Listen to a progressive, and you might think we’re living in a fascist state just days away from rounding up random people and putting them in death camps. Walk outside your door, however, and everything seems … wonderful.
A recent psychological study might shed a little light on how this happens. Perhaps we’re wired to see a certain amount of doom-and-gloom — even when it doesn’t objectively exist.
Lead psychologist Daniel Gilbert of Harvard University has this to say: “On almost every dimension, the world is getting better. And yet when people are asked, they consistently say it’s not getting better, and in fact it’s getting worse.”
He added: “As we solve problems, we also unknowingly expand our definitions of what counts as them.”
Even far-left site Salon begrudgingly considered the issue:
In some cases, the expansion of concepts such as aggression (and more recently, “microaggressions”) in the public consciousness has sparked heated debate; some critics argue these shifts reflect political correctness run amok whereas others claim they signal growing social awareness. Gilbert is emphatically agnostic on the issue. “Expanding a concept isn’t necessarily good or bad,” he says. “Science doesn’t weigh in on whether it’s a good or bad thing.” He and others are simply interested in understanding how the phenomenon happens.
Of course, the scientist is agnostic on the issue. However, I don’t see how any person could find unnecessary sadness and delusion to be a good thing for humanity; science certainly has weighed in on the benefits of happiness.
People all around us routinely believe life is all kinds of awful and that we’re living in an oppressive society, when nothing could be further from the truth. Feminists scream about oppression; in reality women now have legal advantages in the workplace due to affirmative action policies that give them preference over men — who are badly trailing in higher education. Minorities scream about racism at a time when attitudes about genetic inferiority have all but disappeared here. Progressives scream about police brutality against blacks; it’s actually exceptionally rare, and statistics cannot locate evidence of it happening to blacks more than any other race.
It certainly seems like the Left has embraced this misery mechanism completely. Its constant screeches of inequality, oppression, and tyranny are well beyond ridiculous — compared to the past, the world outside all of our doors in 2018 is a miracle.