On Insecurity - Though not religious by any means I have a great deal of admiration for religious teachers. Think of it, they lived in the same human world as us, sometimes a bit better, often times much worse; yet, they were able to gather followers, start movements and teach often unpalatable morals and to the listeners, morals which went against the whole grain of than social fabrics.
So when Christ says, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do," I listen. Far be it from me to gainsay the teachings of someone who died for his beliefs but since he spoke in Armaic, the words have come to us through several languages and meanings which change with the times, I will permit myselfs] a small reflexion on his teaching. In speaking of some of the hate for the poor and disdain for foreigners which passes for comment here, not to mention mysogny, I believe they do know what they are doing. But in the same sense that Christ said that they should be forgiven for they know not, I would say in modern day English that they are too insecure to prevent themselves.
In the same way that some of the worse anti-semites were half-jews, (one can start with Hitler who was part jew but there are many other examples), and some of the most bigoted anti-gays have been closeted gays, or religious moral zealots adulterers, insecurity about ones own identity often leads one to affirm it that much more militantly.
The American male is very insecure. If you need any more porof of yhat I urge you to look at the puerile comments on "Business Insider" shorn of the intellectual veneer de rigeur here. Why should that be?
Start with the Puritan repression and it s consequently "dirty" conotations of the most intimate and essential act of human life the reproductive or love making one. We at least until very recently come from such an act by two individuals and to demean it and call it by dirty names demeans in a deep sense ones own existence.
Start from there. Look if you need to look any farther the pressures on the male in his role as traditional breadwinner, in a society where participation is a throw away good, unemployment and personal obsolescence the rule not the exception in a lifetime and you have deep seated fear that has no outlet to be addressed. Since revolt, union solidarity or other concrete protests against this condition are not a generally accepted part of our culture the male is forced to cast his identity with the few successful, the fewwhom he hopes have surmounted this fear by unbrideled success. He has no room for the weak, like the confused jew or gay or moral majority, no room for his like because accepting their weakness highlights to him his own panicked state.
The male is consequently put in a situation of psychological disarray. Forced to identify with all the social dictums of the very rich for his own individual psychological reassurance, he knows deep down that most of these will never apply to him and are being used against him. We can see this phenomenon clearly in the debate on healthcare or clearly when comparing (negatively) aid to the UAW to aid to Wall Street Bankers (positively).
And foreigners? One of the pillars of psychological support that the ideology of the well to do gives the American male is that, however, bad and frightening his condition may be he is better off than the foreigner. Whether this is true or even relevant, is itself irrelevant, for he must believe it to accept his own insecurity and pain. So as you have pointed out all foreigners are idiots, fools and economic dolts. Not because they are, or even if they were we could not learn from them, but because like the militant jews, gays and moral majority, above we need to fervently believe this.
Are Frenchmen or Chinese better off psychologically. Well, in terms of sexual repression and self-hatred as expressed in disdain for lovemaking the French are clearly better off. But overall probably neither the French or the Chinese could be said to be 100% unaffliceted. They are part ofthe human condition. But what is important is that their afflictions are different from our so that we can learn enormously from them if we have an open mind.
As I said, I do like philosophy more than the pursuit of material goods but you can buy the book on Amazon if you like - proceeds will be donated.
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