The psychology of leftists, according to Unabomber Ted Kaczynski:
- His feelings of inferiority are so ingrained that he cannot conceive of himself as individually strong and valuable. Hence the collectivism of the leftist.
- He can feel strong only as a member of a large organization or a mass movement with which he identifies himself
- Leftists of the over-socialized type drive for power has only one morally acceptable outlet – to impose their morality on everyone
Ted Kaczynski addresses leftism as a movement (he states that he uses “the term ‘leftism’ because we don’t know of any better words to designate the spectrum of related creeds that includes the feminist, gay rights, political correctness, etc., movements”) and analyzes the psychology of leftists, arguing that they are “True Believers in the sense of Eric Hoffer“ who participate in powerful social movements to compensate for their feelings of inferiority:
When someone interprets as derogatory almost anything that is said about him (or about groups with whom he identifies) we conclude that he has inferiority feelings or low self-esteem. This tendency is pronounced among minority rights advocates, whether or not they belong to the minority groups whose rights they defend. [However] the leftist is not typically the kind of person whose feelings of inferiority make him a braggart, an egotist, a bully, a self-promoter, a ruthless competitor. This kind of person has not wholly lost faith in himself. He has a deficit in his sense of power and self-worth, but he can still conceive of himself as having the capacity to be strong. But the leftist is too far gone for that. His feelings of inferiority are so ingrained that he cannot conceive of himself as individually strong and valuable. Hence the collectivism of the leftist. He can feel strong only as a member of a large organization or a mass movement with which he identifies himself.
In Kaczynski’s view, the nature of leftism is determined by the psychological consequences of “oversocialization“:
The moral code of our society is so demanding that no one can think, feel and act in a completely moral way … Some people are so highly socialized that the attempt to think, feel and act morally imposes a severe burden on them. In order to avoid feelings of guilt, they continually have to deceive themselves about their own motives and find moral explanations for feelings and actions that in reality have a non-moral origin. We use the term “oversocialized” to describe such people.
Because of the restrictions placed on their thoughts and behavior by their high level of socialization, many leftists of the over-socialized type cannot pursue power in the ways that other people do. For them the drive for power has only one morally acceptable outlet, and that is in the struggle to impose their morality on everyone
Theodore John Kaczynski (/kəˈzɪnski/; born May 22, 1942), also known as the Unabomber, is an American mathematician, anarchist and domestic terrorist. A mathematical prodigy, he abandoned a promising academic career in 1969, then between 1978 and 1995 killed 3 people, and injured 23 others, in a nationwide mail bombing campaign that targeted people involved with modern technology. In conjunction with the bombing campaign, he issued a wide-ranging social critique opposing industrialization and advancing a nature-centered form of anarchism
Watch ‘Manhunt: Unabomber’ series at Discovery every Tuesday.