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MONDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2014 5:35 PM

@MyRealName, sure! I would hope perhaps we'd consider that being educated on the subject isn't necessarily so much the thing as is one's state of mental health. If Affleck reads a desire for righteous war amongst some liberals, even as much as they say they don't want to kill muslims, I'm glad he doesn't abash himself and not speak up. 

What's frustrating for Affleck is that liberals have poorly placed themselves to be able to defuse the influence of Maher and Harris. It is very possible that good numbers of cultures out there that historically have been conservative but which have begun to rapidly modernize, evolve, will end up feeling guilty for all that's been trespassed and accrued and suddenly turn puritanical in mass ... what happened to Germany in the 30s. Become a warrior culture of "knights" who've renounced their spoiled ways, now ready to die for their beloved mutterland. 

But liberals have had no way of admitting this to themselves, for they've only associated it with the rightwing perspective. So they insist it's "only extremists" ... when they ought to know that whole societies can suddenly turn extreme, especially when some within (the more emotionally evolved; the less abused/better raised) have successfully been pushing reforms, social/economic/political advances. 

I think Maher and Harris are aware of other liberals' deliberate ignorance, and are glorying in the fact that there is now no prepared way to show that those who are actually factually more correct are still possessed of the more perverse mindset. Good portions of the world might suddenly turn very conservative -- it was the change we knew in the 1930s from the Jazz Age 1920s. And someone pointing out in the late 20s what could possible develop in Germany is not necessarily more to be saluted than the liberal who wasn't as concerned. 

What's key is that one truly wants peace and ongoing growth. And the liberal in the 20s might have been one of the exceptional who could be truly favoring this, while still able to point out evidence that makes another culture you're actually rooting for seem barbaric. But s/he'd probably be one of those hoping for the growth to end by popularizing an opponent we'll all need to shed a sane culture for war trance, war preparedness. 

MONDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2014 2:57 PM
dkelly5352 Reparations and the loss of territory greatly affected the German psyche.

More about this German psyche … I think it takes a particularly nasty childhood, full of shaming and humiliation, to feel so shamed by anything later on that'd you'd go down a course that have you want to kill millions of people and take pleasure in the hypermasculine possibility of world dominance. 

They were getting revenge for childhood humiliations, sexual abuse; the treaty was a just flashback. Everything in our childhoods gets played out in the external social sphere. 

Economic growth -- and accrued guilt -- leads to war. Major wars aren't fought during depressions, because the point of war -- mass sacrifice -- is being handled internally.  

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2014 4:36 PM

@Amity Maybe that's just too much work.

So we're not tribal animals -- but we are lazy shits! 

Won't you come over to my side and say we're just traumatized children, ruled over by (the like of) parents who'll abandon us if we choose just to fart away all the advantages they've so graciously and selflessly given us?

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2014 4:12 PM

Andrew, note, believes it's pretty usual to freak out about things that are not actually genuine threats, saying we're all at core still tribal people possessed of primal fears. I think historians might allow for this because if they stop insisting humankind as rational, it's only to suggest how fallen we are, how base we are -- they like thinking of human beings as intrinsically greedy and self-interested, for example. Take that you presumptuous assholes, believing yourselves better!

My way is sort of akin to Andrew's, in suggesting that past terrors determine how we see our world, not "realities." But because it's not a safe zone of imagining some distant anthropological tribe really far removed from the scholar who casually (arrogantly? angrily? retaliatorily?) ascribes the rest of the human family as similar to them, but the dangerous one of imaging one's own self once again as we were when in absolute terror before our mommies and daddies as they abandoned or ferociously attacked us, it's off the table. 

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2014 3:27 PM

@Amity Germany in the 1920s was still Jazz Age, though, it encouraged all the artists and new thoughts the Nazis, that Germans in the 30s, wanted dead as soon as possible. The way of seeing the decade as simply crazily disrupting, rattling, perhaps shows how anyone from a family that crucified/brutally abandoned their children when they did anything deemed spoiled or selfish, would experience any period of innovation -- where one artistic/social advance was followed so quickly by something unimagined before; by something even better. 

What the Nazis did was ensure people that psychic disintegration caused by unpermitted growth would be put to an end. I understand that Nazism ebbed for a short while, but took off again in spades during the 30s economic recovery. The Nazis halted women's rights, halted social, political, sexual freedoms, and the nation felt relieved; the inner sense of disintegration stopped.

The question is, what was going through the average person's mind when they feared "communism"? Could it not be that every outside perpetrator by that point carried every aspect of their own punitive parents? That every child they killed in war, carried every aspect of their own terribly guilty childhood selves? That Germany itself so saintly, because every bad parental aspect had been projected outside; and the Volk also so good, because it was composed of puritanical good boys and girls ready in mass to die for Her?

 SUNDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2014 1:37 AM

Maybe I can be corrected otherwise, but I really doubt that Germans in the Weimar 1920s believed that they were surrounded by enemies about to attack; but by 1939 they certainly did. If we all possess the same evolutionary history, if we're all afraid of monsters, why does it seem to speak out so loud at certain times and so shallowly at others?

I'm one who thinks that who we are is most usefully explored not by DNA but by the specific nature of our childhoods, how well loved we were. If we grew up under parents who often terrorized us -- Tiger Moms; patriarchal fathers; fear of the lash or more of devourment -- then if we end up in a society which is actually very empowered, like we are now, and Germany certainly was in the 30s, at no risk at all from neighbors, but still believes itself terribly vulnerable, then it's a sign we've regressed into our childhood mindsets, our childhood selves. It's a sign that we're engaging once again with very real childhood "monsters" we had to engage with everyday as children. 

What precipitates this paranoid state is simply growth panic: peoples who've exceeded what they believed they were allowed in life, are guilty of hubris, feel like they're disintegrating -- and so by the wayside goes their normal selves. You take note of this by watching media images, but the media doesn't precipitate it.  

We go to war for defense and re-enactment. The aspect of initiation is pleasing; empowering against a demonic force that is always out there circling. And the takedown -- so long as it means not just killing monsters but the sacrifice of children (our own guilty childhood selves, who're surely sinful; deserved their mistreatment) -- immensely satisfying. 


@5easypieces @bigrafx @joe jones I think Maher is arguing that liberals refuse to acknowledge how conservative almost all Muslims are. Liberals do this because they understand that this rarely turns out to be a discussion of fact -- as Maher and Harris insist it is  -- and just pretext to find a people of "dangerous people" to satisfy our need to annihilate without guilt. 

We develop the fantasy need first -- to find a dangerous, terrible other and war against it -- then we go about establishing how this is simply the truth of the world: some bad people need to be bombed, attacked first before they attack us. Affleck should have argued that Maher and Harris have an unconscious need for war right now, to annihilate a lot innocents, and have to wake up to this fact. 

They would deny it, and point out more statistical fact. But Ben should have said he feels it in them -- you want war, guys. If the stats showed something different, they wouldn't be brought up or would have been ignored.  

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2014 4:41 PM
Lissie You're a fun writer. 

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2014 3:06 PM

@esstee @Patrick McEvoy-Halston I certainly qualified the emotional health bit. But, yes, he is amongst those people I see targeted where I'm not convinced people taking him down  -- citing very valid stuff -- are in a camp I'd necessarily want to belong in either. 

It is perhaps for this reason I make sure to argue my own point of view that the source of the woman hate owes to mistreatment by one's mother -- raised out of an environment that provided insufficient love and respect for her -- because I'm testing to see if those taking down Dawkins are themselves open to explanations behind women-hate other than ones they're comfortable with. 

If they're furious, then I'm wondering if they're actually more comfortable with a foreclosed environment than Dawkins himself is, and just represent another avenue in our Depression society where inroads just can't be made. 

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2014 2:34 PM

Richard Dawkins convinces me that he got to atheism out of emotional health. I think his fantastically playful mind came out of the fact that he had parents, had a mother, who encouraged him to play -- who were permissive, out of love. I sometimes wonder if he gets targeted so much at Salon because he doesn't seem to admit to any sins at all; whereas Salon would prefer we're we'd all self-lash at least a little bit. 

So mostly I would want to defend him. But I know that when he said he was groped by teachers as a child and that it didn't harm him a bit, he was certainly wrong about that. And I know that there's more behind his support for Hoff Summers than he realizes. A lot of men were still raised by women who were insufficiently loved and respected in the society they were born in, and who therefore made use of their children to satisfy their own unmet needs. Dawkins obviously had a better-loved mother than many -- and therefore his lack of a psychological need for gods to defer and admit sins to. But is obviously still one of those, and thus his being pleased by the prospect of revenge. 

I suppose the other thing for me is that many of these last of the "great men" that are being heavily targeted by feminists, still seem to me to be more innovative than contemporaries -- I'm thinking Updike and Roth. For this I still like seeing them in the limelight, not because they're towering men amongst a swath of deferential women. Seeing people decide against reading him would be a bit like being witness to the 30s generation that let the appallingly-full-of-himself Jazz Ager, F. Scott Fitzgerald, go out of print. 

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2014 10:21 AM

CyclingFool About cops/soldiers using deadly force to "protect" us: I think we may learn better about why we have soldiers when we consider that they act out sadism we feel, so we can be dispossessed of it, live ordinary lives (they can also represent sacrificed youth and youthful potential -- so also the reprieve of first born to angry "gods"). They're a corollary of our need for homeless people, who we make feel vulnerability we've known but want the hell away from us. It's all very useful, but for still quite psychologically damaged people. Many of the better-loved left know nothing of this. It's not in them. And would on their own create a society spared all of it.

The reason we let predatory capitalists go on may not be so much their absolute necessity in the creation of useful products, but that we are still primitive enough, our period of sustained "sinful" growth has gone on long enough, that we can only tolerate useful creation when we make sure it's done nastily; where it'll mean a lot of destruction as well.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2014 4:05 AM

Frank Knarf Personally, I think he's right. He could even say that when we want our leaders to bomb the hell out of people or structure our economy so that it makes destitutes out of a lot people, our psychological mechanism is about the same (lots of children are killed, while we go about our daily business). I disagree when it then spreads to absolutely everyone. If you're thinking you have some sin in you, you may just be ready to join others in a "cleanse." 

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2014 1:40 AM

the article points to the truth about the little bad things in us all and their potential, given the opportunity, to become very big bad things.

Or it substantiates a lie we're all pretty well prepared to accept. The other way, that it isn't in all of us but only in those who were abused as children, and set up brain systems to protect the abandoning/abusive parent and demonize the "bad" child, requires us to explore our own childhoods in a way that sets off major alarms.  You just don't go there.  

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2014 1:09 AM

The phenomenon is "switching," and it's "in" a lot of us, but not all of us: depends on our childhoods; whether it was so bad we had to set up different brain systems we could switch into, so to fuse with our disassociated terrifying parent alters and victimize our Bad Selves (guilty simply for being vulnerable). Switching is what occurred in Milgram's experiments -- it involves cutting off the empathic mirror neurons in the right insula -- and not everyone switched. The better loved don't. 

So, many feel this need to switch into persecutory alters they've set up in their brains; they restage early childhood traumas where they're "the parents" and those gassed are themselves as children; and then afterwards they're completely out: they can go home calmly for dinner with the family. 

What precipitates this switching? It's growth panic, guilt, but I won't quite get into that; but I will say that it occurs after people begin to coalesce into a group. That is, don't be on the look out for stigmatization so much as a sense of group identity, of nationalism, building; when it coalesces, then we'll understand exactly who's to be designated as vermin. Victims aren't foolish to be caught out; it "flowers" out in a terrible hurry after fusion is complete. 

For a sense of German childrearing during the early 20th century, perhaps check this out: 



What was key about Paglia, why a lot of men were excited by what she said, is that it would have felt a bit as if mommy had authorized the rapes ... spoiled, over-protected young college women, welcome to the wilderness. 

Older women, like Ginsberg and Paglia, are being experienced now as supreme authorities that cut through all the blather. They represent our own Terrifying Mothers, and we're both afraid of and eager to fuse with them. 

What's actually frightening is the knowledge that we are monsters of our own making. That we raise boys to see sex as something that can be taken, should be taken. 

Again, this certainly doesn't help. But the real problem is that disparaged, unloved mothers end up more needing their children than loving them. This leads to incestuous use of their children, followed by abandonment. It's experiences of this sort of contact with one's mother that makes one want to make use of the guilt-reducing excuses of an anti-woman culture to go about humiliating (what rape is primarily about) women. 


Graham Clark Yes, unloved mothers from societies that disrespect women, will end up looking to their children for love, and will abandon them when they no longer serve this need. This produces the kind of rage that could fuel something as awful as rape, which will seem very aberrant to us eventually, as will such things as war. 

And yes, anyone from a genuinely provisioning home will not murder or rape. They weren't sexually abused as children. 

I don't understand your last paragraph. What I meant is that children who were abused will end up blaming themselves for the abuse. They set up alters in their heads, in the right hemisphere -- the Terrifying Mother (or primary caregiver) alter --  that tells them they deserve humiliation and punishment through life. 

I made use of your comment mostly to expand on what I think, which is a bit rude, but your bent is to humiliate people who don't even want to be your opponents, so it's tough not to sort of pass you by.  


@dkelly5352 @trainsam From Lloyd DeMause's "Emotional Life of Nations": 

Ever since Jeffrey Masson wrote his book The Assault on the Truth: Freud's Suppression of the Seduction Theory, there has been a widespread misconception that Freud backed down from maintaining the reality of childhood sexual abuse. The truth is exactly the opposite. Freud continued all his life to state that sexual abuse of children in his society was widespread, insisting in his final writings that "I cannot admit [that] I exaggerated the frequency [of] seduction," that "most analysts will have treated cases in which such [incestuous] events were real and could be unimpeachably established," that "actual common enough," that "the sexual abuse of children is found with uncanny frequency among school teachers and child attendants," and that "phantasies of being seduced are of particular interest, because so often they are not phantasies but real memories." What he actually "backed down" from was his initial idea that hysteria could be caused by sexual abuse, since, he said, "sexual assaults on small children happen too often for them to have any aetiological importance..." That is, it was because children were so commonly sexually abused in his society that Freud thought that seduction could not be the cause of hysteria. Otherwise, nearly everyone would be a hysteric!

@Benthead @AmusedAmused

every one else rapes because they've been immersed in stories, images and jokes about worthless women.

That doesn't help, but it's not sufficient. The boy would have to have underlying experiences of being dominated and humiliated. And not from spurning from an early grade-school crush, but as an infant being manipulated and used in such a terrible way that it results in such a hell-bent desire to revenge. 

This is not to say that it isn't helpful to challenge regressive media images of women -- though what helps may not just be that the proper message is getting through, but that boys are simply getting attention from decent people. But real improvement comes with improvement in conditions before the child really comes in contact with "media" -- within the mother-child dyad. 


SpudSpudly Biology works both ways and rape is not always about violence or control.  It can be about sexual desire.

Rape is about control and humiliation. Boys who were dominated and used incestuously by their mothers are the ones who'll attempt payback against other women. The only way this might be deemed biological is that the first homo sapiens were much like primates and were god-awful (mostly abandoning, infanticidal -- as were the ancient Greeks, btw) parents. But really, anyone who belongs to those generational chains whose childrearing has improved from generation to generation, as mother finds way to provide a bit more love to her children, and so on, will not rape. 

The idea of women craving rape, actual physical assault, should be explored in the context of what happens to women who as girls felt that they were "bad" and deserved sexual assaults they had suffered. If they were assaulted as children and the perpetrators were those the child needed to be kept protective, part of their brains will be installed with the perpetrator's point of view, and will glory when the "uppity girl" gets taken down a notch again. It's an example of the terrible results of child abuse, only.  


 But here we have a piece where a woman is actually saying that men are intrinsically violent and that can never ever change, and it’s being heralded as a very serious idea about gender and sexual violence.

For some men this might feel flattering. The immediate reaction a woman should have towards a man, ergo, is to be wary. Anyone who grew up under a dominating mother, anyone who knew a lot of humiliating shrinking before her, would find this appealing, a great buff. 

If she'd of said that since all boys end up servicing the unmet (love) needs of their mothers, men are perpetually afraid of her dominion and rape other women foremost to gain some kind of illusory domination over her, she'd of been less well received I'm sure.


Benthead SpudSpudly No society will ever achieve a zero frequency rate for rape.

Why? Rape isn't inherent in men. It's not a desire to have sex but to humiliate. Children who are warmly raised by their parents will have no inclination to rape at all, and we can get there, eventually.


 Like many Internet habitués

Lines like this have me sometimes wondering if perhaps you shouldn't climb totally over to NYRB, or some such. "Amity," "Susan Sunflower," "Beans and Greens," "Aunt Messy," are all habitués. And if they were ever to meet you would you really want them to see in your face that you still thought them lesser sorts of people for not doing the proper not-ever, or only-to-correct-a-research-mistake, commenting on articles?

Somewhere out there I'm sensing intelligent people reading an article and dying to interact and respond, but deciding against it to keep their sense of themselves intact ... for the pleasure of not being one of them. Sense of self maintained, but democratic discussion loses some. 

Salon, start doing more of what you used to do, and get excited about some of the conversations that ensue on your website. Don't use them to make yourselves feel superior, please -- everyday a comment adventure, indeed. 


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