Thursday, 18 January 2018

Freud, not Marx, destroyed the USA (then The West)

The devastation wrought by Freud, and by Freudian-inspired psychotherapy/ counselling, on the USA is all the greater for being almost unappreciated. Indeed, it could be said that modern political correctness-/ social justice warrior-type Leftism is the product of Freud - not of Marx.

(There is very little socialism or communism in the USA - and what is regarded as such, is nothing-like the primarily economic system devised by Marx and his followers.)

I realised some time ago that professional psychotherapy was an essentially immoral activity. But I did not properly appreciate how far it had gone in the USA until I realised on a month long visit that, of the people I met (mostly academic faculty, doctors and graduate students) all but one had had, or was still having, professional psychotherapy.   

My contention is that the New Left - the mid-nineteen-sixties Leftism of identity politics, rather than economics - began in the USA, and an essential element in this was the mid-twentieth century domination of Freud among the US ruling elites. From the US it spread to the rest of the West. 

In a nutshell: from the summer of 1967, Freud replaced Marx at the core of international Leftism.

Nowadays, Leftism is a purported system of therapy. Leftism is ultimately evil; but with the sixties New Left the excuse for Leftism changed; it changed from economic (alleviation of poverty) to therapeutic (alleviation of victimhood).

The increasingly totalitarian society we inhabit is justified by its therapeutic benefits. The Establishment are really keen on psychotherapy and therapeutic conversations for all, so is the mass media, so are the arts?  

Since I became a Christian, I can understand the damage of Freud and psychotherapy more clearly - because a simplified and weaponised version of the psychodynamic approach has substantially replaced Christianity in both public and private discourse.

There are many horrible effects. Psychotherapy hollows-out a person. A heart-less superficiality of character is one - that bland, fluent, unconvincing affect which dominate US public life. The analysis of all human situations in terms of therapy - so that politics has become (by its own account) a kind of giant psychotherapeutic machine supposedly designed to alleviate human suffering.

Perhaps primarily, psychotherapy is what induces the victim mentality - because psychotherapy regards psychological problems as primary, and traces the roots of problem to 'other people' - indirectly, and all the more effectively for it, therapy always implies that that ultimately everybody is a victim.

To engage in psychotherapy is to internalise victimhood; and when psychotherapy is applies at a social level it discovers one after another, then another victim group. 

Of course psychotherapy does not really work as a medical treatment; and of course sexual relationships between therapists and clients are extremely common/ normal. But all this merely clarifies that what the Freudian perspective actually does is not what it purports to do.

What Freud does is promote the mind-set, indeed the primary metaphysical assumptions, which are desired by the secular Left.

And, although psychotherapy is spectacularly un-successful at curing illness, or making people happier - it is extremely effective at inducing bedrock, deep-rooted, self-validating Leftism both in individuals, and - mainly - in culture.


  1. Freud is no longer respectable, at least in the U.S., and everyone gives lip-service to the idea that he was a pseudo-scientific quack, but I think you're right that his fundamental attitude is still very much alive beneath the surface.

    I think Freud was an extremely perceptive observer, but his heart was not in the right place, and that skewed everything he did. I find much of value in his books, but primarily in the previously overlooked psychological phenomena he noticed and collected, not in the theoretical edifice therewith constructed.

  2. Nice little paper on psychoanalysis. I'll bet that went over well!

  3. @Bill - When I presented it at UTMB, Galveston, the reception was... critical.

  4. My own sense is that, while the cultivation of victimhood is a serious issue, another very significant harm done, I think inadvertently, by Freud, Jung, and the therapy movement (preceded I guess by romanticism) is the idea that there is a true self deep within, that exists prior to and separate from social roles, cultural conditioning and so on, that can and should be accessed. This is the root of individualism. For Freud, that meant casting off "the superego" to find the authentic self free of this repression coming from outside the self; Jung built on that... the thing is, it is not a wholly wrong idea: therapy that helps one access emotions and so on that lie below immediate awareness does usually help; there is greater authenticity to be found. But where I think it goes wrong is that it can lead to, especially nowadays and in any New Age, SBNR kind of therapeutic or self-development approach, ENDLESS "work" to reveal this true self - ie. that becomes one's life path, in place of any real religion or outer accomplishment, and because the true self is never really found (since it doesn't exist), there is no limit to this activity. It also leads to following all sorts of directions from the inner self, feelings, the life force and so on, which in the absence of ethics - these schools of thought are often amoral - promotes selfish and unethical behavior. But it comes back to this belief in a true self, deep down, that can be accessed and is always right and should always be followed...

  5. @DB - I would go further: All influential ideas, without any exception - and no matter how evil overall, have truth and goodness in them - so wrt Freud for me that goes without saying.

    One key thing missing from psychotherapy is that the true deep self is *divine*. If it was not for this divinity; then there would be no imperative to seek and live by the true deep self - it would be merely one lifestyle-option among many.

  6. I think we have to be careful about saying "the true deep self is 'divine'". There is indeed an aspect to the self that carries the diving spark... but the "the true deep self" is not really something that exists - that's my point. The human mind has aspects and levels and parts - but not one final true findable self. Rather, we are a composite of shifting parts. This is why the final, true self is never reached no matter how much therapy or "work" one does. Also, the self is not ultimately separate from social roles, cultural conditioning, and so on, as Freud posited. These form part of who we are... and often an invaluable part that we are unwise to seek to cast off.

  7. @DB - I am a Christian and (like all men) a Son of God; therefore I have that which is divine in me - really existing (although not material). You are (presumably) a Daughter of God, likewise. That's what I mean.

  8. Yes... it is hard to debate this without defining terms :) Words like true and existing and self have more than one meaning, and how we understand them depends on our philosophical background. Suffice it to say that something can exist without "truly" existing. Of course the divine spark within us exists... and yet if we go to far with the idea, it veers into the New Age "God within" notion that if we dig deep enough, we ARE God - which is not quite Christianity. On the issue of the true self that we should cast off repressive conditioning and social roles in order to access, my suggestion would be to examine whether early Christianity had any concept like this. I don't believe it did. I believe that particular idea originated with the German romantic movement and then was spread by Freud and Jung and now it permeates our culture without us knowing its genealogy: we take the idea for granted, whether we are Christian or not. Yet it is a modern idea...

  9. @DB - That kind of stuff is what this blog has been mostly about for the past three or so years.

  10. Interesting take on the effects of Freud. Modern SJWs go into psychotherapy to deal with their sense of victimhood. But not to ameliorate it but to justify it. "Victim" is the most coveted status among the modern American Left and they guard their victimhood jealously.

  11. @RW - Good point - indeed, psychotherapy is itself used to validate victim status ("because of ... he needed therapy...")