TLP Biopsy Thread
#1
Remember The Last Psychiatrist? The blog that used the word 'narcissism' a lot and really wanted self conscious people with good intentions looking to become better social people to judge themselves and feel really bad? Let's talk about him.

This would be an autopsy thread, but he apparently just came back recently. I haven't checked in, but if any of you have feel free to update us if there's anything new and of interest.

I've spelled out where I'm going in the first line, no need to drag this out. I think that TLP was a decent and for some people good or needed phenomena in that he spurred a lot of introspection and internal development of people. Engaging with him could be mentally fruitful. But I also think that as an influence/teacher he is someone who it's not just good to, but necessary to challenge and move beyond. If you actually take his thoughts, challenges, accusations, and at times more or less baseless moral hysterics seriously you'll just collapse into a black hole of self recrimination. As a friend of mine put it several times in discussions of this figure back in the day, the kind of person would worry about being a narcissist can't really be one. An actual one would if anything find the thought kind of pleasing/flattering.

If you're reading something like TLP and are anxious about if you're a good enough person I would say you are a kind of conscientious elite among humanity. You do have the capacity to be pushed to even greater heights relative to where you are. AnD maybe some harsh prodding could be good for that. BUT I believe that if not tempered by a bit of perspective and awareness towards The Dark Masses and some self sympathy it again just collapses. TLP can say it's not his job to police the whole world, he's got a particular audience, fair. But the whole project strikes me as a bit anarcho-tyrannical. Pop-psych declaring war upon the thoughtful and caring while ignoring that most of the human race gives so little of a fuck that they're completely deaf to the suggestion they should DO BETTER.

Sorry if this is hard to gauge because you lack the history of the subject. Let me try to catch you up. TLP was the "narcissism" blogger. Narcissism most basically defined as building and favouring a pleasing image of yourself over the reality of how you engage with and make an impact upon the world. Act one way, but know you're really not like that. Act self consciously in alignment with how you want to or think you ought to be. Etc. All very normal human stuff. But someone with a sufficiently developed inner life and a sense things aren't quite right in life can really be made sore over poking of these issues. Again, maybe some people grew through greater awareness of their behaviours, blind spots, habits, etc.

I feel like maybe I did, but I would not consider the man an essential or good influence upon myself directly. In the sense of things he personally wrote. To me he was a spurring force. Nothing he wrote I consider lastingly useful to my understanding of humanity or myself. But the spurring led me to things I think served me far better. And mental/personal development is really more about motion than the right answers. So perhaps a very good thing, for me, that he existed.

That's my encounter with him, but I am perhaps an outlier. I only have the anecdote of my own experience. And I am inclined to doubt his quality as an influence upon the internet. He offers nothing you can really put to good use personally. He admits several times that his patients rarely if ever get any better. All of his personal advice whenever given (sparingly) amounts to touching grass and nothing thinking so much because that's a trait of dirty narcissistic chuds. I think it's the great weakness and crime of 21st century psychs that they can't acknowledge massive areas of genuine human grievance so they all become corrupt shitlib moralist cops telling you to suppress your soul for the sake of civility. In the 20th century they had the decency to believe circumstances could and should be better, even if that mostly took the form of communism.

I forget who it was, doesn't matter as they're all the same. I read some twitter gen-x remorseful troll goblin's substack post about being a good fucking person. And it was just an eclectic blunderbuss blast of random personal attacks paired with vague accusations of moral failure. I was reading this, perfectly comfortable and aware of the baselessness and desperate cruelty of the thing, then I realised it was familiar and I felt like I already had this guy's number because I was just reading TLP again. I hadn't thought of the guy in a long time, then this was what brought him to mind. He was kind of like the boss goblin of the mental dungeon all of these freaks live in. And because of that I'm glad to have encountered him. I feel like the experience made me stronger.

Sorry about the lack of media or links in this post. Lots of things I remember, not many I've found. Actually I just went and dug up one for your benefit. The substack post mentioned above.

https://eggreport.substack.com/p/how-to-...cial-media

[Image: image.png]

Look. He's a Garfield fan. I don't need to read it again. I know he's human garbage.
#2
[Image: glengarry-glen-ross-coffee-is-for-closer...ldwin.webp]
"No, no, no! This should be about Anthony Banning Chastity!"

"Remember The Last Psychiatrist?", now that's a good question! Does anyone remember the Beatles, after all? Time moves quickly every time: those twelve hours between japanese porn sessions are what your parents used to call "life", and what you call a waste. "But Bransle, we are talking about TLP's blog, and you are once more on a tangent about life?", well, ain't life everywhere? Grab the rum: in fact, grab two bottles, just to make sure.

You read TLP's blog seeking for something YOU can put into good use. See what YOU made me do here? Three times I had to write that word "YOU" on this paragraph. Now, four. Oh, fuck! Let's go for an exercise on your end: replace that word with an "I", just to check how much "me, me, me" surrounds every "you, you, you" word. "But this is ridiculous, what is supposed to be your point?": well, I wish you sleep well tonight, but this is exactly how people see you. This ridiculous thing is not anything else than who you are to others. And trust me: when talking about yourself, I would rather take "the others" word about you than your own, no matter (in fact, specially because) how close you are to yourself. I don't think you're lying: but I don't think you know anything either.

Narcissism. You said that word first: I didn't say it. Can it even be avoided? Well, who isn't a narcissist nowadays? Apologies in advance, but judging by the little I know about you: your friends are most likely narcissists, your wife is most likely a narcissist, your sons will grow up to be narcissists and your parents were the largest generation of narcissists in human history, and they told their kids that narcissism was good and to be celebrated, and now here all of you are. Reading this post and angry and sad about it. "I may be angry, quite rightly, but I am not sad!", you say as if convincing me would change anything. I am never going to tell you the sentence you want to hear most: "it's not your fault". But ever since that damn clock hit 12 and we entered First of January year Two Thousand we are told we are the protagonists of a world of adventure we didn't even to get out and seek for ourselves. At age 25, our hair begins to fall off: we realize that bald people have fallen out of the silver screen since the 90s, and suddenly we feel that the world owes us. Then we become bitter, and time passes (I told you the beginning of this wasn't a pointless tangent), and we're bitter at 45, and by then it's all over. "When will be my turn to be a hero?" Has everyone taught you what to do at by then? "Well, first, I will jack it to porn. Then I will think what to buy to fill the void."

But we all see the faults in the world. Your representative in Congress receives a full folder and a hundred phonecalls every day telling him what's wrong with the world. "Taxes are too high", "rich people do whatever they want", can't say I don't sympathise. "Communists are destroying this country!", a tad more creative, but nothing I didn't know. Do you know what your representative in Congress is gonna do about it? Of course you know, is yet another thing you scream into your computer: if a man paid to listen to you isn't gonna listen, why do you think anyone else would? Truth is, seeing what is wrong with the world is easy: just go outside. Or scroll through Facebook. But seeing what is wrong about yourself is also easy. The problem is: you yourself will make damn sure you never do so.

You want some advise? What about this. Call your mother. Take the whole day off to do so if you need it. You do not give a hoot about any of this, nor anything you have to tell her, but it doesn't matter: she does. And once you understand this, your time as a padawan may begin.

And, afterwards, open yet another bottle of rum. We're gonna be here for a while.
#3
Because I mentioned his new pseudonym Edward Teach in the other thread, I feel it incumbent on me to describe his two works Sadly, Porn and (to a lesser extent) Watch What You Hear. For those who were around for the slow demise of his original blog, he had mentioned the development of what he called "the porn book"; years of radio silence followed, and nobody had really mentioned the book. He had first published Watch What You Hear: Penelope's Dream of Twenty Geese in 2020, but it was in 2021 when Sadly, Porn was released, and an implicit confirmation was made that TLP was the author ("It is customary in these introductions to thank the people who assisted in the work, but this is not the kind of project that permits outside help. You have to be alone", in reference to the Alone handle used in the TLP blog). Watch What You Hear was originally supposed to be a footnote/chapter/mix of the two in Sadly, Porn, but was released individually. Because the latter has a greater length, I will discuss it here first and make a latter post about WWYH.

The style and structure of Sadly, Porn is the most noticeable part of the text, something that the reader becomes aware of in time. First, the book begins with the regular conversational second-person method of writing, except it goes on for 700 pages this time (at least, for my digital copy). However, this is interrupted with an erotica cuckold story written by TLP himself. This is not the only time in Sadly Porn where TLP creates a piece of fiction and uses it as a rhetorical example. The footnotes of the text are longer than the actual body, being themselves a sort of individual blog-post tying into the point at hand. The length of these footnotes can vary, but some can go upwards of fifteen pages or more in length. I cannot help but compare this to DFW, a figure who has the shared ambivalent fixation of TLP and Lolgo. What this entails is up to the posters, but my guess is that there is a generational component involved here. TLP had said originally on his blog circa 2009 that he had never read his work, and later said this in 2012

Quote:Name me one contemporary fiction writer who required his college training to be a writer, and if you say David Foster Wallace I swear to god I'm going to pumpkin your house.  I think the only reason The New Yorker keeps shoving him down my throat is because he-- the guy, not his work-- is an academic's aspirational fantasy...mild mannered writing professor by day, brooding and non-balding antihero by night.

If he still hasn't to this day, I would be very surprised.
Assuming that this design choice was intentional, it is supposed to summon a feeling of frustration in the reader. This is his explanation:

Quote:“But I can’t follow your book, why can't you write more clearly?” I typed it, what the hell more do you want? Audiobook? But you didn't mean it literally. You never mean anything literally. Try it. You can't. Never mind all that: how do you experience your frustration with the book? Answer: As if I owed you a debt. When Tarkovsky sent Stalker to the Soviet censors for approval, and they came back with the complaint that it was too slow paced and dull, he told them, “it needs to be slower and duller, so people have time to leave.” I would have published this in 4pt font if I could, the irony is sometimes I had to write in 4pt font to avoid the surveilling eyes of Athenians who sat next to me on transports.


Due to its length, there is a difficulty here in making the text succinct: works of literature like Du Maurier's Rebecca, Nathaniel Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter, Charles Dicken's A Christmas Story and Oedipus Rex are mentioned, but always frequently in connection to another point (a dice roll all of its own, where Fifty Shades of Grey is held in connection to generational suicide rates, the repetition of the Faust myth as a failure to be a Don Juan, etc etc). Coupled with all of these is the main reference text, which is Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War. I have not read Thucydides yet, proving a point of his about primary sources, so any explanation here would be shortsighted. From what I can gather, the arguments that are made are comparable with Rousseau's First Discourse: "Until then the Romans had been content to practice virtue; all was lost when they began to study it". A similar reasoning is made here in respect to people — also termed "media-addicted hominids" by TLP in the beginning — today: the ability to act, the ability to use imagination erotically/non-erotically, and the means of living life in general are utterly destroyed. It could be a product of social decline, the mental pathologies of our age, or a select set of media institutions. TLP himself would likely create a rambling ~250pg. work against me for reducing it to something as simple as institutions, but it is difficult to state otherwise.

The distinction between omnipotent and omniscient power is brought into discussion often in SP, where the omniscient power of the Oracle in Oedipus Rex has an immense power over Oedipus. There is a curious phenomenon supposed by TLP, where in the presence of omniscient power, each accede to it without effort. With respect to the points made above about the ability to act and the ability to imagine, it is through one's cession to the omniscient person or omniscient power that these abilities are hampered. You can then understand why the subject of pornography is the main focus, because other than the use of secondary sources in academia, this is the most explicit formulation of omniscience: the creators in the industry of pornography understand your fantasies better than you do, because they were created by TV first etc etc, so when you rely on pornography you no longer are forced to try imagining anything at all.

Quote:The suppression of the imagination came first and porn was the inevitable and much welcome defense against its loss, even as it could help suppress it further...[few pages later; putting multiple passages in one quote box for compression purposes] Gay porn and hetero porn found on the same porn site predict similar reactive=consumer psychology, brand loyalty, comfort in the group:the desire to be lead. That the images are gay or straight is only relevant to you, and will become less so as the early childhood polymorphous perversity becomes a normalized social requirement of a system that gives you what everybody else wants 

The discussion of pornography in the book is never just a discussion, and extends into another part of the social fabric, it is a manifestation of omniscient power (which is likened to a tyranny), and the bizarre cuckold fantasy is the most explicit formulation of what pornography is: observing the habits of someone practicing their own fantasy, and modeling your pleasure off of it. Cuckoldry is no incidental mention, and it is frequently repeated in the text alongside problems of infidelity. The individual psychology that TLP sports does not mention narcissism, but replaces it with discussions on the aforementioned concepts above, rage, and envy.

I think Anthony had posted a YouTube figure who had created videos on the subject of narcissism, and the commenters were all women who would write these vociferous comments about how x person in their childhood was a narcissist, y person in a relationship was a narcissist too, you get the point. Despite the quirks of TLP's writing still being present in the text, I do believe he is aware that people would consume his content for the sole purpose of ascribing the traits to someone else. For this reason, the book takes an a directly oppositional tone to whoever reads it, and tries to dismantle the facade that's in place. Rage of course is a mainstay of literature on narcissism, and is explicitly mentioned by TLP in his Forensic Trends: Psychiatric and Behavioral Issues presentation (the one that doxxed him, still around on YouTube): rage is a consequence of narcissistic injury, observed in the once topical example of Middle Eastern honor killings. Envy, which is borrowed from Aristotle's Rhetoric, is different from a regular display of jealousy, where jealousy is a feeling of pain when wanting what someone else has, and envy is pain not from wanting what the other person has, but pain knowing that they are the one that has it. Though this is not directly attributable to the problem of narcissism, intuition suggests that the phenomenon of envy would be of great use in TLP's analysis.

I am unsure what to think of this work, even though it has been more than a year since reading it. As with the rest of TLP's work, most of it is centered around what he thinks his common readership would think, and therefore formats all of his discussion in that light; the result is that he believes his reader is more or less a fossilized mind that believes capitalism is the root of all issues, patriarchy is real, and that pornography is liberating. This is a definite group to be found in Internet circles, but the chances of them reading Sadly, Porn (or anything at all) is low. The result is that he spends his time attempting to defuse the potential internal monologue arguments a person could make, and spends less time detailing an exact account of what he believes. He attempts to do a more overt explanation of his views through an entirely fictitious source called Confirmative Assent, but there is still something to be desired here. The result is that Sadly, Porn is an intensely conflicted work. 

I will try to expand on this post with other details relating to this work and WWYH, but for the meantime I wanted to write a short summary of the text down for those unfamiliar, then perhaps answer some questions about it.
#4
I believe TLP's notoriety mostly came from his peculiar style of caustic and presumptuous analysis applied to other annoying things like feminism and celebrities. Fundamentally he doesn't say anything that different from the rest of psychoanalysis, as far as I can tell.

Neuroticism is simply the historically evolved result of living herded together in a cage. It is not an unnatural byproduct, nor a result of being alienated from one's "true self" or real desires - it is the real form that a person's desires take as they are whittled down into a herd creature. The operation of normie psychoanalysis/psychologizing is to redirect one's desires back to within the confines of the cage: "See, this is what you really desired all along, you are a narcissist, you hate your father, you want recognition, etc." It can not refine or elevate anything, it can only offer more bad conscience. If it doesn't do this, one's desires might start to lead away from the herd, where they can form their own reality, which would probably be threatening rather than wholesome chungus.

This is why it always proceeds like a kind of moralistic interrogation, by telling people what they really desire, shrinking everything down and making the world small. Of course most people's worlds are in fact small and petty, and it is easy enough to point out that they are heavily neurotic, that they obsess over garbage, that their personality is a confused mish-mash of affectations, and so on. Most are content to live and die this way. There's just not much you can do with this particular information, and it certainly should not be turned into the foundation of a whole cosmology as it is in psychoanalysis. It can be useful for explaining how most people are boring retards but that's about it. If you make bad conscience into a "worldview" you end up like TLP.
#5
great post @turnip

Quote:It can not refine or elevate anything, it can only offer more bad conscience. If it doesn't do this, one's desires might start to lead away from the herd, where they can form their own reality, which would probably be threatening rather than wholesome chungus.

This evokes an opportunity:
1. quench the memetic appetite for TLP-esque content on the internet. GPT may be required for scalability.
2. unlike TLP, set readers up for eventual transcendence of their petty issues
3. receive a society with more interesting individuals in it

"eventual transcendence" in this case means exposing the audience to some ideas that can serve as a way out of the neurotic strugglefuck in their head. Simple uncontroversial stuff just to bootstrap their potential until they can leave wholesome chungus behind. For example the Faustian instincts can be partially incarnate in acceptable forms like "nerding/geeking out" or "needing open spaces, getting off the grid!" This is more likely to spark the creation of a unique soul than wallowing in a digital longhouse.


note: "The secret to transcending your insecurities and inconsistencies is loving Hitler"

If you go on youtube you'll find another variety of expert narcissism/psychopathy hunters, but of a more extroverted orientation. Some of the phenomenology (e.g. glowing-eyes) attested to in the thumbnails of videos is clearly reminiscent of werewolves and vampires. Contemporary hybristophilia under atheist cultural tyranny is rationed only the half-denied romanticism of faggot serial killers, when these romantic sweethearts should be stalking their local sensitive young man and investigating him for lycanthropic anomalies.
#6
(07-03-2023, 12:25 PM)JohnTrent Wrote:
Quote:“But I can’t follow your book, why can't you write more clearly?” I typed it, what the hell more do you want? Audiobook? But you didn't mean it literally. You never mean anything literally. Try it. You can't. Never mind all that: how do you experience your frustration with the book? Answer: As if I owed you a debt. When Tarkovsky sent Stalker to the Soviet censors for approval, and they came back with the complaint that it was too slow paced and dull, he told them, “it needs to be slower and duller, so people have time to leave.” I would have published this in 4pt font if I could, the irony is sometimes I had to write in 4pt font to avoid the surveilling eyes of Athenians who sat next to me on transports.

I just want to make a sort of general point on psychology/psychiatry here, maybe applies somewhat to this guy in general. Yes, how is there not a debt owed when this guy is basically a state-sponsored personal problem solver who goes out of his way to market himself as exceptionally good and relevant and charges you money for a book? Maybe this isn't what he meant here. If he didn't want to be misread he shouldn't be such a faggot. But I believe he very much wants to be.

(07-03-2023, 02:10 PM)turnip Wrote: I believe TLP's notoriety mostly came from his peculiar style of caustic and presumptuous analysis applied to other annoying things like feminism and celebrities. Fundamentally he doesn't say anything that different from the rest of psychoanalysis, as far as I can tell.

If he were just doing this he'd be fun and fine. But again, where I think the trouble comes in is when he starts making the most pointed attacks he can think of towards whoever's receptive, because he wants to get personal, but can only get a certain kind of eyes on his work. If he just attacked assholes from a distance he can't close because of their own closed off nature that'd be great fun. And justified.


Quote:Neuroticism is simply the historically evolved result of living herded together in a cage. It is not an unnatural byproduct, nor a result of being alienated from one's "true self" or real desires - it is the real form that a person's desires take as they are whittled down into a herd creature. The operation of normie psychoanalysis/psychologizing is to redirect one's desires back to within the confines of the cage: "See, this is what you really desired all along, you are a narcissist, you hate your father, you want recognition, etc." It can not refine or elevate anything, it can only offer more bad conscience. If it doesn't do this, one's desires might start to lead away from the herd, where they can form their own reality, which would probably be threatening rather than wholesome chungus.

I don't know if I find this satisfying. Proximity to others isn't a sufficient cause. It's the ways people tend to behave within that proximity. Behaviours which do bring about alienation, frustrated desires, etc. You are right that we should be mad about the cage, but that doesn't make all of the rest necessarily wrong. It just makes them symptoms downstream from problems with more causative power. And if we could resolve these things within the proximity we share we'd probably be better off. See Japan. Still neurotic and frustrating as a society, but far healthier than our own.

If we were to acknowledge the need to address personal frustrations within our cluttered and crowded world and honestly wanted to fix them with executive power we could do a lot without having to enact TND global anarchy pirate century.

Quote:This is why it always proceeds like a kind of moralistic interrogation, by telling people what they really desire, shrinking everything down and making the world small. Of course most people's worlds are in fact small and petty, and it is easy enough to point out that they are heavily neurotic, that they obsess over garbage, that their personality is a confused mish-mash of affectations, and so on. Most are content to live and die this way. There's just not much you can do with this particular information, and it certainly should not be turned into the foundation of a whole cosmology as it is in psychoanalysis. It can be useful for explaining how most people are boring retards but that's about it. If you make bad conscience into a "worldview" you end up like TLP.

I would say I agree with all of this. Sort of repeating myself here now but I think it should be the point of any discussion of psychology. That psychology/psychiatry is a field which studies symptoms, and dishonestly at that, and absolutely refuses to discuss causes in any kind of honest way.

As I've said elsewhere, I remember my experience with psychs as a deeply depressed/unhappy student being a fixation on brain chemistry and an insistence that all causes were internal to me and meaningless. I feel like the psych paradigm kind of has and hasn't moved beyond that. Everyone gets drugs. But you can also talk about fake causes like how late capitalism is making you sad or whatever. The moment you touch a real problem I imagine these people still just clam up on you. Every psych seems to be too invested in the status quo to be trusted. And yes political leftism is how I'd define the status quo. Radical communists are just ahead of the curve a little.
#7
(07-04-2023, 12:56 AM)anthony Wrote: Yes, how is there not a debt owed when this guy is basically a state-sponsored personal problem solver who goes out of his way to market himself as exceptionally good and relevant and charges you money for a book? Maybe this isn't what he meant here. If he didn't want to be misread he shouldn't be such a faggot. But I believe he very much wants to be.

Agreed. I was planning on commenting something in a similar light, which is that this "debt" is a self-created part of his image. There are certain aspects of TLP's thought that personally interest me, but the persona that is in use here demeans its worth. One thing that I alluded to near the end of my post was about the lack of exactitude: the effort of browbeating the imagined reader trumps anything else in the writing process. There are two specific contributions by TLP that have a more candid approach, which is his posts on Seroquel and the Forensic Psychiatry presentation.



The Seroquel series of blogposts is what you would expect from someone in the field, and similarly so for the presentation, but TLP divests himself from his online persona in the video — if I recall the history correctly, he did not practice OpSec and would tell colleagues about his blog, but I also don't think he was expecting his fans to find an audio recording of this lecture (there is another one about pedophilia at the same conference that presumably wasn't recorded, one must wonder what was said). Nothing characteristic of his writing is present here: because he is with colleagues, he reveals his name, has a hurried and unprepared cadence, and elaborates on basic principles for the assistance of those listening. One in particular that I still find worthwhile is the notion that personality disorders evolve, which apparently does not provoke interest for others in the field: as explained early in the video, the criteria in the DSM for narcissists is true for a milieu du siècle man in the 20th C., but not so for the man of 2009. One could consider it a kind of historicist psychology (sidenote: perhaps if placed in better hands, this could be placed in comparison to Spengler, how mental pathology manifests in Springtime, Sunset, Pseudomorphosis). It might appear like a truism, but it is certainly richer than explanations reducing all thoughts/motives/emotions to neurochemical reactions.

One tangent before I finish this post — and start another sometime soon — is that the historicist explanation above seems to be fully discarded in Sadly, Porn: it appears as if TLP has some fundamental ideas about how the human mind functions regardless of the century, and never seeks to place distinction among those centuries: X Figure 1 said Y-Word, X Figure 2 said Y-Word as well, therefore both are operating on the same psychological logic of Z Concept (e.g. Latent Narcissistic Rage) — pair this with frequent repetition of "return of the repressed" and you'll have the standard TLP cultural diagnosis. Because there is an connection drawn between Athens and the present time, it is merely assumed that works like Sophocles' Oedipus Rex are proof of his Porno Thesis, and that most of the statements (and the implicit logic of those statements) made around the time are applicable to the media & porn addicted mind. This, too, is paired with comparisons to the 19th C. in specific, but there isn't an established connection between these selected time-periods beyond infidelity + issues involving desire/power + possible social crisis at stake.

This is apparently his understanding of history now:
Quote:you can learn a lot from history, not because history repeats or rhymes, but because when people regress, they choose a place and time in which whatever knowledge they think they have today might have been powerful then; so it’s useful to study their fiction and see how far back we have to go to get them to believe they could act. Nowadays for women it’s the Jazz and Gilded Ages and for their male counterparts it’s a kind of Middle Ages...by no coincidence whatsoever that’s exactly where Mark Twain regressed his counterpart.
I don't know what quite to say to this other than "this is a retarded conception of history", but I'd be willing to hear a defense of it for curiosity purposes.
#8
(07-04-2023, 02:08 AM)JohnTrent Wrote: This is apparently his understanding of history now:
Quote:you can learn a lot from history, not because history repeats or rhymes, but because when people regress, they choose a place and time in which whatever knowledge they think they have today might have been powerful then; so it’s useful to study their fiction and see how far back we have to go to get them to believe they could act. Nowadays for women it’s the Jazz and Gilded Ages and for their male counterparts it’s a kind of Middle Ages...by no coincidence whatsoever that’s exactly where Mark Twain regressed his counterpart.
I don't know what quite to say to this other than "this is a retarded conception of history", but I'd be willing to hear a defense of it for curiosity purposes.

At one point I wanted to write seriously about isekai (this was before we decided on a forum for general thoughts, I can't really into long form self driven writing) because of this basic line of thought. The Twain counterpart he's talking about is the Yankee in King Arthur's Court. And a thought I wanted to run out and play with is that he was writing Isekai. As was L Sprague De Camp when he wrote Lest Darkness Fall. And because these men weren't autistic Japanese people but rather rational minded American nerds they made it very plain and were very self conscious about what they were doing and why. The plight of the nerd is that society has arranged itself so that we can't leverage our talents and gifts. Particularly our intelligence. The fantasy in both of these novels is that the world is less rigid and fixed in place, crisis and serious need are a part of life. Intelligence is again made useful rather than something which makes your cage-life even more unbearable. These men are able to leverage their gifts against their new times.

Then where Japan gets interesting is how mean their stories often get (though Twain was arguably mean himself on this) and how they have instead kind of agreed upon a shared hallucinatory/virtual world which they like more than reality which would suit them even better than any point in history. Frustrated early modern white nerd wants to go medieval or classical. Frustrated advanced modern Japanese man wants to live in a JRPG.

I could elaborate a lot further but I'll just make this it's own thread now. I feel like it's way overdue.

To bring us back to this thread. I don't agree with TLP's thought above exactly, but I share a fascination with the line of thought. In the thread (which I will make soon) something I would like to discuss is whether regression is the source of these stories.
#9
(07-04-2023, 12:56 AM)anthony Wrote: I don't know if I find this satisfying. Proximity to others isn't a sufficient cause. It's the ways people tend to behave within that proximity. 

Perhaps a poor choice of metaphor on my part, as I very much agree with your point about Japan. By "the cage" I don't mean so much a physical enclosure (although that can be a big part of it), but more so the mental prison that controls, blocks and directs desires. This is also what psychoanalysis does, it is an interrogation that condemns any personal desire. "You are a neurotic, an Oedipal-narcissist, you really crave recognition - look how guilty you are, all of your desires are corrupt. We are all guilty of the same crime, of not living life properly." It is no coincidence, as you note in the OP, that this operation is applied the most readily to people who are capable of having any kind of individual desire in the first place.

Going back to Japan, I think we'd agree that manga and anime do not reflect bad conscience or neuroticism. More like an affirmation of pure, healthy personal desire. But psychoanalysis wouldn't see it this way, they would see evidence of neuroses and psychological complexes everywhere. Clearly you revere anime girls because you haven't integrated your anima. This is all psychoanalysis can find anywhere, hence why people like Freud and Jung would transmogrify their neurotic unconscious into a cosmic entity.

Which is to say, yes, I believe you are right about the reason TLP tends to direct his analyses against thoughtful and caring people so much in particular. But this kind of thing is more or less in line with psychoanalysis as a whole, and the kind of person who tends to love psychoanalyzing. 

(07-04-2023, 12:56 AM)anthony Wrote: As I've said elsewhere, I remember my experience with psychs as a deeply depressed/unhappy student being a fixation on brain chemistry and an insistence that all causes were internal to me and meaningless. I feel like the psych paradigm kind of has and hasn't moved beyond that. Everyone gets drugs. But you can also talk about fake causes like how late capitalism is making you sad or whatever. The moment you touch a real problem I imagine these people still just clam up on you. Every psych seems to be too invested in the status quo to be trusted. And yes political leftism is how I'd define the status quo. Radical communists are just ahead of the curve a little.

(07-03-2023, 07:36 PM)Guest Wrote: This evokes an opportunity:
1. quench the memetic appetite for TLP-esque content on the internet. GPT may be required for scalability.
2. unlike TLP, set readers up for eventual transcendence of their petty issues
3. receive a society with more interesting individuals in it

"eventual transcendence" in this case means exposing the audience to some ideas that can serve as a way out of the neurotic strugglefuck in their head. Simple uncontroversial stuff just to bootstrap their potential until they can leave wholesome chungus behind. For example the Faustian instincts can be partially incarnate in acceptable forms like "nerding/geeking out" or "needing open spaces, getting off the grid!" This is more likely to spark the creation of a unique soul than wallowing in a digital longhouse.

For what a healthy psychology could look like, I think someone like Ray Peat gives an example of a good starting point, which can be extended in different ways. To address all of the usual symptoms of anxiety, depression, mindfog etc., we can start working from the molecular level. Here there is little room for normie moralizing. Molecules know nothing of the vague, abstract forces of mental illnesses and psychological complexes. We aren't "analysts," interpreting a person's desires and referring them back to inscrutable abstractions, to be met with equally crude and clumsy "treatments" that just obliterate personal desire. We are a micro-mechanic, simply trying to understand why a machine runs the way it does, and how it can be calibrated better. Observing a person's life at the microscopic level can tell a very different story about why they are the way they are. Even for a deeply petty person, if you look closely, you might find hints that they are capable of desiring something more personal and refined. But I must admit I think this kind of approach is a waste of time for most people. Not quite a call for TND or pirate world genocide, it's just the most honest assessment I can give.
#10
(07-04-2023, 10:59 AM)turnip Wrote: For what a healthy psychology could look like, I think someone like Ray Peat gives an example of a good starting point, which can be extended in different ways. To address all of the usual symptoms of anxiety, depression, mindfog etc., we can start working from the molecular level. Here there is little room for normie moralizing. Molecules know nothing of the vague, abstract forces of mental illnesses and psychological complexes. We aren't "analysts," interpreting a person's desires and referring them back to inscrutable abstractions, to be met with equally crude and clumsy "treatments" that just obliterate personal desire. We are a micro-mechanic, simply trying to understand why a machine runs the way it does, and how it can be calibrated better. Observing a person's life at the microscopic level can tell a very different story about why they are the way they are. Even for a deeply petty person, if you look closely, you might find hints that they are capable of desiring something more personal and refined. But I must admit I think this kind of approach is a waste of time for most people. Not quite a call for TND or pirate world genocide, it's just the most honest assessment I can give.

I don't really believe that "healthy psychology" is possible. Psychology is what intelligent neurotics do at the end of culture. Healthy and stable minds will be created by plugging the normalfags back into a culture-matrix. I don't like the idea of studying people on a micro level to make them happier. The answers are big scale. And you do say yourself this would be a waste for most people. I imagine if we were to pursue this point further we would agree on just about everything. I won't take this further right now, just wanted to get the first thought out for the minute.
#11
(07-04-2023, 02:28 AM)anthony Wrote: To bring us back to this thread. I don't agree with TLP's thought above exactly, but I share a fascination with the line of thought. In the thread (which I will make soon) something I would like to discuss is whether regression is the source of these stories.
I'd be interested in that isekai thread.
I guess the reason for my distaste comes from a few things in his argument during and after. The passage I forgot to include in the original quote was
Quote:It’s regression elevated to progression as a cover for aggression. It would be as if the world’s post-grads took a break from fantasizing the annihilation of their parents and said, “look, I don’t know if anyone has ever thought of this before, but instead of disavowing our common material humanity, why don’t we just wear diapers? And we should make sure they’re biodegradable and available to everyone.” That’s the kind of forward thinking that gets you a MacArthur Genius Award, or tenure
So he has little sympathy for the fantasy, and doesn't wish to dwell on the matter further (even if it gives his claim weight). This leads into Faust of all things, but a less-discussed iteration by Nikolaus Lenau. Here is what is also said:
Quote:When an aspiring young man expects, and then fails, to make it in America, and now living off the inheritance from his appropriately deceased grandmother finds himself surrounded by phonies, brutes, and hypocrites, it's a good bet he’s either going to try and write a Faust or end up in a mental institution. Lenau did both. “The problem is the system.” If you can’t make it in either two continents or three languages, you might want to consider the problem is you.
What relevance the Lenau Faust analysis has to the original statement is slim, to say the least. He wishes to make a larger point about Lenau's Faust being repressed by Freud (and co.) in a written conversation about infanticide, and discards the "regressive" fantasy comment readily.
#12
(07-04-2023, 12:35 PM)JohnTrent Wrote:
(07-04-2023, 02:28 AM)anthony Wrote: To bring us back to this thread. I don't agree with TLP's thought above exactly, but I share a fascination with the line of thought. In the thread (which I will make soon) something I would like to discuss is whether regression is the source of these stories.
I'd be interested in that isekai thread.
I guess the reason for my distaste comes from a few things in his argument during and after. The passage I forgot to include in the original quote was
Quote:It’s regression elevated to progression as a cover for aggression. It would be as if the world’s post-grads took a break from fantasizing the annihilation of their parents and said, “look, I don’t know if anyone has ever thought of this before, but instead of disavowing our common material humanity, why don’t we just wear diapers? And we should make sure they’re biodegradable and available to everyone.” That’s the kind of forward thinking that gets you a MacArthur Genius Award, or tenure
So he has little sympathy for the fantasy, and doesn't wish to dwell on the matter further (even if it gives his claim weight). This leads into Faust of all things, but a less-discussed iteration by Nikolaus Lenau. Here is what is also said:
Quote:When an aspiring young man expects, and then fails, to make it in America, and now living off the inheritance from his appropriately deceased grandmother finds himself surrounded by phonies, brutes, and hypocrites, it's a good bet he’s either going to try and write a Faust or end up in a mental institution. Lenau did both. “The problem is the system.” If you can’t make it in either two continents or three languages, you might want to consider the problem is you.
What relevance the Lenau Faust analysis has to the original statement is slim, to say the least. He wishes to make a larger point about Lenau's Faust being repressed by Freud (and co.) in a written conversation about infanticide, and discards the "regressive" fantasy comment readily.

He just had to go and burn the good will he'd won back didn't he? The real regression is the last thing I replied to to these.
#13
TLP had one great idea and then a bunch of mediocre to bad ones:

"If you're seeing it, it's for you."
#14
(07-04-2023, 02:08 AM)JohnTrent Wrote: One could consider it a kind of historicist psychology (sidenote: perhaps if placed in better hands, this could be placed in comparison to Spengler, how mental pathology manifests in Springtime, Sunset, Pseudomorphosis)...

One tangent before I finish this post — and start another sometime soon — is that the historicist explanation above seems to be fully discarded in Sadly, Porn: it appears as if TLP has some fundamental ideas about how the human mind functions regardless of the century, and never seeks to place distinction among those centuries: X Figure 1 said Y-Word, X Figure 2 said Y-Word as well, therefore both are operating on the same psychological logic of Z Concept (e.g. Latent Narcissistic Rage) — pair this with frequent repetition of "return of the repressed" and you'll have the standard TLP cultural diagnosis.

I haven't read his recent books, but I appreciate the effort you put in, so maybe I can illuminate a few things. Psychoanalysis generally shares this view of the unconscious as a repository of undifferentiated primal desires which remain relatively constant over time, but are increasingly repressed with the development of the conscious standpoint. So, naturally it ends up being very historicist (of the Hegelian variety), and these kinds of analyses of historical figures are quite common. This is where the continual "return of the repressed" comes from.

Right off the bat I think this is wrong. With neuroses, they are not the return of some primal behaviors, but relatively recent evolutions. As I believe anj put it, "entirely new domains or phyla of exotic dysfunction, neither instinct nor intelligence." They are completely natural and organic to how this society functions - it creates neurotics. 

Nor do I think the unconscious is undifferentiated, rather, it is more like a producer of pure difference. I think it is easy to get confused by looking at history and seeing that art, ideas, institutions etc. from different periods seem to reflect one another, then to conclude that history is some repeating cycle or repetition of archetypes. The unconscious does contain a primal or ancestral memory, but it is not like a circular conveyor belt of returning forms, it is more like a chaotic factory out of which old and new things can be combined together and created - though innocent, unconscious process. So, to the last quote you included:

Quote:you can learn a lot from history, not because history repeats or rhymes, but because when people regress, they choose a place and time in which whatever knowledge they think they have today might have been powerful then; so it’s useful to study their fiction and see how far back we have to go to get them to believe they could act. Nowadays for women it’s the Jazz and Gilded Ages and for their male counterparts it’s a kind of Middle Ages...by no coincidence whatsoever that’s exactly where Mark Twain regressed his counterpart.

I think this is fine if he is talking about the tendency people have to fashion their LARP identity around an image of historical figures that has been provided to them (although this is definitely not restricted to the middle ages); think of the lumberjack personality, imagining themselves the analogue to some bearded axe-wielding viking. But, as we know, this really has little to do with what real vikings were like, and much to do with how neuroses are created today. The important thing to understand about this is that it is not an expression of personal desire, it is a neurotic affectation, where they are performing as what they have been told is cool and masculine for the recognition of some imaginary audience in their head. This mostly holds true whether one is LARPing as a viking, a knight, or a wacky based schizo (on this, at least, I'm sure TLP would agree). But this is where I would distinguish this kind of thing from isekai. I will leave that topic for now though.
#15
(07-03-2023, 01:44 AM)anthony Wrote: I think it's the great weakness and crime of 21st century psychs that they can't acknowledge massive areas of genuine human grievance so they all become corrupt shitlib moralist cops telling you to suppress your soul for the sake of civility.

This sums up most of how I feel about TLP's "narcissism". I clicked a number of posts in his archive until I came across this one.

I also think there's always existed an appetite for being insulted in the context of self-help ("You said how you felt without thinking of the other person, you are a narcissist and a horrible person. What now?"). Ironically, his tone in general and especially in this post comes across as smug, arrogant, and (dare I say) narcissistic. The dynamic between him and his fans on the topic of narcissism (sounds like he got a bunch of emails) is reminiscent of losers begging Tate or some other guru hero (who himself is pretending to be much more than he actually is) for advice on "how to gain social status working 2023".

"Narcissist" is definitely understood by TLP and his fans to mean "loser", or someone who is discontent to the extent that they would dare to vocalize a desire for something. His focus on sexuality/relationships seems telling of this, in the modern world discontent rarely stems from anything else. Blaming any suffering one experiences on their own individual moral failing, to prevent collective action, is a common archetype of ideological conceit. I don't think TLP's concept of narcissism has much explanatory usefulness beyond this deceptive rhetorical function.

Underlying TLP's posting is an unspoken assumption that narcissism is bad and we should stop letting the TV and internet turn children into narcissists (he says this a lot), but why should we accept this as true? In relation to TLP's definition, I think every person has some self-importance, and some entitlement, but the strict psychiatric definition uses common sense to subjectively define what is considered excessive and pathologize individuals whose expectations differ wildly from what is realistic. But if civilization changes drastically and large swathes of the population feel discontent with their position, where should the line be drawn? TLP's greatly broadened diagnosis targets anyone willing to admit to any desire at all, for whom "I am content with what I have" would be too difficult to utter. TLP asserts that for a person to desire more is a moral failing, even if their instincts lead them to find what they currently have deeply unsatisfying. The people belonging to this category are the ones who would find any kind of systemic critique most relevant (and this is where most of the correct explanations lie), but instead they are browbeaten into submission. The question we ought to be asking is how to align individuals' self-interest to produce the best outcomes for humanity, not how we should condition certain individuals to stop wanting more than our existing society has allotted them.

Here's a reframed version of TLP's thesis that "narcissism is increasing worldwide" which I find much more compelling and useful (shifting the blame away from individuals and removing the morally loaded term): the world is changing in a way that has caused widespread social deprivation and decreased social trust, or alternatively: the West has fallen.

Looking at what the concept of "narcissism" is taken to mean today in the /r/raisedbynarcissists subreddit (any family member I don't like right now) feels almost like a refutation of the idea in itself.

His evidence-based criticism of academic/medical practices is interesting, and I see why he's compared to Scott Alexander, but TLP is similarly too trapped in the normie frame to see the full picture.

Jonny's comments on that post and its reactions from 10 years ago were entertaining. Sad to think he would get instabanned from the ACX comment section today.
#16
(07-06-2023, 04:32 AM)Mason Hall-McCullough Wrote: Here's a reframed version of TLP's thesis that "narcissism is increasing worldwide" which I find much more compelling and useful (shifting the blame away from individuals and removing the morally loaded term): the world is changing in a way that has caused widespread social deprivation and decreased social trust, or alternatively: the West has fallen.

Looking at what the concept of "narcissism" is taken to mean today in the /r/raisedbynarcissists subreddit (any family member I don't like right now) feels almost like a refutation of the idea in itself.

His evidence-based criticism of academic/medical practices is interesting, and I see why he's compared to Scott Alexander, but TLP is similarly too trapped in the normie frame to see the full picture.

Jonny's comments on that post and its reactions from 10 years ago were entertaining. Sad to think he would get instabanned from the ACX comment section today.

Great post all over but thank you in particular for bringing us Jonny. What a hero.

[Image: image.png]

[lion_roaring.gif]

You're right to bring us back to looking at the people who talk about this stuff. It's the other side of TLP admitting his patients don't get better (pretty sure Scott Alexander has too). The people who study this stuff don't get better. We could say the cured ones don't need the internet anymore and only the frustrated ones are commenting, but let's be real. Jonny is the sanest of these people by far.

update: I looked at who Jonny was replying to. I didn't realise at the time but the woman (assumed) he's replying to posted what I consider to be one of the most rancid things ever created in the history of the internet. The 4chan "how to not fail at life" guide. I've actually discussed this thing with friends before. It's absolutely horrid. Jonny's reply to it is good and relevant, but maybe too woman-centric for the purposes of this thread. The general trend all through the thing is enslavement. Look for yourself:

http://mjt.nysv.org/scratch/how_to_not_fail.png

I won't post the image itself here because it's long. But this woman in the comments reads TLP and thinks "wow, great, just like 'how to not fail' by the eccentric genius 4chan". People will post and agree with this thing and then call Andrew Tate and evil nihilist. "Goodness is impossible and everyone is an unfair and selfish judge. All people are of equal low value and bad. You owe it to the world to be the one who recognises this and does better in all situations. Which means constantly putting others before yourself and pretending that you cannot feel dissatisfaction. No, the people you are unsatisfied with do not owe the world this service. Man up, incel."

I hope Jonny found the person who posted this and killed them. I also hope whoever made that 4chan infograph has been mercilessly divorce-raped by his fat wife.

Jonny Wrote:2500 years ago, the Buddha said what this guide says and what Alone sometimes says; "What we think, we become."

Why would you imagine the solution is to think like one of their slaves? That will make you one of their slaves.
#17
I'd never seen that infographic before but I had a similarly negative reaction to it even before I saw what jonny had to say. I actually thought the image was going to turn towards satire around where it suggested buying a girl you barely met a $200+ gift. Even decades ago that's completely laughable.
#18
Heil Jonny, Heil Victory.

I promised to discuss Watch What You Hear in the first post I made here, but the prospect of doing so is less promising than thought. For one thing, the end reveals that it is supposed to be a chapter within the later SP (abbreviation for Sadly, Porn), and is a footnote of sorts to it. You can observe that the chronology of the chapters within SP is unorganized, with one chapter being about five pages long and focusing on diet; even those who admire TLP are unsure if this is satire or not. You decide.

Quote:[Certain sections of the text shortened for effect, and formatted for the forum post. Most of it is a description of his lunch]
I guess this is a good time to tell you about my lunch.
1 can beans, washed (rotation), 6-8 oz meat, cooked and chopped (rotation), ½ avocado, 1 bell pepper, ½ chili pepper, handful nuts (rotation), handful olives, handful mushrooms (cooked), amount feta cheese, too much turmeric, too much paprika, handful basil amount oregano, sage, coriander, mint, dill, parsley (rotation), amount olive oil
Place in 8x4x3 glass baking dish. Mix. Serve with 5oz red wine
...
No person reading this description will think this is a delicious lunch. You won’t want to make it, let alone eat it. I was the same way. I used to want something tasty, prepared by an expert, whose ingredients I could disavow. I always got what I paid for, nothing more, nothing less. The key to making this lunch palatable is never to snack. Then you will look forward to it. You will be glad to eat it. And glad you ate it. And relieved you didn’t snack.
...
There’s something you should know about me. Have you ever gone to a party, a rally, a religious service, a concert, and there’s a really positive energy in the crowd, former strangers with their own different lives and rhythms start getting into synch; and maybe someone starts singing, and then it's two people, ten, a hundred, the song spreads-- suddenly it all clicks, for these moments there’s a collective sense of existing together, everyone connected to each other through the song… our differences melt away, the whole crowd unites, finally becomes a community, one body in one moment, lead by a common passion, all of us part of something transcendent. And we sing as one...
Well, I don’t ever get that feeling at all.
I don’t have to be the leader but I’ll be damned if I’m a follower.

Glad we could have this intimate aside from him. Anyways, the chaotic organization of the text makes the exclusion of Watch What You Hear confusing; clearly, the length of the text is hardly an issue, and shouldn't be if he is doing this for an distinguished set of people trained in his style of writing. Perhaps Watch What You Hear is a more elaborate version of the original footnote intended to be placed in the contents of SP, but I don't see why WWYH was released first in isolation.

The text itself is a part of the standard focus TLP places on certain media. Instead of a variety of texts being treated to this diagnosis, it focuses purely on Book 19 of the Odyssey, where Penelope has a dream. The analysis is dedicated to a certain method of dream interpretation, and is investigated to the furthest extent that TLP can make. The new attributions that TLP uses in SP are present here: the mention of rage, envy, inability to act, deprivation (note: this might have been mentioned on his blog, so perhaps not so new), and "defense against change". The conclusion TLP draws from the dream is that Penelope wants Odysseus to remain absent from Ithaca: she does not want a suitor, but also does not want him. TLP uses the phrase "status quo post bellum" as a way of describing this. I have little else to say on the matter.

I intend on making more wide-ranging remarks about TLP and his status on the Internet. Since this is a biopsy thread, this should be appropriate after applying focus to his most recent works. To start off with an inference, the popular blog writer can hold a strong, long-lasting influence over Internet beliefs and how those beliefs are expressed. The best example of this is seen with the example of Mencius Moldbug. Many here may have expressed their reservations about Moldbug's Unqualified Reservations blog, or have once had a phase where they had pored over each post in manic succession. Despite the disagreements that eventually transpired, the Cathedral concept may still be seen as having validity. This could be because it attracts followers of less extreme persuasions, or it poses an abstract formulation of power that is accurate (even if afterwards related to JQ). Nick Land and the CCRU were already on the Internet during their times of academic operation, but the fact that Land chose to start blogging can be considered the main cause of accelerationism's popularity.

The political-intellectual blog is a formal appendage to the stream of content: if it has achieved success, it is the vertebrae of intellectual statements on the internet. This is true for some forum users as well (Bronze Age Pervert), but the competition of the forum lends itself to multiple representative figures of similar consensus. The blog is an individual expression, and therefore requires that those ascending from obscure corners must carve out an attractive worldview.

Outside of Moldbug and Land, TLP is another notable example. His differences are immediately noticeable, because his concentration on politics is looser. Another is that his manner of writing seeks to bridge the gap between writer and reader, and this is a great assistance to the therapeutic nature of the blog — not the wholesale achievement of some therapy, but the faux imitation of it for those readers who are dependent on such things. The psychology/therapy blog is something that likely existed before TLP, but his presence had seeded a minute trust (at the least) for this method of analysis. Because it is an accepted fact that Internet culture has downstream effects, where one once-unknown figure can produce enough content for a mass to grab onto, the TLP blog renders this manner of speaking acceptable. It was seen in popular culture outside of the Internet, but online discussion did not reflect this. At the time of TLP's blog, circa 2009, could you imagine someone on 4chan bloviating about narcissism? It would be absurd, a totally wrong place to discuss psychology of this sort. This can similarly be said for Moldbug as well, at one point.

I would not attribute all therapeutic speak on the Internet to him, but it has been popularized in certain circles due to him. TLP was popularized through the website Cracked via Jason Pargin (under the nom de plume David Wong), and more recently, Anna Khachiyan from the Red Scare podcast had recommended his works. This wider reception has garnered most of his fanbase in general, and you can imagine this spread of followers can be traced to other site discussions, under the influence of the two above. The result is that narcissism is a Serious Issue; it has evolved from personal intrigue to social intrigue. This is partly caused by the earlier works of Christopher Lasch, who is echoed as an authority of narcissism alongside Kernberg and Kohut (other than Lasch, Kernberg & Kohut are intellectuals associated with post-Freud psychoanalysis; their conceptions of narcissism are different from one another and a source of contention). One thing you will notice is that, when starting a search query on the TLP for the surname "Lasch", it is nowhere to be found except the comment section. By the standards of psychoanalysis and TLP himself, this kind of omission is a sign of repression, especially since Kernberg is mentioned within Lasch's two works The Culture of Narcissism and The Minimal Self, and Kohut only in Culture of Narcissism. These two psychoanalytic figures are mentioned on the blog, but there is a conspicuous absence of Lasch in TLP's own words. The same skeletal argument of a widespread social narcissism is used, but its creator is vanished from the picture.

This diversion into Christopher Lasch's works will be limited, but it is ultimately necessary for an accurate biopsy of TLP. This is also not a direct attack against Lasch either, as he had inspired Paul Gottfried in writing about the therapeutic state. Despite what changing allegiances Lasch had over the course of his life, the singular constant of his writings about "the self" is that they are a form of social psychology: the mentioning of the self and personal matters is not a condition of an enlightened society, but something that ought to be seen as an affliction, a disease of higher caliber than the regular incidence of mental illness. Though he mentions capitalism and material causes as a problem in his writings, it is really in the conception of a therapeutic change where Lasch gets closer to the issue. It is like a Copernican Revolution in the worst light, where the notion of a therapeutic society bleeds into everyone's conceptions. From the management of government to the experience of daily life, all elements are brought to heel under Care. If anything, this would implicate TLP while simultaneously influencing him. It is, in short, a conflict of interest to mention the factors that Lasch transcribes in his books.

I am sure that he is aware of these things, as much as he was also aware that people accede to him as an omniscient figure whenever they read his full-length books. The reason why I mentioned the prevalence of the blog-writer earlier is that the believer of their writings is a harbinger of a more frequent future phenomenon: the Online Believer. This is highly unlike the characteristics of Eric Hoffer's True Believer, a person from a mass movement dedicated to action, self-sacrifice, and motivation from the higher movement. The Online Believer, in being attracted to different Internet posters, is concerned with how knowledgeable the poster is from others. Even if the argument is dishonest at root, or is meant purely to attract regular appeal, pleasure is derived from the act of observation. It is so binding that, even if the prominent poster revises his views, the follower count and engagement will be about the same. This revision only partially affects the reputation of the poster, because, to the Online Believer, the effect of observing the rhetorical bloodsport is more appealing than secured convictions. This is why Ulysse Carriere, Logo Daedalus, and others have held a consistent follower-base despite their respective ideological reversals.

Certain popular blog-writers do not have Online Believers quite as much as popular Twitter posters. It may be that longform blogs attract a circumspect audience more often than heavensite, as it is an unabridged expression. People can extract something from the larger body of text and find it disagreeable, a which is more muted when reading concise statements. This does not follow as much with TLP, who has garnered a constant array of followers, and is praised as someone with the "correct" diagnosis of America. You do not see this expressed as often with someone like Moldbug, with various circles having some point of disagreement with him about this opinion or that. There is support for him in a Schmittian sense as a friend/fellow traveler, but there is a sense of wariness about dogmatically supporting all of his solutions. Perhaps it is the strength of the second-person writing style that changes the way a blog is traditionally received.

He does not have to mention narcissism frequently in SP or WWYH, and this is a sufficient change for his devout followers. From one day to another, the publication of SP is a newer manifestation of belief, and can be followed in the same way. The follower of TLP could explain many social circumstances as the product of narcissism, but then can change his discussion with the replacement of "envy, rage, deprivation, and resistance against change". The argument is the same but the terms are altered. The Online Believer, regardless of the change of terms, can propagate his views without a shred of mental effort.

TLP cannot really extricate himself from this condition of Online Believers, nor can he do so with the therapeutic way of thinking. He is, of course, an actual trained psychiatrist, so the process of detaching from therapeutic notions is far more difficult than the uninvolved individual. He will make attempts at this, though, as one can see in this passage:
Quote:Once psychoanalysis became widely understood, then there was no need for psychoanalysts, what secret could they help you discover that you didn't already know? The Oedipus Complex? It's been commercially packaged and marketed as a Secret® truth and you may not buy it but it's the only truth that's available in stores, and coffeehouses, and public agoras of all kinds, such is the tyranny of knowledge.

However, there is still something to be desired. The futility of the explanation is that, if the unconscious of our present time is so adamant to avoid accountability, imagination, and initiative, the dismantlement of psychoanalysis will still not eliminate the need. Instead of Freud or Lacan or Bruce Fink, it is TLP who can invite you on a journey to the Secret®, badgering you the entire way. And, needless to say, the preeminence of therapeutic thinking will remain in his writings, even his stated purpose in SP isn't to help you.
The result is that, even when he bemoans the presence of psychoanalytic thinking or secondary sources in SP, his words will be used for a similar purpose. As a consequence, his blog and his writings help to further a therapeutic conception across the Internet. Like with the popularization of the term narcissism, we may see something similar happen in the future with the interpretations given in SP — that is only a possibility, but worth thinking about.

This post was written over the course of three days and different portions were revised, so if there are unclear details I will reply in due time. As said in another thread, I hope this does not appear like empty rambling.
#19
(07-08-2023, 06:58 PM)JohnTrent Wrote: This post was written over the course of three days and different portions were revised, so if there are unclear details I will reply in due time. As said in another thread, I hope this does not appear like empty rambling.

Don't worry. This is very nice work. Thank you for catching us up on the current state of TLP. I don't think there's any chance of me getting through a whole book of his. And I greatly appreciate the original thoughts here as well.
#20
A Salotrean once called TLP "a Jewish moralist" and that's really the best way to understand him. I believe he used to have a neocon blog which was mentioned on Partial Objects where he defended the Iraq War and you can see the residue of his neocon roots in his focus on Islamic terrorism and honor killings as examples of "narcissism".

The problem with psychology is that it generally defines health as the absence of pathology; psychology begins and ends with pathology. Psychology considers the mind in isolation from objective reality as a sort of inferior doppelganger. If this separation is assumed to represent an original truth then there is no way of negating it -- but this is its attraction for a certain kind of person. It offers the possibility of endless suspicion and critique of whatever it is aimed at.



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