Saturday, August 09, 2003


I have just posted one of my academic articles here (or here) that was published under the title “The psychopathology of the political Left”. It is a bit of a wonder the article was ever published -- though it was published in a very obscure journal. The article was originally written (during my anarcho-capitalist days) as a talk delivered to a 1985 conference of psychologists devoted to the topic of authoritarianism but it is written in a fairly breezy style that should make it fairly readable for non-psychologists.

The article points to evidence of many sorts of pathology among Leftists but principally seizes on the finding about politics that psychologists most like -- and turns that finding on its head. Psychologists very much like the often-repeated finding that conservatives approve of conventional sources of authority (such as the law, the police, the army etc) more than Leftists do and claim this as constituting the chief psychopathology of the Right. The Right are said to be “authoritarian” and all sorts of extravagant inferences are drawn from that.

I point out however that this finding is really evidence that Leftists are unable to admit to their real motivations -- as there is no doubt that Leftists everywhere are great imposers of authority on other people. What leftists say about their attitudes and what they actually do are opposites! And any denial of motives is generally regarded as pretty pathological by psychologists!


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