This is a continuation of yesterday’s posting In Some Situations, Social Values Become Reversed. The first paragraph of this was written automatically, it surprised me when it was done. But it is one of the best things I have written.
I have been struggling to find words adequate to express the social environment in America – especially the work environment, in other words the corporate environment – which not only dominates our working lives, but everything else. In such a situation, it is natural to become paranoid.
After all, you are a person, and you are living in a world that is devoted to your destruction. Conscious rage is not permitted, so it becomes unconscious, directed at inappropriate targets. To simplify it to the basics, it is destroying you, so you are determined to destroy it. But there are no selves left to fight back – only impotent, hollow shells yearning for a movement of their own. So far, no leader has satisfied them – although plenty, such as Bush have tried, and plenty more are on the stump.
This lack of leadership for the Conservative Movement means that no American Fascism will happen – and we should be thankful for that. But something equally alarming may be happening – the movement may not need a leader, and can make do with the assortment of those it has – improvising as it goes along. The end result will be the same: the destruction of America.
I have talked about destructiveness a great deal – and contrasted it with constructiveness. By a natural progression, this developed into self-destructiveness, and I spoke of the self-destructive society. This analysis still seems valid to me, but I think it needs to be elaborated on – and paranoia feels like the right kind of elaboration.
This is easy for me because I am a paranoid person myself, a laboratory of exactly what I am talking about. All I have to do is observe myself carefully and compare my behavior to that of America’s in general. I can turn my handicap into an advantage. The handicap (or advantage) a paranoid person has is his ability too feel what is going on in his society – and if he is able to make this conscious, to see what is going on. Unfortunately, this may not be much help to him, because few will be able to see the same thing – but there will be a few.
If I am going to write about paranoia I need to know more about it, so I took down The Neurotic Personality of our Time by Karen Horney from my bookshelf and dusted it off. This was written in 1937. I believe paranoia has increased and become the dominant personality type of our time, and she has helped define just what it is. You will be hearing more about this.