Tag: Politics

Of Polarization and Sailboats


Photo by Bengt Nyman. My last two entries for the New Existentialists have focused on the nature and influence of fear, and how American culture has shifted from a more adventure-based society to a fear-based society. As a society—whether speaking about politics, religion, militarization, communities, neighborhoods, or individuals—we operate from an approach that is opposite… Read more »

The Peril is Not Mental Illness but the Polarized Mind: The Social Catastrophe That Gets Repeatedly Overlooked


There is a reason that many of the most twisted and destructive people on this planet are not seen as “mental patients.” They tend to be ordinary or even celebrated individuals—and their brains are as “normal” as the rest of us. Does this not tell us something glaring about the inadequacy of our current diagnostic… Read more »

Teaching Diversity from an Existential Perspective


A law class at Roanoke College. For years, I have heard horror stories of professors teaching diversity classes being traumatized by their students. Included were stories of a number of experts in diversity who were passionate about teaching diversity, but no longer wanted to teach diversity courses because their course evaluations were poorer than in… Read more »

The Pathological Twisting of Bradley Manning: Part Two: Social Change as –Post-Adolescent Idealism”


Pathological diagnosis can be used by medical and psychological professionals as a neutralizing technique by transforming social discontent into personal doubt and imaginary demons. For the vulnerable subject involved it can function as a kind of mental pill that if swallowed can leave them impotent and unable to defend themselves or see reality clearly. In… Read more »

The Pathological Twisting of Bradley Manning: Part One


The sentencing of Bradley Manning in August 2013 ended for the moment a type of social theater where many interesting and at times disturbing realities were brought to center stage. In relation to the theme of psychological diagnosis, what was fascinating was how the legal debate surrounding Manning’s reasoning for leaking the documents shifted from… Read more »

We Don’t Need No Education


Thomas Jefferson, by Charles Wilson Peale. Our education system is currently in crisis. It is no secret that American children are at best average when compared to children from other countries (see, e.g., this Huffington Post article), and our adults fare very poorly on tests of math, science, history, and general knowledge. This has serious… Read more »

Don’t Change the World, Change Yourself


Photo by Associated Press, 1946. I see messages like this everywhere. Some very wise people have said it in one way or another. Leo Tolstoy, for example, said, “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no-one thinks of changing himself.” Marianne Williamson said, “Something amazing happens when we surrender and just love. We melt into… Read more »