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There's a scale with behaviour that's obviously dangerous and psychotic at one extreme - shooting random politicians, believing you're the CIA Jesus of the lizard people - at one extreme, and various unpleasant but relatively trivial social anxieties at the other.

The problem is that psychology is individual, and there's no political or economic equivalent of DSM criteria for cultures as a whole.

Nazi Germany was clearly psychotic as a culture. So was Mao's China. So was Bush's America. So is Wall St.

But without some formal benchmarks for cultural behaviour, patterns of cultural dysfunction become lost in thousands or millions of individual cases, and various forms of acting out that are - bizarrely - considered normal politics.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Jan 27th, 2011 at 10:12:36 AM EST
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