The Psychology of Modern Political Stupidity Part II: Hobby Lobby

With the recent Supreme Court case, in which it decided that Hobby Lobby, a corporation, can refuse to pay for their employee’s access to birth control on the grounds  that Hobby Lobby’s religious beliefs would be violated by doing so, people are upset and confused.

Confused because Hobby Lobby is a corporation, not a real person. How exactly does a legal entity have religious beliefs? How does a Corporation have a soul? What is the type of afterlife the Corporations prepares for?

Confused because preventative birth control is not the same as abortion. After all, preventative birth control prevents pregnancy, not terminates it. And also, while it opposes female birth control, it still supports vasectomies.

Confused because the decision seems to target only a woman’s reproductive choices. Arguments involving all the other medical conditions covered by the hormones in birth control were discarded.

Confused because it all just sounds really stupid.

I’ve discussed the origins of political stupidity before. It lies in the general human existential crisis. Man is terrified of death, creates symbolic structures to defend against that terror, and then enacts a series of well defined behaviors in response to those structures being threatened. I’ve also discussed the effect of role strain and its connection with misogyny, and how  people adopt  rigid gender roles  because of this existential crisis, an react reflexively and often violently when  those subscribed roles are “threatened.” These factors create a picture to explain how this all comes together. Corporations are a artificial entities created as an extension of the symbolic structures that man uses to defend itself against the fear of death. They are our golems,  created by our prayers and faith in those symbolic structures. To challenge their reality is to challenge those protective structures and leave us vulnerable to our terrors. The traditional gender role structure (as subscribed to by those with rigid gender hierarchies), is that of the man being the working bread winner, and the woman being the mother/ home maker. When you look at most of the gender based political stupidity, it usually takes on themes of defending this role structure.

Using this context, here is the the subconscious reasoning behind the (stupid) arguments made in this case, and the subsequent ruling. Corporations are avatars, and therefor are real people. To deny that is to attack the structure of our society. They are protective entities, and are therefor play an important role in our created social structure. Abortion prevents women from taking on their roles of motherhood, so it is a rebellion against the social structure. Contraception also prevents women from taking on that role, so it represents that same rebellion and there for becomes equated as being the same as abortion. Vasectomies are different, because they aren’t the decision of the woman, and therefor are not an act of rebellion against the social structure. The Corporations protect us from our terrors. women seeking birth control attack our structure and betray us to our terror. Because of this, the Corporation must champion over the rebellious women, and so Hobby Lobby had to win the case… Or so goes the stupidity of this decision.

And what role does religion play in this? As usual, religion is just a red herring. People may be making a religious argument, but it’s not a sincere argument, and the reason it is brought up is also the reason why modern political stupidity propagates. You see, humans feel first and then reason second. All human decision are based in emotion. Remove a person’s ability to experience emotion, and you remove their ability to make any decision whatsoever. One can use logic and reason enable better decision making, but only because they help us to train our emotional responses, they don’t supersede them. In regards to political stupidity, the decisions are first made to stave off the subconscious terrors (illustrated above) and then reasoning is applied afterwards. But because the reasoning is an afterthought, it is full of contradiction, misinformation, hypocrisy, and stupidity.

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