Recent comments of mine at Salon.com (November 2014)

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2014 2:08 AM
HappyJack Interesting response. Seriously disturbed people are seriously disturbed because they were assaulted or apocalyptically abandoned, early -- when they were new to life, extremely vulnerable infants/children, and their brains hadn't yet figured how much they were going to allow for the conscious "you" to control. This means problems with an insufficiently loved mother -- because if two caregivers were heavily involved in a child's life, we're talking progressive neighbourhoods in New York, not locales for mental disturbance of the kind that lead to delight in raping and killing another human being.
So the pattern I'd recommend looking for in the various ways disturbance gets "expressed": one, someone who when revenged upon means revenge against the terrifying mother; two, someone when attacked means revenge against your own "bad" self, whose badness was surely responsible for your mother's hatred and lack of interest in you. 
This doesn't cover all you offered, which spread out in a way to insult and deny "conquest," and I'm sorry for that. But I think it's most helpful for tying things up.  
Cheers. 

MONDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2014 9:52 PM
 Now unless you are of the belief that men are wired to be violent (I am not), then talking about our culture, how boys are raised to view themselves and others around them, seems pretty important.
We raise boys abominably, still expecting them to be tough and manly. But the issue needs to be broadened so we explore how hurt, abused, unloved and disrespected woman raise their boys (at that point) instinctively. The maternal environment, that is: "instinctive" (loved woman don't do this) incest; instinctive (again, loved woman don't do this) distancing/emotional abandonment. 
Boys who go out and shoot women have problems owing far more than just having been spurned in adolescence and being taught the wrong sorts of things about women (our popular way of sourcing their problems). Owing to early childrearing, shameful experiences within the early maternal matrix, their brains can become wired to actually be capable of the psychically extreme acts of rape and murder, so to humiliate/revenge themselves upon women (i.e. their mother), and finally feel some satisfying sense of control. 
You do great stuff, but go there a little bit too, Katie.


MONDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2014 5:19 PM
alterego55 Patrick McEvoy-Halston GeorgA Jane Goodall was only going to see splendour ... we all know that. It's taboo in anthropological circles (as well) to suggest anything adverse about the cultures they're studying ... it all has purpose, even the child abandonment and infanticide. They're decent people who nevertheless still feel a psychological need to only see people a certain way. I'm sure we'll eventually get progressives who won't in their romanticism essentially also serve as child abuse apologists, but they certainly don't hold the field yet. 

MONDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2014 5:08 PM
The_Pragmatist  Are you going to tell me it was all because their parents didn't love them?
Yes, wars are about sacrificing the guilty surplus we'd accrued as a society, that we feel we don't deserve owing to being made to feel like egoism, self-love/attendance, is a bad thing in our youth.
It's about fusing with a group, a mother nation, we're hoping to be able to sacrifice ourselves to, and punishing and humiliating both our "bad" selves and split off-aspects of our mothers -- the terrifying, monstrous, aspects of them. 
People who were truly loved by their parents, which we're now seeing for the first time in history with these parents where both partners are involved, where they never hit or verbally intimidate their children, where they put in enormous time and help them realize their own dreams (rather than our own for them), have gone beyond the need to project unwanted aspects onto other people during periods of growth panic and seek to obliterate "them." 
They're past war for good. They'll realize that what they love about the world isn't what a deity granted them, but the enormity of what truly kind human beings are able to make of it. If we're free of demons, no need to project, switch into different selves apart from normal everyday ones, nature gives us way more to work with than if we'd only had a sparse bland moonscape to work with. 

I'm glad you received a lot of love from your parents. 

MONDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2014 4:52 PM
GeorgA It's childrearing, how much we loved our children, which matters, not DNA. Primate parenting is the worst, and it's where we started. History has been our slowly, slowly, transmitting more care and love to our children. 
Here's Lloyd DeMause on primate childrearing:
The inability of most non-human primates to share food with their children after weaning is well established. Jane Lancaster sums up primate post-weaning behavior:

...adults are not responsible for seeing that young have enough to eat...[even] an injured or sick youngster still has to feed itself and get itself to water or it will die virtually before the eyes of other group members. Individuals who would risk their own lives in defense of the youngster are psychologically incapable of seeing its need for them to bring it food and water. Once weaned, then, young monkeys and apes must feed themselves...

The primate mother nurses her infant only for the erotic pleasure it affords, not for "love" of her child. Like the New Guinea mother, she has difficulty conceiving that her child is hungry. After the suckling period, primate mothers almost never give any kind of food to their infants. "Even gorilla infants have never been seen being given solid food by their mothers."In fact, primate mothers are often observed to grab food from their offspring, who must get by on "tolerated scrounging" of leftovers. Like New Guinea mothers, chimpanzee mothers are described as losing interest in their children when off the breast, often rejecting and punishing them. The result of this severe maternal rejection is that there is a "weaning crisis" for primates when they abruptly must learn to find food for themselves, a deadly rejection process that kills from one-third to three-fourths of them before they reached adulthood. 
("Childhood and Cultural Evolution," Emotional Life of Nations)

MONDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2014 12:52 PM
@The_Pragmatist Nazism involved people's rejecting the freedoms and genuine progress of the Weimar period. Its energy was the same as when the religious who for a time permit themselves progress but regress back into a conservative mode -- cling back to their own disapproving mothers, made into alters in their heads (effectively the super-ego) -- when they start feeling abandoned for the sinful growth. Both are terrible. 
What is key is if there is some kind of terrifying social alter you can merge with ... are there thrones? is there a central sacrificial figure? Athiests who are atheists for having had genuinely helping and loving parents, and so grew up never needing to make society a righteous sandbox replay of childhood situations where parents are shown right and bad children are punished,  will never feel guilty for self/ societal growth. They will never war and kill. 
There is no one amongst the religious who is exempt from this. If society grows and grows and grows, categories of people becoming increasingly immune to stigmatization, women are empowered, children are protected and empowered, at some point they'll regress and simply see an intolerably spoiled populace ... even the most progressive of them. Religion grows out of having had parents with, at the very least, ambiguous attitudes towards their children -- they can see them as terribly bad and punishment-worthy ... go the f***k to sleep. Religion helps make sense of this -- we are full of sins; human beings have a dark side -- plus creates a "space" within the adult world where we can fully re-experience our formative childhood experiences. 

MONDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2014 12:28 PM
To enhance a sense of identity and belonging, human groups and human societies have a psychological need for "the Other." Leaders, ruling classes, often exploit this to maintain their privileged positions, even if it means taking their people to war, including wars of genocide.
I don't believe there is an inherent psychological need for the "other." Only in those children who were raised by parents who could genuinely hate their own children. The brains of children raised by parents like these are early at work trying to figure out what it was that caused their parents to abandon/hate them. These attributes -- usually self-attendance (their immature parents required them to satisfy their own needs for love not pursue their own) and vulnerability (children mostly known themselves as that ... so they conclude being needy must be a terribly bad thing) -- are projected onto other people. During periods of societal growth involving too much unallowed "spoiling," i.e., progress, we fuse with our parental alters and go to war against these out groups -- representing, again, our own "bad" childhood selves. 
Human beings who have need of an other are never exploited by leaders. Instead, leaders are used to satisfy the people's need to eliminate "bad selves" from the world; hurt the "guilty" needy poor. If leaders try to do something different, they'll be immediately ignored and replaced. 

MONDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2014 12:17 PM
Benthead Yahzi Splint Chesthair You can only be so progressive if you're religious; you can only be so progressive if you're nationalistic. Nationalism was still built of people who "socialized" -- that is, psychological manipulation and spanking -- children into their societal roles. Which sounds dreadful to the more evolved of us, but was actually historically a great advance. 

This said, nationalism still involves the splitting that we see with the religious world before nationalism arrived on the scene -- that is, mass projection of our own unwanted parts onto others, and during periods of growth panic (sense of abandonment, collapse of self, from society evolving beyond what punitive parents and grandparents allowed), warring to eliminate these "bad selves" from the planet. 
The more progressive of us have gone beyond nationalism, war and economic inequality.

MONDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2014 2:41 AM
@Benthead  It's altogether possible that the achievements of western "progress," from industrialism to technology and capitalist accumulation of wealth, is going to be the destruction or near-destruction of the species -- and not in the far distant future, either.
The progressives I like are those who don't feel that human beings are inherently flawed or sinful -- have a terrible dark side. They don't get angry or highly irritated when human beings are proclaimed unflawed, of unlimited potential. The people who annoy me are those who are going to superimpose evidence of human beings' ostensible dark side, regardless if their activity was damaging the planet to extinction or not. They want people to be humble, because they learned that when they were children and they thwarted their own needs in deference to their parents', their parents finally showed some approval, some desperately needed attention and love. 

Whatever else religion is, it has been functional for humankind: it has met the human need for meaning. That need is just as real for our species as the physical needs of food and shelter.

History is a nightmare we're gradually waking from. Childhood was a terror; earliest "cultures" didn't advance for thousands of years because they spent all their time fiddling with their disastrous childhoods. As childrearing got a bit better -- spanked, beaten, tightly swaddled and sexually assaulted for their inherent "sinfulness," but not simply starkly abandoned or killed -- the nature of spirituality and religion changed too. 

Religion speaks to and engages what is most meaningful about our lives, our earliest years, and the question that nags: why didn't mommy and daddy love me?; what can be done to reclaim their love -- sacrifice our own selves? hate everything "bad" they abandoned us for -- self-attendance, self-love ... perhaps even our sheer vulnerability?  

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2014 10:26 PM
Dr Stan Concerning the WW1 soldiers, "God" is actually parental -- it's their mothers, their primary caregivers. They die on the battlefield, sacrifice their lives, which otherwise would have been about individuating from her, i.e. becoming an adult, they imagine themselves instead forever embraced by her. That's why there was such enthusiasm, "pointless" charging into sure-slaughtering gunfire. 

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2014 10:09 PM
Well, history, as Steven Pinker -- after Lloyd DeMause -- made clear, is increasingly war-prone (increased deaths owing to murder per capita) the further back you go. I know Shakespeare et al. lurks back then, but it's still not the kind of territory I much want to wade. And I admit that as much as I should just judge those who just trough on through as built of sterner stuff, I actually think they're deliberately obfuscating from their conscious awareness just how much of their ostensibly only civil pleasure is built on relishing just how many more brains are being bashed, children raped, the further back they delve in their "travels." 
So I suspect all historians have a bias ... there's a limit to how progressive ANY of them can actually be. I'm not going to look to them as the ideal people not to be unconsciously moved to be apologists for abusers. 
My own sense of religion is of people imagining themselves not just small but sin-full before some almighty parental essence/god. Wretched way to want to imagine yourself, but if this was all ... well, it's just your life partially wasted; not war. The thing is that the child "you" who believes themselves sinful so to make their abusive parents "right" -- and still therefore possible as a protector -- is going to want to project all this sin onto other peoples at some point so to feel thrillingly pure. 
A lot of "sinful" progressive societal growth -- even (actually, especially) meaning just people buying a lot of things, and enjoying them -- is going to serve as the prompt for that. Which is why we're hearing now of people abandoning Western ways and in a hurry becoming as conservative as their grandparents were, joining ISIS and the like. There's some of that happening here at Salon -- witness Brittney Cooper's recent work: as she declares, our long-disparaged  and ignored (spanking) elders were actually right!!! 
If these "evil" people, full of our "sins," get eradicated, then all of our own "badness" is out of the word: and who amongst us self-haters, fearing apocalyptic rejection and punishment, can resist a lure as strong as that?
When improved childrearing, more love from parents to their children, means no more drive to humiliate and kill other people, religion as we've historically understood it will cease entirely. Meaning will come from spreading our own known love upon the world, in John Updike-style ... but a bit plus. A lot of the religious are doing that too; but it'll be spared their relapses and the depressing wattering-downs of this thrilling inclination.  

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2014 9:57 PM
RoloTomassi GreenWoman Maybe when you stop seeing us as the "you" you're trying to spurn, you'll be more interested in our arguments. If the whole category of us are racists (and it appears that we are), that is, containers of evil, that'll strike some of us as fundamentally still a deep south way of needing to see the world. 

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2014 5:57 PM
voltairespen Patrick McEvoy-Halston I always avoid all public transport because my fear is to be trapped with strangers eyeballing my little girl thinking she is just an entitled little brat instead of a child for whom sitting was a difficult task that we spent 5 years working on. 
Go on buses where people aren't prone to see children as "entitled," nor as "brats." 

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2014 5:54 PM
RoloTomassi Patrick McEvoy-Halston I'm reminding progressives that this portrayal, of the problem of out-of-control children, pissing on other people's sensitivities, getting to do what they can't, is usually how everyone else in society views them. 
We should really, really worry when the consensus becomes that we're all part of a spoiled civ. that deserves any smack down coming. I'm hearing a lot of it right now; and I'd like to hear as little as possible from progressives ... because it'll mean they too are far away from the Krugmans out there in the world that still see so many positives, and are adopting an elder point-of-view that sees growth, genuine growth, as transgressive. 

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2014 5:33 PM
Brittney Cooper has admitted she gets irked by freedom in children in general: 
In college, I once found myself on the D.C. metro with one of my favorite professors. As we were riding, a young white child began to climb on the seats and hang from the bars of the train. His mother never moved to restrain him. But I began to see the very familiar, strained looks of disdain and dismay on the countenances of the mostly black passengers. They exchanged eye contact with one another, dispositions tight with annoyance at the audacity of this white child, but mostly at the refusal of his mother to act as a disciplinarian. I, too, was appalled. I thought, if that were my child, I would snatch him down and tell him to sit his little behind in a seat immediately.
She has written that it was the "freedom dreams" of her own generation that lead them astray, put them to sleep ... that what they need to reclaim now is their elders' willingness to think of the group first, to sacrifice themselves. 
My point is that there is a certain kind of person who can come to see anyone acting freely has being insultingly self-indulgent; "bad," because undisciplined. And so if you explore their psyche enough not just partying teenagers but progressively raised children playing freely in a playground, garner their ire. 
They see these kids and they don't (at least at first) see the "other," but rather the way they wanted to act and behave before being disciplined (read: frightened) into rooting themselves in place -- so, rather, actually themselves. Since their parents deemed that person bad and possibly did the like of spanking the shit out of them for it, and since for survival needs children mostly make their parents right, the tendency is to fuse into the parent's perspective any time they see anyone "guilty" for being too free.  
That child speaking freely at the dinner table, disrespecting older generations' sensitivities, will be in for a whopping just as much as if she'd stood on the table and pissed on the food. That child ... that was on the path to embody what being a progressive really is. 

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2014 11:17 PM
Sometimes it takes an outsider to see us plain. 
Here, however, is where Nafisi calls Americans — left and right — to account for abandoning a glorious cultural legacy to wallow in materialism, narcissism and groupthink. (Laura Miller)
Western culture feels guilty and ill at ease. It traded in God for Snooki, swapped transcendent meaning and social cohesion for a vision of Enlightenment that started out bubbly and gradually went flat, like a can of week-old Mountain Dew. (Andrew O'hehir) 
For we have awakened from a long, fitful slumber. Lulled there by our parents and grandparents, who marched in Selma, sat down in Greensboro, matriculated at Black colleges, and argued before the Supreme Court, they convinced us to adopt their freedom dreams, impressed them into our bodies, in every hug, in every $25 check pressed into a hand from a grandmother to a grandchild on his or her way to bigger and better, in every whispered prayer, in every indignity suffered silently but resolutely in the workplace.
We slept so long our dreams have become nightmares. 
In Obama’s place, Cornel West has re-emerged, the wise and fearless elder, the one who we tried not to listen to. (Brittney Cooper)

Maybe what we’re so agitated about is the possibility that some law-and-order killjoy might bring the Age of Enron to a close. Maybe, for all our fond talk of the untainted republic of the Founders, the Texas of Ken Lay is where we really long to be. So let the next scandal ruin our neighbor, let it black out entire regions of the country, let it throw millions out of work — as long as we get a chance for our turn at the trough. (Thomas Frank)
- - - - -
So apparently at Salon it's time to revere our elders -- to admonish ourselves for abandoning them -- to stop playing with our toys, and, I guess, to get involved in something that makes us feel less like we're wallowing and more like we've awoken. 
And, oh, to finally start hating Paul Krugman.
Great, we're longing to be on a purity crusade. We'll punish everyone we've projected our own "bad" "spoiled" selves onto ... which sounds like what Nafisi is doing.  

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2014 2:34 PM
If I'm understanding this article right, we're to understand that most women have been forced to have sex without their consent, that is, raped. This could well be possible. The millions of men who do this, though, do this, not because of evil DNA but because they themselves were used in a terribly shameful way by their own mothers. The other girls -- experience their revenge. That's what happens to women who are abused in life; when they become mothers, they re-inflict upon their own children. 

Parents who spank their kids aren't just practicing a different style of childrearing but physically abusing their kids. The number of people still doing this is in the millions as well. As Brittney Cooper says, most black parents still spank their kids. We have enough of them in jail. 

I think the solution is to make it clear that these ostensibly normal practices are abusive. They have to be changed. But after that we simply have to adapt therapeutic means of addressing it. We make it against the law; but we have to have more of a sense that what you'll have at your door are therapists empowered to stop the abuse but driven to heal and help, not so much cops, punishment and jail time. 

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2014 10:58 PM
dwamikayla Patrick McEvoy-Halston Take a break, read some Proust, and gather some patience. We've just had a progressive saying elders are right and that we need to wake up and go to war (put yourself on the line, above all) under their guidance ... you'd admit, usually the provenance of the conservative. 

In other words, these are strange times. Something weird might be happening. Rather than skip to the Readers Digest version -- aka, everything we know already -- let's perhaps be willing to work through the perhaps poorly expressed but perceptive of the regression. 

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2014 6:44 PM
Bob On The Pacific Coast When people are fusing with their elders and repudiating their sins, "parents" are just implicitly right. If you want to get at the actual reasons, it would be for thinking the worst about children nowadays. "We" were; but are no longer. 

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2014 6:36 PM
Incidentally, here we have discussed a sudden awakening where a whole people who had been in a slumber are suddenly turning into a warrior culture, ready, eager, to put their lives on the line. 
Personally, those who want to counter the war impulse of the New Athiests better consider that their current defence -- 99% of a people are not radicals -- can become a joke in a hurry. Whole peoples who just a day before were simply ordinary folk enjoying all the freedoms, can fuse into a powerful, a seemingly enchanted group, in a hurry. 
You should expect it in any people whose youth have bypassed their punitive elders for a freedom-tolerant culture. It may indeed go around the globe. 

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2014 6:21 PM
Showing up matters most. Putting one’s body on the line is the order of the day. 
Young people are listening to the commands of elders, and what is paramount is that they be willing to sacrifice themselves. 
I'm sure this is all sane, but it is worth noting that this is exactly what goes on just before wars, periods of fusion with elders, repudiation of "weakening" commercial culture, and mass sacrifice of the young -- a period of total insanity. 
Before wars, periods of mass sacrifice, people begin to feel guilty for all the growth they've accrued. Here, that would be all the actual living of the "freedom-dreams," the spending of all the $25 dollar cheques, rather than the equivalent of the "marching in Selma, sitting down in Greensboro."
They begin to feel abandoned, like they've been rejected by their elders.  
These elders are unconsciously understood as not simply wanting their youth to be free and prosperous, but as demanding respect and attendance. When they haven't received it, when they've been forgotten, they abandon their children in turn. Here these elders would be the "Cornwell Wests," who as Brittney Cooper admits, the youth were "guilty" of forgetting while they danced merry with Obama. And they wouldn't be the permissive ones described here -- all the hugs -- but all the spanking ones Cooper described in a recent article, who saw children as sinful beings who needed to be beaten to be good. 
By showing they're ready to sacrifice themselves for their elders, and have rejected the younger, sexier Obama, they feel the "Cornwell Wests" -- their regressive spanking parents and grandparents  -- love them again. They feel a fusion high. 
The other version of yourself is the one who is a favourite of your elders rather than the one who had forgotten all about them, at some level even hating them for all their "chafing of your hides." 
Brittney Cooper's article dissing elder-spank: 


TUESDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2014 7:02 PM
@KaizerSozhe but I also know how to take care of business in ways that a lot of guys my age (I'm 36) flat-out don't.
You're establishing yourself as an alpha. And after you've done that, you can be a guy who's comfortable talking about his emotions; crying in front of his girlfriends. You admit this is all pretty safely macho. 
About the puncher's chance ... are you sure she wouldn't just prefer that you both come out of it safely -- something that might actually be at risk if at that moment you're thinking of the desired finish: he, storm; you, port that breasted him. 
The killer look in your eyes ... Hitler had those. He admitted himself that they were his mothers. The origins of male power to brag of, may owe to a maternal source. 


TUESDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2014 6:46 PM
HappyJack Like it or not, we are animals first and humans in civilization second.
We are animals who are powerfully affected by our attachment to our parents -- remember Harlow's monkeys.
Most boys end up being more poorly attached to their mothers than girls are. They're looked at less, abandoned more, hit more. So as early as four years old they're already forming a defensive "toughness." It's not culture telling them to be like this, that is. Nor biology. And they're going to need to be like this ... owing to the particular nature of how they were attended (poorly) in their early childhoods. 
Change this, and we all end up seeing so disparate from "red in tooth and claw" that more experts will be questioned when they refer to the barbarism that is ostensibly an inevitable part of our DNA. The person who says that the civilized sense of man is most false, becomes the person who still needs to punish/humiliate the effete ... those who we want to contain our own vulnerable, defenceless selves. 
When he revers to the rape-prone alpha ape ... experiences a sense of re-assuring grandiosity, someone who stands above the other cowardly apes. And temporarily forgets the boy inside of him who knew plenty of shameful cowering to terrifying and overpowering parents, the boy who couldn't possibly be "resilient" but only frightened and weak. 



TUESDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2014 5:57 PM
I think vengeance is a hideous emotion, but it is one that does have a biological basis.
Let's think about this a little bit. Doesn't it feel like when someone says this that something as powerful as revenge is being located into a realm where it can be explored without evoking any emotional response? That the purpose of locating it within biology is so that it can be denatured, by people who aren't sure they have control of their own emotions?
If one where to say instead that vengeance has its origins in childhood abuse, you'll know that your own sometimes feeling for revenge have something to do with your particular childhood ... which is more rising. If one where to say that your adult desire for vengeance owes to your own mother (Sarah, Mary, Susan) and father (John, Greg, Bill) abusing you in your childhood, suddenly you're maybe remembering exactly what she or he did to you, the abandonments, the rejections, the dismissals, the physical attacks, and you're back experiencing the helplessness, the shame, part of your brain had directed you to do everything to not revisit again.  
I can imagine adult desire for revenge owing to be being abused as a child, but it comes rather harder to imagine as something with a biological basis, with, I guess, purpose. How about instead it has no purpose, and it's not inevitable to human beings. If you weren't shamed and attacked by your parents, if you're of the new generation that has parents where both partners are involved, where they're permissive, never spank or belittle, and instead support, help and encourage, no desire for vengeance will ever come out of you ... at all. You'll instantly see even in the regressives in your society, the lack of love, the child abuse that procured their hatred of pleasure and progress, and will staunch their influence but not try and squash and destroy them. Pretty cruel thing to do to people who've known being loved so deploringly little, after all. 
Mothers who come out of cultures where they are deemed polluted do not magically become loving mothers. They use their children -- maternal incest; they re-inflict the abuses they endured upon them. They slap, strike, whip and trash; they constantly shame and humiliate. And the ascetic results of this upbringing are children who cannot allow themselves to self-activate for it means they lose the approval of the parents in their heads. When there's been any unpermitted growth, they fuse with their terrifying parents, project their own "bad selves" into others, and righteously inflict all the childhood humiliations they suffered upon them. 

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2014 3:34 PM
Here's an account (by Lloyd DeMause) where the problem lies not with foreign policy but in the extremely abusive childrearing of the terrorists.
The ascetic results of such punitive upbringings are predictable. When these abused children grow up, they feel that every time they try to self-activate, every time they do something independently for themselves, they will lose the approval of the parents in their heads—mainly their mothers and grandmothers in the women's quarters. When their cities were flooded with oil money and Western popular culture in recent decades, fundamentalist men were first attracted to the new freedoms and pleasures, but soon retreated, feeling they would lose their mommy's approval and be "Bad Boys." Westerners came to represent their own "Bad Boy" self in projection, and had to be killed off, as they felt they themselves deserved, for such unforgivable sins as listening to music, flying kites and enjoying sex. As one fundamentalist put it, "America is Godless. Western influence here is not a good thing, our people can see CNN, MTV, kissing…" Another described his motives thusly: "We will destroy American cities piece by piece because your life style is so objectionable to us, your pornographic movies and TV." Many agree with the Iranian Ministry of Culture that all American television programs "are part of an extensive plot to wipe out our religious and sacred values," and for this reason feel they must kill Americans. Sayyid Qutb, the intellectual father of Islamic terrorism, describes how he turned against the West as he once watched a church dance while visiting America:
"Every young man took the hand of a young woman. And these were the young men and women who had just been singing their hymns! The room became a confusion of feet and legs: arms twisted around hips; lips met lips; chests pressed together."
Osama bin Laden himself "while in college frequented flashy nightclubs, casinos and bars [and] was a drinker and womanizer," but soon felt extreme guilt for his sins and began preaching killing Westerners for their freedoms and their sinful enticements of Muslims. Most of the Taliban leaders, in fact, are wealthy, like bin Laden, have had contact with the West, and were shocked into their terrorist violence by "the personal freedoms and affluence of the average citizen, by the promiscuity, and by the alcohol and drug use of Western youth …only an absolute and unconditional return to the fold of conservative Islamism could protect the Muslim world from the inherent dangers and sins of the West." Bin Laden left his life of pleasures, and has lived with his four wives and fifteen children in a small cave with no running water, waging a holy war against all those who enjoy sinful activities and freedoms that he cannot allow in himself.
From childhood, then, Islamist terrorists have been taught to kill the part of themselves—and, by projection, others—that is selfish and wants personal pleasures and freedoms. It is in the terror-filled homes—not just later in the terrorist training camps—that they first learn to be martyrs and to "die for Allah." When the terrorist suicidal bombers who were prevented from carrying out their acts were interviewed on TV, they said they felt "ecstatic" as they pushed the button. They denied being motivated by the virgins and other enticements supposedly awaiting them in Paradise. Instead, they said they wanted to die to join Allah—to get the love they never got. Mothers of martyrs are reported as happy that they die. One mother of a Palestinian suicide bomber who had blown himself to bits said "with a resolutely cheerful countenance,
"I was very happy when I heard. To be a martyr, that's something. Very few people can do it. I prayed to thank God. I know my son is close to me."
Like serial killers—who are also sexually and physically abused as children—terrorists grow up filled with a rage that must be inflicted upon others. Many even preach violence against other Middle Eastern nations like Egypt and Saudi Arabia "for not being sufficiently fervent in the campaign against materialism and Western values." If prevention rather than revenge is our goal, rather than pursuing a lengthy military war against terrorists and killing many innocent people while increasing the number of future terrorists, it might be better for the U.S. to back a U.N.-sponsored Marshall Plan for them—one that could include Community Parenting Centers run by local people who could teach more humane childrearing practices—in order to give them the chance to evolve beyond the abusive family system that has produced the terrorism, just as we provided a Marshall Plan for Germans after WWII for the families that had produced Nazism.



MONDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2014 6:30 PM
sunone If you as a small, vulnerable child knew your caretakers as even sometimes terribly predatory, dangerous, you never shake this memory -- nor your sometimes being totally ruled by it. It's stored in your amygdala brain system, maybe most of the time out of the way, but as society progress continues and you start feeling out of control, you can lapse completely into it as you restage early childhood traumas. 
It's delusional, these actually most powerful of groups/nations suddenly believing they're terribly vulnerable, surrounded, and unless they take military action immediately, surely doomed; but for a long time in their early childhoods, they very much did know this threat. 

MONDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2014 6:12 PM
How on earth can any human being not notice that if you treat a child with love and respect, he or she turns out substantially differently than those whose immature parents denied them these things? 
For me, the difference in what happens to a person through how they are treated in the first three years is such that the ape in us is hardly something I refer to anymore. If we're loved, we're simply different-brained than those who were constantly abandoned and abused.


SUNDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2014 7:29 PM
bobkat DanielGree Look into whatever might stall a woman from giving more love to her children than she herself received ... footbinding (using the foot as a maternal breast) stalled China for centuries. 

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2014 6:37 PM
Hoyt If we engage in some big war, neither side will see their own as a mother of bad things, but of all good. It'll be the other that's possessed of the foul-laden one we'll take pleasure in f**cking. 

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2014 6:33 PM
magistra Patrick McEvoy-Halston Because there's no evidence to suggest that abuse is any more common in Methodist, Episcopalian, Roman Catholic or other denominations than it is in the general population. Abuse and domestic violence are a HUMAN problem, and religion is used as a justification, but it is not its cause
The liberal New Yorker who works with his/her partner to nurture their children, spends lots of time with them, facilitates their own interests rather than coerces them to follow their own, will raise a child who will not be part of the human problem you describe. They're out. It is extremely unlikely they will be religious; if they're, say, Christian, they'll be one of those Christians you notice who's practice seems so far gone from the bible you can't help but feel it's one generation away from dying away entirely. They're essentially atheist, as the atheist Ian McEwan described his friend John Updike. 
Evidence I can't refer to right now, but loads and loads of it, from what I've seen and noticed as I go about my life, is responsible for my certainty in this. 

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2014 6:22 PM
Benthead How about ...
C): Athiests who are secretly sick of growth work with everyone else who is secretly or overtly sick of it too, to end our period of (more-or-less) ongoing peace and social advancement for war. 
Feeling out of control, we regress and sacrifice our adult world as we re-stage childhood traumas where "Bad selves" get executed -- lots and lots of children. So too, dominating mothers: the evil opponents gets portrayed as a dangerous, infanticidal woman (a witch), and in fact contains all the split off characteristics of our Terrifying Mothers. We all feel grandiose and wonderful as we've fused back with our now "all good" mothers, are loyal to her, prepared to sacrifice our lives for her. Knights to lady Liberty! Warriors against corrupt modernism! ... Whatever.
The progressives who aren't at all sick of social advancement and don't feel the least bit of anomie (abandonment), find themselves out of the conversation. All the blindspots they've had towards peoples they've meant all good things for, are shown up again and again and again, and they come to look preposterous. They come to look as disassociated from realities as the well-meaning, aristocratic Robin Hood from "Time Bandits" was, with his fond thoughts for the the peasantry... "lovely people." 
This might seem unconventional but hopefully not irrational. This is the world stage as I know it. 

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2014 4:10 PM
In any conversation in which American values are being discussed, Islam is the image against which America constructs its own civility, the bogeyman against which to contrast American greatness and  American Muslims are the unwitting casualties of a struggle which persistently dismisses them as the unalterable “other.”
The psychoanalytic perspective would be that Americans project their own unwanted, their own "bad" aspects onto Muslims, leaving them feeling virtuous and good. It's important this be pointed out. 
But, still, any time a progressive is dealing with someone who is religious, s/he is dealing with someone who had to have experienced some abuse within their families, and possibly a lot: thus their belief in a powerful god to defer to; thus their belief in bad children who sin and who must be punished for their sins. 
It's annoying when academics try to make everyone but themselves unworthy of comment, because history, full context, is something only they've got packed away on their shelves. 
No, the layman who understands how powerfully her peers project their own demons, their own "bad selves" onto others, but still can't be fooled into thinking anyone who came out of truly permissive family is going to even want to tussle with an abandoning god, let alone defer to it, has got it on the scholar. 
The scholar, we should note, who for some reason chose to obsess over peoples who projected out into the universe, perpetrators they knew in early childhood. Myself, I would have spent the time reading Atwood or Updike. 

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