MASS HYSTERIA
Karl Arnold Belser
16 November 2017




I am interested in human behavior, especially behavioral economics. Recent events have caught my attention.

Scott Adams, the creator of the cartoon Dilbert, made me aware in his blog post How to Know if You are in a Mass Hysteria Bubble that there is something wrong with the United States today. It describes the response of the east and west coast liberals to the election of President Donald Trump.  Trump is accused of being a traitor, a racist, and a sexist by much of the news media. Adams points out that a person has to be really naive and incredulous to believe what is being said.  Adam's post is well worth reading.

I Watched CNN and FOX news on my recent two week trip to Mexico. I noted that CNN constantly harped on trump and for being unfit to be president while FOX constantly raked Hillary Clinton over the coals for selling uranium to the Russians and colluding with the Russians to get the Trump Dossier. Both sides seemed extreme. Both were trying the people they discussed in the court of public opinion. And as far as I know there is little truth on either side. I think that the media is grossly in error on both sides, and I don't know what to believe.

My significant other as well as many other of my friends say that I will never convince them that Trump is being unfairly treated by the press. They say just let the investigation run its course. Of course the time for the investigation will be years, and by that time the reputation of the subjects of the investigation will be damaged, even if they are totally innocent. And behavioral psychology has shown the the "guilty" judgment by the media will never be forgotten. Hence the damage is quite serious.

Then there is the left wing organization that calls itself Antifa that advocates the liberal point of view with violence and property destruction. The people on the left seem unconcerned about their behavior. See the Atlantic article The Rise of the Violent Left.

I think that the real issue is that the east and west coast liberals don't really understand the condition of a large part of the United States. The country has an opioid an suicide epidemic that is mostly affecting young unemployed white men. One cannot say anything about white people without being called a racist by many liberals. The Mises Institute shows that the root of the opiate problem is the government in their article The Real Cause of America's Opiate Epidemic.

I am writing this post because there is anew mania, sexual misconduct by famous figures and politicians. Most, but not all, of the allegations are a woman accusing a famous or powerful man of misconduct decades after the alleged event. Just like with the trying of Trump in the media, these men's careers are being damaged without a trial in court. It is just another type of mass hysteria. See the article Lewd  for Thought: America is Groping Toward Peak Stupidity. And I think that there are political motives behind the attacks by the media.

The general public knows that many of the allegations are false per the following joke:"I guess it would not be a good idea to put up mistletoe at  our company party this year.

I wonder why this type of hysteria is happening now. It is like the McCarthy which hunts in the fifties that damaged many people's careers with not one shred of evidence. I think that there was wide anxiety about a nuclear holocaust then, and now maybe many liberals feel that another "holocaust" will be caused by President Trump or the conservative congress that is going to destroy the excessive social benefits. Maybe this is the first stage of the violent reaction the will occur when the government defaults on the promises that it cannot keep. I think in this case people will behave irrationally and might be hysterical.
 
Last updated December 2, 2017
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