Friday, August 12, 2016
The Legitimacy Of Anger–Now More Than Ever
We live in a Nanny State. Parents, teachers, school administrators, and teachers have bought into the progressive notion of harmony, cooperation, and idealism; and all have subscribed to childhood without risk, without competition, and without envy, jealousy, and spite. Playgrounds have been reconfigured to eliminate the risk of injury – ostensibly to protect children but honestly about liability and, more importantly, about leveling the playing field.
Monkey bars are verboten because children without the physical skills or coordination to climb acrobatically might feel slighted. See-saws have been outlawed to avoid older children’ trickery. The let-down might be damaging, hurtful, and injurious. Dodge ball is questionable because of the likelihood of stronger, more athletic children singling out the weak and ill-timed.
Recess without risk, challenge, and competition has become an idealist’s moment – a time and opportunity to teach collaboration, peaceful interaction, and social harmony.
Speech has been subjected to the same risk-averse guidelines. Regardless of the value or validity of personal opinions, once must first think of others before speaking. The possibility of insult, psychological trauma, or psychological damage alone is justification for expunging any and all traces of words or phrasing that might be taken the wrong way.
Normal, healthy sexual responses have also been put under the microscope of political scrutiny. It is not enough for men to understand women, their responses, and their desire for intimacy. They must read from a cheat-sheet of proscribed behavior. In earlier years boys would always try to take second base, third if possible; and girls would always demur and resist. Girls were not the afflicted, put-upon, or aggressed. They were as strong, determined, and willful as boys; knew how to defend themselves, and one comment about dress, demeanor, family, or hairline was enough to put off all but the most determined.
Children are taught from an early age that anger is no proper response to insult or injury. Understanding and compromise is the only proper, justified, and progressive means to resolving disputes and contributing to a common sense of righteousness and justice.
How has human experience become so distorted from reality? How, despite millennia of history and the chronicles of war, violence, territorialism, and self-preserving aggression and expansionism, can anyone even consider that such idealistic blandishments have any currency whatsoever?
American culture is one of risk-avoidance, behavioral control and modification, and purposeful channeling of basic instincts. It is a culture which is dominated by progressive idealism, a rejection of the essentiality and implacability of human nature, and a belief in positive human evolution.
It is quite amazing, given the power of such human nature, the unbridled individualism of the early days of the Republic, frontier justice, and an ambitious entrepreneurial spirit which was at the foundation of American westward expansion, industrialization, and commercial success, that the country has become so cowed, timorous, and risk-averse.
Not all Americans, thank God. There are pockets of resistance. Preppers, Live Free Or Die separatists in northern Idaho, Tea Party zealots in Mississippi, and virulent anti-Establishment anarchists throughout the rural United States, are all defenders of old-style principle, justice, and civil living.
They, and many supporters of Donald Trump are angry. Not just irritated and disaffected, but enraged at the appropriation of individuality by the privileged few on the Establishment coasts. Trump’s base is comprised of those who for too long have suppressed their resentment, anger, and hostility at the progressive oppressor – the real enemy of American positivism.
Not only they are angry, but so are tens of millions of American men who feel pussy-whipped, feminized, and emasculated. They are angry at Washington, their wives, and women in general. They are resentful of the illegitimate demands of blacks who for decades have failed under the cover of racist entitlement; of Hispanics who, with progressive support, have retreated into a separatist world of Spanish and Latin American culture; and of Eastern liberals who have arrogantly dismissed their beliefs in Biblical authority, regional traditions and culture.
The anger goes deeper; and the more it is squelched by progressive idealism, the more it festers. Men are angry at their wives for claiming misogyny and emotional destitution when they are predictably picky, emotionally needy, and as devious and manipulative as any of Shakespeare’s heroines.
Women are angry at men for continuing to ride the coattails of 19th century male superiority – emotional, ignorant throwbacks who, without the mental and emotional versatility of women, nor their strength, continue to invoke patriarchy and YY supremacy.
Blacks are angry at whites for their continued dismissiveness and innate racism. Whites are equally dismissive of blacks for their deliberate ignorance of black family and community dysfunction and refusal to adhere to majority moral and ethical norms.
Liberals are angry at conservatives for their absurd fundamentalism, rejection of logic and deliberate analysis. Christian believers are angry at progressives who dismiss every conservative claim to Biblical authority and traditional social values.
The issue is not that anger and hostility exist, but that the expression of it is somehow anti-communitarian or even anti-democratic. We , as a nation founded in liberty, democracy, justice, and equal opportunity should not fight, let alone in acrimonious and hostile ways.
Wrong. Human nature, despite the idealism of the Left, is permanent, unchangeable, and all-defining. Two thousand years of human civilization have amply demonstrated the territorial, self-interested, self-protective, absolute righteousness of individual demands. What has changed?
Marx, of all the philosophers of the 19th century understood the fundamental self-serving, economic nature of man. Class, family, regional, and national struggles would always occur. Anger was not an anomalous expression of human desire and will,but the motivating force behind social change.
Anger – like greed, jealousy, avarice, and the other deadly sins – is a natural, good, and important expression of human will and determination.
There is no doubt that anger can turn bad.; that individual frustrations, resentments, and hostilities can become Nazi horrors. But to deny anger as a legitimate, passionate expression of human feelings is wrong.
Anger turned to meanness is unacceptable. Turned to demagoguery is worse; but as a legitimate expression of human resentment is not only perfectly acceptable but encouraged.
Any psychiatrist with a second-rate degree understands the long- and short-term damage resulting from anger suppression. Resentment, frustration, and hatred can build up to explosive proportions; and must be released for personal reconstruction of not respect for the commonweal.
Donald Trump has finally given license to the expression of anger; and this is a good thing. Regardless of Trumps’ legitimacy or appropriateness for the presidency, he has legitimized hostility and confrontational anger.
We should be thankful.
Posted by Ron Parlato at 12:08 PM