Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Learned Helplessness Resulting From Entitlement Programs

I have written many times about my belief that the welfare policies of our government are the cause, not the cure, of poverty and that the liberals are knowingly practicing a form of slavery. You can use the "Search This Blog" tool to search the word "Slavery" to read more about this problem.

This article deals with the psychological consequences of these entitlement programs and the ultimate destruction of our freedoms. Unless these programs are dialed back, our Republic will be consumed by big government. We are on the abyss.

Murray's research provides compelling evidence that suggests that social welfare programs are harming their recipients via the learned helplessness mechanism. However, there is something even worse than creating codependency on government through entitlement programs, according to Lee Harris.

This occurs whenever a deliberate campaign encourages people to think of themselves as victims. Victims are not in charge of their own lives and destinies.

The victimization mentality is closely related to having an external locus of control. As a consequence of this mentality, people who consider themselves victims erect invisible barriers around themselves from which they cannot escape. Like Seligman's dogs, they give up trying because they don't believe they are free to succeed.

The victimization mentality is advantageous for left-wing politicians, who rely on their constituents' needing government benefits. Remember Hillary Clinton declaring, "I am the candidate for individuals who need government"? Unfortunately, the spread of this mentality foreshadows a poor prognosis for the survival of freedom in America.

The most important question, then, is, "How to change the direction of the cycle?" The answer: Individuals with a strong internal locus must preach the value of independence. They must teach those they encounter -- their family, friends, colleagues, and especially the disadvantaged (whom they should make extra efforts to reach out to through voluntary service) -- that as human beings with free will, we are responsible for our own actions, that we are not the victims of fate, and that we will achieve happiness and self-esteem if we take hold of our lives and never let go.

The worst-case scenario for the individual who is moved to take responsibility for his own actions and who believes he controls his fate is that regardless of whether or not he gains any monetary benefit, he will at least gain a sense of autonomy and self-respect. The best-case scenario is that he will influence others around him to adopt his view. If this conversion occurs for enough people, all over the country, then there may be hope for the American Republic yet.

Read The American Thinker article "The Left's Psychological Assault on Independence".

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