Conspiracy theorizing, paranoia and delusion are not just the provenance of the Left. They do seem well-acquainted with the triumvirate of mental disorders as Dr. Sanity so aptly demonstrates the thinking here:
Probably the first prerequisite for accusing someone of engaging in self-delusion is that one must accept that there is an objective reality, external and independent to one's self; one's beliefs or one's emotions or feelings. Without such a fundamental epistomological foundation, it is completely meaningless to accuse anyone of self-delusion, althought postmodern intellectuals do it all the time.Well, I have hysterical friends who "have no home in any political party" and are 9/11 Truthers and believe that Bush is a minion of the Illuminati.
As they wallow in their preferred form of social subjectivism, it is perfectly "reasonable" (if that is the word) from their perspective to impute delusion to others--even if every time they do so, they effectively demonstrate the invalidity of their own philosophy. That is why it is so amusing to observe their appropriation of the term "reality-based community" -- when they don't believe in any reality except for their own emotions!
It gets excessively wearisome to constantly point out to them that there is a world that exists outside their heads and outside their emotions; and that the entire purpose of reason --which they reject in favor of feelings --is about understanding that world. And that just because they feel a certain way doesn't mean that it has anything to do with reality.
Their social subjectivism posits that our minds are disconnected from reality to begin with. How then is it possible for them to accuse anyone of "self-delusion"? One simply has a differing POV that is by their definition as real and true as anyone else's.
Thus our adolescent drama queen linked to above can say with absolute sincerity and passion, "It's official, we are a police state..." and not have to produce one iota of evidence to prove that statement.
How can Bush be the moron you purport that he is and preside over the biggest conspiracy in the history of the world?
"He doesn't have to be smart. That's just it. He's not really in charge. Have you seen the strange things at the Denver airport? I'll leave it to you to look up. You'll see."
What does Bush have to do with the Denver Airport? I look it up. Here it is. Oh, I see, alright. It took me about two minutes more to find very logical and rational explanations for the supposed conspiracy. At the second site, there is this quote:
"Instead of being at the mercy of wild beasts, earthquakes, landslides, and inundations, modern man is battered by the elemental forces of his own psyche. This is the World Power that vastly exceeds all other powers on earth. The Age of Enlightenment, which stripped nature and human institutions of gods, overlooked the God of Terror who dwells in the human soul."
Carl Jung (1875–1961), Swiss psychiatrist. The Development of Personality
In the last Bourne installment, not one mark given to Jason Bourne deserved to die. They were all innocent, family-loving, Democracy-promoting sweet-souled humans who meet the dastardly and warped killing machine of the American government.
My friends are convinced that Katrina was a perfectly executed plan to kill the poor. Good grief! If it were perfectly executed, why did only 900 die? A perfectly executed plan would wipe out the vast majority of New Orleans. The vast majority were poor. Stupid government, hapless bureaucracy and self-serving politicians couldn't be the cause of misery--in short, human misery is no longer a function of human fallibility and this fallen world--no, it's a plan and a plot by those who have the power.
It is disturbing that so many people are so easily deluded. It's not that the rational answers aren't out there, it's that too many don't want the answers. Would science training help? Would required courses in logic make a difference? I'm not sure. I am sure that it isn't encouraging to know that so many can be lead away from true evil threats and be convinced that their imaginations hold the truth.