We need to wake up and smell the coffee. The campus campaign to suppress non-leftist ideas and thinking through disinvitations, microagressions, safe spaces, anti cultural appropriation, and through shouting down, bullying, intimidating, and physical violence against anyone who doesn’t toe the politically correct line, is NOT merely a threat to free speech. It’s ALSO a threat to the mental health of Western Culture itself.
Without the balancing effects of the binding foundations and an innate intuitive appreciation of social capital the single-minded fixation on “care” becomes pathological. See the books Pathological Altruism by Barbara Oakley and Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion by Paul Bloom; and Haidt’s “When Compassion Leads to Sacrilege” lecture.
The virtual absence of balance in academia exacerbates the pathology through the mechanisms of groupthink, “a term coined by social psychologist Irving Janis (1972), occurs when a group makes faulty decisions because group pressures lead to a deterioration of “mental efficiency, reality testing, and moral judgment”. Groups affected by groupthink ignore alternatives and tend to take irrational actions that dehumanize other groups. A group is especially vulnerable to groupthink when its members are similar in background, when the group is insulated from outside opinions, and when there are no clear rules for decision making.”
The consequences of this intellectual, moral, and cognitive incest are predictable: cognitively distorted thinking and decreased mental and emotional health, matching the symptom list for behavioral disorders. See The Coddling of the American Mind.
The damage to mental health is not limited to academia, it has metastasized into the other two industries that control Western Culture: entertainment and media. Nearly two months after the election the left’s political leadership and punditry is still so tone deaf as to why it happened that it’s doubling down on its self immolation. Did anyone see the Golden Globe Awards last Sunday?
The recent elections in Britain and America were human nature’s antibodies – the evolved psychological mechanisms that make human society possible: namely the “binding” moral foundations and the all-foundation innate intuitive sense of social capital – attacking the infection.
The question is, was the antidote too little too late?