[ExI] fanaticism, more

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Sun Jul 5 15:24:39 UTC 2020

Fanaticism is said to have many sociological roots, and you can find those
all over the web.  But I didn’t find much on psychological causes, so
here’s a few thoughts:

The obsessive is capable of making very fine distinctions.  One book about
it features a man who discovers he is 1/32 Negroid and he is subsequently
ostracized.  (Kingblood Royal -Sinclair Lewis).  This will also make the
person a bit of a purist - things just have to be a certain way and even
slight deviations from it are not permitted.

If you pair this with paranoia, then deviations can be imagined rather than
real.  Anything slightly indicative becomes a certainty.  If you pair those
with religious content, you get a person who will try to make others
believe and act the same as him, even if they have to be forced, like
Islamists and Christians did a few centuries ago.  Or just killed.

A recent study of people who were extremely antihomosexual were found to
have unconscious tendencies to it themselves, just as many people imagined
that they did.

A further factor is overcompensation and reaction formation:  if you are a
latent homosexual but do not realize it you are very likely to be a
powerful, even violent antihomosexual.  The inner feelings have to be
powerfully defended against by conscious feelings of the opposite (which is
often called reaction formation).

So many fanatics are not what they think they are.  If religious, then the
strong doubts about the validity of the religion have to be powerfully
opposed by the conscious opposites.  Does this mean that some of the people
ranting about racism are unconscious racists?  Of course it does.

bill w
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