Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The anal social ontology vs. the phallic social ontology

I was going back through 'Group Psychology' and found that Freud himself make a differentiation between the anal social ontology of 'all people' vs. the phallic social ontology of the 'good class'.

I've discussed how the difference is seen in the four libidinal positions before and this post will require that my reader is familiar with these positions:

My discussions of the second generation greek gods in this post will help.

The subject egoist at the anal stage is in competition with everyone to be the possessor of a single phallus that exists for all people. At the phallic stage he is in competition with those in the field or interest he has. He has to do 'something'- have some skill or knowledge- which places him in competition with others who share that skill or field of study.

Below Freud suggests that at the pre-phallic [anal] stage sexuality isn't attached to love. This would mean that the object egoist who strives to cause desire would seek to cause sexual desire in 'all others' at the anal stage and at the phallic stage causing desire would be to cause love in a person belonging to the 'good class' of people.  

Freud writes:

Two people coming together for the purpose of sexual satisfaction, in so far as they seek for solitude, are making a demonstration against the herd instinct, the group feeling. The more they are in love, the more completely they suffice for each other. Their rejection of the group's influence is expressed in the shape of a sense of shame. Feelings of jealousy of the most extreme violence are summoned up in order to protect the choice of a sexual object from being encroached upon by a group tie. It is only when the affectionate, that is, personal, factor of a love relation gives place entirely to the sensual one, that it is possible for two people to have sexual intercourse in the presence of others or for there to be simultaneous sexual acts in a group, as occurs at an orgy. But at that point a regression has taken place to an early stage in sexual relations, at which being in love as yet played no part, and all sexual objects were judged to be of equal value, somewhat in the sense of Bernard Shaw's malicious aphorism to the effect that being in love means greatly exaggerating the difference between one woman and another.

There are abundant indications that being in love only made its appearance late on in the sexual relations between men and women; so that the opposition between sexual love and group ties is also a late development. Now it may seem as though this assumption were incompatible with our myth of the primal family. For it was after all by their love for their mothers and sisters that the mob of brothers was, as we have supposed, driven to parricide; and it is difficult to imagine this love as being anything but undivided and primitive—that is, as an intimate union of the affectionate and sensual. But further consideration resolves this objection to our theory into a confirmation of it. One of the reactions to the parricide was after all the institution of totemic exogamy, the prohibition of any sexual relation with those women of the family who had been tenderly loved since childhood. In this way a wedge was driven in between a man's affectionate and sensual feelings, one still firmly fixed in his erotic life to-day. As a result of this exogamy the sensual needs of men had to be satisfied with strange and unloved women (Group Psychology, p. 140-1)

Similarly, the subject altruist would generally love, or try to be nice or helpful to 'all others' at the anal stage. Abraham observes:

Combined with a man's genital activity goes a positive attitude of feeling towards the love-object, and this attitude is also transferred to his behaviour towards other objects, and is expressed in his capacity for social adaptiveness, in his devotion to interests, ideas, etc. In all these respects the character-formation of the sadistic-anal stage is inferior to that of the genital phase… [the] too great yieldingness and gentleness, however, which is frequently observed [in anal stage object-love], must not be confused with a real love-transference. Those cases in which object-love and genital libido-organization are nevertheless attained to a great extent deserve a more favourable judgement. If the 'good-heartedness' mentioned previously is combined with incomplete object-love of this kind, a socially useful 'variety' is produced, which in essential respects is, nevertheless, inferior to full object-love (Abraham, Contributions to Anal Character, p. 408).

At the phallic stage, the subject egoist is capable of devotion to a person of the 'good class' or to to the idea of the 'good class'. 

Likewise the object altruist is generally 'cute' and 'exuberant' or humorous and spontaneous with 'all people' in the anal stage. At the phallic stage her or she seeks to 'be loved' in a more differentiated sphere related to the 'good class'. This can be a general 'giving style' to one's image based upon other individuals in the 'good class' or it can be based upon the ideas found amongst them.

I still feel like I'm not nailing the specific formulations...

... I'd like to say that the object altruist wants to be loved for his personality (concrete identifications with others) or be loved for his insights into personality (ideas )  

At the anal stage to cause delight has to do with spontaneity in general while at the phallic stage to cause delight has to do with cultivating style.

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