Introverts, Extroverts, & Political Positions

As many of you may know, contrary to the popular understanding of the introvert as someone who is shy and the extrovert as outgoing, Jung’s Personality Types describes it as being a matter of how one relates to the world of objects. For the introvert, everything starts in the self and returns to it. The introvert, in other words, is a little like an intellectual groundhog that goes out into the world and reality, collects what it can of it, and then takes it back to its own little hole. For the extrovert, everything begins and ends in the world of objects. This is not to say they are these vacuous zombies that act in the world and don’t think about it. They certainly think. It’s just that the weight of their focus tends to be on the outside world.

That said, I think this model can give us better understanding of the liberal and conservative mindset. For the liberal who tends to be more inclined to the introverted, everything has a more ethereal that always warrants deconstruction. Their world, being the world of the mind, tends to be an ever shifting dynamism that can never be perfectly pinned down. This, for instance, explains the liberal deficiency when it comes to communicating their interpretation of reality. Jung, himself, in Personality Types expressed sympathy for the introvert as struggle to express themselves. (It should also be noted here that Jung was deeply implicit in the Nazi movement which was clearly right wing and, as will be explained in the next paragraph, extroverted to an extreme.) He, furthermore, noted that the extroverted type tended to be more abundant.

The extrovert, being more orientated to the world of objects, would tend to be more orientated to materialism and common assumptions and dogmas (which are always “out there”) with less inclination to self deconstruct; in other words: a conservative.

Now where it gets really interesting is when Jung describes the respective maladies that tend to haunt each type. But before I get into it, I need to first explain the role that the subconscious plays in this. For Jung, it often plays the role of counter-balance to what is going on in the conscious mind. For instance, one might be a peacenik or pacifist because of violent tendencies going on in the subconscious. Or they might be violent towards women because they want the love and security of their mothers.

That explained to the best of my ability, I can’t remember the name Jung gave to it, but the malady he attributed to the introvert was a situation in which the individual is subconsciously drawn towards objects while being simultaneously repelled. This is the part that gives me some confirmation of the model since, myself being an introvert; it gives me an explanation of a lot of my behavior. For instance, it could well explain my Marxist sympathies and issues with Capitalism in that I could well be attracted to objects provided by materialism at a subconscious level while being repulsed by the attraction. There’s a kind of push-pull relationship between me and the things I could buy. It could also explain my relationship with women since we all are, from a phenomenological/ontological perspective, objects occupying each other’s space. The sense of The Other as a perceiving thing requires a leap of faith.

The malady that tends to afflict the extrovert is Hysteria. This results from the extrovert’s repulsion to the inner life which causes the subconscious, in its countering capacity, to well up and overwhelm the conscious. This would explain many of the things you tend to see among the more extreme factions of the conservatives. Ironically, it would also explain the extremes of the NAZI party that Jung participated so willingly in. It also tells us something about the authoritarian mindset.

It would also be important to note here that it would seem natural for people in the dire circumstances the Germans were in from the end of WWI to the rise of Hitler to lean to the more extroverted side of the spectrum. Objects, such as food, sustain the mind. Therefore, it would seem natural for the absence of those objects to focus the mind outward.

Moved to Psych, I think you might get more (informed?) comment there :slight_smile:

I appreciate your effort to get this noticed.

But given the driveby nature of what we do here, some things will get overlooked for reasons not totally invovled with the quality of the post.

I keep trying to think of things to add to it to keep it at the the top of the cycle. And will continue to do so. And I may get a chance to slip it in to another string.

But if it doesn’t get noticed, it doesn’t get noticed.

Nevertheless, thanks, friend: for your appreciation as well as your effort. The appreciation of someone who had the brains to put something like this together is as about as much, if not far more than I could expect.

I need to think more about this before offering comment; however, I’m happy to see Jungian psychology interpreted as affecting political beliefs and consequent actions.

I am quite an introvert, I value myself, my well being and my happiness above all. I love money and being able to buy what I want. I am very career/business oriented. Those traits are of an extroverted conservative, rather than introverted moderate. Also, a democratic position, even socialist one tends to lean on society, “the people”, collectivism which is pretty different from the mindset of an introvert. I do not think that these two very simple categories can make up for the vast psycho-political picture. I’m just an egoist and an individualist, those traits actually are responsible for my political leanings.

One word: Eysenck.

The psychologist Hans Eysenck theorised
that Fascism and Communism, though diametrically opposed on the traditional
Left-Right spectrum, had something essential in common. This, he suggested, was
the ‘toughmindedness’ of Fascism and Communism alike. Toughmindedness is
connected with extroversion and low conditionability and inhibitability. For an
example of conditioning, one should think of Pavlov’s dogs. “To inhibit” in this
context means to temporarily wean from conditioning. People who are easy to
condition (and thereby to inhibit) tend to be introverts, because they tend to
avoid stimulation, as they are easily overstimulated. For this reason they tend
to be ‘Liberals’, that is, take a political position of seeking to curb
expressions of aggression and sexuality.

‘Liberals’ in this sense [tend] to be in the center of the traditional Left-Right axis,
which I think is because for them the individual is prior to society. For this
reason, they tend to be opposed as much to statelessness (as in Marxian
Communism) as to totalitarianism (as in Mussolinian Fascism). They are opposed
to statelessness because statelessness, contrary to what Marx thought, would of
course mean anarchy, the state of nature, the war of all against all (or, as
Nietzsche implied in The Greek State, the war of all families against all
families). And they are opposed to totalitarianism because they feel the
individual should be above the state (we should probably think of Kant here, who
thought the individual should never be treated as a means: and indeed, “Liberal”
here means Enlightenment Liberal).

P.S.: True hysteria—hysteria of the type Jung meant—is a pathological condition of extroverts, i.e., people of low conditionability and inhibitability. It works like this: a great physical mass has a great inertia, i.e., it takes great force to get it to move; but once it’s in motion, it takes great force to stop it. Thus when extroverts have finally gotten into a state of over-excitement, it’s very hard to calm them down again.

Excellent points, Sauwelios. You certainly gave it a scholarly edge beyond what I’m capable of.

Actually, I’ve met a few reticent conservatives myself. But once again, being shy or reticent is only a contingent aspect of extroversion. The only necessity is that the orientation be towards the world of objects. Plus that, you have bare in mind that the introvert/extrovert relationship is not one of either/or, it’s more of a spectrum that people can fall at any point of.

And being an introvert myself, on a good night at the bar, I can be as social as anyone. And while I do have a kind of push-pull relationship with the world of objects, I like having things as well. The difference is that I simultaneously tend to have reservations about it as well.

I’m conservative about some issues and liberal about others. I really don’t see how my nature as an introvert decides which belief I will adhere to. I think we all swing both ways depending on need at the time.

Once again:

It’s not an either/or situation.

Even as Jung described it, it’s more of a spectrum within which

we shift from time to time.

Most of us are not an extreme either.

And as Jung pointed out:

all he can provide are models to work from in order to understand things:

it is by no means a mirror to the world.

I dunno. When I look at things like Bitcoins and the Silk Road, I see the Libertarian Dream: to be able to anonymously order drugs on-line and not interact with anyone. That is the view I think introverts tend towards, whereas an extrovert is part of the community regularly interacting with other people so of course they lean left.

Because I’m an extrovert and I’m a leftist. Therefore, both extroverts and leftists are better than introverts and rightists. So, to be extroverted is better than to be introverted. To be leftist is better than to be rightists. From that it follows that good people are like me and be they either extroverted (a good thing) or leftist (a good thing) they are much more likely to be both, because they are good people (people like me) and like good things (things that I like).

That is to say, personal bias tends to shape these sorts of discussions in very silly ways.

It’s all kind of a mixed package:

we can never pin it down to one model.

If we could, it would be lot easier to find a solution.

What I tend to see, especially when I see beer commercials, are extroverts and players who have a lot at stake in the system as is.

I even see them in real life in bars.

And they quite often tend to be Libertarians and Conservatives

I think you’re describing a really weird anomoly.

There are of course, the isolated militia type like Timothy McVeigh. But they’re pretty rare among introverts.

Now what you might be describing is what Bob Altymeyer described in the authoritarian personality, which something quite different than the extroverted authoritarian. It was the dominater type. They’re the ones that come along and give the extroverted authoritarians something to follow -much like Hitler who was a reticent type.

Plus that, I think you failed to recognize the main point about the introvert/extrovert spectrum. It’s not about being shy or social, it’s about an orientation to the world of objects. The person you describe may do so because they’re more into accumulating objects than they are being around other people.

Sorry, bud, but I have to disagree with you on this point.

Nice try though.

I think you missed the point.

My point is that we allign the system such that it agrees with our baises and makes us out to be the hero.

I think I get your point on this. And you may well be right that I did miss your point. But you’ll have to elaborate and refer it somewhat to the history of this particular exchange between us.

Given the decency and intelligence you’ve showed so far, I have to assume that your point warrants some consideration. But you’ll have to elaborate.

Perhaps what merits consideration is politeness.

Be as obtuse and shallow as you wish…but do it nicely.
We’ll all listen…with gaping mouths, as if something awe inspiring is being stated.

The British were masters at this.
They never produced any thinkers of any merit, besides an odd few, but they spoke with such eloquence and civility, and that stiff-upper lip that feigned reasoning, that all stop to listen to them speak.
All feel like something intellectual is being said when they read from a phone-book, or when they recite a verse from Cat with a Hat.
Even an imbecile is raised to the heights of enlightenment, when he is allowed to listen.