politically induced delusional systems

Tarek Hassan
Political and Social

Politically induced delusional systems

    By Tarek Ali Hassan 
    Friday, April 23, 2004

  Is the information transmitted to us by the "authorities" always true and accurate. Or are we "the public" even in the established democracies, easy prey to manipulation and a process that Bernays referred to as engineering consent, i.e. engineering perception

"Politically induced delusional systems” 

An adjuvant handout supplementing the slides and talk for the seminar lecture by: 
Tarek Ali Hassan, FRCP at the AUC department of Political Science on April 20th 2004 

In harmony with the cross disciplinary multidisciplinary approach, 
I shall import biology, physiology, psychology, psychopathology, neurology and art- history into the domain of political science 

What do we mean by a Delusional system? 
  1) story 

When I was a medical student we had to have sessions in what was then called the lunatic asylum at Abbassiya. We went there as a group of rather terrified and bewildered students and our tutors were at pains to explain to us the then current definition of madness and a person gone mad. A mad person, they told us, is a person who is locked in assumptions and perceptions dissociated from reality and yet persistently fails or refuses the test of reality validation and or any input or logic contrary to these assumption.. 

In other words, a person locked in his or her own perception of reality regardless of the feedback from “real*” reality as determined by his or her environment of the time and place, in parallel with rejection of documented events and test sequences. 

In short it was a person locked in a system of reality, in this case, a delusional system that is resistant and closed to feedback from external and environmental sources. 

The delusional system is as equally resistant to any amount of invalidation from external sources or experiences, as it is to documented neutral data and test sequences. The person/s locked in a delusional system is impervious to any amount or any quality of perception-modifying input. In other words person/s locked in delusional systems are unable to develop or to grow, unable to communicate or "listen" or dialogue in any relevant sense. 

What our tutors then failed to tell was that delusional systems do not only enclose persons but they can take-over groups, whole societies, nations, races, political systems. Their creation, feeding and amplification can become the natural pursuit of many professionals in politics, in mass media, in the arts, advertising, marketing, medical and legal professions 

  2) some insights from physiology of the brain: multi-source neutral input, 
to interpretation according to cumulative aquired memory-store 
visual to psychovisual, 
aural to psycho-aural, pshycho-emotional, psycho-cognitive etc. 

The healthy brain is continuously, receiving, filtering, processing a non-stop flow of multidimensional input that is completely neutral. The more a person has learnt to allow space for open ended imaginative processing the richer the experience and the deeper the perception. 
We were always reminded, seeking answers, contemplating history, that a healthy growing socio-political structure allows space for multiple interpretations and for imaginative deviation, being seeds for all creativity and creation. 

So as not to be lost in the infinity of interpretations for all input, we are in parallel reminded of the importance of dynamic multi-sided validation, continuous reality testing and modification of assumptions, goals and means according to continuous feedback circuits. We are also reminded of the difficult test of translation of assumptions from the infinite world of imagination into the material world. Thus achieving and testing for tangible proof of the validity of the assumption/s while reserving judgment throughout the process. It is a difficult process demanding vast amount of social , political and emotional maturation but is nevertheless the difficult lot of mature human consciousness and mature societies. 
Given the human individual and group predicament, modesty and an open mind is imperative. We have to mature from the telescopic enclosure of believing we were in possession of absolute, static and permanent truth, to the richness of the relative, dynamic, interactive, ever-growing, multi-dimensional process (by the way note how art eloquently reflects these opposing static versus dynamic stances, which are really stages in the maturation of individuals or societies as we experience the difference between monophonic, non-dramatic, non-developmental music and art on one side and polyphonic, dramatic, developmental art on the other. Appearing briefly in pre-dynastic Osirian Egypt, Sumer, Greece, then dying out during the Papal-hegemony in Europe which managed to take the World from the Egypto-Hellenic enlightenment to the depths of the dark ages until Greco-Osirian enlightenment helped by the initial dedication of Islamic scholars to rationality, logic, research and learning, started to reappear midwifing the renaissance and the re-establishment of the right to deviate and breakout of imposed mono-dimensional hegemony. 

  3) Story in the lunatic asylum part II 

While we (the novice students) were wandering in the vast gardens where "non-dangerous" patients were allowed. We –terrified- were suddenly descended upon by one enormous terrifying giant of a man claiming to be the grand Emperor and demanding immediate show of submission: 
"on your knees before the Emperor! you mean ignorant subjects" 
We were actually quaking at the knees. 
"How dare you not know me; the great Emperor ? 
You! Have you not heard of my great and glorious exploits, 
He added perhaps taking in that we were shocked at his non-imperial appearance, wearing rags and barefoot. "my great and glorious past, you stupid fools? You do not know it. You are unaware of it?" 

Reality testing came quickly in the form of the burly male nurse supervisor who was following the scene and intervened in the nick of time to save us, closely followed by three assistants who were even more gigantic and thug like than our patient. They immediately proceeded to rain blows and kicks onto the Emperor till the barefoot Emperor, in rags and unprotected, collapsed, weeping onto the ground! 
" The Emperor has been molesting you?" asked the chief nurse. 
"I warned you not to molest the students you scum! Emperor cockroach with the glorious past and magnificent exploits", "has he been repeating his stories about his glorious past and exploits?!!, ha, ha, ha!" 
"As punishment you are to sweep the floors of all the corridors of the number 6 wing, under my personal supervision. You will go on sweeping until I tell you to stop". "Yalla, be quick, get on with it you scum!!" (he howled at the helpless Emperor) who it seemed had no choice but to submit and obey. 

  4) nightmare 

We ta