he pervs are always with us.


“God, grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.  Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace; Taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is not as I would have it; Trusting that You will make all things right if I surrender to Your will; So that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with You forever in the next—Amen.”—Reinhold Niebuhr





“The negativism which Nietzsche falsely regards as the genius of Christianity is therefore really the Schopenhauerian Buddhistic variant of Christianity.”—Reinhold Niebuhr, in The Nature and Destiny of Man  (negativist, Buddhistic, and focused on the victims representing others’ destructive willfulness to themselves in a pragmatic fashion?  That sounds like “Taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is not as I would have it,” and, “Spirituality requires courageously changing what you can and serenely accepting what you can’t.”  Also, an unusual word that sure is used frequently in The Nature and Destiny of Man, is:


“I do not want the peace that passeth understanding.  I want the understanding which bringeth peace.”—Helen Keller






webpage about Hitler, A Born Soldier, says, “Hitler’s favorite writer during the war was the early 19th century philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer....  Hitler, like Thomas Mann, was greatly impressed by Schopenhauer’s book: The World as Will and Idea.  Hitler read the book over and over again during the war and was greatly influenced by Schopenhauer’s teaching.”  Another webpage, The Enigma of Hitler, from the Stormfront neo-Nazi group, says about him, “He could quote entire paragraphs of Schopenhauer from memory, and for a long time carried a pocked edition of Schopenhauer with him.  Nietzsche taught him much about the willpower.”


The Stanford webpage on Nietzsche says, “Wagner and Nietzsche shared an enthusiasm for Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche—who had been composing piano, choral and orchestral music since he was a teenager—admired Wagner for his musical genius and magnetic personality.  Wagner was exactly the age Nietzsche’s father would have been, and Wagner had also attended the University of Leipzig many years before. The Nietzsche-Wagner relationship was quasi-familial, sometimes-stormy, and it affected Nietzsche deeply: twenty years later, he would still be assessing Wagner’s cultural significance.”  Therefore, Schopenhauer shaped the thinking of all three super-Krauts, those most associated with the worldview known as “Wagnerian,” which, actually, is Schopenhauerian.

The title The World as Will and Idea, is usually translated as The World as Will and Representation.  If you’d read this book in the 19th century and you thought that someday it would inspire the Nazi government, you would have seemed way too whiny.  What this book is all about is taking aggressive WILLFULNESS as a given, and choosing to represent your own bad experiences to yourself as being as innocuous as possible.  Today, that would be called “cognitive therapy.”  In fact, both cognitive therapy and Schopenhauer’s philosophy were based on a Westernized version of Eastern religions such as Buddhism, one that would try to control the yin but not the yang.

Yet if you look at where that book would lead, you could see that it accepts the victimizers and corrects the victims.  Both Hitler’s hero Schopenhauer, and our cultural norms, would say that if aggressive people change their own aggressive thinking, we’re lucky, but if the victims don’t change their own unserene and uncourageous thinking, they’d be unfairly burdening others with their weakness and maladjustment.  Every society has its own conceptions of who has what personal rights and responsibilities.  A society would tend to insist on these, since if all were free to disagree with their societies’ homeostasis norms, a lot of problems wouldn’t get solved, and a lot of people would feel imposed upon by manipulative moralists.  It should be obvious how any society would treat those in it, who aren’t living up to the expectations of how people are supposed to deal with problems.  A society that forgave that would fall apart.  Therefore, victims who didn’t fit these expectations of personal response-ability would seem dangerous, as if they want to believe that they’re entitled to what they say they’re entitled to, and as if their insidious “victim-power” that you can’t disagree with without seeming villainous, is actually more dangerous than “honest” physical power that you’re free to disagree with.  Sure, that didn’t have to lead to genocide and attempts to conquer the world, but that would have to lead to targeting the victims of anything.

Schopenhauer described the German word translated as “Idea,” and sometimes translated asRepresentation,” Vorstellung, as an “exceedingly complicated physiological process in the brain of an animal, the result of which is the consciousness of a picture there,” what cognitive therapy would call an “outlook.”  While some cognitive therapy for depression aims to stop distorted thinking, limiting cognitive therapy to this would be unpragmatic in those situations where reality is unreasonable.  Feeling Good, by David D. Burns, MD, “The Clinically-Proven Drug-free Treatment for Depression” and copyright 1980,

says, “The problem-solving and coping techniques you learn will encompass every crisis in modern life, from minor irritations to major emotional collapse. These will include realistic problems, such as divorce, death, or failure, as well as those vague, chronic problems that seem to have no obvious external cause, such as low self-confidence, frustration, guilt, or apathy.”  This is neo-Buddhism.

What we have here, could be described as both “The World as Will and Representation,” and “Taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is not as I would have it,” both of which are synonymous with each other.  Schopenhauer called his ideal state of mind “sublime,” which is the same as an unconditional, spiritual transcendent serenity.  We’re simply supposed to accept that human aggressive tendencies are ineradicable, so the best that we could do is to choose to have what Schopenhauer called a “sublime” outlook toward them.  “God, grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference,” doesn’t necessarily mean, “Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace; Taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is not as I would have it,” but is necessarily that unconditional, all-or-nothing, and

If we don’t, then that could seem to be simply our SELF-WILLS expressing themselves.  Schopenhauer wrote, “Wrong through violence is not so ignominious for the perpetrator as wrong through cunning, because the former is evidence of physical strength, which in all circumstances powerfully impresses the human race.  The latter, on the other hand, by using the crooked way, betrays weakness, and at the same time degrades the perpetrator as a physical and moral being,” and, “The concept of good is divided into two subspecies, that of the directly present satisfaction of the will in each case, and that of its merely indirect satisfaction concerning the future, in other words, the agreeable and the useful.  The concept of the opposite, so long as we are speaking of beings without knowledge, is expressed by the word bad, more rarely and abstractly by the word evil, which therefore denotes everything that is not agreeable to the striving of the will in each case.”  We must be realistic enough to remember what the threshold of human endurance is.  Though Schopenhauer wrote, in The World as Will And Representation, that some wrote that his acceptance that pederasty exists all over the world implies a dangerous moral laxity, that serene acceptance of reality is a lot less dangerous than is this honoring of strength and distrusting of weakness that led to the main ideas of Nazism, as well as the current “We are all victims of victims,” thinking in self-help psychology.

(Nazi posters about the will, saying “Through military will to military strength,” “One battle, one will, one goal: Victory at any cost!,” and “National Socialism—the organized will of the nation,” along with a poster for the classic Nazi film Triumph of the Will)

Though to treat an awareness of right and wrong as scary, might seem stereotypically Nazi, you could also find this in plenty of modern psychology that’s afraid of manipulation.  As an “unidentified male” at a Wall Street party said in the CNN program Fall of the Fat Cats, which originally ran on October 18, 2008, said, “The fact is that the media has distorted and blown this out of proportion, because the media and the politicians are playing into people’s fears for their own self-serving purposes.”  Both these fears and the supposed fostering of them, would be the sort of WILLFULNESS that Schopenhauer considered to be ignominiously cunning.  Sure, we can’t prove this fostering, but since it would be cunning and crooked, we can’t afford to require that it be proven before we’d take it seriously, no presumed innocent until proven guilty here.  Chances are that some media figures and politicians do figure that the more dangerous Wall Street actually is, the more that their own careers as guardians against the danger, would benefit.  And while that statement might sound like what Wall Street would want us to believe, plenty of modern psychologists, too, would figure that self-empowerment self-respect and realism would mean facing whatever problems we’re helpless to change, just as that partier said we should face Wall Street.  Fears and the like would seem to serve the frightened people’s own self-serving purposes, though these fears wouldn’t really do them any good, so they’re self-defeating and they should try to put a stop to them.  Yang Buddhism would say that this isn’t unrealistic or unreasonable repression, since those who choose to serenely accept whatever they can’t change, could eradicate their own fears.  This doesn’t sound at all Nazi, but it treats aggression as being as untouchable, and weakness as being as suspect, as Nazism did.  If you took Nazi propaganda about the weak supposedly being crooked and cunning, and replaced such words with the word “manipulative,” you’d have something that sounds a lot like modern psychology.

Pat Buchanan, in a syndicated column in 1977, wrote, “...despite Hitler’s anti-Semitic and genocidal tendencies, he was an individual of great courage...  Hitler’s success was not based on his extraordinary gifts alone.  His genius was an intuitive sense of the mushiness, the character flaws, the weakness masquerading as morality that was in the hearts of the statesmen who stood in his path.”  The “defects of character” stressed by AA’s Big Book, resentment anger and fear in general, are the same as what Buchanan and Hitler meant by “character flaws,” i.e. not handling one’s own problems (whatever they may be) with enough stolid and self-reliant backbone.  “Taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is not as I would have it,” as well as, “Whatever your problem is, courageously change what you can and serenely accept what you can’t,” also define “character flaws” as supposed weakness masquerading as morality.

Niebuhr was a hell-raiser, before Stalinism made him fatalistic about human nature.  Yet if any organization preaches the Serenity Prayer at people, the final result would be the same, that self-reliant STRENGTH seems good, and weakness that tries to get persuasive strength from emotion and/or abstractions seems intolerably bad.  As the history of The AA School of Self-Help Psychology shows, Nazism, minus anti-Semitism and committing outrageous aggression, equals taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is not as you’d have it.

Something very vital is missing.  A brother of The Lawrence Welk Show’s tenor Joe Feeney, a priest named John Patrick, was found guilty in 2004 of sexually assaulting two boys.  One could say that since the Feeneys no doubt try to be as square as The Lawrence Welk Show, no matter how “nice” this square quality tries to look, its patriarchal roots would still entail that we must accept the strong dominating the weak.  Yet the theme of both The World as Will and Representation, and Niebuhr’s The Nature and Destiny of Man, would interpret that as that no matter how much anyone, including perfectionist squares, try to live up to certain moral ideals, if one has a pedophile’s brain, then he’ll probably feel compelled to offend.  Therefore, we all must serenely accept the strong dominating the weak, since this is an inevitable part of human nature.  Likewise, if someone has the brain of an addict, we’ll just have to accept that that’s reality.  Schopenhauer says nothing about whether pederasty occurs in those hunting-and-gathering societies that are especially cooperative or, like the Trobirand Islanders, especially free of restrictive sexual norms.

The biggest inspiration for The Nature and Destiny of Man, was the fact that Stalinism committed its atrocities despite the fact that it claimed to be fighting for what’s good.  The February 1, 1997 issue of the Maoist Internationalist Movement Notes, said, “MIM opposes all rape, including the rape of children, but we also oppose the bourgeoisie’s pretensions that child sexual abuse is a problem of a few deranged individuals, rather than a problem of a society which eroticizes powerlessness.”  Yet as the following says, pederasty, aimed at young teen boys so it doesn’t relish powerlessness as much as does much pedophilia, is found everywhere.  The problem isn’t in who has the most influence on our culture.  (And Mao’s regime were the ones who responded to the fact that greedy Britons had addicted many Chinese to opium, by executing the current addicts.  Yet, at least, that didn’t involve any excitement about the strong triumphing over the weak.)  François Furet’s The Passing of an Illusion, The Idea of Communism in the Twentieth Century says, “[Maoism] one-upped Stalinism, but as an illusion about an illusion.  It was like a child arriving at the store of the century’s ideologies after closing time...,” and such attributions of certain destructive behavior to sociological factors, is certainly childish.

This conception of who is or isn’t personally responsible for what, would look very different in a society that does have rampant depression, than in a society that doesn’t.  The Learning About Depression webpage on the Zoloft website, says, “If you have depression, this sad mood along with other symptoms can last weeks, months, or even years if not treated.  Depression isn’t a sign of weakness or a character flaw.  It’s a real medical condition, but there are ways to successfully treat depression....  Depressive disorders affect about 34 million American adults.”  It seems that the question is whether this consists of 34,000,000 rather severe character flaws, or 34,000,000 rather severe medical conditions.






Manic-Depressive Illness, Bipolar Disorders and Recurrent Depression, by Dr. Frederick K. Goodwin and Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison, says, in its chapter on personality differences, “Character has been defined as ‘personality evaluated’—that aspect of an individual which bears a moral stamp and reflects the person’s integrative and organizing functions.  The concept of character is employed less frequently in the United States than in Europe, although it is often used interchangeably with that of personality.”  Actually, the word character is used plenty in the United States, whether it be in comments on depression or from the likes of Pat Buchanan and Frank Buchman, to pass judgment on how integrated and organized are traumatized people.  After all, such judgments aren’t moralisticSomeone absolutely has to provide our society’s homeostasis, since things simply have to remain integrated and organized.

The homepage of the Mental Illness—What a Difference a Friend Makes website, by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, says, “An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older—about one in four adults—suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year.”  As the title suggests, this website is about getting the friends of the 26.2% of the American adult population, to support these people rather than stigmatizing them.  The ways in which one friend treats another, is one of the few sociological factors of this huge social problem, that we could honorably take seriously.  If we take the other sociological factors seriously, we could seem to be trying to manipulate like untermenschen, and/or to restrict the übermenschen.  Everyone knows that what’s at fault, is inside the millions of victims.

When you’ve seen ads and other guides that say things like this, you may have thought, “So how am I supposed to fit in with all this?  In order to produce that much depression, that society must accept a good deal of übermensch personal shortcomings.  Aggressive tendencies seem ineradicable.  An acceptance of aggressive and other selfish behavior, therefore, is realistic and mature.  We mustn’t be repressive or restrictive or controlling. Those who try to suppress such freedoms, look pretty scary.  Strength and risky action have exciting, dynamic appeals to them, etc.  The stronger you are, the more likely you are to have what’s exciting, pro-freedom, übermensch, red-blooded, self-reliant, etc., on your side.  It seems that we must fear the untermenschen and their victim-power, and mustn’t fear the übermenschen and their freedoms.  Yet the magnitude of this social problem, can’t just be brushed aside!

“In order to keep functioning despite that, this society must refuse to accept a good deal of untermensch personal shortcomings.  Just because the behavior that would naturally cause resentment anger and fear is ineradicable doesn’t mean that the warranted resentment anger and fear must be, or that we could afford not to eradicate such hurt feelings.  In each case, even the most sincere assertiveness reflects the assertive person’s SELF-WILL and strivings, so could be called manipulative, and, therefore, insidiously dangerous.  One can’t defend himself from such manipulation, without looking as if he’s re-victimizing the victims.  Whining looks very unappealing, etc.  Apropos of that norm, how much lowering of that unnaturally high rate of depression would seem centrist, and how much would seem radical?”  It’s pretty safe to say that there’s always an out, in that if the person who has the problem wants to be well-adjusted and non-passive, then she’ll see how what caused the problem is at least excusable, and how much she plays an active role.



The above quote from Helen Keller appeared in a message from the friend of a man who died from a drug overdose, which probably had something to do with the fact that his priest repeatedly molested him when he was a teen.  His aunt put The Serenity Prayer on his memorial website.  His friend obviously objected to this use of the peace that passeth understanding, to cope with something this horrible.  Yet the bottom line of what Schopenhauer wrote here is that no amount of understanding could stop pederasty.  Therefore, the only option that we really have is the peace that passeth understanding, that we represent the consequences of pederasty to ourselves as being as innocuous as we could.

We keep hearing that since addiction is a biological disease, we should be so understanding of addicts, including recovering addicts who relapse, that we treat them as if they’re basically not guilty by reason of insanity.  Dr. Mark Willenbring, on HBO’s special Addiction: Why Can’t They Just Stop, described addiction as, “wanting the wrong thing very, very badly.”  Therapy for sex addiction usually includes promiscuity to which one had habituated oneself, and predatorial perversions, which the affected person in no way chose to have.  In the case of the sexual predators, they could plead that malfunctions in their own brains had compelled them to attack.  Brainscans of sexual predators feeling cravings to attack, might show just as much compulsive activity as do brainscans of recovering addicts who’ve just seen things that remind them of their drugs of choice, and this makes them really crave it.  If this is the case, then if addicts plead that their own addictive cravings make them not responsible, others would have to say that therefore they’re just as irresponsible as are predators who act out their diseases.  Once the cravings take over, disaster could result, but that’s reality.

The appendix of The World as Will and Representation ends, “Finally, by expounding these paradoxical ideas, I wanted to grant to the professors of philosophy a small favor, for they are very disconcerted by the ever-increasing publicization of my philosophy which they so carefully concealed.  I have done so by giving them the opportunity of slandering me by saying that I defend and commend pederasty.”

So simply to say, “Thus the sense of beauty, which instinctively guides selection for sexual satisfaction, is led astray when it degenerates into a tendency to pederasty,” seemed too accepting of pedophilia.  This shows both how much those of that era had a “zero tolerance” toward pedophilia, and also how an acceptance of destructive behavior could legitimately be called relatively permissive.  “Taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is not as I would have it” certainly isn’t intended to defend and commend sinfulness, yet an attitude of “Oh, well, that’s human nature,” can permit sinfulness a lot more firmly than would moral relativism.  One is free to disagree with it, yet one who disagrees with “God, grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference....  Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace; Taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is not as I would have it,” would likely be accused of victimology, victimhood, pity-parties, melodrama, resentment, blame-finding, manipulative machinations, guilt-tripping, attempts to control, etc.

Niebuhr’s The Nature and Destiny of Man regards the doctrine of “justification by faith,” as far more realistic than the doctrine of “justification by works.”  “This doctrine of the ‘imputation of righteousness’ has always been offensive to moralistic interpreters of Christian faith.  They have made much of the non-moral character of such imputation.  But forgiveness, as a form of love which is beyond good and evil, is bound to be offensive to pure moralists.”  Yet plenty of Christians who certainly aren’t permissive, call John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” “The New Testament in a nutshell.”  The New Testament in a nutshell doesn’t say anything about people taking moral responsibility, only their getting a get-out-of-jail-free card.

More pertinently, justification by faith is more realistic.  “But even when the definition of the human situation is more Biblical than classical, (as in the case of Augustine) the proposed solution of the situation defies the limits of human possibilities, as the Bible conceives them.  It seeks for a place in history where sin is transcended and only finiteness remains.  In seeking for that place it runs the danger of falling prey to the sin of spiritual pride and of illustrating in its own life that the final human pretension is made most successfully under the aegis of a religion which has overcome human pretension in principle.”  Just as with what Schopenhauer wrote about pervs, it may seem that this fatalistic acceptance of the way that this sinful world ineradicably is, is permissive, but it’s actually realistic.



Dr. Burns, in Feeling Good, lists the cognitive distortions of modern Western depression as: All-or-Nothing Thinking, Overgeneralization, Mental Filter, Disqualifying the Positive, Jumping to Conclusions, Magnification [of what’s wrong with yourself or right with others] or Minimization [of what’s wrong with others or right with yourself], Emotional Reasoning, Should Statements, Labeling and Mislabeling, and Personalization, which Dr. Burns defines as, “You see yourself as the cause of some negative external event which in fact you were not primarily responsible for.”  Naturally, since you absolutely can change yourself, absolutely can’t change anyone else, absolutely must accept that others’ harmful choices simply are the way that human nature is, and absolutely must focus your attention on dealing with your own problem as well as you can.

If you don’t, then it’s your weakness that could be labeled a “character flaw.”  Since the only thing that really matters is how effectively you’re dealing with whatever your realities are, you’d be amazed by the degree to which how powerless you are, determines how your actions or inactions are labeled, as successful or failing, etc.  In a society without rampant depression, though, this sort of personal responsibility wouldn’t mean this level of self-blame.



What we end up with is along the lines of what William James described, when he wrote that Americans tend to classify people as either redbloods or mollycoddles.  The strong seem impressive in all circumstances, and the weak, unless they just shut up and take care of their own problems, seem ignominiously cunning, more horrifying than violence.  All their talk about bad and evil seems to be just an expression of their WILLS, their victimology, victimhood, pity-parties, melodrama, resentment, blame-finding, manipulative machinations, guilt-tripping, attempts to control, etc. This sort of character defect involves mollycoddle ignominious cunning, which might be harder to defend oneself against than would be open and honest aggression, and is insidious rather than explicitly WILLFUL, so an untermensch-phobia could become popular.  Whether the weak are labeled as mollycoddles or ignominiously cunning untermenschen, the bottom line is that their claims that their rights had been violated, are actually a manifestation of hidden human selfishness.


 he Tragedy of Victim Correction as a Panacea~



As the above says, this is Al-Anon approved literature,  for Alateen.  You couldn’t make this stuff up!  Persuading people to think like this works best with Groupthink, but if you, on your own, must deal with a devastating reality in order to fit in and function, then you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do, and our self-responsible cultural norms (“Everybody knows that The Serenity Prayer is good.”) would provide the Groupthink.  As Addiction: Why Can’t They Just Stop?, by John Hoffman and Susan Froemke, says, in a survey of addicts’ family members, “...the words that everyone used were powerfully negative: ‘devastating,’ ‘abusive,’ ‘horrible’.”  Yet no concerns that would interfere with the victims’ self-responsibility could matter, since in the long run, caring about them would only mollycoddle and weaken the people who’d have to take care of themselves optimally.  Victim-blaming is incentives-based.  George Vincent wrote, “To survive growing up in an alcoholic family is second only to surviving the Holocaust,” but the big difference is that despite the fears that addicts’ kids feel, they aren’t really in mortal danger, so Buddhists, etc., could say that these fears are only illusions.  Victim correction as a panacea could be called chicken soup for the soul, unconditional serenity and courage.  If that’s stooping to the lowest of the low, then sometimes we’ve got to stoop to the lowest of the low in order to make sure that problems get solved by those who have the most reliable motivation to solve them.  Moral relativism becomes amoral absolutism; “Your righteous objections are only your opinion!” becomes, “Your righteous objections are only your self-righteous, resentful, manipulative, controlling, unpragmatic, whiny, judgmental... opinion, and you simply can’t afford those disgraceful victim attitudes!”

Yet though it might seem only natural to want to feel better by practicing Buddhistic self-discipline and self-re-education, and this doesn’t involve any medication, this is hardly natural.  In the words of Ayn Rand, “We the Living” could very much object to this sort of de rigueur coping with helplessness, Stoically!  Yet though a Marxist mentality of, “Love your brother,” is supposed to degrade the natural human spirit, a requisite mentality of, “As long as it’s your problem, ‘self-responsibility’ means courageously changing whatever you can and serenely accepting whatever you can’t,” mustn’t, or you might have problems coping with reality.  (Everybody loves The Serenity Prayer, right?)  In general, we do revere self-responsibility for one’s own welfare, and don’t revere self-responsibility for how one’s own choices affect others.  Victim-power seems to be the tyranny of helplessness, though, “But look at how helpless I am about what I did!” is the ultimate tyranny of helplessness.

In general, this sort of self-help is cognitive therapy, the modern version of behaviorist psychology, so this can be given the title of behaviorist B. F. Skinner’s classic book, Beyond Freedom & Dignity, pragmatic in such a way that’s far more important than such abstract niceties.  This represents what is good, what most motivates people to do what must get done, which is what those who have the problems should want.  If, instead, the advisee insisted on drawing his own honest well-founded conclusions about what was happening to him, he’d be told that he’d better realize how important it is that he think in whatever ways would maximize his chances of self-reliant success in solving such big problems.  What else could Alateen members, etc., be told, “Go right ahead and fail to deal with your problems adequately.”?

This self-help logic could be used interchangeably for all sorts of problems, including exploitative lovers of every variety, unemployment, and literally even cancer and getting up the mettle to fight it.  Responsibility for one’s own choices means blame, naiveté, and controlling (As Niebuhr wrote in Moral Man and Immoral Society, “The power necessary to control the wicked is the danger, not the wicked,” and chances are that most of what contributes to our very unnaturally high rate of depression, isn’t even truly malicious.), while response-ability for one’s own problems means self-reliance, realism, and freedom.  Claiming, “You caused your own problem,” makes Victim Correction as a Panacea sound the most justifiable, while, “You’ve simply got to take response-ability for your own welfare, your own problem,” is the fallback position, since all problems must get taken care of.  The self-help formula for conflict resolution is for general public consumption, and it works.  If such sophistry weren’t so predictable and absolutist, just think of how often people could: lose faith, play the victim role, not do what needs to get done (by those most motivated to do it), etc.  Like Sarah Palin, this has both the appeal of going rogue, and the appeal of conformity.  America’s latest, most trendy, patriotic song begins, “If tomorrow all the things were gone, I’d worked for all my life.  And I had to start again, with just my children and my wife.”

In theory this means self-responsibility, self-reliance, gutsiness, anti-controlling, good coping skills, realism, conventionality, respectability, etc., but in practice this means that nothing except, “Can I change this?” including the most basic morality and concern for the weak, can really seem to matter.  Sure, you could recognize that destructive sinfulness is destructive sinfulness, but in the end you’d have to forgive it, or you’d be maladjusted and suffer the consequences of this weakness.  (“YOU VILL ENJOY!”)  Frank Buchman, leader of the Oxford Groups, the club on which AA and then Al-Anon was based and until recently was called “Moral Re-Armament,” (Sinclair Lewis’ novel It Can’t Happen Here, from 1935, includes Buchman in its list of currently trendy “Messiahs.”) said, “D’you know Heinrich Himmler?...  Say, you ought to know Heinrich.  He’s a great lad....  [Hitler] lets us have house-parties whenever we like.”  Anti-Nazi British travel-writer and journalist Robert Byron, who got a chance to observe Nazism up close, wrote in his diary, “Himmler apparently dotes on the Oxford Group [How cute.] and writes to its English members discussing their troubles with them,” so he was their Dear Abby.  This was the same Himmler who said, in his speech on October 4, 1943 to the SS Group Leaders in Poznan, “Most of you know what it means to see a hundred corpses lying together, five hundred, or a thousand.  To have stuck it out and at the same time—apart from exceptions caused by human weakness—to have remained decent fellows, that is what has made us hard,” but that personal strength concerned one of the Nazi practices that Buchman didn’t like.  It’s pretty obvious what the “Dear Abby” version of that would advise those in trouble, who are members of an honored group of people who are working on their own resolute and impassively accepting attitudes.  Anything less than, “Happiness is an inside job,” (in general), or, “Things happen.  It’s what we do when they happen that’s key,” (in general), would have been too weak-spirited and blaming for Himmler, so he was their perfect “Dear Abby.”  The only suggestions that Himmler would have made in a Dear Abby letter, including one to an addict’s family member, would have been, (1) courageously change what you can, and, (2) serenely accept what you can’t, since anything else would have mollycoddled WEAKNESS.

Himmler Logic, after all, would focus on whether the person with the problem seems to have a weak (as in literally WEAK) character, and would be quick to interpret inadequacies in problem-solving as weaknesses of character, so the weak seem contemptible, blameworthy, and, possibly, insidiously dangerous.  This self-responsible self-help approach is also like the “exemplary dualism” of the Militia Movement, like classifying people as redbloods or mollycoddles, or as übermenschen or untermenschen; this preaches that those who seem to have (literally) strong characters are the allies of decent people so are at least forgiven, and those who seem to have (literally) weak characters are the enemies of decent people.  This leads to some predictable distortions in our conceptions of right, wrong, shame, etc.  Take the Nazi might-makes-right ethos, remove the racism and war crimes, and you’d have what Western culture considers to be the only conception of personal responsibility that works, which is what Hitler’s Wagner’s and Nietzsche’s main inspiration, Schopenhauer, actually wrote about.

This was the original middle-class going rogue with conformity.  As It Can’t Happen Here says, “Why, there’s no country in the world that can get more hysterical—yes, or more obsequious—than America,” and devotion to anything that would imply, “Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace; Taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is not as I would have it,” would require obsequiousness of Biblical proportions.  The question of whether “it” can happen here, all depends on whether or not “it” includes the aspects of Nazism and Himmler that Buchman’s formula for living didn’t include; if not, “it” happens every day.  The “it” in It Can’t Happen Here included merely an ambiguous, covert, attitude-of-gratitude racism (“It was understood... that all Jews of all conditions were frequently to sound their ecstasy at having found in America a sanctuary, after their deplorable experiences among the prejudices of Europe....  The allegiance of all such Negroes as had the sense to be content with safety and good pay instead of ridiculous yearnings for personal integrity Sarason got by being photographed shaking hands with the celebrated Negro Fundamentalist clergyman, the Reverend Dr. Alexander Nibbs, and through the highly publicized Sarason Prizes for the Negroes with the largest families, the fastest time in floor-scrubbing, and the longest periods of work without taking a vacation.”), so the “it” in modern America could include merely an ambiguous, covert, attitude-of-gratitude form of the strong horrifying the weak.  A classic cliché expression is, “There is no alternative,” to the power dynamics of our economy, and another way to say this is that there is no alternative besides dictatorship and/or Zimbabwe-style economic failures, so every time that these power dynamics horrify us, we should be grateful that we’re not instead dealing with dictators’ outrages, and/or economic failures including massive unemployment, irrespective of any indefinable abstractions such as integrity.  If you’re in a Wagnerian conflict, and you simply must deal with your realities, then you simply must deal with them as Schopenhauer prescribed.  The psychology of, “You don’t want to think/act like a weak person, do you?” could be called a form of neo-Nazism.



Yet, in a society with rampant depression, one could just as easily call that “pragmatic logic”: the weak courageously change what they can (themselves) and serenely accept what they can’t (everyone else), and what one deserves is completely irrelevant.  You can’t change your enemies, except for one.  Yet the limits of the threshold of human endurance are a fact, and if we don’t deal with it, it will deal with us.

“Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace; Taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is not as I would have it,” is all about what the weak should do, believe, and take responsibility for.  Even sophisticated psychology tends to classify people, aspects of human nature, desires, etc., into categories that are very German, Freudian: übermensch means ineradicable so at least forgivable, while untermensch means true shamefulness, suspiciousness.  (And, of course, treating this moral bankruptcy as necessary for realism seems a lot better than does treating this as admirably open-minded and gutsy.)  These Oxford members no doubt tended to take his ideas about coping skills, to heart, since they wanted self-improvement that would build fiber.  After all, we must accept that if you win, you win, and if you lose, you lose.  That self-responsible self-motivation is also how, and why, market discipline works; we must discipline even perfectly innocent failures.  The more that the weakness of the weak is blamed (What exactly is to blame when someone doesn’t protect himself well enough to succeed?): the more that they’d be motivated to take responsibility for taking care of themselves, the more hope that they’d have that they could change what causes their problems (themselves), and the more that we could all have faith in this red-blooded worldview.   Prejudice against the weak means an optimistic and patriotic faith in The System, and focusing on how the weak could hopefully solve their own problems if only they made themselves worthy, changed what they can.   Übermensch imperfection such as sinfulness would have to seem at least forgivable, while untermensch supposed imperfection would have to seem to be an insidious (as in “the hidden lie,” and, “We are all victims of victims.”) expression of weak people’s SELF-WILLS.  Dictator or no dictator, just about all of those in any society must define “personal responsibility” in basically the same predictable way and truly believe it, or different people would play by different rules, and plenty of people wouldn’t take the rules to heart when fortitude would be most necessary.  No doubt plenty of Oxford members who weren’t Himmler’s advisees, could have been just as easily, since they were just as free of whiny resentment; all “good” members followed the same school of psychology.



As far as self-help is concerned, the bottom line is that you’re simply going to have to deal with your own problem whatever it may be, and expectations that one simply deal with normal problems are interchangeable with expectations that one simply deal with an addict in the family.  “Personal strength,” “strength of character,” etc., tend to mean literally strength, transcending “weak” but natural and warranted feelings.  As Langdon Gilkey’s On Niebuhr says, “Thus transcendence is perhaps the key word in Niebuhr...”  For anyone in trouble, this would be: self-help, self-responsibility, self-care, self-protection, self-actualization, self-empowerment, etc.  As any conservative social analysis would say, you, that teen who looks like Archie, etc. could think productively, or think counterproductively (though if you’re the problem person, then probably we’ll just have to accept your counterproductive thinking, since people aren’t perfect and we mustn’t try to re-engineer human nature).  The effects of “Archie’s” dad’s actions are short-term (since others are motivated to resolve them), but the effects of Archie’s reactions are long-term (since others aren’t).  Twisting reality in “positive” ways is realistic, since it increases people’s chances of success.  Archie’s non-addicted parent (who’d really have to have a Gelassenheit “productive” attitude, what with all that she must do to make her family as normal as possible), has just as much autonomy as does the typical adult, since addicts’ power over others is physical, not authoritarian.

In general, motivation is everything; irrespective of moral responsibility, addiction or lack of it, etc., the only personal responsibility that we could count on is one in which those held responsible for problems are those motivated to take responsibility.  Charles P. Pierce’s Idiot America, How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free, says, “The [conservative] movement swallowed whole the quack doctrine of supply-side economics, adopting it with almost comically ferocious zeal,” and self-help, also, must follow this pattern, since in a gutsy and as-uncompromising-as-reality fashion, it holds that no matter how much others are responsible for your problems: if you win you win and if you lose you lose, that’s what’s realistic (what most reliably works), and that stupidity is a virtue in the name of freedom.  (We all know where intellectualism leads.)  Idiot America also says about a Cuban-American refugee who worked with AIDS patients in the early 1980s, “The situation reminded her a little of the way things had worked in Cuba, where the government would tell you something that you knew from your own experience could not possibly be true, yet people seemed willing to believe that it was, and to act upon that belief, until the manufactured reality displaced the actual one [which is also the classic definition of brainwashing, washing the brain of “bad attitudes”].  She felt she was working in parallel worlds.  There was the world of the disease, and of the people who had it; and then there was another world, in which everything was a symbol and in which her patients stood for something,” and one could say the same thing about this sort of self-help, where there’s the world of what people like Archie must actually deal with, and then there’s the world of what they symbolize: our duties regarding the never-ending virtues and necessity of response-ability for one’s own welfare, which shape what we should believe irrespective of what we’ve learned from experience, e.g. that Archie looks at himself.  (Marxism applies how cultural conditioning works, to shaping “the ideal society,” right?)



It’s amazing which moral norms could (i.e. must) seem less important than whether or not the person with the problem is doing what’s necessary for him to overcome it successfully.  That seems good; “whining” seems bad.  What’s most important in practical terms, might go very much against what we’d like to believe is important.  Banalities get things done.  Realism is the ultimate mandate.  This is the sort of Populism that H. G. Wells called “magnificent stupid honesty,” adamantly anti-manipulative-morality, so this sort of supposed populism would adamantly accept what causes 15% of the adult population to suffer serious depressive disorders in any given year.  (This “honesty” often has big unintended consequences, but could seem all-important.)  “Stop doing that, since it’s judgmental and controlling!” would probably make you at least hesitant, but, “Stop doing that, since that sort of thing has been proven to contribute to our very unnaturally high rates of depression and anxiety disorders!” would probably seem judgmental and controlling to you.  If this weakness-anathematizing conception of personal responsibility weren’t that absolutist, plenty of problems wouldn’t get resolved well enough, yet the fact that this is that absolutist, is pretty scary.  (Yet, the fact that so many stupid and reckless people got such important jobs on Wall Street, shows that even this very costly way of motivating winning could fail in very important ways, though they could always be excused as “inevitable human imperfection.”)  Sure, on Larry King Live on August 11, 2009, economist Ben Stein said, “Big government is a terrifying subject” (i.e. the kind that you could openly and proudly get terrified about), but you don’t dare say, “Big depression is a terrifying subject,” even if you’ve been there, or, “Big Wall Street greed is a terrifying subject.”  Also, on an interview on a Christian radio network, Stein said, “...science leads you to killing people.”  Magical thinking like this could seem more acceptable to economists, since they could always figure that consequences don’t really matter, since those who have the problems are always motivated to solve them; that “works.”  Self-help’s conception of which freedoms, self-determination, personal rights and responsibilities, etc., do, and which don’t, seem to matter, sounds like something right out of The Communist Manifesto (and certainly plenty of others in the 19th Century noticed this, too), “...in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom—Free Trade,” and since someone must take responsibility for the consequences of adversarialism, “self-responsibility” must mean that in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered forms of personal responsibility, we have set up that single, unconscionable personal responsibility—response-ability for one’s own problems.  (A better word than freedom might be right, i.e., “I have a right to expect something better!”  “No, the only right that you have is to become a winner by protecting yourself better, with proud self-reliance!”)





In fact, though we’re supposed to take addictive behavior as a given since addiction is a disease, the law certainly doesn’t treat addicts as not guilty by reason of insanity, one can’t be brought out of real legal insanity through “hitting bottom” or an intervention.  Addicts’ family members, who can’t change them, must minimize their responsibility and magnify the responsibility of their own reactions, but the law, which can change most addicts with whom it comes into conflict, doesn’t have to minimize and magnify.  As the publishers’ notes of Gene M. Heyman’s Addiction: A Disorder of Choice says, “He shows that the causes of addiction, its control, and its potential reduction are the same as the causes, control, and reduction of all voluntary behavior.”  (Certainly you could imagine what would result if someone said at an Al-Anon meeting, “But when he relapsed, it was because he got angry and chose to, not because he saw something that triggered a compulsion to drink!  That means that my objections are legitimate!” or even, “But the person who caused this problem, whom I can’t change, isn’t addicted!”)  Yet whether or not addiction is involved, you could always find some sophistry to make courageously changing what you can and serenely accepting what you can’t seem legitimate, and ignore any facts that would disrupt this pragmatism; form follows function.  This, also, could be called “pragmatic logic,” applicable to any realities that contribute to our rampant depression.  Both an acceptance of an addiction, and an acceptance of aggressive human nature, are fatalism about unrestrained desires, what the pleasure centers of our brains make us do, etc.  What works for AA is what works for addicts, i.e. for addictive personalities, which would single-mindedly insist on: excuses to do what one pleases, stopping righteous indignation and “controlling,” etc.  The more that we serenely accept übermensch, active, imperfections, the more that we can’t afford to accept the untermensch, passive, imperfections of those hurt by them, and who, therefore, must deal with them in order not to be maladjusted maladaptive and dysfunctional.  If this wasn’t as simplistic and resolute as Reagan, their awareness that they’re victims would leave them both too weak by feeling helplessness and making unrealistic expectations, and too strong in that they could insidiously get the benefits of victimhood.



Your realities are whatever they are, and either you deal with them or you suffer the consequences.  NOTHING CAN LIMIT HOW MUCH ALL THIS COULD AFFECT YOU.  To paraphrase a Catholic riddle: “What’s the difference between a victim corrector and a terrorist?  You can negotiate with a terrorist.”  As pioneering behaviorist John B. Watson wrote, “The raw fact that you, as a psychologist, if you are to remain scientific, must describe the behavior of man in no other terms than those you use in describing the behavior of the ox you slaughter, drove and still drives many timid souls away from behaviorism,” and the only real difference between behaviorism and cognitive therapy is that it credits humanity with self-control abilities that animals don’t have, such as the ability to choose to serenely accept hardship and sinfulness; training people who are motivated to be trained is a lot easier.  (This self-control would benefit the person who serenely accepts the hardship, sinfulness, etc. that he’s helpless to change, whether or not the person who caused the problem is addicted. )  As Paul Krugman wrote, “The truth is that good old-fashioned demand-side macroeconomics has a lot to offer in our current predicament—but its defenders lack all conviction, while its critics are filled with a passionate intensity,” and one could say the same for debates between those who stress personal responsibility for the consequences of one’s own choices, which could usually be called “blaming,” “guilt-based,” “controlling,” etc., and the gutsy people who stress red-blooded personal response-ability for one’s own welfare, which could always be called “self-help,” “self-empowerment,” “realism,” etc.  As the Great Crash of 2008 shows, some things will never change.


THE GREATEST RISK IS NOT TAKING ONE, AIG ad from 2001, so if you tried to restrain this you’d seem profoundly: weak, whiny, defeatist, controlling, unrealistic, counterproductive, opinionated, manipulative, negative, moralistic, etc.  Sure, post-scandal AIG CEO Edward M. Liddy said, “I have seen the good side of capitalism.  But over the past six months, since agreeing to take the reins of AIG and reviewing how it was run in prior years, I have also seen instances of the bad side of capitalism,” but one could also call the gutsiness of AIG in its PIG era, “character-building,” giving plenty of backbone and fortitude.




Sure, Rush Limbaugh is more unpopular than Bill Ayers or Jeremiah Wright, and conservatives could be afraid that such aggressiveness looks “ugly” to the public.  Yet, especially if you’re in big trouble, if you thought like Limbaugh and the other attack politicians then you’d face up to your problems more serenely and courageously, and we dare not care how profoundly ugly is coaching Archie, etc., into having attitudes of, “I’ve stopped blaming others and I’m looking at myself!”  If Himmler had sent you some “Dear Abby” letters that didn’t mention the Nazi practices that Buchman didn’t like, the advice that the letters would have given would have helped you become more resilient, courageous, self-responsible, realistic, and abiding by Gelassenheit (a fatalism that teaches that willfulness leads to self-defeating frustration if you’re helpless to get what you want or need), so you would have ended up with a stronger character.  Victim Correction as a Panacea, is Gelassenheit and similar all-encompassing attitudes about physical response-ability for one’s own problems, exactly what a society with rampant depression, anxiety disorders, etc., would most need.

Sure, Niebuhr wrote that he was shocked about Buchman’s admiration of Hitler, though The Serenity Prayer summarizes the book that most shaped Hitler’s thinking, Schopenhauer’s The World as Will and Representation:   As with a panacea, we must see the entire world in terms of the ineradicable SELF-WILLS of the sinful, the ignominious and surreptitious SELF-WILLS of victims who don’t represent their own bad experiences to themselves as being as innocuous as possible (“Those manipulative whiners want to believe that someone owes them something!”), and, therefore, our responsibility to do this.  Niebuhr wrote that Buchman’s faith that dictators, business tycoons, etc., should use their power to push Christianity, vapidly ignored how realpolitik would affect the outcome, “The slightest acquaintance with the history of Christian thought on the problem of the relation of the absolute demands of the gospel to the relativities of politics and economics would prove its childishness,” but the same could also be said about applying a simplistic sloganeering spirituality to the situations that contribute to our rampant depression.  It isn’t possible to get any more vapid than,“Serenely accept everything that happens to you in a society with rampant depression, that you’re helpless to change.”

The wave of the future, the “new economy” of self-responsibility, requires that we want to be responsible members of society, take response-ability for our own welfare.  With that approach you’d be more likely to succeed, and that’s good, maybe irreplaceable.  Your natural objections to this would be counterproductive (though you’re free not to hold others personally responsible by these standards, as long as you hold yourself responsible by them).  The same would go for minimizing any “whiny” lessons we might learn from the Great Crash of 2008.  If we can’t change wretched excesses on Wall Street but can change victims’ not fixing the consequences adequately, then either we correct the victims or we’ll have a dysfunctional society.  Since we simply must solve our problems, our perceptions must be distorted in order to fit in with this; there is no alternative.



(Cartoon generated by “Build Your Own Meat”)


Nothing can drive anyone away from this sort of cognitive therapy, just as nothing can drive Archie away from his unconditional and immoderate, contrived serenity and courage, though Gelassenheit is very unnatural social engineering.  In self-help books about codependency, stories in which the problem spouses are addicted are absolutely interchangeable with stories in which the problem spouses simply choose to act like buttheads, since in both cases the victims are equally unable to change the victimizers’ behavior.  Whatever you must do to take care of yourself, is whatever you must do to take care of yourself, so you must look at yourself when you’re looking for things that you could correct in order to solve your own problems.  Sure, the Financial Times on March 10, 2009 quoted Bernie Sucher, the head of Merrill Lynch operations in Moscow, as saying, “Our world is broken—and I honestly don’t know what is going to replace it.  The compass by which we steered as Americans has gone.  The last time I ever saw anything like this, in terms of the sense of disorientation and loss, was among my friends [in Russia] when the Soviet Union broke up,” but Americans have been culturally conditioned to serenely accept economic difficulties, and not to accept supposedly manipulative whining about them.  Those with plenty of “personal strength” would tolerate Wall Street Darwinism and its effects.  Archie could “get on with life” since folk wisdom, common sense, says that that’s what everyone must do; everyone could “stick it out.”  (On June 19, 2009 [just before the threatened bloodshed began, “On 9/11 we were all Americans, and tonight we’re all Iranians.”], when Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that they were going to crack down on the protests of the election fraud, he said, “If the political elite want to ignore the law or break the law then they are taking wrong measures...,” so dogmatists of all stripes excite their followers by condemning the supposed intellectual elite.)  Archie, and others who are powerless, couldn’t afford the dysfunctionality of feeling disoriented or lost.  Realism requires that this self-responsibility be the lynchpin, so any concern that would conflict with this must be shrugged off.  (Of course, this self-response-ability must include the same self-justifying, fatalistic, conformist, simplistic, “upbeat,” absolutist, unconditional, predictable, illusions that got our economy into such trouble; after all, people will do only what they feel motivated to do.)  We all must adjust to and deal with reality, and others determine what is reality for you, which tends to mean that the strong (whether or not they’re addicted) determine what is reality for the weak.  Resiliency is everything.




Wall Street, August 23, 1929,  “As I wrote last March, those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholders’ equity, myself especially, are in a state of shocked disbelief….  That’s precisely the reason I was shocked, because I had been going for 40 years or more with very considerable evidence that it was working exceptionally well.”—Alan Greenspan, testimony before Congress, October 23, 2008



That’s why self-help in general tends to admire Al-Anon, The Serenity Prayer, etc., and this self-reliant ethos.  The only thing that really matters is what you do and don’t have the power to change.  This is how the ideal American faces his own problems.  Since Bill Wilson, co-founder of AA who wrote much of their Big Book, was a stockbroker around the time of the Great Depression, one could call this The Great Depression Stockbroker’s Approach to Self-Responsibility; we’d have to be firm with those victims and whiners who object to productivity that involves strong character, such as “creative destruction,” and, “Your problem is your problem.”  The economist who, just after the Great Depression, came up with the concept of creative destruction, Joseph Schumpeter, also wrote during the Depression that recovery from it, “is sound only if it [comes] of itself.  For any revival which is merely due to artificial stimulus leaves part of the work of depressions undone and adds, to an undigested remnant of maladjustment, new maladjustment of its own which has to be liquidated in turn, thus threatening business with another [worse] crisis ahead.”  Daniel Gross’ Dumb Money says that Maestro Alan Greenspan, in an interview, “had an abstract fervor for the glories and potentials of creative destruction,” and, in the abstract, saying that alkies’ teens, etc., should have an attitude of, “I’ve stopped blaming others and I’m looking at myself!” sounds just as proudly productive.




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 “He dare not come in company for fear he should be misused, disgraced, overshoot himself in gesture or speeches, or be sick; he thinks every man observes him, aims at him, derides him, owes him malice.”—Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy, written in Elizabethan England, before the victim-self-blaming cultural norms replaced this attributing helplessness to others, with attributing it to one’s own supposed inadequacies in taking care of himself.


But above all, the young, healthy boy must also learn to suffer blows”—Hitler, Mein Kampf







This could seem pro-freedom, since:

Since helpless isn’t tyranny, expecting people to serenely accept whatever they can’t change, even in a society with rampant depression, could still seem very pro-freedom.

 In fact, this could seem necessary for freedom, since the only other alternative would be not to take care of your own problems well enough, to try to control others (including those who’d qualify as “sinful”), etc.

The Fine Art of Propaganda, by Alfred McClung Lee and Elizabeth Briant Lee, quotes Hitler’s Mein Kampf as saying, “A lie is believed because of the unconditional and insolent inflexibility with which it is propagated and because it takes advantage of the sentimental and extreme sympathies of the masses.”  It should be obvious to anyone that the problems of the victims of alcoholic parents (or anything comparable) aren’t inside of themselves.  Yet the sentimental and extreme sympathies of Americans tend to insist that one take personal response-ability for his own welfare.  If he doesn’t, he could be insolently and inflexibly accused of having “pity parties” and the like.  A stolid self-reliance with self-empowerment simply seems good, while passivity simply seems bad.

With all cognitive therapy, the more impressionable that one is, the more that he could learn to think pragmatically.  Al-Anon’s approach was based on AA’s approach, in which the more impressionable a recovering alkie is, the more that he could get rid of his pathological thoughts.  But Schopenhauer’s focus on how we represent the world to ourselves, wasn’t about getting rid of pathological thoughts.

Just imagine what it would look like if cognitive therapy gave equal time to re-engineering any aspect of human nature that might give us problems:

If you’re overpowered, you might think that power does matter.  His having more power than you, is what determined the outcome. Yet if you act as if this fact does matter, you could seem to be playing the victim role, manipulatively using victim-power, self-defeatingly acting passive, etc.

Sure, the law doesn’t simply accept alkies’ willfulness as if they’re not guilty by reason of insanity, but alkies’ family members are to have exactly that acceptance toward them.  Therefore, their family members, including their kids, should try to represent their own experiences to themselves as stoutheartedly as possible.  If they don’t, their refusal to fit in with this would be treated as if it’s their ignominiously weak, possibly cunning, WILLS expecting the world to be as they’d have it.  And since this would apply equally to any situation, including alkies’ kids dealing with life with the alkies, this is the world as will and representation.  Telling alkies’ normal kids to look at themselves rather than blame others, doesn’t seem any different than would telling manipulative or hypochondriac blame-finders to do that.



The following is one example of what Schopenhauer regarded to be “the world as will,” that since so many men throughout history have been pedophiles, this is just one of those imperfections that we must take as a given.  In a chapter near the end, he wrote, “Thus the sense of beauty, which instinctively guides selection for sexual satisfaction, is led astray when it degenerates into a tendency to pederasty.”  In an appendix to that chapter, he wrote the following.

Schopenhauer was also very willing to take as a given, more literal predatorialism, such as, “But the futility and fruitlessness of the struggle of the whole phenomenon are more readily grasped in the simple and easily observable life of animals.  The variety and multiplicity of the organizations, the ingenuity of the means by which each is adapted to its element and to its prey, here contrast clearly with the absence of any lasting final aim.  Instead of this, we see only momentary gratification, fleeting pleasure conditioned by wants, much and long suffering, constant struggle, bellum omnium, everything a hunter and everything hunted, pressure, want, need, and anxiety, shrieking and howling; and this goes on in saecula saeculorum, or until once again the crust of the planet breaks,” and, “This universal conflict is to be seen most clearly in the animal kingdom....  But the most glaring example of this kind is afforded by the bulldog ant of Australia, for when it is cut in two, a battle begins between the head and the tail.  The head attacks the tail with its teeth, and the tail defends itself bravely by stinging the head.”

Yet this is what “Taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is not as I would have it,” must mean, to varying degrees, depending on how severe the sinfulness is.  As the following says, “Expel nature with a pitchfork, she still comes back.”  If this means pedophilia, then that’s the tendency that we must take as a given.  Sure, we could do our best to stop the actual molestations and rapes, but we’d still have to accept the aggressive tendencies.  Many women and children have suddenly found their lives to be thrown into chaos and desperation, when they suddenly find out that the women’s husbands were pedophiles, and, therefore, the rest of the family simply must flee at all costs.  This desperation would be characterized as the liberated approach, since the women are free of obligations that they remain good little wives.  Therapists who try to lower the likelihood of each pedophile offending again, must think about the measures that the public must take to protect themselves, in terms of whether treating all pedophiles as risks might make some of them not want to try to control themselves.  Sure, the needs of those hurt by this, to have more sane lives, could be called ineradicable, but they don’t have the power to effect their wills, while the sinners do have the power to effect theirs.

The following gives another example of just how much one must accept, in order to have a fatalistic acceptance of human nature.  It also shows that the “zero tolerance” attitude that we now have toward pedophilia is nothing new.  Some excuse the enabling of the pedo-priests, by saying that until recently many people didn’t realize how harmful pedophilia is.  Though Schopenhauer didn’t write anything about the harm done, to say, “pederasty appears to be a monstrosity, not merely contrary to nature, but in the highest degree repulsive and abominable,” certainly indicates that it wasn’t thought of as just another breaking of sexual morality.  (Of course, the Catholic hierarchy could always say that they could be more forgiving than that, since their spirituality transcended the willfulness of, “That’s a monstrosity, in the highest degree repulsive and abominable.”  Pious people don’t use strong words like that.)



Considered in itself, pederasty appears to be a monstrosity, not merely contrary to nature, but in the highest degree repulsive and abominable; it seems an act to which only a thoroughly perverse, distorted, and degenerate nature could at any time descend, and which would be repeated in quite isolated cases at most.  But if we turn to experience, we find the opposite; we see this vice fully in vogue and frequently practiced at all times and in all countries of the world, in spite of its detestable nature.  We all know that it was generally widespread among the Greeks and Romans, and was publicly admitted and practiced unabashed.  All the authors of antiquity give more than abundant proof of this.  In particular, the poets one and all are full of this topic; not even the respectable Virgil is an exception (Eclogue 2).  It is ascribed even to the poets of remote antiquity, to Orpheus (who was torn to pieces for it by the Maenads), to Thamyris, and even to the gods themselves.  The philosophers also speak much more of this love than of the love of women; in particular, Plato seems to know of hardly any other, and likewise the Stoics, who mention it as worthy of the sage.  (Stobaeus, Eclog. eth., bk. II, c. 7.)  In the Symposium, Plato even mentions to the credit of Socrates, as an unexampled act of heroism, that he scorned Alcibiades who offered himself to him for the purpose.  In Xenophon’s Memorabilia, Socrates speaks of pederasty as a thing blameless and even praiseworthy.  (Stobaeus, Florilegium, Vol. I, p. 57.)  Likewise in the Memorabilia (Bk. I, cap. 3, § 8), where Socrates warns of the dangers of love, he speaks so exclusively of love of boys that one would imagine there were no women at all.  Even Aristotle (Politics, ii, 9) speaks of pederasty as of a usual thing, without censuring it.  He mentions that it was held in public esteem by the Celts, that the Cretans and their laws countenanced it as a means against overpopulation, and he recounts (c. 10) the male love-affair of Philolaus the legislator, and so on.  Even Cicero says: Apud Graecos opprobrio juit adolescentibus, si amatores non haberent.  [“Among the Greeks it was regarded as disgraceful for youths not to have lovers.”]  Here in general there is no need of proofs for well-informed readers; they can recall them by the hundred, for with the ancients everything is full of it.  But even among less cultured peoples, particularly the Gauls, the vice was very much in vogue.  If we turn to Asia, we see all the countries of that continent permeated with the vice from the earliest times down to the present day, and likewise with no special attempt to conceal it; Hindus and Chinese, no less than the peoples of Islam, whose poets also we find much more concerned with love of boys than with love of women; for example in Sadi’s Gulistan the book “On Love” speaks exclusively of the former.  Even to the Hebrews this vice was not unknown, for the Old and New Testaments mention it as punishable.  Finally, in Christian Europe religion, legislation, and public opinion have had to oppose it with all their force.  In the Middle Ages it was everywhere a capital offense; in France it was punishable even in the sixteenth century by burning at the stake, and in England, even up to about 1830, the death penalty for it was rigorously carried out; the punishment now is deportation for life.  Such strong measures therefore were needed to put a stop to the vice; indeed, they were remarkably successful, yet they did not by any means succeed in exterminating it.  On the contrary, it slinks around at all times and in all places, in all countries and among all classes, under the veil of the deepest secrecy; and it often comes to light where least expected.  Even in earlier centuries it was no different, in spite of all the death penalties.  The mentions of and allusions to it in the works of all those times are evidence of this.  If we realize all this, and think it over carefully, we see pederasty appearing at all times and in all countries in a way very far removed from that which we had at first presupposed, when we considered it merely in itself, and hence a priori.  Thus the universal nature and persistent ineradicability of the thing show that it arises in some way from human nature itself; since for this reason alone could it inevitably appear always and everywhere, as a proof of the saying:

Naturam expelles furca, tamen usque recurret.  [“Expel nature with a pitchfork, she still comes back.” [Horace, Epist. i, 10, 24. Jr.]

Therefore we cannot possibly escape this conclusion if we intend to proceed openly and honestly.











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Cancer Victims Corrected Too

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Out of the Same Mold as the Great Crash of 2008

Message for Intellectuals in the Islamic World

Candace Newmaker’s Experience

Breaking Important Confidences for Your Own Good

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Cigarette Industry and Victim Correction

Niebuhr’s Ideas on Our Nature and Destiny

Herbal Experiences for Women

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