Monday, February 20, 2017

Marx on the reactionary Donald Trump


Driven by the contradictory demands of his situation, and being at the same time, like a juggler, under the necessity of keeping the public gaze on himself, [with his promises to make America great again], by springing constant surprises – that is to say, under the necessity of arranging a coup d’├ętat in miniature every day – [Trump] throws the whole bourgeois economy into confusion, violates everything that seemed inviolable to the [the conservatives of the deified, anti-Russian Ronald Regan], makes some tolerant of revolution and makes others lust for it, and produces anarchy in the name of order, while at the same time stripping the entire state machinery of its halo, profaning it and making it at once loathsome and ridiculous. 



The [Trump] dynasty represents not the revolutionary, but the conservative [worker]; not the [worker] who strikes out beyond the condition of his social existence, [the factory or mining job], but rather one who wants to consolidate [these professions]; not the [minimum wage workers] who in alliance with the [urban youth) want to overthrow the old order through their own energies, but on the contrary those who, in solid seclusion within this old order, want to see themselves and their [blue collar jobs] saved and favored by the ghost of the Empire. It represents not the enlightenment but the superstition of the peasant; not his judgment but his prejudice; not his future but his past...

Saturday, February 11, 2017

It's got to stop.

I'm tired of Trump and his grandiosity, pettiness, paranoia, and inarticulate cluelessness.

I'm just as tired of PCism...

I saw La La Land. Ryan Gosling was a bad singer. Emma Stone had some spirit, but he was wooden. I talked to someone about the movie and the first thing they mentioned was that the movie should have had a black lead, and it was cultural appropriation that Gosling's character likes jazz.

Grow up. Both of you.

If you care about people then volunteer your time or give money to the poor and downtrodden (whether white, black, or any race or religion).

It's very convenient that you can police how people speak and complain about our backwards culture, when it doesn't cost you money or any of your luxury.

...

The right wants to allow intellectual property rights to that impede science, artistic creation, and seem to value what is "man made" with complete disregard for what isn't shaped, branded, labeled, and copyrighted.

With Trump there is no clearer example of how money can only go so far, and narcissists often have object altruistic drives to be loved and esteemed in the culture, shown on the news media, or have a public. Money is a potential tool for access to some things, but a culture can harness these drives in people without the reward or mere money.

As much as their is religious followers, associated with the right, who would block out everything that the bible, or more accurately what their preachers or ideologues tell them is outside of the bible, there are many leftist academics who are no better. They tell me that science is simply one world view among many and all are subject to cultural relativism.

Similarly, to divide up culture among racial lines that other races shouldn't cross is just as short-sighted, and misplaced as letting scientists copyright their work in genetics.

I'm all for equality between the sexes, races, and, for our historical moment, different religions. When  women earn less, or someone is discriminated against, people should prosecute and protect their rights. However, while 64% of America is white, the idea that the majority of people should feel bad that they watch a movie with two white leads, especially because one likes jazz, can only come from contemptible impulses.  There is either guilt about what one's ancestors did which should hardly become the child's "sin," or moral perfectionism that is supposed to make leftist superior to other people.

If diminishment of the bad feelings or suffering of others is someone's goal, then how can the lead in a movie compare to the suffering found in the hungry, illiterate, the broken homes, the crime filled neighborhoods...?

It is so privileged to focus on the cultural level in this way.
  





Friday, February 3, 2017

Electra and Antigone

I haven't been doing much myth work for a while, but I wanted to make a short post on how strongly I have seen the importance of both the electoral and antigonal (?) forms show up in therapy.

The electral form is straightforward in the object drives: an object egoist finds he or she has been cheated on and both the beloved and the third party are attacked. This attack at the anal level is the double murder that is so prominent in the myth and at the phallic level it's the attack on the reputation of the two. Either their "secret" is put out there to ruin their reputation or depending on the OE, he or she may even spread lies.

In the antigonal form which is the inverse of the electral form: a subject altruist finds that the beloved convinces others in the community, that one is the disgraced or fallen one and they believe it and look down or judge the subject altruist (to her intense anger). At the anal stage, one patient who was having an affair with a married man that was leaked by a friend found that he threatened her life and that his wife believed the husband, and thought that my patient was crazy and wanted to ruin her life, and my patient feared that she would murder her too. It's almost as if the shameful secret of the love object becomes reversed onto oneself.

With the subject altruist, who has suppressed or had her egoistic pole arrested in development, there is an inability to hold onto hate and anger. The person can consciously avow the anger from the antigonal complex and even have insight that their resentment is "like swallowing poison oneself and expecting the other person to die."

There are variations of ego vs. object drive, and active-egoism/active-altruism vs. passive-altruism/passive-egoism that I've mentioned in previous posts.

For example, I've mentioned before that the SA can be someone who assists who helps another person only to find their complete lack of gratitude or recognition of the help. They are again "the secret".

Friday, January 20, 2017

self-mourning

I've mentioned this some time back already, but I was talking to an acquaintance about it today and thought I'd share some of the context I gave her.

1. I've had patients who are addicts, who didn't have problems with drinking or drugs through their teenage years, and well into their adulthood. Then, they lost a person (or child) who was close to them, and they used every day. Loss of the beloved can become an ego injury that can resonate on such a deep level that the person can wants to through off all of their self-consciousness in order to just exist.

Expressed through culture, some of these people will literally talk about being angry with God for their loss and feel a rejection of all of His creation along with their rejection of Him.


2. The ego injury, which is the loss of ideal self, amounts to the person feeling like he "had it all" and, made a decision that resulted in him losing it and with extreme self-loathing, saying things like "what the fuck was I thinking." What he or she had, wasn't necessarily superlative. They were wealthier than average, but nothing special. However, what goes along with the wealth is also the potential for future growth that is imagined, and that they saw themselves as ethically good people too.

I can't say that I've heard any of them say anything about God, while it's common for patients to bring  Him up with their loss in love. A few times, however, they have shared the fantasy that their parents might not be their real parents.



Thursday, January 12, 2017

Object altruism and hatred of the feminine



I have encountered many frustrated, passive-altruistic (OA) “nice guys” who talk about “finishing last” or who even pretend to themselves that they could be like the “assholes” who get the women but chose not to. Being a nice guy can become something that they learn to hate about themselves.  

In groups, if enough object altruists are present, this can turn into woman bashing, although it's a lot different than the subject egoist form. It's not out and out bashing, so much as frustration with women and why they would choose assholes and "be stupid". 

In ego and object drive parallelism, some of them also have resentment in their Bellerophon complex. They used to be ok with their sense of just belonging, but now they want to be stars, famous, or have a great success that is opposed to their inhibited character. Success is like getting a romantic partner and they "trash talk" those who are famous or who have success.   


Even though this parallel holds, a more concise example of hatred of the feminine in the ego drives comes with the idea that "women aren't funny" that many OA comedians express. As opposed to the SE blame of women for failures or representing them as evil, as causing their downfall, etc. The OA is able to often be a lot more cutting in their fault finding in women because of their empathy. Some comedians can sublimate this to show the "cute" idiosyncrasies in their wife, for example, but some are a lot more blatant about representing women as inferior.

Monday, December 26, 2016

by request, some clinical examples for the previous post

One patient, Sarah, brings up how she missed her midterm because her son was sick and the professor wouldn’t let her take the exam at a different time. He also wouldn’t let her other assignments soak up what the exam was worth for her grade. She had taken this class twice before and failed it, this would be the third time. I ask her if she could get a note from the hospital and she said yes. I tell her that she wasn’t being treated fairly and she could either ask the professor about this in person or go to the dean. Sarah isn’t sure at first. She brings up worries about coming across as “rude” to the professor. Next session she begins by talking about how her boss scheduled a training for her during time she needs to study for her finals. She reports that she tried to tell her that she needed to study but she says her boss told her that work needed to be her priority and that she, herself, had been in college and worked at the same time, and did just fine. Sarah says she agreed to work, but as she talks about it, she shows frustration and angrily scoffs that school was her priority and not the “stupid job.” I ask her about talking to her boss and letting her know school is her priority and that she needs to study and not waste a lot of time and money on a failed class (or one with a low grade). Sarah again expresses that this seems “rude” and that she feels a resistance to saying something, but knows that she should. She then reports that she didn’t talk to the professor yet either.

Instead of “coaching” her, I ask her what would happen if she failed the course for a third time, and got a bad grade in the other course because of the training for her job. Sarah imagines that she gets frustrated with things and then drops out of college and doesn’t go on to become a nurse (as she wants to do). I ask her what kind of life she would have. She says she would have just a “normal, bum life” at a job she doesn’t like that doesn’t pay well. I ask for clarification about what “bum life” means and she says she’ll be “miserable, not have any money, not have a nice home, and no cool stuff” (she didn’t say this all at once. I constructed this list from all the things she said). I ask her to turn these into you-statements, about someone else from her past, and who comes to her mind (i.e. “you are miserable, you have a bum life, you have no money or cool stuff”). She reports that her mother comes to mind and talks about how her mother has been an addict and hasn’t really had a comfortable or stable life. I ask, “how does it feel if you say, I don’t deserve to have a better life than my mom?” Sarah says it doesn’t feel true, but makes a face as she says it. I clarify that people are made up of many different feelings and asks her if it feels true for a part of her. She agrees that it does and says “a little part of me feels bad for my mom.” She discusses how she’s “looked down on her” for a long time. She talks about how she would have liked her mother to have a good life so she could have been her “idol” and shown her how to have one too. She complains about her grandmother who raised her and how she “never proved anything” to client and was never her idol. She says that she doesn’t look up to anyone. She returns to talking about her mother, and as she does I notice that she often starts and then has to restart her sentences and that she’s making slips that show she is talking as if she is her mother or saying something about her mother that is really about her. She catches herself and corrects herself, but I use this as an opportunity to say that client sometimes feels like she should be the idol for others and like she’s become her own idol and taken the place of her mother. Sarah acknowledges this and brings up her desire to have a relationship with a “real man” and gets into some issues with her boyfriend.

In a future session, I ask her to return to her mother and talk more about her ‘bum life.” Sarah recounts how her mother would show up at her grandmother’s make promises and leave. She dwells on a particular memory of how she got to live with her mother for a few months and her mother brought home a man and she walked in on them having sex, and yelled at her mother, and how her mother got angry with her and locked her in her room. Sarah gets in touch with strong anger. I encourage her to say what she would have liked to say to her mother and she swears at her profusely. After this Sarah begins to feel some remorse. She begins to bring up how her mother had been really hurt by her father cheating on her and leaving her, and how she began to deal with this by drinking and sleeping with men. She begins to reprocess her mother as being more human and weak, and how by sending her to live with her grandmother, her mother was doing what was best for Sarah. In the session that follows, she reports that she called her mother for the first time in years and apologized to her. She establishes a relationship with her mother and also becomes more focused on her school work. She also reports that she has a cleaner house and feels more productive there and at work.  

Another patient, Glen, gets into his second motorcycle accident. He inherited a decent amount of money, bought a house, and several motorcycles. I ask him if he’s thinking about selling the bikes and he strangely responds that he told himself he’d learn to love motorcycles or “die trying.” I ask him to imagine he dies and to tell me who he thinks will be at his funeral. Glen mentions some family members and some others, and I ask him how people in his family might feel. He says they would feel regret, and specifically his mother. He says “she would beat herself up so bad. It would break her, tear her to pieces.” I ask “Does it feel true for a part of you if you say "I want to see my mom broken to pieces"? He answers in the affirmative and says she hasn't been the best mom. I ask for examples and he recounts the time she sent him away when he was 12 to live with his father out of state. He brings up another time when he called her to tell her the first time he shot up meth. He said that she initially seemed concerned but then she asked him if he had any more, because she wanted to get high. He also brings up when he was in jail and she never visited him (and adds that no one else in his family came either).

When we get to the affect, Glen initially reports feeling anger, but under this he gets to sadness and aloneness. He describes feeling “truly alone in the world,” and talks about how much his mother’s indifference hurt him. Then, after this, he gets to remorse, and feeling like he was “a brat” and always said he wanted to go to his father’s and that she probably didn’t know how to handle him. He then reports that he feels ‘peaceful and calm” like he never has, and not only did he not report any self-sabotage behavior for months after, but he also became more productive the week after the session and wasn’t procrastinating anymore.