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Freud and politics

Updated: Aug 16



“Freud? Freud? Oh, nobody believes that stuff anymore—it’s completely discredited. It’s not scientific. You can’t test it...” For practical purposes this is true, and yet we still completely inhabit Freud’s world. When Megs and Harry rock up to Oprah’s studio to talk about Harry’s childhood trauma and his difficult relationship with his father, we are in Freud’s world. The basic assumption behind the interview is that if you relive traumatic events—especially in childhood—by re-describing them to a good listener, an analyst or Oprah, then these events can be put to rest and you will engage in the world in a more vital or non-neurotic way. This is why, in part, Harry thinks that it will help him to describe events he perceived as traumatic—and behind his desire to deal with his troubling father lies the Oedipus complex.


As with any other man on the street, Harry has no idea why he finds these ideas so plausible; his proximate motivation is more to do with status acquisition within the current regime, it so happens that this is how he will achieve it. For him, as for most people, these ideas are just received wisdom; and they are received wisdom because Freud continues to exert extraordinary influence over our basic assumptions as to what it means to lead a healthy life and how people recover from psychological difficulties. Aside from the confessional conceit, Freud’s influence can also be found in such ideas as “psychological trauma”, “processing”, “projection”, “repression”, and, of course, “the Freudian slip”.


Now, so far as I know, there are barely any outright practicing Freudian analysts in the world today. Official psychology has long moved on to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and the like; and yet the basic framework laid down by Freud is sealed in the public mind. This is no surprise, if you look at popular and even elite culture from the 1950s, when psychoanalysis was at its height—from Hitchcock’s Rope to Nabokov’s Lolita—you will find that culture, particularly America culture, was soaked in psychoanalysis. As with Marxism, most people did not know the specifics, but it was considered comprehensible to a mass audience to drop references to “libido” or “Oedipus” on the assumption everyone would understand the basic idea; and for certain elite groups who consumed Woody Allen in the 1970s this was even more so.


It is difficult to find a contemporary equivalent—perhaps the term “trauma” itself, in its modern meaning, and “coping mechanism” fill a similar role—and this is because Freud was one of the last of the grand theorists about the human condition. Today, our world is much more specialised and so the mind that can put forward a general theory of the human condition—Marx, Freud, Nietzsche—has vanished. Spengler and Heidegger were probably the last men to do so, and since then we have lived, for the most part, with subject specialists who would never venture a comprehensive explanation of man in terms of economics or sexuality, and indeed would see any attempt to do so as unscientific. This spirit was already alive in Freud; for he discounted philosophy precisely because it was too general, attempted to cover too much, and so could never have the explanatory power found in scientific specificity.


Whether the decline in grand generalists marks a degeneration or lack of vitality I cannot say, perhaps it is an improvement that people confine themselves to extremely specific subject areas and do not attempt to explain everything about man. Whatever is really the case, it remains true that Freud is very much still with us—almost unconsciously, as it turns out—and so the power of the grand theory remains. When I was a teenager in the 2000s people down the pub would announce, if someone had flirted with lesbianism or the like, that all people are inherently bisexual from birth—again, pure Freud. Had they read Freud? No. Did they believe it? Yes and no. Was it normative? Yes.


Naturally, what was most interesting about Freud—dream analysis—has had the most precarious grip on public consciousness. This is because it was quickly discredited from the scientific perspective as untestable. So while the basic psychoanalytic structure has endured, some specifics have been lost; now, not all of Freud is wrong. Repression is real and so is projection and a number of other defence mechanisms he described, and dreams are important as well. Yet, overall, I think the Freudian model is unhealthy in its influence and in this essay I will discuss why this is so from a political perspective.


What were Freud’s politics? Nothing overtly party political, but he did express views on civilisation and its fate—essentially a political question, if not the political question. In a post-WWI biographical sketch, Freud noted that the short-lived Hungarian Soviet republic had been among the first places to offer psychoanalytical lectures in its universities; and I detect a hint of pride when Freud says it. However, Freud was not a straightforward Communist or fellow traveller, although he was, as we shall see, essentially on the left.


Freud claimed, in 1927, after ten years of Soviet Communism, that he lacked the data to come to a conclusion about the USSR; later, in the 1930s, he expressed doubts about Communism’s practicability—yet he added a new caveat that he lacked the data to decide if private property was a good institution or not. Now, look, when someone says, particularly a scientist, that they “lack the data” in a public context like this they are involved in a rhetorical game. Reality: Freud was sympathetic, if critical, towards Soviet Communism—refused to condemn Marx outright—and was implicitly hostile to private property.


Remember, Freud was happy to give very definite views on all manner of subjects—such as putative “primal hordes” in distant history—with, frankly, scanty or non-existent data. His works are filled—rather like mine, I must admit—with comments that say “clearly”, “we know”, “it has been demonstrated”, “psychoanalysis has shown”; to which I always think, “Yeah, really?” Yet when it came to Soviet Communism, its effects quite clear after ten years—famine, civil war, and brutal oppression—he suddenly “lacks the data”. As for private property, an institution that has existed for aeons...again, poor Freud is baffled and bereft as to its benefits. He made these remarks before the National Socialists expropriated his own property, incidentally.


I wonder if at that moment he came to realise that there was only one datum required—a load of thugs hurling his books out of his house—to realise that private property is quite a sound institution after all. Doubtless a London “scientific” wag sympathetic to the National Socialists could say to Freud, when he pitched up in his Hampstead exile, that he “lacked the data” to say if Hitler was good or no—cruel, but of course Freud had done just the same to everyone forced to flee Russia.


However, Freud had unqualified praise for the Bolsheviks insofar as they were atheists; indeed, atheism seems to have been Freud’s real passion in the political field. He was probably genuinely unsure as to the benefits of Marxism as an economic system, but as a means to destroy religion he was an enthusiastic fan. For Freud, religion is mental illness—it is neurosis—and it needs to be cured (shades of today’s pathological relation to religion, such as “homophobia”); although he never says it, my view is that what Freud had in mind is that religion would be destroyed and replaced by psychoanalysis and Freud. This makes his central theory, the Oedipus complex, comprehensible: Freud was obsessed with the need to destroy the father; and the ur-father is God, so Freud would very much like to kill God and set himself up in his place—it makes perfect sense from this perspective. Further, as a Jew, Freud came from the ur-patriarchal religion; so to destroy the father carried an added transgressive edge.


At about the same time, Aleister Crowley, the English occultist, developed his own religious system, Thelema; and, like Freud, he evinced an interest in Bolshevism; now obviously the Communists were complete materialists and had little sympathy for occultism; yet for Crowley, sceptical of Marxism per se, it was the Bolshevik determination to destroy everything prior that interested him: sooner or later Thelema—or Freudian psychoanalysis—would ride to prominence in the ashes of Orthodoxy and Tsardom. The simple-minded materialist Bolsheviks merely opened the door for...something.


I think that it is in this sense that Freud had positive regard for Bolshevism; he notes, correctly, that it was a quasi-religious movement and completely fanatical, not scientific at all—and yet he could not apply the same introspection to his own system, for Freudian psychoanalysis has all the sectarian hallmarks found in Bolshevism or Thelema. Notably, Crowley, just like Freud, was forever involved in fights and expulsions in an attempt to run his writ over everyone else in the occult world—and, indeed, Freud explicitly speaks of a future “scientific dictatorship” in positive terms; so his consciously expressed preference, as with Marx, was for dictatorship and compulsion.


Freud was very interested in Moses; his final work was a novel about Moses. Surely, this is who he thought he was: a prophet who would lead a people from slavery (neurosis) to the Promised Land (Freudian psychoanalysis). He sought to found a secular religion. Freud would, of course, offer up the Ten Commandments and lay down the law.


Freudianism has the same Chinese finger trap characteristics found in Marxism and today’s Critical Race Theory: if you disagree with the theory, it merely proves that you need the theory’s treatment very badly. Thus if you disagree with a Freudian you are involved in “resistance”, “projection”, or “negative transference”. You have merely demonstrated that you have not reconciled your Oedipal desires as yet, and the fact you disagree with Freudian analysis is evidence for this fact: you mistake Freud for your father...and why is that? What you really need is for a man to sit behind your head—barely saying a word, as omnipotent and omniscient and silent as God—and to confess your every secret to him so that he has you in his total power. Then you will get better. By the way, if you make fun of this system...well, let us see what papa Freud has to say about jokes.


In the same way, the person who objects to Marxism is always written off as “bourgeois”—no matter their social background—and so the fact they disagree with Marxism just demonstrates that bourgeois consciousness is very dominant at the moment; and, again, with Critical Race Theory, to object to the theory is to demonstrate that you still operate within the framework of white supremacy; so the more you offer objections, the more you demonstrate—so they say, everso condescendingly—that you are a racist.


§

The famous dispute and split between Freud and Jung gives us a chance to model Freudianism to an explicit political situation; for me, the situation was analogous to the American Civil War: Freud represented the Union and Jung represented the Confederacy. The analogy is almost literal: Jung’s native Switzerland is technically a confederacy—a highly decentralised republic that depends upon direct democracy and a comprehensively-armed population, every Swiss owns a weapon; it demonstrates his virtue, willingness and ability to defend his homeland, family, and property in a personal way.


Switzerland is a fiercely conservative country, women were only granted the vote there in 1971; and this is because it is a highly local democracy with strong civic virtue and in these circumstances—with no intermediate elite to manipulate democracy—responsible male property owners do not support socialism.


Freud, by contrast, came from Austro-Hungary, a vast empire with many, many different ethnicities and an absolutist tradition that required centralised rule from above and a relatively large bureaucratic apparatus. It was well know, especially late 19th-century Vienna, for its decadence, as opposed to bucolic Swiss virtue.


As already stated, Freud’s consciously expressed ambitions for “scientific dictatorship” and unconscious desire to be God Almighty Himself led him to a dictatorial style; as with Crowley—Lenin and Marx, for that matter—Freud was often involved in disputations, expulsions, and attempts to “police” psychoanalysis. Now, more than his Austrian origins, Freud’s style of governance can also be attributed to his view that Hobbes was right about man’s nature; indeed, he made frequent references to Hobbes in his comments on civilisation and politics—if Freud was anything politically, he was a Hobbesian.


Hobbes was in many ways the first modern psychologist, so it was natural for Freud to take him as a model; and he was also, as it happens, the first modern cybernetic thinker. His philosophy is a complete scientific appreciation of man as a system, a geometrical system—and man as a sub-system of a wider system, the sovereign Leviathan. Hobbes was also, as it happens, a strict atheist—just like Freud. Poor Hobbes, even in the 1600s, thought that witches did not exist; ah, if only I could have introduced him to a few of my ex-girlfriends, he would soon have known better...


The basic Hobbesian contention is homo homini lupus—man to man is a wolf, he will gobble his fellow man up if he has a chance. For Hobbes, unlike the later Locke, man is driven by his passions and not his reason; his capability to kill is the most salient fact about him, and the only safety lies in being the better armed man—the biggest beast on the block. Cooperation between men can only be guaranteed when a “bigger man”, the Leviathan, exists to demonstrate to them, by force, that to kill other men will result in their own death. The outlook is atomistic, man’s life without state protection is famously viewed as “nasty, brutish, and short”—without the Leviathan to force cooperation you are on your own, or in a small violent band.


Hobbes’s views were supposedly formed in this way because he lived through the anarchy of the English Civil War and wished to see strong, absolute government instead; personally, I suspect it was more because Hobbes was constitutionally one of those “wolves” to other men—as in many such cases, the atheism was the pretext to betray and exploit other people. Hobbes effectively says: “Look, you can only trust me if there is someone bigger standing over both our shoulders to compel us.” Without being naïve, accepting that there are wolves among men, I think that we actually carry out dozens of operations every day without a third party standing over us to ensure trust.


The Hobbesian standpoint suited Freud very well, since he also thought that man is primarily driven by irrational urges and emotions: the desire for sex and violence—even, perhaps, a completely irrational drive towards death and extinction. The view is actually very feminine, Freud is a feminine thinker: for him, emotions rule supreme; the father must be overthrown, including God; restraint and repression must be removed and everything must flow out, as with the traditionally symbolic feminine waters; and, finally, sex is the most important aspect of life—for woman’s primary concern is always to secure the best father for her child, and so her primary concern is the sexual economy.


If man is mostly motivated by irrational drives and urges, it follows that he cannot be trusted to voluntarily cooperate in a trustful manner with other men. There must be an absolute authority to supervise his actions, else anarchy and general predation will break out. Once God is removed from the picture—arguably, an imaginary third party that could superintend transactions between men if they share the same belief—then an extremely powerful state becomes a necessary substitute; and, just like God, the state must see all. Consequently, Hobbesian atheistic views lead to totalitarianism: a total state is required to prevent anarchy, to replace the all-seeing eye of God. In a similar vein, Freud requires a psychoanalytical dictatorship to ensure that all neurosis—a force that could potentially destroy civilisation, in his view—is extirpated or kept at an acceptable level.


This terminates in the idea that compulsion and coercion are desirable; and, further, if someone decides to break away—say, the Confederate states—they must be roped back into a polity by force, for to allow someone to leave the polity voluntarily opens the door to irrationalism and anarchy. The tenor for the Hobbesian is that compulsion most be general and essential, as opposed to voluntary cooperation. Hence Jung, in Hobbesian terms, threatened Freud’s rational Leviathan with an irrational and neurotic rebellion. In an example of sovereign overreach, Freud impotently demanded that Jung stopped using the term “psychoanalysis” after he split with him—Jung’s reply, as with an American with his rifle, was: “Come and take it!” From the Hobbesian view, it is legitimate for the sovereign to police everything down to the smallest detail; even, say, how someone uses the word “psychoanalysis”—a process we see played out in contemporary Western government time and again. If people go around using words any old way it will undermine the sovereign and lead to anarchy, so they must be crushed.


The other view—the view from the other Austrian, Mises—holds that stability can be achieved when a sovereign refuses to force a person or state to remain in the polity; if someone really disagrees with the sovereign in an irreconcilable way, just let them go—allow voluntary separation. For the Hobbesians, this is “irrational”; although, actually, it prevents war and the attendant destruction that comes with war, as well as avoiding undue compulsion, and so is actually the height of rationality—in fact, it prevents what Hobbesians claim to wish to prevent: murder and violence between men.


This is the basis for the Landian neoreactionary concept of “exit”; the idea that we should “let a thousand states blossom”—and also for the political thrust in Elon Musk’s project, since his inter-planetary interests would allow mankind to peaceably separate and spread out. So if you wanted to found a Freudian space colony, a white nationalist space colony, a Mormon space colony, a Russian Orthodox space colony, and on and on it will be relatively cheap to do so—and so, much political violence and coercion will be avoided; for people who disagree can simply hop on a rocket and found a new polity a long way away from people they cannot cooperate with; and this will save us a lot of wars and tortures, as well as fertilising many interesting memetic lines to compete with each other and nature herself.


The Hobbesian error, exactly like Freud, can be found in the conceit that they have achieved a superior rationality—so, supposedly, Freud and Marx stand above irrational passions through their belief systems, when in fact such men are still highly driven by the emotions; they become feminine tyrants, the all-embracing mother who will not let her children go. The flip side is the father who implicitly says, “Glad to see you make your way in the world and set up your own home.” Hence the Marxist countries, such as the Soviet Union, built literal walls so as to never let their “children” out; and, of course, this only leads to more irrational violence, since people with irreconcilable interests are forced to share a home.


A parallel can be drawn to Freudian psychoanalysis itself, a therapy that famously never seems to end; and this is because it is a “no exit” therapy, just as the Soviet Union was a “no exit” country—it has no intention to make you well, only dependent on the analyst-God. After all, the analyst has killed the father; logically, he must be your mother now—the eternal suckling breast; or, perhaps, given that you pay him royally, you are the analyst’s mother and breastfeeder?


So Jung made his typically Swiss “Confederate” exit, and set up his own line in psychoanalysis—the Swiss system is an emergent order based on virtuous non-coerced cooperation between men; and this was the model Jung implicitly implemented in psychoanalysis, the Confederates won this time; his Swiss nature revolted against centralised Freudian authority—just as certain people would bridle under another Austrian control freak, Hitler.


The non-Hobbesian reaction to this situation would be: “It’s a shame we can’t work together, but if we really can’t make it work off you go with my blessing.” Yet Freud could not let go, hence his desire to compel Jung to drop “psychoanalysis” as a term; clearly well beyond Freud’s remit—well beyond what can be contractually agreed between men without compulsion by one party, especially when they are no longer on speaking terms. You have in Freud’s reaction a good indication as to what Freud would be like as a king, and whether he would let you use language as you wish.


Jung also seems to have been more balanced, in that while he accepted that man has a strong irrational side and capacity for violence, aggression, and sex he also acknowledged that man has a rational and cooperative side—and that the task set for psychoanalysis was to reconcile the two sides in harmony, he did not reject the masculine or the feminine. Freud decided that man is irrational and that this irrationality needs to be extirpated—possibly forcibly—by the analyst; a strongly dualist outlook that lends itself to tyranny.


Ultimately, Freud’s political position is liberal secular humanism, as described by Burnham and Yarvin; the stand is implicit in his political positions, but it is most notably revealed when Freud stated a belief that humanity is in progress towards a world state—a view he shared, for example, with another arch-progressive, the South African soldier Jan Smuts. This sensibility, mainly Anglo-American, does not explicitly advocate communism, as Marxism does, but it does effectively lead in that general direction and tends, as Freud did, to go easy on the Marxists on the grounds that their intentions, if misplaced, are in the right direction.


It is a strange proposition when you draw back from it: Freud says that man is dominated by tempestuous drives towards sex and violence, barely controlled in civilisation, and yet regards a world government as feasible—inevitable, even. You would think that such a proposition would make people sceptical that man could maintain so much as a small city, let alone a global government.


§


In general, Freudianism leads to perverse conclusions about reality; again, as I noted with Lenin’s staunch materialism, there seems to be something about people who say there is absolutely nothing beyond matter that distorts and disturbs their perception of reality; or perhaps the idea that there is something more than matter gets in the way of their general malevolence. This is not to say God as understood by the Christians or Muslims is real, merely that there is more to life than matter and that strict atheism is somehow perverse and fatal.


An example of the unsound reasoning that Freudianism led to can be found in the assertion by a Freudian analyst, proudly reproduced by Freud in his writings, that rats are substitutes for the father and so people only wish to kill rats due to the Oedipus complex. The simpler explanation is that rats are vermin that eat your food, spread diseases, and make life generally unpleasant. “Ah, so you thik your father iz vermin? Very intereztink.” It is easy to imagine what a Freudian state would be like; people would be told not to kill rats because their aversion is really a neurotic residue related to the Oedipus complex and so the desire to kill rats is entirely irrational. “Oh, nobody would be that silly!” Would they not? Similar delusions arose in the Marxist states, and they were implemented fully and without humour. I could well imagine a family of true believers in a Freudian state surrounded by rats—rats emerging from teapots and out of the light fittings—who would turn to each other and say, “It’s annoying, but at least we don’t have any neurotic reactions to rats anymore. The rat is not my father.”


This relates to Freudianism’s extreme faith in human social malleability; now, Freud does acknowledge hereditary factors—so do Marxists, nominally—but on close examination you find that Freud really says that almost everything is an arbitrary social construct. So, for example, aversion to faeces is tied up with relations to our parents and sexual pleasure, and aversion to incest is imposed by the family system; and the existence of child sexuality is concealed by a silent conspiracy.


At base—Freud had a great affection for the base—the suggestion is that what might be called moral or even sanitary taboos are arbitrary social impositions and actually neurotic artefacts to be removed; again shades of contemporary bureaucratic jargon about “removing stigmas”. Just as with an aversion to rats, it is all to do with the father; so a desire for cleanliness connects to toilet training—to being anal (a phrase that seems to have dropped out of use in my lifetime)—and finally to an arbitrary social arrangement. The idea that people might have an aversion to faeces because faeces is unsanitary and people who played with it extensively died out more often than not, so selecting against playing with your faeces, does not occur to Freud.


This aspect of Freud, basically his contention that we should “let it all hang out”, tends to be the usual bone of contention between Freudians and conservatives. The conservatives generally say that everything worthwhile in life and civilisation is achieved through discipline, restraint, and parsimony—masculine values, essentially. Freud looks at these values and, to use contemporary jargon, deconstructs them and pathologizes what conservatives generally regard to be essential virtues for civilisation by suggesting that they are neurotic childhood artefacts. The conservative says that a man needs to take his lumps without complaint, to cultivate an icy persona to survive and also to be respectable—polite and restrained. The Freudians say: you need to talk about everything that ever happened to you, especially those events that are negative, sexual, involve sexual thoughts about family members, or involve the toilet; and in this way you will achieve good mental health.


Understandably, the Freudian view is seen by conservatives as straight out subversion of decency; then again, conservatives are the father—and Freud says we all want to kill our fathers, so...The Freudian attitude probably reached its high point in the 1960s, when the hippies decided, as previously described, to “let it all hang out.” This led, in conservative eyes, to a wishy-washy emotional society obsessed with pointless emotional revelations that leave people, particularly men, weakened and contribute to a general narcissism; for it turns out that if you excavate your memories that there is no end to it really, the drama and trauma can go on and on and on and on...


This is basically true, I think. Indeed, three of Freud’s key concepts: narcissism, anxiety, and neurosis—terms he really seems to have popularised—appear only to have increased since Freud came on the scene; it is not unreasonable to assume that Freudianism, with its radical undermining attack against the non-neurotic father, convinced many people that they wanted to destroy the masculine and so, in turn, Freudianism has not reduced anxiety, neurosis, or narcissism: it has produced a society of anxious neurotic narcissists.


The conservative says that the tattooed man, drunk out of his head, lying on the street and crying about “me fuckin’ issues” is what Freudians produce. Freudianism is paradoxical in a way because it says that people are troubled by repressed urges that cause neuroticism and that they should express these urges in order to be liberated from neuroticism; and yet Freudians also acknowledge that repression is essential to civilised life. But if these drives are repressed to allow civilised life, why do you think excavating them will do anything but destroy civilisation?


In fairness to Freud, I do not think that he imagined his ideas would be taken to a popular level where people would sob and confess on talk shows; he imagined all this work would be done in a private consulting room over months and months. I suspect he would be appalled by how debased and crass the contemporary West has become; and yet every teenage girl screaming at her parents on the street, “I’ve got some fucking issues with my mental health, okay?” is one of Freud’s great-grandchildren—as are the state’s endless public campaigns to speak frankly about periods, child sex abuse, bowel cancer, and so on; and yet the actual benefits derived from these excavations is probably minimal, and just makes life essentially more ugly and debased.


As Guénon and Evola observed, the problem with psychoanalysis is that it has no idea that there is a higher realm, actually it disdains the higher realm; they chastised Jung for this as much as Freud, but Freud’s case is more severe because he holds out no hope whatsoever for anything other than the material realm—indeed, he is actively against religion. For Freud everything comes down to shit, incestuous murder, and fucking—to put it in non-repressed terms—and that is all there is to life; everything is reduced to the lowest level. Hence a beautiful musical piece, for example, ultimately reflects a cellist’s sublimated sexual pleasure related to their extensive early control over their bowel movements; in turn, related to the discipline required to master a cello; in turn, symbolic of their father’s penis, except castrated and made impotent—since it is without “balls”—so giving them mastery over the father. That will be £500, please.


Perhaps Freud’s most controversial view is his notion that pre-pubescent children are sexual beings. Again, this view found expression in the 1960s in various campaigns by very bearded people—often with an affection for nudism—to let children “explore their sexuality”; and it returns, along with Freud’s assertion that bisexualism is inherent to the human condition, in today’s arguments about transsexualism; since it is usually asserted that transsexual transformation must take place as early as possible, and children understand that they are transsexual very early.


Now Freudians like to play the motte-and-bailey game with this issue. This a rhetorical trick, metaphored on the old Norman castle with its keep (motte) and outer defensive wall and ditch (bailey), where one puts forward a proposition, usually controversial, but then, under assault, retreats to the argument’s less controversial and more defensible keep.


So, in discussion, a Freudian will assert pre-pubescent sexuality, but if you put them under too much pressure they rush back to the keep and say: “You must understand that by ‘sex’ Freud does not mean what we normally mean by the term; he means that libidinous sexual energy is diffused to different parts of the body, so that an infant that sucks on a cloth expresses sexuality through this act; but this is not the same as two adults who have intercourse.” This raises the immediate question as to why “sex” has been brought into it at all, other than as a stretched metaphor for “pleasurable and comforting activity.” Of course, when the heat is off the Freudians go back to talking about child sexuality in such as way as it sounds like they mean intercourse, fellatio, and so on. In other words, they go back to the outer and most controversial limits of the argument—the flimsy outer defensive wall, the bailey.


To put this argument about generally—in whatever form—especially when combined with the idea that people need to be less repressed about what has traditionally been repressed by most societies in recorded history leads to the conclusion that pre-pubescent children should be—as the most radical sexual explorers said in the 1960s—allowed to indulge in sexual activity; and, insofar as it is now possible to enter the transsexual transition process at a very early age, it seems that this has come about by other means than direct assault; for, once it is established that a young child can consent to a sex change it is not a great step to say they should be allowed to have sex—or, more accurately, be raped; since this is what it will amount to.

So, in conclusion, although Freud did manage a few insights into human nature his overall approach should be rejected; and his influence would ideally be much less than it is today. I do not want to say Freud was wrong and Jung was right, but Jung was definitely much more correct than Freud; however, his influence is not so great—partly because we live in an age where regimes have only allowed secular materialism to prevail for decades and decades, so Jung is marginalised. However, between the two, I think Jung will have a greater long-range influence. This is because Freud pitched himself and asked to be judged purely as a scientist; accordingly, many people of a scientific mind have already taken up the challenge and by the mid-1990s Freudianism was reduced to a shell of its former influence, simply because a great many of Freud’s assertions do not survive scientific scrutiny or are untestable in that way.


Freud’s influence remains because of that enormous popular culture impact he attained from roughly the 1940s to the late 1970s, so your grandparents and parents have been washed in soft Freudianism from birth; further, his work survives in an entirely uncritical way in many university literature departments and so continues to bleed into mass culture through graduates of these programs. Jung’s approach, on the other hand, relates to religious traditions that have lasted for centuries already; nor did he ask to be judged purely as a scientist, he was as much an explorer of consciousness as a scientist—an artist, as his mandalas and carved stones show. Hence I think that Jung’s influence will be a slower burn—rarely featured in Hollywood, if at all—but more lasting.

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