THE question is often asked: are contemporary Western leftists mentally ill? In a manner of speaking, certainly they are. The epicentre of their illness, however, isn’t the brain or cerebral wiring but the spirit. The estimable Ace recently posted an interesting essay arguing that a generation of leftists have made themselves literally sick by refusing to acknowledge the need to overcome their own emotional weaknesses – having possibly never been taught how in their social, educational and familial milieux – preferring to be treated as prideful victims in need of ‘respect’ and ‘safety.’
By not training themselves to accept reality, their nervous/mental constitution can in fact become ratcheted in to a perpetual – usually angry – neuroticism whose chief hallmark is grandiose rejection of objective truth. The more they reject truth – and the more they force culture to reject it – the ‘safer’ they feel. Ask Katy Perry. When broader society or holdout polities persevere with truth, the reaction from leftists is always violence. The utility of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis was that it encouraged ‘protesters’ to bully Democrat-run jurisdictions to stand down the guardians of the enforceable right over against the unacceptable wrong: namely, the police. The result: multiple homicides and destruction on a vast scale.
Psychologically normal adults know what will happen when men are given the option of being imprisoned with women. The women will be sexually assaulted. By insisting it’s false to believe a male is not a female, Sen. Scott Wiener showcases not passion or tolerance but illness. The marginal psychological utility of successive left-wing campaigns, of course, is diminishing. Or – to put it another way – in veins so accustomed to falsehood, the high from each dosage of ‘progress’ grows less and less satiating. The causes have to become more and more sizably harebrained to compensate. One day they’re wearing an AIDS ribbon and demanding that crossdressers not be harassed; the next they’re gunning down a Republican pedestrian for wearing a MAGA cap and cheering on a transgender ‘woman’ in the boxing ring as he beats a real one senseless.
When discussing the phenomenon of pathological leftism it is important to avoid medicalising evil and malice. That, after all, is one of the pet projects of the left itself. Nobody – or, rather, nobody leftists identify with or see as politically useful (Floyd) – is ever responsible for egregious criminal acts. Either their crimes are excusable because of ‘passion’ – “It’s just this war and that lying son of a bitch, Johnson!” – or the culpability-disabling effect of social status, race, gender or sexuality. That’s why I located the illness characteristic of contemporary leftism in the spirit – by which I here mean the existentially self-defining seat of ideas, feelings and attitudes to others, to justice and to life itself.
The man who killed the thrill and triggered a mass psychological episode was, needless to say, Donald Trump. His aggressive contempt for leftism and mockery of it brought out the illness in the left like no other American President ever has before. No, not even Richard Nixon (whose contempt was mostly sotto voce, albeit recorded) or George W. Bush (a pseudo-Texan with a New England patrician’s indifference to culture). The mainstream use of the concept of triggering, by the way, is an admission by leftists of emotional instability. They embrace the idea of themselves as troubled, difficult, inflexible, volatile and ‘special.’ Which brings us inevitably to the most curious feature of this thesis: it’s not even controversial.