Monday, September 14, 2009

The Cart Before the Horse

(from the BC thread "Much ado")

Old Salt,
I second what you say about extremist scenarios. Some people are playing cute and pussyfooting around with semantic games that do not conceal that their fantasy scenarios are really calls for violence. When people do that my instinct is to believe that the political issue is of secondary concern and the primary motivation for them is the desire for violence itself. That is true for thugs and sadists on either the right or the left. Real professionals, in the military or law enforcement, study violence and prepare their response to control a situation when needed but retain a critical detachment that allows them to use the adrenaline rush at the moment without seeking the disorder that induces the need for it. The attraction of the deed is deeply sublimated to the social good. Another example of that is a surgeon who feels satisfaction rather than disgust at the cutting of flesh but who has channeled that desire and rigidly controls its expression.

Psychopaths like Alynsky and Ayers or Goebbels may be hooked on the dream of the rush that comes from the street combat. They succumbed to the lust for it and devoted themselves to spinning fantasy scenarios of violence and disorder that they were able to get others to buy into. In some cases the dream becomes wide spread enough to attain a level of reality but it is always a cancer that lives by destroying the truer reality. It is like if someone became addicted to internet pornography and spent their time constructing fantasies of power to feed their dreams. Even if by some chance they became head of a movie studio with access to young women their motivation would not be on the product but on their personal gratification. The result would be system failure.

In every organization or movement there is the Agency Problem in which you become dependent on actors who bring their own selfish needs with them. There is a difference between the normal friction that comes from someone who recognizes the attractions and becomes interested in these issues and someone who gets excited anticipating carnage coming. My hope would be that for those in the second category here their conduct could be self controlled not so much by a realization that on a basic level their fantasies of black helicopters are coeval with the conspiracy dreams of fantasists like Lenin and Ayers but by the social controls needed to function in any community. Talk of complicated conspiracies and rivers of blood are bad for the forum and that should be sufficient motivation to get those who are not Moby trolls to focus their work on what is rather than what they dream of.

(reposted from the comments on "Much ado")
Thank you for raising the psychological issue first. Hope that those who are qualified among us can offer a professional follow up to this line of thought. In the meantime we amateurs can indulge our interests. :-)

Regarding LGF I really do not know more. I still do not say that CJ is wrong about the issues or in his desire to control his own house. It is the reliance of a chain of associations that I found a mistake and the cumulative effect of wielding to heavy a hand. Community management is an art more than a science and we can only compare how the host manages the blog here by comparison and judge the results. If it was my house then I would probably wield a heavier stick and the results would probably prove unfortunate.

(who defended speculative scenarios)
Heuristics are good and fun and keep the conversation alive. The intent behind an exposition matters. When the Wall came down and Western businessmen started hiring in the East one of the hardest things they had to do was teach basic business etiquette. When you talk to someone on the telephone smile. The response was outrage. Why should I have to smile when they cannot even see me? Besides they are all stupid pig dogs. The answer of course is that people can hear if you are smiling.

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