Sunday, December 15, 2013

Phallic Nuclear Complexes cont.

Sadism and masochism are what psychoanalytic theory has given us to work with in order to understand the partial drives around the nuclear complexes.

I've pointed out that Freud has contrasted the aggressive drive with the affectionate drive and what is needful here is for sadism and masochism to be broken down into common language that show the qualitative differences between the different libidinal positions.

Recently I've gained more and more of a sense of how pity is used by OEs and involves a definite sense of superiority over the pitied object. I believe that I've been under the spell of Nietzsche's use of pity in which that aspect isn't in the fore but rather the idea that the pain is really shared. I've associated the word with altruism without much sensitivity to its use in egoism.

It's possible that compassion emphasizes the state of feeling the other's pain and doesn't have the connotation of being above that pity does.

Additionally, along with vindictiveness found in the sadism of the the SE it's apparent that the OA can readily 'poke fun' at the father even though this doesn't undermine his loyalty or view that the the father is superior to him. Additionally, while the SA enjoys a fostering relationship to a father-substitute if there is a bad father introject which he or she chooses to serve (i.e. evil in psychoanalysis) then the devotion is undermined by secret thievery and fostering opposed by malicious gossip. The greek god Hermes shows this double aspect in his devotion as messenger for the gods and as god of thieves

Additionally, in the second symptom reading I pointed out that sexual masochism can appear very differently between the OE and SA poles. In the former I would agree with classical analysts that the pain is enjoyed while in the latter I'd agree with Reich that one doesn't get off on the pain and that 'bursting feelings' or relief from contractions against pleasurable expansion is the primary element.


I remember hearing a self-psychologist speak about Freud's dream of a school of psychoanalysis in which the humanities receive increased importance through their links to the unconscious. The speaker proposed that for the first two years students would just read classic literature and that this would be the basis of their introduction to psychoanalysis. I felt moved by the idea but after looking at some of the examples of the interpretation of narratives by self-psychologists I was disappointed. This isn't to say that Kleinians or Lacanians have superior readings but that depth psychologies in general haven't done much for literary criticism.

The meeting point between the two must take place in common language. The depths can only be deepened by more attention to the surface. This is the insight that is the foundation of Hegel's work but which was only formalized in the philosophy of Wittgenstein.

We speak of understanding a sentence in the sense in which it can be replaced by another which says the same; but also in the sense in which it cannot be replaced by any other. (Any more than one musical theme can be replaced by another).
   In the one case the thought in the sentence is something common to different sentences; in the other, something that is expressed only by these words in these positions. (Understanding a poem.)…. Then has “understanding” two different meanings here?— I would rather say that these kinds of use of “understanding” make up its meaning, make up my concept of understanding.
   For I want to apply the word “understanding” to all this. (PI-531, 532).

            We react to the visual impression differently from someone who does not recognize it as timid (in the full sense of the word[1]). — But I do not want to say here that we feel this reaction in our muscles and joints and that this is the ‘sensing’.— No, what we have here is a modified concept of sensation… This is, of course, not simply a question for physiology. Here the physiological is a symbol of the logical…. It is almost as if there were a face there which at first I imitate, and then accept without imitating it (PI, p.179, emphasis mine)

In order to ‘explain’ it [the artwork] I could only compare it with something else which has the same  rhythm (I mean the same pattern). (One says ‘Don’t you see, this is as if a conclusion were being drawn’ or ‘This is as it were in a parenthesis’, etc…) (PI-527).   
The familiar physiognomy of a word, the feeling that it has taken up its meaning into itself, that it is an actual likeness of its meaning— there could be human beings to whom all this was alien. (They would not have an attachment to their words.)— And how are these feelings manifested by us?— By the way we choose and value words (PI, p.186).

Psychoanalysis must attract those who choose their words carefully and value them. Not because they wish to impress others, want to be admired for their intelligence, or do well on their SATs but because they are interested in people but in their schizoid anxiety around them they are forced into satisfying this interest through cultural mediation. (Ideally this would be in opposition to the egoistic motivations described and both poles would spur the individual on, but such strongly motivated individuals are rare and if they were the rule then there would be no need for schools). Psychoanalysis must attract the meek and give them both the education in theory and personal analyses to make them strong so they are no longer afraid to challenge the patriarchal forms of mechanistic and mystical thinking.   


The marxists, on the other hand, must begin to appeal to the disenfranchised political right. The political right has become laughable in its attempt to appeal to the uneducated and it will lose touch with this base as it changes to become more inclusive to minorities. Without the racial, religious, and class pride it sells to the poor on the right, the resentment and malice of the masses can be directed at the rich. Additionally, the reduction of strong managers by the increase of technology makes the egoists (the neurotics who have made it to latency development] hungry for something to proudly serve, just as it has increased their egotistical feeling that they could be famous or successful if it wasn't for nepotism through reality TV. These feelings along with the greed of the rich who haven't made the concessions to universal healthcare which every other advanced state has made could be enough to make the poor drop their allegiances to religion, race, and nation since these no longer offer the social narcissism they used to before a black president and PC values governed mass media.    

It's a pity that Nietzsche was only familiar with socialism and didn't understand how communism requires that money must be abolished; Marx also criticizes socialism and merely making the income of people more equal. Nietzsche, always has amazing insights and metaphors for class consciousness:   

The Lack of a noble Presence. Soldiers and their leaders have always a much higher mode of comportment toward one another than workmen and their employers. At present at least, all militarily established civilisation still stands high above all so-called industrial civilisation; the latter, in its present form, is in general the meanest mode of existence that has ever been. It is simply the law of necessity that operates here: people want to live, and have to sell themselves; but they despise him who exploits their necessity and purchases the workman. It is curious that the subjection to powerful, fear-inspiring, and even dreadful individuals, to tyrants and leaders of armies, is not at all felt so painfully as the subjection to such undistinguished and uninteresting persons as the captains of industry; in the employer the workman usually sees merely a crafty, blood-sucking dog of a man, speculating on every necessity, whose name, form, character, and reputation are altogether indifferent to him. It is probable that the manufacturers and great magnates of commerce have hitherto lacked too much all those forms and attributes of a superior race, which alone make persons interesting; if they had had the nobility of the nobly-born in their looks and bearing, there would perhaps have been no socialism in the masses of the people. For these are really ready for slavery of every kind, provided that the superior class above them constantly shows itself legitimately superior, and born to command by its noble presence! The commonest man feels that nobility is not to be improvised, and that it is his part to honour it as the fruit of protracted race-culture - but the absence of superior presence, and the notorious vulgarity of manufacturers with red, fat hands, brings up the thought to him that it is only chance and fortune that has here elevated the one above the other; well then - so he reasons with himself - let us in our turn tempt chance and fortune! Let us in our turn throw the dice! - and socialism commences (Gay Science- 40)   

[1] Wittgenstein differentiates between a ‘sad expression’ a person may have and actually having a ‘feeling of sadness’ (PI, p.178). I understand the ‘sad expression’ to be etched into someone’s face as part of their general character just as someone could say, for example, that another person looks ‘bitchy’ though she isn’t in the moment getting upset with someone.   

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