Lyle H. Rossiter, Jr, MD

Certain neurotic themes are dominant in the radical liberal mind’s perceptions of the world. All of them portray the citizen as a suffering child who is victimized, helpless and in need of rescue. All are evident in various liberal platforms. They represent the liberal mind’s transference of childhood dynamics into the world of adult relationships. As expressed in his most passionate political pronouncements, the radical liberal mind believes that:

  • A very large portion of the population is suffering; they are suffering because they are deprived, neglected, exploited or abused.
  • They are suffering because of certain injustices inflicted upon them.
  • They are helpless to stop their suffering.
  • Bad people, such as capitalists and the rich, cause the victims to suffer by depriving, neglecting, exploiting and abusing them.
  • These bad people are villains who must be stopped from preying on their victims.
  • The villains are ruthless, powerful, selfish, cruel and mean spirited.
  • The bad institutions supported by the villains are economic, social and political in nature; they include free market capitalism, basic property rights, strict moral and ethical accountability, reasonable social decorum, personal and financial responsibility, individual sovereignty, and justice based on merit and desert.
  • These bad institutions promote economic enslavement, social discrimination, political disenfranchisement, exploitation of minorities, forced pregnancies, and coercive advertising, among other things.
  • The people are innocent victims; they have no important role in causing their suffering.
  • Modern liberals are heroes whose mission is to rescue the victims from the villains.
  • Modern liberals are compassionate, wise, empathetic and nurturing.
  • Modern liberals are devoted to saving the victims from the villains just as nurturing parents protect their children from harm by others.
  • Like children, most citizens cannot adequately direct or manage their own lives.
  • Most citizens need a powerful liberal government to direct and manage their lives.
  • Because the villains and their institutions are ruthless and powerful, the people need a powerful liberal government, The Modern Parental State, to protect them from the villains and the institutions supported by the villains.
  • The Modern Parental State is the answer to problems created by the villains.
  • The Modern Parental State will rescue the people and protect them from the villains and from other misfortunes.
  • The Modern Parental State will nurture the people by providing for all their needs and desires.
  • The Modern Parental State will blame and punish the villains for their deprivation, neglect, abuse and exploitation of the victims.
  • Much of the suffering of the victims comes from too much freedom in economic markets, which allows the villains to exploit the victims for unjust gain.
  • Proper controls instituted by The Modern Parental State to regulate the markets will prevent the villains from economically exploiting the victims.
  • The Modern Parental State will cure the deprivation, neglect, exploitation and abuse of the victims by taking the wealth, power and status of the villains away from them and redistributing it to the victims.
  • Some of the suffering of the victims comes from too little social freedom and too many restrictions on behavior in social situations.
  • The Modern Parental State will lower the standards of social conduct in order to free the victimized citizen from guilt and from adverse legal consequences when he acts criminally, irresponsibly or offensively.
  • By remaking the institutions of society, The Modern Parental State will liberate the victims from exploitation and oppression by the villains.
  • The libertarian structure of ordered liberty grounded in basic property and contract rights allows the villains to exploit the victims.
  • The Modern Parental State will eliminate these individual rights and create a new political architecture for a secure society modeled on the loving nurturing family.

These and related themes of deprivation and neglect, exploitation and abuse, domination and control, blaming and punishing, caring and caretaking, protection and security, rescuing and nurturing—all are the radical liberal mind’s unconscious projections of early childhood dynamics transferred into the political arenas of adult life. These projections define the transference neurosis of the radical liberal mind:

  • They are the liberal’s projections of a painful neurotic disorder; they are the legacy of his childhood.

  • They represent his desperate longings for attachment, attention, affection, empathy, significance, esteem, adoration, recognition, indulgence, relatedness, guidance, direction, belonging and love.

  • They represent his desperate efforts to heal real emotional wounds that he suffered when he was, in fact, significantly deprived, neglected, exploited or abused.

  • They are his efforts to defend against his suffering by constructing an idealized world of loving care and exemption from responsibility; he seeks a world that will compensate him for the traumas of his childhood, relieve his neediness, indulge his impulses and heal the enduring wounds to his soul.

  • They are distorted perceptions of the real world of economic, social and political processes; the liberal agenda is based on these transference perceptions.

Unfortunately, all of the radical liberal’s efforts based on these perceptions are badly misguided. Because he does not understand the childhood origins of his pain, he projects his neurosis into a contemporary world of imagined villains, victims and heroes. Once he locates himself in this world, he hopes to find in the ministrations of the Modern Parental State what he missed as a child. He may not admit to himself or others that he did, in fact, suffer early wounds. If he does admit this fact, he will not realize that his wounds drive his political views. If he realizes this causal connection, he will not admit it to others.


Lyle H. Rossiter, Jr, MD

Lyle H. Rossiter, Jr, MD is the author of The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness. He received his medical and psychiatric training at the University of Chicago and served for two years as a psychiatrist in the United States Army. He is currently in private practice in the Chicago area.
 
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