Is Leftist Ideology a Maladaptive Coping Technique?
Throughout the presidential election I put forward a simple thesis: Party affiliation in the United States is a function of tribal affiliation, not ideology. If you’re from the suburbs or the countryside and / or a WASP, you’re most likely a Republican. If you’re from the cities or the exurbs, Catholic and / or an ethnic white or person of color, you’re most likely a Democrat. Even if you don’t fall into any of the aforementioned groups (which would be strange, as the categories are so broad as to include the overwhelming majority of Americans), you share their cultural values and thus a sense of tribal identity.
The thesis leaves fringe politics unaccounted for, however. LaRouchites, Stormfront denizens and other assorted flotsam fall completely outside the political process; They don’t even exert the type of influence that, for example, Greens or Constitution Party members might, exerting a spoiler effect that, to some small degree, shapes public policy. The fringe is the home of those terrified of reality and unable to cope with it.
It’s not a difficult phenomenon to grasp when it comes to the aforementioned fringe groups; Presumably one doesn’t reach out to white power forums or adopt bizarre theories about a Eurasian land bridge project unless there’s something significant wrong in the brain. However, there’s a far more common expression of fringe politics as a maladaptive coping technique: Your friendly neighborhood leftist radical.
First, as usual, I need to clarify what I mean here, because it’s something very specific: I don’t mean the Egyptians in Tahrir Square, nor probably a goodly portion of the Occupy crowd. I am explicitly not talking about people putting their asses on the line here in what I call “physical reality.” No, I mean the chronic whinger who would be ranting at a bus mall if it weren’t for the mixed blessing of social media. The kind of person who attempts to bask in the RRRRADICAL glow of third world dictators or spends lots of time on Tumblr penning screeds about how the problem with the world is that someone made them feel bad about themselves. The sort of unthinking automaton who latches onto whatever is hip in these circles, without critically appraising the latest cause celebre.
Nietzsche was right, at least in part. While politics can be a means of organizing society, achieving common goals and addressing real problems, it can also be an expression of will to power. Nowhere is this more true than with politics that won’t actually make a difference. When the leftist radical decries this or that “injustice” (which, 9 times out of 10, is little more than hurted fee fees), he does little more than scream to the heavens his desire for a seat at the table of power.
Sadly for him, the heavens aren’t listening. He achieves little else but constructing an elaborate fantasy world where up is down, black is white and his little coffee clutch or bar bitch session is the nucleus of a new world. Rather than seeking connections with his fellow man, he seeks connections with a fantasy.
In short, leftist radical politics aren’t politics. They’re a combination of wish fulfillment fantasy and maladaptive coping mechanism, a cheap attempt to ape religion and psychotherapy. The adoration of dictators, execution and blood-drenched red flags are the worst kind of misanthropy — the kind that doesn’t even admit what it is.
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