104. The creative (II)
Updated: Dec 30, 2020
Man lives in a consensus reality that is somewhat related to reality; people who step outside the reality—sustained at the societal, occupational, and family level—are regarded as mad. Those people with organic mental illnesses cannot help but step outside the consensus; sometimes, as in the case of schizophrenics, their observations, freed from the consensus bubble, are uncanny. The social consensus moves, sometimes driven by outsiders, who break from the bubble and form a nucleus, a grain of sand, around which a new social consensus grows.
Conservatives, agreeable people, regard deviance from social consensus as madness. They say: “What’s the latest woke madness?” Twenty years ago conservatives complained about “political correctness gone mad” or “the loony left”. The conservative, a conformist, worries about what the neighbours will think. He is the sane man in an insane world; when he meets people of similar mind he is glad to find another sane person. He merely guards yesterday’s delusions—and he does not want to probe too deeply into those.
The radical right, by contrast, subscribes to the slogan: “Insanity is reality.” The conservative is civilised, but the radical is barbarian. The conservative apologises when he steps on someone’s toes; the barbarian glares. The barbarian is an aristocrat, not a bank manager. In the modern world aristocratic combativeness is madness. Think of your career!
The radical also follows the occult dictum: “As above, so below.” In that statement, we find madness; if a person’s project is to excavate the below to bring it into harmony with the above, they will break conventions. The world is a mirror world of illusions, where up is down and left is right—Jungian concepts, such as projection, hold that the demonised person is innocent and vice versa. This is the Mad Hatter’s tea party: “We’re all mad here! That’s why we’re sane! Have an iced bun? It’s made from mercury, very healthy.” The radical right admires the genius who completely engages with reality and so destroys the monkey-man’s social lies: the mystic annihilates his ego and lets the outside flood inwards to possess him.
Ignaz Semmelweis is the standout example in this regard. The radical rightist writer Louis-Ferdinand Céline, for example, did his dissertation on Semmelweis. Semmelweis was the first person to notice that washing hands between surgery stopped the spread of infection. But his fellow doctors snobbishly rejected his ideas and Semmelweis was thrown into a lunatic asylum. This is who the radical right thinks it is: just like Ezra Pound in the nuthouse.
The progressives self-identify with mental illness (not madness or insanity, such demeaning words). They are mentally ill in the way Woody Allen is mentally ill: they are neurotic. This is not the cataclysmic state of depression or schizophrenia; it is the phenomenon of the “worried well”: people who think there is something wrong with them, because their life is easy—the hypochondriac housewife of days gone by; such people, often seen on Twitter, have biographies full of diagnoses and pictures of their pills.
The neurotic looks to the psychiatrist, the state, as his protector—his priest, really. Thus the Soviets famously used psychiatry on dissidents. In line with progressive thought, dissidents could not be “evil”; they were ill—ill to believe in God or whatever idiosyncrasy they valued. American progressives have long taken the same approach. In the 1960s, the conservative Barry Goldwater was diagnosed by psychiatrists as mentally unbalanced. Goldwater’s slogan, “In your heart, you know he’s right,” was met with the counter-slogan, “In your guts, you know he’s nuts.” More recently, psychiatrists declared Trump mad.
Thus there is no virtue or vice; there is a rational problem: “We’re just here to help you. We want the nation to heal.” This conceals a poisonous desire for control. The attitude has its roots in pride and arrogance; it assumes that the limited scientific developments we have made so far negate a whole field of human experience—it is, in seeking to crush mystery and experience, anti-scientific.