Reply To: Conspiracy theory spread

  • Whit Blauvelt

    November 27, 2023 at 10:30 pm


    With respect, McGilchrist is a psychiatrist. His books are an application of psychiatric, psychoanalytic and neuro-scientific theory to our current culture, including its politics. His central thesis is that there is a cultural contagion producing the same hyper-rational type of consciousness as typifies schizophrenics and those with right-hemisphere damage.

    My concern that my brother is in total denial of the evidence of the rise in global temperatures resulting from industrial emissions is not a failure of empathy. Nor do I believe that the R.D. Laing approach to schizophrenic treatment — regarding those displaying the symptoms as being perhaps more in touch with reality than the rest of us — is the approach to be recommended here. McGilchrist certainly doesn’t recommend that.

    If we are to study the fall of Rome, we must look at the Roman leadership, its politics. Given that McGilchrist sees our current civilization as close to a similar fall, we must look at our own leadership, our politics. One of the larger crises before world leadership is climate. That we have political factions throughout the Western world which rationalize that thousands of scientists, world-wide, are fabricating evidence of the climate threat in a well-coordinated conspiracy displays a serious psychological dysfunction. If McGilchrist’s hemispheric hypothesis is correct, the wide reception of this conspiracy theory regarding science should be analyzable through it. The cure for this psychological dysfunction may be what’s required, if we’re to improve our cultures’ political responsiveness to the crisis, and save civilization from falling because of increasingly bad weather. If we’re to work towards a cure, we must squarely face the disease.

    Do you lack all empathy for the hundreds of millions who will find their homelands uninhabitable within this century, if our actions fall short?