Right-wing psychology

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Rick
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Right-wing psychology

Post by Rick »

A Salon article by Chauncey DeVega on the psychology of right-wing authoritarian supporters:

Donald Trump, king of chaos: New research on right-wing psychology points toward big trouble ahead
Last edited by Rick on Tue Sep 17, 2019 1:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Queequeg
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Re: Right-wing psychology

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They exhibit the characteristics of Asura.

Zhiyi describes:

“Always desiring to be superior to others, having no patience for inferiors and belittling strangers; like a hawk, flying high above and looking down on others, and yet outwardly displaying justice, worship, wisdom, and faith — this is raising up the lowest order of good and walking the way of the Asuras.”
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta
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Queequeg
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Re: Right-wing psychology

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But then, so do people at the other end of the spectrum.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta
tkp67
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Re: Right-wing psychology

Post by tkp67 »

Queequeg wrote: Tue Sep 17, 2019 1:34 pm But then, so do people at the other end of the spectrum.
The problem is it is acceptable for people to choose a political side for personal fulfillment. Right and wrong isn't determined based on what is good for the whole of the people. It isn't based on equality. It is based on majority rule of a collective based on personal gain. This incumbent collective has the greatest influence over the laws of a country based on equality.

Imagine if the American constitution, laws and people where a canoe.. Imagine the two parties each had an oar respectively. Imagine how anything but mindful attention to one another would keep the canoe from doing much other than spinning in circles and time they did not.

Look at the polarity we have today. Seems the only people being enriched by disruptive practices are the sectors that had realized benefits in said practices previously. That is the point of disruption, chaos and the opportunity that comes with it if one has resource.

Can't imagine what will happen with all the revenues from corporate by backs are leveraged to take advantage of future opportunity.
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Re: Right-wing psychology

Post by Nemo »

The article is a bit daft. Trump supporters are highly suggestible. They believe whatever they are indoctrinated to believe. To think of them as autonomous individuals is wrong. They have been psychologically manipulated into certain beliefs based on their psych profiles. If you dig through it they are a perverse bunch with their love of authority without consent and intense paranoia. The problem is not the ignorant ding dongs. You can program them however you want. The problem is the people using digital surveillance, psychological profiling, provocation and addiction to control their minds.

The article also seems to be under the impression that the centrists and the left are based in reality. Sadly this is not the case. Partisanship directly correlates to being wrong about fundamental political facts for all parties. It also correlates to mainstream(not alternative) news consumption and social media usage. The problem is propagandists manipulating the public psyche. Returning to the status quo that created Trump with climate destruction on the horizon is insanity. We need to imagine a new system or watch billions die needlessly.
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Re: Right-wing psychology

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Good posting Nemo, couldn't agree more.

The fact is that what has been "accelerating" all this chaos can be laid as much at the feet of the supposedly liberal establishment as it can Trump. Trump is a symptom of a system with abhorrent values. It's funny how they mention deregulation and raiding the commons as a right-wing thing, it is, but it is also simply a part of our whole system of government - including the Democratic establishment, who have been engaged in screwing over the working class pretty much openly since Clinton. The idea that that the status quo prior to Drumpfy was some sane, rational thing is ignorant, Obama was horrible in many ways, though preferable in some big ones too.

"Rage against a more cosmopolitan world" - Only someone who is (ironically) exceptionally privileged themselves could believe this is the primary cause. Some of Trump's most die hard fans are often on the lower end of the economic spectrum...this is exactly how it works, it is easy to control people with legitimate grievances, and the angrier they are the more easily manipulated. I had hoped this kind of thinking was dying out after the election, but some people have just popped their heads in the sand, and the author is one of them. It's worth mentioning, this idea of the status quo as a what will save us is not without it's own agenda.
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Rick
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Re: Right-wing psychology

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I think of the state of the States as a bit of a perfect storm: perfect setting, perfect leader, perfect followers, perfect cultural and societal vibe. Trump might be more of a symptom or effect than a cause, but he's an extreme, and without him the big storm would not have occurred ... at least not yet.
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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Right-wing psychology

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Rick wrote: Wed Sep 18, 2019 7:19 pm I think of the state of the States as a bit of a perfect storm: perfect setting, perfect leader, perfect followers, perfect cultural and societal vibe. Trump might be more of a symptom or effect than a cause, but he's an extreme, and without him the big storm would not have occurred ... at least not yet.
I disagree, and this is evidenced by the fact that the same thing is happening all over, not just the US. It is part of the downward spiral of our economic and political system and a direct result of (among other things) neoliberalism, as are the homeless people we all see wandering our streets, the opioid crisis, and countless other ills. It's a systemic thing.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low
Simon E.
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Re: Right-wing psychology

Post by Simon E. »

Without wanting to sound too simplistic I think it’s the Marxist ‘Crisis of Capitalism..’..The old lad got some things right..
Of course from a Dharmic view there are aspects that Marxian thought does not plumb, nevertheless...
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Rick
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Re: Right-wing psychology

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Interesting ... so from a dharmic point of view, what's going on these days? No fair saying: global karma. That's like saying: It's an emergent phenomenon ... not necessarily untrue, but too wishy washy. ;-)
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Re: Right-wing psychology

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Johnny Dangerous wrote: Wed Sep 18, 2019 7:24 pmIt's a systemic thing.
A system-driven perfect storm, worst of both worlds? ;-) I don't think Trump can be dismissed as a kind of placeholder. Just ask those who are addicted to him. He's a huge part of why things are as koo-koo as they are. Potential cult members might already be deluded, but they need the right cult leader to take the leap into full-on organized delusion.

That said, was our political system already a mess before 2016? Sure.
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Re: Right-wing psychology

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Anger is the predominant poison of our age, according to some. (I remember Malcolm commented on this from time to time, so may be a Dzogchen thing)

Ever been in a blind rage? That's a lot of what's going on right now. You can see it all around. (See my Asura comment above).

Incidentally, anger is an expression of discernment which can also be applied to the cultivation of wisdom. All is not lost, and may actually be quite beneficial if we can tap it individually and collectively.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta
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Rick
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Re: Right-wing psychology

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Anger is huge and hugely poisonous, fer sure. And a big part of the real destructiveness of the current flood of anger is that most people never learn a constructive way to deal with their anger ... or to even recognize it that it's there! Therapy can help, a lot. Perhaps what we need is an army of Anger-Management Psycho-Missionaries to convert the masses to a kinder and gentler way of living en-raged? ;-)
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Re: Right-wing psychology

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rick wrote: A system-driven perfect storm, worst of both worlds? ;-) I don't think Trump can be dismissed as a kind of placeholder. Just ask those who are addicted to him. He's a huge part of why things are as koo-koo as they are. Potential cult members might already be deluded, but they need the right cult leader to take the leap into full-on organized delusion.

That said, was our political system already a mess before 2016? Sure.
Obama had a drone kill list, and presided over one of the most egregious assaults on journalists and whistle blowers in many years, the NSA stuff happened under his watch too, and since the Bush admin and 9/11 there has been a full scale assault on the 4th amendment, and and huge increase in executive power and overreach, further militarization of the police, etc. Now we have all that infrastructure with someone like Trump running the show, scary.

The idea that Trump became president and all the sudden things were horrible is simply incorrect though. If you think thing's weren't koo koo before you weren't really looking, or were simply looking in the wrong places. For instance, it's really easy to myopically focus on things like the "culture wars" because this is exactly what the media focuses on. Assuming that the political and social reality is actually reflected in some meaningful way by the media-sustained culture wars does not make sense. It's a dog and pony show, precisely meant to distract people from the issues that have actually created this situation, such as the insane funneling of wealth upwards, almost complete corporate dominance of the political process, dismantling of the commons (which btw, the Democrats have been all for since the Clinton years) etc. that got us where we are.

Some kind of systemic change is all that will course correct. I don't claim to know what it is, but the problem is a lot deeper than one big fascist baby's personality. I think he's awful and is a bad sign, but the idea that his presidency created our situation is simply not accurate at all. He's exacerbating all kinds of horrible things that were already going on, and adding to it with the open racism, misogyny etc., but let's not let that lull us into the idea that the problem will go away with a new president.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low
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Re: Right-wing psychology

Post by tobes »

I agree with the 'asura' analysis, and also with the notion that those on the other side are afflicted by this.

In fact, I think 'the political' per se is basically an asura domain. It is very hard to even enter a political discourse without becoming a bit or a lot asura oneself. It is a constant danger, and highlights how difficult equanimity is to abide in.

But on the question of right-wing psychology: I've noticed that in Australia at least, many of the influential right wingers have a tendency to deify or reify characters and people. i.e. politics is all about the personality, and either wanting to completely vanquish/destroy someone, or elevate them to the level of a messiah.

I think on the Left it is often (but not always) more about abstract ideas or values.
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Re: Right-wing psychology

Post by Simon E. »

tobes wrote: Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:55 am I agree with the 'asura' analysis, and also with the notion that those on the other side are afflicted by this.

In fact, I think 'the political' per se is basically an asura domain. It is very hard to even enter a political discourse without becoming a bit or a lot asura oneself. It is a constant danger, and highlights how difficult equanimity is to abide in.

But on the question of right-wing psychology: I've noticed that in Australia at least, many of the influential right wingers have a tendency to deify or reify characters and people. i.e. politics is all about the personality, and either wanting to completely vanquish/destroy someone, or elevate them to the level of a messiah.

I think on the Left it is often (but not always) more about abstract ideas or values.
I largely agree. Although I am not sure that the political realm has always been the domain of the Asura to quite the same degree as is current.
In addition to the deifying of individuals we in the U.K. are seeing among the right wingers a type of super-nostalgia. A reifying of the past. A false consciousness that takes the form of nostalgia for a time and place that has never actually existed.
“You don’t know it. You just know about it. That is not the same thing.”

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche to me.
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tobes
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Re: Right-wing psychology

Post by tobes »

The glorious Empire, white, Christian and empiricist!

I suffer from false consciousness/nostalgia too, but for that mythical post WWII Keynesian golden age, where liberal institutions were actually liberal, public services were actually public, and welfare was actually designed to help the poorest/most marginalised people rather than punish and further marginalise them.
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Re: Right-wing psychology

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tobes wrote: Thu Sep 19, 2019 8:29 am The glorious Empire, white, Christian and empiricist!

I suffer from false consciousness/nostalgia too, but for that mythical post WWII Keynesian golden age, where liberal institutions were actually liberal, public services were actually public, and welfare was actually designed to help the poorest/most marginalised people rather than punish and further marginalise them.
It’s not even the vanished Empire Tobes. At least that had a kind of totally misplaced nobility of purpose.
It’s nostalgia for an England of toasted crumpets and no people of colour and where England had some kind of autonomy untainted by the rest of the world...and it never existed. Thank goodness.
“You don’t know it. You just know about it. That is not the same thing.”

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche to me.
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Re: Right-wing psychology

Post by DharmaN00b »

Rick wrote: Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:45 pm Anger is huge and hugely poisonous, fer sure. And a big part of the real destructiveness of the current flood of anger is that most people never learn a constructive way to deal with their anger ... or to even recognize it that it's there! Therapy can help, a lot. Perhaps what we need is an army of Anger-Management Psycho-Missionaries to convert the masses to a kinder and gentler way of living en-raged? ;-)
Reminds me of that scene from the film Network. I'd post a clip but people might get mad.

Paraphrasing: "YOu've got to say I'm a human being goddammit and my life has value/ I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore! "


Of course the tendency to blame someone or something for our own misery is widespread. Just to be cheesy, if you can't change the world change yourself.. But how? Some may say the way to win is not to play, but that sounds like giving up to me. :shrug:
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Re: Right-wing psychology

Post by Sādhaka »

Some good points made in this thread.

Seemingly most if not all pro-trumpers are foolish, and most anti-trumpers are bandwagon fools.
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