Posts Tagged ‘Schedules of Rewards’

The Psychology of Socialism #3: Weakening Our Behavioral “Immunity”

February 14, 2021

 

The Psychology of Socialism #3: Weakening Our Behavioral “Immunity”

In my blog entitled “The Psychology of Socialism #1,  I began with some questions including the following two:

1. “Why does Socialism keep reoccurring in spite of its tendency to morph into an even more tyrannical and murderous  form of government, called Communism?” 

2. “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 over 100 million)?” These deaths were caused by disease, starvation, torture, and execution; in or out of concentration or so-called “reeducation” camps.

I began my second blog within this theme entitled, “The Psychology of Socialism #2 (Modernity) with the following statement:

“I judge that the the social and political infestation of Marxist Socialism in America is analogous to any disease that sickens its host.  When hosts immune system is sufficiently weakened, they become increasingly susceptible to many diseases; some of which are lethal.” The socio-economic “disease” of Socialism is lethal to societies that strive to provide liberty and prosperity to it citizens.

In this second blog, I further explained some of the ways that modernity and the Principles of Psychology work-together to weaken a a population’s resistance to the short-term rewards of socialism, at the expense of longer-term disaster.

You may recall from a post, #2 on this topic, that more immediate, more frequent, and easily accessible rewards tend to weaken the tenacity, perseverance and creative generativity of citizens. Furthermore, when these rewards suddenly are cut-off, or become insufficient, the psychological principle of “extinction” kicks in. The transition from a thick and easy source of rewards frequently leads to growing trends of emotional behavior and aggression among citizens.

Therefore, normal psychological principles within Socialism are transformed into an increasingly pathogenic social and economic system leading to in a pandemic of loss of freedom and prosperity for citizens; as well as increasing hostility and aggression among citizens and escalating tyrannical counter-control measures by the  governmental ruling class.

Understand that socialist and communist activists have long used this predictable chain of psychological events, and they work to activate it in order to over-throw existing governments. 

The following appears to be some of the main behavioral components of this sick social-psychological feed-back system of cultural decline and collapse.  These are the destructive psychological mechanisms hidden within the many failed iterations of socialism; including the so-called Democratic Socialism now being propagandized through our media, and implemented in America. 

  1. As People become more dependent upon modernizing technology (health safeguards, easy relief of physical pain, insurance against calamity, available civil/governmental services, transportation; as well as more immediate, more plentiful, more sizable, and and more frequent rewards in a broad array of categories; they tend to loose behavioral strength, perseverance and independence. The population’s learned expectancy of a less effortful life-style will not fit reality when the government inevitably cannot continue to supply their basic needs.
  2. As people become more emotionally, financially, and physically dependent upon the government (at all levels), the “government animal”, a conglomerate of more privileged people, grows in size and power and exerts incrementally more and more control over the people they govern. 
  3. The increasingly massive and expensive Socialistic government inevitably forages and preys upon its population for increased wealth (tax increases and fees), to gain more control and to support its own growth and development. They “tax the makers and give to the takers”. They “tax those who have and give to the have-nots”. 
  4. They do this by differentially dispensing the material, financial, and welfare rewards they control to their supporting population who will then vote for them and turn against those who vote for those opposing these socialist trends. 
  5. In response to citizens who oppose the growing popularity of the socialist government and its political operatives; it attacks them through hateful propaganda, social defamation, and censorship. It uses the popular media and governmental agencies to assault opposing citizens with legal and financial ruin.
  6. Inevitably, bloating socialist governments become increasingly inefficient at managing the increasing scope of their population control and the socio-culture becomes increasingly maladaptive and unstable. 
  7. This national decline is often viewed by international enemies as an opportunity for military attack. From a political perspective, war can be an advantage to the government and citizens under attack because it is thought to often solidify a population’s support the for their existing government.
  8. In the end, socialism always fails at the cost of great physical and psychological trauma to its citizens and their children.

Much like any behavioral “addiction” (more accurately, a learned habitual dependency), the population’s immediate schedule of rewards eventually turns from happiness to delayed and diminishing rewards, frustration, fear, and pain. All of this, all too often, is associated with population displaced aggression, self-destructive behavior, civil war and increased tyranny by the controlling government.

Socialism is a social-psychological disorder. It tyrannically catalyzes all forms of psychopathology within its population. As it progresses, it leads to social, cultural and economic decline and can easily lead to the collapse of the afflicted society.

The Socialist philosophical “germs” of destruction lay dormant in every society.  They await a decline a societies’ “behavioral immunity”. In some cases there comes an explosive plume of this social psychological pathogen. When the population’s “tipping point” is reached, the “transformational” breakdown occurs.

The afflicted nation then becomes a new host to the ageless socio-economic Ponzi Scheme; simply known as Socialism.   

Please, trace the growth of the many socialist/communist seeds long sewn into the fabric of in America, starting from the early 19 century to our present time. This growth is appears to be nearing exponential proportions as I write. (2/14/21) 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_socialist_movement_in_the_United_States

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D., Health Services Provider in Psychology

Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Indiana University South Bend

 

 

 

 

 

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The Psychology of Socialism #1 (Why So Seductive ?!)

January 3, 2021

The Psychology of Socialism #1 (Why So Seductive ?!)

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 of 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, 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 these critically important facts-of-life. Many don’t like to see our similarities to other animals. But, unless we wish to conclude that we are minerals, vegetables, fungi or bacteria, etc., we must accept the fact that we are animals.  This perception is actually a great advantage to us 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 more healthy and adaptive beliefs, rewards and behaviors. Often, it is essential to fashion, or seek, healthier environments in which to live. All of this is no different with our entire societies and the political systems that govern them.

Given all of the above understood, let us return to the ultimate 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 both 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 to escape and avoid things and activities that are unpleasant, painful, demand  greater effort, or deprive us of rewards. We search (forage) to obtain, escape, or avoid such things and activities; just like other animals.

We forage to get, escape, or avoid such consequences and locations 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. We may read, google, or seek the advice of experts to do this. Or, we may move 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 Immediate Rewards and their Delayed Bad Consequences”. 

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

Science and its developing Technologies 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 seeing the behaviors of people and and imitating them. All of this involves the psychological principles of Modeling and Imitation. We are more likely to imitate others who are attractive, very popular, have the rewards we want, and who have the power to reward or punish us.

By now, dear reader, you should be thinking about some of these powerful Laws and Principles of the science of Psychology and how they can help or hurt you and your loved ones, and 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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