Someone is looking at whatever you do, so always present your most charming you ~ FlyingSnail graphic by C. Spangler ~ Open Flying Snail Views in new tab or window

During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. ~ George Orwell
None of the Above should be a valid choice on Voter Ballots


Cult

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ~ Source

The term cult usually refers to a social group defined by its religiousspiritual, or philosophical beliefs, or its common interest in a particular personality, object or goal. The term itself is controversial and it has divergent definitions in both popular culture and academia and it also has been an ongoing source of contention among scholars across several fields of study.[1][2] In the sociological classifications of religious movements, a cult is a social group with socially deviant or novel beliefs and practices,[3] although this is often unclear.[4][5][6] Other researchers present a less-organized picture of cults saying that they arise spontaneously around novel beliefs and practices.[7] Groups said to be cults range in size from local groups with a few members to international organizations with millions.[8]

Beginning in the 1930s, cults became the object of sociological study in the context of the study of religious behavior.[9] From the 1940s the Christian countercult movement has opposed some sects and new religious movements, and it labelled them as cults for their "un-Christian" unorthodox beliefs. The secular anti-cult movement began in the 1970s and it opposed certain groups, often charging them with mind control and partly motivated in reaction to acts of violence committed by some of their members. Some of the claims and actions of the anti-cult movement have been disputed by scholars and by the news media, leading to further public controversy.

The term "new religious movement" refers to religions which have appeared since the mid-1800s. Many, but not all of them, have been considered to be cults. Sub-categories of cults include: Doomsday cultspersonality cultspolitical cults, destructive cults, racist cults, polygamist cults, and terrorist cults. Various national governments have reacted to cult-related issues in different ways, and this has sometimes led to controversy.



Pathological Lying

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ~ Source

Pathological lying (also called pseudologia fantastica and mythomania) is a behavior of habitual or compulsive lying[1][2] It was first described in the medical literature in 1891 by Anton Delbrueck.[2] Although it is a controversial topic,[2] pathological lying has been defined as "falsification entirely disproportionate to any discernible end in view, may be extensive and very complicated, and may manifest over a period of years or even a lifetime".[1]

Characteristics

Defining characteristics of pathological lying include

  • A definitely internal, not an external, motive for the behavior can be discerned clinically: e.g., long-lasting extortion or habitual spousal battery might cause a person to lie repeatedly, without the lying being a pathological symptom.[2]

  • The stories told tend toward presenting the liar favorably. The liar "decorates their own person"[3] by telling stories that present them as the hero or the victim. For example, the person might be presented as being fantastically brave, as knowing or being related to many famous people, or as having great power, position, or wealth.

Some psychiatrists distinguish compulsive from pathological lying, while others consider them equivalent; yet others deny the existence of compulsive lying altogether; this remains an area of considerable controversy.[4]



HyperNormalisation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ~ Source

HyperNormalisation is a 2016 BBC documentary by British filmmaker Adam Curtis. In the film, Curtis argues that since the 1970s, governments, financiers, and technological utopians have given up on the complex "real world" and built a simple "fake world" that is run by corporations and kept stable by politicians.

The term "hypernormalisation" is taken from Alexei Yurchak's 2006 book Everything was Forever, Until it was No More: The Last Soviet Generation, about the paradoxes of life in the Soviet Union during the 20 years before it collapsed. A professor of anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, he argues that everyone knew the system was failing, but as no one could imagine any alternative to the status quo, politicians and citizens were resigned to maintaining a pretence of a functioning society. Over time, this delusion became a self-fulfilling prophecy and the "fakeness" was accepted by everyone as real, an effect that Yurchak termed "hypernormalisation".

Chapters

The film consists of nine chapters.

1975

The fiscal crisis in New York City and the emergence of the idea that financial systems could run society; shuttle diplomacy between then-US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Middle Eastern leaders in the Arab-Israeli dispute and the subsequent retreat by Hafez al-Assad of Syria; and the onset of hypernormalisation in the Soviet Union.

The Human Bomb

How, following the United States' involvement in the 1982 Lebanon War, a vengeful al-Assad made an alliance with Ruhollah Khomeini of Iran. They planned to force the US out of the Middle East by encouraging civilians to carry out suicide bombings on American targets in the region, thereby avoiding reprisals. In February 1984, the U.S. withdrew all its troops from Lebanon because, in the words of then-US Secretary of State George P. Shultz, "we became paralysed by the complexity that we faced".

Altered States

By the mid-1980s, banks and corporations were joining up through computer networks to create a hidden system of power, and technological utopians whose roots lay in the counterculture of the 1960s also saw the internet as an opportunity to make an alternative world that was free of political and legal restraints.

Acid Flashback

John Perry Barlow's vision of cyberspace as the 1990s equivalent of the Acid Tests. Barlow, who had been part of the LSD (also known as "acid") counterculture in the 1960s and founded the Electronic Frontier Foundation, wrote a manifesto called A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace. Addressed to politicians, it declared "the global social space we are building to be naturally independent of the tyrannies you seek to impose upon us". Two computer hackers—Phiber Optik and Acid Phreak—knew that in reality corporations were using the internet to exert more control over the lives of people than governments had done in the past, and they demonstrated that hierarchies did exist online by obtaining Barlow's credit record from TRW Inc. and posting it on the internet.

The Colonel

This chapter describes the Reagan administration using Muammar Gaddafi as a pawn in their public relations (PR) strategy of creating a simplified, morally unambiguous foreign policy by blaming him for the 1985 Rome and Vienna airport attacks and the 1986 Berlin discotheque bombing that killed US soldiers, both of which European security services attributed to Syrian intelligence agencies. Gaddafi is described as playing along for the sake of increasing his profile in the Arab world as a revolutionary. The 1986 United States bombing of Libya, 10 days after the disco bombing, is described as an operation carried out mainly for PR reasons, because attacking Syria would have been too risky.

The Truth Is Out There

[See also: Paul Bennewitz and Mirage Men]

This chapter begins with a montage of unidentified flying object (UFO) sightings recorded by members of the public in the United States. It argues that the phenomenon surrounding UFOs in the 1990s was born out of a counter-intelligence operation designed to make the public believe that secret airborne high-technology weapons systems the US military tested during and after the Cold War were alien visitations. Top secret memos forged by the United States Air Force Office of Special Investigations were allegedly leaked to ufologists who spread the manufactured conspiracy theory of a government cover-up to the wider public. The method, called perception management, aimed to distract people from the complexities of the real world. American politics are described as having become increasingly detached from reality. Curtis uses the collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of the 1980s as an example of an event that took the West by surprise because reality had become less and less important. A Jane Fonda workout video is shown to illustrate that socialists had given up trying to change the real world and were instead focusing on the self and encouraging others to do the same. The video is intercut with footage of Nicolae Ceaușescu and his wife, Elena, being executed by firing squad and buried following the Romanian Revolution in 1989.

Managed Outcomes

Ulrich Beck is identified as a left-wing German political theorist. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, he saw the world as too complex to change, and Beck asserted that politicians should merely keep the West stable by predicting and avoiding risks. Curtis looks at Aladdin, a computer that manages about 7% of the world's financial assets, analysing the past to anticipate what may happen in the future; and how anti-depressant drugs and social media both stabilise the emotions of individuals.

A Cautionary Tale

The start of this chapter is about the flaws of trying to predict the future by using data from the past. Curtis tells the story of how a card counter named Jess Marcum was recruited by Donald Trump to analyse the gambling habits of Akio Kashiwagi at his casino, the Trump Taj Mahal, in Atlantic City, after Trump had lost millions of dollars to Kashiwagi. In an effort to avert the impending bankruptcy of the casino, Marcum devised a model that predicted a way of recouping the money from Kashiwagi, who lost US$10 million. However, before he could pay, he was killed by yakuza gangsters, and the casino went bankrupt, with Trump having to sell many of his assets to the banks.

Attention turns back to the Middle East and the Lockerbie Bombing in 1988. Curtis says that immediately after the bombing, journalists and investigators blamed Syria for carrying out the attack on behalf of Iran in revenge for the shooting down of Iran Air Flight 655 by the United States Navy. It was generally accepted as true until US security agencies announced that Libya was behind the attack. Some journalists and politicians believed that the West had made the volte-face to appease Syria's leader, whom the US and the United Kingdom required as an ally in the coming Gulf War.

He focuses on the spread of suicide bombing tactics from Shia to Sunni Islam and the targeting of civilians in Israel by Hamas during the 1990s. The resulting political paralysis led to a stalling of the Israeli–Palestinian peace process. It is described as an unintended consequence of Israel's response to the 1992 killing of an Israeli border guard.

A montage is shown of clips from pre-9/11 disaster films in which New York City landmarks are variously destroyed by alien invaders, meteorites, and a tsunami. Curtis argues that such films were characteristic of a mood of uncertainty that pervaded the United States at the end of the 20th century.

Curtis shows how Muammar Gaddafi was turned into the West's "new best friend."

A World Without Power

The effect of the Iraq war wreaks havoc on the American psyche and the people retreat into cyberspace. Judea Pearl creates Bayesian networks that mimic human behavior. Judea's son, Daniel Pearl is the first American to be beheaded on a video uploaded to YouTube.

Meanwhile, social media algorithms show information that is pleasing to its users and hence doesn't challenge previously held beliefs. Despite this, Occupy Wall Street emerges in an attempt to disrupt the system by imitating the leaderless system that the internet was once imagined to become. Using a similar method, the Egyptian revolution of 2011 commenced.

Britain, France and the U.S. turn their backs on Muammar Gaddafi once the people rise up against him. The U.S. drops bombs with drones, and then footage of Gaddafi being captured by rebels is shown.

Neither Occupy Wall Street, nor the Arab Spring turn out very well for the revolutionaries.

In Russia, Vladimir Putin and his cabinet of political technologists create mass confusion. Vladislav Surkov uses ideas from art to turn Russian politics into a bewildering piece of theater. Donald Trump used the same techniques in his presidential campaign by using language from Occupy Wall Street and the extreme racist right-wing. Curtis asserts that Trump "defeated journalism" by rendering its fact-checking abilities irrelevant.

The American Left's attempt to resist Trump on the internet had no effect. In fact, they were just feeding the social media corporations who valued their many additional clicks.

Syria's revolution becomes more vicious and violent. The technique of suicide bombing that Curtis argues Hafez al-Assad introduced in order to unite the Middle East has instead torn it apart. Russia uses Surkov's concept of "non-linear warfare" to keep Syria destabilized. Russia claims to leave Syria, but doesn't.

Abu Musab al-Suri in Syria argues terrorists should not carry out large scale attacks such as Osama Bin Laden did, but should instead carry out random small-scale attacks throughout the West to create fear and chaos, that would be more difficult to retaliate against. This destabilization of the West's psyche leads to the passing of the Brexit and the popularity of Donald Trump.

The film closes with a montage, played over a Barbara Mandrell performance.

Don't help me set the table ~ Cause now there's one less place ~ I won't lay mama's silver ~ For a man who won't say grace ~ If home is where the heart is ~ Then your home's on the street ~ Me, I'll read a good book ~ Turn out the lights and go to sleep

— "Standing Room Only" from This Is Barbara Mandrell


Collective Narcissism

From WikiZer, Open wikipedia design ~ Source

Collective narcissism (or group narcissism) extends the concept of individual narcissism onto the social level of self. It is a tendency to exaggerate the positive image and importance of a group the individual belongs to – i.e. the ingroup.[1][2] While the classic definition of narcissism focuses on the individual, collective narcissism asserts that one can have a similar excessively high opinion of a group, and that a group can function as a narcissistic entity.[1] Collective narcissism is related to ethnocentrism; however, ethnocentrism primarily focuses on self-centeredness at an ethnic or cultural level, while collective narcissism is extended to any type of ingroup, beyond just cultures and ethnicities.[1][3] While ethnocentrism is an assertion of the ingroup's supremacy, collective narcissism is a self-defensive tendency to invest unfulfilled self-entitlement into a belief about ingroup's uniqueness and greatness. Thus, the ingroup is expected to become a vehicle of actualisation of frustrated self-entitlement.[2] When applied to a national group, collective narcissism is similar to nationalism: a desire for national supremacy.[4] However, the two constructs differ not only because collective narcissism can refer groups other than the nation. Nationalists are openly dominant and deny weakness. They seek international supremacy. Collective narcissism is related to a sense of weakness and preoccupation with the lack of recognition for the ingroup. Collective narcissism, but not nationalism, is related to hypersensitivity to intergroup threat and retaliatory hostility.  While nationalistic intergroup hostility is actively aggressive and openly dominant, collective narcissistic intergroup hostility is subjectively defensive. Collective narcissists protect the ingroup’s image rather than assert the ingroup’s dominance. However, these constructs are functionally distinct: they make different predictions for intergroup attitudes, they are related to different emotional profiles and different attitudes towards the self. Positive overlap between ingroup satisfaction and collective narcissism suppresses collective narcissistic intergroup hostility.[2]

Development of the concept

In Sigmund Freud's 1922 study Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego, he noted how every little canton looks down upon the others with contempt,[5] as an instance of what would later to be termed Freud's theory of collective narcissism.[6] Wilhelm Reich and Isaiah Berlin explored what the latter called the rise of modern national narcissism: the self-adoration of peoples.[7] "Group narcissism" is described in a 1973 book entitled The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness by psychologist Erich Fromm.[8] In the 1990s, Pierre Bourdieu wrote of a sort of collective narcissism affecting intellectual groups, inclining them to turn a complacent gaze on themselves.[9] Noting how people's desire to see their own groups as better than other groups can lead to intergroup biasHenri Tajfel approached the same phenomena in the seventies and eighties, so as to create social identity theory, which argues that people's motivation to obtain positive self-esteem from their group memberships is one driving-force behind in-group bias.[10] The term "collective narcissism" was highlighted anew by researcher Agnieszka Golec de Zavala[1][2][11] who created the Collective Narcissism Scale[1] and developed research on intergroup and political consequences of collective narcissism. People who score high on the Collective Narcissists Scale agree that their group's importance and worth are not sufficiently recognised by others and that their group deserves special treatment. They insist that their group must obtain special recognition and respect.

The Scale was modelled on the Narcissistic Personality Inventory. However, collective and individual narcissism are modestly correlated. Only collective narcissism predicts intergroup behaviours and attitudes. Collective narcissism is related to vulnerable narcissism (individual narcissism manifesting as distrustful and neurotic interpersonal style), rather than grandiose narcissism (individual narcissism manifesting as exceedingly self-aggrandising interpersonal style) and to low self-esteem. This is in line with theorising of  Theodore Adorno who proposed that collective narcissism motivated support for the Nazi politics in Germany and was a response to undermined sense of self-worth.

Characteristics and consequences

Collective narcissism is characterized by the members of a group holding an inflated view of their ingroup which requires external validation.[1] Collective narcissism can be exhibited by an individual on behalf of any social group or by a group as a whole. Research participants found that they could apply statements of the Collective Narcissism Scale to various groups: national, ethnic, religious, ideological, political, students of the same university, fans of the same football team, professional groups and organizations[1] Collectively narcissistic groups require external validation, just as individual narcissists do.[12] Organizations and groups who exhibit this behavior typically try to protect their identities through rewarding group-building behavior (this is positive reinforcement).[12]

Collective narcissism predicts retaliatory hostility to past, present, actual and imagined offences to the ingroup and negative attitudes towards groups perceived as threatening.[2][11] It predicts constant feeling threatened in intergroup situations that require a stretch of imagination to be perceived as insulting or threatening. For example, in Turkey, collective narcissists felt humiliated by the Turkish wait to be admitted to the European Union. After a transgression as petty as a joke made by a Polish celebrity about the country's government, Polish collective narcissists threatened physical punishment and openly rejoiced in the misfortunes of their "offender".[11] Collective narcissism predicts conspiracy thinking about secretive malevolent actions of outgroups.[13]

Golec de Zavala et al. state some parallels between individual and collective narcissism:

Individual/Collective Narcissism Equivalencies[1]
Individual Collective
I wish people would recognize my authority I wish other people would recognize the authority of my group
I have natural talent for influencing people My group has all predispositions to influence others
If I ruled the world it would be a much better place If my group ruled the world it would be a much better place
I am an extraordinary person My group is extraordinary
I like to be the center of attention I like when my group is the center of attention
I will never be satisfied until I get what I deserve I will never be satisfied until my group gets all that it deserves
I insist upon getting the respect that is due to me I insist upon my group getting the respect that is due to it
I want to amount to something in the eyes of the world I want my group to amount to something in the eyes of the world
People never give me enough recognition for the things I've donespacer Not many people seem to understand the full importance of my group

Collective vs. individual

There are several connections, and intricate relationships between collective and individual narcissism, or between individual narcissism stemming from group identities or activities. No single relationship between groups and individuals, however, is conclusive or universally applicable. In some cases, collective narcissism is an individual's idealization of the ingroup to which it belongs,[14] while in another the idealization of the group takes place at a more group-level, rather than an instillation within each individual member of the group.[1] In some cases, one might project the idealization of himself onto his group,[15] while in another case, the development of individual-narcissism might stem from being associated with a prestigious, accomplished, or extraordinary group.[1][16]

An example of the first case listed above is that of national identity. One might feel a great sense of love and respect for one's nation, flag, people, city, or governmental systems as a result of a collectively narcissistic perspective.[14] It must be remembered that these feelings are not explicitly the result of collective narcissism, and that collective narcissism is not explicitly the cause of patriotism, or any other group-identifying expression. However, glorification of one's group (such as a nation) can be seen in some cases as a manifestation of collective narcissism.[14]

In the case where the idealization of self is projected onto ones group, group-level narcissism tends to be less binding than in other cases.[15] Typically in this situation the individual—already individually narcissistic—uses a group to enhance his own self-perceived quality, and by identifying positively with the group and actively building it up, the narcissist is enhancing simultaneously both his own self-worth, and his group's worth.[15]However, because the link tends to be weaker, individual narcissists seeking to raise themselves up through a group will typically dissociate themselves from a group they feel is damaging to their image, or that is not improving proportionally to the amount of support they are investing in the group.[15]

Involvement in one's group has also been shown to be a factor in the level of collective narcissism exhibited by members of a group. Typically a more involved member of a group is more likely to exhibit a higher opinion of the group.[17] This results from an increased affinity for the group as one becomes more involved, as well as a sense of investment or contribution to the success of the group.[17] Also, another perspective asserts that individual narcissism is related to collective narcissism exhibited by individual group members.[3] Personal narcissists, seeing their group as a defining extension of themselves, will defend their group (collective narcissism) more avidly than a non-narcissist, to preserve their own perceived social standing along with their group's.[3] In this vein, a problem is presented; for while an individual narcissist will be heroic in defending his or her ingroup during intergroup conflicts, he or she may be a larger burden on the ingroup in intragroup situations by demanding admiration, and exhibiting more selfish behavior on the intragroup level—individual narcissism.[3]

Conversely, another relationship between collective narcissism and the individual can be established with individuals who have a low or damaged ego investing their image in the well-being of their group, which bears strong resemblance to the "ideal-hungry" followers in the charismatic leader-follower relationship.[1][18] As discussed, these ego-damaged group-investors seek solace in belonging to a group;[18] however, a charismatic, strong leader is not always requisite for someone weak to feel strength by building up a narcissistic opinion of their own group.[15]

The charismatic leader-follower relationship

Another sub-concept encompassed by collective narcissism is that of the "Charismatic Leader-Follower Relationship" theorized by political psychologist Jerrold Post.[18] Post takes the view that collective narcissism is exhibited as a collection of individual narcissists, and discusses how this type of relationship emerges when a narcissistic charismatic leader, appeals to narcissistic "ideal-hungry" followers.[18]

An important characteristic of the leader follower-relationship are the manifestations of narcissism by both the leader and follower of a group.[18] Within this relationship there are two categories of narcissists: the mirror-hungry narcissist, and the ideal-hungry narcissist—the leader and the followers respectively.[18] The mirror-hungry personality typically seeks a continuous flow of admiration and respect from his followers. Conversely, the ideal-hungry narcissist takes comfort in the charisma and confidence of his mirror-hungry leader. The relationship is somewhat symbiotic; for while the followers provide the continuous admiration needed by the mirror-hungry leader, the leader's charisma provides the followers with the sense of security and purpose that their ideal-hungry narcissism seeks.[18] Fundamentally both the leader and the followers exhibit strong collectively narcissistic sentiments—both parties are seeking greater justification and reason to love their group as much as possible.[1][18]

Perhaps the most significant example of this phenomenon would be that of Nazi Germany.[18] Adolf Hitler's charisma and polarizing speeches satisfied the German people's hunger for a strong leader.[18] Hitler's speeches were characterized by their emphasis on "strength"—referring to Germany—and "weakness"—referring to the Jewish people.[19] Some have even described Hitler's speeches as "hypnotic"—even to non-German speakers[18]—and his rallies as "watching hypnosis on large scale".[18] Hitler's charisma convinced the German people to believe that they were not weak, and that by destroying the perceived weakness from among them (the Jews), they would be enhancing their own strength—satisfying their ideal-hungry desire for strength, and pleasing their mirror-hungry charismatic leader.[18]

Intergroup aggression

Collective narcissism has been shown to be a factor in intergroup aggression and bias.[1] Primary components of collectively narcissistic intergroup relations involve aggression against outgroups with which collective narcissistic perceive as threatening.[20][1][2][11] Collective narcissism helps to explain unreasonable manifestations of retaliation between groups. A narcissistic group is more sensitive to perceived criticism exhibited by outgroups, and is therefore more likely to retaliate.[21] Collective narcissism is also related to negativity between groups who share a history of distressing experiences. The members of a narcissistic ingroup are likely to assume threats or negativity towards their ingroup where threats or negativity were not necessarily implied or exhibited.[1][2][11] It is thought that this heightened sensitivity to negative feelings towards the ingroup is a result of underlying doubts about the greatness of the ingroup held by its members.[18]

Similar to other elements of collective narcissism, intergroup aggression related to collective narcissism draws parallels with its individually narcissistic counterparts. An individual narcissist might react aggressively in the presence of humiliation, irritation, or anything threatening to his self-image.[22] Likewise, a collective narcissist, or a collectively narcissistic group might react aggressively when the image of the group is in jeopardy, or when the group is collectively humiliated.[1]

A study conducted among 6 to 9 year-olds by Judith Griffiths indicated that ingroups and outgroups among these children functioned relatively identical to other known collectively narcissistic groups in terms of intergroup aggression. The study noted that children generally had a significantly higher opinion of their ingroup than of surrounding outgroups, and that such ingroups indirectly or directly exhibited aggression on surrounding outgroups.[23]

Ethnocentrism

Main article: Ethnocentrism

Collective narcissism and ethnocentrism are closely related; they can be positively correlated and often shown to be coexistent, but they are independent in that either can exist without the presence of the other.[3] In a study conducted by PhD Boris Bizumic, some ethnocentrism was shown to be an expression of group-level narcissism.[3] It was noted, however, that not all manifestations of ethnocentrism are narcissistically based, and conversely, not all cases of group-level narcissism are by any means ethnocentric.[3]

It is suggested that ethnocentrism, when pertaining to discrimination or aggression based on the self-love of one's group, or in other words, based on exclusion from one's self-perceived superior group is an expression of collective narcissism.[1] In this sense, it might be said the collective and group narcissism overlap with ethnocentrism depending on given definitions, and the breadth of their acceptance.

In the world

In general, collective narcissism is most strongly manifested in groups that are "self-relevant", like religions, nationality, or ethnicity.[15] As discussed earlier, phenomena such as national identity (nationality) and Nazi Germany (ethnicity and nationality) are manifestations of collective narcissism among groups that critically define the people who belong to them.

In addition to this, the collective narcissism that a group may already possess is likely to be exacerbated during conflict and aggression.[1] And in terms of cultural effects, cultures that place an emphasis on the individual are apparently more likely to see manifestations of perceived individual greatness projected onto social ingroups existing within that culture.[1] Also, and finally, narcissistic groups are not restricted to any one homogenous composition of collective or individually collective or individual narcissists.[3] A quote from Hitler almost ideally sums the actual nature of collective narcissism as it is realistically manifested, and might be found reminiscent of almost every idea presented here: "My group is better and more important than other groups, but still is not worthy of me".[3]



Identity Fusion

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ~ Source

Identity fusion, a psychological construct rooted in social psychology and cognitive anthropology, is a form of alignment with groups in which members experience a visceral sense of oneness with the group. The construct relies on a distinction between the personal self and the social self. The personal self refers to the characteristics that make someone a unique person (e.g., tall, old, intelligent), while the social self pertains to the characteristics that align the person with groups (e.g., American, fraternity brother, student council member, etc.). As the name suggests, identity fusion involves the union of the personal and social selves. When fusion occurs, both the personal and social selves remain salient and influential but the boundaries between them become highly permeable. In addition, the theory proposes that fused persons come to regard other group members as “family” and develop strong relational ties to them as well as ties to the collective. Therefore, fused persons are not just bound to the collective; they are tied to the individual members of the collective.

The potency of the personal self and relational ties distinguish identity fusion from other forms of alignment with groups, such as “group identification”. In group identification, allegiance to the collective eclipses the personal self and relational ties to other group members. Because of this, the personal self and relational ties are not as involved in theories of group identification. Identity fusion theorizes that fusion measures should be more predictive of extreme pro-group behavior than previously proposed measures of identification. In fact, there is growing evidence of this. Measures of identity fusion are particularly powerful predictors of personally costly pro-group behaviors, including endorsement of extreme behaviors, such as fighting and dying for the group.

Why Understanding Identity
Fusion Is So Important

Article by OMFGWhatHaveWeDONE

Identity Fusion - aka “Sports team” mode

A majority of the United States is confused by the behavior of ~34% of the rest of the country.

To grasp what has happened, you just have to realize that some political supporters have gone into “Sports Teams” mode. They have turned politics into an Identity Fusion issue.

Basically, they have stopped thinking about the representative government as a functional group of public servants. They are thinking about it as if it's their "team" and everything political has become "us versus them."

Some characteristics of a team fanatic

[ I'm using Trump Supporters as an example because it's currently the most obvious example, but it can apply to both sides to some degree. ]

Once you realize this is what's happening, the common attributes are there to see:

Wearing identifying clothing (hats, badges, colors, logos, slogans) in everyday life.

Loyalty regardless of performance or behavior of their "team."

Instant disrespect for any member of the opposing team based solely on team affiliation.

Hatred of any perceived disloyalty from fellow team fans.

Having rallies and parades even when there is no pending game with the primary goal to celebrate and reenforce being loyal.

At gatherings, fans chant slogans and/or sing.

Team players (not fans, but players) are 100% supported unless they leave the team. Then they are ostracized and demonized even though they are basically the same person.

This simple concept explains the logic-defying behavior we are constantly seeing in politics today.

I debated posting this on Memorial Day. It's a day Americans look back and remember the sacrifices other Americans made for us.

We need to stop with the divisive team fanaticism against each other. We are Americans and our government is made up of civil servants who [are supposed to?] swear loyalty [to?] the Constitution... they are NOT your sports team.

Want to know more?

Paper on Identity Fusion from University of Texas:

https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/c5c0/9988102c68dea5cfd34d67a28dab59a99932.pdf

More readable version of this information from Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Identity_fusion

[Note: this content is OC and probably contains spelling and/or grammar errors. I'm not a professional journalist or writer. Just a long time Imgurian who likes to make memes. Please let me know of any mistakes.] ~ Complete [Local] Article w/Graphics: Understanding Identity Fusion



Fascism

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ~ Source

Fascism is a form of radical authoritarian ultranationalism, characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition and control of industry and commerce, which came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe. The first fascist movements emerged in Italy during World War I before it spread to other European countries.  Opposed to liberalismMarxism and anarchism, fascism is usually placed on the far-right within the traditional left–right spectrum.

Fascists saw World War I as a revolution that brought massive changes to the nature of war, society, the state and technology. The advent of total war and the total mass mobilization of society had broken down the distinction between civilians and combatants. A "military citizenship" arose in which all citizens were involved with the military in some manner during the war.  The war had resulted in the rise of a powerful state capable of mobilizing millions of people to serve on the front lines and providing economic production and logistics to support them, as well as having unprecedented authority to intervene in the lives of citizens.

Fascists believe that liberal democracy is obsolete and they regard the complete mobilization of society under a totalitarian one-party state as necessary to prepare a nation for armed conflict and to respond effectively to economic difficulties.  Such a state is led by a strong leader—such as a dictator and a martial government composed of the members of the governing fascist party—to forge national unity and maintain a stable and orderly society. Fascism rejects assertions that violence is automatically negative in nature and views political violence, war and imperialism as means that can achieve national rejuvenation.  Fascists advocate a mixed economy, with the principal goal of achieving autarky through protectionist and interventionist economic policies.

Historians, political scientists and other scholars have long debated the exact nature of fascism.  Each interpretation of fascism is distinct, leaving many definitions too wide or narrow.

One common definition of the term focuses on three concepts: the fascist negations (anti-liberalismanti-communism and anti-conservatism); nationalist authoritarian goals of creating a regulated economic structure to transform social relations within a modern, self-determined culture; and a political aesthetic of romantic symbolism, mass mobilization, a positive view of violence and promotion of masculinity, youth and charismatic leadership.  According to many scholars, fascism—especially once in power—has historically attacked communism, conservatism and parliamentary liberalism, attracting support primarily from the far-right.



Blackshirts

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ~ Source

The Milizia Volontaria per la Sicurezza Nazionale (MVSN, "Voluntary Militia for National Security"), commonly called the Blackshirts (Italian:  Camicie Nere, CCNN, singular: Camicia Nera) or squadristi (singular: squadrista), was originally the paramilitary wing of the National Fascist Party and, after 1923, an all-volunteer  militia  of the Kingdom of Italy. Its members were distinguished by their black uniforms (modelled on those of the  Arditi, Italy's elite troops of World War I) and their loyalty to  Benito Mussolini, the  Duce  (leader) of  Fascism, to whom they swore an oath. The founders of the paramilitary groups were nationalist intellectuals, former army officers and young landowners opposing peasants' and country labourers' unions. Their methods became harsher as Mussolini's power grew, and they used violence and intimidation against Mussolini's opponents.[1] In 1943, following the fall of the Fascist regime, the MVSN was integrated into the Royal Italian Army and disbanded.

History

The Blackshirts were established as the squadristi in 1919 and consisted of many disgruntled former soldiers. It was given the task of leading fights against their bitter enemies – the Socialists. They may have numbered 200,000 by the time of Mussolini's March on Rome from 27 to 29 October 1922. In 1922 the squadristi were reorganized into the milizia and formed numerous bandiere, and on 1 February 1923 the Blackshirts became the Volunteer Militia for National Security (Milizia Volontaria per la Sicurezza Nazionale, or MVSN), which lasted until the 8 September 1943 Armistice of Cassibile. The Italian Social Republic, located in the areas of northern Italy occupied by Germany, reformed the MVSN on 8 December 1943 into the National Republican Guard (Guardia Nazionale Repubblicana, or GNR).



Sturmabteilung
a.k.a. Brownshirts

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ~ Source

The Sturmabteilung (SA) primary purposes were providing protection for Nazi rallies and assemblies, disrupting the meetings of opposing parties, fighting against the paramilitary units of the opposing parties, especially the Red Front Fighters League (Rotfrontkämpferbund) of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD), and intimidating SlavsRomanistrade unionists, and, especially, Jews – for instance, during the Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses.

The SA were also called the "Brownshirts" (Braunhemden) from the color of their uniform shirts, similar to Benito Mussolini's blackshirts

In violent riots, members of the SA shattered the glass storefronts of about 7,500 Jewish stores and businesses, hence the name Kristallnacht (Crystal Night) given to the events.[30] Jewish homes were ransacked throughout Germany.

The downfall of Brownshirts was initiated by Night of the Long Knives and finished by Hitler SS.



Treason

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ~ Source

In lawtreason is the crime that covers some of the more extreme acts against one's nation or sovereign. Historically, treason also covered the murder of specific social superiors, such as the murder of a husband by his wife or that of a master by his servant. Treason against the king was known as high treason and treason against a lesser superior was petty treason. A person who commits treason is known in law as a traitor.

At times, the term traitor has been used as a political epithet, regardless of any verifiable treasonable action. In a civil war or insurrection, the winners may deem the losers to be traitors. Likewise the term traitor is used in heated political discussion – typically as a slur against political dissidents, or against officials in power who are perceived as failing to act in the best interest of their constituents. In certain cases, as with the Dolchstoßlegende (Stab-in-the-back myth), the accusation of treason towards a large group of people can be a unifying political message. Treason is considered to be different and on many occasions a separate charge from "treasonable felony" in many parts of the world.

§2381. Treason

Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 807 Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, §330016(2)(J), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2148 .)



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