Who Are the Real ‘Crazies’?
A few days ago I sent out to some friends a short piece, unsigned, on “gaslighting.” If you follow media pundits and online scribblers, you’ve probably heard or seen the term used in a political or social context and wondered exactly what it meant.
Gaslighting, in that currently employed sense, can be defined as a form of psychological abuse aimed at controlling a person by altering perceived reality to the point where the person will doubt his own sanity. Essentially it involves mental manipulation “in which a person or a group covertly sows seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or group, making them question their own memory, perception, or judgment, often evoking in them cognitive dissonance and other changes, including low self-esteem. Using denial, misdirection, contradiction, and information, gaslighting involves attempts to destabilize the victim and delegitimize the victim’s beliefs.”
This usage apparently originates with the play, Gas Light (1938) and two succeeding classic movies from 1940 and 1944 (this latter film famously stars Ingrid Bergman, Charles Boyer, and Joseph Cotten). The main character in the play (and in the films) literally attempts to drive his wife crazy by gradually dimming the gas-powered lights in their home. As she complains that the lights seem to be getting dimmer, her husband not only denies the fact, but convinces her that it is just her imagination…to the point where she begins to question her own sanity.
In contemporary America “gaslighting” has become a praxis, a weapon of choice of the post-Marxist Progressivist Left: That is
Article from LewRockwell