Glossary

BIZARRE OBJECT – a psychotic belief held by a group, such as Aryan supremacy. It is energized either by moral mania or by omnipotence. It is a product of fantasy, not experience with reality. Like a cartoon character, you can’t kill it.  it continues its mischief through generations.

THE DEFICIT – a bizarre object put together by Republicans through hyperbole. It must be differentiated from the deficit, a manageable economic problem.

ENVY – the angry feeling when another person possesses and enjoys something desirable; the envious impulse is to spoil/desecrate that which is good. Diagnostic of envy is the willingness to go down in flames with the spoiled and destroyed object. Melanie Klein’s Envy and Gratitude is a classic. Short, too.

ESSENTIALISM – metaphysics takes priority over experience. It is grandiose, claiming a man-made system can say what it all means. Essence precedes existence. An invariant is arrogance.

EXISTENTIALISM – reality is what is accessible to the five senses, PLUS whatever is intuited of the inner world and  corroborated by at least one other sane person.

HYPERBOLE – the term comes from the Greeks and indicates overreaching. Literally, it means “throwing beyond,” to go ballistic.

INVARIANT – a construct that is shared by two or more “sets.” For example, homosexuality and abortion come under the same moral condemnation. They both invite moral fury, which serves as an invariant.

MORAL MANIA – rides roughshod over reality, judging the world exclusively in terms of good and evil. It is an invariant and undergoes transformations.

OMNIPOTENCE – a delusion that one possesses powers superior to the facts of life. “When all else fails, read the instructions” is a relatively benign example of omnipotence in action.  Inserting a state’s governor/legislature into a woman’s reproductive decisions is omnipotence that is malignant.

PERVERSITY – destructive behavior with full knowledge aforethought.

PHARISEE – someone who claims moral superiority when he himself is without any morals. .

TRANSFORMATION – displays an invariant under various guises – for example, it transforms the invariant, moral mania, under the guise of abortion or the guise of homosexuality or that of the deficit. An invariant is thought of as a “deep structure” which gets transformed onto a surface structure, such as abortion, where it registers on the five senses.

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  1. Pingback: Moral mania and hyperbole | the melting pot

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