Neo-con psychoanalytic blogger, Shrinkwrapped, has discussed the innate human resistance to changing opinions (here and here). He draws from self psychology and object-relations theory to explain why opponents of America’s involvement in Iraq don’t change their minds and agree with his support for the war in spite of the facts which, if he is to be believed, speak for themselves. While his explanation for why we humans find it difficult to change our minds might be news to his lay readers, there is nothing unfamiliar here to anyone with an understanding of contemporary psychoanalytic theories. There is also a great deal of evidence from the cognitive sciences to support his conceptualization of resistance to changing minds.
In and of itself, Shrinkwrapped’s explanation for why human beings resist change is fine. The problem is that he arbitrarily hitches his neo-con wagon to it, creating an air of ‘scientificity' around his political beliefs. Shrinkwrapped begins with the certainty that everyone who disagrees with him on a single political position is out of touch with reality. Then he offers a generic description of the difficulty all human beings have with changing their minds, as if it is only this universal resistance to changing one’s mind that keeps the rest of humanity from jumping on the back of his personal hobby horse. In fact, Shrinkwrapped’s explanation for resistance to change is applicable to all human beings, of all political persuasions, including neo-cons like Shrinkwrapped.