Holding the Dictator, Part 2

How can we remain resilient and avoid becoming food for authoritarian social and political movements when the economy is declining and social moods are becoming more polarized? We all wish in different situations, but as the Stoic philosopher Seneca suggested, “If you really want to avoid the things that are bothering you, all you need to do is not be in a different place but be a different person.”

To ask the question differently: How can a very active “dictator Wein” (see the work of Steven C. Hayes in Part 1 of this article) be a dedicated advocate for freedom? Since they see their own life as something to be controlled, wouldn’t they be sympathetic to the idea that society should be governed? The mentality of promoting “tough problem-solving formulations” cannot be easily turned on or off.

If you approach someone who is particularly confident in the process of his rational thinking, run away and quickly. Robert Heinlein writes, “Man is not a rational animal; He is a rational animal. ”

If someone is determined not to change, he or she can use “reasoning” to justify it. He will choose from a possession bag of external factors to justify his personal preferences – his upbringing, his education, his job, his partner, society etc. People like this opposite reason, seeing themselves as the effect of external circumstances. For them, “cause” has the opposite causation.

If we are determined to blame, we lose sight of the fact that individuals first choose their purpose and then resort to being on earth to reach their goal.

Notice when your mind confuses cause and effect in your personal life. See your mind rationalizing your feelings. As the late author Michael Crichton observed, wet roads do not rain. Others do not make us angry. An angry reaction to another person reveals an angry tendency that we already carry within us. Relationships do not make complaints. The allegations reveal a mentality that seeks evidence that life is not fair.

We create our self-concept. Because it is a construction, we rationalize our self-concept by feeding and protecting it with our thought-based stories. When we reinforce our self-concept with an external description, we place the blame on someone or something else for our feelings. A story that reverses cause and effect frees us from our responsibilities as we see ourselves as influenced by external forces.

At the individual level, it is this rationalist mentality that supports the collectivists who are determined to use coercive central planning to achieve their goals. Collectivists think “the cause of rain on wet roads”. They chanted slogans: Greedy food and energy suppliers cause inflation. Government spending on infrastructure reduces inflation.

Crichton created what he called the “Gail-Man Amnesia Effect”, a trend that should be given “unwanted credibility” to those who have already been proven wrong in our media. The gel-man amnesia effect, named after Nobel laureate in physics Murray Gel-man, also applies on a personal level. The dictator Weidin, according to internal expert Kathak Hayes, tells us who to blame and what to blame. We unhesitatingly accept its bad advice as the right guidance, even when it has been repeatedly proven to be misguided.

Do not be deceived by mere words coming from inside your dictator. Crichton writes,

Mere volume refers to a value that is special. I call it the there-must-a-pony effect, from the old joke where a kid comes down on Christmas morning, sees the house filled with horseshoes and claps for joy. Her parents were surprised and asked: Why are you so happy? He says there must be a pony with so many horses.

We want to be stupid because we want to avoid responsibility.

In his original text on mass movement, The true believer“We have a tendency to seek out the forces that make up our existence,” warns Eric Hoffer. Hoffer observed, “We tend to search for all external factors, even when it is clear that our condition is a product of personal qualities such as ability, character, appearance, health, etc.”

When we become aware of the tendency outside of our own thinking, we can become more aware of our dictator’s voice in telling our stories about me by hijacking our self-concept. We can choose to disable our internal dictatorship. This first step is challenging. In his book A free mindHayes writes, “The danger about the power that this voice can have over us is that we lose touch with the fact that we are even hearing a voice.” He added,

The melody is so constant and non-stop that we disappear into the voice; We identify with it or “fuse” with it. If we are pressured to say where that voice came from, it is natural for us to consider the dictator as our voice, our thoughts, or even our true self. This is why we call this voice ego — which is Latin only for I. But this is actually the story of I. It is so entangled that we take its instructions literally.

After his own struggles with anxiety, Hayes said he “allowed me to take the place of the conscious and selective part … I disappeared year after year in my own mind and under his direction.” Hayes questions the relevance of his dictatorial thinking:

I realized that what the voice was telling me did not necessarily weigh more than the other thoughts that came through my mind. I don’t buy into them. Thoughts always fly automatically into our consciousness, such as “I’m hungry, maybe I’ll get some ice cream,” or “I hope it’s laundry.” Some thoughts that come to our mind, like thinking that someone is looking at us who is not even paying attention to us. Memories are suddenly revived for no apparent reason.

Hayes describes the diffusing process:

Although we tend to think our thought processes are logical, many of them are but nothing. Thoughts are constantly being generated spontaneously and mindlessly. We can’t choose which ones to pop up, but we can choose which one to focus on or use to guide our behavior.

When you become more aware of your thoughts, you may be disappointed to see how much nonsense it is, replays of the past, scenarios created about the future, and scattered pieces of thought, all designed to make you a hero or a victim. .

When trying to avoid uncomfortable thoughts and feelings, we often pay close attention to them; They became omnivorous. The Spanish philosopher Jose Ortega y Gassett wrote, “Tell me what you care about, and I’ll tell you who you are.”

Nobel laureate Daniel Kahnemann in his book Think, fast and slow, Explains the mentality that forces our passive thinking to give such relevance. Kahneman instructed us Focusing illusion: “Nothing in life is as important as you think when you think about it.”

Although we cannot control the thoughts that arise in our minds, we can make a practice of observing our thoughts. At breaks, we can change our mindset.

A thought about irritation My wife could turn quickly I am grateful for my wife When I pause to observe my annoying thoughts and do not justify and strengthen those thoughts. Without pausing to observe my thoughts, the voice of my dictator could convey to me that I had trouble catching. If I hold the “problem”, it feels like I’m holding a piece of glass in my hand. My hand will bleed; When someone asks me to release my hand from the glass, I say What glass.

Thoughts are fluid unless we hold on to them. Your life experience will be very different when you practice non-judgmental observation of your thoughts and allow them to pass.

This form of deliberate observation is far more valuable and effective in overcoming unhappy thoughts than the soothing mantras of “get out of it” or “stop feeling sorry for yourself” or “you don’t have to worry”. Research shows that trying to suppress unwanted thoughts only leads to more unwanted thoughts.

We can simplify the process of getting rid of problematic thoughts in many ways. One of the strategies for observing your emotional turmoil is to look at yourself as if you were sitting in the audience of a play and acting as a character.

Watch your character go through his or her hatred without judging yourself. Pause to ask yourself, “Those who are watching? “Bingo When you observe your invalid thoughts, insight arises that you are more than those thoughts. You can disidentify with those thoughts. You are not a player and a programmed non-playing character.

Claiming to be rational has the option of following the heinous advice of your dictator. Inside Constitution of IndependenceAs Faye Hayek writes, “The issue of individual liberty depends primarily on the recognition of the inevitable ignorance of all of us that our goals and well-being depend on all factors.”

“Individualism: Truth and Falsehood,” Hayek distinguishes false individualism from true individualism. With the mindset of false individualism (see Hayek’s work as it intersects with Steven C. Hayes in Part 1 of this article), we are convinced that we are seeing the world in a rational, accurate way. Hayek “warns against allowing people to be chained to their own creation … because of man.” People, Hayek admits, are “sometimes good and sometimes bad, sometimes intelligent and often stupid.” Since our knowledge is limited, “too often stupid” applies to each of us and it is good; Our interactions with others are corrected “stupid”.

“In a complex society, people have no choice but to adjust themselves to the blind force of the social process and to obey the orders of a superior person,” writes Hayek. Many have to learn for themselves that a free social process is more desirable than authoritarian control. Obedience to our dictator, like obedience to an external dictator, prevents us from reaching our full potential.

How strongly do you fit in with your thinking? Every human being lives within the limits of his mind. We do not control our thoughts, yet we can take a break and choose not to buy our thoughts. Your experience of reality is directly related to the mentality of true or false individualism that you accept. When you let go of your grip on your thoughts, you let your life reveal what your dictator has created inside of it.

When we are ready to declare our independence from the dictator, we will begin to acknowledge that Hayek’s advice on false individualism applies to us. We can stop pretending to be particularly confident in our logical thinking. We can relax our thinking by taking a break to observe without having intercourse with our dictator. We can allow true individualism to lead a meaningful life with a greater sense of purpose, better relationships, and true happiness.

Barry Bronstein

Barry Bronstein

Barry Bronstein is an Emeritus Professor of Economics and Leadership at the University of Baltimore.

He is the author of The Inner-Work of Leadership and his articles have been published in publications such as the Foundation for Economic Education and Intellectual Takeout.

To get Barry’s essays in your inbox, go to mindsetshifts.com

Receive notifications of new articles from Barry Brownstein and AIER.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.