Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: INSTITUTIONAL DENIAL ABOUT THE DARK SIDE OF LAW SCHOOL  (Read 109426 times)

millie

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
Re: TMT
« Reply #500 on: July 13, 2010, 05:24:04 PM »

I tend to believe Sartre's philosophy is so pessimistic because it was written during the Nazi occupation of France where Sartre was living. The peace ended on September 3, 1939, when France and Britain declared war on Germany. Sartre was reinducted into the army. His division was sent to Eastern France, where he worked in the meteorological service sending up balloons, testing the direction of the wind. However, the war interfered little with his own productivity: he began a big novel "The Age of Reason" and read Soren Kierkegaard. He was taken prisoner on June 21, 1940. In the prisoner of war camp, he washed rarely, didn't shave, and developed a reputation for being dirty. In these conditions he began writing a major philosophical work, "Being and Nothingness."

The atmosphere of the Nazi occupation of Paris where he was writing can be felt in these lines from "The Republic of Silence": "We were never more free than during the German occupation. We had lost all our rights, beginning with the right to talk. Every day we were insulted to our faces and had to take it in silence. Under one pretext or another, as workers, Jews, or political prisoners, we were deported en masse. Everywhere, on billboards, in the newspapers, on the screen, we encountered the revolting and insipid picture of ourselves that oppressors wanted us to accept. And, because of all this, we were free. Because the Nazi venom seeped even into our thoughts, every accurate thought was a conquest. Because an all-powerful police tried to force us to hold our tongues, every word took on the value of a declaration of principles. Because we were hunted down, every one of our gestures had the weight of a solemn commitment. The circumstances, atrocious as they often were, finally made it possible for us to live, without pretense of false shame. The hectic and impossible existence that is known as the lot of man... Exile, captivity, and especially death -- which we usually shrink from facing at all in happier times -- became for us the habitual objects of our concern. We learned that they were neither inevitable accidents, not even constant and exterior dangers, but that they must be considered as our lot itself, our destiny, the profound source of our reality as men."


If that's really what you believe, that Sartre's thought is "pessimistic" because it was formed during the Nazi occupation of Paris, then you haven't understood a thing what his philosophy is about.


So basically Sartre is saying that Paris under siege was nothing more than a microcosmic mirroring of the human world as a whole, that normal life is no less tragic than a concentration camp? From this point of view, Nazis causing death and destruction were some kind of cowards that could not face the fact that life is meaningless and tragic?



Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? One of Post-Impressionist Paul Gauguin's most famous paintings.

Since life is meaningless and absurd we should find our own values we will live by. One value system suggested by social psychologists, broadly called Terror Management Theory, states that all human meaning is derived out of a fundamental fear of death, whereby values are selected when they allow us to escape the mental reminder of death. Terror management theory (TMT) looks at what researchers claim to be the implicit emotional reactions of people when confronted with the psychological terror of knowing we will eventually die (some believe that awareness of mortality is a trait that is unique to humans). The theory was first developed in the late 1980s by Skidmore College psychology professor Sheldon Solomon, University of Arizona psychology professor Jeff Greenberg, and Colorado University at Colorado Springs psychology professor Tom Pyszczynski, who were graduate students at the University of Kansas at the time. The trio were inspired by the theories of Ernest Becker (The Denial of Death, 1973), Otto Rank and Freud, on how potent reminders of one's own ultimate death often provoke a belief in some form of mystical transcendence (heaven, reincarnation, spiritualism, etc.) Terror management theory attempts to provide a rationale for the motivational catalysts of human behavior when life is threatened.

The theory builds from the assumption that the capability of self-reflection and the consciousness of one's own mortality can be regarded as a continuous source for existential anguish. This "irresolvable paradox" is created from the desire to preserve life and the realization of that impossibility (because life is finite). Humans are aware of the inevitability of their own death. Culture diminishes this psychological terror by providing meaning, organization and continuity to people's lives. Compliance with cultural values enhances one's feeling of security and self-esteem, provided that the individual is capable of living in accordance with whatever particular cultural standards apply to him or her. The belief in the rightness of the cultural values and standards creates the conviction necessary to live a reasonable and meaningful life. This cultural worldview provides a base of making sense of the world as stable and orderly, a place where one rests their hopes on symbolic immortality (e.g., fame, having children, legacies of wealth or fortune) or literal immortality (e.g., the promise of a life in an afterworld). Our cultural world view is a "symbolic protector" between the reality of life and inevitability of death. Because of this men and women strive to have their cultural worldview confirmed by others, thereby receiving the community's esteem. However, when one's worldview is threatened by the world view of another, it often results in one's self-respect being endangered as well. In such a situation people not only endeavor to deny or devalue the importance of others' world views, but try to controvert the ideas and opinions of others which may, as a consequence, escalate into a conflict (ie. religious holy wars). As a result, mortality salience increases stereotypic thinking and intergroup bias between groups.

Two hypotheses have emerged from TMT research; the mortality salience hypothesis and the anxiety-buffer hypothesis. The mortality salience hypothesis says that if cultural worldviews and self-esteem provide protection from the fear of death, then reminding people of the root of that fear will increase the needs of individuals to value their own cultural worldview and self-esteem. The anxiety-buffer hypothesis provides the rationale that self-esteem is a buffer which serves to insulate humans from death. By doing so our self-esteem allows us to deny the susceptibility to a short-term life. Developing from the analysis of authoritative leadership by Erich Fromm (1941) in "Escape from Freedom," people in a state of emotional distress by nature are prone to the allure of charismatic leaders. Research has shown that people, when reminded of their own inevitable death, will cling more strongly to their cultural worldviews. The data appears to show that nations or persons who have experienced traumas are more attracted to strong leaders who express traditional, pro-establishment, authoritarian viewpoints. They will also be hyperaware of the possibility of external threats, and may be more hostile to those who threaten them. Additional research indicates those who are raised by authoritarian parents tend to conform to authority more frequently than those who are not. This perpetuates the belief that culture worldviews are a product of the socialization process and those who are socialized through authority are more susceptible to conformity when their mortality is made salient. The theory gained media attention in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, and after the re-election of President George W. Bush in the USA, Prime Minister Tony Blair in the UK, and John Howard in Australia.

Terror management researchers have shown that making mortality salient to research participants will lead to such changes in behaviors and beliefs that seemingly protect worldview and encourage self-esteem striving. This mortality-salient state is usually induced by having participants write down the emotions that come to mind when thinking about death, and expanded by having participants write about what they think will happen as they die and after they die. Following this procedure a brief delay is provided. Past research indicates mortality salience effects are more pronounced following a brief delay. Nevertheless, these researchers have not yet demonstrated that this happens for the reason they propose, namely to alleviate unconscious fears of death. Direct tests of this hypothesis are likely to soon emerge in the scholarly literature.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it that life can be lived all the better if it has no meaning?


That's the case with the majority of people, nbemkl!

takin care of business

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
Re: INSTITUTIONAL DENIAL ABOUT THE DARK SIDE OF LAW SCHOOL
« Reply #501 on: July 30, 2010, 08:14:27 PM »


The frenzy of destruction and the rejoicing in blood and ritualized murder arise from the fact that few can admit that none of our immortality systems or our glory fixes works at all. They are elaborate deceptions, illusions, rituals with no power to save.  No matter how much wealth the rich person accumulates, or how great the power wielded by the king, everyone knows that the relatives will be fighting over the spoils before the body gets cold. Everyone knows that no Reich lasts a thousand years and no family line is assured of perpetuation. Furthermore, insofar as I derive my glory from merging myself with another person or system, to that degree I am less than whole. Borrowed glory is not my glory.

But these are the only buffers people have to shield themselves from the terrible dark and cold of the Void. The frenzy arises from the constant undercurrent of realization that the immortality strategies are illusion. The fact that they cannot save must be denied, hidden, repressed. [...]


Don't you think that just by saying it - that all these "buffers" can not shield us from the terrible dark and cold of the Void, that all these immortality strategies are illusions - you're evoking something that should have not been?!


Lucky you, caracosta -- smashing years and years of "efforts," "accomplishments," "successes" with a single word! Just like that!


This is obviously coming from someone who's sidetracked by the society and is trying to make it look like that living a normal life, working, having fun and being proud of one's successes doesn't really matter. I mean, who on the world who actually has the opportunity to prosper and get ahead would not do so, instead of pretending that success and money do not really matter?!


Neneh, I'd tend to believe it's coming from sme that given equal opportunity, no other one would be able to write, paint, direct, perform, compose, or solve equal to. That potential has been proven, time and again. Someone who's joined us in our world to experiment with their ideas, glean inspiration, to share information, and for sex.

Someone who, I guess, knows how to stir things up. By moving emotions so powerfully that logic can't ignore or deny. Logic does not evoke change, emotions do. Emotions prompt, poke, and provoke. Only when insistence turns to demand and overrides reason, does logic pay attention. As dolphins stun with sonar bursts, they stun others with emotion blasts. Their purpose is to evoke change. By way of emotions is how they do it. Afterwards, they leave it to logic to explain.

Slighter of build and frailer in both appearance and countenance, I'd assume. They're noticeably more refined than others in their manner of deportment; some seem to float. In fact, many would wish they could float or fly to save wear-and-tear on their feet. No others experience as much blistering misery from footwear as them. Their feet can be so sensitive that snug-fitting socks irritate. They may not like the physical aspects of being outdoorsy, but few appreciate and none can emotionally tap into and translate the complex soul of nature, like they can.

Some brews of tea don't appeal to the average palate. Whether deemed a sweet or bitter brew largely depends on the taster's expectations. Those who expect the taste to be the same as teas known will like the least. Those who expect the taste to be similar to teas known will be disappointed. Those who are open to the good or bad of flavor possibilities will enjoy it the most. They're an uncommon cuppa.


Wow I didn't know law students were poets!

daughter-in-law

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
Re: INSTITUTIONAL DENIAL ABOUT THE DARK SIDE OF LAW SCHOOL
« Reply #502 on: September 20, 2010, 03:39:25 PM »
Are you being sarcastic, takin care of business?
If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.

louiebstef

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 160
  • 45 y/o Non-Trad-2012 cycle
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: INSTITUTIONAL DENIAL ABOUT THE DARK SIDE OF LAW SCHOOL
« Reply #503 on: September 22, 2010, 09:04:25 AM »
NEWS BULLETIN:

Life sucks!

Don't whine about it.
"Why be a lawyer? I'm already an ass.  Might as well go professional!"

kalinka

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
Re: Working sucks
« Reply #504 on: September 22, 2010, 12:28:15 PM »

Day after day we get up early and trudge to work. We swallow our pride and put up with being ordered around by the boss. We sweat and toil at jobs we hate, wasting away our lives. Why do we do it? Because we have to? Because we need the money? Or because we don't know how to live any other way? As Americans, we work way too hard. Most of us work 40 or more hours a week from when we are 18 years old until after we turn 60. One in four American workers works more than 49 hours a week. 1:8 works more than 60 hours a week and one in ten holds down more than one job. And we keep working more and more. Americans have added 20 extra work days to our work year since 1970. American factory workers work an average of five weeks a year in overtime alone. Americans work 2 months more per year than the French and Germans. We must be crazy.

Working this hard is weird and unnatural. For hundreds and thousands of years before the dawn of history, people lived as hunter-gatherers and simple farmers. Hunting and gathering is a pretty relaxed way to make a living. Modern hunter-gatherers like Native Australians "work" less than 4 hours a day. Even after we gave up the forests and built cities, we still didn't work very hard. During medieval times in Europe, people worked as few as 120 days a year. There is no reason for us to be working so hard. As advances in technology help us work more productively, we should be able to work less. Today, American workers are ten times more productive than we were 100 years ago. That means, for every hour we work today, we produce as many goods and services as workers produced in 10 hours in 1890. That also means we should be able to work 1/10th as much, and live just as well, as people did back then. That would be less than 8 hours of work a week.

Since we don't work 8 hours a week, where did all that extra productivity go? A lot of it went as profits into the pockets of the rich. The rich in America are richer than any other group of people EVER in the history of the world. If we work harder or better, our bosses aren't under any obligation to pay us more or let us work less. Sadly, that's how capitalism works. The rest of that productivity went into "improving" our standard of living. We made a decision to buy more rather than work less. Some of the things we bought really did improve the way we live. Very few homes in 1890 had running water, electricity or flush toilets. But most of what we bought were fluff consumer products like big cars and color TVs that are fun to own, but that we don't really need. The question is: why did we make this choice? Why did we choose to buy more crap instead of working less?

We didn't. American corporations made the choice for us by brain- washing us with advertising. Advertisements are everywhere, telling us we will be happier, better looking, admired, respected and even loved, if we just buy this or that product. Of course, we all know that we can't buy happiness or love, but with advertising poking into every part of our lives, it's hard not to give in to the idea that we can buy a better life. Eventually almost everyone does give in to the dull, exhausting trap of work and spend, work and spend, produce and consume. The price for this choice is high. Work saps our spirit and crushes our sense of freedom. Kissing our boss's ass all day is humiliating. The worst is when we actually get used to being pushed around. Human beings need to be free to develop our independent selves. The more we work, the less we think like free people and the more we think like dogs: dull and obedient.

But if I work less, won't I starve?

Most Americans have a terrible fear that if they stop working all the time, they won't be able to afford food and rent. The trick is learning how to work less by learning how to spend a lot less. Living cheap doesn't mean suffering and starving. You can live cheap and also enjoy a comfortable, plentiful life.

But I like my job.

There are some lucky people who have better jobs or who work at jobs where they do something they like. If you are one of these people, you have to ask yourself; Do you really like your job, or do you just hate your job less than most people? If you had a choice, would you choose to work at your job for 40 hours a week? Even sex would get boring after going at it for 40 hours a week, 50 weeks a year. Work can spoil anything. Many people love gardening, but farm-work is hot and back-breaking. Cooking can be fun, but working as a cook in a busy restaurant is hell. If you like your job now, you will like your job even more if you work less.

If I don't work, what will I do?

Working less doesn't mean being unproductive. Take gardening again: Gardening doesn't pay. To make gardening pay, you would have to work like a farmer. But you can easily grow lots of vegetables, possibly enough to live on, simply by goofing around in your garden. Why work?

Life is an adventure if you have the time. There are so many things to do in the world, one person couldn't possibly do them all. It's sad: we get so caught up in our jobs, that when we get home, we can't think of anything better to do with ourselves than watch TV. Don't be a zombie slave - quit your job!

Quote
"No matter how much I hated it, I had to face up to the fact that I would have to earn some money. I was like many fullbloods. I didnít want to work in an office or a factory. I thought myself too good for that, not because I was stuck up, but because any human being is too good for that kind of no-life, even white people. I trained myself to need and want as little as could be so that I wouldnít have to work except when I felt like it. That way, I got along with plenty of time to think, to ask, to learn, to listen, to count coup with the girls."
- John Lame Deer

Quote
"I do not like work, even when another person does it."
-Mark Twain

Quote
"Work is the refuge of people who have nothing better to do."
-Oscar Wilde


A video began circulating around the web that shows several people wearing balaclavas walking calmly into a corner store in Greece. With a lookout man stationed at the door, the camera follows half the group through the aisles as groceries are stuffed into backpacks. Our attention is then directed to the front where the remainder of the group is smashing open the cash machines. Grabbing handfuls of money, the gang makes an orderly exit amid the shrill call of the lookout's whistle.

If we were to pause the video at this point, one could dismiss their actions as the work of petty criminals. And the video would hold no more importance than the surveillance clips of thieves sticking up gas station attendants. Perhaps a few of us would show some sympathy and meekly excuse their actions by pointing out that no one was harmed or threatened and that since they only stole food and money, they must be poor and hungry. In any case, we would be justified in shrugging our shoulders in indifference to another symptom of the latent violence of our society. Resuming the tape, however, melts all this away as petty criminals become bold revolutionaries.

Now outside the store, the camera turns to watch as a gloved hand holds the bundle of cash that was expropriated moments ago. The group stops and cheers as the money is set on fire. As the lucre bursts into flames and is dropped on the pavement, the film ends abruptly. It is this final act, the desecration and destruction of money, that is a shocking political act worthy of emulation.

Money is sacred in our capitalist society. And despite a lifetime of passing it around, very few of us have ever thought to destroy the lucre in our hands. We spend our lives working to earn it, and when we are feeling generous we donate it or if we are feeling frugal we save it. But we never flush it down the toilet or burn it or do anything else that would take it out of circulation. And even the thought of doing so can provoke anxiety.

To break the allegiance of the people to idolatry, Moses destroyed the golden calf, Jesus chased away the money lenders and Muhammad smashed the 360 false gods in the Kaaba. Today the paper bills we pass among us have become our idols and Mammon our god. To smash consumerism, we must do more than simply circulate our money to "green" or local businesses. We must also liberate ourselves from the religion of capital and the belief that money is sacred and can solve all problems.

Here is a revolutionary practice everyone should try: Take a bill from your wallet, think of all the things you could buy and then calmly set it on fire. Smell the burning paper, pay attention to your emotions and meditate on where money goes when it is destroyed.

was yes no

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
Re: INSTITUTIONAL DENIAL ABOUT THE DARK SIDE OF LAW SCHOOL
« Reply #505 on: November 21, 2010, 04:49:35 PM »

Fight/Flight mentality and the choice of a leader in the Fight/Flight group

As to the choice of a leader for a fight/flight group, Bion says:

Quote
"It is usually a man or woman with marked paranoid trends; perhaps, if the presence of an enemy is not immediately obvious to the group, the next best thing is for the group to choose a leader to whom it is."
 

This statement is important for several reasons. First, it makes it obvious that, according to Bion, it is not the leader who chooses his group -- neither according to his own needs or his perception of the group's needs -- but much more the basic assumption group which seeks and chooses its appropriate leader according to its (unconscious) needs. And second, the group's need to find an enemy, against whom they can either fight or from which they can flee, exists even before that enemy has been found, discovered or, indeed, invented. In other words, one might say, that if the Jews hadn't been there already for the Nazis to identify as the enemy, responsible for their miserable plight, the Nazis would have had to invent them! And as for the leadership role in this fight/flight dynamic, the German people were highly successful in picking a personality from among their ranks (who was, of course not even a German, but an Austrian!), and whose capacities as a leader of the fight/flight basic assumption have remained virtually unparalleled in history, Adolph Hitler. According to Bion, leadership is a product of the group mentality, not its origin. He writes:

Quote
The leader, on the basic assumption level, does not create the group by virtue of his fanatical adherence to an idea, but is rather an individual whose personality renders him peculiarly susceptible to the obliteration of individuality by the basic group's leadership requirements.

And here Bion links this phenomenon with the Kleinian theory of projective identification:

Quote
To me the leader is as much the creature of the basic assumption as any other member of the group, and this, I think, is to be expected if we envisage identification of the individual with the leader as depending not on introjection alone but on a simultaneous process of projective identification.


This "loss of individual distinctiveness" applies to the leader as much as to anyone else.

Thus the leader in the fight/flight group, for example, appears to have a distinctive personality because his personality is of a kind that lends itself to exploitation by the group demand for a leader who requires of it only a capacity for fighting or for flight; the leader has no greater freedom to be himself than any other member of the group. Bion compares this leader with

Quote
"an automaton who has ceased to be guided by his own will. He is leader by virtue of his capacity for instantaneous, involuntary combination with every other member of his group and only differs from them in that, whatever his function in the work group, he is the incarnation of the basic assumption group leader.


Bion points out that it is incapable of tolerating frustration in the long run, because in the sphere of basic assumption phenomena, time itself is not a relevant, not even an existent dimension of reality. Flight offers an immediately available opportunity for expression of the emotion in the fight/flight group and therefore meets the demand for instantaneous satisfaction -- therefore the group will take flight. Alternatively, attack offers a similarly immediate outlet -- then the group will fight. The fight/flight group will follow any leader who will give such orders as license instantaneous flight or instantaneous attack.

The capacity for "containment" as a prerequisite for good leadership

So, how can Bion's Container-Contained model serve as a model for good leadership in groups? Only a group which feels sufficiently contained will be able to function successfully over a long period of time as a work group. If anxieties, irrationalities, aggressions, envy and rivalry, disruptive unconscious fantasies and ideas, etc. are not adequately contained, they threaten to paralyse the group or to blow it up. If this is the case, then the group will be forced to fall back on functioning in a basic assumption mode in order to prevent such threats and disturbances from destroying the group altogether. The price paid for this is, however, is, of course, the loss of task orientation and with it, the capacity to do work. When, however, the work group leader is capable of offering the group enough containment, these disturbing factors can be "digested", can be better metabolised into the group's dynamic life, and it can then "feed" on this experience, can grow on it, learn from it, and thereby improve its capacity to devote itself to the task at hand and to achieve good results.

Containment as a leadership style -- where does it come from?

How containing the style of the leader and how given to blaming others when things go wrong (paranoid/schizoid position) versus acknowledging one's or one's institution's contribution towards the trouble one is in (depressive position), depends to a very large degree on the individual's capacity to maintain a relatively mature stance as opposed to falling into a defensive/paranoid one, and this capacity is based on early experiences and their later reworking as the life-cycle progresses. The assumption underlying this aspect of psychoanalytic theory suggests that the conditions necessary in order for a proper Container-Contained relationship in the Bionic sense to come into being are:

a) when an individual has him/herself had sufficient experience of containment in the course of his or her personal development, and
b) when s/he has thereby developed a capacity to identify both with the container as well as with "being contained" and then, through the process of introjective identification, has been able to include this as a significant and stable aspect of his or her own internal life.

This developmental process thus enables one to increase one's capacity to contain, and to employ containment of anxiety as a psychic tool, which can then be utilised as necessary in the authoritative execution of leadership roles.


Awesome, Hadrian!


Indeed lushy!


Are you just tagging the post "I Still Have A Pony"? I mean Hadrian's post is really interesting. I remember Bion's theory from the time of my college days when I wrote a research paper on group dynamics.

was yes no

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
Re: INSTITUTIONAL DENIAL ABOUT THE DARK SIDE OF LAW SCHOOL
« Reply #506 on: November 21, 2010, 05:10:49 PM »

Displacement shifts sexual/aggressive impulses to a more acceptable or less threatening target; redirecting emotion to a safer outlet; separation of emotion from its real object and redirection of the intense emotion toward someone or something that is less offensive or threatening in order to avoid dealing directly with what is frightening or threatening. For example, a mother may yell at her child because she is angry with her husband.



http://www.lmn.tv/movies/details.php?id=MOVE+1652

Kevin Coe, born Frederick Harlan Coe on Feb. 2, 1947, is a convicted rapist from Spokane, Washington, often referred to in the news media as the "South Hill Rapist". He has been in custody since conviction in 1981. Starting on September 15, 2008 the State of Washington held a "civil commitment" trial before a jury wherein it argued that he should be declared a sexually violent predator and confined indefinitely; jury selection began that day, and testimony commenced September 29. As of May, 2008, he is still a suspect in dozens of rapes. His notoriety is due to much more than the fact of his statuses as a suspect and convict. The number of victims he has been suspected of having raped is unusually large; his convictions received an unusual amount of attention from appeals courts; his mother was convicted for hiring a hit man against her son's judge and prosecutor after the initial convictions; and the bizarre relationship between Coe and his mother became the subject of a nonfiction book by the widely read writer on crime, Jack Olsen. "Sins of the Mother" is the title of the movie depicting the story.




Dale Midkiff plays the role of Kevin Coe

In 1981 Coe, a radio announcer by profession, gained regional renown when he was arrested as the suspect in up to 43 rapes which had been perpetrated in Spokane between 1978 and 1981. Many of the rapes involved an extreme level of physical injury to the victims, and the police suspected them to be the work of a single offender, who came to be dubbed the "South Hill rapist". It was suggested that Kevin was mad at his mother for treating him like dirt, and that he was displacing his anger towards her onto his victims, the women he raped and hurt.


Ruth was a total lunatic, overbearing, very protective of Fred - she's rightly portrayed in the movie as the tragico-comical woman she was.

basal temperature

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
NIETZSCHE'S "ETERNAL RECURRENCE" EMBODIED IN "THE FOUNTAIN"
« Reply #507 on: November 22, 2010, 02:51:35 PM »

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.


NIETZSCHE'S 'ETERNAL RECURRENCE' EMBODIED IN "THE FOUNTAIN"

Zachary Settle



Nietzscheís 'Eternal Recurrence' as seen in "The Fountain"

Friedrich Nietzsche was one the most influential philosophers of the nineteenth and twentieth century. His ideas revolutionized the intellectual world as well as countless individuals. Among his most influential ideas, is that of the eternal recurrence. The idea of the Eternal Recurrence is still discussed and held today, as is primarily seen through Darren Aronofsky's film "The Fountain."

Not only does "The Fountain" focus on Nietzsche's idea of the eternal recurrence, but it also portrays the abstract and complex idea in a very successful manner. This is primarily because of the way in which the viewer can see the film embodying Nietzsche's ideas in and of itself. The film functions in such a way that is lends itself to the ideology of the eternal recurrence. As a result of this, it leads the viewer to a more complete understanding of the Eternal Recurrence. The Fountain does philosophy as opposed to simply representing Nietzsche's ideas.

A complete understanding of "The Fountain" as an embodiment of the eternal recurrence demands an understanding of the eternal recurrence, as it stands alone. After this idea has been grasped, the question then becomes "What does it mean for a film to 'do philosophy'?" Only after understanding both of these ideas can one come to see how "The Fountain" successfully embodies Nietzsche's idea of the eternal recurrence.

b r e a c h

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
Key theorists
« Reply #508 on: November 30, 2010, 02:49:56 PM »

Fight/Flight mentality and the choice of a leader in the Fight/Flight group

As to the choice of a leader for a fight/flight group, Bion says:

Quote
"It is usually a man or woman with marked paranoid trends; perhaps, if the presence of an enemy is not immediately obvious to the group, the next best thing is for the group to choose a leader to whom it is."
 

This statement is important for several reasons. First, it makes it obvious that, according to Bion, it is not the leader who chooses his group -- neither according to his own needs or his perception of the group's needs -- but much more the basic assumption group which seeks and chooses its appropriate leader according to its (unconscious) needs. And second, the group's need to find an enemy, against whom they can either fight or from which they can flee, exists even before that enemy has been found, discovered or, indeed, invented. In other words, one might say, that if the Jews hadn't been there already for the Nazis to identify as the enemy, responsible for their miserable plight, the Nazis would have had to invent them! And as for the leadership role in this fight/flight dynamic, the German people were highly successful in picking a personality from among their ranks (who was, of course not even a German, but an Austrian!), and whose capacities as a leader of the fight/flight basic assumption have remained virtually unparalleled in history, Adolph Hitler. According to Bion, leadership is a product of the group mentality, not its origin. He writes:

Quote
The leader, on the basic assumption level, does not create the group by virtue of his fanatical adherence to an idea, but is rather an individual whose personality renders him peculiarly susceptible to the obliteration of individuality by the basic group's leadership requirements.

And here Bion links this phenomenon with the Kleinian theory of projective identification:

Quote
To me the leader is as much the creature of the basic assumption as any other member of the group, and this, I think, is to be expected if we envisage identification of the individual with the leader as depending not on introjection alone but on a simultaneous process of projective identification.


This "loss of individual distinctiveness" applies to the leader as much as to anyone else.

Thus the leader in the fight/flight group, for example, appears to have a distinctive personality because his personality is of a kind that lends itself to exploitation by the group demand for a leader who requires of it only a capacity for fighting or for flight; the leader has no greater freedom to be himself than any other member of the group. Bion compares this leader with

Quote
"an automaton who has ceased to be guided by his own will. He is leader by virtue of his capacity for instantaneous, involuntary combination with every other member of his group and only differs from them in that, whatever his function in the work group, he is the incarnation of the basic assumption group leader.


Bion points out that it is incapable of tolerating frustration in the long run, because in the sphere of basic assumption phenomena, time itself is not a relevant, not even an existent dimension of reality. Flight offers an immediately available opportunity for expression of the emotion in the fight/flight group and therefore meets the demand for instantaneous satisfaction -- therefore the group will take flight. Alternatively, attack offers a similarly immediate outlet -- then the group will fight. The fight/flight group will follow any leader who will give such orders as license instantaneous flight or instantaneous attack.

The capacity for "containment" as a prerequisite for good leadership

So, how can Bion's Container-Contained model serve as a model for good leadership in groups? Only a group which feels sufficiently contained will be able to function successfully over a long period of time as a work group. If anxieties, irrationalities, aggressions, envy and rivalry, disruptive unconscious fantasies and ideas, etc. are not adequately contained, they threaten to paralyse the group or to blow it up. If this is the case, then the group will be forced to fall back on functioning in a basic assumption mode in order to prevent such threats and disturbances from destroying the group altogether. The price paid for this is, however, is, of course, the loss of task orientation and with it, the capacity to do work. When, however, the work group leader is capable of offering the group enough containment, these disturbing factors can be "digested", can be better metabolised into the group's dynamic life, and it can then "feed" on this experience, can grow on it, learn from it, and thereby improve its capacity to devote itself to the task at hand and to achieve good results.

Containment as a leadership style -- where does it come from?

How containing the style of the leader and how given to blaming others when things go wrong (paranoid/schizoid position) versus acknowledging one's or one's institution's contribution towards the trouble one is in (depressive position), depends to a very large degree on the individual's capacity to maintain a relatively mature stance as opposed to falling into a defensive/paranoid one, and this capacity is based on early experiences and their later reworking as the life-cycle progresses. The assumption underlying this aspect of psychoanalytic theory suggests that the conditions necessary in order for a proper Container-Contained relationship in the Bionic sense to come into being are:

a) when an individual has him/herself had sufficient experience of containment in the course of his or her personal development, and
b) when s/he has thereby developed a capacity to identify both with the container as well as with "being contained" and then, through the process of introjective identification, has been able to include this as a significant and stable aspect of his or her own internal life.

This developmental process thus enables one to increase one's capacity to contain, and to employ containment of anxiety as a psychic tool, which can then be utilised as necessary in the authoritative execution of leadership roles.


Awesome, Hadrian!


Indeed lushy!


Are you just tagging the post "I Still Have A Pony"? I mean Hadrian's post is really interesting. I remember Bion's theory from the time of my college days when I wrote a research paper on group dynamics.


Here are the key theorists on group formation and dynamics:

Gustave Le Bon was a French social psychologist whose seminal study, "The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind" (1896) led to the development of group psychology.

Sigmund Freud's "Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego," (1922) based on a critique of Le Bon's work, led to further development in theories of group behavior in the latter half of the twentieth century.

Jacob L. Moreno was a psychiatrist, dramatist, philosopher and theoretician who coined the term "group psychotherapy" in the early 1930s and was highly influential at the time.

Kurt Lewin (1943, 1948, 1951) is commonly identified as the founder of the movement to study groups scientifically. He coined the term group dynamics to describe the way groups and individuals act and react to changing circumstances.

William Schutz (1958, 1966) looked at interpersonal relations from the perspective of three dimensions: inclusion, control, and affection. This became the basis for a theory of group behavior that sees groups as resolving issues in each of these stages in order to be able to develop to the next stage. Conversely, a group may also devolve to an earlier stage if unable to resolve outstanding issues in a particular stage.

Wilfred Bion (1961) studied group dynamics from a psychoanalytic perspective, and stated that he was much influenced by Wilfred Trotter for whom he worked at University College Hospital London, as did another key figure in the Psychoanalytic movement, Ernest Jones. He discovered several mass group processes which involved the group as a whole adopting an orientation which, in his opinion, interfered with the ability of a group to accomplish the work it was nominally engaged in. His experiences are reported in his published books, especially "Experiences in Groups." The Tavistock Institute has further developed and applied the theory and practices developed by Bion.

Bruce Tuckman (1965) proposed the four-stage model called Tuckman's Stages for a group. Tuckman's model states that the ideal group decision-making process should occur in four stages and later added a fifth stage for the dissolution of a group called adjourning.

M. Scott Peck developed stages for larger-scale groups (i.e., communities) which are similar to Tuckman's stages of group development.

Maro

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
A Former Spy Teaches a Crash-Course in Espionage
« Reply #509 on: January 15, 2011, 04:43:32 PM »

The humanitarian Aid Worker cover is all too often indeed. I read some time ago about this HAW who's recruitment and training had been completely covert; he had revealed to no one that he was in the CIA. NOCs are sometimes placed within corporations and organizations without making the latter aware of the involvement of the NOC with the intelligence agencies. Non-official cover is contrasted with official cover, where an agent assumes a position at a seemingly benign department of their government, such as the diplomatic service. I would agree, though, that the thought that Soros himself is a CIA agent under deep, deep cover is ridiculous. His employees? Possibly. On occasion, a foreigner is targeted for recruitment; however, it is obvious that this potential agent would never knowingly work for the CIA or cooperate willingly with the US government. This individual, for example, might be vehemently anti-American. For that reason, the CIA might decide on a "false flag" recruitment approach, whereby the agent never knows that he or she is actually being recruited by the United States and the CIA. The CIA officer making the recruitment pitch poses as a representative of the false flag country or organization. It might be the case, for example, that an African official would never work for the Americans but might work for the French. An CIA officer uses a variation on false flag operations when he or she poses as a representative of an international organization, a think-tank, or a commercial firm. The agent might be induced to provide information on that basis, but would never knowingly provide information to the CIA.


You guys appear to be really interested in this sort of thing - here it is an interesting article on the issue

December 30, 2003

By Lisa Burgess
Stars and Stripes

As he strolls to the podium, Peter Earnest, executive director of the International Spy Museum in Washington and a former CIA officer with 25 years of experience in clandestine services, instantly has the full attention of participants at the museum's first "Surveillance 101" workshop. For the full house of Washingtonians who have paid $45 each to come get some insight into the shadowy world of espionage, this may well be their first look at a real, live, (former) spy. Earnest, with his military bearing and cool manner, doesn't disappoint. With him are two former colleagues, Jonna and Antonio Mendez. Between them, they've worked the CIA's no-kidding spy turfs, such as Moscow and Havana. Tony says he was involved in the Iran hostage rescue efforts, but won't elaborate.

The trio offers some espionage basics - "surveillance 101." The spied-upon person (himself a spy) is the "rabbit." The team working the rabbit are the "chasers." And to a rabbit, everyone is a potential chaser. Then the Mendez couple take turns telling "war stories," such as the time Jonna was sitting in a Cuban courtyard and a young man on a bicycle tooled by, "so slowly I thought he was going to fall off." She knew he was surveillance. He knew she knew. But it wasn't until a radio fell out from under his button- down shirt "and smashed into about a million pieces on the ground" that the game was really up, she says, to much laughter. "He just picked up the mess and cycled away, but I'll never forget the look on his face," Jonna says, clearly relishing the memory. It's nothing you haven't seen in a dozen movies, but hearing it from people who actually lived it is fascinating.

Equally fascinating is this group of 40 would-be spies. After the lecture, the group divides in half for a CIA-led tour of inner Washington "spy spots." The workshop leaders hope to give participants a taste of what it's like to be a spy on an "SDR," or surveillance detection run: walking streets, trying to figure who, if anyone, is watching you. To this effect, the Mendez couple have salted about a dozen volunteers over a predetermined route to act as the "chasers," or undercover surveillance team.

Unfortunately, there is no way a group of 20 people can possibly move discreetly through restaurants, hotel lobbies and subway stations. Jonna Mendez gives it a valiant try, however. "Your disguise is that you are a tour group!" she suggests to her crew as they move out onto F Street. During the walk, it only takes a few random conversations to leave you with the distinct feeling there are some rich fantasy lives in the group. Two men in their early 20s, who sat front and center, enrapt, during the lecture, are apparently speaking to one another in code.

One calls the other "Spock," while he himself is "Captain." Moving on, I ask Debbie Hammel, a pony-tailed 20-something wearing black leggings, sneakers and a windbreaker, what her day job might be. "I kill people." Giggle, giggle. "No, no, kidding!" she quickly amends. In real life, Hammel is a secretary, but one who loves the idea of "being able to trick people, and the high stakes" that come with accepting a clandestine cover. Holly Blodgett, a 56-year-old privacy officer for a Washington-area software company, is another major spy fan. "I have a whole library of espionage books," she says as she trudges along the streets of downtown Washington. "I was always interested in it before, but now that the kids are grown, I have time to indulge it."

Among them is Jason, a 26-year- old staff sergeant with the 5th Battalion of the 20th Infantry who is on the verge of deploying to Iraq for a year with the Army's new Stryker Brigade out of Fort Lewis, Wash. Blodgett played with the notion of joining the CIA, "but it never worked at the right time, and now I am too old. They don't take anyone older than 35." But she has high hopes that Jason, who is clearly the apple of his proud mom's eye, will live the life she wanted or join the special operations community. "My clock ran out. His is just starting," she says.


http://www.military.com/NewContent/0,13190,123003_spy,00.html

Oh, btw - here's one more for ya

http://www.zoklet.net/totse/en/politics/federal_bureau_of_investigation/166422.html