From what I understand, this article is advocating sort of a Rousseauian understanding of human nature. That the infant is actually born beautific, but is warped into something pained and self-reproaching through the adverse influence of malevolent (a commercial, authoritarian) society. I think this is right, but why... but how, exactly, do these ostensibly absolutely anti-human manipulations get installed in the first place? If aliens from Mars who supremely hate humans didn't put them in place, just to royally screw with them, then humans themselves did.
Even if ultimately something that absolutely deserves the mocking and attack this article presents them with, did they once actually HELP humanity? Was somewhere in the past humans' developmental history so badly off, that the perversity of such conceptions of children and parents listed here, and the whole structure of an ostensibly dominant-class ruled society that joys in manipulating and cowing the rest of society, actually a step up from where it was before? Did it exist because to some extent human beings saw it as a tool that would help alleviate their pain, and in fact, in sum, did so, even as it is an accomplishment ultimately not much more worth our celebrating that the true societal advancement a couple thousand years ago of teaching children they are bad and full of sins, from the previous norm of not giving a damn about "reforming" them at all and rather just routinely killing them through child sacrifice?
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I'll permit myself one more comment on this very interesting article whose progressive goal of helping to eliminate the inculcation of self-hate, of self-alienatization, I absolutely support. The article is advocating that we have been taught to understand ourselves as naturally insufficient, as something negative, when in reality we are all something positive. And therefore our sense of self inadequacy; and therefore our being willing slaves to a consumerist society. But I would ask if this article ITSELF serves such an end, for it teaches us that if we would assume human beings are always good unless they are malignly tampered with, and are therefore never actually ever evil -- only ever traumatized -- even when they do the most cruel of practices, we are quite wrong, for the world as it is is one put together by absolutely malignant forces -- men, fear and hate you; the dominant classes, fear and hate you. All irrationally: for the purpose of nothing other than further succour of their own privilege! And so if we agree with this perspective, are we not then requited to being in a state of arousal, a state of fight? Is there not then a sense that the Freudian father is actually NOT something the theorist entirely abhors, would see entirely vanquished, because a fight against something big that hates us is basically the life we are necessarily --if conscious, if wide-awake -- doomed to need to accept as a good part of our lot?
What I'm getting at is that I think articles like this would help further the goal of communicating that each one of us is intrinsically good, by exploring how these adverse practices got installed in the first place in a way which doesn't suggest that somewhere in our lineage there were genuinely evil people in charge. My own sense is that the earliest human beings were of a psychic state equivalent to the most traumatized, abused people alive today. That was once the human norm. Children made it to adulthood only because of stimulations they offered their afflicted, depressed parents. Not at all out of love, out of generosity, because human love, ironically, hadn't yet been born yet. Red in tooth and claw, alas, comes closer. Since then miraculously there have been incremental steps up, and so as we rightly look down on parental attitudes from a century before, we are also looking at practices that reflected genuine advancements in caring from their own predecessors, each one being the best "solution" they were able to come up with at the time.
If you look at human history this way, as I do, then, yes, we need to do everything we can to denormalize conceptions of male/female nature that are actually erroneous and get in the way of a positive life, of complete self-actualization. We need to be loudly and proudly feminist, each one of us. But it is easier to see our "opponents" as not castrating gods of menacing power... as some kind of Lord of the Rings Sauron, but sad creatures from childhoods of horrible abuse, who nevertheless remain a great problem. You can defeat them, but not feel like someone who's actually repressed his/her pleasure-seeking ways to function as a more stalwart crusader. You can avoid depriving yourself of pleasure as you subscribe to requirements of mythic crusader. A lot's at stake, but there is never a need to nip your living an enriching, pleasureful life in the bud.
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It's mentioned quickly and not dwelt upon, but what I like about this article on Trump is (Andrew) Sullivan's description of Trump being "fused" with the nation, of THAT as Trump's primary goal. This relationship to a polity, to a nation, is highly psychohistorical. It gives a sense of him not "governing" to enrich himself and his billionaire friends -- for cynical purposes -- which is what you'll hear from many on the political left, but foremost out of a genuine, powerful psychological desire to be a component of something larger and omnipotent... which should even at some point entail his total self-sacrifice, his suicide. Sullivan describes this something as a "nation," but the DeMausian psychohistorical understanding would be of a Mutterland... to be back in a pre-lapsarian bond with our mothers, a bond which lapsed, specifically, when we "sinned" by abandoning Her for our own self-actualization and individuation.
The progressive war against Trump will not be against some guy who enjoys being an enfant terrible, against some guy who's only (forgive the pun...) trumped up on his own grotesque bloviated self; it'll be against a guy who thinks his own mom could not possibly be prouder in seeing him fight for her via her being projected out onto the nation, in seeing him stick up for her, for HER honour. He'll think he's her favourite, devoting every resource he has to ensure no longer will her face, her dignity, be casually besmirched by those who'd laughed off loyalty and honour as virtues in favour of measly, arrogant, self-spoiling. (Yes, I understand she was an immigrant from Scotland, not native American. It won't matter.)
Progressives need to understand that their opponents will not understand themselves as trolls, but as of the purest light. If we progressives still think self-sacrifice and selflessness are virtues (I'm not pro-selfishness, just not for selflessness as sacrifice of self to please denying, mean-spirited parental gods), if we get into their mindset we might be forced to tip our hat to them, because their horrid efforts will not be about themselves only indirectly, in that it feels good to not have their mothers hanging over them ready to obliterate them for too much self-devotion. This fusion state with their mothers, which will make them immune to guilt and very ready to sacrifice themselves for group (i.e., mother's) gain, will make them very formidable opponents.
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10 hours ago
Molyneux seems a pretty big supporter of Lloyd Demause's ideas. DeMause, however, doesn't give a fig about IQ; rather, he's into who's been most fortunate in having the most progressive and loving parents, because a child from out of that kind of environment is going to have an emotional IQ -- the extent to which they will want to help others -- that's off the charts! It's from people like these that you'll get your most decent, most humane society.
DeMause does however argue -- as does Steven Pinker -- a Whiggish idea of history as progressively getting better, as improving, which needn't -- but apparently does -- give amo for discrimination against other peoples, other cultures. I think Molyneux is using DeMause's theories because he sees therein means to take advantage of one of the weaknesses of our current batch of most loved, of our current batch of progressives: they do romanticize, cast a Rousseauean glow around people they're rightly trying to support. In this moment when people may be wanting to discredit progressives and so turn our society more openly more hateful, he means to make use of their one blindspot to discredit them entirely, even though they're overall the most fact-adhering, most wide-awake people on the planet. That is probably his foremost goal. And that's a terrible thing.