Sunday, May 15, 2011

Significant Moments: Of Jews, "Jews," and Schizoids

     "Victimology, that newly founded brand of criminology that analyzes the personality of potential victims of crimes" has proven that the personality of the victim is one of the causes of his becoming a victim, and this is also true of persons who are "persistently victims of bad luck or failure" 
K.R. Eissler, Talent and Genius. 
     Such people . . .
Sigmund Freud, Letter to Wilhelm Fliess.
            . . . suffer from the so-called Abel syndrome. "This is the case of the man whose superiority . . .
K.R. Eissler, Talent and Genius.
                   . . . or perhaps simply his. . .
Pierre-Paul Walraet, Inspiring Principles for Community Life in the Rule of Augustine of Hippo.
                         . . . desire to be different . . .
Harold Bloom, The Book of J.
                                . . . is likely to attract envy, but who is not able or willing to defend himself."
K.R. Eissler, Talent and Genius.
     “What does that mean?”
Don DeLillo, White Noise.
      Justice it means but it’s . . .
James Joyce, Ulysses.
              . . . justice according to . . .
Jonathan Wittenberg, The Commanding Nearness of God.
                   . . . the primordial law of things:
Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil.
     Eat or be eaten.
Clifford Odets, Silent Partner.
              . . . it’s everybody eating everyone else. That’s what life is after all.
James Joyce, Ulysses.
     It’s not the nature of life to be otherwise.
Jack London, The Sea Wolf.
     Abel was murdered, . . .
Benzion Netanyahu, The Origins of the Inquisition in Fifteenth Century Spain.
            . . . the object of his brother's jealousy . . .
Sue Chance, Chance Thoughts: Jealousy.
                   . . . and following that crime, mankind has proceeded along the same disastrous course.
Benzion Netanyahu, The Origins of the Inquisition in Fifteenth Century Spain.
     And what about the Jews?
Murry Frymer, Why Doesn’t Adolf Like the Jews?
     How are the universality, depth, and permanence of anti-semitism to be explained? Why such hatred and fear of people who never constituted more than a small minority among those who most hated and feared them? Why, nearly always and nearly everywhere, the Jews?
Dennis Prager and Joseph Telushkin, Why the Jews?
     The answer is simple:
Charles Krauthammer, Demystifying Judaism: Joseph Lieberman’s Rise May Change How America Thinks of Jewish Practice.
     In a word, the Jew by introducing monotheism . . .
Bela Grunberger, The Anti-Semite and the Oedipal Conflict.
                        . . . 'a perpetuum mobile for generating anti-Semitism' . . .
David Cesarani, Arthur Koestler: The Homeless Mind quoting Arthur Koestler, Promise and Fulfillment.               
                                  . . . has not only banished man from his intimacy with the mother (even with the Christian, the mother has remained the inaccessible virgin) and from his narcissistic universe, but has installed within him a judge to persecute and punish him for his oedipal desires. 
Bela Grunberger, The Anti-Semite and the Oedipal Conflict.
     The Jews have suffered from their own invention ever since; but they have never given it up, for it is, after all, what makes the Jews Jewish.
Ernest van den Haag, The Jewish Mystique.
     By preserving Jewish differences and setting them apart, . . .
David Cesarani, Arthur Koestler: The Homeless Mind.
            . . . the singularity, the brain-hammering strangeness, of the monotheistic idea . . .
George Steiner, In Bluebeard’s Castle.
                      . . . laid the basis for antipathies towards Jews.
David Cesarani, Arthur Koestler: The Homeless Mind.
     No doubt, the taboo of a mother-representative goddess figure has several determining causes but the slow process of alienation was certainly due to the chief cause to which other factors later contributed. This primary cause was the relation to the soil, the land, and that early bitter disappointment produced by its aridity resulting in famine. . . .
     The relation of a people to the soil is pattern forming in the same way that an individual is related to the mother. It is the mother who feeds the infant. . . . The Hebrews daydreamed of Canaan, promised to them as a Lady Bountiful, as a country overflowing with milk and honey [which corresponds to the rich fantasy world of the schizoid child]. Here was the picture of a freely giving foster-Mother, of the "good earth" in contrast to the original land that had become parsimonious and mean. . . .
     [T]he bitter experience of that earliest period, the drying up of the soil of their original homeland [which corresponds to the schizoid child's experience of emotionally cold, rejecting parents], did not prevent those tribes from forming and worshipping the figure of a mother-goddess, but the repercussions of that primal experience led to an ambivalent attitude toward her, to an inherited vacillation between attraction and repulsion. This conflict of opposite forces resulted finally in the removal and the taboo of a mother-goddess.
Theodor Reik, Curiosities of the Self.
     The Jew has therefore done exactly the same as the father. He has imposed the rule of the father, which explains why he particularly has been chosen by the anti-Semite for the abreaction of his Oedipus conflict. The Jew represents the father, and from that perspective we can understand the various aspects of the anti-Semite's behaviour. . . .
     It would seem that the relation between certain brotherhoods and the Jew reproduces that which existed between the prehistoric brotherhoods . . . and the father. Brotherhoods banded together to fight the father's power [just as employees band together to form unions to fight the employer's power]. As such the brotherhoods fight against the Jew as they have always fought, and still fight, against the father[: a struggle that is comparable to the fight of employee unions against the strike breaker who identifies with the employer]. One might use this hypothesis in trying to understand better the youthful 'gangs' that give so many headaches to parents, police, and teachers. It would seem that what excites so much rebellion against the father [or employer] is consciousness of the fact that their very union is charged with oedipal aggression, which therefore increases their guilt. The anti-Semite projects that guilt on to the Jew. . . .
     During the Middle Ages the secret brotherhoods (the corporations or early trade unions) [comparable to employee groups] excluded the Jews [like the victim of mobbing] from nearly all trades, and if the Jews were sometimes protected it was always by certain isolated but powerful personalities [a "Bob Strauss-like" figure], in a sense paternal figures, never by the brotherhoods themselves.
Bela Grunberger, The Anti-Semite and the Oedipal Conflict.

Bela Grunberger's statement that the Jews, from a cultural or religious viewpoint, have "banished man from his intimacy with the mother" merits comparison with the psychological relationship of the schizoid child to his mother.

Norman Doidge (relying on Fairbairn) has written that the child with the rejecting or disappointing parent, frequently the mother, develops an internalized image of the rejecting parent, called the anti-libidinal object, to which he is desperately attached. The rejecting parent is often incapable of loving, or preoccupied with his or her own needs. The child is rewarded when he is not demanding, and devalued or ridiculed as needy when he expresses his dependent longings. Thus the schizoid's picture of 'good' behavior is distorted. The child learns never to nag or even yearn for love, because it makes the parent more distant and censorious. The child then may cover over the incredible loneliness, emptiness and ineptness he feels with a fantasy (often unconscious) that he is self-sufficient. Love and anger get hopelessly intertwined. Fairbairn argued that the tragedy of the schizoid child is that his conscience has been warped: he believes his love, not his hatred is the destructive force within. Love consumes. Hence the schizoid child's chief mental operation is to repress his or her normal wish to be loved.

Fairbairn's thinking on psychic structure began in 1929, with a critical study of Freud's ideas about the superego, and developed into his mature object-relations theory (1954), modifying the Freudian model. In Fairbairn's revision (1952) of Freud's concepts of endopsychic structure, the term "antilibidinal ego" refers to the split-off and repressed ego-structure related to the rejecting object. In his earlier work it developed from his ideas about the superego and was termed the "internal sabateur."   In Fairbairn's view the child at the earliest stages of development is object seeking; the child wants to develop relations with others.  While in Freud's view the child at the earliest stages is pleasure-seeking.  Fairbairn's antilibidinal object corresponds to Freud's notion of the superego in that the antilibidinal object blocks, or sabotages, the development of human relations while Freud's superego blocks pleasure-seeking activity and is the source of normal impulse control.  In Freud's view the superego is the internalized successor of the parents.  In Moses and Monotheism Freud maintains that an individual's view of God is a displacement of his feelings about his father.

The schizoid child who has internalized the image of his mother as a rejecting, or antilibidinal, object has, in effect, banished (or split off) his emotions from consciousness, leaving an empty shell to interact with others.


Gary Freedman said...

In his book Ideology, Conflict, and Leadership in Groups and Organizations the psychoanalyst Otto Kernberg contends that in some groups, the group-as-a-whole serves as an all-giving symbolic "breast mother" that sanctions impulse gratification by group members without guilt or remorse.

The outsider who is not affectively connected to the in-group attracts aggression from group members.

The outsider who is cut off from the symbolic "breast mother" will suffer aggression by group members that will be comparable to the aggression experienced by Jews in relation to the anti-Semitic dominant in-group. We saw this dynamic in Nazi Germany, where the head of state himself identified the German nation with the breast mother.

Gary Freedman said...

The following post discusses my associations to Hitler's displacement of idealized feelings about his mother onto the German nation:

Gary Freedman said...

Schizoids place a premium on emotional self-sufficiency.

Individuals who are self-reliant, solitary, resourceful, individualistic, and self sufficient will tend to attract envy and aggression in highly cohesive groups.

Kernberg points out that in a group setting a narcissistic personality who can communicate effectively can provide the large group with an acceptable ideology and convey a sense of certainty without triggering the group's envy against individualized thinking. These abilities make such a leader the soother of the large group's tensions. Kernberg, O. Ideology, Conflict, and Leadership in Groups and Organizations at 8.