Progressive Projection

savagechickensprojectiondefenseThe replacement of good and evil with progressive virtue and progressive vice causes problems in the individual progressive psyche because people have an inherent sense of good and evil which cannot be comfortably suppressed and replaced with virtue categories that don’t reflect their natural, internal compasses. A symptom of this psychological unease with progressive virtue categories is a special case of the projection defense mechanism which I humbly refer to as progressive projection. Projection has been defined as “the process by which one ascribes one’s own traits, emotions, dispositions, etc. to another . . . with the implication that there is an accompanying denial that one has these feelings or tendencies . . . ”* A subcategory of this defense mechanism – progressive projection – is ubiquitous in progressives because progressive virtue is different from goodness. Progressive virtue, by definition, is not “good,” and, deep down, progressives know it and are troubled by it. Thus they take their own unconscious and unacceptable impulses and traits and, without consciously realizing it, project them as the presumed impulses and traits of their opponents. In this way, progressive projection eases their unconscious psychic pain.

progressive projection n : a special case of the projection defense mechanism in which a progressive attributes impulses and traits that he himself has but cannot accept to his opponents; it is ubiquitous in progressives because of the psychologically uneasy replacement of the virtue categories of good and evil with progressive virtue and progressive vice.

For example, progressives abhor hypocrisy. Many of them believe that they enjoy unfair advantages (whether they do in reality or not). Yet they refuse to give them up, which often leads to the unconscious judgement that they themselves are hypocrites. This trait is unacceptable, so they unconsciously defend themselves by becoming hypersensitive to any real or imagined hypocrisy in others.

Progressive virtue, by definition, is not “good,” and, deep down, progressives know it and are troubled by it.

Whenever a progressive negatively represents his opponents in an emotional manner, take note. Think about what they’re saying and whether it could be objectively applied to them. It’s usually progressive projection. They’re probably unconsciously describing themselves.

* Arthur S. Reber, The Penguin Dictionary of Psychology: Fourth Edition, (Penguin, 2009), p. 570.

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The Enlightened

Progressives tend to see themselves as progressively virtuous.  They don’t need to do anything to achieve this state of virtue; they are virtuous by default under their worldview because of their beliefs.

The unconscious logic branching out of this belief in one’s own progressive virtue is:

• Everything we do will be progressively virtuous.
• Progressive virtue is supremely important.

 

Social dynamics under each worldview create character archetypes — paradigmatic personality types shaped by the positive and negative rewards of a society — specific to that worldview.  Devout progressives believe they and their actions are progressively virtuous. This has led to the development of a character archetype among the progressive elite – The Enlightened – who feel superior to the less virtuous masses. They perceive their own motivations as noble, they feel infallible, and they appropriate the right to ignore, as much as possible, society’s dictates.

The Enlightened:
The progressive elite – devout and progressively virtuous, they feel superior to the general public. They have a sense of mission focused on promoting their morality and culture, and fighting oppressors. They feel relatively infallible since they are inspired by their presumably inherent and transcendent nobility. Because of that, they are close-minded.

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Virtue Assignment and Virtue Categories Under the Progressive Worldview

While traditional Americans think goodness is defined by objective standards such as the Ten Commandments, newthinkers believe they are progressively virtuous due to their inherently noble motives.

The unconscious logic supporting this belief is as follows, starting from the “Human beings are inherently and transcendentally noble” branch of the newthink worldview tree:

• Human beings are inherently and transcendentally noble.
• Our motives are inherently noble.
• We are progressively virtuous.

 

Humans have a deep and compelling psychological need to assign virtue. Based on a particular morality – a set of rules about what’s right and wrong – people assign virtue by dividing actions into two categories: virtuous and non-virtuous.

virtue assignment n : a psychological process which categorizes actions into two categories: virtuous or non-virtuous, based on the existing morality

virtue categories n : bipolar designations based on the judgement of righteousness under a given system

People fundamentally need to define virtue and vice in their world, and they need to feel personally virtuous (even when they obviously aren’t). Systems of virtue assignment are central to worldviews because they create conviction, cement loyalties and inspire action.

Progressive virtue and progressive vice are newthink’s virtue categories, based on the political correctness system. Good and evil are Americanism’s virtue categories, based on its system.

Progressive virtue and progressive vice are newthink’s virtue categories, based on the political correctness system. Good and evil are Americanism’s virtue categories, based on its system. Among devout progressives, progressive virtue has replaced good and progressive non-virtue has replaced evil. These different systems of virtue assignment are foreign and incompatible with each other. They coexist uneasily and won’t be at rest until one defeats the other.

Virtues Mural Sierra Vista Elementary

Virtues Mural – Sierra Vista Elementary (Photo credit: Edith OSB)

When assigning virtue, the less discriminating, whatever their worldview, conflate actions with individuals and even groups. For instance, say that Fred lied about something. Conflating that action with an individual, one would make a virtue assignment about Fred the individual: Fred lied, so he’s bad. Conflating that action with a group, one might think: Fred is a Yabbadabbadoobian, so they’re all bad. While the process of virtue assignment is universal, the dynamic changes as newthink takes hold. It changes, not just because the rules are different, but because the definitions of groups alter, as we’ll see later when I discuss newthink’s society metaphor.

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A Progressive Belief: Our Motives are Inherently Noble

Progressives tend to see their own motives as inherently noble.

The unconscious logic supporting this belief goes like this, starting from the “Human beings are inherently and transcendentally noble” branch of the newthink worldview tree:

• Human beings are inherently and transcendentally noble.
• Our motives are inherently noble.

 The unconscious logic branching out of this belief is:

• Because our intentions are virtuous, we will achieve virtuous results.
• We are incapable of traditional “evil” behavior.
• We are progressively virtuous.

 

Because they are inspired by their own presumably noble feelings and motives, newthinkers tend to feel infallible. They believe that humanity is inherently noble, so virtuous intentions will lead to virtuous results. They believe that their noble motives mean that they are incapable of traditional “evil” behavior. The traditional American belief that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions is foreign to them.

The belief that one’s motives are inherently noble causes close-mindedness. Newthinkers see themselves as freethinkers, but, typically, their self-image is the opposite of reality.

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