Before taking on a life of politics, one must be aware of the potential negative side effects. The following is a brief overview:
Those on a heavy dosage of the political can often find themselves exhibiting symptoms in common with acute schizophrenia. This often takes the form of imagining that problems exist when they actually do not.
In one case study, a patient imagined that the ride-sharing company Uber presented a grave danger to the livelihoods of passengers in the City of London. In response, they elected not to renew their license.
Linked to this patently false view of reality is a denial of contrary information. Despite all taxi companies having imperfect practices and instances of abuse, only Uber is singled out as being in violation. Politics users appear to pick and choose which information to take into account when putting together policies.
Whether this is an intended or unintended side effect of politics has not yet been established. Regardless, those who are thinking about getting into politics must be wary of any potential schizophrenic effects that may come about as a result of their public office.
Those who venture into the political realm sometimes suffer extreme and dangerous delusions, often involving themselves. Akin to intense psychedelic tripping, symptoms may include believing one is solely capable of solving large-scale social problems. For example, one client imagined that it would be possible to “eliminate macho culture” in the country of France merely by the institution of a few freedom-restricting regulations, such as making “wolf-whistling” illegal.
Politics has been shown to reduce humility by up to 83% and increase hubris by 89% in severe cases.
In particularly chronic usage of politics, patients have been known to exhibit great violence by proxy. In a recent case, a patient, without reasonable provocation, dropped what they called “The Mother of all Bombs” on a nation of largely peaceful people. This is by no means an outlier in what is a series of such cases of violence associated with politics.
Some clinicians have posited that politics itself shows a direct link to violence and in fact stimulates the same neural pathways in every instance, seeing as the state itself is defined as the legal use of aggressive force within a given land area.
The consensus on psychopathy is that it is innate, however, the disproportionate presence of psychopaths in politics seems to suggest that either politics attracts psychopathic personality types, or continued use of politics produces psychopathic-like tendencies. As we wait for more empirical evidence, users of politics must be aware of this potential for psychopathy.
Most famous is the example of the patient HC, who over decades in politics has built an image of amiability whilst displaying clear psychopathic tendencies. Despite a veneer of respectability and friendliness, she is still capable of laughing maniacally at the thought of killing another human being. Her displayed lack of empathy shows at least some strain of predatory thinking, linked to psychopathy.
Those associated with users of politics must beware since, despite these psychopathic elements, patients of this type are often skilled at social persuasion, and are, inexplicably to some, well-loved by masses of people.
Loss of Verbal Coordination
Studies have shown that users of politics have a disproportionate propensity for incoherent speech. Politicians have publicly uttered statements and entire speeches which are either incomprehensible, contradictory or containing no meaningful content whatsoever.
A typical example by one patient:
Some have speculated that this patient was attempting to play a game of nonsense in the vein of Dr. Seuss or Lewis Carroll, albeit, experts in the field might regard it as low-quality nonsense, inferior to such examples as:
“Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe”.
It appears much more likely, by the tone of the speech, that the patient was unaware of its nonsensical quality. He truly believed that it was possible to imbue a value-laden subjective quality such as “fairness” into a concept like a “society”.
Political speak is often riddled with apparently unintentional nonsense. The reason for this is unclear. Politics may too have some diminishing effect on the areas of the brain associated with language and logic.
Given the number and severity of the potentially dangerous side effects of politics, there is an argument to be had that politics is too dangerous for human consumption. This writer is not prepared to make such a claim as yet. What is clear however is that there are significant risks associated with politics, and it is rare to see one involved who has not succumbed to at least one of the above-mentioned symptoms. One must proceed with great caution.
You can read more by James Smith on Think Liberty here.