Cognitive Egocentrism

COGNITIVE EGOCENTRISM

The projection of one’s own mentality or “way of seeing the world” onto others, e.g., the teenager who is obsessed with sex, and assumes the same about everyone else. In the current situation of globalization, cognitive egocentrism has its greatest impact in the political relationships between people coming from civil societies and those raised in prime divider societies. Since the basic political principle of Prime divider societies is “rule or be ruled,” “do onto others before they do onto you,” political actors from those cultures assume the same zero-sum, domineering intentions in their opponents (the “enemy”). Since the basic political principles of civil societies is “I’ll give up trying to dominate and trust you to give it up as well,” “if I’m nice to you, you will be nice in return,” assume positive-sum attitudes in their opponents (the “other”). The current situation testifies to a dangerous mis-apprehension that works to the distinct disadvantage to civil society. The media, in particular, as the representative of civil society, emphasizes its role as empathizer, often failing to defend civil society, even exposing it to danger.

LIBERAL COGNITIVE EGOCENTRISM (LCE):

The projection of good faith and fair-mindedness onto others, the assumption that “other” shares the same human values, that everyone prefers positive sum interactions. In a slightly more redemptive mode, LCE holds that all people are good, and if only we treat them right, they will respond well. This is a form of empathy that, like MOS, aspires to the radical victory of justice, and robs the “other” of his or her own beliefs and attitudes. It projects onto rather than detects what the “other” feels.

DOMINEERING COGNITIVE EGOCENTRISM (DCE):

The projection of bad faith onto the other, the assumption that everyone abuses power, that one must rule or be ruled. In deep-seated cases, DCE cannot even perceive the possibility of a positive-sum game: whatever the “other” does, no matter how generous it may seem, is a trap, a covert act of hostility in which the other is really jockeying for superior position in a zero-sum game. Hence DCE has strong affinity for conspiracy theories (the other is malevolent evil that must be opposed at all costs).

MOEBIUS STRIP OF COGNITIVE EGOCENTRISM:

Demopaths are particularly adept at exploiting LCE. They speak in precisely the terms that appeal to LCE, insisting that their struggle is for human rights, fairness and justice, even as their notions of these matters differ wildly from those of the liberals to whom they appeal (DCE). Liberals find themselves confused, since both genuine moderates and demopaths use more or less the same language. Forced to judge, many liberals, eager to believe anything civil these people might say and any hope for peace now they may hold out, prefer to project good faith, taking the protestations of demopaths at face value, becoming their dupes.

As a result, a dysfunctional relationship between demopaths (DCE) and their dupes (LCE) has emerged. Under current circumstances, where most liberals cannot even detect the existence of their own LCE nor imagine the possible DCE of others, this dysfunctional relationship works radically to the advantage of the demopaths. When Western authorities empower demopaths rather than sincere moderates, they hurt the forces of civil society and human rights and empower the forces of dominion and war.

The surprise of the British to the 7-7 bombings, and subsequently to the much higher levels of support for it in an English Muslim population than they had previously been led to believe (by a paradigmatically credulous press and intelligentsia), reflect precisely this dynamic. Europe may fall to this dysfunctional dynamic, although the emergence of hard questioning has begun to identify demopaths disguising themselves as moderates, and to reveal the jihadi discourse beneath the moderate rhetoric.

114 Responses to Cognitive Egocentrism

  1. [...] 2005 Paris Notes, Spring 2006 Reflections from The Second Draft Moral Equivalence Cognitive Egocentrism Cat [...]

  2. [...] 2005 Paris Notes, Spring 2006 Reflections from The Second Draft Moral Equivalence Cognitive Egocentrism Self C [...]

  3. [...] 2005 Paris Notes, Spring 2006 Reflections from The Second Draft Moral Equivalence Cognitive Egocentrism Self C [...]

  4. [...] 2005 Paris Notes, Spring 2006 Reflections from The Second Draft Moral Equivalence Cognitive Egocentrism Self C [...]

  5. [...] 2005 Paris Notes, Spring 2006 Reflections from The Second Draft Moral Equivalence Cognitive Egocentrism Self C [...]

  6. [...] 2005 Paris Notes, Spring 2006 Reflections from The Second Draft Moral Equivalence Cognitive Egocentrism Self C [...]

  7. [...] 2005 Paris Notes, Spring 2006 Reflections from The Second Draft Moral Equivalence Cognitive Egocentrism Self C [...]

  8. [...] 2005 Paris Notes, Spring 2006 Reflections from The Second Draft Moral Equivalence Cognitive Egocentrism Self C [...]

  9. [...] 2005 Paris Notes, Spring 2006 Reflections from The Second Draft Moral Equivalence Cognitive Egocentrism Self C [...]

  10. [...] 2005 Paris Notes, Spring 2006 Reflections from The Second Draft Moral Equivalence Cognitive Egocentrism Self C [...]

  11. [...] 2005 Paris Notes, Spring 2006 Reflections from The Second Draft Moral Equivalence Cognitive Egocentrism Conspi [...]

  12. [...] 2005 Paris Notes, Spring 2006 Reflections from The Second Draft Moral Equivalence Cognitive Egocentrism Conspi [...]

  13. [...] 2005 Paris Notes, Spring 2006 Reflections from The Second Draft Moral Equivalence Cognitive Egocentrism Demopa [...]

  14. [...] 2005 Paris Notes, Spring 2006 Reflections from The Second Draft Moral Equivalence Cognitive Egocentrism Demopa [...]

  15. [...] 2005 Paris Notes, Spring 2006 Reflections from The Second Draft Moral Equivalence Cognitive Egocentrism Demopa [...]

  16. [...] 2005 Paris Notes, Spring 2006 Reflections from The Second Draft Moral Equivalence Cognitive Egocentrism Demopa [...]

  17. [...] 2005 Paris Notes, Spring 2006 Reflections from The Second Draft Moral Equivalence Cognitive Egocentrism Demopa [...]

  18. [...] 2005 Paris Notes, Spring 2006 Reflections from The Second Draft Moral Equivalence Cognitive Egocentrism Demopa [...]

  19. [...] 2005 Paris Notes, Spring 2006 Reflections from The Second Draft Moral Equivalence Cognitive Egocentrism Demopa [...]

  20. [...] 2005 Paris Notes, Spring 2006 Reflections from The Second Draft Moral Equivalence Cognitive Egocentrism Demopa [...]

  21. [...] 2005 Paris Notes, Spring 2006 Reflections from The Second Draft Moral Equivalence Cognitive Egocentrism Demopa [...]

  22. [...] 2005 Paris Notes, Spring 2006 Reflections from The Second Draft Moral Equivalence Cognitive Egocentrism Demopa [...]

  23. [...] 2005 Paris Notes, Spring 2006 Reflections from The Second Draft Moral Equivalence Cognitive Egocentrism Demopa [...]

  24. [...] 2005 Paris Notes, Spring 2006 Reflections from The Second Draft Moral Equivalence Cognitive Egocentrism Demopa [...]

  25. [...] 2005 Paris Notes, Spring 2006 Reflections from The Second Draft Moral Equivalence Cognitive Egocentrism Demopa [...]

  26. [...] 2005 Paris Notes, Spring 2006 Reflections from The Second Draft Moral Equivalence Cognitive Egocentrism Demopa [...]

  27. [...] 2005 Paris Notes, Spring 2006 Reflections from The Second Draft Moral Equivalence Cognitive Egocentrism Demopa [...]

  28. [...] 2005 Paris Notes, Spring 2006 Reflections from The Second Draft Moral Equivalence Cognitive Egocentrism Demopa [...]

  29. [...] 2005 Paris Notes, Spring 2006 Reflections from The Second Draft Moral Equivalence Cognitive Egocentrism Demopa [...]

  30. [...] 2005 Paris Notes, Spring 2006 Reflections from The Second Draft Moral Equivalence Cognitive Egocentrism Demopa [...]

  31. [...] 2005 Paris Notes, Spring 2006 Reflections from The Second Draft Moral Equivalence Cognitive Egocentrism Demopa [...]

  32. [...] 2005 Paris Notes, Spring 2006 Reflections from The Second Draft Moral Equivalence Cognitive Egocentrism Demopa [...]

  33. [...] 2005 Paris Notes, Spring 2006 Reflections from The Second Draft Moral Equivalence Cognitive Egocentrism Demopa [...]

  34. [...] 2005 Paris Notes, Spring 2006 Reflections from The Second Draft Moral Equivalence Cognitive Egocentrism Demopa [...]

  35. [...] 2005 Paris Notes, Spring 2006 Reflections from The Second Draft Moral Equivalence Cognitive Egocentrism Demopa [...]

  36. [...] 2005 Paris Notes, Spring 2006 Reflections from The Second Draft Moral Equivalence Cognitive Egocentrism Demopa [...]

  37. [...] 2005 Paris Notes, Spring 2006 Reflections from The Second Draft Moral Equivalence Cognitive Egocentrism Demopa [...]

  38. [...] 2005 Paris Notes, Spring 2006 Reflections from The Second Draft Moral Equivalence Cognitive Egocentrism Demopa [...]

  39. [...] does not compute, except as an extraordinary illustration of how “liberal cognitive egocentrism” is incapable of understanding what’s going on. (The comments at Daily Kos suggest that [...]

  40. [...] Cognitive Egocentrism [...]

  41. [...] — might be unworthy of our sympathy and support. Thus any evidence that they are not “like us” (progressives) cannot be acknowledged without having embarrassing questions asked about policies designed to [...]

  42. [...] tape would strike any normal, “cognitively-egocentric liberal” as disturbing to say the least. Kindergarteners, dressed up in Hamas uniforms (with black [...]

    • Tegaryusup says:

      The French MSM can ignore it all they want. The plpeoe have eyes and ears. They talk to each other. They even check out the blogs.The longer it is bottled up, the bigger the eventual explosion will be. And there will be an explosion, and soon. The explosion will come when the taxpaying Frenchman is no longer able to pay enough taxes to support the Welfare State. You think the Paris “estates” exploded the last two summers? Wait until the day the welfare checks do not come.The French elite have allowed things to get to the point where there will be no easy solution. The choices will soon be to either submit, or for there to be a civil war that will dwarf previous European conflicts in terms of the number of dead, and will make the Holocaust of the early 1940′s look like a Chucky Cheese birthday party

  43. [...] like Hamas, and that that produces a politician/diplomat like Blair. The Moebius strip of cognitive egocentrism at work. Again, like the exchanges between Obama and Ahmadinejad, we have two different notions of [...]

  44. [...] Agreement,” the prime example of the folly of appeasement in Western history. It is a sad tale of liberal cognitive egocentrism, moral arrogance, and, as Fishman puts it, “lack of imagination [for evil]” that drove [...]

  45. [...] we won’t find real solutions if we don’t do more reality testing (ie shed our liberal cognitive egocentrism, pay real attention to what’s going on on the other side, and learn to identify and isolate [...]

  46. [...] is from their own understanding of their own religion offer a fine counter-part to the well-meaning cognitive egocentrism of Chris Seiple. Kingdoms not of this world Tom Holland Published 02 April [...]

  47. [...] brilliantly how liberal thinking literally twists itself into its opposite and creates the Moebius Strip of Cognitive Egocentrism. Prepare to have your head [...]

  48. [...] Goldberg is falling for the classic liberal egocentric view that poverty causes dysfunctions rather than vice-versa. When the first Intifada broke out the [...]

  49. [...] not really an area I know a great deal about. But what I can recognize is the predictable tropes of cognitive egocentrism, and that’s what this latest by Fareed Zakaria is full of. I’ve been following his [...]

  50. [...] temperament that Obama is guilty of what Richard Landes at the Augean Stables has termed Cognitive Egocentrism, and then, further. Liberal Cognitive Egocentrism. I admire Landes, and I believe that with these [...]

  51. [...] http://www.pmw.org.il/Bulletins_May2009.htm#b050509. On cognitive egocentrism and its contribution to misunderstanding the conflict, see Richard Landes, “Cognitive Egocentrism,” Augean Stables, http://www.theaugeanstables.com/reflections-from-second-draft/cognitive-egocentrism/. [...]

  52. [...] Landes has described the cognitive egocentrism that can afflict civil societies, which project their “own mentality or “way of seeing the [...]

  53. [...] Conspiracy TheoriesOpen Letter to Jostein GaarderReflections from The Second DraftCognitive EgocentrismDemopaths & DupesMoral EquivalencePallywood: A HistoryCivil Society vs. Prime-Divider [...]

  54. thetaye says:

    Richard Landes, you rock! This analysis is so insightful, and it’s so applicable not only to international politics (read: Middle Eastern politics) but also to individuals and organisations. Some of the things people do and say just makes a lot more sense in light of these analyses.

  55. [...] Conspiracy TheoriesOpen Letter to Jostein GaarderReflections from The Second DraftCognitive EgocentrismDemopaths & DupesMoral EquivalencePallywood: A HistoryCivil Society vs. Prime-Divider [...]

  56. [...] Conspiracy TheoriesOpen Letter to Jostein GaarderReflections from The Second DraftCognitive EgocentrismDemopaths & DupesMoral EquivalencePallywood: A HistoryCivil Society vs. Prime-Divider [...]

  57. [...] fault. It’s the fault of my generation with their soft-headed unconscious millennialism and their aggressive cognitive egocentrism.  Your job is to refuse the terms of the debate and start thinking clearly about equity and [...]

  58. [...] Conspiracy TheoriesOpen Letter to Jostein GaarderReflections from The Second DraftCognitive EgocentrismDemopaths & DupesMoral EquivalencePallywood: A HistoryCivil Society vs. Prime-Divider [...]

  59. [...] Conspiracy TheoriesOpen Letter to Jostein GaarderReflections from The Second DraftCognitive EgocentrismDemopaths & DupesMoral EquivalencePallywood: A HistoryCivil Society vs. Prime-Divider [...]

  60. [...] Conspiracy TheoriesOpen Letter to Jostein GaarderReflections from The Second DraftCognitive EgocentrismDemopaths & DupesMoral EquivalencePallywood: A HistoryCivil Society vs. Prime-Divider [...]

  61. [...] Conspiracy TheoriesOpen Letter to Jostein GaarderReflections from The Second DraftCognitive EgocentrismDemopaths & DupesMoral EquivalencePallywood: A HistoryCivil Society vs. Prime-Divider [...]

  62. [...] you miss the dogmatic liberal cognitive egocentrism of the Israeli writer – it is unthinkable that the Palestinians value life differently – then [...]

  63. [...] these dogmatic kinds of politically correct statements that led me to formulate the expression “liberal cognitive egocentrism.” This kind of thinking, which Edward Saïd insisted we – not the Arabs – adopt, is a major [...]

  64. [...] it encourages further aggressions. Thus, despite what the politically correct paradigm, based on projecting our own liberal mentality on others, anticipated, every time Israel engages in anti-imperialist activities – withdrawing [...]

  65. [...] addition to the ‘fundamental attribution error’ there is also cognitive egocentrism the delusion that we believe that the other shares our own value system and thought processes [...]

  66. [...] same way they like dressing up as pirates.  Why?  -  God only knows.  This is the fallacy of cognative egocentrism, the projection of your own mentality and ethics upon another, a mentality and ethics that may in [...]

  67. [...] Gesellschaft, der sollte sich auf jeden Fall mal bei den Protagonisten informieren. Der kognitive Egozentrismus (endlich ein gutes Wort für die naive Auffassung “weil ich selbst nie zu Gewalt greifen [...]

  68. […] lead to a decent state only on the West Bank and Gaza Strip. It is a perfect illustration of our cognitive egocentrism that the foundation of all our strategic thinking holds that the Palestinians will make peace if […]

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