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Current Law Students / Re: Legal Reasoning
« on: February 25, 2012, 03:26:21 PM »

niki, Freudian theories do not necessarily rule out a free, non-repressive society. Freud's speculation that civilisation is originally based on a necessary sexual repression recognized for its merits, it has been suggested that:

(1) only a part of this has come from the conditions of scarcity which obliged humans to work, with another part coming from living in class-divided societies where ruling classes impose an extra repression over and above that arising from natural scarcity,

(2) with the coming of automation and the like, scarcity has now been conquered. This being so, sexual repression -- that imposed by natural conditions as well as that imposed by class-divided society -- is no longer necessary. Civilization need no longer be based on sexual repression. A free, non-repressive society is possible.

Herbert Marcuse has in fact explained why people accept capitalism -- they have been psychologically manipulated into wanting it. In other words, their basic "instincts" have been remoulded so as to fit in with capitalist society. The issue now is how will such people come to want to get rid of capitalism.


It could not be otherwise. If the humanization of the oppressed signifies subversion, so also does their freedom; hence the necessity for constant control. And the more the oppressors control the oppressed, the more they change them into apparently inanimate "things." This tendency of the oppressor consciousness to "in-animate" everything and everyone it encounters, in its eagerness to possess, unquestionably corresponds with a tendency to sadism. Fromm maintained that,

The pleasure in complete domination over another person (or other animate creature) is the very essence of the sadistic drive. Another way of formulating the same thought is to say that the aim of sadism is to transform a man into a thing, something animate into something inanimate, since by complete and absolute control the living loses one essential quality of life -- freedom

Sadistic love is a perverted love -- a love of death, not of life. One of the characteristics of the oppressor consciousness and its necrophilic view of the world is thus sadism. As the oppressor consciousness, in order to dominate, tries to deter to search, the restlessness, and the creative power which characterize life, it kills life. More and more, the oppressors are using science and technology as unquestionably powerful instruments for their purpose: the maintenance of the oppressive order through manipulation and repression. The oppressed, as objects, as "things," have no purposes except those their oppressors prescribe for them.


I can make sense of this - in the Western world people tend to treat each-other as objects when it comes to sex too - people collide, go to bed because of some kind of "chemistry," and then "split" when the chemistry is "gone," veering off in different directions until they each collide with someone else. They can go through dozens of relationships in this way, blind to their own feelings and oblivious to the feelings of their lovers. Nothing changes in these relationships—and nothing changes from one relationship to the next—because nothing is revealed.

In the matings based on "chemistry", as opposed to romantic love, people never open themselves up emotionally and so they can never break down the wall that separates them from the other "body" in bed. Even the sex is often only "intercourse" in a technical sense because there isn't any real commingling of pleasure, only an exercise in mutual masturbation.

Freud once described every sexual act "as a process in which four persons are involved,"  by which he meant, among other things, the fantasy that each person takes to bed along with his or her lover. In sex without tenderness, you never escape that fantasy because you never have any contact emotionally with the other person: you are making love, not to them, but to an image in your head. You are locked up inside yourself, as is your partner, and so it helps if you don't have to look at his or her face, which accounts to some extent for the growing popularity of oral sex.

Current Law Students / Re: 1 year later....still glad u went to law school?
« on: February 25, 2012, 03:24:32 PM »

When people stub their toe, they get angry, curse, and through hobbled grimace and gritted teeth, ignore the pain. How much quicker the heal and more pleasant the day, if that poor throbbing toe were held and its pain acknowledged instead.

Then comforted by warm, sympathetic hands till pain eases and ends. After all, no matter the shoe, the speed, or the rocky path pointed, the toe never lets body down.

If small this change in thought does seem, apply that small principle to a larger scale, and note what differences result with change of belief. When the body is sick or diseased, the prescribed policy is to view the disease with winner-loser hostility. Rather than stiffening resolve and muscle and steadying nerve to control pain, rather than declaring all-out war and focusing energy and resources on destroying the invader, flip perspectives instead.

Focus light on body's plight, for it's every bit in need of caress as that stubbed toe once was. Accept the pain, validate its existence. The body system may be confused as to which is friend and which is foe. The body for allowing disease to enter or disease for daring to enter? Wars are always confusing. As peace can follow surrender in war, heal and cure can follow surrender in body disease.

[...] Applying the simple principle further, farther, wider; how far from acceptance and cooperation ever healing is? Both come inextricably bound and wound when love visits. When children stub their toe, they cry out in acknowledgment of pain.

With love in heart and hand, adults comfort and massage their sore wee toe and kiss and cuddle to ease pain.

I wonder if we do not view each other as stubbed toes too-often, and too-readily in life. It seems avoidance is easier than care, anger is faster than understanding, complaint is quicker than compliment, and ignoring common, if not prevalent.

When others hurt, they are generally left to fend for themselves, as stubbed toe often must do. When our children hurt, we hurt too. What's the difference?

Other than pedigree and proximity, nothing.

injunction, these are some great words, but truth-be-told, we're not taught to "acknowledge the pain," (we're actually told to "take it like a man")!

When love visits?! As things are - as you even say it yourself - those visitations are "allowed" for children only, so to speak! I mean, would you expect much tenderness and affection displayed before (let alone after) the, let's say, average sexual relationship? With people going thru hundreds of partners - and with your wife having become like your sister to you - what kind of affection would you expect to show towards your partner? It's more like sex conducted in a militaristic manner, just like you do it in the middle of a mess (all that other stuff you've to do)!

But your idea, of love being an end in itself, is truly great!

manual, could you please expand a bit? Sounds to me really interesting ..


Depressive position

In the depressive position, the infant is able to experience others as whole, which radically alters object relationships from the earlier phase. Before the depressive position, a good object is not in any way the same thing as a bad object. It is only in the depressive position that polar qualities can be seen as different aspects of the same object. Increasing nearness of good and bad brings a corresponding integration of ego. [...] In a development termed the "primal split," the infant becomes aware of separateness from the mother. This awareness allows guilt to arise in response to the infant's previous aggressive phantasies when bad was split from good. The mother's temporary absences allow for continuous restoration of her "as an image of representation" in the infant mind. Symbolic thought may now arise, and can only emerge once access to the depressive position has been obtained. With the awareness of the primal split, a space is created in which the symbol, the symbolized, and the experiencing subject coexist. History, subjectivity, interiority, and empathy all become possible. [...]


In working through depressive anxiety, projections are withdrawn, allowing the other more autonomy, reality, and a separate existence. The infant, whose destructive phantasies were directed towards the bad mother who frustrated, now begins to realize that bad and good, frustrating and satiating, it is always the same mother [...]


From this developmental milestone come a capacity for sympathy, responsibility to and concern for others, and an ability to identify with the subjective experience of people one cares about. With the withdrawal of the destructive projections, repression of the aggressive impulses takes place. The child allows caretakers a more separate existence, which facilitates increasing differentiation of inner and outer reality [...]  When all goes well, the developing child is able to comprehend that external others are autonomous people with their own needs and subjectivity.


Now some of you might say this 'breast' thing is all feasible ...  it makes sense ... and yet, one might naturally pose the question: what about children who never had a female figure near during their childhood? What about, for instance, babies raised by gay partners (males) that we see more and more these days?

Klein put down in words her intuitions during a time when gay parenting and the like, e.g., were not even thought of - I'd guess, her theories need a bit revision. I don't want to sound rude, but speaking nowadays in her terms is a bit funny!



The theory or the "model" at the base of author's reflections is Bion's model "container-contained", also called his "theory of thinking". [...] It is at one and the same time: the model of conception (penis-in-vagina), gestation (embryo-in-uterus), alimentation (nipple-in-mouth) and elimination (faeces-in-colon). This fundamental pattern -- 'one thing inside another', as Bion simply calls it -- in its many variations and permutations, forms the model for all human somatopsychological experience from the very beginning of life.

Bion posits a "place" or an "object", which he calls the "container", whose purpose is to take up a "something" which needs to be contained. Through this process both container and that-which-is-to-be-contained are transformed, and something new, a "third" element comes into being. [...] Bion's starting point is what he refers to as the "proto-mental", the somato-psychic level of experiences, consisting of emotional entities "in the raw", which to he gives the name "beta elements". According to Bion, these bits of raw sense data are, as it were, "looking for", or "in search of" a place where they can grow and be transformed into thoughts, dreams ideas, myths, etc. For in Bion's theory of thinking, all thoughts exist a priori to their being actually thought; that is to say, they are simply 'there' in some potential space/time, independent of there being a thinker to think them. Bion's image of thoughts simply being "there" without having found a thinker to think them yet, is reminiscent of Luigi Pirandello's drama "Six Characters in Search of an Author." They, too, these six characters "exist" ostensibly a priori to an author's mind having created them, and their search can be thought of as being analogous to the "searching" of thoughts for a mind, for a thinker to think them.

When these "thoughts without a thinker" find such a "nesting place" in the mind of a "host" (mother, therapist, consultant, supervisor, leader etc.) so to speak, they can then be transformed into so-called "alpha elements" through the state of mind which Bion has named "reverie", and the process which he has called "alpha function." He emphasizes, however, that he neither knows what alpha-function is or how it functions, he just knows that it does! [...] It all depends, he says, on the presence of "negative capability", i.e. the capability to take in without judging and without explanation, the ability just to "be with one's experience", to tolerate uncertainty, mystery and doubt without any "irritable grasping for facts and reason."

When the containing object (the psyche of the container) takes up the contained (i.e. the projected, the not-understood, the painful, needy, as yet uncontained, unthinkable beta elements) from the subject, it must be capable of carrying out this metabolic, disentangling process within itself, in order to be able to feed it back to the subject in small, digestible doses, so that it can now be metabolised by the subject and used for mental growth, rather than being simply expelled, "spat out" again as mentally indigestible.

Negative capability, which enables the object to "dream" (reverie) upon, to ponder and reflect upon these projected parts, requires a state of mind which Bion calls "patience" and which gradually changes into a state of mind which he calls "certainty" when the "to-be-contained" has been understood, detoxicated and re-presented to the subject. [...] This, then, is the process which, according to Bion, has to take place in every mother, in every therapist, consultant or supervisor, in every leader if he  has the intention of being helpful to his/her "baby" (patient, client, supervisee, client system, team, staff, organisation, company, nation or people), and to the extent to which the necessity of performing a containing function for those who are to follow his or her lead is both recognised and possible.

This appears to be quite interesting to me - could someone provide a link where I can read the whole thing - I mean, Bion's theory of the Container/Contained?

that guest - are you trying to be a smart a s s here, pulling our legs, or what?!

This guy is an a s s - and when I say an a s s, I mean a TOTAL A S S - and you want a link where to read all his crap?! Container-Contained, d i c k-in-a-p u s s y and * & ^ % like that!

But it's not his fault, it's the fault of all the a s s e s that read and print him!

I mean, we've read a lot of crazy stuff before, Freud too used to be a moron, but not THIS moronic! Or better to say, because we've been reading him for such a long time, we've kinda gotten used to his * & ^ % a little by little!

Anyways, looks like that's how this thing works, they see people kinda accept one guy's * & ^ %, and they go for their own * & ^ %, hoping they won't look to people as idiotic as they truly are!

I wouldn't use the exact kind of words towards Bion and others (Object Relations Theory) - I get it he relied a lot on Klein's theory and from what I can search on this very very board, her theory sounds a bit unusual. Here's a quote:

[...] [Projection] helps the ego to overcome anxiety by ridding it of danger and badness. Introjection of the good object is also used by the ego as a defense against anxiety.... The processes of splitting off parts of the self and projecting them into objects are thus of vital importance for normal development as well as for abnormal object-relation. The effect of introjection on object relations is equally important. The introjection of the good object, first of all the mother's breast, is a precondition for normal development ... It comes to form a focal point in the ego and makes for cohesiveness of the ego.... I suggest for these processes the term 'projective identification.'

Klein imagined this function as a defense which contributes to the normal development of the infant, including ego structure and the development of object relations. The introjection of the good breast provides a location where one can hide from persecution, an early step in developing a capacity to self-soothe. [...] The positions of Kleinian theory, underlain by unconscious phantasy, are stages in the normal development of ego and object relationships, each with its own characteristic defenses and organizational structure. The paranoid-schizoid and depressive positions occur in the pre-oedipal, oral phase of development.

[...] Klein believed that both good and bad objects are introjected by the infant, the internalization of good object being essential to the development of healthy ego function. Klein conceptualized the depressive position as "the most mature form of psychological organization," which continues to develop throughout the life span. The depressive position occurs during the second quarter of the first year. Prior to that the infant is in the paranoid-schizoid position, which is characterized by persecutory anxieties and the mechanisms of splitting, projection, introjection, and omnipotence—which includes idealizing and denial—to defend against these anxieties. Depressive and paranoid-schizoid modes of experience continue to intermingle throughout the first few years of childhood.

The paranoid-schizoid position is characterized by part object relationships. Part objects are a function of splitting, which takes place in phantasy. At this developmental stage, experience can only be perceived as all good or all bad. As part objects, it is the function that is identified by the experiencing self, rather than whole and autonomous others. The hungry infant desires the good breast who feeds it. Should that breast appear, it is the good breast. If the breast does not appear, the hungry and now frustrated infant in its distress, has destructive phantasies dominated by oral aggression towards the bad, hallucinated breast.

Klein notes that in splitting the object, the ego is also split. The infant who phantasies destruction of the bad breast is not the same infant that takes in the good breast, at least not until obtaining the depressive position, at which point good and bad can be tolerated simultaneously in the same person and the capacity for remorse and reparation ensue.



After a verbose preamble, which among other things informs you helpfully that "behavior becomes unacceptable when it infringes on the rights of others," the  Code of Conduct of the Public Library of the city where I live provides thirty-one examples of unacceptable conduct. These examples can be sorted into five general categories:

1. Highly site-specific regulations (i.e., "Eating or Drinking," "Overcrowding at Study Tables or Carrels (limit of 4 per study table").
2. Behavior associated with street people ("Bathing/Washing Clothes," "Lack of Shoes or Shirt," "Loitering including refusal to leave at closing").
3. Behavior evincing failures of basic acculturation mechanisms ("Obscene Language," "Body Odor/Perfume/Cologne (Excessive) which Elicits General Complaint or Causes Discomfort to Other Library Users," "Excessive Public Displays of Affection").
4. General criminal behavior ("Theft," "Gambling" "Physical, Sexual or Verbal Abuse or Harassment of Library Users or Staff").
5. Criminalized behavior associated with mental illness or substance abuse ("Exhibitionism/Flashing," "Visible Drug or Alcohol Intoxication," "Voyeurism/Peeping").


[...] How well does this theory apply to a typical piece of modern bureaucratic regulation? Or the types of behavior the library code prohibits, you might note that only those listed in the first category can be thought to convey useful information to any minimally socialized member of the community. There could be a real reason as to whether you're allowed to bring a bag of pretzels into the library, but do you really require "notice" that you can't snatch purses, expose yourself to patrons, do your laundry in the bathroom, or play high-stakes poker in the reference area? Suppose you hadn't been given notice of any of these things; does it follow you're free to claim as a defense insufficient publicity on the part of the state?

Can there be any non-psychotic person of minimally functional intelligence who would suppose that any of the things on this list, other than those dealt with in the most site-specific regulations, were not prohibited? [...] So here we seem to be faced with a wholly superfluous invocation of legal rules: rules that merely reflect tacit social understandings that themselves have no apparent need to be cast into a public legal text.


Posting a public notice of the unacceptability of theft, or of exhibitionism, or of physical and sexual abuse, is very much like passing yet another law providing still more penalties for the sale of already illegal drugs. Such actions represent our legal culture's equivalent to the practice of nailing garlic over doorways to repel vampires. In each case a psychological imperative born of a sense of lack of control, and of the fear and anxiety this sensation produces, demands of us that we "do something." Those same factors then lead us to do things that appear in the cold light of rational analysis to be almost wholly irrational.

Funny I read the other day a joke - it kinda illustrates what's talked about here:

Little Johnny is riding a bike to the street corner and he sees a cop riding a horse. The cop asks "Did Santa give you that bike?" and Johnny replies "Yes!" so the cop hands him over a ticket and says, "Here, next year, tell Santa to put lights on it!"

Johnny gets annoyed and asks "Did Santa give you that horse?" The cop plays along by telling him "Yes!" and Johnny tells him "Next year, tell him the d i c k goes under the horse, not on top of it!" and rides off on his bike.

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