Salon.com has an article about how Ann Coulter is calling Christians -- her kind -- wimps, in face of confident, effective, aggressive atheism. This bit:
O’Reilly then asks Coulter how it is that the 80 percent of Americans who consider themselves Christians “are getting thumped, they’re losing . . . . How did that happen?”
For Coulter, the answer lies in pusillanimous Christian leaders (abetted by spineless Republicans). Their cowardice is, she says, “ridiculous,” because “the one thing every Christian should have is courage. The most important thing in your life, eternity, is already taken care of. Go out and fight. You’re afraid of being sneered at by the New York Times?”
brings to mind deMause's description of the start of wars, where mothers are demanding courage and sacrifice and show of loyalty, from their suspect youth:
That wars are seen emotionally as led by dangerous Killer Mothers, with war
goddesses from Athena to Freyja and from Brittania to Marianne depicted as
devouring, raping and ripping apart her children, is one of my most unexpected
findings during the three decades I have studied war psychohistorically. The further
back in history one goes, the more wars are openly considered as being fought for
Killer Goddesses, from Tiamat, Ishtar, Inanna, Isis and Kali to the Aztec mother goddess Huitzilopochtli, who had “mouths all over her body” that cried out to be fed the blood of her soldiers.
It is men who join the military to appeal to women as brave heroes who will save them, who respond to recruiting posters saying “Women of Britain Say ‘GO!”, who claim “all women like to hear of men fighting and facing danger” and who go to their death in battle with one word, “Mom,” on their lips. Mothers today may not send their sons forth to battle with the adjuration “Come back with your shield or on it” as did Spartan mothers, but in fantasy many soldiers still hear the inner voices of their mothers saying to them: “Grow up and be a MAN”—i.e., kill or be killed.
Origins of War, "Killer Motherland"
Christians are being insulted by Ann Coulter, representing their dangerous, angry mother, and it probably won't be long before she's effectively painted on shields and carried as the protective proud mother onto battlefields, as young Christians suit up against the unrelenting "bullying" (the bullying they knew from their own mothers, projected onto an outside source) of the new atheists. War of psychoclasses, like the American Civil War, and the War of Revolution.
I have not seen that "Killer Motherland" quote before, and in my opinion it is an hysterical bullseye. With little exception, it seems, women are mostly portrayed as the "collateral damage" in wars, which they encourage their sons and spouses to fight at risk of social or military dishonor and sexual humiliation. But when it comes down to the trenches, in hand-to-hand live combat, soldiers (at least the organized and commanded ones) do not necessarily fight for motherhood and sexually loaded cherry pie, which of course represents the motherland (in most places, but not all).
In fact, they move forward so as not to be deemed cowards (by fellow soldiers) and to fight for the approval of their comrades, who will seldom tolerate deserters (current case to wit), and for the flag under which they are pledged to serve. (Napoleon paid special attention to flag bearers and had them protected fiercely.) If fatherhood is squandered on battlefields, history until now says so be it. Nonetheless, it is widely regarded as a crime to kill women and children and a shameful lack of manhood if any male in the family even conscientiously objects, much less "deserts" the cause.
I will read "Killer Motherland" with interest to see how the implications of the above unflinching look at motherhood plays out with mothers and their minions. Is it possible that when women write history the world looks different? What might life be like if all the mothers in the world turned deMausean?
Thanks for the perfect quote.
DeMause's take is that the unit of soldiers, the group, is itself maternal -- "regiments are our mothers". Officers as "hens." Cannons called "mom," and such. Everywhere he's written about the flag as placenta ... except in his most recent work -- "Origins of war" -- where "the fetal" seems near (this is an exaggeration, but not much) to have disappeared from his thinking. It'd be good exercise to see if he really thinks of it as such. It might be more accurate to wonder if he now thought of it more as a conduit to mother (making it comparable to one of those arms upraised to Hitler) than it is something separate, something of itself, which is how he originally viewed the fetus's relationship with the placenta.
De Mause believes wars are specifically about the chance to kill women and children. People do a split, and project all the dangerous and bad aspects onto the others you're fighting. Your mother country becomes all good, and you're all good -- the favourite you always wanted to be -- by standing up for Her. You revenge against her through your killing/raping enemy women, and against your own bad, spoiled, vulnerable self, by killing enemy soldiers, enemy children.
One of the strange things I have noticed in his writings, though, is a quote of his of how Hitler saw medusa's eyes as the eyes of his own mother. What I mean, is, shouldn't this have been projected -- out?, leaving his mother perhaps stern but never monstrous?
About the fact that it was regarded as a crime to kill women and children, de Mause believes that, at some level, everyone knew that though "Wars are thought of as being fought mainly by men against men, [...] most wars kill more women and children than men—today for every soldier who dies in war, ten civilians die, about half of them children."
The sense we have of men who are sticking up for one another, who don't want to disappoint one another -- a band of brothers -- is certainly how they are shown in film. Sort of a homosocial, homosexual enclave, while a raging tempest ensues around them. Whatever the reality, the pleasure we might take in films when we see this, is what we may want when we are not quite in the mood to remerge with her but rather feel the need to situate ourselves in a simulacrum of our own terrifying infantile state, armed with some kind of totemic power.
More along this line of thinking, that is -- "New Guinea social, religious and political institutions are primarily constructions by men to defend against maternal engulfment fears through shared beliefs and rituals." And this: "Men cling to their various solidarity arrangements to counter engulfing, poisonous women, because "Women represent an enemy, the enemy, and aggression is based on opposition to them. At every stage of the developmental cycle,men have an internal, united organization as reference; women and external enemies are the target of concern, they are conceptually equivalent."
De Mause would also say that during wars the idea, the image, of young men all dead on the battlefield is actually a pleasant one -- they've finally martyred themselves, and are being blanketed in remorse and love and appreciation by their mothers. Such was the purpose of war, what men ultimately signed up for -- this sacrifice of their youth. I can't say I've ever seen such reflected in films -- usually there's a strong sense that someone ought to pay! But I think we can perhaps catch some sense of this when we see gravestones of soldiers, side by side, or of their returning caskets, cloathed in "swaddling cloth." These men are heroes, cleansed of sin and now loved in Heaven -- not entirely a sad fate.