Friday, March 08, 2013

What Did Akin Gump Know About Me as of 1989?

In October 1988 I wrote the first draft of an autobiographical essay, which I have discussed elsewhere.  I formed the paranoid belief that my employer, the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, acquired a copy of the document in late October 1988.  In the summer of 1989, with my newly-granted access to the firm's computer network, I began to revise the text, which the firm had access to on the firm's computer system.  In the early fall of 1989 I discussed the concept of "Criminality from a Sense of Guilt," introduced into the psychoanalytic literature in a paper by Freud titled: "Three Character Types."

So the firm knew (or might have known) that I might possess the quality of acting out in response to a pre-existing sense of guilt.  You would think that the firm would have reasoned: "We need to avoid instilling guilt in him.  He will tend to act out wildly if we do anything to compound his sense of guilt.  We must avoid describing him as potentially violent lest he assume the role of a potentially violent individual."

The language I introduced into my autobiographocal essay reads:

  • Freud writes: “[A]nalytic work [has] afforded the surprising conclusion that [some] [mis]deeds are done precisely because they are forbidden, and because by carrying them out the doer enjoys a sense of mental relief.  He suffered from an oppressive feeling of guilt, of which he did not know the origin, and after he had committed a misdeed the oppression was mitigated.  The sense of guilt was at least in some way accounted for.  Paradoxical as it may sound, I must maintain that the sense of guilt was present prior to the transgression, that it did not arise from this, but contrariwise--the transgression, from the sense of guilt.  These persons we might justifiably describe as criminals from a sense of guilt. . . .  With children, it is easy to perceive that they are often ‘naughty’ on purpose to provoke punishment, and are quiet and contented after the chastisement.  Later analytic investigation can often find a trace of the guilty feeling [in existence prior to the commission of any misdeed] which bid them seek for punishment.”  Freud, S. (1915) “Some Character-Types Met With In Psychoanalytic Work” (Section III. Criminality from a Sense of Guilt), reprinted in A General Selection from the Works off Sigmund Freud, at 102-103 (Doubleday: 1989). (The seeming contradiction of a superego simultaneously sadistic and compliant is addressed in Shengold, L. Soul Murder: The Effects of Childhood Abuse and Deprivation, at 57-59 (Yale University Press: 1989)).

1 comment:

Gary Freedman said...

And David Callet sneered at me? Ha!

"Don't ever question my instincts because my instincts are honed!" -- Kramer