Monday, January 07, 2008

Reaction to the Fables of Freud

We Do Get Comments, we really do...
We got a great comment kicking us in the ass for running thegrowlingwolf's diatribe on his two-way-street affair with Herr Doktor Sigmund Freud but we accidentally deleted it in trying to publish it--sometimes doesn't work very well, as though it's still in beta, but regardless, we deleted the comment. As best we can remember it was lambasting the Wolf Man from the point of view of a professional social worker, a woman? the Wolf Man crudely asked--anyway, this social worker was praising her high lawdy lawd that the Wolf Man wasn't handling her child abuse loads. Wow. We were surprised; we read in Sarah Boxer's essay on Freud that accompanied that post about this--Freud approved of child abuse!

Here's an excerpt from Boxer's essay:

Critics today are not such softies. They are inclined to think, Forrester says, that ''none of Freud's reports concerning what happened to his patients, or indeed of what they said, can be trusted . . . because the analyst made it all up.'' And that includes reports of childhood seductions. No use crying over these abused children. The abuses are little more than figments of Freud's fevered imagination.

''The memories of scenes of childhood seduction were not real memories at all,'' Richard Webster writes in WHY FREUD WAS WRONG: Sin, Science, and Psychoanalysis (Basic Books, $35). Nor were they the patients' real fantasies. ''They were . . . constructed, suggested or forced on patients by Freud himself,'' Webster writes. And Webster is by no means the only one to say this. Frederick Crews makes the same point in THE MEMORY WARS: Freud's Legacy in Dispute (New York Review, cloth, $22.95; paper, $12.95). Indeed, he blames Freud for the recent wave of false memories about childhood sexual abuse. The bottom line: Freud's patients are too tainted to be believed.

And here's an excerpt from Webster's Why Freud Was Wrong.
THE OBSERVATION THAT Freud’s writings, and in particular his theory of repression, are the ultimate source of the recovered memory movement which has flourished in the United States in the last decade, has been made on a number of occasions already. The subject is a huge one and in order to avoid becoming ensnared by the present I have only touched upon it briefly in this attempt to review the psychoanalytic past. But because the recovered memory movement has assumed such an extraordinary importance in contemporary psychotherapy, no attempt to estimate the influence of Freud upon our century would be complete if it did not offer some account of this movement and of the phenomenon of ‘false memory’ which, in the view of many, is associated with it.

One of the obstacles which stands in the way of any realistic appraisal of the recovered memory movement is the difficulty most people have in imaginatively grasping the sheer scale of it, and the extraordinary speed with which it has come to dominate the mental health debate in North America and to move rapidly up mental health agendas in many other countries. As Frederick Crews has written, ‘during the past decade or so a shockwave had been sweeping across North American psychotherapy and in the process causing major repercussions in our families, courts and hospitals. A single diagnosis for miscellaneous complaints – that of unconsciously repressed sexual abuse in childhood – has grown in this brief span from virtual non-existence to epidemic frequency.’

Quite what the frequency of this diagnosis now is in the United States is impossible to say with any accuracy. But it is possible to make informed estimates. Crews himself relays the conservative estimate that a million people have been helped by their psychotherapists to recover putative ‘memories’ of child sexual abuse since 1988 alone. Tens of thousands of families have been torn apart by allegations of incest springing from these ‘recovered memories’. So massive and disruptive have the effects of this kind of therapy been that there seems little doubt that in a hundred years time, historians and sociologists will still be studying one of most extraordinary episodes in twentieth-century history, and that in all probability they will still be arguing about its causes.

Wow, now we see--Wolf Man, they're blaming Freud for all that child-abuse-recall of a decade or so back! Come on, wasn't that a fad, a fad started by celebrity psychiatrists? Remember Roseanne Barr was the big celebrity family accuser, accusing her poor beat-looking Jewish father of molesting her when she was six months old! Yikes! And didn't Amy Fisher use her memory of her own father molesting her as a child as a part of her defense for shooting Joey Butt-a-fucked-up-o's wife?--white trash romance, we say--right Herr Doktor Freud?

So Freud is blamed for that. Wow. Repressed memories don't even exist or so says New Zealander Richard Webster. We are kind of horselaughing....


I was a social worker for a while--couldn't help it--I was trained in urban planning but I couldn't get a god-damn foothold in any urban planning department door. It was my sociological generation, based on work coming out of the U of Chicago and U of Illinois in Urbana-Champagne, that started developing the idea of city managers rather than mayors. There was great resistance to this movement--even though Dallas for instance toyed with a city manager-style government, the mayor was too influential politically and too traditional social consciously to even think of giving up such power as a mayor can grab, whereas a city manager has to be accountable to an accounting department, much more subject to constant evaluation than a mayor--than a mayor would allow. As a desperate result I headed for the county welfare department--I had an old college girlfriend who worked at this county welfare department's juvenile detention facility. I got hired there as office manager but the reason they hired me is because I had a degree in Sociology and all sociologists were thought of in those days as social workers and not social thinkers and empirical theoretical scientists--oh no, you were either a social worker or you taught school or you went back to school and changed your study to finance and management, something truly all-American like that.

Freud was not a part of my Sociology background. I had no training in clinical psychology and certainly no medical training. I had studied Experimental Psychology for one year as an undergraduate but that mostly dealt with our trying to develop theories of conditioning--one study measuring the use of certain colors used in at that time the new rash of Howard Johnson motels and adjoining restaurants that were popping up like wildfires all over the country. The colors the Johnson folks chose for their restaurant interiors were pastel blue, pastel pink, and pastel green--psychological tests had proven these colors were suggestive of making the customers hungry. Uh-oh, there was Freud--the word "hunger" introduced old Sigmund into the mix, didn't it? Thirst. Hunger. Satisfaction.

In Sociology, my guru was Georg Simmel. I liked Pitrim Sorokin, too, the Altruistic sociologist who taught at Harvard. Simmel and Sorokin then led me to powerful sociological thinkers like C. Wright Mills, Thorstein Veblen--see how far from Freud I was? If I read psychiatry books it was R.D. Laing, who I dug in a hippy way, or Alan Watts, who tried to relate Eastern and Western psychiatry (this dude started the "meditation" craze and made it possible for Indian swamis to show up on our scene mostly thanks to the attack of the Beatles on our musical crops in the mid-sixties). I was still a long way from Freud.

So I was hired as a social worker--and as office manager of a juvey, a juvenile home, no I wasn't into counseling or rehabbing or analyzing though I worked with a whole host of Behavioral Psychologist types, especially the young women caseworkers--oh how Freudian I get remembering some of those women--social workers--oh how those beautiful women had to absorb such warped crap from their cases (I'm being Freudian still)--oh yes, they measured all children through their Minnesota Multiphasical minds either psychos or sociopaths. The sociopath started creeping into the world of individual therapy--and the psychiatrists, the Freudians, could not handle sociopaths--we'd send these kids for psychiatric evaluations and the shrinks would send 'em back as "out of their domain." So whose domain were these little creeps in? Sociopaths are, for example, like the whacko kid who blew away military style 33 at Virginia Tech--was that little bastard abused as a kid? The psychiatrists didn't give a shit; they shipped the sociopaths back to us. [One way we explained sociopaths was by saying "If every time you approach a green light changing to red and you consistently speed up to try and beat the light--or perhaps you run a red light purposely--then you have sociopathic tendencies."

When I moved to New Orleans and needed money, yep, I went right down to the Orleans Parish Court and marched right into Jim Garrison's office and showed them my resume and credentials and letters of recommendation and damn if Jim's assistant didn't march my ass down to the Orleans Parish Juvenile Court and they put my ass to work the next morning as an Intake Caseworker I. It was kids; children; yes, even babies. Plus, we handled alimony cases--deadbeat dads, yep. The cops brought these little criminals to me and I began processing them for court. You see, at that time in juvenile courts kids had no rights whatsoever. They didn't have legal representation--nope, they had social workers as their legal representation, social workers like me who was a sociological and economics theorist--except everyone else I worked with at the Orleans Parish juvey court were trained social workers--Louisiana State and Tulane had graduate social worker degrees, the famous MSW, Master of Social Work. My best friend in the Juvenile Court became my supervisor, a crossover social worker who had the same vision of Sociology that I had, that a Sociologist trained in psychiatry and psychoanalytical methods might just be the solution to working with these sociopathic kids. Freud? I knew nothing about Freud. I was married at the time to a brilliant young woman who was a Socialist and cared nothing for anything except a "social revolution." Freud to her was simply another voice of the oppressive Capitalist society that was neurotic and psychotic because of the oppression of the working class, the using of child labor--aha, aha, and Freud said perhaps the reason some of his patients were so fucked up was maybe because their parents were fucked up, too, and had been fucked up by their parents until it's a generational thing and Einstein steps in and introduces us to the relativity of everything on everything in everything we do as we do everything we do and everything that is being done always being done like in the writings of Freud.

I guess the first sort of Freudian method I used in social work was working with this stuttering kid criminal (he'd robbed a convenience store of a can of soda pop). I worked with kids freshly picked and pummeled off the streets or gang-chained-together in a cop-type juvey bust--like raiding juvey "fuck" clubs--and there were a lot of those back in Sixties New Orleans--I mean, could Freud have been right about sexual repressions?--ugh, and by God, stutterers at that time were considered unsolvable cases--I began to think Freudian in terms of what would make me stutter if I should just "suddenly start to misspeak" as this lad's charming mother told me was how her son started stuttering during my interview with her.

My God, I just remembered another Freudian method I used with this stutterer--I turned the overhead lights out in my office (these were florescent lights, very bright and police station-like in their glaring, leaving the psyche no place to hide and think) and got a desk lamp and turned that on me--and not on the stutterer. Holy cripes, I'm remembering being Freudian--repressed knowledge? And in that half-lit office I just leaned into the desk-lamp light and said, "Yell at me, kid, yell your ass off at me, call me every dirty word in the book, you lily-livered little...." Soon he was saying, "Hey, mmmmmotherfffffffucker ahhhyo-yo-yo-you can't talk to me like that!" "Good, kid, we're making some progress already--you didn't stutter at all at the end of that rebuttal." "You're weird," he said. "Aha," I said, "listen, you ain't stuttering. Can you sing, let me hear you sing, sing me a song." "Ehssssing you a song?" "Yeah, come on, you know 'Row, Row, Row Your Boat,' don't you?" "That's a kkk-ka-kid's song."

Wow. I was Freudian as hell with that kid wasn't I? Turned out this poor kid had been hit by a city bus when he was 9 and he'd stuttered ever since--and I got that out of him simply by keepin' on keepin' him remembering, bringing up those repressed whatevers--and, you know, by God, it ended up with me and this kid becoming goombahs sort of--I refused to take his father's place--and soon I had him mentally working on his stuttering and then I called this babe I knew at Tulane and she was working with By God stutterers in a clinical way at the time and we got him in a program and the dude went on to crawl out of his stuttering habit--his repressed fear of being dumb--huh? The kid became a law student at Loyola-New Orleans--hah-hah--and then one day I wrung my hands of social work--I mean, my caseload was bulging at the seams and my cases were getting more and more serious, sexually fucked up beautiful young girls, boys so pissed at their parents and school they set fires to schools especially, which meant I had to study up on arson and what makes arsonists tick--NOOOOO, I shouted one day to my wife, "I hate this fucking job. I'm sticking it--let's move to Mexico, what'a'ya say?" I had just had to go on a field visit to the St. Bernard Projects, the meanest streets in New Orleans at that time and on that field trip I went into this 21-year-old's apartment and I asked her where her baby was so I could see if she was taking care of it properly and she showed me where the baby was, in a cardboard box with a cute little baby blanket and some newspaper in the bottom of it by the side of her refrigerator--THAT WAS IT FOR ME! (the St. Bernard Houses was the biggest of the old New Orleans projects; these are the same projects the new White City of New Orleans is currently demolishing in favor of Donald Trump special condo-casino-luxury sin holes for rich whites--these projects, you understand, were populated mostly by blacks--NO MORE BLACKS is the new motto of the NEW White New Orleans--thanking Gawd for Katrina, the storm of retribution on the sinful, savage blacks of New Orleans--oh, and the homosexual population, too, I forgot--gotta clean all that sin up--praise the racist Lawd, the Great White God--and now I'm wolf ranting, you see, my uncontrollable urge is to go for the throat of what I consider an enemy problem rather than wasting time analyzing the perversions and repressed fears and incestuous desires of all the kooks that seem to now rule the world. Poor old Freud, he tried to warn us in his quiet and seductive way. He was suffering rebuke enough at the time he left Vienna, got out by the skin of his Jewish ass, and set up shop in London, rebuke in the form of the mouth cancer that would eventually kick his ass into the grave--horrible pain this dude suffered, and why, all because of his oral fixation on cigars and cigar smoking and, oh yes, his cocaine habit. Freud was one of the first dudes to experiment with cocaine as a painkiller.

Let me get out of this retortive little reply to that comment that "they" trashed from the professional social worker by quoting some Ezra Pound, who despised Freud and Hilda Doolittle found that out--Ez broke off his engagement to H.D. because of her falling for Freud like she did--the complication in her life that she said Freud revealed to her was her artistic mother versus her scientific father and her being brought up in the very strangely mystifying Moravian religion in Eastern Pennsylvania...but anyway, here's a little quote from Ez about Freudians (some say Ez liked Freud but couldn't stand what he called "Freudians"):
"People treated by Freudians, etc. get steadily more and more interested in their own footling interiors, and ... less interesting to anyone else .... They are at the nadir from Spinoza's sane and hearty: the more perfect a thing is the more it acts and the less it suffers."

'Nuff said.


The Presidential Race
We just read where these clown-headed politicians are going to spend a half-a-billion bucks a piece before all this horse-racing presidential campaigning is over. 500 million bucks a piece, folks. Think of that. Think of what you could do with 500 million bucks! It's our money really.

Hill may have blown it by almost breaking into sissy woman tears after getting her broad ass whipped by the N-worder in Iowa and then he's beatin' that same broad ass in the early polling in New Hampshire by 10%--maybe even Edwards will whip her in NH. Hillary's problem? She has no answers to any questions asked her--she simply says she's for changing this country's direction--hey, Hill, you're slick-ass, lyin' dog husband couldn't pull that off; in fact he got our asses in the bind of this stupid NAFTA and this WTO--such bullshit--and Hill's hooked in with the Hill crowd and the HMOs and she's still pro-WAR.

In the meantime, our ex-cheerleader phony "president" (he was never elected honestly, folks) is starting the "Iran is attacking our Navy vessels"--Holy shit, this little weasel is reading off Lyndon "Big Balls" Johnson's "Gulf of Tonkin" crib sheets--that'll get us into WWIII, by golly--oh how sweet it is being a little spoiled rich boy from a hidebound crooked as snakes at night family, past and present, and now the little jerk is going to Israel and his invented enemy al Queda is belly-babbling "wreak havoc on the bastard while he's meddlin' around in the Israel-Palestian affairs" to their nonexistent Saudi followers--the wrong Palestinian government as usual are our friends and not the duly elected Hamas government. Hey, folks, remember we here at The Daily Growler will be glad to teach you how to goosestep according to the Master himself, Adolf Schickelgruber, or if you're macabre as hell, how about a pamphlet on "Filing Courteously Into the Shower Stalls, Now There's a Good Bunch of Scum of the Earth." Ah sweet Fascism. Better start reading some Mosca and Pareto.

for The Daily Growler

Mosca's enduring contribution to political science is the observation that all but the most primitive societies are ruled in fact, if not in theory, by a numerical minority. He named this minority the political class. Although his theory is correctly characterized as elitist, it should be observed that its basis is far different from The Power Elite described by, for example, C. Wright Mills. Unlike Mills and later sociologists, Mosca aimed to develop a universal theory of political society and his more general theory of the Political Class reflects this aim.

Mosca defined modern elites in term of their superior organisational skills. These organisational skills were especially useful in gaining political power in modern bureaucratic society. Nevertheless, Mosca's theory was more liberal than the elitist theory of, for example, Pareto, since in Mosca's conception, elites are not hereditary in nature and peoples from all classes of society can theoretically become "elite". He also adhered to the concept of "the circulation of elites," which is a dialectical theory of constant competition between elites, with one elite group replacing another repeatedly over time.

From Wikipedia.

1 comment:

Marybeth said...

There are two and only two postulates to Einstein's "Special Theory of Relativity": 1) The laws of physics are the same (may be expressed in equations having the same form) in all inertial reference frames (frames of reference moving at constant velocity with respect to one another), and 2) the speed of light in free space has the same value for ALL observers REGARDLESS OF THEIR STATE OF MOTION!

Everybody who isn't a physicist seems to misinterpret Einstein and his theories of relativity and reduce them to "everything is relative". Einstein's theories say no such thing. I always get so frustrated when I hear people say "As Einstein showed, everything is relative". GRRRRRR! He said no such thing. The stupefying thing that he realized is that the speed of light is the speed of light is the speed of light IS THE SAME no matter how you're moving relative to it. And that's hardly the same as "everything's relative". And the consequences of that second postulate are very specific and lead to the equivalence of mass and energy (E=mc2), for example (which gives us the atom bomb (hardly relative)).