Psychology's Anticivilizing Influence on the West
Part 1, How it Began and Where it's Going
In, "Roots of Revolution," I identified six major threads of influence destroying every aspect of Western civilization's society and culture: : 1. Cultural Marxism; 2. Post Modernism; 3. Psychology; 4. Sociology; 5. Education; and 6. Humanism.
In the previous four articles on Hume, I pointed out the ideas in his philosophy that would influence all six of these threads. My intention was not to lay the blame for the fall of the West at Hume's feet, because no one had to follow his lead, but philosophers following Hume, not only embraced his skepticism but refined his destructive methods into an art that eventually destroyed philosophy.
Society and culture are influenced by the dominant philosophy of any age, but the influence is indirect, and there is always some lag between a dominant philosophical view of the intellectuals and that same philosophical view permeating popular society, and as that philosophy moves from the halls of academia to the popular press and media and into the realm of the public schools and popular entertainment, it is modified in ways that often make its origins difficult to see, which is one reason for this series of articles.
It is my intention to show how the philosophical ideas originating with Hume made their way into popular society through each of these threads and also to show how each of these threads reinforces these ideas in the others. While each of these threads were related in their origin, they have come down to us as separate influences, but have today largely merged. Psychology is used to determine teaching methods, and the subjects being emphasized are mostly sociology and humanism, and humanism uses the language of both sociology and psychology. Postmodernism is taught in every school, only its called critical thinking and deconstruction. All of these are couched in the language of PC Multiculturalism which is just popularized cultural Marxism, and it was the cultural Marxists who planned and foresaw all of this.
Comte and Kant
Both Auguste Comte and Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) were directly influenced by Hume, as well as others, of course. The threads of influence we are following are evenly divided between them, the influence of psychology, education, and cultural Marxism all trace back to Kant; social science, secular humanism, and post modernism have their roots in Comte.
This does not mean the influence of Comte and Kant are mutually exclusive, both certainly had some influence on all these threads. As in the case of psychology, which this article will examine, some of Comte's ideas have certainly influenced it, and it is not the field itself that originated with Kant, but he certainly has had the greater influence on its progress and what it is today.
From Hume to Wundt
In my four part article on Hume, under, "Hume's Anti-knowledge Anti-philosophy," I quoted Hume:
"Astronomers had long contented themselves with proving, from the phaenomena, the true motions, order, and magnitude of the heavenly bodies: till a philosopher, at last, arose, who seems, from the happiest reasoning, to have also determined the laws and forces, by which the revolutions of the planets are governed and directed. And shall we esteem it worthy the labour of a philosopher to give us a true system of the planets, and adjust the position and order of those remote bodies; while we affect to overlook those, who, with so much success, delineate the parts of the mind, in which we are so intimately concerned?"
I said about that: "The 'philosopher' Hume had in mind was obviously Newton, but it was not physics Hume is interested in here. Hume is promoting a 'science of the mind' that would be as certain as Newton's physics, a pseudoscience we today refer to as psychology."
The study of the human mind was certainly not new, but the field, at least until Hume, was always a branch of philosophy. What Hume was suggesting in 1739 is that the human mind could be studied using the same methods used in the physical sciences; but, it was not until 1879 that Hume's pipe dream became a reality, when Wilhelm Wundt opened the first experimental laboratory in psychology at the University of Leipzig, Germany.
Kant's Odd Contribution to Psychology
Though Hume had suggested a, "science of the mind," for the next hundred plus years, no one took him up on it, and the study of the mind, as the fields of epistemology and philosophical psychology remained where they belonged, as branches of philosophy.
There was some attempt by later philosophers, such as Kant's immediate predecessor, Christian Wolff, to give the study of the mind an empirical base, but Kant himself put an end to that. "In the Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science, Kant argued that empirical psychology cannot be an exact science because the phenomena it seeks to explain are not mathematically expressible." [Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy] Further, he claimed, since the only means of "examining" the mind is introspection, and since that introspection itself is an act of mind, one's examination of their own mind will always be distorted by that examination.
It appeared that Kant had completely closed the door to any "science of the mind" before it even had a chance to get started. What Kant had really done was to set the groundwork for what was coming. If the mind (or consciousness) is unknowable, as Kant claims, it is a short step to declaring what cannot be known must not exist; which is essentially what the behaviorists will do. But before that, psychology will have to be started, and Kant unwittingly contributed to that too.
Kant's philosophy was essentially dualism. Kant taught that the mind or consciousness and what we are conscious of are different kinds of things, which is true enough. This duality shows up implicitly in has noumena (something that causes the mind to be conscious of something) and phenomena ("something consciously experienced,"), which, "something experienced," in Kant's philosophy does not have to be anything like the "something causing the experience," which is absurd.
From Fichte to Wundt
Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1762-1814) was influenced by Kant, but rejected Kant's noumena-phenomena dichotomy, not because he saw the absurdity of it, but because he thought it invited skepticism. His solution was to make explicit what in Hume was only implied, "It is a question of fact, whether the perceptions of the senses be produced by external objects, resembling them: how shall this question be determined? By experience surely; as all other questions of a like nature. But here experience is, and must be entirely silent. The mind has never anything present to it but the perceptions, and cannot possibly reach any experience of their connexion with objects. The supposition of such a connexion is, therefore, without any foundation in reasoning." [An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, "Section XII—Of the Academical Or Sceptical Philosophy, Part I"] Fichte simply dismisses noumena, that is the world of "objects" altogether, declaring phenomena, that is, consciousness, is all there is.
Fichte made no direct contribution to the field that would become psychology, and is much more important to us today, because of his influence on education, and his influence on Nazism. It is one of Fichte's students, Johann Friedrich Herbart (known today as the "father of scientific pedagogy") who took the first steps in developing a "science of the mind." He acknowledged that his own metaphysical thinking was based on what he called "'the higher skepticism' of the Hume-Kantian sphere of thought ...." His attempt to provide a mathematical basis for understanding the nature of mind, of course failed, but he was able to establish education as a science, perhaps the first of the modern pseudo-sciences, and introduced the possibility of putting psychology on the same "scientific" basis.
It was in the midst of a philosophy department dominated by Herbartians that Wilhelm Maximilian Wundt (1832-1920), known as the "'father of experimental psychology' and the founder of the first psychology laboratory," turned psychology into a pseudo-science, but it was the real scientist, H.E. Weber, that made it possible. Weber, a physiologist, was a professor at the university of Leipzig from 1821 to 1871, and is famous for his "work on touch. Among his discoveries were
two-point discrimination: the distance between two points on the skin that must be spanned to produce two distinct sensations; just noticeable difference: the smallest difference in two physical stimuli that can be detected; and Weber’s law: that the increase in stimulus necessary to produce an increase in sensation is not fixed but depends on the strength of the preceding stimulus—all of these can be measured.
The Sensational Hoax
What Weber was studying was physiology, the behavior of the nervous system, and the thresholds that determine or describe its behavior. Weber had to depend on the report of those who actually had the sensations produced by his experiments, of course, but it was not the sensations that were being measured, but the behavior of the nervous system. The actual sensations did not matter at all, so long as changes in them were faithfully reported, whatever those changes were.
Wundt's intellectual slight-of-hand was to argue, since all our consciousness begins with sensation and since the characteristics of sensations can be measured (ala Webber), what we are actually measuring is consciousness itself. Being a philosopher, of course his arguments were more elaborate. Wundt's influence cannot be overestimated, however. He published over 53,000 pages on a wide variety of subjects; much of that publication was about his new "physical" or "experimental" approach to psychology, a new "science," about which he said, "The exact description of consciousness [Bewusstsein] is the sole aim.”
Like many confused philosophers, Wundt probably believed what he wrote, but it amounted to perhaps the most successful hoax in history. Wundt's, "experimental psychology," conflated two incompatible disciplines combining the methods of legitimate science, the physiological study of neurology, with those aspects of philosophy concerned with the mind (epistemology) and consciousness (philosophical psychology) to produce the hybrid pseudo-science that has plagued both legitimate medicine and philosophy since. Before we examine how this hybrid came to dominate every aspect of today's society and culture, there is one other individual that needs to be identified.
Anyone with at least a casual knowledge of the history of psychology will probably be familiar with the name Wundt, but is less likely to be familiar with the name of Wilhelm Griesinger, (1817-1869) though what he said is accepted today uncritically as though it were an established scientific fact. Griesinger, a Swiss neurologist and contemporary of Wundt, said, "psychological diseases are diseases of the brain," and "insanity is merely a symptom complex of various anomalous states of the brain." Today, it is virtually accepted that psychological problems are caused by anomalies of the brain, only today they are called, "chemical imbalances."
From Wundt to Wonderland
The merging of the two disciplines from medicine and philosophy resulted in a discipline that is neither science or philosophy. It is no more legitimate than a merging of chemistry and ethics would be trying to establish moral principles on the basis of chemical experiments [chemoethistry perhaps?]. The methods of science and philosophy are totally different and totally incompatible. Psychology corrupts the methods of both fields.
The physiological science of neurology, using the methods of scientific investigation has been quite successful. Philosophy, however failed to delineate a clear description of the nature of mind and consciousness, which after Hume, became an absurd brawl between the empiricists (there's only matter and no mind) and idealists (there's only mind and no matter). [I know this characterization is simplistic—the reality is worse.]
The vacuum left by philosophy's failure to say what mind and consciousness really are left the field open to anyone brazen enough to claim they knew—it was that vacuum that Wundt took advantage of. He was, after all a successful neurologist and his claims to be studying consciousness were put over under the banner of science. Who could doubt science?
But there was no science in the assertions that it was consciousness Wundt was studying. That was sheer fantasy, as though Lewis Carol were taken seriously and one can just say anything and make it mean whatever they choose. This particular fantasy opened the door to one of the most bizarre influences on society and culture in history. While the pioneers at least had a legitimate medical background, their pronouncements about consciousness and the mind were baseless, and they made it possible for anyone who had caught on to the nature of the scam to make any wild claim about either consciousness or the mind and call themselves scientists—thus the modern pseudoscience, psychology, was born.
Psychology rapidly became one of most influential professions in the world. Though baseless and mostly fraudulent, the influence of psychology is now pervasive, affecting every institution and aspect of society and our lives, and that influence has been and is profoundly negative, threatening every aspect of Western civilization, from medicine to education.
A brief look at how that influence came to the United States and who some of the early psychologist were is instructive.
Psychological Prions Infect America
"Diseases caused by prions are known as spongiform diseases, because the brain tissue in infected individuals is filled with holes, giving it a sponge-like appearance."
I have used the metaphor of prions for the concepts of psychology because minds infected with them become mushy, just like the brains of those with prion diseases. The metaphorical form of the disease arose in Europe but dominates American society today. Here, briefly, is how it made its way to America:
William James, (1842-1910), sometimes referred to (with Wundt, but independently) as the co-founder of experimental psychology and credited with setting up the first psychology laboratory in the United States, studied in Europe and was familiar with the work of figures like Hermann Helmholtz, (1821-1894 ), a true genius who happened to be Wundt's mentor as well. James' opinion of Wundt was apparently not very high, but one of James' students, G. Stanley Hall, went to Europe specifically to study with Wundt and other psychologists.
G. Stanley Hall, (1844-1924), founded the American Journal of Psychology in 1887 and served as the first president of the American Psychological Association in 1892. Hall was highly influential in promoting the new "science" imported from Europe, and one person he influenced greatly was John Dewey, (1859-1952), whose philosophy has been a profoundly destructive force in American culture and society.
One individual John Dewey influenced was Jürgen Habermas, (born 1929), a later member of the Frankfurt School with the likes of Wilhelm Reich,
Erich Fromm, Herbert Marcuse, Theodor Adorno, and Max Horkheimer, also known as cultural Marxists. Wilhelm Reich and Erich Fromm were psychologists, and the latter greatly influenced Abraham Maslow.
Here are some examples of where this new science will go, a few things some American psychologists have said:
First, John Dewey, whose destructive influence on education will be covered in subsequent articles.
"The children who know how to think for themselves spoil the harmony of the collective society that is coming, where everyone would be interdependent."
"Teaching school children to read was a "perversion" and high literacy rate bred "the sustaining force behind individualism."
As will be seen, psychology and psychologists are almost universally collectivists bent on subverting every value essential to Western civilization, especially, independent individualism and individual freedom.
Another psychologist on education:
"...a student attains 'higher order thinking' when he no longer believes in right or wrong". "A large part of what we call good teaching is a teacher´s ability to obtain affective objectives by challenging the student's fixed beliefs. …a large part of what we call teaching is that the teacher should be able to use education to reorganize a child's thoughts, attitudes, and feelings."
Benjamin Bloom, psychologist and educational theorist, in Major Categories in the Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, p. 185, 1956
Psychology is opposed to all Western values, those principles that are worth living for. People without values are ripe for slavery, which is exactly what the proponents of psychology intend.
"If the race is to be freed from its crippling burden of good and evil it must be psychiatrists who take the original responsibility"
Dr. G. Brock Chisholm, psychiatrist and co-founder of the World Federation of Mental Health
"The re-interpretation and eventually (sic) eradication of the concept of right and wrong which has been the basis of child training, the substitution of intelligent and rational thinking for faith… are the belated objectives of practically all effective psychotherapy. The fact is, that most psychiatrists and psychologists and other respectable people have escaped from these moral chains and are able to observe and think freely."
Dr. G. Brock Chisholm, 1945
From the beginning, it has been the desire of psychologists to control everything, and of course they way to control of everything is to control men's minds. To a very great extent psychology does control, or at least influences almost every sphere of human life today, from schools, to industry, even the courts. Their end, of course, is a one world utopian society.
"We need a program of psychosurgery for political control of our society. The purpose is physical control of the mind. Everyone who deviates from the given norm can be surgically mutilated. The individual may think that the most important reality is his own existence, but this is only his personal point of view. . . Man does not have the right to develop his own mind. . . . We must electronically control the brain. Someday armies and generals will be controlled by electronic stimulation of the brain."
Dr. Jose M.R. Delgado, Director of Neuropsychiatry at Yale University Medical School, Congressional Record, No. 26, Vol. 118, Feb. 24, 1974. Delgado was reported as part of the "MK-Ultra" CIA mind-control program.
"Public life, politics and industry should all of them be within our sphere of influence…. If we are to infiltrate the professional and social activities of other people I think we must imitate the Totalitarians and organize some kind of fifth column activity! If better ideas on mental health are to progress and spread we, as the salesmen, must lose our identity… Let us all, therefore, very secretly be ‘fifth columnists.’"
Dr. John Rawlings Rees, co-founder of the World Federation for Mental Health
You may think psychology's antipathy to religion is a rational one, but I assure you, the psychologists only hate religion because, in their view, religion is individualistic, and being thoroughgoing collectivists, it is individualism they despise above all things, and anything they think fosters it.
"To achieve world government, it is necessary to remove from the minds of men their individualism, loyalty to family traditions, national patriotism and religious dogmas..."
G. Brock Chisholm, psychiatrist and co-founder of the World Federation of Mental Health
"It will of course, be understood that directly or indirectly, soon or late, every advance in the sciences of human nature will contribute to our success in controlling human nature and changing it to the advantage of the common wheel."
Edward Thorndike, Key Psychology Theorist, member of the "Eugenics Committee of the USA"
"Principles of mental health cannot be successfully furthered in any society unless there is progressive acceptance of the concept of world citizenship. World citizenship can be widely extended among all peoples through applications of the principles of mental health."
National Association for Mental Health, 1948
If you have wondered why a science would deny the existence of the very thing it purports to study, (psyche = soul, consciousness, mind, personality) that is, why behaviorism denies the existence of consciousness (or relegates it to something produced by the brain), it is because the aim of psychology is depersonalization.
"The soul or consciousness, which played the leading part in the past, now is of very little importance; in any case both are deprived of their main functions and glory to such an extent that only the names remain. Behaviorism sang their funeral dirge while materialism – the smiling heir – arranges a suitable funeral for them."
Statement delivered at the Sixth International Congress of Philosophy at Harvard University
"We can choose to use our growing knowledge to enslave people in ways never dreamed of before, depersonalizing them, controlling them by means so carefully selected that they will perhaps never be aware of their loss of personhood."
Carl R. Rodgers, Former President of the American Psychological Association (APA)
Ripe To Be Swindled
Psychology is a colossal fraud. As subsequent sections of this article will reveal, there is not one shred of evidence, not one experimental proof of anything psychology claims as "scientific fact." When psychologists are challenged to provide evidence, which rarely happens, the evidence they present comes from the field of neurology, a legitimate field of science which has been conflated with the psychobable of psychology, or else it is not evidence at all, but reference to so-called experts and authorities.
When an idea, or in the case of psychology, an entire discipline, has become accepted and unquestioned by most of society, and when that discipline is not only baseless, but dangerously false, it will eventually be taken over by the most unscrupulous of men, and what starts out as simply bad ideas ends as evil and criminal. Psychology has become a huge industry, an industry that has corrupted the fields of medicine, education, and law, and has turned the pharmaceutical companies into a huge scam responsible for damaging the health or causing the death of millions. Psychology is no longer just a mistaken view of man, it is an outright assault on the lives of millions of innocents and it deserves to be dealt with as the criminal activity that it is. No individual should ever listen to a psychologist or psychiatrist, but they are free to do so, but no individual should ever be required to do (or prevented from doing) anything based on any psychologist's or psychiatrist's say so—giving that kind of power to psychology is the equivalent of making common thugs policemen.
Please read Steven Ferry's excellent article, Fifth Cavalry or Fifth Column—Examining Psychiatry's Role in Our Lives for an eye-opening view of the horrors being put over in the name of psychology.
Subsequent parts of this article will look at some of the most influential psychologists, psychology itself, the harm that psychology is doing in almost every area of public and private life, and deadly danger it is to families, individuals, and especially children, in and out of school.