reading for 12.27

the part about controversies and disagreements at the bottom of

the wikipedia entry for critical race theory

if people already have the charles mills article “but what are you really?”, then you could revisit that, although probably that won’t be the reading… (it’s a bit long), it’s just really interesting.

the following is from CRT:an intro

What do critical race theorists believe? Probably not every
member would subscribe to every tenet set out in this book,
but many would agree on the following propositions. First,
that racism is ordinary, not aberrational—“normal science,”
the usual way society does business, the common, everyday
experience of most people of color in this country. Second,
most would agree that our system of white-over-color ascendancy
serves important purposes, both psychic and material.
The first feature, ordinariness, means that racism is difficult
to cure or address. Color-blind, or “formal,” conceptions of
equality, expressed in rules that insist only on treatment that
is the same across the board, can thus remedy only the most
blatant forms of discrimination, such as mortgage redlining
or the refusal to hire a black Ph.D. rather than a white high
school dropout, that do stand out and attract our attention.
The second feature, sometimes called “interest convergence”
or material determinism, adds a further dimension. Because
racism advances the interests of both white elites (materially)
and working-class people (psychically), large segments of society have little incentive to eradicate it. Consider, for example,
Derrick Bell’s shocking proposal (discussed in a later
chapter) that Brown v. Board of Education—considered a
great triumph of civil rights litigation—may have resulted
more from the self-interest of elite whites than a desire to
help blacks.
A third theme of critical race theory, the “social construction”
thesis, holds that race and races are products of social
thought and relations. Not objective, inherent, or fixed, they
correspond to no biological or genetic reality; rather, races
are categories that society invents, manipulates, or retires
when convenient. People with common origins share certain
physical traits, of course, such as skin color, physique, and
hair texture. But these constitute only an extremely small
portion of their genetic endowment, are dwarfed by that
which we have in common, and have little or nothing to do
with distinctly human, higher-order traits, such as personality,
intelligence, and moral behavior. That society frequently
chooses to ignore these scientific facts, creates races, and endows them with pseudo-permanent characteristics is of great interest to critical race theory.
Another, somewhat more recent, development concerns
differential racialization and its many consequences. Critical
writers in law, as well as social science, have drawn attention
to the ways the dominant society racializes different minority
groups at different times, in response to shifting needs
such as the labor market. At one period, for example, society
may have had little use for blacks, but much need for
Mexican or Japanese agricultural workers. At another time,
the Japanese, including citizens of long standing, may have
been in intense disfavor and removed to war relocation
camps, while society cultivated other groups of color for jobs
in war industry or as cannon fodder on the front. Popular
images and stereotypes of various minority groups shift over
time, as well. In one era, a group of color may be depicted as
happy-go-lucky, simpleminded, and content to serve white
folks. A little later, when conditions change, that very same
group may appear in cartoons, movies, and other cultural
scripts as menacing, brutish, and out of control, requiring
close monitoring and repression.
Closely related to differential racialization—the idea that
each race has its own origins and ever evolving history—is
the notion of intersectionality and anti-essentialism. No person has a single, easily stated, unitary identity. A white feminist
may be Jewish, or working-class, or a single mother. An
African American activist may be gay or lesbian. A Latino
may be a Democrat, a Republican, or even a black—perhaps
because that person’s family hails from the Caribbean. An
Asian may be a recently arrived Hmong of rural background
and unfamiliar with mercantile life, or a fourth-generation
Chinese with a father who is a university professor and a
mother who operates a business. Everyone has potentially
conflicting, overlapping identities, loyalties, and allegiances.
A final element concerns the notion of a unique voice of
color. Coexisting in somewhat uneasy tension with anti-essentialism, the voice-of-color thesis holds that because of
their different histories and experiences with oppression,
black, Indian, Asian, and Latino/a writers and thinkers may
be able to communicate to their white counterparts matters
that the whites are unlikely to know. Minority status, in
other words, brings with it a presumed competence to speak
about race and racism. The ““legal storytelling” movement
urges black and brown writers to recount their experiences
with racism and the legal system and to apply their own
unique perspectives to assess law’s master narratives.

things even this cursory reading brings up–
1. what does it mean that the most cutting edge theory on race is coming from a group of lawyers?
2. obviously the solutions for lawyers are not going to be ours, but what responses could anarchists have to these different thoughts on what race means/implies in the us?
3. intersectionality is a term that has taken off amongst identity adherents. the concept was intended to be a challenge to essentialism, but seems not to have been at all. what do people think about that? have you had experiences with this term in particular?

and… a random but very interesting chapter from Seeing Through Race: Idolatry

reading for 11.29.16

here are the texts of the lexicon pamphlets Anarchism and Racism. I suggest (we can talk about it more on the night of) that we do a couple of weeks of readings on the lexicon series (it includes also colonialism, power, and gender), with the following questions in mind: what is the purpose of these pamphlets? if you were to accept the purpose, how would you do it? what do you agree with, what sounds good but you don’t agree with–perhaps you would agree under certain circumstances–and what seems straight up wrong to you? if you were going to write a series of introductory primers on ideas that are significant to anarchists, are these the key words/topics you would choose? etc. If you feel uncomfortable stating your own opinions (or don’t know), then consider how what you consider the general opinion of the study group is different from, similar to, or other than, what is expressed here.


At its core, anarchism is indeed a spirit—one that cries out against all that’s wrong with present-day society, and yet boldly proclaims all that could be right under alternate forms of social organization.
There are many different though often complementary ways of looking at
anarchism, but in a nutshell, it can be defined as the striving toward a “free society of free individuals.” This phrase is deceptively simple. Bound within it is both an implicit multidimensional critique and an expansive, if fragile, reconstructive vision.
By anarchist spirit I mean that deeply human sentiment, which aims at the good of all, freedom and justice for all,  solidarity and love among the people; which is not an exclusive characteristic only of self-declared anarchists, but inspires all people who have a generous heart and an open mind. —
Errico Malatesta, Umanita Nova, April 13, 1922
Here, a further shorthand depiction of anarchism is helpful: the ubiquitous “circle A” image. The A is a placeholder for the ancient Greek word anarkhia —combining the root an(a), “without,” and arkh(os), “ruler, authority”—meaning the absence of authority. More  contemporaneously and accurately, it stands for the absence of both domination (mastery or control over another) and hierarchy (ranked power relations of dominance and subordination). The circle could
be considered an O, a placeholder for “order” or, better yet,  “organization,” drawing on Pierre-Joseph Proudhon’s seminal definition in What Is Property?  (1840): “as man [sic] seeks justice in equality, so society seeks order in anarchy.” The circle A symbolizes anarchism as a dual project: the abolition of domination and hierarchical forms of social organization, or power-over social relations, and their replacement with horizontal versions, or power-together and in common—again, a free
society of free individuals.
Anarchism is a synthesis of the best of liberalism and the best of communism, productive, harmonic dissonance: figuring out ways to coexist and thrive in our differentiation.
Anarchists create processes that are humane and substantively participatory. They’re honest about the fact that there’s always going to be uneasiness between individual and social freedom. They acknowledge that it’s going to be an ongoing struggle to find the balance.
This struggle is exactly where anarchism takes place. It is where the beauty of life, at its most well rounded and self-constructed, has the
greatest possibility of emerging—and at times, taking hold.
Although it happens at any level of society, one experiences this most personally in small-scale projects—from food cooperatives
to free schools to occupations—where people collectively make face-to-face decisions about issues large and mundane. This is not
something that people in most parts of the world are encouraged or taught to do, most pointedly because it contains the kernels

of destroying the current vertical social arrangements. As such, we’re generally neither particularly good nor efficient at directly

elevated and transformed by the best of traditions that work toward an egalitarian, voluntarily, and nonhierarchical society. The project of liberalism in the broadest sense is to ensure personal liberty. Communism’s overarching project is to ensure the communal good. One could, and should, question the word “free” in both cases, particularly in the actual implementations of liberalism and communism, and their
shared emphasis on the state and property as ensuring freedom. Nonetheless, respectively, and at their most “democratic,” one’s aim is an
individual who can live an emancipated life, and the other seeks a community structured along collectivist lines. Both are worthy
notions. Unfortunately, freedom can never be achieved in this lopsided manner: through the self or society. The two necessarily come into
conflict, almost instantly. Anarchism’s great leap was to combine self and society in one political vision; at the same time, it jettisoned the state and property as the pillars of support, relying instead on self-organization
and mutual aid.
Anarchism as a term emerged in nineteenth-century Europe, but its aspirations and practices grew out of, in part, hundreds of years of slave rebellions, peasant uprisings, and heretical religious movements around the world in which people decided that enough was enough, and the related experimentation for centuries with various forms of autonomy.
Anarchism was also partly influenced by Enlightenment thought in the eighteenth century, which—at its best—popularized three pivotal notions, to a large degree theorized from these revolts. First: Individuals have the
capacity to reason. Second: If humans have the capacity to reason, then they also have the capacity to act on their thoughts. Perhaps most liberating, a third idea arose: If people can think and act on their own initiative, then it literally stands to reason that they can potentially think through and act on notions of the good society. They can innovate; they
can create a better world.
A host of Enlightenment thinkers offered bold new conceptions of social

organization, drawn from practice and yet articulated in theory, ranging from individual rights to self-governance. Technological advancements in printing facilitated the relatively widespread dissemination of this written material for the first time in human history via books, pamphlets, and periodicals. New common social spaces like coffeehouses, public libraries, and speakers’ corners in parks allowed for debate about and the spread of these incendiary ideas. None of this ensured that people would think for themselves, act for themselves, or act out of a concern for humanity. But what was at least theoretically revolutionary about this Copernican turn was that before then, the vast majority of people largely didn’t believe in their own agency or ability to self-organize on such an interconnected, self-conscious, and crucially, widespread basis. They were born,

for instance, into an isolated village as a serf with the expectation that they’d live out their whole lives accordingly. In short, that they
would accept their lot and the social order as rigidly god-given or natural—with any hopes for a better life placed in the afterlife.
Due to the catalytic relationship between theory and practice, many people gradually embraced these three Enlightenment ideas, leading to a host of libertarian ideologies, from the religious congregationalisms to secular republicanism, liberalism, and socialism.
These new radical impulses took many forms of political and economic subjugation to task, contributing to an outbreak of revolutions throughout Europe and elsewhere, such as in Haiti, the United States, and Mexico. This revolutionary period started around 1789 and lasted until about 1871 (reappearing in the early twentieth century).

Anarchism developed within this milieu as, in “classical” anarchist Peter Kropotkin’s words, the “left wing” of socialism. Like all socialists, anarchists concentrated on the economy, specifically capitalism, and saw the laboring classes in the factories and fields, as well as artisans, as the main agents of revolution. They also felt that many socialists were to the “right” or nonlibertarian side of anarchism, soft on their critique of the state, to say the least. These early anarchists, like all anarchists after them, saw the state as equally complicit in structuring social

domination; the state complemented and worked with capitalism, but was its own distinct entity. Like capitalism, the state will not “negotiate” with any other sociopolitical system. It attempts to take up more and more governance space. It is neither neutral nor can it be “checked and  balanced.” The state has its own logic of command and control, of monopolizing political power. Anarchists held that the state cannot be used to dismantle capitalism, nor as a transitional strategy toward a noncapitalist, nonstatist society.
They advocated an expansive “no gods, no masters” perspective, centered around the three great concerns of their day—capital, state, and  church—in contrast to, for example, The Communist Manifesto’s  assertion that “the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.” It’s not that anarchists didn’t take this history seriously; there were other histories, though, and other struggles—something that anarchism would continue to fill out over the decades.

As many are rediscovering today, anarchism from the first explored something that Marxism has long needed to grapple with: domination and hierarchy, and their replacement in all cases with greater degrees of freedom. That said, the classical period of anarchism exhibited numerous blind spots and even a certain naïveté. Areas such as gender and race, in which domination occurs beyond capitalism, the state, and the church, were often given short shrift or ignored altogether. Nineteenth-century

anarchism was not necessarily always ahead of its day in identifying various forms of oppression. Nor did it concern itself much with ecological degradation.
Of course, comparing classical anarchism to today’s much more sophisticated understanding of forms of organization and the myriad types of domination is also a bit unfair—both to anarchism and other

socialisms. Anarchism developed over time, theoretically and through practice. Its dynamism, an essential principle, played a large part in allowing anarchism to serve as its own challenge. Its openness to other social movements and radical ideas contributed to its further unfolding. Like any new political philosophy, it would take many minds and

many experiments over many years to develop anarchism into a more full-bodied, nuanced worldview—a process, if one takes anarchism’s
initial impulse seriously, of always expanding that worldview to account for additional blind spots. Anarchism was, is, and continually sees itself as “only a beginning,” to cite the title of a recent anthology.
From its beginnings, anarchism’s core aspiration has been to root out and eradicate all coercive, hierarchical social relations, and dream up and establish consensual, egalitarian ones in every instance. In a time of
revolutionary possibility, and during a period when older ways of life were so obviously being destroyed by enormous transitions, the early anarchists were frequently extravagant in their visions for a better world. They drew

on what was being lost (from small-scale agrarian communities to the commons) and what was being gained (from potentially liberatory technologies to potentially more democratic political structures) to craft a set of uncompromising, reconstructive ethics.

These ethics still animate anarchism, supplying what’s most compelling about it in praxis. Its values serve as a challenge to continually approach the dazzling horizon of freedom by actually improving the quality of life for all in the present. Anarchism always “demands the impossible” even as it tries to also “realize the impossible.” Its idealism is thoroughly pragmatic. Hierarchical forms of social organization can never fulfill most
peoples’ needs or desires, but time and again, nonhierarchical forms have demonstrated their capacity to come closer to that aim. It makes
eminent and ethical sense to experiment with utopian notions. No other political philosophy does this as consistently and generously, as
doggedly, and with as much overall honesty about the many dead-ends in the journey itself.
Anarchism understood that any egalitarian form of social organization,

especially one seeking a thoroughgoing eradication of domination, had to be premised on both individual and collective freedom—no one is free unless everyone is free, and everyone can only be free if each person can

individuate or actualize themselves in the most expansive of senses. Anarchism also recognized, if only intuitively, that such a task is both a constant balancing act and the stuff of real life. One person’s freedom necessarily infringes on another’s, or even on the good of all. No common good can meet everyone’s needs and desires. From the start, anarchism asked the difficult though ultimately pragmatic question: Acknowledging this self-society juggling act as part of the human condition, how can people collectively self-determine their lives to become who they want to be and simultaneously create communities that are all they could be as well?
Anarchism maintains that this tension is positive, as a creative and inherent part of human existence. It highlights that people are not all alike, nor do they need, want, or desire the same things. At its best, anarchism’s basic aspiration for a free society of free individuals
gives transparency to what should be a democratic processes. Assembly decision-making mechanisms are hard work. They raise tough questions. But through them, people school themselves in what could be the basis for collective self-governance, for redistributing power to everyone. More crucially, people self-determine the structure of the new from spaces
of possibility within the old.
Anarchism gives voice to the grand yet modest belief, embraced by people
throughout human history, that we can imagine and also implement a wholly marvelous and materially abundant society.
That is the spirit of anarchism, the ghost that haunts humanity: that our lives and communities really can be appreciably better.
And better, and then better still.




Biologically speaking, there’s no such thing as race. As hard as they’ve
tried, scientists have never been able to come up with an adequate
definition of it. Yet the social and political effects of race are very real.
Race is like a dollar bill—a human creation rather than a fact of nature
that has value only because people say it does. And like money, people
give race “value” because it serves a function in society. That function
in the United States is to suppress class conflict.
In the United States, the system of race (what we now call “white supremacy”) emerged in the late 1600s to preserve the land and power of the wealthy. Rich planters in Virginia feared what might happen if indigenous tribes, slaves, and indentured servants united and overthrew them. Through a series of laws, they granted the English poor certain rights and privileges denied to all persons of African and Native American descent: the right to be excluded from enslavement, move about freely without a pass, acquire property, bear arms, enjoy free speech and assembly, change jobs, and vote. For their part, they respected the
property of the rich, helped seize indigenous lands, and enforced slavery.

In accepting this arrangement, the English poor (now called “whites”) went against their class interests to serve their “racial” ones, and thereby reinforced the power of the rich.

This cross-class alliance between the ruling class and a section of the
working class is the genesis of white supremacy in the United States. It
continues to this day. In this system, members of the cross-class alliance get defined as white, while those excluded from it are relegated to a “not-white” status. By accepting preferential treatment in an economic system that exploits their labor, too, working-class members of the white group or “race” have historically tied their interests to those of the elite rather than the rest of the working class. This devil’s bargain has undermined freedom and democracy ever since.
As this white alliance grew to include other ethnicities, the result was

a curious form of democracy: the white democracy. In the white democracy, all whites were considered equal (even as the poor were subordinated to the rich and women were subordinated to men).

At the same time, every single white person was considered superior to every single person of color. It was a system in which whites had an interest in and expectation of favored treatment, in a society that claimed to be democratic. It was democracy for white folks, but tyranny
for everyone else.
In the white democracy, whites praised freedom, equality, democracy,

hard work, and equal opportunity, while simultaneously insisting on higher wages, preferential access to the best jobs, informal unemployment insurance (first hired, last fired), full enjoyment of civil rights, and the right to send their kids to the best schools, live in the nicest neighborhoods, and receive decent treatment by the police. Even white

women, who were otherwise denied full citizenship, enjoyed the benefits of white democracy, such as the right to legal representation, favored access to certain occupations (teaching, nursing, and clerical work), easier access to better housing (including indoor plumbing, heat, electricity, and time-saving household appliances), and/or the all-important guarantee that their children would never be enslaved.
In exchange for these “public and psychological wages,” as W.E.B. Du Bois

called them, whites agreed to enforce slavery, segregation, genocide, reservation, and other forms of racial oppression. The result was that working-class whites and people of color were oppressed because the working class was divided. The tragic irony is that many poor whites often did not get to make use of these advantages, yet despite this, they defended them bitterly.

The white democracy continues to exist, even after the end of slavery

and legal segregation. Take any social indicator—graduation rates, homeownership rates, median family wealth, prison incarceration rates, life expectancy rates, infant mortality rates, cancer rates, unemployment rates, or median family debt—and you’ll find the same thing: in each category, whites are significantly better off than any other racial group. As a group, whites enjoy more wealth, less debt, more education, less imprisonment, more health care, less illness, more safety, less crime, better treatment by the police, and less police brutality than any other group. Some whisper that this is because whites have a better work ethic. But U.S. history tells us that the white democracy, born over four hundred years ago, lives on.

The white race, then, does not describe people from Europe. It is a social system that works to maintain capitalist rule and prevent full democracy through a system of (relatively minor) privileges for whites along with the subordination of those who are defined as not white. The cross-class alliance thus represents one of the most significant obstacles to creating a truly democratic society in the United States.

This is not to say that white supremacy is the “worst” form of oppression. All oppression is equally morally wrong. Nor is it to imply that if white supremacy disappears, then all other forms of oppression will magically melt away. It is simply to say that one of the most significant obstacles to organizing freedom movements throughout U.S. history has been the white democracy, and that it remains a major obstacle today.

In a global economy (and a global recession), corporate elites no longer
want to pay white workers the privileges they have historically enjoyed. Instead, they want to pay everyone the same low wages and have them work under the same terrible conditions.
Generally speaking, whites have responded to this attempt to treat them
like regular workers in two ways. One is through “multiculturalism.” This
approach, popular in universities and large corporations, seeks to recognize the equality of all cultural identities. This would be fine, except multiculturalism regards white as one culture among others. In this way, it hides how it functions as an unjust form of power. Multiculturalism therefore fails to attack the white democracy. It leaves it standing.
The other response is color-blindness, or the belief that we should
“get beyond” race. But this approach also perpetuates the white democracy, because by pretending that race doesn’t exist socially just because it doesn’t exist biologically, one ends up pretending
that white advantage doesn’t exist either. Once again, this reproduces white democracy rather than abolishes it.
There are right- and left-wing versions of color-blindness. On the Right,
many whites sincerely insist they aren’t racist but nonetheless support every measure they can to perpetuate their white advantages, including slashing welfare, strengthening the prison system, undermining indigenous sovereignty, defending the “war on drugs,” and opposing “illegal immigration.” On the Left, many whites assert that race

is a “divisive” issue and that we should instead focus on problems that “everyone” shares. This argument sounds inclusive, but it really maintains the white democracy because it lets whites decide

which issues are everyone’s and which ones are “too narrow.” It is another way for whites to expect and insist on favored treatment.
Multiculturalism and color-blindness (on the Right or Left) are no
solution to white supremacy. The only real option is for whites to reject the white democracy and side with the rest of humanity. Fighting prisons, redlining, anti-immigrant laws, police brutality, attacks on welfare (which are usually thinly disguised attacks on African Americans), and any other form of racial discrimination are valuable ways to

undermine the cross-class alliance. So are struggles to defend indigenous sovereignty, affirmative action, embattled ethnic studies programs in high schools and colleges, and the right for people of color to caucus in organizations or movements. All of these struggles—which people of color engage in daily, but whites only occasionally do, if at all—seek to

undermine whites’ interest in and expectation of favored treatment. They point out the way toward a new society.
We can see this in U.S. history, when fights to abolish the cross-class

alliance have opened up radical possibilities for all people. Feminism in the 1840s and the movement for the eight-hour day in the 1860s came out of abolitionism. Radical Reconstruction (1868–76) very nearly built socialism in the South as it sought to give political and economic power to the freedmen and women. The civil rights struggle in the 1960s not only overthrew legal segregation, it also kicked off the women’s rights, free

speech, student, queer, peace, Chicano, Puerto Rican, and American Indian
movements. When the pillars of the white democracy tremble, everything is possible. An attack on white supremacy raises the level of struggle against oppression in general.
Even today, the white democracy stands at the path to a free society like
a troll at the bridge. The task is to chase the troll away, not to pretend it doesn’t exist or invite it to the multicultural table. Of course, this doesn’t mean that people currently defined as white would have no role or influence in such a society. It only means that they would participate as individuals equal to everyone else, not as a favored group.
Political movements in the United States must make the fight against any
expression of white democracy an essential part of their strategies. The

expansion of freedom for people of color has always expanded freedom for whites as well. Abolishing white interests is not “divisive,” “narrow,” or “reverse racism.”

It’s the key to a free society.

reading for 10/11

chapter 3 from Marcuse’s Eros and Civilization, and some questions:

The Origin of Repressive Civilization (Phylogenesis)

The quest for the origin of repression leads back to the origin of instinctual repression, which occurs during early childhood. The superego is the heir of the Oedipus complex, and the repressive organization of sexuality is chiefly directed against its pregenital and perverse manifestations. Moreover, the “trauma of birth” releases the first expressions of the death instinct — the impulse to return to the Nirvana of the womb —and necessitates the subsequent controls of this impulse. It is in the child that the reality principle completes its work, with such thoroughness and severity that the mature individual’s behavior is hardly more than a repetitive pattern of childhood experiences and reactions. But the childhood experiences which become traumatic under the impact of reality are pre-individual, generic: with individual variations, the protracted dependence of the human infant, the Oedipus situation, and pregenital sexuality all belong to the genus man. Moreover, the unreasonable severity of the superego of the neurotic personality, the unconscious sense of guilt and the unconscious need for punishment, seem to be out of proportion with the actual “sinful” impulses of the individual; the perpetuation tion and (as we shall see) intensification of the sense of guilt throughout maturity, the excessively repressive organization of sexuality, cannot be adequately explained in terms of the still acute danger of individual impulses. Nor can the individual reactions to early traumata be adequately explained by “what the individual himself has experienced”; they deviate from individual experiences “in a way that would accord much better with their being reactions to genetic events” and in general they can be explained only “through such an influence.”1 The analysis of the mental structure of the personality is thus forced to regress behind early childhood, from the prehistory of the individual to that of the genus. In the personality, according to Otto Rank, there operates a “biological sense of guilt” which stands for the demands of the species. The moral principles “which the child imbibes from the persons responsible for its upbringing during the first years of its life “reflect” certain phylogenetic echoes of primitive man.”2 Civilization is still determined by its archaic heritage, and this heritage, so Freud asserts, includes “not only dispositions, but also ideational contents, memory traces of the experiences of former generations.” Individual psychology is thus in itself group psychology in so far as the individual itself still is in archaic identity with the species. This archaic heritage bridges the “gap between individual and mass psychology.”3

This conception has far-reaching implications for the method and substance of social science. As psychology tears the ideological veil and traces the construction of the personality, it is led to dissolve the individual: his autonomous personality appears as the frozenmanifestation of the general repression of mankind. Self-consciousness and reason, which have conquered and shaped the historical world, have done so in the image of repression, internal and external. They have worked as the agents of domination; the liberties which they have brought (and these are considerable) grew in the soil of enslavement and have retained the mark of their birth. These are the disturbing implications of Freud’s theory of the personality. By “dissolving” the idea of the ego-personality into its primary components, psychology now bares the sub-individual and pre-individual factors which (largely unconscious to the ego) actually make the individual: it reveals the power of the universal in and over the individuals.

This disclosure undermines one of the strongest ideological fortifications of modern culture — namely, the notion of the autonomous individual. Freud’s theory here joins the great critical efforts to dissolve ossified sociological concepts into their historical content. His psychology does not focus on the concrete and complete personality as it exists in its private and public environment, because this existence conceals rather than reveals the essence and nature of the personality. It is the end result of long historical processes which are congealed in the network of human and institutional entities making up society, and these processes define the personality and its relationships. Consequently, to understand them for what they really are, psychology must unfreezethem by tracing their hidden origins. In doing so, psychology discovers that the determining childhood experiences are linked with the experiences of the species — that the individual lives the universal fate of mankind. The past defines the present because mankind has not yet mastered its own history. To Freud, the universal fate is in the instinctual drives, but they are themselves subject to historical “modifications.” At their beginning is the experience of domination, symbolized by the primal father — the extreme Oedipus situation. It is never entirely overcome: the mature ego of the civilized personality still preserves the archaic heritage of man.

If this dependency of the ego is not kept in mind, the increased emphasis in Freud’s later writings on the autonomy of the mature ego might be abused as justification for abandoning the most advanced conceptions of psychoanalysis — a retreat undertaken by the cultural and interpersonal schools. In one of his last papers,4 Freud proposes that not all modifications of the ego are “acquired during the defensive conflicts of early childhood”; he suggests that “each individual ego is endowed from the beginning with its own peculiar dispositions and tendencies,” that there exist “primary congenital variations in the ego.” However, this new autonomy of the ego seems to turn into its opposite: far from retracting the notion of the ego’s essential dependency on pre-individual,generic constellations, Freud strengthens the role of these constellations in the development of the ego. For he interprets the congenital variations of the ego in terms of “our ‘archaic heritage’” and he thinks that “even before the ego exists, its subsequent lines of development, tendencies and reactions are already determined.”5 Indeed, the apparent renaissance of the ego is accompanied by the accentuation of the “deposits from primitive human development present in our archaic heritage.” When Freud concludes from the congenital structure of the ego that the “topographical differentiation between ego and id loses much of its value for our investigation,” then this assimilation of ego and id seems to alter the balance between the two mental forces in favor of the id rather than the ego, the generic rather than the individual processes.6

No part of Freud’s theory has been more strongly rejected than the idea of the survival of the archaic heritage—his reconstruction of the prehistory of mankind from the primal horde through patricide to civilization. The difficulties in scientific verification and even in logical consistency are obvious and perhaps insurmountable. Moreover, theyare reinforced by the taboos which the Freudian hypothesis so effectively violates: it does not lead back to the image of a paradise which man has forfeited by his sin against God but to the domination of man by man, established by a very earthly father-despot and perpetuated by the unsuccessful or uncompleted rebellion against him. The “original sin” was against man — and it was no sin because it was committed against one who was himself guilty. And this phylogenetic hypothesis reveals that mature civilization is still conditioned by archaic mental immaturity. The memory of prehistoric impulses and deeds continues to haunt civilization: the repressed material returns, and the individual is still punished for impulses long since mastered and deeds long since undone.

If Freud’s hypothesis is not corroborated by any anthropological evidence, it would have to be discarded altogether except for the fact that it telescopes, in a sequence of catastrophic events, the historical dialectic of domination and thereby elucidates aspects of civilization hitherto unexplained. We use Freud’s anthropological speculation only in this sense: for its symbolic value. The archaic events that the hypothesisstipulates may forever be beyond the realm of anthropological verification; the alleged consequences of these events are historical facts, and their interpretation in the light of Freud’s hypothesis lends them a neglected significance which points to the historical future. If the hypothesis defies common sense, it claims, in its defiance, a truth which common sense has been trained to forget.

In Freud’s construction, the first human group was established and sustained by the enforced rule of one individual over all others. At one time in the life of the genus man, life was organized by domination. And the man who succeeded in dominating the others was the father — that is to say, the man who possessed the desired women and who had, with them, produced and kept alive the sons and daughters. The father monopolized for himself the woman (the supreme pleasure) and subjugated the other members of the horde to his power. Did he succeed in establishing his dominion because he succeeded in excluding them from supreme pleasure? In any case, for the group as a whole, the monopolization of pleasure meant an unequal distribution of pain:… the fate of the sons was a hard one; if they excited the father’s jealousy they were killed or castrated or driven out. They were forced to live in small communities and to provide themselves with wives by stealing them from others.”7 The burden of whatever work had to be done in the primal horde would have been placed on the sons who, by their exclusion from the pleasure reserved for the father, had now become “free” for the channeling of instinctual energy into unpleasurable but necessary activities. The constraint on the gratification of instinctual needs imposed by the father, the suppression of pleasure, thus not only was the result of domination but also created the mental preconditions for the continued functioning of domination.

In this organization of the primal horde, rationality and irrationality, biological and sociological factors, the common and the particular interest are inextricably intertwined. The primal horde is a temporarily functioning group, which sustains itself in some sort of order; it may therefore be assumed that the patriarchal despotism which established this order was “rational” to the extent to which it created and preserved the group — thereby the reproduction of the whole and the common interest. Setting the model for the subsequent development of civilization, the primal father prepared the ground for progress through enforced constraint on pleasure and enforced abstinence; he thus created the first preconditions for the disciplined “labor force” of the future. Moreover, this hierarchical division of pleasure was “justified” by protection, security, and even love: because the despot was the father, the hatred with which his subjects regarded him must from the beginning have been accompanied by a biological affection — ambivalent emotions which were expressed in the wish to replace and to imitate the father, to identify oneself with him, with his pleasure as well as with his power. The father establishes domination in his own interest, but in doing so he is justified by his age, by his biological function, and (most of all) by his success: he creates that “order” without which the group would immediately dissolve. In this role, the primal father foreshadows the subsequent domineering father-images under which civilization progressed. In his person and function, he incorporates the inner logic and necessity of the reality principle itself. He has “historical rights.”8

The reproductive order of the horde survived the primal father:

…one or the other son might succeed in attaining a situation similar to that of the father in the original horde. One favoured position came about in a natural way: it was that of the youngest son, who, protected by his mother’s love, could profit by his father’s advancing years and replace him after his death.9

Primal patriarchal despotism thus became an “effective” order. But the effectiveness of the superimposed organization of the horde must have been very precarious, and consequently the hatred against patriarchal suppression very strong. In Freud’s construction, this hatred culminates in the rebellion of the exiled sons, the collective killing and devouring of the father, and the establishment of the brother clan, which in turn deifies the assassinated father and introduces those taboos and restraints which, according to Freud, generate social morality. Freud’s hypothetical history of the primal horde treats the rebellion of the brothers as a rebellion against the father’s taboo on the women of the horde; no “social” protest against the unequal division of pleasure is involved. Consequently, in a strict sense, civilization begins only in the brother clan, when the taboos, now self-imposed by the ruling brothers, implement repression in the common interest of preserving the group as a whole. And the decisive psychological event which separates the brother clan from the primal horde is the development of guilt feeling. Progress beyond the primal horde — i.e., civilization — presupposes guilt feeling: it introjects into the individuals, and thus sustains, the principal prohibitions, constraints, and delays in gratification on which civilization depends.

It is a reasonable surmise that after the killing of the father a time followed when the brothers quarrelled among themselves for the succession, which each of them wanted to obtain for himself alone. They came to see that these fights were as dangerous as they were futile. This hard-won understanding — as well as the memory of the deed of liberation they had achieved together and the attachment that had grown up among them during the time of their exile — led at last to a union among them, a sort of social contract. Thus there came into being the first form of a social organization accompanied by a renunciation of instinctual gratification; recognition of mutual obligations; institutions declared sacred, which could not be broken — in short, the beginnings of morality and law.10

The rebellion against the father is rebellion against biologically justified authority; his assassination destroys the order which has preserved the life of the group. The rebels have committed a crime against the whole and thereby also against themselves. They are guilty before the others and before themselves, and they must repent. The assassination of the father is the supreme crime because the father established the order of reproductive sexuality and thus is, in his person, the genus which creates and preserves all individuals. The patriarch, father and tyrant in one, unites sex and order, pleasure and reality; he evokes love and hatred; heguarantees the biological and sociological basis on which the history of mankind depends. The annihilation of his person threatens to annihilate lasting group life itself and to restore the prehistoric and subhistoric destructive force of the pleasure principle. But the sons want the same thing as the father: they want lasting satisfaction of their needs. They can attain this objective only by repeating, in a new form, the order of domination which had controlled pleasure and thereby preserved the group. The father survives as the god in whose adoration the sinners repent so that they can continue to sin, while the new fathers secure those suppressions of pleasure which are necessary for preserving their rule and their organization of the group. The progress from domination by one to domination by several involves a “social spread” of pleasure and makes repression self-imposed in the ruling group itself: all its members have to obey the taboos if they want to maintain their rule. Repression now permeates the life of the oppressors themselves, and part of their instinctual energy becomes available for sublimation in “work.”

At the same time, the taboo on the women of the clan leads toexpansion and amalgamation with other hordes; organized sexuality begins that formation of larger units which Freud regarded as the function of Eros in civilization. The role of the women gains increasing importance. “A good part of the power which had become vacant through the father’s death passed to the women; the time of the matriarchate followed.”11 It seems essential for Freud’s hypothesis that in the sequence of the development toward civilization the matriarchal period is preceded by primal patriarchal despotism: the low degree of repressive domination, the extent of erotic freedom, which are traditionally associated with matriarchy appear, in Freud’s hypothesis, as consequences of the overthrow of patriarchal despotism rather than as primary “natural” conditions. In the development of civilization, freedom becomes possible only as liberation. Liberty follows domination — and leads to the reaffirmation of domination. Matriarchy is replaced by a patriarchal counter-revolution, and the latter is stabilized by the institutionalization of religion.

During that time a great social revolution had taken place. Matriarchy was followed by a restitution of the patriarchal order.The new fathers, it is true, never succeeded to the omnipotence of the primeval father. There were too many of them and they lived in larger communities than the original horde had been; they had to get on with one another and were restricted by social institutions.12

Male gods at first appear as sons by the side of the great mother-deities, but gradually they assume the features of the father; polytheism cedes to monotheism, and then returns the “one and only father deity whose power is unlimited.”13 Sublime and sublimated, original domination becomes eternal, cosmic, and good, and in this form guards the process of civilization. The “historical rights” of the primal father are restored.14

The sense of guilt, which, in Freud’s hypothesis, is intrinsic to the brother clan and its subsequent consolidation into the first “society,” is primarily guilt feeling about the perpetration of the supreme crime, patricide. Anxiety arises over the consequences of the crime. However, these consequences are twofold: they threaten to destroy the life of the group by the removal of the authority which (although in terror) had preserved the group; and, at the same time, this removal promises a society without the father — that is, without suppression and domination. Must it not be assumed that the sense of guilt reflects this twofold structure and its ambivalence? The rebellious parricides act only to forestall the first consequence, the threat: they reestablish domination by substituting many fathers for one, and then by deifying and internalizing the one father. But in doing so they betray the promise of their own deed — the promise of liberty. The despot-patriarch has succeeded in implanting his reality principle in the rebellious sons. Their revolt has, for a short span of time, broken the chain of domination; then the new freedom is again suppressed — this time by their own authority and action. Must not their sense of guilt include guilt about the betrayal and denial of their deed? Are they not guilty of restoring the repressive father, guilty of self-imposed perpetuation of domination? The question suggests itself if Freud’s phylogenetic hypothesis is confronted with his notion of the instinctual dynamic. As the reality principle takes root, even in its most primitive and most brutally enforced form, the pleasure principle becomes something frightful and terrifying; the impulses for free gratification meet with anxiety, and this anxiety calls for protection against them. The individuals have to defend themselves against the specter of their integral liberation from want and pain, against integral gratification. And the latter is represented by the woman who, as mother, has once, for the first and last time, provided such gratification. These are the instinctual factors which reproduce the rhythm of liberation and domination.

Through her sexual power, woman is dangerous to the community, the social structure of which rests on the fear displaced to the father. The king is slain by the people, not in order that they may be free, but that they may take upon themselves a heavier yoke, one that will protect them more surely from the mother.15


The king-father is slain not only because he imposes intolerable restraints but also because the restraints, imposed by an individual person, are not effective enough a “barrier to incest” not effective enough to cope with the desire to return to the mother.16 Liberation is therefore followed by ever “better” domination:

The development of the paternal domination into an increasingly powerful state system administered by man is thus a continuance of the primal repression, which has as its purpose the ever wider exclusion of woman.17

The overthrow of the king-father is a crime, but so is his restoration — and both are necessary for the progress of civilization. The crime against the reality principle is redeemed by the crime against the pleasure principle: redemption thus cancels itself. The sense of guilt is sustained in spite of repeated and intensified redemption: anxiety persists because the crime against the pleasure principle is not redeemed. There is guilt over a deed that has not been accomplished: liberation. Some of Freud’s formulations seem to indicate this: the sense of guilt was “the consequence of uncommitted aggression”; and

… it is not really a decisive matter whether one has killed one’s father or abstained from the deed; one must feel guilty in either case, for guilt is the expression of the conflict of ambivalence, the eternal struggle between Eros and the destructive or death instinct.18

Much earlier Freud spoke of a pre-existing sense of guilt, which seems to be “lurking” in the individual, ready and waiting to “assimilate” an accusation made against him.19 This notion seems to correspond to the idea of a “floating anxiety” which has subterranean roots even beneath the individual unconscious.

Freud assumes that the primal crime, and the sense of guilt attached to it, are reproduced, in modified forms, throughout history. The crime is re-enacted in the conflict of the old and new generation, in revolt and rebellion against established authority — and in subsequent repentance: in the restoration and glorification of authority. In explaining this strange perpetual recurrence, Freud suggested the hypothesis of thereturn of the repressed, which he illustrated by the psychology of religion. Freud thought that he had found traces of the patricide and of its “return” and redemption in the history of Judaism, which begins with the killing of Moses. The concrete implications of Freud’s hypothesis become clearer in his interpretation of anti-Semitism. He believed that anti-Semitism had deep roots in the unconscious: jealousy over the Jewish claim of being the “first-born, favorite child of God the Father”; dread of circumcision, associated with the threat of castration; and, perhaps most important, “grudge against the new religion” (Christianity) which was forced on many modern peoples “only in relatively recent times.” This grudge was “projected” onto the source from which Christianity came, namely, Judaism.20

If we follow this train of thought beyond Freud, and connect it with the twofold origin of the sense of guilt, the life and death of Christ would appear as a struggle against the father — and as a triumph over the father.21 The message of the Son was the message of liberation: the overthrow of the Law (which is domination) by Agape (which is Eros). This would fit in with the heretical image of Jesus as the Redeemer in the flesh, the Messiah who came to save man here on earth. Then the subsequent transubstantiation of the Messiah, the deification of the Son beside the Father, would be a betrayal of his message by his own disciples — the denial of the liberation in the flesh, the revenge on the redeemer. Christianity would then have surrendered the gospel of Agape-Eros again to the Law; the father-rule would be restored and strengthened. In Freudian terms, the primal crime could have been expiated, according to the message of the Son, in an order of peace and love on earth. It was not; it was rather superseded by another crime — that against the Son. With his transubstantiation, his gospel too was transubstantiated; his deification removed his message from this world. Suffering and repression were perpetuated.

This interpretation would lend added significance to Freud’s statement that the Christian peoples are “badly christened,” that “under the thin veneer of Christianity they have remained what their ancestors were, barbarically polytheistic.”22 They are “badly christened” in so far as they accept and obey the liberating gospel only in a highly sublimated form — which leaves the reality unfree as it was before. Repression (in the technical Freudian sense) played only a minor role in the institutionalization of Christianity. The transformation of the original content, the deflection from the original objective, took place in broad daylight, consciously, with public argumentation and justification. Equally open was the armed struggle of institutionalized Christianity against the heretics, who tried or allegedly tried to rescue the unsublimated content and the unsublimated objective. There were good rational motives behind the bloody wars against the Christian revolutions which filled the Christian era. However, the cruel and organized slaughter of Cathari, Albigensians, Anabaptists, of slaves, peasants, and paupers who revolted under the sign of the cross, the burning of witches and their defenders — this sadistic extermination of the weak suggests that unconscious instinctual forces broke through all the rationality and rationalization. The executioners and their bands fought the specter of a liberation which they desired but which they were compelled to reject. The crime against the Son must be forgotten in the killing of those whose practice recalls the crime. It took centuries of progress and domestication before the return of the repressed was mastered by the power and progress of industrial civilization. But at its late stage its rationality seems to explode in another return of the repressed. The image of liberation, which has become increasingly realistic, is persecuted the world over. Concentration and labor camps, the trials and tribulations of non-conformists release a hatred and fury which indicate the total mobilization against the return of the repressed.

If the development of religion contains the basic ambivalence — the image of domination and the image of liberation — then Freud’s thesis inThe Future of an Illusion must be re-evaluated. Freud there stressed the role of religion in the historical deflection of energy from the real improvement of the human condition to an imaginary world of eternal salvation. He thought that the disappearance of this illusion would greatly accelerate the material and intellectual progress of mankind, and he praised science and scientific reason as the great liberating antagonists of religion. Perhaps no other writing shows Freud closer to the great tradition of Enlightenment; but also no other shows him more clearly succumbing to the dialectic of Enlightenment. In the present period of civilization, the progressive ideas of rationalism can be recaptured only when they are reformulated. The function of science and of religion has changed — as has their interrelation. Within the total mobilization of man and nature which marks the period, science is one of the most destructive instruments — destructive of that freedom from fear which it once promised. As this promise evaporated into utopia, “scientific” becomes almost identical with denouncing the notion of an earthly paradise. The scientific attitude has long since ceased to be the militant antagonist of religion, which has equally effectively discarded its explosive elements and often accustomed man to a good conscience in the face of suffering and guilt. In the household of culture, the functions of science and religion tend to become complementary; through their present usage, they both deny the hopes which they once aroused and teach men to appreciate the facts in a world of alienation. In this sense, religion is no longer an illusion, and its academic promotion falls in line with the predominant positivistic trend.23 Where religion still preserves the uncompromised aspirations for peace and happiness, its “illusions” still have a higher truth value than science which works for their elimination. The repressed and transfigured content of religion cannot be liberated by surrendering it to the scientific attitude.

Freud applies the notion of the return of the repressed, which was elaborated in the analysis of the history of individual neuroses,24 to the general history of mankind. This step from individual to group psychology introduces one of the most controversial problems: How can the historical return of the repressed be understood?

In the course of thousands of centuries it certainly became forgotten that there was a primeval father …, and what fate he met. … In what sense, therefore, can there be any question of a tradition?25

Freud’s answer, which assumes “an impression of the past in unconscious memory traces,” has encountered widespread rejection. However, the assumption loses much of its fantastic character if it is confronted with the concrete and tangible factors which refresh the memory of every generation. In enumerating the conditions under which the repressed material may penetrate into consciousness, Freud mentions a strengthening of the instincts “attached to the repressed material,” and events and experiences “which are so much like the repressed material that they have the power to awaken it.”26 As an example for the strengthening of the instincts he cites the “processes during puberty.” Under the impact of the ripening genital sexuality, there reappear in the

…phantasies of all persons the infantile tendencies … and among them one finds in regular frequency and in the first place, the sexual feeling of the child for the parents. Usually, this has already been differentiated by sexual attraction, namely, the attraction of the son for the mother, and of the daughter for the father. Simultaneously with the overcoming and rejection of these distinctly incestuous phantasies, there occurs one of the most important as well as one of the most painful psychic accomplishments of puberty; it is the breaking away from the parental authority, through which alone is formed that opposition between the new and old generation, which is so important for cultural progress.27

The events and experiences which may “awaken” the repressed material — even without a specific strengthening of the instincts attached to it — are, at the societal level, encountered in the institutions and ideologies which the individual faces daily and which reproduce, in their very structure, both domination and the impulse to overthrow it (family, school, workshop and office, the state, the law, the prevailing philosophy and morality). The decisive difference between the primal situation and its civilized historical return is, of course, that in the latter the ruler-father is normally no longer killed and eaten, and that domination is normally no longer personal. The ego, the superego, and the external reality have done their work — but “it is not really a decisive matter whether one has killed one’s father or abstained from the deed,” if the function of the conflict and its consequences are the same.

In the Oedipus situation, the primal situation recurs under circumstances which from the beginning assure the lasting triumph of the father. But they also assure the life of the son and his future ability to take the father’s place. How did civilization achieve this compromise? The multitude of somatic, mental, and social processes which resulted in this achievement are practically identical with the contents of Freud’s psychology. Force, identification, repression, sublimation co-operate in the formation of the ego and superego. The function of the father is gradually transferred from his individual person to his social position, to his image in the son (conscience), to God, to the various agencies and agents which teach the son to become a mature and restrained member of his society. Ceteris paribus, the intensity of restraint and renunciation involved in this process is probably not smaller than it was in the primal horde. However, they are more rationally distributed between father and son and among society as a whole; and the rewards, though not greater, are relatively secure. The monogamic family, with its enforceable obligations for the father, restricts his monopoly of pleasure; the institution of inheritable private property, and the universalization of labor, give the son a justified expectancy of his own sanctioned pleasure in accordance with his socially useful performances. Within this framework of objective laws and institutions, the processes of puberty lead to the liberation from the father as a necessary and legitimate event. It is nothing short of a mental catastrophe — but it is nothing more. Then the son leaves the patriarchal family and sets out to become a father and boss himself.

The transformation of the pleasure principle into the performance principle, which changes the despotic monopoly of the father into restrained educational and economic authority, also changes the original object of the struggle: the mother. In the primal horde, the image of the desired woman, the mistress-wife of the father, was Eros and Thanatos in immediate, natural union. She was the aim of the sex instincts, and she was the mother in whom the son once had that integral peace which is the absence of all need and desire — the Nirvana before birth. Perhaps the taboo on incest was the first great protection against the death instinct: the taboo on Nirvana, on the regressive impulse for peace which stood in the way of progress, of Life itself. Mother and wife were separated, and the fatal identity of Eros and Thanatos was thus dissolved. With regard to the mother, sensual love becomes aim-inhibited and transformed into affection (tenderness). Sexuality and affection are divorced; only later they are to meet again in the love to the wife which is sensual as well as tender, aim-inhibited as well as aim-attaining.28 Tenderness is created out of abstinence — abstinence first enforced by the primal father. Once created, it becomes the psychical basis not only for the family but also for the establishment of lasting group relations:

the primal father had prevented his sons from satisfying their directly sexual tendencies; he forced them into abstinence and consequently into the emotional ties with him and with one another which could arise out of those of their tendencies that were inhibited in their sexual aim. He forced them, so to speak, into group psychology.29

At this level of civilization, within the system of rewarded inhibitions, the father can be overcome without exploding the instinctual and social order: his image and his function now perpetuate themselves in every child — even if it does not know him. He merges with duly constituted authority. Domination has outgrown the sphere of personal relationships and created the institutions for the orderly satisfaction of human needs on an expanding scale. But it is precisely the development of these institutions which undermines the established basis of civilization. Its inner limits appear in the late industrial age.


1 Freud, Moses and Monotheism (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1949), p. 157.

2 Alexander, The Psychoanalysis of the Total Personality (New York: Nervous and Mental Disease Monograph No. 52, 1929), p. 7.

3 Freud, Moses and Monotheism, p. 158.

4 “Analysis Terminable and Interminable,” in Collected Papers (London: Hogarth Press, 1950), V, 343.

5 Ibid., pp. 343–344. Italics added.

6 In his paper on the “Mutual Influences in the Development of Ego and Id,” Heinz Hartmann stresses the phylogenetic aspect: the “differentiation of ego and id, developed by whatever process of evolution through hundreds of thousands of years, is in the form of a disposition, in part an innate character of man.” However, he assumes a “primary autonomy in ego development.” Hartmann’s paper is in The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, Vol. VII (New York: International Universities Press, 1952).

7 Moses and Monotheism, p. 128.

8 Ibid., p. 135.

9 Ibid., p. 128.

10 Ibid., p. 129.

11 Ibid., pp. 129–130.

12 Ibid., pp. 131–132.

13 Ibid.

14 Ibid., pp. 135–136.

15 Otto Rank, The Trauma of Birth (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1929), p. 93.

16 Ibid., p. 92.

17 Ibid., p. 94.

18 Civilization and Its Discontents (London: Hogarth Press, 1949), pp. 128, 121.

19 “Psychoanalysis and the Ascertaining of Truth in Courts of Law,” in Collected Papers, II, 23.

20 Moses and Monotheism, pp. 144f

21 See Erich Fromm, Die Entwicklung des Christusdogmas (Vienna: Internationaler Psychoanalytischer Verlag, 1931).

22 Moses and Monotheism, p. 145.

23 See Max Horkheimer, “Der neueste Angriff auf die Metaphysik,” in Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung, VI (1937), 4ff.

24 “Repression,” in Collected Papers, IV, 93.

25 Moses and Monotheism, p. 148.

26 Ibid., p. 150.

27 Three Contributions to the Theory of Sex, in The Basic Writings of Sigmund Freud (New York: Modern Library, 1938), pp. 617–618. See also Anna Freud,The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defense (London: Hogarth Press, 1937), Chaps. 11, 12.

28 Three Contributions to the Theory of Sex, pp. 599, 615; Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego (New York: Liveright Publishing Corp., 1949), pp. 117–118; Civilization and Its Discontents, p. 71.

29 Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego, p. 94.


some questions off the top of my head:

it’s easy to say “no gods, no masters” but if god and ideology are connected, how do we worship? are we ideological about being right? about not believing in anything?

how has marcuse been shown to be wrong/right in the our time?

what do people know about/think about freud?

what do you think about the “women’s sexuality is seen as dangerous” explanation for (strict) sexual morality?