We know that Leftism is a pathology, which means that whatever it states it wants is in fact a cover story to hide what it really wants, and that it forms an infinite loop because it replaces the cause in cause-effect with an effect, essentially pointing to its methods as both its goal and the procedure for getting there.
In this way, Leftism resembles heroin addiction. It rejects the world in favor of a high that comes from social power, but this high never lasts, so it becomes compulsive in pursuit of the newer, stronger high. This explains its obsession with the exogenous: it always seeks something from afar to complete it.
The root of Leftism seems to come from contrarianism, or a pathological need to believe that reality is otherwise than how it presents, and therefore, that alternatives which appeal to the human mind might be real if enough people believe in them. It is a religion behaving like an ideology.
Contrarianism makes the individual feel powerful because it suppresses what he fears and replaces it instead with the illusion that he is in control. It has one weakness: because it is conjectural, or not supported by a basis in reality, it is fragile to the criticism or simply refusal to adopt it by others.
As a result, the contrarian finds himself drawn toward narcissism because if he can bully, seduce, bewilder, and overwhelm others, they may accept his vision as reality, at which point in his mind it becomes stronger. He must deny reality and find collaborators in that goal, so he acts like a dominant personality:
Key personality facets that distinguish successful entrepreneurs include a preference for variety, novelty and starting new things (openness to adventure), like being the centre of attention (lower levels of modesty) and being exuberant (higher activity levels). We do not find one ’Founder-type’ personality; instead, six different personality types appear. Our results also demonstrate the benefits of larger, personality-diverse teams in startups, which show an increased likelihood of success.
We have also shown that successful startup founders’ personality traits are significantly different from those of successful employees—so much so that a simple predictor can be trained to distinguish between employees and entrepreneurs with more than 80% accuracy using personality trait data alone.
When analyzing the Leftist approach, all of the above emerge: lower levels of modesty, preference for novelty, impulse toward variety, openness to adventure, and higher enthusiasm levels. They also embrace diversity since this means that other personalities fade into background noise and leave the narcissist a blank canvas for his drama.
These are not just personality traits, but methods of selling an idea to others, a subset of attention-getting behavior that resembles that of cult leaders. They want to create chaos around them while promoting their own idea as if it were superior to reality itself.
People follow these narcissists because their attraction to diversity and outsiders plus their seeming confidence, like that of psychopaths, attracts people to them. These people conclude that the contrarians are more creative and therefore more socially successful, thus more financially successful:
Participants sought a closer relationship with coworkers they perceived as being more creative. Moreover, the subjects were more inclined to establish a closer relationship with a creative coworker of the opposite sex or from a different demographic than them.
If a creative coworker’s network did increase, they posited that the coworker would also be seen as a high performer and given a more favorable position within the organization, especially if the organization valued and encouraged creativity. In other words, in an organization that encouraged creativity, the more coworkers developed relationships with a creative coworker, the more others sought to do the same, which increased the creative person’s network and standing within the organization.
Perhaps most surprising is that among their hypotheses, a creative coworker in a minority group and from a different demographic was viewed as more creative and experienced more popularity within the network. This is due to a perception among coworkers—and in previous research—that minorities and those from different demographics tend to offer distinctive points of view, different ways of thinking, and, therefore, more significant creative insights.
In other words, if you want to be popular, appear to be creative and other people will follow you. This appeals to the contrarian who wants to be followed for something other than his ability to produce results in reality; he dominates by symbol, image, social impulse, and sensual appeal.
It turns out that people are wired for deference because they consider the perspective of another before their own as a means of being able to take in new information:
In our first study, with 76 participants, there was no evidence that participants were attracted to their own beliefs when answering the belief questions.
What’s more, when answering reality questions, participants showed the opposite of an egocentric bias. They showed an attraction towards answers reflecting the witness’s incorrect belief. We carried out two further studies, with another 76 participants each, and found similar results.
Our data suggests that our participants couldn’t help but consider the belief of the witness, even when they knew it to be wrong.
The contrarian short-circuits this because his new information is an old lie: reality is not real, believe what the Herd feels, and then you will personally get ahead because others will follow you. It is the classic devil’s bargain that offers popularity in exchange for loyalty that leads the victim farther from reality.
Leftism is a cult of this nature, but it is not the only cult. Almost all cults begin with a contrarian premise — reality is not how it seems — and lead from that into a fantasy vision of reality without all the parts that humans fear, but with human emotions and social impulses firmly in control.
Contrarianism works on our minds because we focus on what we fear through a process sometimes called “target fixation” and miss the context:
Humans have an inclination toward negativity.
Criticism, for example, has a stronger influence on behavior and cognition than praise. And the same is true for bad news over good news.
“The brain processes negative words faster, better and more intensively [than positive words], and that means we remember them more,” said neuroscientist Maren Urner.
This focus on negativity comes about because fears must be dealt with faster than non-threats. Threats themselves are ranked based on what is immediate, arriving with fire and death, over that which represents a longer-term threat like slow decay and civilization collapse.
Negativity also allows expression of anger, which both allows contrarians to bully others and focuses people on persistence, even if they are pursuing an illusion:
In studies focused on social outcomes, there is evidence that the expression of anger affects the behavior of others in ways that promote goal accomplishment, primarily in that others are more likely to remove themselves as challenges or support the angry person’s position (Weidman & Kross, 2021). Sell’s recalibration theory (2011) includes that the expression of anger is a mechanism through which individuals recalibrate other people’s perception of their own worth and the value placed on their opinions and desires. Consistent with this approach, evidence suggests that others respond with concessions to the expression of anger.
Participants induced to feel angry performed better in a game that involved confrontation (shooting enemies) than participants feeling other emotions (Tamir et al., 2008). In one study, people induced to be angry kicked with more physical force than happy or neutral participants (Woodman et al., 2009), which could perhaps improve outcomes in physical encounters. Frijda (1986) suggested that the furrowed brow and frown common to angry expressions promote a visual focus on particular objects. There is also correlational evidence that greater anger is associated with persistence on difficult tasks and consequently better performance (H. C. Lench & Levine, 2008; Mikulincer, 1988; Schmitt et al., 2019). However, because of the nature of correlational designs, it is also possible that persisting longer elicits more anger. Thus, although the prediction that emotions function to resolve particular problems is core to functional accounts, there is very little attention to this relationship for anger outside of social situations.
Once we have seized the negative, the stochastic nature of our perception which uses random details to reinforce the big point works against us. All other details seem to fit within the rubric of the negative, and if they contradict it, they are styled as an enemy of truth instead of an alternative reality that does not apply on Earth.
Abrahamic religions fall into this with their individualistic morality, probably borrowed from the bourgeois culture in which these religions needed to be popular in order to succeed, which emphasizes the importance of individuals over their environment. They are not alone in this.
For a species which must struggle daily to adapt to its environment, the proposition that our environment will adapt to us proves a lure as seductive as drugs, sex, overeating, gambling, or risk-taking. It makes us feel powerful and alive, and therefore we are drawn into its vortex.
Some might say that permanent civilization itself is a cult of this nature. Its means-over-ends approach demands that people please others, instead of doing what is evident to adapt, so adaptation to human opinions replaces the need to function within reality and adapt to the environment.
As the age of universalism ends, and we realize that there is no truth or set of facts upon which we can all agree, humanity may be maturing past the idea of an absolute reality and a universal contrarianism that makes it feel better, therefore be popular, therefore be successful.