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Scaramucci on symmetry

[ by Charles Cameron — & compare the symmetry of projection ]

White House (new) communications director on symmetrical loyalty. At about the 4.25 mark:

Scaramucci on Trump:

He’s a remarkably loyal guy. The loyalty, though, has to be symmetrical. And good loyalty is always symmetrical, you don’t want asymmetrical loyalty.

File that under “on the importance of form”.


Symmetry as projection:

Matching Scaramucci‘s symmetry of loyalty is James Fallows‘ symmetry of projection. From an ongoing discussion with readers at The Atlantic:

I argue that “projection,” in the psychological sense, is the default explanation for anything Donald Trump says or does.

Projection means deflecting any criticism (or half-conscious awareness) of flaws in yourself by accusing someone else of exactly those flaws. Is Trump’s most immediately obvious trait his narcissistic and completely ungoverned temperament? (Answer: yes.) By the logic of projection, it thus makes perfect sense that he would brag that he has “the greatest temperament” and judgment, and criticize the always-under-control Hillary Clinton for hers.

One of Fallows’ follwers notes the connection between projection as parallelism and projection as self-reference (ie, our old frined the ouroboros):

In simple terms, one might say his [Trump’s] mind is empty of any thoughts that are not self-referential. And so self-projection is simply a consequence of this vacuity.

There’s more in Peter Beinart‘s article, The Projection President, subtitled Months into his tenure, Trump still responds to controversies by lobbing the same charges at his opponents — and see also Katy Waldman‘s piece, We the Victims, subtitled Trump’s Paris accord speech projected his own psychological issues all over the American people..

4 Responses to “Scaramucci on symmetry”

  1. Charles Cameron Says:

    An ugly symmetry, from Pakistan:

    Religion, ‘honor’ and Pakistan’s ‘revenge rape’
    Shamil Shams (“Deutsche Welle,” July 27, 2017)
    Mohammad Ashfaq, a resident of the Muzaffarabad area near the city of Multan, raped a 16-year-old girl last week. He was “avenging” the honor of his 12-year-old sister, who was raped by his fellow-villager, Omar Wadda. A council of elders, which the villagers view as their representative legal body, ordered Ashfaq to exact “revenge rape” to even the score.

  2. Charles Cameron Says:

    Another ugly symmetry:

    Thomas Joscelyn, Trump Got This One Right: Shutting down the CIA’s ghost war in Syria.
    The footage is haunting. Five bearded men smirk as they surround a boy in the back of a pickup truck. One of them holds the boy’s head with a tight grip on his hair while another mockingly slaps his face. Then, one of them uses a knife to saw the child’s head off and holds it up in the air like a trophy. It is a scene reminiscent of the Islamic State’s snuff videos, except this wasn’t the work of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s men. The murderers were supposed to be the good guys: our allies.

  3. Charles Cameron Says:

    Projection, aka “flipping” an accusation on one’s adversary:

  4. Charles Cameron Says:

    A symmetry observed:

    They’re both spoiled scions who surpassed less ruthless older brothers to join their authoritarian fathers in the family business. They both make strange fashion statements with their hair and enjoy bullying and hyperbole. They both love military parades, expect “Dear Leader” displays of fawning and favor McDonald’s and Madonna.

    Muureen Dowd, in Will the Blowhard Blow Us Up?

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