We few, we proud, we psychobloggers
I've noticed that the small but extraordinarily prolific and insightful group known as the psychobloggers (me, Dr. Sanity, Shrinkwrapped, Sigmund Carl & Alfred, and Dr. Helen) has gained some new additions: two, in fact.
One of them is not actually such a recent arrival to the blogosphere. But I guess I'm slow on the uptake; I just noticed him via this link from the Anchoress. He's Gagdad Bob (yes, of LGF comment fame) and his site is known as One Cosmos. Gagdad Bob (otherwise known as Dr. Robert Godwin, in his day job) turns out to be another mental health professional and former-leftist-turned-somewhat-to-the-right who, along with his alter ego "Petey" (physician, heal thyself!) started his blog back in October of 2005.
Bob writes here about his own change process (please read the whole thing):
[Back when I was a leftist] I was also completely ahistorical. Or worse, there was a sense in the 1960s and 1970s that history had labored for lo those many dark centuries to finally give birth to our enlightened generation. We were superior to all of the past benighted generations, including our clueless parents. There was no sense whatsoever that the extraordinary economic and personal freedom that began opening up at that particular time had had any cost whatsoever. If only all of the stupid and violent ideas of past generations were obliterated--ideas like war, sacrifice, capitalist greed, Western religion, etc.--the natural goodness of humans would bloom like a flower.
Of course, like all leftists I was economically illiterate--or innumerate. That's the problem with the Left, since Marxism in all its permuations is just bad literature, not economics. Like socialist Europe, I knew nothing about the creation of wealth. I just assumed it. The only problem was its distribution....
I also lacked gratitude. Again, somehow there was no understanding of the extraordinary sacrifices people had made in the past to make my unbelievably easy and pleasant life possible.
And then there's another (very different but still excellent) new psychoblogger: Stanley Renshon. His blog, with the simple, elegant, and exceedingly descriptive title "Political Psychology," is devoted to just that--political psychology, which happens to be his specialty. I've never studied political psychology formally, but it seems to me that it's what I've been writing about in so many of the posts on this blog, as well.
Renshon, however--unlike me--is not only highly trained in the discipline, it's his field of expertise. Just take a look at Renshon's biographical information; among his many impressive credentials is the fact that he is coordinator of the Interdisciplinary Program in the Psychology of Social and Political Behavior at CUNY.
On his blog, Renshon has posted an excellent series on the reaction of the Iraqi people to the US presence there (Parts I and II).
Here's an excerpt (once again, I suggest you read the whole thing--in this case, both whole things):
The post-war psychology of the Iraqi people reflects a profound case of ambivalence. Ambivalence reflects conflicted feelings, views that pull emotionally in opposite directions. When the pulls are roughly equal, as they were in the liberation/humiliation question it means that most people felt some of both. The central issue for Iraqis was the split between Iraqi nationalism and relief and appreciation of being out from under the murderous regime of Saddam Hussein. Each of those strong emotional currents pulled in direct directions.
On one hand Iraqis did feel “liberated,” yet they also recognized that their liberation wasn’t by their own hand but rather by an outsider about whom they felt ambivalent feelings, at best. The fact that they were not the authors of their own liberation produced a sense of shame and “humiliation.” They were both relieved and aggrieved.
So, on behalf of the other psychobloggers (who elected you, neo-neocon?) I want to extend a hearty welcome to Drs. Godwin and Renshon.