Psychology Studies Show That Police Supporters & Terrorists Think Alike

A recent article from the Australian media outlet SBS showing how Scientism is psychologically identical to religion or other forms of ideological extremism and dogma has some interesting implications regarding the supporters of police and the state. Before I make that connection, take a look at what the article had to say about the psychological roots of extremism.

Last year, the University of Maryland’s Arie Kruglanski detailed evidence that psychology, not theology, is at the root of extremist ideologies.

Extremist groups like ISIL offer adherents a sense of personal worth, he argued, but they also provide believers with certainties about the world that they so desperately need.

Whether studying extremists in Morocco, Northern Ireland, Palestine, the Philippines, Spain, or Sri Lanka, Kruglanski found that believers all displayed a desire for certainty and structure that was higher than average.

banner copblock twitterFor extremists, Kruglanski wrote in the online journal E-International Relations, the world is one of “good versus evil, saints versus sinners, order versus chaos; a pure universe in black and white admitting no shades of gray.”

As his research shows, we all have different baseline levels of need for closure, but our distaste for ambiguity can also be heightened by uncertainty and stress.

Extremism results, in part, when our natural need for order is enflamed by disorder.

The content of extremist beliefs, beyond their status-reassuring certainties, is incidental. Moral relativism, which holds that objective criteria do not exist for judging norms, seems to spring from this link between extremism and the craving for certainty.

As NYU student Zachary Fine observed in The New York Times​ last year: “The byproducts of absolute truths and intractable forms of ideology … historically seem linked to bigotry and prejudice.”

Indeed, Kruglanski’s concept of the need for closure and the very study of the intolerance of ambiguity stem from post-World War II attempts to understand Nazism.

The psychology of extremism reveals an important point: part of what makes a belief system dangerous is its dogmatic denial of uncertainty.

Every supporter of the state and their guardians, the police, cite the necessity of their existence with a list of all the scary things that could happen if those agencies did not exist. Nevermind that those scary things still do happen and are done more often by the state and its servants than by any individual in history, or all of them not serving the state, combined. It is always primal fear of the chaos and uncertainty that exists naturally in our reality which becomes the sticking point for why people continue to believe that police, governments or other bureaucracies MUST exist. That this can be demonstrated to be irrational through examining the horrors of authoritarianism makes no difference to them.

banner copblock redditThe reason that logic and reason do not matter to those who put faith in powers above their own is that it is all predicated on emotional response and has nothing at all to do with any legitimate intellectual factors. Police, the state, theism and all other institutions of authority over the individual are merely ‘safety blankets’ for the emotionally fragile. And through the masses of people who are unable to reason through their fears and emotional and existential hang-ups, there comes support for institutions which provide the perfect home for the very worst among us. Their beliefs have created a protector costume and filled it with predators.

The world is an uncertain place with the possibility of danger always present. That is the very nature of our reality. Reality cannot be policed against. You cannot construct laws to undermine the laws of probability. No system or institution can eradicate chaos from this existence. It exists naturally as part of the experience of living. Without that uncertainty and breadth of possibility our lives would mean nothing. Money that cannot be spent is worthless just as lives that cannot be lost have no purpose. Surviving the difficult obstacles that reality throws before us is what makes it worth living. Perfection is an unchanging hell.

Click the image to read this article.
Click the image to read this article.

Chaos exists. It is a natural extension of our being. To allow ourselves to fear it to the extent that we attempt to deny the inevitable through comforting delusions of order only creates disorder. Order is entropic. It breaks down over time. Things that break down must undergo radical processes to do so. These radical processes are what we experience as an increase of disorder in our world. Therefore it is not chaos which threatens us as much as what we do out of fear of it. That fear can set off a chain reaction of social and belief structures that do even more to create the things we feared in the first place.

If the world seems increasingly disordered to you, it is not because more order is needed. It is because having tried that solution unsuccessfully for so long has created the perceived increase in disorder. If terrorists and criminals seem worse than ever it is because, like wasps, when you swat their nest they become irate and swarm after you. There are no more wasps than there were before, you just created conditions in which the wasps effect on your being is increased exponentially.

Click the image to read this article.
Click the image to read this article.

Police and the state they serve are an apparatus that exists by swatting nests and then offering to protect you from the wasps – for a price. Whether that price be the hard-earned money of your labors, the erosion of your rights and liberties or the increased threat of angry wasps, you will have to pay. The world pays.

If you were to look at the world like a game and yourself like a player, then you would come to see that chaos creates the challenges that make the game exciting. But playing with authority is like playing with cheaters. Maybe the cheaters harm you, maybe not. But if the only way you got to the end of the game was by cheating, it probably wasn’t even worth playing.

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Alia Atreides

Hi, my name is Trevor. Thanks for reading!

  • Common Sense

    “…Perfection is an unchanging hell….”

  • Yomammaaho

    May the prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) slowly slice your throat with a dull sword….whilst you softly gurgle your displeasure.

  • ThirtyOneBravo

    I didn’t even read this “story”. I didn’t have to. The headline alone gave me gas so horrendous that my dogs saw fit to leave the room.

  • Joseph Murray

    Can’t help but think of Fox News and thier constant drumbeat of fear. That need for certainty, especially ‘moral’ certaintly, is the driver for so many divisive stances. The GAYS are coming to get you! The MINORITIES are coming to get you! The TERRORISTS are coming to get you! The ATHEISTS are coming to get you! CHANGE is coming to get you!!!! It’s the reason why so many blindly support the police, even when they’re clearly corrupt; they represent that certainty – they’re the good guys who PROTECT us. That word comes up constantly from police defenders, it shows how their support is fear-based and purely emotional.

  • Herbie Versmells

    This was incredibly dumb. Thank you for nothing joshua.

  • Yomammaaho

    “If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be under the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.”
    —James Madison

  • Joshua H

    I didn’t think i’d be so lucky as to have commenters give examples to back up the article. I am the luckiest guy!

  • Religion is fake

    Caves have internet?

  • 0 accountability

    Cop lovers are also Fascists and it does not bother them see Police brutality against minorities because they are “white supremacists.” They have enjoyed a lifetime benefit of keeping the unwanted in a state of poverty/abuse.

  • 0 accountability

    yes they like order and control. they like to control others. they dislike minorities/disabled and abuse them and scapegoat them to blame them for all the problems in our society. oh, And do they fear marijuana legalization. Cops, also, they like that drug war funding and also the jobs it creates for them

  • Nathan Stenson

    Excellent points, and obviously a lot of thought went into them. There are levels of sentience/consciousness, of which the vast majority of humans utilize very little, if any. It is the moral, intellectual, and compassionate 5-10% versus the 80% that can’t spell “critical thinking,” let alone apply it. They are mindlessly animalistic, and we suffer greatly due to their impenetrable ignorance, which is equaled only by their nightmarish immorality. They are the majority, and they vote straight from their corrupted guts. Factor in Public Schools, and we find ourselves in the midst of a generational problem.

  • Nathan Stenson

    Cognitive dissonance is known to spur IBS. You should talk to your shrink about that.

  • Kevin A Bauer

    Just curious Josh, if you are so seriously anti-police: Whom would you call at 4:37 am when your house was being invaded???

  • patriot156

    Kind of funny how one of our own founding fathers warned against fear of anarchy. To say that a bad government must be established for fear of anarchy is really saying that we should kill ourselves
    for fear of dying. – Richard Henry Lee (1732- 1794), Member of Continental Congress, Signer of the Declaration of
    Independence, U.S. Senator
    Kind of hypocritical too aint it when most the thin blue line supporters are the first to decry from my cold dead hands.
    Funny point too lol Cops are terrorosists and so are those that support them lol.
    Fricking knew that though.

  • patriot156

    Thats becuase your one of the terrorists.

  • patriot156

    To say that a bad government must be established for fear of anarchy is really saying that we should kill ourselves
    for fear of dying. – Richard Henry Lee (1732- 1794), Member of Continental Congress, Signer of the Declaration of
    Independence, U.S. Senator
    How does it feel to be a terrorist

  • Daphne

    Shoot them… Why wait for the police to get there, lol. Good grief, no one values a life more than the one about to lose it.

  • sikntyrd54

    When the U.S. invaded Iraq, we swatted the hornets nest. In response, the hornets swatted back. Since then, IMO, our elected officials have become more emboldened in their efforts to create irrational fear hoping fear will allow them to continue justifying warrantless surveillance of innocent citizens and the ever-increasing militarization of law enforcement – – a tremendous waste of precious resources (tax dollars). When will our elected officials begin to address the pressing issues in OUR nation? Infrastructure, the economy, education, unemployment, healthcare costs, Wall Street/K Street corruption, addiction, mental health, etc…. I am not holding my breath. I am, however, relieved to know Green Bay has an armored vehicle to protect Lambeau in the event of an ISIS attack. Actually, it’s unlikely they will ever need to use it … because the fans would be the first to notice potential terrorist activity. “Hey, the guys over there are not drinking.” On game day, that would constitute extremely suspicious activity. HAHA
    Well done, Joshua.

  • Joseph Murray

    Fear fear fear. Fear kills our ability to reason. Well, yours anyway.

  • jonn

    I can’t speak for Josh, but I would call Officer .357 and his partner Officer 12 gauge!

  • Wade Dewell

    hows that peaceful protesting working guys, great results eh! ya your peaceful protesting works soooooo well that police never get arrested for muder,rapes, assaults or robberies even when caught on camera, they even get paid vacations and promotions no less. for fucks sake A PIG CAN RAPE OR MURDER OR ASSAULT YOU ON MOTHER FUCKING CAMERA AND GET A PAID VACATION>>>>>> for fucking jesus christs sake fight the fuck back this peaceful protesting isnt working and fighting back is the only thing as a society we havent tried.

    ive told you OVER AND OVER AGAIN, police are above the law and are enemies of the people and america is a facist country whom all politicians and judges are bought and owned by corporations and the rothschild bankers. the people in power are our enemies and do NOT work for the 99% no amount of holding your hands up or holding a sign will change anything in facist nazi america! clive bundy shown that armed protest and a willingness to fight and die for what you believe in WORKS

    LET IT GO, it is not a sin to fight for the right cause, there are those that words alone will not reach,the evil 1 %, global elite, corrupt governments and coprorations are such beings, i know we the people are peaceful and gentle and dont want to hurt others, but it is because we cherish life that we must protect it. our pacifism will kill us and the whole earth. we must drop our restraints and get angry, let it go, fight back only then will we gain freedom.

  • dufas_duck

    You should add police in with that group…………

    Back in the early 70s, a group of mental health experts were given a stack of over 300 psych test results. The group consisted of psychologists, psychoanalysts, psychotherapists, and other mental experts. They found that over 90 percent of the individuals represented by the psych tests would/could be a threat to society. Less than 10 percent of the tests shown those individuals to be neutral, meaning that they could get along in society without being involved in problems any more than an average citizen…

    The experts were flabbergasted at the results, even more so when they learned that 50 percent of the tests were profiles of police officers and the rest were convicted criminals. Not one police officer had scored above a common crook, many scored in the psychotic range. The less than 10 percent that scored in the neutral range were a small group of convicts.

    Police, at the time, faulted the results, stating that the experts were biased, the tests were rigged, or that the experts didn’t know what they were doing….which is almost comical since many of the experts were the same ‘experts’ that the legal system used as prosecution witnesses in court………