Thursday, February 26, 2015

Dispatches from Clio's History

me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston change)

Feb 10

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:

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.


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Sipping tea and polite manners while the bombs go off: our necessary way forward

Jeffrey Taylor just wrote an article about our need to stand up the march of human progress. Here is a good sample of it, followed by my reply.

The relentless march of time generally affords humankind, which happens to include folks in the media, the chance to reflect on events and acquire wisdom. But the weeks passing since the massacre in Paris of the highly talented Charlie Hebdo cartoonists for their depictions of the Prophet Muhammad have only granted a good number of commentators the opportunity to bedork themselves time and again, as they pen columns and make on-air statements that both spread confusion and betray commitments to untenable, morally reprehensible extenuative positions concerning Islam. This is tragic, for, if anything, the slaughter of European artists exercising their lawful right to self-expression in the capital of their own country offered us all a “teachable moment” sans pareil about the nature of the threat lurking within – in fact, innate to — the “religion of peace.”

Rarely have murderers so clearly manifested their motive. With the exclamations they made as they carried out their atrocity — “Allahu Akbar!” and “On a vengé le prophète Mohamed, on a tué Charlie Hebdo!” (The prophet Muhammad has been avenged, we have killed Charlie Hebdo!) — the attackers explicitly told us they were killing for Islam, and imparted precisely the lesson they intended: Do not insult or ridicule our faith or you will pay the supreme price. They wrought violence against innocents who dared transgress the commandments of a religion they did not profess. What’s more, they de facto succeeded in imposing sharia tenets well beyond the confines of the Islamic world. How many major publications or networks dared even publish the anodyne drawing of a teary-eyed, forgiving Muhammad that graced the cover of the post-massacre issue of Charlie Hebdo, to say nothing of the other images satirizing the Prophet that presumably led to the fire-bombing of the magazine’s office in 2011? That so many Western media outlets shied away from doing so is more than scandalous. It unambiguously signals one thing: terrorism works. More lives are likely to be lost as a result.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Dialogue at, February 9th 2015

  • Tigriel Many atheists are people who stopped believing in God because they felt hostility toward their fathers, and toward other father figures or authority figures because of that; and they especially disliked the idea of an all-powerful, all-knowing authority figure who would punish them for their sins. So they had a psychological motivation for pretending that God does not exist.

    Most atheists have less authoritative parents, and thus the idea of an all-powerful God has no emotional appeal. If you mutilate yourself before Him, you can't imagine your own parents thereby being appeased. You just bleed, pointlessly, which ranks rather far behind being a party animal in terms of fun.

    An all-powerful male God, however, comes in handy when you're really concerned about the enormity of your early experiences with your all-powerful mother, who you spent most of your time with in your first years of your life. Then it's a phantasm you cling to pretend that true Titanness had met her match! 

    If you've come out of that environment, where Mother loomed large and shamed and humiliated you because she needed to gobble you up to make up for the fact that she emerged out of female-hating culture, you become repellant of anything that smacks of your once compromised state. You come to hate homosexuals for their ostensibly effeminate, their ostensibly compromised, nature. 

    Tigriel Benthead Taylor isn't all about the pursuit of pleasure. Read his piece, he's admonishing everyone who isn't willing to show guts and stop capitulating to evil ... all those like Obama who kind of want to step to the side. You read what he's expecting of us, all the vigilance and stridence, and you infer as well that he hardly wants us to be party animals, who danced -- I'm sure he would accuse us -- while "freedom" was lost.

    I'm glad though that we're still thought of as party animals. When people are in the mood to feel pure, everything they see as vile actually represents human fulfillment. How this can remain so with the U.S., given its culture of work-hard and its depraved social stratification, is beyond me ... but it's encouraging that somehow this far from our heydey we're still redolent of it. 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Anti-vaxxers are the enemy

Critical thinking about the nature of authority might induce us to wonder why those stories are invisible, or spun as dry policy questions for readers of the business pages, while so much bandwidth is occupied with making fun of a few vaccine loons. It might cause us to notice that treating people who feel genuine uncertainty about mainstream medicine as if they were low-achieving children only makes the problem worse, and that it’s absurd to assert that questioning the Catholic Church or the National Football League is good, but questioning the name-brand institutions of the scientific world is bad. (Andrew O'Hehir "Anti-vaxxers are not the enemy")

Questioning the Catholic Church and the National Football League is done by society's more progressive people. They want to see a reduction in self-flaggelant philosophies and activities.

Questioning science is generally done by society's more regressive. Ongoing societal advancement -- which to them is a bad thing, since to them people who live healthily and enjoyable are being sinful ... i.e. are ignoring "God": their demanding, needy, love-starved parents -- means to them that more children need to be punished and hurt. 

They displace their own "badness" onto children -- so well representing their own "guilty" growing, striving selves -- and encourage their death through disease, economic deprivation and war.  This way, spurned, angry "parents in the sky" are felt to be somewhat ameliorated. 

Questioning name-brand institutions of the scientific world, done by those who can be trusted, is of course being done by progressives who also question the Catholic Church and the National Football League. The more hippieish of them realize that institutions, degrees, professionals admonishing themselves within a "guild," is still about keeping the phantasm Chaos at bay ... it's better than magic, alchemy and a projection-full world, but it's not that evolved/projection-dilluted ... we can let these "authorities" go too. 

- - - -

 It has extended life and cured disease and improved agriculture, and it has brought us eugenics and the Tuskegee experiments and Hiroshima and Zyklon-B and a whole host of amazing pesticides and herbicides and preservatives and plastics that have permeated every square millimeter of the planet’s surface and the bodies of all its creatures, and whose long-term effects are not known but don’t look that great. (Andrew O'Hehir "Anti-vaxxers are not the enemy")

The book Zuckerberg picked for discussion in his book club is Steven Pinker's "The Better Angels of Our Nature." The book is a reminder that the number of people who have died owing to murder/slaughter has been decreasing over time -- just previously our most progressive citizens rejoiced in them, but it is nevertheless true that primitive societies, our earliest historical origins, were a nightmare of slaughter, even compared to American Civil War/WW1 levels. 

We let go magical thinking and went science in the first place because, owing to gradually improving childrearing, more children were growing up less demon-haunted: the landscape was less one where scary demons were all over the place, in every place/everything, and they could view things a bit more denatured. This meant more societal growth ... and our childrearing has not reached the level where this is something we can completely allow for ourselves. 

Societies use such things as science initially to grow and better provide and then start feeling guilty for it, hopelessly abandoned. They begin to shuck their growth, grow provincial and turn against the progressive elements in their society, and bond into some kind of regressive group -- they could become suddenly more nationalistic, for example. They then project all their negative attributes into some "other" and prepare to slaughter them -- eugenics, Hiroshima. When enough people have died, people feel the skies are cleared again and such things as science progress, much less spared accompanying evil. 

There are a good number of people alive whose childhoods were good enough that they would use science completely benevolently -- they are entirely divorced in emotional/psychic makeup from those who'd suddenly see some absolutely valid need to evaporate an enemy and cleanse ourselves of our "weakest." Earth wins when they're the majority. 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Dialogue at (Feb. 5 2015)

Benthead Patrick McEvoy-Halston I hear you. Mind you, in presence of chivalric liberal Chait, about to do battle in support of 18th-century liberal ideals(!) it's okay .... perhaps more than okay, to remind that people can be Quixotic, strange, as bizarrely motivated as Freud held all humanity to be. 

Different cultures owe entirely to different childrearing. You can make all the fuss you want about reactionaries across different cultures, but if they sound the same in tone ... if they're equally aggressive, then they properly belong grouped with one another, however much their decorating aesthetics may sort out. Historical change owes to gradually improving childrearing. People believe they deserve a better life, and they invent belief systems that help enable it to be so. 

The nature of geopolitics depends on the norm within our own families. If we cooperated there and addressed each other as equals, this will prove the same when we engage with one another at the UN. If we fought bitterly, constantly trying to shame and humiliate ... then when one, say, shucks off austerity, our reaction will be angry and punitive. Germany's childrearing was the worst in Europe in the first part of the 20th-century; I wonder where exactly it stands now. 

I appreciate the comments you make here, Benthead, the good that you do. Freud rules!


I'm a lefty, but I still roll my eyes at some PC excesses.

So what are you like a governor who administrates the excesses and brilliance of the young? I'm speaking, of course, as someone who is routinely accused of being excessive in my Freudianism ... and all I see is the beautifully opened vision that is being forestalled by those who recognize me in a way which means the least adjustment as possible. 

Lorin K Correct. What the centre-left is giving us these days is ready disparagement of those they still take inspiration from. 

My books at

Essays on the Lord of the Rings Draining the Amazon's Swamp Wendy and Lucy, Star Trek, and The Lord of the Rings (and free at scribd...