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Lack of control and illusory pattern perception

affinis's picture


affinis's picture
Submitted by affinis on

It’s an excellent read. Many worthwhile insights. In particular, the naming and dissection of “agency panic” is right on the mark. Though at points the text is a bit too relativist for my taste (the practical implications of that stance even appear to create a certain tension/conflict for Melley himself; but the analytical utility of such a perspective is clear as well). As an aside – regarding psychology, I abandoned the Laing (and Szasz) type position long ago (intellectualized notions that were fun to debate when I was an undergrad many years ago, but….).

Structure/forces might be difficult to recognize and name, especially when pervasive (e.g. IMO the implicit assumptions of neoliberalism have now saturated our thinking to a degree that renders many options invisible/unthinkable). But misidentifying the objects or forces requiring resistance – as is generally the case with CT – at best leads to useless flailing/loss of credibility, and at worst to destructive consequences.

On a tangentially related note, I see that Tamerlan Tsarnaev Was an Alex Jones Fan.

[As another aside – even though I don’t technically consider myself a Buddhist, my view of the “self” has been profoundly influenced by Buddhist philosophy (and to some extent Buddhist practice) since adolescence – I wonder if, for me, that has modified aspects of the “liberal individualism” worldview, which Melley argues is at the root of agency panic.]