The Neurotic Basis of Socialism


I have written many (irreverent) articles on the clash between the two opposing political and social ideologies: democratic socialism and republicanism. These have included pet preferences: where a conservative/capitalist would prefer a Rottweiler and a socialist/intellectual tends towards a domestic longhair cat. I opine that the former suffer from pre-traumatic stress syndrome, always on guard for threats and disasters, not to mention a variety of other psychiatric syndromes.

I have at present three editorial advisors: a female left-wing feminist who is also a bank loving capitalist, and a sociology educated nutritionist, also of the female gender who is a libertarian interested in activism and the  fostering of a socialist utopia. To round things out I consult with a republican veteran of the American persuasion who is so far right he makes Attila the Hun seem like Che Guevara. This sociocultural mix allows me to explore human cerebral evolution from primitivism to the ideal of autonomy balanced with social justice, and how this developmental process might impinge on psychiatric morbidity.

With reference to  the conservatives, they suffer from a nearly constant state of nervous paranoia, religiosity, xenophobia, deification of the female uterus and worship of personal weaponry. Their conduct is a throw back to an earlier time in human history, 10,000 BC to be precise. To fully understand the regressive nature of their thought patterns, we only have to look at the fantasy of creation science and the belief that  Jesus had a pet Allosaur…..


The right-wing CNS (central nervous system) is hard-wired to a primitive thinking-feeling state with limbic predominance. So one can view this as an organic brain syndrome and thus a disability of sorts. One that should be approached by empathic socialists as requiring of rehabilitation rather than censure and revulsion. Arriving at an Aristotelian mean is an ideal balance and can be achieved by being politically left centrist and socioeconomically austere.

This brings me to the city in which I currently reside,  on the surface a monument to suburban sprawl and debt driven consumerism.  Yet the locals have consistently voted for left-wing politicians. The guilt associated with the quest of bourgeois materialism is assuaged by high taxes to support a growing population of single moms, disabled schizophrenics and homeless Aboriginal alcoholics.

The high-end locals complain about the welfare bums and nanny state as a republican might, but also freely donate to the local shelter,  buy coffee, food and donate coin to the drunks and meth heads near the transit terminal. The end result of this conflict between desire for wretched excess and the exposure to surrounding deprivation, generates a degree of existential malaise that is self medicated with copious quantities of smokes and beer.

A friend  enjoys the benefits of loading his Mercedes SUV with a years supply of Costco purchased toilet tissue and striploin steak, while bears and the homeless attack his garbage for wine bottles, while he  obsesses about “what the hell does it all mean anyways”.

At a clinical level my current case load consists of mostly depressed socialist professionals, entrepreneurs and well  paid miners  with high-end cars and homes. So the middle class that most governments like to encourage is alive here, but are not necessarily well.

There is considerable psychopathology but mostly composed of the so-called walking wounded. I conceptualize the middle class neurotics that I work with less in a traditional Freudian sense but more along  existential lines finding a balance between pursuit of individual freedoms that are fulfilled by worship of capitalism, with guilt driven responsibility towards those less fortunate even those whose condition is self-inflicted.

How this developed is historical. Many are descendants of WWII vets who established a business or worked in mines, lavishing attention on narcissistic acquisitive offspring. But the collective unconscious is still rooted in a sense of social responsibility and imbued with a French joie de vivre, love of booze, food, nicotine and socialism dating back to 1789. They have never forgotten their humble origins.

So what I see then is the middle state of evolution of the republican brain, to a higher state of social being and responsibility. Not surprisingly the transitional state is one that is conducive to conflict laden neurosis thus ensuring that I will be indefinitely employed as a psychosocial engineer.

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