Political Science 4335

The online version of this syllabus can be accessed @ http://www.arnoldleder.com/4335.htm.
Password protected materials for this course can be viewed @ http://www.arnoldleder.com/readings/index.htmlScroll to the section on "Political Psychology".  Password and user name for access will be provided to students in the course.  For links to web syllabi for other courses taught by Dr. Leder see: http://www.arnoldleder.com/.

Department Of Political Science/Texas State University

UAC/Undergraduate Academic Center 355; Telephone number:  (512) 245-2143; Fax number: (512) 245-7815
Liberal Arts Computer Lab: UAC/Undergraduate Academic Center 440; Website: http://www.polisci.txstate.edu/resources/computer-lab.html

Office: UCA 363
Office Hours: MWF 8:00-8:50 a. m. & by appointment.
Texas State University Academic Calendar
Texas State University Final Exam Schedule

Selected Web Resources For Texas State University
Texas State University Library
Locating Periodicals @ Texas State University Library

Selected Web Resources For Political Science
The Ultimate Political Science Links Page 

Political Psychology Resources & University Programs
A partial list of Political Psychology resources & university programs is provided at the end of this syllabus. 

Please see: Academic Honesty Statement for Texas State University @ http://www.txstate.edu/effective/upps/upps-07-10-01.html.
An excerpt from this statement can be found at the end of this syllabus.

Class Participation, Oral Presentations, Exams, Papers, Grades
1. This course will be conducted as a seminar.  Students must attend every class meeting and be prepared to discuss assigned readings and other materials.  Active participation in class discussion is essential.  Course grades will be determined by oral presentations, class participation, written papers, and exams
2. Determinants of Course Grade: Oral Reports & Presentations 25%/ Seminar Participation 15%/ Essay Exams/Papers 60%

1. Two (2) unexcused absences are permitted.  Students with three (3) unexcused absences will have their course grade lowered by one letter grade.  Students who have four (4) unexcused absences will have their course grade lowered by two letter grades.  No absences beyond four (4) for any reason are permitted.  Any student who has more than four absences is likely to fail the course and, therefore, should withdraw from the course.
2. The instructor for the course is not responsible for bringing students who have missed class "up-to-date" on missed material.  Each student has the responsibility to remain current with respect to class material.

Note On Course & Syllabus Materials: Students may find books, articles, links, websites, and other materials provided in this syllabus useful and of interest. Their listing in this syllabus, including those which are required and recommended, does not necessarily indicate endorsement of or agreement with any views or positions on any issues found in these materials, websites, or on other sites to which they may provide links.

Note On Access To Articles:  Access to articles through the Texas State University Library, @ Locating Periodicals @ Texas State University Library available to all Texas State University students, requires a valid User Name and a Password.  Many of the links in this syllabus provide direct access to the article.

Password Protected Materials: Some materials on this web syllabus are password protected and are directly accessible @ http://www.arnoldleder.com/readings/index.html. These materials are for student use. The password will be provided to students in the course.
This course is an introduction to the relationship between political behavior and human motivation.  Topics covered include: conceptual and methodological concerns; psychological perspectives and political theory; power and personality; the psychological burdens of freedom and their relationship to authority and individual will; illusion, reality, and the political order; symbols and political quiescence; the psychology of empire; and psychological insights into political behavior offered by fiction and film.

The purpose of this course is to provide an additional dimension to the student's understanding of the universe of politics. To the rational, and widely taken for granted, model of political behavior, the spirit of which is nicely captured by Harold Lasswell's well known definition of politics as "who gets what, when, how", this course offers an alternative model of the universe of politics.  It is a model of political behavior which examines the "irrational", the world of human emotions and human personality, as they relate to and influence this behavior.  Political Psychology, as it is generally known, is a well established field in the discipline of Political Science.

Fyodor Dostoevsky/The Brothers Karamazov (1880/classic)
-In this novel the chapter entitled The Grand Inquisitor (about 20 pages)
Sigmund Freud/Civilization & Its Discontents (1930/classic)
Erich Fromm/Escape From Freedom (1941/classic)
Eric Hoffer/The True Believer: Thoughts On The Nature Of Mass Movements (1951/classic)
Richard Hofstadter/The Paranoid Style In American Politics (Harvard Univ. Press 1996/Original Publication 1952)
O.Mannoni/Prospero & Caliban: The Psychology Of Colonization (Univ. of Michigan-AnnArbor paperback 2001/Original French Publication 1948)
Mannoni's, Prospero & Caliban is a modern classic - whose premise has been questioned.

Murray Edelman/Symbols & Political Quiescence (Irvington Publishers-Reprint Series in Political Science 1993)

"The Caine Mutiny" Caine Mutiny, The (1954) [2hrs. 5min.]  The Caine Mutiny1954)  DVD ReviewThe Caine Mutiny

This film is based on the novel HermanWouk/The Caine Mutiny (1951) (Winner Of Pulitzer Prize)
"The Prime of Miss Jean Brody" The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969) [1hr. 55min.]
This film is based on the novel Muriel Spark/The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie (1961)
"The Matrix" The Matrix (1999) [2hrs. 16min.]
"A Passage To India" A Passage To India (1985) [2hrs. 43 min.]
[Based on the novel  E. M. Forster/A Passage To India (1924)]
The Manchurian Candidate (1962) [2hrs. 9 min.]  A film classic on conspiracy thinking.
The Crucible (1996) [2hrs. 2 min.]  A favorite of many secondary school teachers and students of the McCarthy era (1950's) in the U.S.

The Lives of Others (2006 German with English subtitles) [2hrs. 18min.]

"The Brothers Karamazov" The Brothers Karamazov (1958) [2hrs. 25 min.]
"All About Eve"
All_About_Eve (1950) [2hrs. 38 min.]


Course Title: Politics & Personality/Political Psychology

For Class Discussion At Appropriate Times: Occasional Postings of Writings on Current & Various Issues in Political Psychology

The Authoritarian Personality Question

John Levi Martin, "The Authoritarian Personality: 50 Years Later: What Lessons Are There for Political Psychology?", Political Psychology , Vol. 22, No. 1 (Mar., 2001), pp. 1-26 @ http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.libproxy.txstate.edu/doi/10.1111/0162-895X.00223/epdf  Texas State University link. A valid User Name and Password are required for access.
Political psychologists should regard The Authoritarian Personality as a cautionary example of bias arising from the choice of methodological assumptions.
From the conclusion of this article:
"Fifty years later, the unsound nature of TAP (The Authoritarian Personality) is so blatant that this essay almost seems unsporting, yet it originally was taken quite seriously.  Although methodological critiques were made from the earliest days, I have seen no categorical dismissals.  Presumably, there was sufficient broad agreement that there were 'bad guys' out there who deserved no quarter, and the dismissal that seems minimally appropriate by today's standards appeared excessive then.  Might we, then, also be in the middle of constructing research that, 50 years hence, will only shame us? "  (boldface added)

Peter E. Gordon, "The Authoritarian Personality Revisited: Reading Adorno in the Age of Trump", boundary2,  June 15, 2016 @ http://www.boundary2.org/2016/06/peter-gordon-the-authoritarian-personality-revisited-reading-adorno-in-the-age-of-trump/
From Peter E. Gordon's article
The essential charge here is that of confirmation bias, that the research team knew in advance what they were looking for and devised the questionnaires only to pick out the relevant psychological types. Despite ongoing controversies over its legitimacy, however, the original study merits our attention especially today, when the spectacle of American politics invites anxious comparison to the political trends of an earlier age.  The question that deserves our consideration now is whether the political problems now looming before us in the United States actually permit us to mobilize concepts that were first developed in the study of the Authoritarian Personality more than a half century ago, and whether Adorno’s own contributions to that study retain any explanatory power after more than half a century."  (boldface added)

From the conclusion of Peter E. Gordon's article:
"But later efforts to revise the idea of the authoritarian personality may have neglected the more radical insight that Adorno wished to inject into the research agenda, namely, that psychological character itself is conditional upon historically variant social and culture forms.  Rather than tracing the occurrence of an authoritarian consciousness, we might want to trace that authoritarianism to a standardization of consciousness that today leaves no precinct of our culture unmarked.  This might alert us to the far more unsettling and ironic proposition that today both realms—the political and the psychological—are threatened with dissolution.  Seen from this perspective, the attempt to describe Trumpism with the pathologizing language of character types only works as a defense against the deeper possibility that Trump, far from being a violation of the norm, may actually signify an emergent norm of the social order as such.  If any of the foregoing is correct, then we should countenance the sobering proposition that, even if Trump himself should suffer an electoral defeat, the social phenomena that made him possible can be expected to grow only more powerful in the future." (boldface added)

The Goldwater Rule:
Maggie Koerth-Baker, "Psychiatrists Can't Tell Us What They Think About Trump",  June 6, 2016 @ http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/psychiatrists-cant-tell-us-what-they-think-about-trump/

Aaron Blake, "The American Psychiatric Association issues a warning: No psychoanalyzing Donald Trump",  Washington Post,  August 7, 2016 @ https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/08/07/the-american-psychiatric-association-reminds-its-doctors-no-psychoanalyzing-donald-trump/

Seth Borenstein, "Amateurs analyze Trump's mind but should the pros do it?", Associated Press, August 11, 2016 @ http://bigstory.ap.org/article/cc8abb2128ef4497adffdab00481d2d7/amateurs-analyze-trumps-mind-should-pros-do-it

Dan P. McAdams, "The Mind of Donald Trump", Atlantic,  June, 2016 @  http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/06/the-mind-of-donald-trump/480771/
Narcissism, disagreeableness, grandiosity—a psychologist investigates how Trump’s extraordinary personality might shape his possible presidency.

Excerpts from this article by Dan P. McAdams

"A large and rapidly growing body of research shows that people’s temperament, their characteristic motivations and goals, and their internal conceptions of themselves are powerful predictors of what they will feel, think, and do in the future, and powerful aids in explaining why. In the realm of politics, psychologists have recently demonstrated how fundamental features of human personality—such as extroversion and narcissism—shaped the distinctive leadership styles of past U. S. presidents, and the decisions they made."

"During and after World War II, psychologists conceived of the authoritarian personality as a pattern of attitudes and values revolving around adherence to society’s traditional norms, submission to authorities who personify or reinforce those norms, and antipathy—to the point of hatred and aggression—toward those who either challenge in-group norms or lie outside their orbit. Among white Americans, high scores on measures of authoritarianism today tend to be associated with prejudice against a wide range of “out-groups,” including homosexuals, African Americans, immigrants, and Muslims. Authoritarianism is also associated with suspiciousness of the humanities and the arts, and with cognitive rigidity, militaristic sentiments, and Christian fundamentalism.

When individuals with authoritarian proclivities fear that their way of life is being threatened, they may turn to strong leaders who promise to keep them safe—leaders like Donald Trump. In a national poll conducted recently by the political scientist Matthew MacWilliams, high levels of authoritarianism emerged as the single strongest predictor of expressing political support for Donald Trump. Trump’s promise to build a wall on the Mexican border to keep illegal immigrants out and his railing against Muslims and other outsiders have presumably fed that dynamic."

Benedict Cary, "The Psychiatric Question: Is It Fair to Analyze Donald Trump From Afar?", NYT Science, August 15, 2016 @
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/16/health/analyzing-donald-trump-psychology.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fscience&action=click&contentCollection=science&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=sectionfront&_r=0  See links in this article to related materials.

Overview Of Course
I. Introduction
II. Freud - Instinctual Drives & Civilization
III. Personality & Politics
IV.  Political Leaders & Followers
V.  The Political Psychology of Terrorism
VI. Dostoevsky - Religion, Authority, Freedom,  & Individual Will
VII.  The Matrix: Illusion, Reality, & Freedom
VIII.  Edelman - Symbols, Symbolic Reassurance, And Political Quiescence
IX. The Paranoid Style & Conspiracy Thinking
X.  The Psychology Of Empire

 I. Introduction
Readings: DiRenzo, "Perspectives on Personality and Political Behavior" in Gordon J. DiRenzo (ed.)/Personality & Politics (1974), pp. 3-26.
The DiRenzo essay will be provided to students.

II. Freud - Instinctual Drives & Civilization 
A view of "human nature" in ancient Athens:
"Then, with the ordinary conventions of civilized life thrown into confusion,human nature, always ready to offend(emphasis added)  even where laws exist, showed itself proudly in its true colours, as something  incapable of controlling passion, insubordinate to the idea of justice, the enemy to anything superior to itself..."

These are the observations of Thucydides [c. 460 - 400 BCE], the ancient Greek historian and student of political behavior, with regard to "The Civil War In Corcyra 427 [BCE]" in: Thucydides, History Of The Peloponnesian War (Rex Warner Translation/Introduction & Notes By M. I. Finley/Penguin Classics/1972), p. 245.

Readings: Freud, Civilization And Its Discontents, the entire monograph.

All students in this course should download and print for their personal use a hard copy of "A Partial Glossary Of Freud".  This glossary can be accessed @ http://www.arnoldleder.com/readings/index.html.   Scroll to the section on "Political Psychology" and look for "A Partial Glossary Of Freud".  This location is password protected.  Password and user name for access will be provided to students in the course.

Samuel Moyn, "Freud's Discontents", The Nation, November 2, 2016 @ https://www.thenation.com/article/freuds-discontents/.
This article by Samuel Moyn may also  be accessed @ http://libproxy.txstate.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=asn&AN=119241404&site=ehost-live
(Note: The title of this Samuel Moyn article accessed at this link is "A Whole Climate".  It is the same article.)
Texas State University Library permalink.
A valid Texas State University User Name and password are required for access.
From this article:
Why did one of the 20th century’s most influential thinkers fade from significance?

"The abandonment of Freud’s speculative penchant has largely meant a return to positivistic theories of human nature. People, in this conventional view, are rational political and economic actors, knowledgeable about their own interests, free to choose them, and—as a default at least—trustworthy in their pursuit. Rational humanity finds itself once again enthroned, its idiosyncrasies sometimes acknowledged as requiring modest tweaks and technocratic palliatives, as if our world did not undermine that optimism at every turn. (boldface added)

Our ongoing history ... has proven the insufficiency of such approaches. But even beyond today, the intricacy of our personal worlds, and the upheavals of our social and political ones, will not permit such doctrines to rule for much longer. Their intellectual replacements may not resemble psychoanalysis exactly, but a renewed struggle against this view of human rationality—a struggle that no one did more than Freud to sponsor—­can provide future inspiration." (boldface added)

Wilfred M. McClay/The Moral Economy of Guilt/First Things, May 2011, No. 213.
Texas State University Library permalink.  A valid Texas State University User Name and password are required.  This article may also be accessed @ https://www.firstthings.com/article/2011/05/the-moral-economy-of-guilt.
The article explores the contribution of cultural process in the emergence of sense of guilt. According to the author, the advancement in civilization contributed to the heightening of the sense of guilt which made the people lose their happiness. He adds that religions in the world are trying to save the people from the sin of guilt. He stresses that the ability to feel guilt is one of the attributes of people. He also mentions the therapeutic unreality of guilt, which can be something illusory and omnipresent and the concept of forgiveness.
"In his grand and gloomy book Civilization and Its Discontents, Sigmund Freud identified the tenacious sense of guilt as the most important problem in the development of civilization. In fact, he continued, it seems that the price we pay for our advance in civilization is a loss of happiness through the heightening of the sense of guilt." (boldface added)

Dinah M. Mendes, "Totem and Tefillin", Azure, No. 44, Spring 2011 @ http://azure.org.il/include/print.php?id=573.
Review of:
Arnold D. Richards (ed.), The Jewish World of Sigmund Freud: Essays on Cultural Roots and the Problem of Religious Identity (McFarland 2010).

Russell Jacoby/Bloodlust: Why we should fear our neighbors more than strangers/The Chronicle Review, March 27, 2011.
Texas State University Library permalink.  A valid Texas State University User Name and password are required for access.

"The proposition that violence derives from kith and kin overturns a core liberal belief that we assault and are assaulted by those who are strangers to us. If that were so, the solution would be at hand: Get to know the stranger. Talk with the stranger. Reach out. The cure for violence is better communication, perhaps better education. Study foreign cultures and peoples. Unfortunately, however, our brother, our neighbor, enrages us precisely because we understand him. Cain knew his brother—he "talked with Abel his brother"—and slew him afterward.
We don't like this truth. We prefer to fear strangers. We like to believe that fundamental differences pit people against one another, that world hostilities are driven by antagonistic principles about how society should be constituted.
We hate the neighbor we are enjoined to love. Why? Why do small disparities between people provoke greater hatred than the large ones? Perhaps the work of Freud helps chart the underground sources of fratricidal violence. Freud introduced the phrase the narcissism of minor differences to describe this phenomenon. He noted that it is precisely the little dissimilarities in persons who are otherwise alike that arouse feelings of strangeness and enmity between them." (Freud's words are in italics.)  [Boldface added.]

III. Personality & Politics
1.  Lasswell - Power & Personality
Readings:  Harold Lasswell, "The Political Personality" in Gordon J. DiRenzo (ed.)/Personality & Politics (1974), pp. 38-54.
The Lasswell article will be provided to students.
Alexander L. George, Power as a Compensatory Value for Political Leaders/Journal of Social Issues, July 1968, Vol. 24, No. 3. (pdf)
Texas State University Library permalink. A valid Texas State University User Name and password are required for access.

Recommended:  Harold D. Lasswell/Psychopathology And Politics (1930)

"All About Eve" All_About_Eve (1950) [2hrs. 38 min.]
Film clip from
"All About Eve":

2. Political Orientation, Personality, & Values

a. Political Orientation: How Liberals & Conservatives Think

Overview of Trends & Different Approaches In Political Psychology & Other Disciplines On Political Orientation:
Patricia Cohen/Across the Great Divide: Investigating Links Between Personality and Politics/NYT February 12, 2007

Thomas B. Edsall,  "Are Our Political Beliefs Encoded in Our DNA?", NYT, October 1, 2013 @

Note: In this article by Thomas B. Edsall, see links to referenced materials.

Social Psychology & Politics:
Herbert McClosky, "Conservatism and Personality", American Political Science Review, March, 1958, Vol. 52, No. 1.
Texas State University permalink.  A valid Texas State University User Name and password are required for access.

For observations on the liberal - conservative divide and connections to social and psychological factors, see:
John T. Jost/The End of the End of Ideology/American Psychologist, Vol. 61 (7), October 2006, pp. 651-670.
Texas State University Library permalink. A valid Texas State University User Name and password are required for access.
A shorter version of this article can be accessed @ http://thesituationist.wordpress.com/2007/09/10/ideology-is-back-and-the-divides-are-still-deep/.
From the article:

"Ideology, because it appears to satisfy many social and psychological needs of our species, is probably a natural part of the human constitution and will always be present in one form or another. Human beings have required and will continue to require the characteristics that are associated with the political Left as well as the political Right. We need tradition, order, structure, closure, discipline, competition and conscientiousness, to be sure, but if the human race is to continue to survive new challenges we will also just as surely need creativity, curiosity, tolerance, diversity, co-operation and open-mindedness.

Getting both 'sides' to agree on this is the hardest part".

Genopolitics & Evolutionary Psychology:
John R. Alford, Carolyn L. Funk and John R. Hibbing, "Are Political Orientations Genetically Transmitted?",  American Political Science Review, Vol. 99, No. 2 (May 2005), pp. 153-167 @ http://www.jstor.org.libproxy.txstate.edu/stable/30038929?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
Texas State University permalink.  A valid User Name and Password are required for access.

For background information on genopolitics and links to various materials, see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genopolitics

Thomas B. Edsall
, "How Much Do Our Genes influence Our Political Beliefs?", NYT,  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/09/opinion/thomas-edsall-how-much-do-our-genes-influence-our-political-beliefs.html?_r=0  Note: In this article see links to referenced materials.  Note as well: This is a link to the second article by Thomas B. Edsall in this syllabus, not to be confused with his earlier
October 1, 2013 article also in the NYT.  The first Thomas B. Edsall article cited in this syllabus is located above in section III, 2 a. Political Orientation: How Liberals & Conservatives Think.

Olivia Judson, "The Selfless Gene", Atlantic, October 2007, Vol. 300, pp. 90-98 @ http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2007/10/the-selfless-gene/306196/
It's easy to see how evolution can account for the dark streaks in human nature--the violence, treachery, and cruelty. But how does it produce kindness, generosity, and heroism?

For a critical review of genopolitics and evolutionary psychology in the study of political behavior see: John B. Judis, "Are Political Beliefs Predetermined at Birth?", The New Republic, October 25, 2014 @ https://newrepublic.com/article/119794/genopolitics-social-science-and-origin-political-beliefsNote: In this article see links to referenced materials.

b. Values, Personality, & Political Choice
Moral Psychology & Politics:
Steven Pinker/The Moral Instinct/NYT Sunday Magazine January 13, 2008
"The ranking and placement of moral spheres also divides the cultures of liberals and conservatives in the United States. Many bones of contention, like homosexuality, atheism and one-parent families from the right, or racial imbalances, sweatshops and executive pay from the left, reflect different weightings of the spheres. In a large Web survey, Haidt found that liberals put a lopsided moral weight on harm and fairness while playing down group loyalty, authority and purity. Conservatives instead place a moderately high weight on all five. It’s not surprising that each side thinks it is driven by lofty ethical values and that the other side is base and unprincipled.
...  So a biological understanding of the moral sense does not entail that people are calculating maximizers of their genes or self-interest. But where does it leave the concept of morality itself?
...  Here is the worry. The scientific outlook has taught us that some parts of our subjective experience are products of our biological makeup and have no objective counterpart in the world. The qualitative difference between red and green, the tastiness of fruit and foulness of carrion, the scariness of heights and prettiness of flowers are design features of our common nervous system, and if our species had evolved in a different ecosystem or if we were missing a few genes, our reactions could go the other way. Now, if the distinction between right and wrong is also a product of brain wiring, why should we believe it is any more real than the distinction between red and green? And if it is just a collective hallucination, how could we argue that evils like genocide and slavery are wrong for everyone, rather than just distasteful to us?"

Jonathan Haidt, "Nationalism Rising: When and Why Nationalism Beats Globalism And how moral psychology (boldface added) can help explain and reduce tensions between the two.",  The American Interest, July 10, 2016 @ http://www.the-american-interest.com/2016/07/10/when-and-why-nationalism-beats-globalism/

Values & Politics:
Roberto Stefan and Yascha Mounk, "The Danger of Deconsolidation:
The Democratic Disconnect",  Journal of Democracy,  July 2016, Vol. 37, No. 3 @
Texas State University permalink.  A valid User Name and Password are required for access.
Preface to this article:

"The citizens of wealthy, established democracies are less satisfied with their governments than they have been at any time since opinion polling began. Most scholars have interpreted this as a sign of dissatisfaction with particular governments rather than with the political system as a whole. Drawing on recent public opinion data, we suggest that this optimistic interpretation is no longer plausible. Across a wide sample of countries in North America and Western Europe, citizens of mature democracies have become markedly less satisfied with their form of government and surprisingly open to nondemocratic alternatives. A serious democratic disconnect has emerged. If it widens even further, it may begin to challenge the stability of seemingly consolidated democracies".

G. V. Caprara, S. Schwartz, C. Capanna, M. Vecchione, C. Barbaranelli/Personality and Politics: Values, Traits, and Political Choice, Political Psychology, February 2006, Vol. 27, Issue 1. (pdf)
Texas State University Library permalink. A valid Texas State University User Name and password are required for access.
Voters' political choices have presumably come to depend on their personal preferences and less on their social characteristics in Western democracies.  We examine two aspects of personality that may influence political choice, traits, and personal values, ... Data from 3044 voters for the major coalitions in the Italian national election of 2001 showed that supporters of the two coalitions differed in traits and values ... values explained substantial variance in past and future voting and in change of political choice, trumping personality traits.  ...

Rationality & Politics:
Bryan Caplan/The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Voters Choose Bad Policies (Princeton 2007)
Read the Introduction to this book.
From the Introduction:
"This book develops an alternative story of how democracy fails. The central idea is that voters are worse than ignorant; they are, in a word, irrational—and vote accordingly. Economists and cognitive psychologists usually presume that everyone 'processes information' to the best of his ability. Yet common sense tells us that emotion and ideology—not just the facts or their 'processing'—powerfully sway human judgment. Protectionist thinking is hard to uproot because it feels good. When people vote under the influence of false beliefs that feel good, democracy persistently delivers bad policies. As an old computer programming slogan goes, GIGO—Garbage in, garbage out.
... This book has three conjoined themes. The first: Doubts about the rationality of voters are empirically justified. The second: Voter irrationality is precisely what economic theory implies once we adopt introspectively plausible assumptions about human motivation. The third: Voter irrationality is the key to a realistic picture of democracy.
...  In the naive public-interest view, democracy works because it does what voters want. In the view of most democracy skeptics, it fails because it does not do what voters want. In my view, democracy fails because it does what voters want. In economic jargon, democracy has a built-in externality. An irrational voter does not hurt only himself. He also hurts everyone who is, as a result of his irrationality, more likely to live under misguided policies. Since most of the cost of voter irrationality is external—paid for by other people, why not indulge? If enough voters think this way, socially injurious policies win by popular demand."  (boldface added)

For an overview of the basic ideas that inform Bryan Caplan's much discussed book, see: Bryan CaplanThe Myth of the Rational Voter/Essay @ cato-unbound.org/November 6, 2007
See also this review of Bryan Caplan's book:
Louis Menand/Fractured Franchise:Are the wrong people voting?/The New Yorker July 9, 2007
"Caplan rejects the assumption that voters pay no attention to politics and have no real views. He thinks that voters do have views, and that they are, basically, prejudices. He calls these views irrational, because, once they are translated into policy, they make everyone worse off. People not only hold irrational views, he thinks; they like their irrational views. In the language of economics, they have demand for irrationality curves: they will give up y amount of wealth in order to consume x amount of irrationality. Since voting carries no cost, people are free to be as irrational as they like. They can ignore the consequences, just as the herdsman can ignore the consequences of putting one more cow on the public pasture. Voting is not a slight variation on shopping, as Caplan puts it. Shoppers have incentives to be rational. Voters do not.

See also:
Arnold Leder, "The Bureaucrat as Democracy's Safety Valve",  The Public Manager,  July 06, 2010 @  https://www.td.org/Publications/Magazines/The-Public-Manager/Archives/2010/07/The-Bureaucrat-as-Democracys-Safety-Valve
"Is democracy more about psychological rewards than social or material benefits?  These and other provocative questions are addressed in Bryan Caplan's The Myth of the Rational Voter."

D. Sunshine Hillygus & Todd G. Shields/The Persuadable Voter: Wedge Issues in Presidential Campaigns (Princeton University Press 2008)
Read Chapter 1.
"Our theory of the persuadable voter challenges three widespread myths about contemporary American politics. First, there is a popular perception that recent presidential candidates have campaigned on divisive issues as a way to fire up their core partisan base.  ...  Academic works have similarly concluded that candidates will be willing to take extreme positions on controversial issues to pander to their partisan base—either because they need to win party primaries or to obtain the campaign contributions and other resources necessary to run for office.  In contrast, we argue that divisive issues are often used to appeal to persuadable voters, often from the opposing partisan camp.

The second myth we take on in this book is the widespread view that the polarization we observe in Washington has led to or has followed similar polarization in the electorate. The reality is that in a complex and pluralistic society, political parties are inherently coalitions of diverse individuals. The choice of only two major parties ensures that some partisans will be incongruent on some issues, thereby creating policy cleavages within the party coalitions. We argue that these cross-pressures between partisan loyalties and policy preferences have clear implications for the behavior of both voters and candidates in the campaign.

Cross-pressured partisans are willing to reassess their expected support for their party’s nominee if they come to believe that an issue about which they disagree with their party is at stake in the election. These voters might find the salience of a conflicting issue increased by real-world events or personal experiences, but a political campaign can also activate a policy disagreement by highlighting the candidates’ differences on the issue and calling attention to one’s own party’s failings and the opposition’s virtues on the issue.

Finally, the third myth that we challenge in our analysis is the enduring conventional wisdom that persuadable voters are the least admirable segment of the electorate—poorly informed and lacking in policy attitudes. The prevailing perception about the persuadable segment of the electorate is that 'its level of information is low, its sense of political involvement is slight, its level of political participation is not high.'7 It is thought that these muddled voters make up their minds on the basis of nonpolicy considerations, like candidate personality, charisma, and the 'guy you’d wanna drink a beer with' criteria. In contrast, our theory suggests that policy issues are often central to how persuadable voters make up their minds. To be clear, this book is not a polemical account of an American populace composed of ideal citizens highly engaged and fully informed across all policy domains. Rather, we argue simply that for those voters who find themselves at odds with their party nominee it is the campaign that often helps to determine whether partisan loyalties or issue preferences are given greater weight in their vote decision".

Lera Boroditsky/How Does Our Language Shape The Way We Think?/www.edge.org/June 12, 2009
"For a long time, the idea that language might shape thought was considered at best untestable and more often simply wrong. Research in my labs at Stanford University and at MIT has helped reopen this question. We have collected data around the world: from China, Greece, Chile, Indonesia, Russia, and Aboriginal Australia. What we have learned is that people who speak different languages do indeed think differently and that even flukes of grammar can profoundly affect how we see the world. Language is a uniquely human gift, central to our experience of being human. Appreciating its role in constructing our mental lives brings us one step closer to understanding the very nature of humanity." (boldface added)

George Lakoff/The Worldview Problem For American Politics - an excerpt from George Lakoff/Moral Politics:How Liberals & Conservatives Think (Univ. Of Chicago 2002)
Noam Scheiber, "Wooden Frame: Is George Lakoff Misleading Democrats?", The New Republic, May 23 2005.
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For background information on George Lakoff and the scholarly disputes in which he has been involved, see:
Evan R. Goldstein, "Who Framed George Lakoff?", Chronicle of Higher Education, August 15, 2008, Vol. 54, Issue 49, pp. B6-B9.
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Sue Halperin, "Mind Control & the Internet", The New York Review of Books, June 23, 2011, Vol. LVIII, No. 11, pp. 33-35.
A review essay on: World Wide Mind: The Coming Integration of Humanity, Machines, and the Internet by Michael Chorost  (Free Press 2011); The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You by Eli Pariser (Penguin 2011); You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto by Jaron Lanier (Vintage 2010).                                                
From the Essay:
"Among the many insidious consequences of this individualization is that by tailoring the information you receive to the algorithm’s perception of who you are, a perception that it constructs out of fifty-seven variables, Google directs you to material that is most likely to reinforce your own worldview, ideology, and assumptions. Pariser suggests, for example, that a search for proof about climate change will turn up different results for an environmental activist than it would for an oil company executive and, one assumes, a different result for a person whom the algorithm understands to be a Democrat than for one it supposes to be a Republican. (One need not declare a party affiliation per se—the algorithm will prise this out.) In this way, the Internet, which isn’t the press, but often functions like the press by disseminating news and information, begins to cut us off from dissenting opinion and conflicting points of view, all the while seeming to be neutral and objective and unencumbered by the kind of bias inherent in, and embraced by, say, the The Weekly Standard or The Nation.
... when ideology drives the dissemination of information, knowledge is compromised.

This is Pariser’s point exactly, and his concern: that by having our own ideas bounce back at us, we inadvertently indoctrinate ourselves with our own ideas. 'Democracy requires citizens to see things from one another’s point of view, but instead we’re more and more enclosed in our own bubbles,' he writes. 'Democracy requires a reliance on shared facts; instead we’re being offered parallel but separate universes.'
(boldface added)
The 'hive mind' created through our electronic connections necessarily obviates the individual—indeed, that’s what makes it a collective consciousness. Anonymity, which flourishes where there is no individual accountability, is one of its key features, and behind it, meanness, antipathy, and cruelty have a tendency to rush right in."

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IV.  Political Leaders & Followers
1. Personality of Leaders & Political Behavior
a. Political Leaders
Lasswell, "The Political Personality"; George, "Power as a Compensatory Value for Political Leaders".

Jennifer Szalai, "What Makes a Politician 'Authentic'?", NYT Sunday Magazine, July 10, 2016 @ http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/10/magazine/what-makes-a-politician-authentic.html?_r=0

b. Followers
Eric Hoffer, The True Believer, the entire book.
Tim Madigan, "The True Believer Revisited",  Philosophy Now, December 2001-January 2002 @ https://philosophynow.org/issues/34/The_True_Believer_Revisited

On Kitsch:

Whitney Rugg , “Kitsch”, Department of Art History, University of Chicago Winter 2002 @
From this essay
"The self-congratulatory spirit of kitsch can also be seen as a deception. Kitsch holds up a 'highly considerate mirror,' according to Hermann Broch, that allows contemporary man to 'recognize himself in the counterfeit image it throws back at him and to confess his own lies (with a delight which is to a certain extent sincere).'   By providing comfort, kitsch performs a denial. It glosses over harsh truths and anesthetizes genuine pain. As Harold Rosenberg perceived: 'There is no counter concept to kitsch. Its antagonist is not an idea but reality'."  (boldface added)
Note: Sources referenced in this excerpt are found in the list of references accompanying the posted essay.

Joe Herbert, "What every dictator knows: young men are natural fanatics", Aeon, February 01, 2016 @ https://aeon.co/ideas/what-every-dictator-knows-young-men-are-natural-fanatics

Aileen Kelly, "Why They Believed in Stalin", The New York Review of Books, April 26, 2007, Vol. LIV, No. 7, pp. 58-62.  A review essay on Tear Off the Masks: Identity and Imposture in Twentieth-Century Russia (Princeton University Press, 2007) by Sheila Fitzpatrick and Revolution on My Mind: Writing a Diary Under Stalin (Harvard University Press 2007) by Jochen Hellbeck. 
The Kelly article can be viewed @ http://www.arnoldleder.com/readings/index.htmlScroll to the section on "Political Psychology" and look for "Aileen Kelly: Why They Believed in Stalin".  This location is password protected.  Password and user name for access will be provided to students in the course.

"... the Soviet notion of selfhood had deep roots in a different cultural tradition which did not recognize the same dichotomy of public and private. Lack of historical perspective is a major flaw in Fitzpatrick's book. The "new man" was not, as Fitzpatrick implies, a concept invented by the Soviet regime. It was central to a tradition of introspection and moral self-perfecting that arose in the early nineteenth century as a response to the dilemma of the Russian intelligentsia whose talents were frustrated in their benighted country, and whose longing for personal fulfillment was combined with a strong commitment to social justice. From Enlightenment rationalism, German romantic philosophy, and French utopian socialism many educated Russians absorbed a vision of history as a collective process leading to the fullest self-realization of man through the healing of all painful divisions between individuals and the social whole.
... In the worst years of Stalinism many maintained their faith in the Party's infallibility by developing a dual consciousness. As Stephen Kotkin explains, for Soviet citizens the discrepancies between lived experience and revolutionary ideology based ultimately on theory seem to have given rise to a dual reality: life could resemble 'a split existence: sometimes in one truth, sometimes in the other.' Even when theoretical 'truth' was contradicted by common sense, it still formed an integral part of everyday existence; without an understanding of it, citizens found it impossible to know what was permitted and what not. But acceptance of the truthfulness of the revolutionary truth also fulfilled another function: 'it was also,' Kotkin writes, 'a way to transcend the pettiness of daily life, to see the whole picture, to relate mundane events to a larger design; it offered something to strive for.' True believers (boldface added) could explain away the worst excesses of Stalinism by viewing the present from the perspective of eschatological time. In this form of secular religiosity, history, like Providence, was seen to move in mysterious ways; when the goal was attained it would become clear that policies and actions which now seemed objectionable or senseless all had their place in the overall grand design.
... The diaries Hellbeck has selected are especially significant for the light they shed on an aspect of the Soviet mentality under Stalin which, as he notes, Western readers find particularly challenging: the acceptance of violence in the service of self-realization. We see at first hand the operation, chilling and sometimes poignant, of the dual consciousness that allowed many to accept the mass slaughter of collectivization and the Terror and to justify the violence inflicted on them and those they cherished for crimes they did not commit.
... His study adds an important dimension to the work done by other scholars to throw light on the psychological reasons behind the collusion of moral idealists in the extreme violence of the Stalin years.  He concludes by reminding us that the modes of thought that encouraged Soviet citizens to accept violence in the service of self-realization were not specific to the Soviet Union or the political left.  (boldface added) In the first half of the last century the attraction of movements promising fulfillment through an all-embracing worldview led intellectuals across Europe such as Ernst Jünger and Georges Sorel to extol the morally and aesthetically purifying effects of political violence."

For a review of this book, see:
Karl Schlögel, 'Life has been reborn', London Review of Books, 16 August 2007.  Karl Schlögel's review essay may be accessed @
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For additional material on the issue of collaboration with totalitarian regimes, see the Milan Kundera affair in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of October 13, 2008.
"The book of betrayal under Communism has just gained another chapter," reports Karl-Peter Schwarz. "In March 1950, as a student in Prague, the writer Milan Kundera informed on an anti-Communist resistance activist. The victim, 22-year-old Miroslav Dvoracek was subsequently arrested and sentenced to 22-years in prison. The State prosecutor at the time demanded the death sentence for espionage." The young Czech historian, Adam Hradilek of Ustr, who found the letter of denunciation with Kundera's signature in an archive, describes the affair in a detailed report in the magazine Respekt. The Slovakian internet magazine Salon then published an English translation of the report. The article reads like a sinister novel about love, betrayal, freedom, Communism, heroism and failure. The commentary, by Respekt editor-in-chief, Martin Simecka, is also available in English here.
For additional background on this story in English, see:
Rachel Donadio/Report Says Acclaimed Czech Writer (Milan Kundera) Informed on a Supposed Spy/NYT October 13, 2008 and
Dan Bilefsky/Accusation Against Writer Reopens Traumas of Czech Past/NYT October 18, 2008.
Life appears to be imitating art in the drama surrounding the accusation that Milan Kundera had denounced a Western intelligence agent.

'On one level the reaction goes far beyond Mr. Kundera himself, tapping into gnawing discomfort in the Czech Republic about the extent of collaboration during 41 years of Communist rule.
... This story is not just about Kundera, it is about the history of the Czech Republic,” said Petr Tresnak, one of the authors of the Respekt article. 'People in this country are overwhelmed and disgusted by the number of people who collaborated with the regime, and this is a very concrete example of what happened.'
In 1991, the Czechs were among the first Eastern-bloc countries to introduce a law banning from public life those listed as agents or informers in secret police reports. The law, Mr. Pehe contended, had ensnared tens of thousands of people who may have been unwilling collaborators.
   'The reality is that the totalitarian regime was constructed in such a way that 99 percent of people cooperated in one way or another, and the Kundera case helps them to feel morally absolved, like they are the good guys and he was one of the baddies,' Mr. Pehe said."

David Crossland/Painful Memories Of An East German Gulag/Der Spiegel April 6, 2009
"Mario Röllig is still struggling to get over his time in a Stasi prison while his jailers enjoy a peaceful retirement. Twenty years after the fall of the Wall, East Germany's former political prisoners want more recognition for their suffering -- and an end to Ostalgie." - See: the film The Lives of Others (2006 German with English subtitles) [2hrs. 18min.].

The Lives of Others (2006 German with English subtitles) [2hrs. 18min.]
Timothy Garton Ash/The Stasi on Our Minds/The New York Review of Books, Vol. 54, No. 9, May 31, 2007

2.  Crisis, Stress, & Political Leadership
The Caine Mutiny, Caine Mutiny, The (1954)  The Caine Mutiny1954)
DVD Review The Caine Mutiny

This film is based on the novel HermanWouk/The Caine Mutiny (1951, Winner Of Pulitzer Prize)

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969)
Film clip from "The Prime of Miss Jean Brody":

This film is based on the novel Muriel Spark/The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie (1961)
James Wood/ The Prime of Ms. Muriel Spark/Atlantic Monthly, November 2004, Vol. 294, Issue 4.
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For an analysis of the life and works of Muriel Spark, see: Roger Kimball/Muriel Spark, 1918-2006/newcriterion.com/April 4, 2006

Joel Brodkin/The First Neoconservative: Herman Wouk, the Americanization of the Holocaust, and the Rise of Neoconservatism/New Politics/Summer 2005/Vol. X No. 3.

(See Brodkin's remarks on The Caine Mutiny.)

V.  The Political Psychology of Terrorism
1. Psychological Sources of Terrorism


Michael J. Mazarr, "The Psychological Sources of Islamic Terrorism",  Policy Review, June-July 2004, No. 125 @ http://www.hoover.org/research/psychological-sources-islamic-terrorism

Scott Shane, Richard Perez-Pena and Aurelien Breedensept, "'In-Betweeners' Are Part of a Rich Recruiting Pool for Jihadists", NYT, September 24, 2016 @ http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/23/us/isis-al-qaeda-recruits-anwar-al-awlaki.html

2.  Suicide Bombers: Rationality, Culture, Structure, & Psychological Profiles
Mohammed M. Hafez/Rationality, Culture, and Structure in the Making of Suicide Bombers: A Preliminary Synthesis and Illustrative Case Study/Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, March-April 2006, Vol. 29, No. 2, pp. 165-185.
Texas State University Library permalink. A valid Texas State University User Name and password are required for access.
Suicidal violence involves three levels of analysis: individual motivations, organizational strategies, and societal conflicts. Using rationalist, culturalist, and structuralist approaches to contentious politics, this article explores the intersection of rationality, norms, and conflict in the making of extreme violence. The case of Palestinian suicide bombers demonstrates the interdependence of the three approaches to explaining suicidal violence. For individuals, self-sacrifice is conceived as an act of personal redemption rooted in religious morality and national salvation. For organizations, human bombs provide strategic advantages in the context of asymmetrical warfare. For collectivities, martyrs are venerated when three conditions converge: (1) cultural norms encompass symbolic narratives that honor martyrdom; (2) legitimate authorities acquiesce to extreme violence; and (3) conflicts generate feelings of victimization and threat by external enemies.

David Lester, Abijou Yanf, Mark Lindsay, "Suicide Bombers: Are Psychological Profiles Possible?"/Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, Vol. 27, No.4,  July-August 2004 (pdf)
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Review of research on the characteristics of suicide bombers.
Contrary to previous commentary, it is suggested that suicide bombers may share personality traits (such as the authoritarian personality) that psychological profiles of suicide bombersmight be feasible, and that the suicide bombers may be characterized by the risk factors that increase the probability of suicide. Two assertions are common in essays on suicide bombers. The first is that suicide bombersdo not appear to be characterized by the risk factors that predict suicidal behavior... The second is that psychological profiles of suicide bombers are not possible...  This essay will argue that both assertions are certainly premature and probably incorrect.  Both of these tasks (identifying suicide risk factors and constructing psychological profiles) require extensive biographies of the individuals involved.

3.  The "Harun al-Rashid Motive": Disguised Terrorists' Desire To Reveal Their True Identities
Peter Suedfeld, Harun al-Rashid and the Terrorists: Identity Concealed, Identity Revealed/Political Psychology, Vol. 25, No. 3, June 2004.
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The assumption of false identities is a frequent theme in history, fiction, and current events.  Spies and criminals are among those who pretend to be other than they are, although the strategy is not restricted to them.  Harun al-Rashid (763-809), medieval Caliph of Baghdad, was described in the Thousand and One Nights as disguising himself in order to detect and punish evildoers.  One distinctive feature of his adventures is that at some point he threw off the disguise and revealed his true identity.  This paper recounts similar self-exposures by spies and terrorists (including those of 9/11) in situations where such an act could spell disaster for them.  It further explores a number of explanations for the "Harun al-Rashid motive", suggests a way to measure it and discusses ways in which conterterrorism agencies could build upon it for their own purposes.

For a possible example or variant of the Harun al-Rashid motive, unrelated to terrorism or detection of evildoers, in the American political arena, see:
William Yardley/Alaska's New Senator Sees Change at Work/NYT December 5, 2008
"Crisp in his business suits and smooth in his delivery, the mayor has more urban polish than many other elected officials in Alaska. He is a regular presence at events like mortgage bankers luncheons and chamber of commerce gatherings; he also likes to slip in stories about standing in the supermarket aisle, commiserating about the high prices with residents who may not know he is mayor. He says he seeks out the discounted day-old bread."  (boldface added)

4. The Psychological Dimensions Of Prisoner Abuse
The Stanford University Prison Abuse Experiment (1971) and related links.

For a review of assessments of the validity and significance of The Stanford University Prison Abuse Experiment noted above, see:
Cari Romm, "Rethinking One of Psychology's Most Infamous Experiments", The Atlantic, January 2015 @ http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/01/rethinking-one-of-psychologys-most-infamous-experiments/384913/
"In the 1960s, Stanley Milgram's electric-shock studies showed that people will obey even the most abhorrent of orders. But recently, researchers have begun to question his conclusionsand offer some of their own".

On the Milgram experiments, also see:
Malcolm Harris, "The psychology of torture", Aeon, October 7, 2014 @ https://aeon.co/essays/is-it-time-to-stop-doing-any-more-milgram-experiments
Cass Sunstein/The Thin Line/The New Republic, May 21, 2007, Vol. 236, No. 4, 183, pp. 51-55 @ https://newrepublic.com/article/63986/the-thin-line.
Cass Sunstein's essay is a review of the book
The Lucifer Effect: How Good People Can Turn Evil by Philip Zimbardo (March, 2007).
"Why do human beings commit despicable acts? One answer points to individual dispositions; another answer emphasizes situational pressures. In 2005, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice stressed the importance of individual dispositions in describing terrorists as "simply evil people who want to kill." Situationists reject this view. They believe that horrible acts can be committed by perfectly normal people. The most extreme situationists insist that in the right circumstances, almost all of us might be led to commit atrocities.  ...  What emerges is a clear challenge to the most ambitious claims for situationism, and a more complicated understanding of the relationship between individual dispositions and social situations. And there is a final point. Zimbardo shows that the very assumption of a particular social role automatically conveys a great deal of information about appropriate behavior: consider the roles of nurse, first officer, and prison guard. But social roles are not fixed. Nurses and first officers need not think that they should always follow doctors and captains, and prison guards need not feel free to brutalize prisoners. Perhaps the largest lesson of Zimbardo's experiment involves the importance of ensuring that a constant sense of moral responsibility is taken to be part of, rather than inconsistent with, a wide range of social roles."

For a different perspective on the behavior of individuals under certain conditions, including a predisposition to altruistic behavior, see:
"Parochial Altruism" '... the notion that people might prefer to help strangers from their own ethnic group over strangers from a different group ...'
Olivia Judson/The Selfless Gene/The Atlantic/ October, 2007, Vol. 300, No. 3, pp. 90-98.
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VI. Dostoevsky - Religion, Authority, Freedom,  & Individual Will
Readings: Dostoevsky, The Grand Inquisitor
Film: "The Brothers Karamazov"  The Brothers Karamazov (1958)

Caitrin Nicol/Brave New World at 75/The New Atlantis/No. 16, Spring 2007
"Huxley’s most famous novel, Brave New World, was published in 1932, and the occasion of this seventy-fifth anniversary should lead us to wonder about his peculiar description of how we understand the future. We live in a time of biotechnological leaps forward that have made the term “Brave New World” almost a reflex for commentators worried we are rushing headlong toward a sterilized post-human society, engineered to joyless joy. It is easy to imagine that we see the shadows of our society in Huxley’s vision of the future. But could it be that our insistence on seeing Huxley’s book as an exceedingly successful prophecy actually prevents us from recognizing its real insight? Is there a way for us to understand the book free of the great distorting influence of our own times? We can do that only by reading the book on its own terms, as its first readers did, and by letting ourselves be guided by the literary, scientific, and cultural critics of Huxley’s day. In doing so, we may glimpse afresh something of the meaning of Brave New World in its author’s mind and time.  ...
...  This 'illusion of freedom' was cast into a clearer light by a reviewer who discerned that the temptation to sacrifice liberty to end suffering often becomes an attack on the reality of the liberty itself. Rebecca West, a prominent novelist and literary critic ... said Huxley had 'rewritten in terms of our age' Dostoevsky’s famous parable of the Grand Inquisitor from The Brothers Karamazov—a 'symbolic statement that every generation ought to read afresh.' (boldface  added)
By shifting the question from political control to personal conscience, West’s reading anticipated the decentralized way that many of the particular scientific and cultural furnishings of Huxley’s world have made appearances in ours.  ... the separation of sex from procreation, and love from sex; the consumption-saturated culture threatening to commodify the consumers; the increasingly physico-chemical attempt to explain and treat a troubled psyche—we did not need bureaucratic threats or hypnopaedic repetitions to want these things, and in this sense Huxley profoundly overestimated (or is it underestimated?) mankind, and his book may, in the deepest sense, have gotten our present all wrong. We chose these things ourselves, uncoerced by terror or war or social engineers. They have been developed to respond to real human hurts and desires; and, as might be expected of human choices, the results and motives have been mixed."

Note: The text of Brave New World is accessible on the Web @ this location.

VII.  The Matrix: Illusion, Reality, & Freedom
1. The Matrix
Film:  The Matrix (1999)
Adam Gopnik/The Unreal Thing:What's Wrong With The Matrix?/New Yorker, May 19, 2003, Vol. 79, Iss. 12;  pg. 068.
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John Tierney/Our Lives, Controlled From Some Guy's Couch/NYT/August 14, 2007 (with links to related articles)

Ronald Bailey/Will Super Smart Artificial Intelligences Keep Humans Around As Pets?/Reason/September 11, 2007
"By 2030, or by 2050 at the latest, will a super-smart artificial intelligence decide to keep humans around as pets? Will it instead choose to turn the entire Earth, including the messy organic bits like us, into computronium? Or is there a third alternative?"

“The Rapture of the nerds"? John Markoff/The Coming Superbrain (w/links to related materials)/NYT Week in Review, Sunday, May 24, 2009
Artificial intelligence is back in fashion, which raises the question: Will computer intelligence surpass our own

The Matrix-Links To Reviews & Commentaries/brothersjudd.com

2. Erich Fromm - Escape From Freedom
Fromm, Escape From Freedom Chapters 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, & Appendix.
Lakshmi Chaudry/Mirror, Mirror On the Web/The Nation/January 29, 2007, Vol. 284 Issue 4, p19-22, 4p. (pdf)
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The article discusses the obsession with being famous, a desire shared by many of the generation born between 1970-2000, and expressed through media such as MySpace.com, reality television, and Internet blogging. Referred to as "micro-celebrity," the author contends that the craze to be famous or recognized on a mass scale is fueled by ego-centrism and self-focus instead of actual achievement.

Note Chaudry's observations on fame.

The Erich Fromm Society

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VIII.  Edelman - Symbols, Symbolic Reassurance, And Political Quiescence
Murray Edelman/Symbols & Political Quiescence (1993)
Murray Edelman/Symbols and Political Quiescence/The American Political Science Review, Vol. 54, No. 3, September, 1960, pp. 695-704. (pdf)
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For a view that suggests a current example of the manipulation of symbols designed to induce political quiescence, see: Patrick Basham/Put Out This Tobacco Bill/NYT August 03, 2007.

Ward Sutton/Reading Tea Leaves and Campaign Logos/slideshow/OPART/NYT Sunday, November 18, 2007
Candidates on the 2008 presidential campaign trail work hard to project a certain kind of image to the public.

Mike McIntire/Nuclear Leaks And Response Tested Obama/NYT February 03, 2008
"When residents in Illinois voiced outrage two years ago upon learning that the Exelon Corporation had not disclosed radioactive leaks at one of its nuclear plants, the state’s freshman senator, Barack Obama, took up their cause.
... Mr. Obama scolded Exelon and federal regulators for inaction and introduced a bill to require all plant owners to notify state and local authorities immediately of even small leaks.
... He has boasted of it on the campaign trail, telling a crowd in Iowa in December that it was the only nuclear legislation that I’ve passed.
'I just did that last year', he said, to murmurs of approval.
... A close look at the path his legislation took tells a very different story. While he initially fought to advance his bill, even holding up a presidential nomination to try to force a hearing on it, Mr. Obama eventually rewrote it to reflect changes sought by Senate Republicans, Exelon and nuclear regulators. The new bill removed language mandating prompt reporting and simply offered guidance to regulators, whom it charged with addressing the issue of unreported leaks.
... Those revisions propelled the bill through a crucial committee. But, contrary to Mr. Obama’s comments in Iowa, it ultimately died amid parliamentary wrangling in the full Senate.
... Asked why Mr. Obama had cited it as an accomplishment while campaigning for president, the campaign noted that after the senator introduced his bill, nuclear plants started making such reports on a voluntary basis. The campaign did not directly address the question of why Mr. Obama had told Iowa voters that the legislation had passed.
... But eventually, Mr. Obama agreed to rewrite the bill, and when the environment committee approved it in September 2006, he and his co-sponsors hailed it as a victory.
... In interviews over the past two weeks, Obama aides insisted that the revisions did not substantively alter the bill. In fact, it was left drastically different.
... In place of the straightforward reporting requirements was new language giving the nuclear commission two years to come up with its own regulations. The bill said that the commission “shall consider” — not require — immediate public notification, and also take into account the findings of a task force it set up to study the tritium leaks. ...
... The rewritten bill also contained the new wording sought by Exelon making it clear that state and local authorities would have no regulatory oversight of nuclear power plants.
... In interviews last week, representatives of Exelon and the nuclear commission said they were satisfied with the revised bill. The Nuclear Energy Institute said it no longer opposed it but wanted additional changes.
... The revised bill was never taken up in the full Senate, where partisan parliamentary maneuvering resulted in a number of bills being shelved before the 2006 session ended.
... Still, the legislation has come in handy on the campaign trail. Last May, in response to questions about his ties to Exelon, Mr. Obama wrote a letter to a Nevada newspaper citing the bill as evidence that he stands up to powerful interests.
... 'When I learned that radioactive tritium had leaked out of an Exelon nuclear plant in Illinois,' he wrote, 'I led an effort in the Senate to require utilities to notify the public of any unplanned release of radioactive substances.'
... Last October, Mr. Obama reintroduced the bill, in its rewritten form."  (boldface added)

Mark Greif/The Hard Sell/NYT Sunday Book Review December 30, 2007 - an essay on the publication of a new edition of: The Hidden Persuaders by Vance Packard (1957).
For excerpts from the book, see: http://www.ditext.com/packard/toc.html and Chapter 17 - Politics and the Image Builders.

Samuel G. Freedman/A Long Road From ‘Come by Here’ to ‘Kumbaya’/NYT November 20, 2010
"Conservative Republicans use the term to mock the Obama administration as naïve. Liberals on the left wing of the Democratic Party use it to chastise President Obama for trying to be bipartisan. The president and some of his top aides use it as an example of what they say their policies are not.

Yet the word nobody wants to own, the all-purpose put-down of the political moment, has a meaningful, indeed proud, heritage that hardly anyone seems to know or to honor. Only within black church circles can one, to this day, still hear Come By Here with the profundity that Mr. Gordon did almost a century ago."

Lawrence R. Jacobs and Robert Y. Shapiro/Politicians Don't Pander: Political Manipulation and the Loss of Democratic Responsiveness (University of Chicago Press, 2000)/Excerpt from pp. xi-xx.
Alvaro Vargas llosa, "The Killing Machine" (On Che Guevara), The New Republic, July 11 2005This essay is directly accessible @ http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=1535.

Edward Rothstein/The Power of Political Pratfalls (includes images & videos)/NYT October 13, 2008
"A bumbling president, a rube candidate, a greedy politician — such are the caricatures of political life. Whether accurate or not, they can be more powerful than any argument.
... Such is the strange influence of caricature in politics. (boldface added)
... So what gives caricature its unusual power? Physically, caricature typically takes a particular feature — a hairdo, a verbal tic, a hand gesture, an accent — and exaggerates it, giving it such prominence that we come to see the person in a new and different light.
... The word comes from the Italian “caricare,” meaning “to overload.” Some characteristic is heavily piled on: the elongated nose, the prominent belly, the bulbous eyes. Caricature seems to have its earliest associations with portraits that showed human subjects to be transformed animals. This can be just a trick of perception, but the art comes from connecting physical characteristics to character ...  For a great caricaturist, physiognomy is a reflection of the hidden soul: by showing us something exaggerated, something overlooked is revealed.
... That is also what gives caricature a polemical role in politics. Caricature characterizes and criticizes. While it can also distort and misrepresent, it claims to disclose a political physiognomy, bringing its contours to the surface.
... Of course caricature is never truly accurate; its job is to exaggerate, it dispenses with detail. This also makes it immune from easy challenge. A caricature bypasses argument. And now that pictures have become central to political life, caricatures have grown even stronger, and caricatured images are joined by caricatures of ideas."

Political Symbols, History, & Memory
Gordon S. Wood/No Thanks for theMemories/New York Review of Books, January 13, 2011, Vol. LVIII, No. 1.
Review essay on Jill Lepore/The Whites of Their Eyes: The Tea Party's Revolution and the Battle Over American History (Princeton University Press 2010)
Gordon S. Wood notes the remarks of American historian Bernard Bailyn on the difference between memory and history.
"Critical history-writing is all head and no heart. Scientific history-writing, Bailyn writes, is always skeptical and problematic; it questions itself constantly and keeps its distance from the past it is trying to recover. By contrast, memory’s" relation to the past is an embrace. It is not a critical, skeptical reconstruction of what happened. It is the spontaneous, unquestioned experience of the past. It is absolute, not tentative or distant, and it is expressed in signs and signals, symbols, images, and mnemonic clues of all sorts. It shapes our awareness whether we know it or not, and it is ultimately emotional, not intellectual.
(Bernard Bailyn's remarks are in italics.)

James M. Lundberg, "Thanks a Lot, Ken Burns", Slate.com June 7, 2011
"Because of you, my [James Lundberg] Civil War lecture is always packed—with students raised on your sentimental, romantic, deeply misleading portrait of the conflict."

"As ratings soared, George Will summed up the rhapsodic critical response, calling Burns' series a 'masterpiece of national memory.'
... refashioned the history of the Civil War into a semimythical narrative, one of collective sacrifice in the name of freedom and national unity.
... Burns performs an impressive kind of alchemy. Working in the soft glow of nostalgia, he manages to take a knotty and complex history of violence, racial conflict, and disunion and turn it into a compelling drama of national unity.
... For all its appeal, however, The Civil War is a deeply misleading and reductive film that often loses historical reality in the mists of Burns' sentimental vision and the romance of Foote's anecdotes. Watching the film, you might easily forget that one side was not fighting for, but against the very things that Burns claims the war so gloriously achieved. Confederates, you might need reminding after seeing it, were fighting not for the unification of the nation, but for its dissolution. Moreover, they were fighting for their independence from the United States in the name of slavery and the racial hierarchy that underlay it."

"The Civil War" film by Ken Burns, see: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2175875963366512516#.

IX. The Paranoid Style & Conspiracy Thinking
1. The Paranoid Style In American Politics: Richard Hofstadter
Richard Hofstadter/The Paranoid Style In American Politics, Introduction & pp.  3-92.
Richard Hofstadter/The Paranoid Style In American Politics (An essay which addresses a number of the themes in his book)/Harper's/November 1964
For background on Hofstadter and his work, see:
David Greenberg/Richard Hofstadter: The pundits' favorite historian/slate.com/June 7, 2006

On conspiracy thinking, see: Michael Barkun, A Culture of Conspiracy: Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America (University of California Press 2003)
See Chapter Five of Michael Barkun's book @

2. "The Manchurian Candidate"
Susan L. Carruthers/"The Manchurian Candidate" (1962) & The Cold War Brainwashing Scare/Historical Journal Of Film, Radio & Television, March1998, Vol. 18 Issue 1, p75, 20p.
Texas State University Library permalink. A valid Texas State University User Name and password are required for access.
The classic film on conspiracy thinking referred to by both the left and the right. "Brainwashed" Americans held as prisoners of war by the North Koreans and others during the Koran War of 1950-1953 return to America where one of them has been programmed to commit assassination.  See this
review of the film "The Manchurian Candidate" (1962).  This article by Susan L. Carruthers is highly recommended.

Mark Sauter, "Manchurian Candidate Was No Mere Fiction" @ http://www.realclearhistory.com/articles/2012/10/30/manchurian_candidate_was_no_mere_fiction.html

For a discussion of the related question of the "Stockholm syndrome" and the role of changing societal perceptions of indvidual responsibility and victimhood concerning captives of terrorist groups,
Rick Perlstein/That Girl: The Captivity and Restoration of Patty Hearst/The Nation December 29, 2008, Vol. 287 Issue 22, p30-32, 3p. (pdf)
Texas State University Library permalink. A valid Texas State University User Name and password are required for access.

Film: The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
For background information on this film, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Manchurian_Candidate_%281962_film%29

3. "The Crucible" - A Favorite Of Many Secondary School Teachers, (& Of The Left)
The Crucible (1996)
Arthur Miller, "Why I Wrote The Crucible: An Artist's Answer to Politics", The NewYorker, October 21& 28, 1996.
Miller's essay can be accessed
@ this site.

Midge Dexter/The Witches of Arthur Miller/Commentary March 1997.
Texas State University Library permalink. A valid Texas State University User Name and password are required for access.

Interested students may wish to look at these materials related to "The Crucible" and conspiracy thinking.
Arthur Miller's The Crucible: (1952) The Play & The Movie

Linnda R. Caporael/Ergotism: The Satan Loosed in Salem? (Convulsive ergotism may have been a physiological basis for the Salem witchcraft crisis in 1692)/Science Vol. 192/April 02.1976

Alan Taylor/Crucibles (Review Of Mary Beth Norton, In The Devil's Snare:The Salem Witchcraft Crisis Of 1692)/The New Republic/November 10, 2003, Vol. 229, Issue 19.
Texas State University Library permalink. A valid Texas State University User Name and password are required for access.
See also:
Margo Burns, "Arthur Miller's 'The Crucible"' Fact & Fiction" (Oct. 24, 2003) @
"The American 1950s"  - Links to materials for the period most discussed in relation to "The Crucible".

Sharon LaFraniere/African Crucible: Cast as Witches, Then Cast Out/NYT November 15, 2007

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X.  The Psychology Of Empire
1. Mannoni: Dependence & Inferiority

2. American Empire:  Real Or Falsely Accused?


O. Mannoni/Prospero & Caliban:The Psychology Of Colonization

Pankaj Mishra/How the British invented Hinduism/New Statesman August 26, 2002
"By reviving the Hindu religion, the middle classes of India hope to turn their country into a world power. Yet before the 19th century, no such religion existed."
This article by Pankaj Mishra should be read in connection with viewing the film "A Passage To India".  It should be noted that the main character in this film and in the novel on which it is based is, in fact, Muslim.
Video:  A Passage To India (1985)
Based on the novel  E. M. Forster/A Passage To India (1924)

Recommended Book

For an interesting example of early 20th century European fiction which reflects images of the Orient see: Louis Couperus,(Revised & Edited by E.M.Beekman-Translated From Dutch)/The Hidden Force (Univ. Of Mass. 1985)   In Beekman's introduction to this novel written in 1900 about the Dutch colonial experience in Indonesia, he quotes the Dutch author, Couperus, a romantic of his time who believed in supernatural forces: "I believe that benovolent and hostile forces float around us right through our ordinary, everyday existence.  I believe that the Oriental, no matter where he comes from can command more power over these forces than the Westerner who is absorbed by his sobriety, business and making money." 

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Recommended for perusal: The journal Political Psychology @ http://libproxy.txstate.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&jid=BS5&site=ehost-live
Texas State University permalink. A valid User Name and Password are required for access.

International Bulletin of Political Psychology

University Programs In Political Psychology
Center For Study of Political Psychology/University of Minnesota
UC Irvine/ Graduate Program in Political Psychology
Law & Psychology
American Psychology - Law Society
Law & Psychology University Of Alabama
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