[...] Rooting his vision of human liberation in the Frankfurt School notion of the embeddedness of human beings in nature, Marcuse believed that until aggression and violence within human beings was diminished, there would necessarily be continued destruction of nature, as well as violence against other human beings. [...]
Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov, an impoverished St. Petersburg ex-student who formulates and executes a plan to kill a hated, unscrupulous pawnbroker for her money, thereby solving his financial problems and at the same time, he argues, ridding the world of an evil, worthless parasite. Raskolnikov also strives to be an extraordinary being, similar to Napoleon, believing that murder is permissible in pursuit of a higher purpose.The novel does not so much deal with the crime and its formal punishment, as with Raskolnikov's internal struggle. The book shows that his punishment results more from his conscience than from the law. He committed murder with the belief that he possessed enough intellectual and emotional fortitude to deal with the ramifications, [based on his paper/thesis, "On Crime", that he is a Napoleon], but his sense of guilt soon overwhelms him. It is only in the epilogue that his formal punishment is realized, having decided to confess and end his alienation.The moral-psychological traits of his character incorporate this antinomy between instinctive kindness, sympathy, and pity on the one hand and, on the other, a proud and idealistic egoism that has become perverted into a contemptuous disdain for the submissive herd. Raskolnikov's inner conflict in the opening section of the novel results in a utilitarian-altruistic justification for the proposed crime: why not kill a wretched and "useless" old moneylender to alleviate the human misery? Dostoevsky wants to show that this utilitarian type of reasoning and its conclusions had become widespread and commonplace; they were by no means the solitary invention of Raskolnikov's tormented and disordered mind. Such radical and utilitarian ideas act to reinforce the innate egoism of Raskonikov's character, and to turn him into a hater rather than a lover of his fellow humans. He even becomes fascinated with the majestic image of a Napoleonic personality who, in the interests of a higher social good, believes that he possesses a moral right to kill. Indeed, his "Napoleon-like" plan drags him to a well-calculated murder, the ultimate conclusion of his self-deception with utilitarianism.Although Raskolnikov eventually comes to the realization that happiness cannot be achieved by a reasoned plan of existence but must be earned by suffering, I would not place Camus's Meursault on the same par with him: in fact, it may well be argued that Raskolnikov is a product of his environment, and the main theme of the work is poverty and its results.
You've got to be kidding us, lawn! You obviously don't have the slighest idea what does it feel like to kill. Here it is how researchers have described the whole process: Concern about Being Able to Kill. Holmes' research indicates that one of the soldier's first emotional responses to killing is a concern as to whether, at the moment of truth, he will be able to kill the enemy or will "freeze up" and "let his buddies down." Interviewers and researchers have verified that these are deep and sincere concerns that exist on the part of most soldiers, and it must be remembered that only 15-20% of U.S. World War II riflemen went beyond this first stage. Too much concern and fear can result in fixation, resulting in an obsession with killing on the part of the soldier. This can also be seen in peacetime psychopathologies when individuals become fixated or obsessed with killing. In soldiers -- and in individuals fixated with killing in peacetime -- this fixation often comes to a conclusion through step two of the process: killing. If a killing circumstance never arises, individuals may continue to feed their fixation by living in a fantasy world of Hollywood-inspired killing, or they may resolve their fixation through the final stage, rationalization and acceptance. The Killing Stage: "Without even thinking." Usually killing in combat is completed in the heat of the moment, and for the modern, properly conditioned soldier, killing in such a circumstance is most often completed reflexively, without conscious thought. Being unable to kill is a very common experience. If on the battlefield the soldier finds himself unable to kill, he can either begin to rationalize what has occurred, or he can become fixated and traumatized by his inability to kill. The Exhilaration Stage: "I had a Feeling of the Most Intense Satisfaction." The adrenaline of combat can be greatly increased by another high: the high of killing. What hunter of marksman has not felt a thrill of pleasure and satisfaction upon dropping his target? In combat this thrill can be greatly magnified and can be especially prevalent when the kill is completed at medium to long range. Fighter pilots, by their nature, and due to the long range of their kills, appear to be particularly susceptible to such killing addiction. For some combatants the lure of exhiliration may become more than a passing occurrence. A few may become fixated in the exhiliration stage and never feel remorse. The Remorse Stage: A Collage of Pain and Horror. The tremendous and intense remorse and revulsion associated with a close-range kill is expressed in these words: Quote"... my experience, was one of revulsion and disgust... I dropped my weapon and cried... There was so much blood... I vomited... And I cried... I felt remorse and shame. I can remember whispering foolishly, "I'm sorry" and then just throwing up."Whether the killer denies his remorse, deals with it, or is overwhelmed by it, it is nevertheless there, almost always. The killer's remorse is real, it is common, it is intense, and it is something that he must deal with for the rest of his life. The Rationalization and Acceptance Stage: "It Took All the Rationalization I Could Muster." The next personal-kill response stage is a lifelong process in which the killer attempts to rationalize and accept what he has done. This process may never truly be completed. The killer never completely leaves all remorse and guilt beyond, but he can usually come to accept that what he has done was necessary and right. In personal accounts of those who have killed one may notice the use of specific words. At first, for instance, use of words such as "he" "him" and "his" shows the recognition of the killer's humanity. But then the enemy's weapon is noted, the rationalization process begins, and "he" becomes "the body" and ultimately the "gook." Once the process begins, irrational and irrelevant supporting evidence is gathered, and the possession of, say, U.S.-made shoes and a watch becomes a cause for depersonalization rather than identification.
"... my experience, was one of revulsion and disgust... I dropped my weapon and cried... There was so much blood... I vomited... And I cried... I felt remorse and shame. I can remember whispering foolishly, "I'm sorry" and then just throwing up."
Very much like Erich Fromm's worldview, his interpretation of the Talmud, his interpretation of the biblical story of Adam and Eve's exile from the Garden of Eden. Drawing on his knowledge of the Talmud, Fromm pointed out that being able to distinguish between good and evil is generally considered to be a virtue, and that biblical scholars generally consider Adam and Eve to have sinned by disobeying God and eating from the Tree of Knowledge. However, departing from traditional religious orthodoxy, Fromm extolled the virtues of humans taking independent action and using reason to establish moral values. rather than adhering to authoritarian moral values.Beyond a simple condemnation of authoritarian value systems, Fromm used the story of Adam and Eve as an allegorical explanation for human biological evolution and existential angst, asserting that when Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge, they became aware of themselves as being separate from nature while still being part of it. This is why they felt "naked" and "ashamed": they had evolved into human beings, conscious of themselves, their own mortality, and their powerlessness before the forces of nature and society, and no longer united with the universe as they were in their instinctive, pre-human existence as animals. According to Fromm, the awareness of a disunited human existence is a source of guilt and shame, and the solution to this existential dichotomy is found in the development of one's uniquely human powers of love and reason.
Part of what makes Raskonikov such an enduring, compelling, and frightening character is the way he is able to coldly rationalize murder and evil. In his mind, when how the woman is "useful to anyone at all" he is suggesting that there are people who do not deserve to live and since his purposes are noble (he is not, after all, murdering her for the sheer joy of crime but in order to help his family and secure a good life for himself late) then his crime is justified. Although the guilt tears him apart, at no point does he ever seem to wonder about if what he did was right or wrong necessarily, but his guilt stems from a more complex set of reasons — not the least of which is the involvement of Sonia. For this essay, examine the many ways in which Raskolnikov is able to rationalize sin and close the essay with your insights on what this means.
Freud conceives the death instinct as a biological drive of life to return to the inanimate. The life instinct defends against this self-destructive drive of the death instinct both by projecting it externally as aggression and by binding it internally in sadomasochistic forms. Freud links an array of clinical phenomena, the repetition compulsion, sadomasochism, melancholia, obsessional neuroses, trauma, the negative therapeutic reaction, aggression, and self-destructiveness, to the workings of the death instinct. Klein and Bion and their followers emphasize the significance of the death instinct in psychological development and in trauma, psychosis, and character disorders. The question of whether there exists in human beings a force of primal destructiveness is a central question raised by Freud's concept of a death instinct. Freud's formulations of the death instinct and its Nirvana principle were instigated by reflections on the repetition compulsion that lends a haunted, daemonic, or fateful quality to our lives. The repetition compulsion, and thus the idea of a death instinct, has an archetypal basis in the myth of the eternal return and that Freud's linking of the repetition compulsion to a death instinct is an intuitive but unrealized mythologizing. The death instinct is divested of the rational, scientific claims Freud so persistently makes for it, and is allowed to reconstitute in the domain of metaphysics and myth. On the basis of ideas from the works of Eliade, Jung, and Hillman, it is suggested that in Freud's concept of a self-annihilatory death instinct, the Nirvana principle stands for an unattainable spiritual life that is repressed as death.The link between concrete instances of repetition in everyday life and the larger and seemingly unrelated philosophical issues associated with eternal return is established in certain passages of "Thus Spake Zarathustra" and his autobiographical "Ecce Homo," as well as passages from other writings. A close reading of these passages confirms the legitimacy of thinking about eternal return in terms of concretely lived experiences. This leads into the heart of psychoanalytic practice, the alpha and omega of which is the repetition compulsion in its manifestation as transference. Here linear history appears to be abolished and replaced by a sense of timelessness and endless circularity. The analysand repeats entire episodes of his or her affective life without realizing that the seemingly novel interactions with the analyst are, in effect, new additions of old but unconscious experience patterns. Linear history and eternal return coexist in this paradox of transference.
The question of the purpose of human life has been raised countless times; it has never yet received a satisfactory answer and perhaps does not admit of one. (...) It looks (...) as though one had a right to dismiss the question, for it seems to derive from the human presumptuousness, many other manifestations of which are already familiar to us. Nobody talks about the purpose of the life of animals (…) One can hardly be wrong in concluding that the idea of life having a purpose stands and falls with the religious system.
Gay people are spiritually different from the rest of society. They are more in touch with nature, bodily pleasure, the true essence of human nature. They seek to refashion the world after their egalitarian, non-hierarchical views. What drives them is a belief that sexuality is sacred. A belief that queer sexuality has an essential outsider quality that makes the outcast homosexual the perfect prophet for a heterosexual world lost in strict gender roles, enforced reproductive sexuality and numbingly straitjacketed social personae. A cross between born-again queers and in-your-face shock troops practicing g e n d e r @ # ! * drag.