Saturday, January 17, 2015

American Sniper pt 2 sheep, wolves, sheep-dogs

I did want to say one more thing about American Sniper. In the beginning the protagonist's father gives him a lesson as a kid in a flashback. He tells him that there are sheep, there are wolves, and that there are sheep-dogs. The first are weak and don't stand up for themselves, the second are evil/mean and prey on others, and the last group stands against the wolves and protects sheep. The father threatens to beat or punish his kids for being either the first or second and proposes to raise them as the third.

I thought this was a poignant way to discuss egoism and altruism and their eventual balance in the phallic trito.

However, this picture is very mechanistic and doesn't show the psycho-dynamics that can take place.

Freud holds there are both aggressive and affectionate id drives and egoism and altruism are easiest to see in relation to these.

The egoist, as opposed to the person functioning with full psychic bisexuality, has a block on affection. They strike one as serious, cold, business-like, etc.

The altruist has a block on aggression. They strike one as timid and bashful and won't stand up for themselves, but their affection whether for children, for the suffering, or wanting to be hugged and "cuddle" is there.

However, this can be reversed because of psycho-dynamics. I've seen overcompensated affection in some object egoists who are very 'bitchy' and judgmental of others but have a relationship with a puppy or child in which they lavish a sick affection on them. I've also seen overcompensated aggression in object altruists in which they can be impulsively violent and don't have a problem hurting those who are much weaker, while the subject egoist would ignore those so far beneath him.

The psychopath has always struck me as a designation for the criminal subject egoist. He's a gangster type.

The anti-social has mostly seemed a compensated altruist. While previously wanting approval from others, they have received enough injuries and now are misanthropes who think everyone is alone in the world and they don't have problems stealing or committing crimes to get by. Again, they don't strike one as wanting to be admired for their physical or intellectual potency as the psychopath does, they just commit crimes because people are rotten and so they are too and they need their drugs or they don't have the discipline or willpower to make good money in other ways.


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