Category Archives: Culture

UPDATED: It’s All So Emotional: The Origins Of Our Degenerate, Therapeutic Culture

Christianity, Culture, Pop-Culture, Pop-Psychology, Pseudo-intellectualism, Pseudoscience, Psychiatry, Religion

The media scrum had framed the Trump impeachment circus round II as an “emotional” affair.

Over and over again did the word “emotion” inform reporting, appear on the lips of legislators,  and culminate in an “emotional” catharsis in the Chamber, where the “affected” representatives told a captured audience how they suffered.

Where did this sick therapeutic culture originate? Where else but in America.

I recalled reviewing a book, in 2005, when London’s Jewish Chronicle was a serious magazine. What a relief it was, then, to learn that Jewish thinkers didn’t herald the therapeutic age, a fact that emerges from Andrew Heinze’s outstanding Jews and the American Soul.

In his examination of “why [between 1890 and 1945] psychology became a booming cultural industry, outstripping theology and philosophy as a guide for a literate mass audience seeking advice on how to live”, Andrew Heinze, a scholar, established that “America’s Protestant heritage yielded a powerful American interest in personal development and a massive audience for popular psychology”.

The rationality of the Enlightenment had come under fire from movements espousing mysticism, romanticism, and the occult. The ascendancy of “the psychological interpretive mode” between the 1880s and the 1920s was compatible with Christianity.

The new psychotherapies “had the drama of faith-healing”; the new psychotherapists, true to their Protestant heritage, spread the faith with evangelical zeal.

What do you know? In searching for an image to accompany this blog post, I came across what looks like a work of scholarship that affirms the Anglo-American origins of these leanings as well as the coercive, manipulative nature of the “therapeutic imperative”:

Therapy Culture explores the powerful influence of therapeutic imperative in Anglo-American societies. In recent decades virtually every sphere of life has become subject to a new emotional culture. Professor Furedi suggests that the recent cultural turn toward the realm of the emotions coincides with a radical redefinition of personhood. Increasingly vulnerability is presented as the defining feature of people’s psychology. Terms like people ‘at risk’, ‘scarred for life’ or ’emotional damage’ evoke a unique sense of powerlessness. Furedi questions the widely accepted thesis that the therapeutic turn represents an enlightened shift towards emotions. He claims that therapeutic culture is primarily about imposing a new conformity through the management of people’s emotions. Through framing the problem of everyday life through the prism of emotions, therapeutic culture incites people to feel powerless and ill. Drawing on developments in popular culture, political and social life, Furedi provides a path-breaking analysis of the therapeutic turn.

UPDATED: A fair point is made by our reader in the Comments Section. I am, however, making a philosophical, or theological, point about Judaism as opposed Christianity. Judaism is more legalistic. The supernatural, mysticism, romanticism, and the occult are more compatible with Christianity than with the rationalist morality of Judaism.

 

UPDATED (2/23): NEW COLUMN: Rising Republican Rotters To Look Out For

Conservatism, Culture, Democrats, Family, Feminism, Left-Liberalism, Republicans

NEW COLUMN, “Rising Republican Rotters To Look Out For,” is now on WND and The Unz Review  and Townhall.com.

It is now a feature on American greatness:

Excerpt:

The defining difference between Democrats and Republicans is this:

Republicans live on their political knees. They apologize and expiate for their principles, which are generally not unsound.

Democrats, conversely and admirably, stand tall for their core beliefs, as repugnant as these mostly are.

The Left most certainly didn’t rush forward to condemn the Black Lives Matter and Antifa riffraff, as they looted and killed their way across urban America, last year. Instead, Democrats defended the déclassé, criminal arm of their party. “Riots are the language of the unheard,” they preached, parroting MLK.

What of the trammels of despair that drove the Trump protesters of January 6? Trust too many Republicans—goody two-shoes, teacher’s-pet types all—to trip over one another in order to denounce that ragtag of disorganized renegades, the protesters aforementioned, who already have no chance in hell of receiving due process of law.

Consider Nancy Mace. With the dizzying speed of a whirling dervish, the Republican representative from South Carolina rushed to make a name for herself posing as a heroic “survivor” of January 6.

Following the incident on the Capitol, Mace quickly transformed herself into the young, go-to GOPer on the “hive media,” bad mouthing MAGA folks (to the likes of supercilious Don Lemon, of all people) at every turn, and generally making hay over … well, it was not over the pillaging and killings courtesy of the criminal class, acting now as the armed wing of the Democratic Party.

Shortly after the incident Democrats are likening to September 11, during a pit-stop on Fox News with the forgiving Martha MacCallum, miss congeniality attempted to redeem herself as a “constitutional conservative.”

Oh, and how Ms. Mace had suffered. You don’t know the half of it.

Having joined the Democrats in peddling her “harrowing” experience during the January 6 incident, Mace, a middle-class young woman, proceeded to use lefty language for political leverage, to describe her familial situation. For the purpose of self-aggrandizement and drama, Nancy kept calling herself a “single mother.”

A single mother is a term the Left, and now the thoroughly co-opted Right, has adopted to glorify unmarried mothers and fatherless “families.” It was meant to excise the father from the picture and undermine the nuclear family.

NEW COLUMN is “Rising Republican Rotters To Look Out For.” Read it on WND, The Unz Review , Townhall.com AND on American greatness.

UPDATED (2/23):

Conservatives, like most Americans, have a short memory when it comes to bedrock principles. Duly, I dealt with Nancy Mace and her lefty “single mother” claim in this week’s column:

This writer objected quite politely in this piece:

 

Prager University’s Propositional-Nation Creed

America, Conservatism, Culture, Europe, Multiculturalism, Nationhood, Neoconservatism, Political Philosophy, Republicans

“Race and ethnicity have defined every nation on earth, except one: The United States of America. It is defined by values.”—PragerU

Prager U, here, articulates the propositional-nation perspective, propounded by the neoconservatives and neoliberals. It is a false creed.

So how is the US doing as a nation united by “values” upon which nobody can agree? As well as a Walmart with missiles can do. We shop and we war, with others and among ourselves.

Notice the Schadenfreude tinged with a sense of American superiority with respect to the Europeans.

To her credit, France has no institutionalized multiculturalism. Integrating individuals, not communities, is how the French have approached their émigré population. They say their republican values proscribe affirmative action. But since America’s republican values haven’t hindered racist quotas here, says our neoconservative troika, the French should get with The Program.

MORE.

Oh, by the way, which “nation” has held onto its historic monuments, America or the “cheese-eating surrender monkeys”?

President Emmanuel Macron evinced the resolve the Anglo-American surrender monkeys are too feeble to feel, much less display:
Said Macron, “The [French] republic will not erase any trace, or any name, from its history … it will not take down any statue.”
Bravo, Monsieur Macron.

MORE.

THE GOOD LIFE According To Tucker Carlson

Conservatism, Culture, Education, Family, Technology

Most YouTube offerings are not worth watching. The speakers drone on forever, when the substantive essence of their words could be distilled in a single unoriginal paragraph. Moreover, YouTube consumes time. Reading text is so much quicker and thus more efficient.

Trust me, then, when I say that not one words is superfluous in Tucker Carlson’s address, now on YouTube, delivered to the youth of Turning Point USA.

I found myself uncharacteristically listening to it all, disagreeing only with his blind worship of the family, per se. The emphasis, rather, ought to be on happy, adaptive, loving and reciprocal relationships. Sometimes the loved ones you choose are more of a family than the loved ones you were born to.

Carlson’s message to his youthful audience was an extension of the wisdom shared on the Tucker Carlson Show (I paraphrase):

“There is more to life than just preserving it—life must be lived to the fullest.”

Life is short. Don’t waste time, reiterated Tucker, participate in it to the fullest. Do it now. Jump face first into the pool of life. Meaning comes from other people.

Carlson warned of digitally induced dullness, in the context of things that blunt the imperative to experience life to the fullest; in the context of the need to eschew anything that causes one to miss out on life, or prevents one from engaging with [worthy] people to the fullest.

Digital distractions steal your life, he stressed. [I would add that, to the extent you have precious and worthy people in your life, you need to get as close as you can to them in a world defined by distance. Don’t type to them; talk to them and travel to see them.]

You don’t want to wake up to life in the third act, cautioned Tucker. You don’t want to be dulled to the people who love you. Rather, take stock of those who love you and focus on them.

In a chat I recently had with Buck Johnson, I advised especially talented techies (who have options by virtue of their brilliance) to stay out of the corporate world. It will dull and deform your spirit, and devour the rest of you. If you can, pursue work as an independent contractor.

Likewise, Tucker encouraged conservative kids to opt out of popular society. In particular, if you believe that the system is a joke—don’t partake. Above all, do the thing to which you are naturally suited.

MORE.