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Author Topic: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea  (Read 58875 times)

crème caramel

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Re: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea
« Reply #340 on: November 26, 2011, 12:05:07 AM »

[...] Freud then went on to outline for Einstein his theory of Eros, the life instinct that "seeks to preserve and unite" and of Thanatos, the death instinct. For Freud, aggression was the manifestation of Thanatos and thus an essential element of human nature. For that reason, he characterized Russian communism as "an illusion trying to make human aggression disappear."

[...]


May it be that "aggression" and "Thanatos" are not necessarily essential elements of human nature, but instead it is the human being that, afraid of the inevitability of one's death and destruction, adopts an aggressive attitude trying to find some "relief" in killing other people -- that is to say, try to reduce one's existential angst by taking an active role instead of waiting passively to die?


something, I guess you're thinking along the lines of the above poster; I'd like to point out though that, as far as Freud is concerned, the "aggressivity" and "Thanatos" are innate in humans -- that is to say, instinctive -- and humans can not help but "display" them, just like the rest of the universe, after all. You, on the other hand, tend to attribute a great deal of importance to the human consciousness, rendering aggression and the waging of war a "choice" that the humans make consciously.

But after all, that's the whole point, isn't it? ;)


To be sure, Marcuse worked with Freud's Eros only, disregarding Thanatos - as far as engaging in war and being aggressive "consciously," there's nothing strange or unusual about it (think soldiers in war) - what was being discussed here, I believe, was whether Thanatos is to be called an "instinct" or not ..

apostille

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Re: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea
« Reply #341 on: December 01, 2011, 09:49:37 PM »

you see the length of those posts? Either just some bored kid with copy&paste, or someone who will fail their classes (if any exist) due to waste of time.........wow........wow.


justanother, a simple Google search will reveal at least one name - Ludwig Tiene was the executioner at Auschwitz, the Nazi prison camp, who was responsible for killing as many as 100 boys and young men per day! He crushed, strangled and gnawed them to death while he raped them.

appropriate

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Re: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea
« Reply #342 on: December 03, 2011, 12:30:26 AM »

After graduating with a degree in Food Communications, I worked as a cookbook editor and a home economist. I knew cookies and calories, not courts and cases. The hours of reading, the Socratic method and indecipherable judicial decisions had my head spinning. Overwhelmed? I skipped that step and went straight to terrified.

But about a month into school, I finally found a guide that brought everything into focus. No, it wasn't Emanuel or Gilbert. It was Harry Potter. The similarities to my own situation struck me immediately as I watched. In the movie — no time for books this semester — Harry goes off to Hogwartz, a wizardry school. Everything he encounters is strange and different. The things he needs to learn seem to have no connection to the outside world. This was my initial reaction to law school.

Harry has classes in potions and sorcery; I learn the black arts of torts and contracts. He studies spellbooks; I study casebooks. An evil teacher skulks around Harry's school; the seemingly evil Socratic method lurks in my classes.

Alas, no magic wand can get me out of trouble when I haven't done the reading for Criminal Law, but Harry Potter's experience made me reevaluate my reaction to law school. Thinking of law school as an adventure, a road to travel to get to my goals rather than as a prison sentence, has lifted my fatigue and anxiety.


I agree to what you say up to a point, tamika - you are right when comparing law school to sorcery and the like, but I am not so sure as to whether achieving the "goal" will be worthwhile - there are quite a few posts on this site describing the life "after" law school, which in fact, is not that different from that during law school ..

kaps

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Re: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea
« Reply #343 on: December 05, 2011, 06:42:37 AM »

In attributing sadomasochism to the Oedipal phase, Freud intimates but never clearly states that rather being than a biological sexual instinct, sadomasochism is a social phenomenon imbedded in a culture based on male dominance and female submission and on sexual repression and aggression in literate societies.


Sadomasochism is very often found in a homosexual context - can you expand a bit how does this play in the bigger scheme of things when you say it's a social phenomenon in a culture based on male dominance and female submission?


[coughs]

F. Korbee

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Re: Sadomasochism
« Reply #344 on: December 06, 2011, 09:44:49 PM »

Very interesting expose, Contessa! I'd like to add something to the discussion as to the relation between SM practices and Nazism. Associations between sadomasochism and Nazism are in fact all too common. It has been suggested that Germans are a people conditioned to obedience... Such is the law of the jungle... This people is formless and therefore craves a form so strong that it cannot be broken. The "rape of Belgium" was replaced by the "rape of Austria." Fromm was the first to analyze the phenomenon of authoritarian personality from the point of view of psychology. Fromm with Reich started studying the problem of fascism in the 1930s at the Institute for Social Research (Institut für Sozialforschung) in Frankfurt. Fromm expected that there would be a direct link between adherents of fascism and the authoritarian personality.

Fromm uses the term "authoritarian character" rather than "sadomasochistic character." Fromm considered authoritarianism to be one of the possible mechanisms which allow the individual to evade freedom, and defined this phenomenon as "a tendency to surrender the independence of one's own individual ego, to merge it with someone or something outside oneself and thus gain a force which is absent from his own ego. Submission to an authority means transferring responsibility to another and is "an expression of the inability of the individual ego to live on its own," because "the drive for power does not root in force but in weakness. It is a desperate attempt to obtain a secondary force where true force is missing" and a consequence of "the conviction that life is determined by forces outside the person itself, outside his interests and wishes."

Fromm has defined the authoritarian character as a type of personality whose attitude towards authority is always important. The authoritarian individual loves authority and tends to subject himself to it. At the same time, he wishes himself to be the authority and to subject others. As far as the authoritarian character is concerned, there are two poles, so to speak: the powerful and the powerless. The authoritarian character represents a structure of personality that Fromm understands as the human basis of fascism. It does not lack activity, courage and faith. Another trait which is common to all authoritarian thinking, which is itself typical of authoritarian character, is the conviction that life is determined by forces outside the person, outside his interests and wishes, and that the only possible happiness consists in submission to these forces. Complete fatalism is characteristic of authoritarian character; it is manifest not only in the authoritarian personality itself, but through the individual in the whole of society.

"The Authoritarian Personality" (1950/1969) is still today a basic reference for any study in this field. The work brought with it a theory of authoritarian personality and a tool for measuring it – the California F-scale ("F" is derived from fascism). The focus was mainly on the potentially fascist individuals whose personality structure is of such a kind that it makes them easily susceptible to anti-democratic propaganda. Adults who scored high on the F-scale had different childhood and assumed more dogmatic attitudes than people with low scores. The authors of the F-scale employed a Freudian perspective and believed that inherent in the personal development of most people are repression and a rechannelling of various instinctive needs, as required by the limitations of social life.

In a fascist society or religions two areas of the self are aborted or forbidden to develop naturally: sexuality and aggression. Persons are not educated to be true selves but to wear false personas modeled (on the demands of the parents). The child thus instructed often channels these powers of sexuality and aggression into self-loathing and self-contempt. The original sin mentality -- the notion that I came into the world despised, unwanted, ugly and powerless. It may be displaced onto a scapegoat, for example, racial minorities, women or homosexuals. It can be transformed into worship of the oppressor who is "always right." Finally, it can be eroticized in sadomasochistic fantasies and practices.


How about SM being just a play act, without having all these connotations? Can't we simply think in these terms? And may it not be that by practicing SM one somehow guards against authoritarianism expressed in the social, political life of the person and group?


No, Olive, can't you read it above?! Sadomasochism, as a sexual thing, is just one expression of a bigger thing - the actual authoritarian, or sadomasochistic if you like, character. Fromm says it very clearly - why are you trying to twist things around?

author

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Re: Trash Removal
« Reply #345 on: December 19, 2011, 03:16:53 AM »

I know it will sound strange to you, but New York City sucks greatly - and I'm not talking Brooklyn here (which we all know is ghetto) - I used to live temporarily near Central Park in a hotel-like apartment and I am telling you girls - they would pick up the trash once a week - that's right, ONCE PER WEEK - the whole place stunk (I'm sure you can imagine it! :)


So what did you guys do - took your trash day in and day out to other peoples' garbage bins, until the designated day for removal came?!

pretamanger

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Re: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea
« Reply #346 on: December 21, 2011, 02:10:02 AM »

I know it will sound strange to you, but New York City sucks greatly - and I'm not talking Brooklyn here (which we all know is ghetto) - I used to live temporarily near Central Park in a hotel-like apartment and I am telling you girls - they would pick up the trash once a week - that's right, ONCE PER WEEK - the whole place stunk (I'm sure you can imagine it! :)


So what did you guys do - took your trash day in and day out to other peoples' garbage bins, until the designated day for removal came?!


The problem with many counties/big cities is that they don't have enough landfill space (businesses near the actual landfills lobby to have them shut down because of the bad smell) - they might want to reconsider and start burning the trash again!

Julie Fern

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Re: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea
« Reply #347 on: December 21, 2011, 07:22:59 AM »

I know it will sound strange to you, but New York City sucks greatly - and I'm not talking Brooklyn here (which we all know is ghetto) - I used to live temporarily near Central Park in a hotel-like apartment and I am telling you girls - they would pick up the trash once a week - that's right, ONCE PER WEEK - the whole place stunk (I'm sure you can imagine it! :)


So what did you guys do - took your trash day in and day out to other peoples' garbage bins, until the designated day for removal came?!


The problem with many counties/big cities is that they don't have enough landfill space (businesses near the actual landfills lobby to have them shut down because of the bad smell) - they might want to reconsider and start burning the trash again!

bad idea.  we should stop making so much trash, and trash that so toxic.

R Deutch

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Rape/Murder on an Institutional Level
« Reply #348 on: December 27, 2011, 03:44:13 AM »

justanother, a simple Google search will reveal at least one name - Ludwig Tiene was the executioner at Auschwitz, the Nazi prison camp, who was responsible for killing as many as 100 boys and young men per day! He crushed, strangled and gnawed them to death while he raped them.


apostille, Ludwig Tiene is just a name, can you point us somewhere where we can find evidence for this kind of thing on an institutional level, that is to say, several people being involved in these despicable actions?

Lovdie

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Re: From Homo Oeconomicus to Homo Sexualis
« Reply #349 on: December 29, 2011, 01:43:49 AM »
Here it is the post by kaps I was talking about - I'm posting two screenshots as the original thread has been suspended