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Old 02-17-2008, 11:28 PM   #61
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A lovely review from a reader on Amazon.com:

I read around 30 pages on-line by searching for "liberal", and it appears to me that the presentation suffers from the usual difficulties of argument from Randian commitment hyper-individualism and amoral familism.

The added twist here that the author appears completely oblivious to the strong parallels between his blanket condemnation of his ideological opponents via a diagnosis of psychological pathology and the use of identical techniques by Authoritarian governments to punish dissidence as mental illness - the good doctor appears to me based on this work to be exactly the kind of man, wielding exactly the kinds of arguments, that the psychiatric minions of Russian Communism and Chinese Kleptocracy deployed (and still do) to justify the commitment of political dissidents to mental institutions for involuntary "treatment" as a means of punishment and a warning to others: "no sane person would declaim against Soviet government and Communism".

Still... just because his diatribe on the liberal mind resembles a publication issued under the imprimatur of the Serbski Institute for Forensic Psychiatry and devoted to the political menace of "sluggishly progressing schizophrenia" we should not discard out of hand the author's conviction of the dangers of liberal delusion - perhaps if such pathology became the basis of actual societies the reality would be as desperate and dispiriting as he posits.

Fortunately in this case such fears can be subjected to the test of actual experiment: there are numerous Western European societies where for generations voters and politicians under the sway of such delusions have been in a position to set policy, and have been doing so.

And these places - though apparently governed by the demented on behalf of the delusional - don't seem to be doing much worse than ourselves and certainty don't seem to be in danger of imminent collapse - in fact looking at the evidence one could almost become convinced of the apparently heretical notion that both sorts of societies seem to be reasonably stable and successful.

But of course, the very idea is insane.
I think thirty pages is a sufficient basis for this sort of comparison.

If you are really curious, the best account in English of Soviet Era punitive psychiatry is "Soviet Psychiatric Abuse: The Shadow over World Psychiatry by Sidney Bloch and Peter Reddaway", I see there are several copies available used here on Amazon. I no longer own a copy, so I can't provide you with the exact parallel quotes, but there are lots of them, most often related to a diagnosis of what Soviet psychiatry called "infantile personality with paranoid development of the social reforming type".

BTW, your comments suggest some interesting ethical questions I had not considered until I read your response.

To take one, Rossiter apparently has a substantial practice evaluating the mental states of participants in both criminal and civil trails, in this capacity his opinion has substantial influence on peoples' fates, and I have to wonder if any mental health professional holding the opinion that around a quarter of the population can be judged to be seriously mentally disturbed on the basis of their political opinions can be considered an objective judge of such matters; for example I would think people holding "conservative" political views would be somewhat leery of court ordered evaluation by a "liberal" psychiatrist who believed that "conservative" opinion was sufficient basis for diagnosis of a variety of severe personality disorders.

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Old 02-18-2008, 12:43 AM   #62
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Originally posted by melon
Next, you're going to try and tell me that the world is 6,000 years old and Jesus rode a dinosaur through Jerusalem.

No, it was a fire breathing dragon.

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Old 02-18-2008, 01:20 AM   #63
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This is a book too:

Of course, it would be an admission of my own ignorance if I were to proclaim that all books are the same. Such a broad-based statement that attempts to encompass a particular medium (or group of people) into a uniform category would be flippant... and dare I say, intolerant.

Then again, the best way to understand someone's viewpoint is to assign them a label (then you can just dismiss them). The path to understanding and open communication is classification and assumption.




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Old 02-18-2008, 01:46 AM   #64
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Originally posted by diamond
when i think of concrete thinking, i think of critical and logical thought; not emotional based reasoning.

therefore, concrete thinking is a good thing.

Critical and logical thought can lead to being wrong just as easy as emotionally-based thinking can.

There are a fair amount of "concrete" thinkers who are absolutely not interested in the cold hard truth. Well, to be fair perhaps I should say, they aren't interested in seeking the cold hard truth.

One could argue that the concrete religous folk have allowed the principles on which they think they stand to be corrupted by their own emotion.

Black vs White, Good vs Evil, Coke vs Pepsi.
The only sensible person who ignores the possibilty of another 'way' is a person who has been stunted by their concrete principles. Corrupted by emotional ties to dogma. There isn't a person alive who arrived at religous thought through the scientific process, critical process or logical process all by itself. They arrived there because largely they started there and in other cases they arrived there because emotion led them.

You can show them, up, down sideways, up and down again, the absolute scientific truth on topic 'X' and if it defies their teachings, no matter how it conflicts with cold, hard, truth they'll defer to the concrete corrupted principles of selecting the truth that suits them. They do this purely because of emotion. If not, why would a critical thinker, using logic and reason defy scientific findings, obvious objective truths?

Because these otherwise, sensible, intelligent people are tricked by the emotions of the unprovable. Coming back full circle, if it's a princile based on the unprovable, how sound is this and what makes this method of thinking any more worthy than the emotionally charged ideals of a bleeding heart liberal?

Now, all that said, there are those who hold very firm concrete thought processes and are open to the truth, no matter what color it may be.

I'm just saying, to the overall idea, let's not confuse the concrete thought process of a truth seeker with the concrete thought process of a truth fitter.
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Old 02-18-2008, 02:15 AM   #65
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