Highlighted Comments on "The Cluster B Society"
Therapeutic culture, male-female archetypes, and the problem of psychopaths.
Last week, I premiered a short film, The Cluster B Society, which reveals how a strange new pattern of psychopathologies has deranged our institutions and plunged our public life into hysteria, narcissism, and moral theatrics—all in the name of “care.” The film hit 2 million views on Twitter and was featured on Jesse Watters’s Fox News program.
The Cluster B Society has sparked a number of interesting comments from Substack readers, some of which I share below, lightly edited for clarity.
Graham Cunningham writes:
I think perhaps the greatest degenerative element of our Western social psychology over the last 60 years has been the displacement of a mentality of “we are all sinners” by a narcissistic mentality of maximal “self-esteem.” Once you are encouraged to view yourself as axiomatically personally blameless, the next step is to look for someone or something else to blame for each and every one of your discontents. Re-cast your wonderful self as “victim” and then ask: Who needs to be cancelled?
Graham is right. The primary reason we are seeing the Cluster B Society is the collapse of authority, including, crucially, the collapse of religious authority. The therapeutic replacement is disastrously unprepared for governing a society. It is circular, one-dimensional, and incapable of imposing rational limits.
Rona Dinur writes that, in her experience working in left-wing activist milieux, the Cluster B traits are quite common:
Many organizations purporting to be about justice and positive goals are in reality led by highly disordered individuals and stirred by a mentality infected with disordered patterns of reasoning and emotion. These people gravitate toward positions of power and influence . . . they push unhinged agendas behind the scenes, without accountability. The wider public needs to get wiser and understand this dynamic. Just because someone claims to be fighting for justice, human rights, or charitable causes doesn’t mean that this is what’s actually happening.
R.E. Nichols reminds us that, while the film focuses on the consequences of “overly feminized” institutions, our society seems to have lost many of the redeeming qualities of the feminine archetype:
There are a number of traditionally feminine traits that our society lacks. Humility, patience, gentleness, kindness, mercy. Toxic femininity is what has taken over. I think of wicked queens and witches from fairy tales.
This is an important point that should be emphasized. Both the male and female archetypes contain a combination of good and bad traits. For example, men can serve as protectors who defend the vulnerable—or they can act as tyrants who exploit the weak for their own ends. The essential problem that we face in our institutions is an imbalance, not only between the masculine and the feminine but also between the healthy and the pathological.
Larry offers some thoughtful criticism and a reflection on how these personality traits replicate through social processes:
My approach would be to see the attacks on our society as the result of a lowering in emotional tone across the board, which triggers different behaviors depending on the exact line of experience of each person who succumbs to it. The emotional tone that is most dangerous is fear. One mechanism that can occur when a person is triggered is to attempt to adopt the behaviors of some prior “winning” entity. These behaviors, for the most part, mimic the personalities of dominant or winning personalities.
Rufo also fails to mention the psychopaths, which are the people who tend to be in the driver’s seat when it comes to pushing others down into fear and then providing these aberrant behavior models for their victims to embrace. Women should not be the target. The proper target is the psychopath, a personality type that has been adequately described by several researchers. And the [proper] handling for psychopaths does not involve annihilation or destruction. It does involve proper identification and some degree of restraint—physical if necessary—to prevent such personalities from infecting the general population with their insanity.
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