Sunday, April 1, 2007

Marx, like Freud, was informed by the mechanistic science of his day

One Cosmos Under God Robert W. Godwin
Obviously, in my opinion, leftism -- or any philosophy that can trace its lineage to Marx -- is also a horrible operating system, partly because it legitimizes some of the most regretable characteristics of human beings -- both innate and parasitic -- but also because it poses a more or less permanent barrier to obtaining the "true" operating system.
In other words, Marx, like Freud, was informed by the mechanistic science of his day, so that he is wrong a priori. In Freud's case, his key ideas could be adapted to our evolving understanding of reality -- or at least I attempted to do so in my book, my doctoral dissertation, and in a couple of academic papers. But Marx's ideas cannot be so adapted, because they are completely at odds with reality -- economically, psychologically, historically, spiritually, politically, epistemologically, morally, ontologically, and comedically -- which is why leftists are such angry and humorless tighta**es.
Now, having said that, I would guess that the majority of psychoanalysts do not share my understanding of psychoanalysis, to put it mildly. Most do not accommodate the vertical, but reduce it to the cramped dimensions of their psychoanalytic operating system. Freud, for example, was completely hostile to religion. He regarded it as an infantile drive to reunite with the mother in blissful oceanic oneness. Toward the end of his life, he posited a life instinct ("eros") and a death instinct ("thanatos"), and for Freud, the "religious drive" clearly fell into the latter category, since it represented a refusal of reality and a backward-looking impulse to dissolve the ego and fall back into the clutches of the Great Mother.
Now, there is no question that Freud was half right about this. Many people who are outwardly religious are quite obviously seeking infrarational regression and fusion, not post-egoic evolution and union. Not too long ago I saw a fine example of this (certain details have been changed), a remarkably narcissistic and hysterical man who believed himself to possess special spiritual gifts (no, not Petey). On the one hand, he had a split off sub-personality that had led a vaguely sociopathic life at the margins, but he identified with a grandiose part that had been anointed by God from childhood (as a magical compensation for obviously inadequate parents whom he protected from his rage through idealization)...posted by Gagdad Bob at 3/31/2007 06:47:00 AM 21 comments links to this post

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