heart of its laws and constitution.

Just before this, for query 17, he wrote that he was afraid that if an authoritarian tried to take over, “Besides, the spirit of the times may alter, will alter. Our rulers will become corrupt, our people careless.... They will forget themselves, but in the sole faculty of making money, and will never think of uniting to effect a due respect for their rights.”  Jefferson would have disliked even the ambition of the Yuppies.  The era of the American revolution is called The Enlightenment, but our modern conception of what constitutes enlightenment, could best be expressed by the Alcoholics Anonymous slogan, “The most important part of enlightenment is to ‘lighten’ up,” in any and every circumstance.   As for the culture we have now, the Learning About Depression webpage on the Zoloft website, says, “If you have depression, this sad mood along with other symptoms can last weeks, months, or even years if not treated.  Depression isn’t a sign of weakness or a character flaw.  It’s a real medical condition, but there are ways to successfully treat depression....  Depressive disorders affect about 34 million American adults..  It seems that the helplessness that causes our rampant depression, is just some of the inevitable imperfections of life and/or human nature.

When victims of any sinfulness assertively and candidly try to hold the victimizers accountable, exactly who are the victims and who are the victimizers gets inverted.  The victims seem to be victimizing the victimizers by trying to pass judgment on them, badger them, guilt-trip them, manipulate them, control them, find blame, etc.  When one person confrontationally commands another, “Let go!” meaning let go of some objectionable feelings he’s having, you can count on it that these feelings are pained passive reactions to something that happened to him, not active aggressive desires to do something painful, even if these desires would also cause himself some problems.  Commanding him to shut off aggressive feelings would seem to be an attempt to re-engineer human nature, while for some reason commanding someone to shut off passive suffering wouldn’t, though it should be easier to let go of desires to do or get more, than it would be to let go of an insistence that one not lose what he already had.  The bottom lines of such disagreements with victims are unreasonably absolute and presuming, in that their sense of moral wrongness seems to be simply a bunch of contemptible ploys, bitterness, excuses, etc.  On my own website I have a series of pages on victim correction as a panacea, summarized on my Victim Correction as a Panacea, the Summary webpage, where I give all sorts of information as to how antinomie is linked to it.  Victim correction as a panacea first became very popular during the Reagan/Thatcher era, since it says that women can be liberated from butthead men self-reliantly.  No laws are keeping the women from doing what it takes to win their liberation through fight or flight on the part of the individual, but if a given woman doesn’t have enough financial resources, or has to do an unreasonable amount to win her liberation, then that’s life on life’s terms.  The first step in the reasoning process of victim correction as a panacea is antinomie, since it would say that for women victimized by butthead men to care about the immorality of the men’s choices would be unpragmatic, since the women can’t change the men’s buttheaded choices so the women have to focus their attention on changing the effectiveness of their reactions, as if the men might as well be innocently incompatible with them.

Jefferson would have been told that all those who’d live in the industrialized society that he feared, would have a personal responsibility for choosing to be serene and courageous and thereby transcend all of those worldly problems that he bewailed, and if they didn’t they’d be condemned as maladjusted and maladaptive.  This way the society would keep right on functioning unquestioningly.  Naturally those who first took to this and made it a part of our culture are a group of people that includes many with addictive personalities; addictive thinking couldn’t seem justified without antinomic thinking, “How dare you object!  We are all victims of victims, so stop victimizing me by demanding better.” The web page “What Is Alcoholism?: Basic information about alcoholism - what is it, what causes it, and who is at risk,” had said under the heading Personality Traits, “Studies are finding that alcoholism is strongly related to impulsive, excitable, and novelty-seeking behavior, and such patterns are established early on, if not inherited,” and not harmlessly impulsive excitable and novelty-seeking, either.  The webpage Factors Contributing to the Development of Pathological Gambling, now says basically the same thing about addictions in general, in more depth.

                 

                 

Michael Craig, Miller, MD, the Editor in Chief of the Harvard Mental Health Letter, wrote in the February, 2006 issue, “Genes shape temperament: People who are impulsive, take risks, and habitually seek new experiences are more likely to become addicted.”  The same article also says that one of the way in which genes “influence the brain’s susceptibility to addiction,” is in “the prefrontal cortex, which organizes our responses to the environment,” and that this is the same obliviousness that constitutes an effect of booze: “Addictive substances may also cause the prefrontal cortex to work at low power—one of the reasons addicted persons often deny that they have a problem.”  This is also the reason why booze, which is a depressant, feels like a stimulant.  Other genetic effects, such as that drugs feel unusually good to some people, wouldn’t lead to addiction in those who have a strong enough awareness that no matter how good they feel now, overusing them would have the dangers of addiction.

This is exactly the sort of person who’d love the Serenity Prayer, since it says that no matter what problems such people would cause for you, then you’re the one to be corrected if you don’t simply deal with your own problems emotionally and physically.  (Just imagine telling a markedly impulsive and excitable person, “Sorry, but the harm that you just caused someone else is your responsibility, not the responsibility of the person whose welfare is at stake.”)  So it seems that when women victimized by buttheads now have to face hardship in order to get the effects of their sinfulness out of their lives, the women should face their problems expeditiously, and should care only about how strongly they could face up to their problems.  When this sort of thinking is used to evaluate the sinners, it seems that those who created surmountable obstacles shouldn’t get the scrutiny, but the victims who don’t react expeditiously, should.  And this is where I’ve seen psychology as it’s practiced today, fail to deal with the pathological “sinful” behaviors that come with hyperthymic personalities.  Unless and until the behaviors start causing the sinners themselves so much trouble that they seem maladjusted maladaptive and dysfunctional, trying to correct them would seem to be an attempt to re-engineer human nature.

Even when the actions do become maladjusted maladaptive and dysfunctional for the sinners, psychologists are very willing to be understanding of a lot of this.  The sinners might seem to be overwhelmed by compulsions and the like, but I’ve never seen this balanced by being understanding of their family members being overwhelmed by their need for normal lives.  If simply because a sinner persists, the spouse and children have to move out and face whatever hardship rigors and demands that this leads to since whatever would happen would be life on life’s terms and anyone who doesn’t accept life on life’s terms is maladjusted maladaptive…, then this state of siege isn’t a normal life.  What hyperthymics need most is a practical nomie such as the liberal and humanistic Situation Ethics, which determines whether behavior is moral or immoral based on its predictable and preventable consequences in a given situation rather than on what some holy book decrees.  Then they might not, day after day, go down the slippery slope of, “What I did yesterday seemed totally acceptable because it was human nature so today I’ll go a little farther and it would also be human nature.”  This slippery slope has led to problems such as alcoholism, where the incipient alcoholic keeps thinking that he could keep drinking a little more and then a little more, until it’s too late, as OJ Simpson’s niece Terri did.


 
 

 But wait.  There’s more...

 Go To the Next Page, which Tells of a Hip-Sounding Suicide Note, Trying to Live Up to These Renegade Ideals Even In a Suicide Note.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 
 

 

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  “Oh, Yeah?” Upbeat Echoes from the First Great Stock Market Crash

    Victim Correction as a Panacea, the Summary

(Page 1), (Page 2), (Page 3)

     Cancer Victims Corrected Too

   Victim Correction as a Panacea

   Documentation On the Social Problem of Unnaturally Rampant Depression

   Standard Rationales for Victim Correction as a Panacea

   Schopenhauer on Predators

   Emphasis on Victim-Self-Blaming

  Darwinist Lehman Brothers’ INSIDE Sales Tips

  Darwinist Lehman Brothers’ INSIDE Introduction to Management Book

  Out of the Same Mold as the Great Crash of 2008

   Message for Intellectuals in the Islamic World

   Candace Newmaker’s Experience

  Breaking Important Confidences for Your Own Good

    A Glimpse Into the Soul of Victim Correction

   Cigarette Industry and Victim Correction

  Niebuhr’s Ideas on Our Nature and Destiny

   Herbal Experiences for Women

   Some Ideas for Rapport

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