DNS: Harper Derangement Syndrome

The latest demented punditry from the conservative press in Canada has been to redefine opposition to Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s policies and his Conservative government as being a form of mental illness, duly dubbed “Harper Derangement Syndrome“.

Granted, there is an epidemic of the crazies these days. But no immunity or exemption from the crazies was made for the conservative commentariat or the columnists of The Toronto Sun or The National Post or their readerships either.

I’ld say when it comes to “derangement”, the shoe is quite as much on the other foot. This redefinition of political opposition as a species of mental illness smacks of the kind of perversity you find in totalitarian dictatorships or kindred dystopias, where it’s assumed to be self-evident that any kind of political opposition must be due to mental illness.

When the Pope stated, quite accurately, that “duplicity is the currency of the day”, he certainly didn’t pointedly make an exception for the conservative commentariat, or the columnists of The Toronto Sun or The National Post, or for Mr. Harper and members of the Conservative Party. Nor does Jean Gebser’s diagnosis of the “mental-rational structure of consciousness now functioning in deficient mode” make any kind of extraordinary exemption for them either. Their claims to a more primal innocence and veracity (the “righteous mind” syndrome) are completely disingenuous.

It’s just more phoniness and fakery — The B.S. Factor at work.

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2 responses to “DNS: Harper Derangement Syndrome”

    • Scott Preston says :

      Interesting article. It seems that the spirit of Nixon has never been exorcised, and lingers and lurks about as his dubious legacy — even in the continuing influence of some of his darker minions — Roger Stone and Karl Rove, two of Nixon’s “ratfuckers” in CREEP. A few political columnists in Canada have also compared Harper to Nixon.

      My own view has been that this has less to do with personalities, failed leadership, sinister “hidden agendas” and so on (although there’s that component to be sure) as much as it is systemic. “A wrong social philosophy leads to a wrong society”, as Rosenstock put it. In that sense, everybody does indeed have a “hidden agenda”, which is the unquestioned and unconscious beliefs, assumptions, premises that make up that current social philosophy, whether shared by liberals, conservatives, or socialists. I think there’s more questioning of those hidden factors in “the common sense” amongst the ecologically-minded.

      Jacques Ellul tried to bring that “hidden agenda” to light also, particularly in works like “A Critique of the New Commonplaces”. In some ways, The Chrysalis is also a critique of the “common sense” and the roots of that “common sense” in Rosenstock’s “wrong social philosophy”. This is quite challenging, since few people want to hear that their “common sense” is little better than a kind of sleep-walking, or even a form of lunacy.

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