me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston change)
Hi, I thought I'd introduce myself.
I'm Patrick McEvoy-Halston. I've been reading DeMause's work for years, and its influenced my writings on literature and film. DeMause deals with material that is tough, very tough, to associate with progressives. The history part of what he's done is being brought up again -- the idea that societies have been progressing -- but those liberals advocating it, like Steven Pinker (whom as a progressive I actually do not trust), are careful not to suggest that human beings have been improving, becoming biologically superior, and this seems to have been sufficient to prevent it from rankling.
This is of course what DeMause asserts, that childrearing has been improving across time, as mothers give their children more love than they received, leading to people who are objectively superior -- in his view, the liberal reader of the New Yorker is a thousand times more emotionally evolved than the New Guinea tribesman/woman. It is hard to imagine this flying today as a prospect worth exploring in any meeting of decent people. So too his explanations for the origins of autism, homosexuality ... and overall his focus on the mother as the central factor on whether peoples are peaceful or violent.
I don't know how much work can be done on his theories today -- collectively our brains may just be too set on seeing it as rightwing -- but I'm hoping it's being done, which is why I joined this list. DeMause's thoughts have changed over time -- his first works talk a lot about the importance of the fetus's journey, something experienced by us all, but later becomes just another "extension" upon which the influence of the mother, how depressed or how loved she was, is explored. I'd love if work was being done that noted how his thoughts have changed, and whether they've decided that his later work is more to be trusted (my view). If someone actually showed how his work could be improved, where his theories fail, in a way that convinced me, I'd be delighted. I've read many challenges, but admit I see it as regression, perhaps because looking at his work straight means incurring your own mother's wrath/abandonment, as it means you're clearly not prepared to lie to help her save face either, nor efface and co-opt to gain her approval.
If you're interested in seeing some of the work I've done, writing about literature, feel free to explore it here:
My current writings, my writings on film, are found here: http://patricksjustincasesite.blogspot.ca
Thanks for your time. I'll be lurking, respectfully. But as a finish, a thought: if one is DeMausian psychohistorian, you really can't in good conscience advocate the study of history. You go back in time, you're dealing with people who were raised with less warmth, and from whom you have little to learn -- they're a study of depravity. If it doesn't worsen you, it's less time spent with those who could have improved you.