The Many Derangement Syndromes of Our Time

The term “derangement syndrome” has made it into everyday speech, thanks to the now ubiquitous use of the term “Trump Derangement Syndrome,” a term coined by Esther Goldberg back in 2015.

Writing for the American Spectator, Goldberg offered prescient observations as to how Trump Derangement Syndrome had afflicted “ruling class conservatives” such as George Will and Charles Cooke. These two were among the first “Never Trumpers, and since then Trump Derangement Syndrome, or TDS, has spread across America. But TDS is only one of the many derangement syndromes of our time.

The British conservative author and journalist Douglas Murray made derangement a central theme of his recent book, “The Madness of Crowds.” Writing about his book for the Daily Mail, he says “We are going through a great mass derangement. In public and in private, people are behaving in ways that are increasingly irrational, feverish, herd-like and unpleasant.”

In his book, Murray claims that in post-modern society’s retreat from the great narratives offered by religion, patriotism, and traditions of family and community, people have found new ideologies to absorb their passions: social justice, identity politics, and intersectionality.

At face value, these ideologies aren’t especially toxic. Who doesn’t want social justice? Who isn’t proud of their heritage? Who would not acknowledge that the various group identities embodied in any individual intersect in a manner that helps define how they view themselves in the world? The toxicity is introduced by what overlays these ideologies: oppressor vs oppressed, empowered vs […] Read More