Rhetorical

Kirn’s latest pithy point:

How comes there’s an official psychiatric Oppositional Personality Disorder diagnosis but not one for compulsively going along with every order you receive and then wanting more orders to go along with when those run out? How come they’ve medicalized dissent but not compliance?

Of course it’s a rhetorical question. Freud was a Kraut. Every microdeparture from precise 100.00000000000000% conformity to the Standard must be rigorously readjusted or discarded.

The sanest and smartest comment on this comparison came from James Hartness, the philosopher/scientist who ran a machine tool company. Unlike Freud, Hartness understood the difference between men and machines.

This passage was in Hartness’s technical manual for a lathe:

Commendation is due regardless of whether the good is really done or not. It is praise for the altruistic motive. It is the same quality that leads men to war, to various kinds of martyrdom, from the days of torturing of religious martyrs to the present day, when men must be either martyrs or cuckoos. It is more comfortable to be a cuckoo; to always endorse the medium popular views on all subjects. But some men are so constituted that they must speak out as they feel, particularly if it seems to involve a sacrifice of this or that one’s esteem. The man who goes contrary to the medium view is generally partly wrong, but he must be given credit for having used his brain and lived according to his view. His view may have been only a half view, wholly one-sided, but his conclusions may have been true to his sight. The same man with the whole view might find reasons for endorsing the popular notions, but if he did endorse them he would do so not because they were popular but because they seemed right to him. Nearly every man holding extreme views on any subject will be found at heart all right, if we have a chance to understand his reasons for his position.

This was written in 1915, at a time when Wilson was jailing all extreme views as “commie” subversives.