[ExI] fanaticism, more

spike at rainier66.com spike at rainier66.com
Sun Jul 5 15:42:12 UTC 2020

Excellent post BillW.  I will leave it all in there without trimming a word of it.


I have long suspected extremists in anything are a mixture of people struggling to talk themselves out of their own self-doubt, plus false flaggers, plus people who just like taking some extreme position.


My view on it is this (free spike-ism (you’re welcome.)):


Eschew taking extremist views.  There is too much risk of realizing someday that you have invested most of your life fighting passionately for the wrong side.










From: extropy-chat <extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org> On Behalf Of William Flynn Wallace via extropy-chat
Sent: Sunday, July 5, 2020 8:25 AM
To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
Cc: William Flynn Wallace <foozler83 at gmail.com>
Subject: [ExI] fanaticism, more


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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