The Psychology of Socialism #1 (The People )


The Psychology of Socialism #1 (The People)

Why is Socialism so resurgently popular around the world?!

How could this ever happen in America…”The Land of The Free and The Home of The Brave”?!

Why does it keep reoccurring in spite of Socialism’s countless failures?

Why does Socialism keep reoccurring in spite its certain progress into tyrannical and all-controlling bloated central governments.

Why does it keep reoccurring in spite of the great tendency of Socialism to morph into an even more tyrannical and murderous  form of government, called Communism?  Read: “The Road To Serfdom”, by Friedrich Hayek. 

Why does Socialism keep reoccurring in the face of indisputable historical evidence that Socialism/Communism has caused the death of around 94 million citizens (some say 100 million)?! The statistics of these victims include deaths through executions, man-made hunger, famine, war, deportations, and forced labor. See Wikipedia, “The Black Book of Communism”.

Many answers to these questions are far from simple; but they are very clear and easily found within the Laws and Principles of the Science of Psychology. One of these main Laws is the “Law of Effect”.  The Law of Effect simply states that Consequences Control Behavior.  Read: “Elementary Principles of Behavior”, by Dick Malott and Co-Authors.

These basic principles were first observed with various animals, and were found to also greatly influence the thoughts, beliefs and emotions and behaviors of humans. 

Unfortunately, our sense of superiority and vanity has historically blinded many of our leaders and the rest of us to this critically important fact-of-life. But, unless we wish to conclude that we are minerals, vegetables, fungi or bacteria, etc., we we must accept the fact that we are animals.  This perception is a great advantage because it confirms critical aspects of our nature and points the way to understanding the social, cultural, and political systems that can strengthen our best human characteristics and avoid those that catalyze our worst.

For individuals to improve themselves though cognitive behavior therapy it is important that they come to know and understand their own behaviors and the Psychological Laws and Principles of behavior that influence them. The challenge then is learn new beliefs, rewards and their environments to achieve beneficial results. It is no different with entire societies and the political systems that govern them.

Given all of the above understood, let us return to the penultimate questions:  Why do humans, like moths, repeatedly fly into the destructive fires of socialism? Why do we repeatedly leap into the deadly Venus-Fly-Traps of Socialism and Communism? 

The answers are contained within the fact that, like all other animals, we tend to work to obtain things and activities that are rewarding to us. Just as importantly, we tend to work, escape, and avoid things and activities that are unpleasant, painful, demand  greater effort, or deprive us of rewards. We move about (forage) to obtain, escape, or avoid such things and activities; just like other animals.

Moreover, we tend to forage to get, escape, or avoid such events as fast and as conveniently as possible.

When we experience pain, or the deprivation of rewards, we may be motivated to remain where we are located and try to remedy our situation. Or, we may forage in search of safer and/or more rewarding environments to inhabit. For example, observe the current movement of America’s populations from high crime, high blight and high tax-rate cities and states to more rewarding/less unpleasant social and political environments.

We love our rewards to occur as immediately as possible (i.e., fast food, microwaves, faster computers, 5g phones, etc., etc.). We do not like it when rewards are terminated, reduced, or delayed; or we experience pain (i.e., pay checks, mechanical/technological failures; or job loss, friends lost, injury, sickness, death, etc., etc.).

Tragically, humans easily fall prey to behaving in ways that bring the joys of immediate rewards, but often lead to painful delayed consequences (gambling, lying, cheating, stealing, drug/alcohol abuse, gluttony, disloyalty in social relationships/marriage, “buy now but pay later” acquisitions, and other forms of immediately rewarding; but ultimately harmful impulsive behaviors. Behavioral Psychologists refer to this all to common behavioral trap as: “The Tyranny of Deferred Consequences”. 

We easily fall prey to novel and addictive things and activities (sex, drugs, pornography, and gimbling. We also become addicted to the stimulating adrenalin and dopamine highs produced by many these and other activities such as fighting, war, rule-breaking and escape from various dangers.

Science and Technology has allowed us to experience all of the highly arousing harmful and addictive activities listed above, and more. Psychologist Albert Bandura and others have demonstrated, without a shadow of doubt, that one of the most important ways that humans learn their behaviors and appetites is through modeling and imitation.

By now, dear reader, you should be thinking about some these powerful Laws and Principles of the science of Psychology and how they can help or hurt or the successful evolution of America. 

There is more of this analysis to come. 

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D., 1/3/2021

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2 Responses to “The Psychology of Socialism #1 (The People )”

  1. vicpalenske Says:

    Hi Tom, I loved your article about the Psychology of Socialism.  I guess we’re all thinking about Socialism because of the Georgia vote in two days.  For instance I’m rereading  Ffederich Hayek’s book called “the Road to Surfdom”.  I like it because it was written right after the end of the European WWII.  It spells out the reason Europe went the way it did (socialism)  where Germany went the route of Facsism/Nazism.  Really interestingGood talking to you the other night.   We need more of that.  I saw you wrote another piece on email about Socialism so I’m gonna go and dddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddds.  Crap, fell asleep.  Have you ever done that.  There’s been times I’d stay on the same letter for as many as ten pages. Hope Dear Sally is doing perfectly  Talk soon, V

    Like

    • vtmawhinney Says:

      Thanks for your comments, Vic. Just type socialism into my search box. Then click return. There is a great deal more for you to explore. I did some pretty intensive blogging on that topic when we were down in Key West, several years ago. Blessings! Tom

      Like

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