[Marxism] Republicans Have Reptile Brains- The Pop Psychology of the ABB Camp

Tony Abdo gojack10 at hotmail.com
Tue Aug 17 13:50:11 MDT 2004


Published on Tuesday, August 17, 2004 by CommonDreams.org
Cheney Speaks to the Reptile Brain
by Thom Hartmann

(excerpt) Here's how it works, and how Dick Cheney just used it masterfully:

We humans, being the product of a long evolutionary process, really have 
three brains. And, as the Bush psy-ops folks know, politicians who win 
campaigns do so because they speak to all three of those brains.

First there's the most primitive of our brains, sometimes referred to as the 
"reptilian brain" because we share it in common with reptiles like 
alligators and komodo dragons. The reptile brain has a singular focus: 
survival. It doesn't think in abstract terms, and doesn't feel complex 
emotions. Instead, it's responsible for fight-or-flight, hunger and fear, 
attack or run. It's also non-verbal - you can stimulate it with the right 
words, but it operates purely at the level of visceral stimulus-response.

The second brain is one we share with the animals that came along after 
reptiles - mammals. The mammalian brain - sometimes referred to as the 
Limbic Brain because it extends around and off of the reptilian brain in a 
dog-leg shape that resembles a limb - handles complex emotions like love, 
indignation, compassion, envy, and hope. Anybody who's worked with animals 
or had a pet knows that mammals share these emotions with humans, because we 
share this brain. While a snake can't feel shame or enthusiasm, it's 
completely natural for a dog or cat. And, like the reptile brain, the 
mammalian brain can also be stimulated indirectly by words, and is also 
non-verbal. It expresses itself exclusively in the form of feelings, 
although these are more often felt in the heart than the gut.

The third brain - the neocortex ("new" cortex) - is something we share with 
the higher apes, although ours is a bit more sophisticated. Resting over the 
limbic brain (which is, in turn, atop the reptilian brain), our neocortex is 
where we process abstract thought, words and symbols, logic and time.

When Dick Cheney recently took John Kerry's comment about sensitivity in the 
war on terror out of context and spun it for his audiences, he was 
performing a psychologically masterful bit manipulation of all three brains. 
  Only ridicule with a subtext of fear has this power.

full article at  http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0817-13.htm  Now if I 
can only find a pop pysch analysis of the ABB brain?!  We could have perfect 
yin and yang balance.  Tony

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