Sunday, May 4, 2014

oedipus and the difference between the sexes, the single libido

I spoke with someone who asserted that both Freud and Lacan hold that oedipus complex creates man and woman.

I want to be clear that I've always acknowledged the difference between the sexes as a linguistically mediated part of the superego. There's just not that much to say about it unless one wants to study sociology and look at norms around masculinity and femininity at different historical periods in different cultures.

What's important for the psychoanalyst is what I've cited from Reich: a man can have an altruistic drive structure without having formed the subject egoistic phallic drives and that this will cause strong conflict between his identity as a man and his motivational structure.

The second issue is the so called 'single libido' based upon the phallus.

It's true that Freud made this claim but it can be explained on account of two errors.

1. The father, as I've mentioned many times, symbolizes the not-mother and the regulation of the ego ideal (the 'double tie' that allows the a father substitute to be accepted). The castration complex defusion from the father and going after the phallus represents both egoistic competition and altruistic restoration. The father and the phallus are shared as symbols between the egoistic and altruistic poles. The phallus is both the weapon and the wand or staff of regeneration.

2. As I've tried to indicate, the centrality of the oedipus is that all the libidinal positions reach strong inter-mixture that is the height of striving for happiness. All the libidinal positions have their own forms of sadism and masochism, for example.The subject egoist can sadistically try to humiliate his boss through showing his work to be weak or inadequate. The subject altruist may steal from the person while socially showing overt gestures of dependence and submissiveness. However, affection on the side of the altruist and egoist will also be expressed in differing ways and can be turned on the self like sadism can be turned into masochism. Freud's monistic libido is contradicted by his binaries of aggression-affection and the active-passive designation is phenomenologically distinct as it applies to egoists and altruists.

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