"The Barry Effect is the attempt to create so much cognitive dissonance that the brain begins to malfunction from profound uncertainty. Altering a person’s perceptions of reality, especially when combined with isolation and blame (that one’s confusion is a result of a personal flaw), can break that person down.
The Barry Effect plays on the innate relationship between humans and the concept of certainty. Uncertainty is the most disquieting feeling a human can have. According to Nietzsche, in “Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense,” the entire point of the human intellect is to provide a sense of safety and prevent ubiquitous anxiety. This is not the certainty of knowing the truth about lofty concepts or the efficacy of particular opinions. This is the certainty about mundane reality itself. Most people would crumble if they were led to be unsure about the most basic things. Those who wield The Barry Effect know this.
The prodding of one’s brain toward auto-cannibalism is called “menticide” by psychiatrist Joost A. M. Meerloo, and this murder of the mind is a means to “logicide”: the eradication of logic, itself. The Barry Effect is a powerful weapon for “menticidal maniacs.” Its seeds can be sown by suddenly making innocuous statements into micro-aggressions. They can be cultivated by demonizing basic features of society like reason, the value of hard work, the concept of merit, free speech, and even equality. Once someone is no longer sure of what is and is not real or acceptable, the destabilization has reached a point where the person is helpless mentally and emotionally. Such a person is easy to manipulate and control, helping others seize power. Theoretically, if this can be done to a critical mass, whole cultures can be transformed."
"Why does social justice, especially the kind that drives many contemporary DEI initiatives, seem so nonsensical? Why do law students at a prestigious school seem unaware of the First Amendment? Why do student activists and college administrators seem to think that physically attacking a woman for her opinion is productive behavior? And what about the egregious neglect of due process or a person’s right to defend oneself in so many campus cancelations? If the goal of these initiatives truly is diversity, equity, inclusion, and the fair treatment of all, these actions seem counterproductive. However, if the goal is confusion, chaos, and destabilization of the status quo, then it makes all the sense in the world.
Many progressive activists and scholars do this to aid in their mission for social transformation. They may not even believe what they say, but they know how what they say can influence their world. If they can succeed in making people doubt their realities, they can more easily usher in their preferred reality and wrest power from upholders of the status quo."