Moral Displacement Syndrome

Abstract: Let me introduce you to Moral Displacement Syndrome. Moral Displacement Syndrome (MDS) is not just a general form of denial. Scapegoat Theory is only a particular case of MDS (Stanford employed philosopher-clown Girard, see below, who built an entire philosophy around Scapegoat Theory, see below; not by coincidence, places such as Stanford are full of MDS and Trump Derangement Syndrome…). One can guess the existence of the former, MDS, from the latter, the Scapegoat, by mimicking what is done in mathematics: generalizing from an example (Scapegoat Theory is older than civilization, obviously…)

Moral Displacement Syndrome replaces and displaces proper explanations, which don’t miss any relevant dimension, with simplistic, at best irrelevant red herrings. In a world where understanding is the foundation of morality, MDS is a grave sin.

Much moral posturing is actually obvious MDS, starting with all superstitious faiths.

MDS does not always arise from the sadistic, cruel, vicious, selfish instincts. A potent force behind MDS is economy of thought. For example, explaining everything with “God” (or “Dog”), and its few commandments, enables to feel full, with an empty mind.  

Thus there is an even more general theory which looms in the distance: Cognitive Displacement Syndrome (and MDS is a particular case).


Building Psychological Theories As One Builds Mathematics:

Any mathematical theory starts with a set of axioms. They are then animated by so-called “standard, second order logic”.

Axioms themselves are abstractions of properties distinguished out there: circles are perfectly round, circumference over diameter is pi, lines are perfectly straight, angles of a closed figure add to 180 degrees, etc.

However, one often can build powerful mathematics by taking out some axioms.

For example, the preceding axioms about circles, pi, straight lines, angles are, it turns out all more or less related if one relaxes those axioms. In other words, relaxing axioms make a theory less logically rigid, and then more general, and its logic become more complex.


Scapegoat Theory:

Normal Scapegoat Theory accuses somebody, or a category of people, to have morally failed, or to be the cause of something adverse. Thus scapegoats deserve of punishment, or the world will be much improved by eliminating them. (Either because “god” says it, or because that moral failure is viewed as a cause of an ongoing problem). In the West those scapegoat people are often those which the Bible/Qur’an recommends to kill (homosexuals, apostates, non-believers, adulterers, fashion criminals, etc.).

In reality, things of the mind always go meta big time: 

Metapsychological analysis should always have the last word, beyond the most basic psychological analysis. Analysis without meta-analysis is a carriage without a driver.

Metapsychological analysis should always have the last word, beyond the most basic psychological analysis. (Actually if is an idea implicit, but fundamental to justice.) Psychological analysis without meta-analysis is a carriage without a driver.


Moral Displacement Syndrome Is A Generalization Of Scapegoat Theory:

Simply remove the aggression in scapegoat theory. And then remove the scapegoat. What’s left? A moral or logical system of mind which is false, yet imbued with a feeling, or at least an exhibition of a feeling, of moral superiority.

Even after removing the scapegoat itself, those affected with the scapegoating mood will be still imbued with aggression. Aggression has to do with a cocktail of neurohormones and the hyper activity of attack organs (for want of a better term) in the brain (for example the amygdala which promotes fear and doing something about it, namely counter-attacking).

Removing an object of anger, does not remove the anger state. This is demonstrated neurologically, and this also why angry people tend to kick stuff, slam doors, clench teeth, indulge in road rage, and snap back at completely innocent third parties.

A vegan may face us, and insure us that she is not more aggressive than a cow (not knowing, as vegans do not, that cows are actually very aggressive, and will fight). So let’s remove the aggression. What’s left? The moral obsession. The obsessive moral contraption which occupies their otherwise blank minds.

Hawking himself stubled on an aspect of the Moral Displacement Syndrome

Hawking himself stumbled on an aspect of the Moral Displacement Syndrome


Moral Displacement Syndrome Is Ubiquitous:

The obvious example is TRUMP DERANGEMENT SYNDROME. Many would-be progressives, instead of worrying about how to implement progress, accuse Trump of everything they can possibly imagine, including being paid by Putin instead of thinking about how to foster progress.

Trump Derangement Syndrome is a particular case of Moral Displacement Syndrome.  

MDS consists in attributing problems to the wrong cause. For example, after the launch of the First Crusade, in the Eleventh Century the Jews were accused of lots of evil they had nothing to with (or then in the most devious fashion, as privileges given to them under the Carolingians made them natural scapegoats for the true culprits; accusing the Jews enabled the feudal magnates who destroyed the Carolingian empire to escape suspicious).  

The plutocratic order ruined Europe and the Americas in recent decades. Instead of accusing themselves, and the global plutocracy which enrich them, through the media they own, the plutocrats trotted out a number of culprits: the European Union, Donald Trump, etc…

Theresa May announced the death of everything: “If you believe you are a citizen of the world you are a citizen of nowhere.” In other words, supporting the planet made you nothing. You are at moral fault by not supporting Europe, because you support nothing, so you are a nihilist, claims PM May.


Moral Displacement Theory Is All Over Officially Promoted Morality:

Vegetarianism, veganism, (many kinds of) Buddhism, and, of course, Abrahamism are examples of Moral Displacement. In Christo-Islamism, lack of submission (to “god”) is viewed as the cause of all moral ills. So doing, lack of submission, truly, to the Lord, king, dictator, duke, count, emperor, etc. is made into a moral fault, whereas it’s only a fault of a criminal sort, in a system which is itself criminal.

Not cultivating the propensity to obey infamy was made into a religious, moral fault. The cult of, and obedience to the chief was made into the ultimate morality, by pretending it was a divine command.


Fake Philosophy: René Girard’s Mimetic Madness:

I have to mention in passing, for (contemporary philosophy) specialists,  René Noël Théophile Girard, a Mr. Scapegoat of Biblical proportions. He was a great pillar of the Franco-American plutocratic order. Girard’s fundamental ideas were that desire is mimetic (i.e. all of our desires are borrowed from other people), that all conflict originates in mimetic desire (mimetic rivalry), that the scapegoat mechanism is the origin of sacrifice and the foundation of human culture.

These ideas are, of course, stupid beyond belief. If Mr. Leopard if roaming the forest searching for the nice curves and lustrous fur of Ms. Leopard, it’s not by mimetism. And, if, instead he falls on Mr. Girard, or his ilk, and eats him alive, this conflict would not have been caused by mimetic desire.

I am not just criticizing as if I were a “chatbot”: all sorts of neurological studies and neuroimaging have proven that there is desire, and rewards, beyond mimetism.

Girard also thought that religion was necessary in human evolution to control the violence that can come from mimetic rivalry, and that the Bible reveals these ideas and denounces the scapegoat mechanism.

This splendid stupidity, of course, made Girard a great support of the plutocratic system (lauding the Bible/Qur’an), and he spent years as a tremendous mandarin in Stanford, and was elected to the French academy. Girard was also awarded the Order of Isabella the Catholic, butcher of Jews, Muslims and smart people, by the Spanish hereditary Pluto, H.M. King Juan Carlos, descendant of Louis XIV of France, butcher of Protestants.


Conclusion: There is lots of fakery out there. Even worse: a meta-morality is ubiquitous: a generalized tolerance for fakery. Tolerance for fakery is a meta-mood: let’s tolerate what should be obvious superchery. Tolerating obvious fakery, here, there, and soon everywhere, feeds cognitive nihilism. Surprise, surprise, this is how plutocracy rules over the minds of the insects, out there.

Patrice Ayme’

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17 Responses to “Moral Displacement Syndrome”

  1. Benign Says:

    You fall into your own trap, Venus Flytrap. It was the insects nauseated by the lies who rebelled and elected Trump, who speaks more truth than any President in recent memory.

    I am literally sickened watching the Russophobic propaganda on television in the mornings (only time I watch a little).

    The insects may yet inherit the earth.



    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      I could not agree more that the insects revolted, Benign, and should revolt some more. Even Bannon knows this, that’s why he wants to repair Obamacare (not annihilate it!)…(Most Obamacare people who voted, voted Trump…)

      The McCarthy like campaign against Trump (!) is beyond ridiculous, it will contribute to the Dems further undoing: We The People will understand pretty quick that this is just a delaying tactic, because Dems have nothing intelligent to contribute. Obama met 22 times with the same Russian ambassador, at the White House alone, including 4 times last year (Trump did pretty good tweets about this today… “Hereby I demand inquiries against Schumer (with Putin, smiling, sharing a drink)/Pelosi (Russian ambassador…), etc…

      Are you on Twitter????


  2. Benign Says:

    I don’t tweet. Trump is holding back on his ace up the sleeve, the millions that flowed into the Clinton Foundation while Crooked Hillary was SOS and suddenly Russians were able to acquire substantial interests in our uranium deposits. See


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Trump tweeted a little while ago today that Obama wiretapped him just before election… If really true, this is major. Russian plutocracy putinized in 21 C is a reaction to Yeltsin’s Russia Harvardized in the 1990s… The circle has to be broken… Lavrov and Putin know where the bodies are buried, and they were not all killed by Russians…

      Nothing wrong with tweets. It forces abstracts of logic into 140 characters. Birds tweet for a reason, so do we.


  3. SDM Says:

    This Trump cheer leading is getting a bit ridiculous. He is all bout plutocracy- he says outright that he is most fit to rule because he is very very rich. “I alone” is his mantra. That so many would put their faith in him is quite disturbing. It reveals much about the state of the US. And it is not pretty.


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Oh, Trump Cheer Leading? What? Where? Because I talk about vegans? As far as I know the essay was not about Trump at all. Moral Displacement Syndrome is all over the place. The Islamist who has been oppressed earlier in life, by bad people, or a bad situation, and then turns to Islam, practices MDS.

      Many people on the “left” who are now fanatically anti-Trump, I have followed forever. Up to a few months ago, they were not “left” at all (I was, they were not). However, Obama and other “Dems” failed them (but they don’t want to admit it, because they would have to admit their own rightwingness, disguised as left wing, was at fault: example: Krugman).

      So, indeed, they now enjoy MDS, claiming it was all Trump’s fault, and that’s indeed ridiculous.

      Not only the US is in crisis. The crisis is global: Chile is in the grip of an anti-Pluto revolt (the head Pluto there even excused himself publicly for his class). Brazil is rotten through and through. Argentina elected a great friend of Obama, the top Pluto there (I wrote an essay partly on this…. the essay above actually…) Venezuela is imploding. That’s just for the major NEW problems in South America, a relatively peaceful place.

      Europe is completely imploding: Brexit is grotesque, extrmely injurious, a Pluto lie through and through. In France, Islamophiliac so-called judges are trying to put in jail the two non-left wing candidates… I am myself super left wing, but still find that ridiculous. The leading left wing candidate (who more or less follows me) is actually a prop of Banque Rothschild… And so on.

      The bottom line is that we need (much more) direct democracy… And real debates… Obama told Trump what I have been saying: NORTH KOREA. Obama was doing with it a ridiculous (everything is ridiculous) “cyber war”. Failed, says Obama. Big surprise. Now one has to make North Korea believe that real war is coming. Meanwhile the South Korean presidency is imploding…


      • SDM Says:

        Agreed this essay much less Trump than others. Just get the feeling that anti-plutocracy and Trump hardly go hand in hand. When Trump is held up as some one who will make anti-pluto changes, it is puzzling to say the least.
        Granted, Trump (or perhaps those behind him) tapped into an anti-establishment mood and were better able to dismantle the respective party than Sanders. His anti-immigrant stance played especially well in rural white areas.
        Direct democracy is hardly imminent in the US as anti-voter laws are the rage under the guise of practically non-existent voter “fraud”. (another racist meme) Obama and many other Dems for about 30 years or more essentially abandoned the New Deal for Wall Street financing to match corporate money funding the GOP. What we have now is the ugly result. And a president with a thin skin and appears to be in over his head.


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Trump’s wealth is 7% of Bezos’ wealth…


      • SDM Says:

        That rubs him the wrong way. Trump sees the presidency as a way to increase his wealth, or perhaps at the very least then undo some of those who are more wealthy than he.


        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          How do you know?
          What motivates people? Do they vary in motivation, as their lives elapse (I believe this to some extent, more or less…)? What is the hierarchy of motivations?
          In any case, once again, it’s about ideas. It should be about ideas. The Dems had so much no ideas, the situation degenerate. Same in Europe. All this obsessing about what Trump really wants is obsessing about a baby’s moods instead of obsessing about finding ideas.


  4. Patrice Ayme Says:

    The Plutos rule. Maybe they told their servants, the Dems to go after the Russians, a ridiculous, hopeless, endehavor, because suddenly the Plutos have become reasonable, and want to give Donald a chance…
    For quite a while, I have said we have a very serious NORTH KOREA(/China) problem. Now it has been officially revealed (NYT!) that Obama said as much to the Donald. And that the “cyber war” didn’t work. So maybe real war, hence the change of heart…


    • SDM Says:

      Give Donald a chance to do- what exactly? Early days of his administration are tumultuous and more of a stumble towards rather either vague or disturbing goals.
      Dems certainly grabbed hold of the Russia issue and Donald set himself up for that one. Somehow Putin became some sort of idol to the white anti-immigrant conservative crowd in comparison to their view of Obama as variously weak and ineffective vs. all powerful evil emperor, depending on what side of the bed they got up on. Trump appears to have seized on this meme as part of his campaign.
      But now Trump may yet have his hand forced to reveal his tax returns. If doing so was to his benefit, the tax returns would have been out there a long time ago. He is hiding something and is loathe to reveal it.


      • Patrice Ayme Says:

        With all due respects, this is all just foam from surf at the beach. The real business are the waves behind. I am sure Trump is chuckling about the Russian thing. I think he really got offended when he learned Obama spied on him (but there again, he probably added a layer or two).

        There is of course no Russian issue (as a serious interference in US politics). Palmyra got retaken, in the last few days, after suffering new, horrendous damage, because the USAF cooperated with the Russians (at least that’s what the French government says, and it’s probably true).

        I wrote plenty of anti-Putin essays in the past. And I believe in what’s in them. However, times have moved on. The sanctions did not work. By NOT attacking Assad, Obama not just let the French in the front line as the ultimate bad guys, but opened Syria to Putin. That’s done, he owns it (to some extent).

        What one sees now is plutocracy taking a last stand in Britain, France and the USA. To some extent, the methods are the same: so-called judges are central (including the still unamed ones who enabled taping Trump under Obama), and the plutocraticlly owned media accompanies, 1984 style, the whole madness.

        A danger is that We The People get really angry by being insulted too long (this is what happened both with Brexit and the Donald, although there were predecessor revolts in Greece, Scotland, Catalonia, etc.) In particular in Europe, Islamophile judges have gone way too far (Islamophobic judges were pushed away into standard law, in France!)


        • SDM Says:

          Russia issue is just something to flail away with in the effort of keeping Donald occupied and/or distracted. It never hurt him in his campaign but is likely to be a more effective issue now that his was elected. Every campaign promise unfulfilled is another thorn in his side. The media is lapping it up and the circus continues. Meanwhile, casino capitalism bubbles on for now.


  5. Gmax Says:

    People with intellectual pretense have Trump Derangement Syndrome. because they know something is going on, but they don’t know what it is, Mr. Jones (quoting B Dylan).

    They want to show they are good, and they think that’s best done by hating Trump as loud and clear as possible. Pathetic. Meanwhile no one commented on your deep Venus essay…

    Can we hear more about those obnoxious vegans?


  6. Tribes, Tribute, Attribution, Scapegoat | Patrice Ayme's Thoughts Says:

    […] I have generalized the Scapegoat Theory (which is thousands of years old), by a more general form, Moral Displacement Syndrome. But let me give here Girard’s simple minded […]


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