How the Left has Weaponized Guilt to Achieve Their Ends.
Guilt: “A bad feeling caused by knowing or thinking that you have done something bad or wrong.”
“You are an educator and educators are the most guilt-ridden people on earth. It is time for you to break your life pattern…demand from the cosmos what you deserve…” William Livingston, “The Destiny of Our Past”
Well, the former quote is Webster’s definition of guilt. I believe most people think guilt hurts, but serves a higher purpose; even Freud said that guilt is what kept society together as it caused people to feel bad if they did something contrary to the established norms of society. However, while it may be that it does serve as a “policeman in the head” of the average person; it can be taken to pathological levels and used to control society beyond just maintaining the notion of not hurting others.
As the latter quote from my novel, (Amazon link here: http://amzn.to/2nrU3Ng ) is meant to illustrate, in most people’s lives guilt stifles us, chains us and prevents us from acquiring the goals we otherwise might attain. It is a mechanism we must understand in order to have control over it, not the other way around.
Children learn guilt early on. As a toddler a child feels mommy and daddy are perfect – what they say is basically on par with God. And as a child is weaned from its mother’s breast and introduced to other nourishment, so to speak, the child soon is introduced to society by the parents and told to follow certain rules, whether they make sense or not. And while the rules may interfere with the child’s pleasure, the parents will scold them for disobedience; and as children do not want to displease the parents they generally incorporate the norms taught and, if they later are faced with violating them, they will feel bad – thus guilt is born…and it keeps us in check.
As the child grows the society they live takes on the parental role. The child now attaches to new parental figures, their religion, their school, and later the government. And while the individual feels independent, they subconsciously carry the values they incorporate from society, and feel the same discomfort as adults, though again without most truly recognizing why, as they did as children when they felt bad for making mom or dad angry or sad when they sought to do something contrary to the rules.
Governments, political groups, and even individuals can and do manipulate guilt in order to get people to agree with what they feel is right, or merely to get the people to buy things, give up rights, and conform. Today we have the left using what can be called weaponized guilt to gain their goals. Here is how it works, let’s say a person is only exposed to the negative aspects of their culture, religion or nation while in school and that is reinforced in how Hollywood portrays “reality” in movies and TV. This person will often feel a displaced guilt for what their ancestors allegedly did. And to the left this takes on an almost religious zeal to make sure that person will have anything associated with them demonized. And just like in a religion the left offers a way to “atone” for their sin; they can adopt the policies that the left teaches. Of course this is not all, not by a long-shot. The left will also encourage this disciple of guilt to go out and spread the gospel of self-hate; doing so will enable the missionary to feel they are taking an active role in confronting their shame.
Of course it does not work on everyone. People who have studied history in depth will often be immune to guilt-driven propaganda. People also raised to question authority will be able to resist, even if they are sitting in a high-school classroom and a teacher is acting as an agent of an ideology and power structure that seeks to control the inner-most psychology of its citizenry. The best way to resist what today is today all-too-common in public schools and practically the rule in certain programs in higher education knowledge as well as being armed with the self-confidence and a spirit of individualism in the face of collectivism.
That said I am not saying we should adopt a psychopathic approach to life. People should not hurt others and that is the foundational principle of any viable society. However, the individual should ask if what society says they must do, what they must believe, is really worthy of incorporation into their moral and ethical framework. There is no reason to beat one’s self up over violation of norms that are there only to get people to fall in line. As Benjamin Franklin once urged we must always, “Question authority.”
On a more interpersonal level, if you have ever asked: "Why do I feel so guilty?" or "How do I get rid of this guilt?" try to first determine its source; and that will enable you to start the process of setting yourself free to be able to make a positive difference for yourself and those around you.
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