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Eureka: Schizophrenic states
by Jay Gutman
2018-05-18 07:48:04
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We tend to refer to someone paranoid or who has crazy thoughts, or to someone who just plain behaves abnormally as schizophrenic. If a guy comes to school wearing a weird pair of shoes, or having a weird set of tastes or who is just a bit too emotional, we'll tend to call them schizophrenic. Or someone who says he or she likes meat one day and becomes a vegetarian the next tend to be referred to as schizophrenic. There are many psychiatric pathologies which I really won't go through, but if someone is behaving weirdly or strangely, they could simply be borderline, anti-social, narcissistic or have some kind of social anxiety disoder.

schiz00001The question I'm going to try to answer here is why would states like Iran or North Korea try to acquire nuclear weapons and behave in the destructive ways they tend to behave. Calling them schizophrenic states would be taking things too far, because schizophrenia is really about disorganized speech and complete inability to care for oneself. So I might as well call them states with “delusional disorders.” Let me state the delusions and comment on them.

-Delusions of grandeur. You would have to be on another planet to not have notice that some states have delusions of grandeur. They are convinced about their superiority in science, technology, sports, culture, religion, the arts and the military. It can be annoying to be in countries with delusions of grandeur as you constantly hear them talking about their military superiority, artistic superiority, religious superiority and cultural superiority. There's a difference between mentioning in a conversation that a country has one or two decent soccer players or one or two good movies, and a country constantly calling its art, entertainment and culture superior. It's a completely different mindset.

-Delusions of persecution. When you go out in the streets, you go out with a healthy dose of skepticism. You're careful with your wallet and careful not to walk in empty alleys or to venture to districts crowded with gangs. The same goes for states. You're on the watch for terrorist attacks and invasions, but you're not obsessed with those. Imagine a state who is convinced other states are jealous about their superiority and want to invade them at all costs, or to attack them at all costs.

-Hallucinations. We all communicate with some kind of codes and in all communications you kind of have to read between the lines. But imagine nations constantly reading between the lines, and seeing threats between the lines that don't exist. Hallucinations can for example be someone saying “I'm going to eat a sandwich” and the nation thinking “sandwich” is a code word for let's attack Iran with a nuclear bomb. Or something like that.

-Erotomania. When a country is convinced that many people love the country and envy the country, would fight and die for the country. When a country believes that other people really think it's superior and want to ally with the country, but that other countries are preventing the alliance.

-Jealous delusions. When a country is convinced that other countries are plotting to invade it or to steal its money or to cheat it from its goods or wealth.

-Anti-social behavior. When nations believe that behaving in anti-social ways and breaking social norms and conventions in the realm of international relations can get them attention and get more people to like them or to be fans, and can confirm their delusions of gradeur.

Often, delusional states have totalitarian control over their populations and originate a lot of unpopular laws and rules, and in some cases have a reign ot terror on their own populations. Their populations tend to either be in denial and refuse to get involved in politics, or to follow their regime out of fear of reprisals. How do you treat delusional states? Perhaps by giving them an honest assessment, with counter-propaganda, and by calling it what it is: a delusional state.

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