The aspirational class exists (and is readily recognizable) through expressing a peculiar thematically organized psychosis. The basic structure of this psychosis is remarkably stable, and readily explained :
First, the psychotic instantiate groups out of disjoint objects. In order for a collection of objects to properly constitute a group in a context, each individual object must meet some quality or property relevant in that context. Instead of identifying proper groups through qualities or properties of the objects in question, the psychotic merely instantiates groups on the basis of its representational needsi, and thus regularily and predictably produces ideal instantiations of very little intellectual merit, such as "the nation of africa", "scientists", "the earth", "everyone" -- a short step from the universal psychotic currency ("they").
Second, the psychotic instantiate "speakers", iconic representatives of the previously hallucinated groups. These are entities appointed to hold a pars-pro-toto relationship with the entire group, not for some reason to do with the individuals included in the group, nor their relationship to the icon, but again because of the subjective needs of the psychopath himself.ii
One particularly indicative symptom of the psychotic process is the extreme defensiveness of the psychopath if confronted with any discussion of the exceedingly shoddy relationship uniting the ill defined groups of the first step with the irrationally chosen icons in the second step : without exception the psychopath will perceive the discussion as an attack, specifically directed at him ; without exception the psychopath will recognize and classify this "attack directed at him" through a self-maintained library of "similar attacks"iii ; without exception the psychopath will exhibit no curiosity whatsoever towards the possible breach in his mental model that the discussion engenders, the exact opposite of sane behaviour.
Third, and finally, the psychopath will immediately interact with the representative icon he selected for the imaginary group, as if it were exactly what it is : a figment of his own imagination. Therefore, to the common psychopath, the sentence "scientists agree that [...]" does not parse in any sense nor to any degree as a discussion of the state of understanding of a field, fragmentary, disjointed and non-uniform as it may find itself. Instead, what the psychopath means is that he has instantiated a group, for which he has appointed icons, with which he finds himself in immediate communion. This excludes the possibility of error and the necessity of doubt, as indeed there can be no space between what the icons say and what the psychopath understands, rendering the proverbial heavy lifting to featherweight effort.
The last item in the articulation also readily classifies the common psychosis : it is not chemical, nor is it organic. The common psychosis is simply stress psychosis, induced in the weak of heart by the extreme abundance of ideal objects, the deluge of representation, the endless truckloads of possible disjointed meanings coming head on down the Information Superhighway.
This conceptual abundance is particularly indigestible for a certain subset of the planet's population, specifically the barely literate, monolingual scions of an erstwhile republic. As the star of their state set, the intellectual fashions prevalent settled on a particularly ill-advised rehash of their earlier primitive ideas of individualism and self-sufficiency. The resultant ideological murk (" New Age"), anchored by "self-esteem" and "you can do anything", is particularly ill suited to survive the onslaught of the Internet era, exactly in the way and exactly for the reasons Nazionalsozialismus was ill suited to conceptualize the superiority of soviet armor, or marxism-leninism ill suited to conceptualize the sociopolitical dangers of "cool".
Group psychosis is, of course, and of necessity, a transient state. As far as individuals themselves are concerned, the impact of psychosis is generally severe. The unmitigated failure of attempts to address the problem to date do not bode well for individual prognosis as a general concern, even though some progress has been seen in extremely limited individual cases.
Palliative care is of limited utility ; the golden standard as far as a cure is concerned definitely revolves around resolving the expectation side of the problem, rather than attempting to address the structuring of the psychosis itself. Individuals that manage to interiorize their relative irrelevancy and powerlessness (such as for instance through contemplating the significant practical cost of hallucination) tend to naturally reduce and over time perhaps even eliminate the TOP under discussion, while individuals that are confronted in terms of the flaws and overall dysfunctional nature of their psychotic worldview generally dissociate (either violently, or catatonically, or hyperactivelly, creating ever more intricate onirical constructions).
It is for this reason that narcissists have particular trouble avoiding in the first place, and resolving after the fact, the mental issue. As the narcissist has serious difficulties internalizing his own unimportance, above and beyond the normal tendency of the human psyche towards inflationary misrepresentations of the self, it is then to be expected that narcissism would be a marked comorbidity of the common psychosis.———
- This procedure is known in literary theory as "the planet of the hats" because of the impression left by the cheaper, mass produced fiction of the 20th century, of everyone (in very large groups, or even on the whole planet) wearing the same metaphorical hat, id est ideological persuasion and general outlook.
This aggravated and took on a very concrete and material shape in the early days of fictive visual representation (as distinct from cinema, the alleged 7th art, which is meaningful not merely representative), when the perceived need to represent "planets" (as part of the "science-fiction" pulp style) conflicted with the present capacity for representation (absent the capacity to create ideal objects, the only open avenue was to decontextualize real objects, the exact equivalent of filming the shadow someone's fingers projected on a wall and then passing the footage off as representing a rabbit), driven as it was by the constraints of mass production in the 20th century (for something to be abundant it must be identical so as to be mass produced, thus all shadows appear recognizably the same in countless specifiable ways). In practice, whole "planets" were represented with exceedingly little diversity, and perhaps in the process inspired the great inter-socialist struggles of the same period. [↩]
- The similarity with primitive magic thinking is indeed striking -- much like the magician of yore selected one apple or one wreath of wheat to stand for the whole orchard or field, similarily the psychopath of today will pick "representatives" for the hallucinated groups that populate its mind. [↩]
- In fact, just another group produced through the exact same process, so let the clinician not be at all amazed should he end up equated with any random other entity -- the relation makes sense to the psychopath through the exact same process : once the clinician has been included in the group of "enemies that launch attacks", he is to be spoken for, in the mind of the psychopath, by the "representative" icons the psychopath himself chooses. [↩]