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Political Cults & the Psychology of Totalism  
Posted by ALP on February 27 2008, 10:52 » Uploaded 27/02/08 14:23  

“The language of the totalist environment is characterized by the thought-terminating cliché. The most far-reaching and complex of human problems are compressed into brief, highly reductive, definitive-sounding phrases, easily memorized and easily expressed. These become the start and finish of any ideological analysis.”

(Robert Jay Lifton, Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism)

Also, completely unrelated, George Lakoff on "self-righteousness":

"The self-righteous person's superfluity of moral credit is the basis of his discourse. He presupposes his own moral values and his own righteousness as a condition of conversation. The effect of this is that anyone talking to a self-righteous person must either agree with his moral values and act equally self-righteous, or face being put in a morally inferior position in the discourse." (Lakoff, Moral Politics; my bold emphasis - ALP).

 

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Comment 01 – Anita February 27 2008, 15:40

Ha! I've come across a few "thought-terminating clichés" myself. You see the same discussion stopping phrases appearing at different places on yhe net. There should be a book on it. Examples: "calm down", "this is getting dull", "lighten up", "troll alert"... There are the self-righteous ones as well.

 

 

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