Monday, January 17, 2011

Is There a Chauvinistic Personality Disorder? CPD?

Almost anyone is better than some people. Almost anyone is better at communicating happiness than some people are in this world. Almost anyone is smarter in ways than some people. Anyone can mow their lawn better than their neighbors. For a lot of people the little differences matter. Their self-image needs continual re-inflation. Something continually deflates it. Maybe it never was whole. There's a worry hiding up in their belfry.

For others, self-image is no worry. They are who they are, and that's that. But for these worriers, making sure that the world agrees with all the ways that they are better than other people becomes a life's work. What ails them?

Could it be that getting D's on their report cards all through their school years affected their development somehow?

Children develop at different rates. Teaching them in groups - and grading each student's results vis-a-vis the group - ensures that some students will always do poorly. For twelve of the first eighteen years of their lives, most children are made to be afraid of doing poorly.

People who aren't too bright, who have grown up being graded at the bottom of the curve, may tend to spend their adult lives downgrading others. Racially, sexually, tribally, nationally, whatever.

Chauvinism is a belief that something about you makes you better than others.

Racism is racial chauvinism.

Sexism is sexual chauvinism. ("Male chauvinism" is one of the several sexual chauvinisms. In fact, the word 'chauvinism' alone is often used to refer to male chauvinism.) Sexual chauvinism includes gender chauvinism, lifestyle chauvinism, and genital/mammary size chauvinism.

Ageists often feel that their own age is the best age of all. They always did. Young ageists look down on the old and the old look down on the young. Are these people age chauvinists? There is certainly age discrimination. A result of age chauvinism, one would guess. In a culture that worships youthfulness.

Tribal chauvinism. This can include religious chauvinism, when a religion is particular to a tribe. Religious tribalism drives Mideast politics. Do tribes look down on other tribes? Oh, yes. Not everyone is the Chosen of God, if you're a tribal chauvinist.

National chauvinism is hyper-patriotism. Nation-worship. Competitive nation-worship. He who flies the biggest flag on his lawn is the most patriotic, therefore the best among neighbors. National chauvinism is one of the more common chauvinisms.

Religious chauvinism. The one true way is one's own. As ever it will be, for one and for all. Religions deflate because they forget that they are only pointers to the real. They are not the real. But for some people, their religion must be worshiped. Pump it up!

Moral chauvinism. Those who know what is right also know who you are, and they'll tell God. Who speaks to them regularly.

Class chauvinism. Proud to be an Okie from Muskogee. Proud to be off the grid and under the bridge. Proud to be 'old money' rather than 'new', proud of the royalty in one's family tree. Proud.

Intellectual chauvinism. There is intelligence. Then there is intellectualism, the worship of intellectuality. This is also known as 'liberalism' by the hoi polloi. Brains worshiping brainhood.

All of these are chauvinisms. How many people have more than one? A majority, it seems. The people who don't have any chauvinisms at all are the ones I would like to get to know, but they are rare.

When a person exhibits one kind of chauvinism, is that usually the only one they express? Or does machoism follow on racism, and racism follow on religious defamation? Do some people have a chauvinistic response stored away for just about any situation?

Is chauvinism itself then not a social disease, a disorder?

Chauvinistic Personality Disorder. CPD.

Archie Bunker disease.

There are causes. And there are cures.

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