Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Displacement: Yet another neurodiversity defense mechanism

For the very few people who have read my writings, they know that in the past I have written about the psychological defense mechanisms, first postulated by Sigmund Freud of denial and reaction formation. I have stated that I believe these defense mechanisms are responsible for the genesis of the neurodiversity movement. Here is a brief recap of those defense mechanisms: Denial is just that, denial. You are trying to convince yourself that the stark reality that is staring you in the face just is not true. This is what compels some (though not necessarily all) neurodiversity adherents to claim autism is not a defect but an alternative form of brain wiring. This is why some of them imply that being autistic is no different than being gay versus being straight, no different than being left-handed versus right-handed etc. The neurodiverse just can't deal with the fact that they or their offspring are defective or broken so they just deny it. Reaction formation is a bit more complicated. It stems from not being able to deal with feelings of something you hate. So you turn that something you hate into something you love. You can't deal with autism, you hate it. For those who watched the Good Morning America segment on neurodiversity, Diane Sawyer said it well, neurodiversity is just a beautiful way of justifying heartbreak. Therefore you try to turn it into something beautiful like Klare Estee Wolfhond (not sure i got her name right) saying that there is joy in autism and having a blog entitled joy of autism. This is why some persons claim that autism is a gift and should not be eradicated. This is why people claim that Bill Gates, Albert Einstein, etc. are/were autistic. For more details on why this reasoning is wrong, I again refer the reader to my essay on the subject, on this subject.

Another Freudian defense mechanism that I believe neurodiversity people sometimes use that I did not mention before is displacement. For example, what if you have a job and the boss is being mean to you? You want to tell your boss to fuck off or at the very least sing him your favorite song, Take this job and shove it, for those who remember the old johnny paycheck song. But you're not wealthy, you can't afford to quit your job or be fired, even if the boss is a horse's ass. However, you feel you are going to get a coronary or an ulcer if you have to hold your anger in. You might have children. You can yell at them, even spank them. They are powerless to do anything about it. You might start yelling at your kids because there are no consequences for yelling at them. You are a big guy. You can't punch out your boss without losing your job. You might get drunk and get into a barroom brawl with someone smaller than you instead. You are displacing your anger onto someone else.

Many persons in the neurodiversity movement seem to be quite angry. They are abusive to parents of autistic children who express a desire to cure them. They sometimes call people names like nazi. They are angry about their autism. They have to displace it somewhere. The organization Autism Speaks is a favorite whipping boy. They accuse this organization of genocide. They are constantly nasty to autism speaks and those who are involved in it. They get angry at someone wishing for a cure for autism saying this is the way they are, that a cure would destroy them, when there is not an iota of scientific evidence to support that contention.

Displacement, another neurodiversity defense mechanism.


Socrates said...

I'm sure you're aware of Baron-Cohen's essay asking if AS is necessarily a disability... perhaps that would be a better starting point for an essay than sweeping generalisations about ND. I'm all too aware of the harsh, sometimes fatal reality of AS; but in the same ways gays, blacks and jews have suffered, so we suffer now. But it's not us that need to be cured . Turn your gaze to the NT's and then to yourself.

jonathan said...

Hi Socrates you might be interested in reading an essay I wrote on that subject In this essay I debunk Baron-Cohen's arguments that he writes about in the essay you referred to that autism is not a disability because the genetics offer an evolutionary advantage rather than de novo mutations. In addition to Baron-Cohen's essay showing the man is ignorant of even the most rudimentary principles of genetics, it shows how little he understands of the real problems that autistic people have to endure and the poor analogies he uses in the essay. If he were as autistic as I am he would not have been able to marry, go to graduate school and become a professor and write and publish all those books. Then he would likely consider autism a disability

jonathan said...

also Socrates I have written some stuff about Baron Cohen's essay on my old blog and whether autism genes have stayed in the population because of an evolutionary advantage rather than de novo mutations in Jonathan's Journal on my Jonathan's stories web page where i used to blog before I started autism's gadfly. you might be interested in reading that stuff also.

Socrates said...

J, I will have a thorough read and get back to you in a week or so.