Saturday, January 4, 2014

the "metaphysics" of altruism, some thoughts on object altruism

Along with replacing pity with compassion to get rid of the taint being superior, passive-altruism can't be aligned with submissiveness because the power relation is there too.

Instead the opposite of being competitive with others is being amiable, genial, friendly, affable, warm, good-natured, good humored, cordial, gracious, etc.

If altruism is not to be egoism through a proxy then it must, as Schopenhauer writes, have nothing to do with the principal of individuation and therefore not recognize separation. To be altruistic towards others is simply to restore those who are out of harmony with the good group (defined, at its height in the proto-phallic stage, in active-egoism as the potent class of skilled or knowledgeable people) without increased happiness having been the goal, and with the harmony of everyone belonging (tacitly sharing some equality) as granting joy.  

The primary identification at the end of the proto-phallic stage establishes the tie of the not-finite of perfection and death to the father imago, which in turn can be split by the mother by the denigration of the father imago to create the phallic deutero. The end of the proto-phallic stage therefore introduces individual identity and separation into the altruist, as relationality in regards to one's 'image' and care for this is born in the egoist.

I've been working on the object altruist and its bellerophon complex lately through some Cohen brothers films and a film called Adventureland (2009). The Cohen brothers films serve very well because they aren't films of competition, achievement, with the serious tone of power. They are very much films that are trying to be interesting, have various types of people that they try to capture, and are picaresque in their adventure style (again, as opposed to hero competes with villain in strength of will).
Adventureland captures very nicely the form of judgment in the object altruist. It takes place in a dingy amusement park and the main character has a love of Lou Reed and is an intellectual type. (I identified this as an Apollo type as opposed to the non-intellectual Dionysus type in my original article on psychic bisexuality). The opposition to the aesthetic judgment in the OE is seen in the lack of cleanliness, lack of the will in regards to having a more complicated art-form (compare to the classical music in film The Piano, or the production in a pop song vs. the messy sound and simple chord progression of Lou Reed), and the lack of control or possession in the romantic relationship. The intellectualism in the film, as with the Cohen brothers, is handled in either a "self-conscious" posturing or a general interest, or enthusiasm for ideas and not the power of ideas and the competition to control or possess them.

 The individuation that appears for the altruist at the end of the proto-phallic becomes precious for the object altruist and he doesn't want to give it up. However, the bellerophon complex exists because individuation is new for the altruist and to triumph over the father-substitute would mean to both be alone in victory, when one is on top, along with the aggressive components that enter late along with individuation. The OA's brand of aloneness takes the form of boredom while for the subject altruist it remains tied to the separation from others who they would otherwise be devoted to.

Again, possessiveness and control of the love object would enter for the object altruist in the bellerophon complex but its a matter of emphasis. Similarly, true "anaclitic" idealization is just entering for the subject egoist's sexual relationships, but control, possession, and jealousy are dominant from earlier development.

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