Monday 13 July 2020

Epidemic phobic avoidance

Continuing my psychiatric diagnosis of our situation; I observe a very obvious phenomenon of phobic avoidance in relation to the birdemic.

Indeed, this is a plain and obvious fact, and one that is well understood: If we respond to an irrational phobia by avoiding it, then that phobia will be strengthened by apparent confirmation of the strategy of avoidance, and the consequent lack of a possibility of being refuted by experience.

So, people are more afraid of the birdemic Now (when it is over, and deaths back to baseline) than they were when it was actually killing people (albeit at a rate some fifty-fold less than 'expected'/ 'officially-predicted').

But this should not be surprising. When there was no unusual threat to begin with (at the level of a bad influenza), and yet massive-wholesale avoidance was deployed; the innate tendency is to assume that it was the behavioural avoidance that 'saved' people from the imagined threat.

This is seen in simple-specific phobias. If a British person suffers arachnophobia (and there are no dangerous spiders in Britain), and responds by escalating avoidance of first spiders, then the places spiders characteristically inhabit, finally places where spiders might be... then a specific and circumscribed phobia develops into a generalised anxiety state; where fear is constant and the sufferer's life and behaviour are increasingly limited: dominated by futile spider-avoidance practices.

This is precisely the situation for the birdemic; where all casual social interactions among strangers are Now dominated by birdemic-awareness and orientated-around avoidance of a non-existent (i.e. normal, baseline) birdemic threat - and this behaviour is being first sustained and then amplified by the apparent success at avoiding the threat.

It would be foolish to suppose that this is an unintended consequence of policy - in other words, this is precisely what They have engineered by their colossal programme of evil-lying propaganda and totalitarian control.

Okay, but phobias are treatable - by 'behavioural therapy', which can easily be self-administered - and is indeed just common sense...

Behavioural therapy is so simple as to be summarisable in a sentence: To overcome a fear we must expose ourselves to that fear - we will then get-used-to that fear - and by repetition, learn to stop reacting to it.

The barrier to successful treatment is typically that the sufferer does not want to get better, is unwilling to suffer short-term discomfort for a long-term cure; therefore refuses to expose himself to that which is feared.

That is the current situation. The mass public do not want to get better.

Why? In a negative sense - cowardice. Modern Men lack courage because they lack the motivation of religion and will do nothing about that because - in a positive sense - Modern Men are wedded to evil, have embraced evil: are on the side of those who oppose God, Good and divine creation.

In another sense: conformity. In this totalitarian world, the fear is to be singled-out as Not conforming, to be detected as Not 100% onboard with the ideology.

In a world of mandatory and uniform phobic avoidance; to be brave, independent in thinking; to be loving, spiritual and Christian - is to be marked as an enemy of the World State.

So the massive, apparently world-wide, phobic avoidance is merely a rational symptom of mass corruption.

People could recover from it in a few days - but only if they actually wanted to recover.

The fact that people do not want to recover is a measure of the mass prevalence and dominance of evil. And that is something which cannot be reversed in a few days.


Gary said...

This is an interesting thought, and it certainly sheds light on an important part of what is happening, and why.

I think a corollary of what you have written, is that one way of short-circuiting the vicious cycle of phobic avoidance, is modifying what standards people are afraid of falling short of. That is, if people in a totalitarian world are afraid as being singled-out for not 100% conforming to the mold, then a good first step would be to change the mold. From the mold dictated by mass-media, to the mold dictated by family.

Of course, this can only really be done by somebody with a considerable degree of intra-familial authority. These days, there are probably many families where nobody has authority (funny how every attack on the Good seems to be linked!), so this would be a non starter. But in those where there is, it is feasible, but of course would require courage, perseverance and nous on behalf of the authority.

Of course, this cannot be done on a mass scale, it is not a mass solution (I think there ARE no mass solutions). Also, more importantly, it doesn`t directly hit the root problem of cowardice, lability and thoughtlessness.

However, I think it can be good as a way of bringing certain loved ones out of the vicious cycle, and by so doing, opening them to a "different world", where at least they may get a chance to repent of their madness and come to their senses.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Gary - Yes, that would work - indeed I think it happens already in any family that is loving And has an understanding of reality.

But it seems that such families are extremely rare. For example, I think most families of devout church-Christians lack even a basic understanding of what Has happened (already, several months ago) to the world, and to themselves.

In practice, as usual, for most people the decision is a matter of taking individual responsibility for one's own fundamental convictions and assumptions.

David Earle said...

Glad your back. I just want to mention how useful you are to the Christian community. Your thoughts are the most profound and true I've read in my years of searching. It's my daily reminder that I still have A LOT to learn and think about.

The "mainstream" Christian community is just now waking up to something you've been writing about a decade ago:

Keep up the excellent work, Bruce!

Bruce Charlton said...

@Islanti - Thanks for the encouragement. Mostly I publish when I have something I want to communicate, and I have not anything to say for a while. It's a day-by-day thing.

Rich said...

I second islanti's comment. You are far and away the most important commentator of our time. I've been reading you nearly every day for well over a decade now (I can't say that about anyone else) and I am still amazed at how prolific you are while bringing forth such high quality writing and ideas.

Thanks for all your work, Bruce. It's always these little breaks that solidify just how much I cherish this little world you've created.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Rich - Thank you! It was June 2010 that I started blogging regularly here (you can see from the url that this was originally used for temporarily making available teaching materials to supplement lectures) - after I got sacked from the editor's job - so it's probably almost exactly 10 years if you caught the earliest posts.

Stephen Macdonald said...

I echo others here about Bruce. I've been reading blogs online since the mid-1990s. Bruce, Bob Godwin, and David Warren have had the top spots for some years now.

Adil said...

I send my appreciations as well. I think I've been a regular reader since at least 2016 (and I tend to stick to people). I find your academic style somewhat difficult to read, but your insights compensate for that. I also found William Wildblood through you (who I think is a better writer, or at least more readable), and I return to you both as my main spiritual commentary. Thanks also for helping me discover writers like Steiner, Barfield and Jeremy Naydler. I have a copy of Saving the appearances at home but haven't gotten into it as I found it challenging and a bit over my head.