Monday, September 19, 2011

Messiah Failure Syndrome and Sacrificial Regicide

We're continuing with our exploration of Object Relations, the Self, and the Group in order to see if my hunch is correct that it may hold some keys to the mystery of why millennial discourse and behavior are so pervasive to the point of seeming inevitability. For truly, if Obama didn't exist, the left would have had to invent him.

Oh wait. They did.

Along these familiar lines, Grotstein's foreword mentions Freud's first approach to the subject, in which he proposed "that the group may act in a way which is analogous to the psychology of an individual, and its component members characteristically project their egos, as well as ego ideals, onto the group leader, thereby creating a state of idealization and idealized expectation of the latter."

In the past, I have mentioned that when a patient has an immediate and powerful idealizing transference, one can expect equally strong anger and devaluation to appear later, just as soon as the therapist inevitably fails to live up to the idealized expectations (the reverse can also occur; thus, the apoplectic Bush derangement of the left was a premonition of their absurd idealization of his successor).

Again, this is the stage Obama finds himself in with respect to his supporters. At first they attempted to maintain their own beautiful illusions by outright ignoring or denying Obama's many gaffes, missteps, and general cluelessness.

But interestingly, in order to protect themselves from seeing their own foolishness and naivete, they must go through the ritual of either "discovering" that Obama is not what they pretended he was, or of describing some rationalized scheme whereby Obama somehow deviated from his better self.

Very few millennialists are introspective enough to direct the critical spotlight on their own inner workings, and ask themselves not just "what was I thinking?," but "what motivated me to spin this once-in-a-generation world-historical leader out of my own psychic substance?"

It is like the bad marriage that begins with the self-deception that belives the lie. Soon enough the lovely loving congeals into the hateful hates, after which comes the conversation with the flying plates. Thus, Obama's instinct is to throw plates at the messenger, which would ultimately be you (that is, you apostates who once supported the Messiah; the Times also tosses dinnerware at the stupid misinformed Americans who have disappointed Dear Leader.)

One way to avoid introspection is to convert messianic disappointment to rage. Thus, we are already seeing a considerable amount of outrageous rage being expressed by the left. Yes, this qualifies as a banality, as one could say the same of the left on any day of the year. The difference is, of course, that they are actually directing it at Obama rather than the frightful conservatives of their fevered imaginations.

Remember when criticism of Obama was prima facie evidence of racism, or xenophobia, or "fear of change"? That was yesterday's truth, comrade. Being on the left -- or in the United States of Amnesia -- means never having to say "I remember."

Remember when Rush Limbaugh was an unpatriotic racist for wanting Obama to fail? Now, with the exception of the usual true dead-enders, we all want him to fail on an urgent basis.

Two years ago Newsweek felt confident enough in its collective delusions to assure us that We Are All Socialists Now! Today Obama is reaching Carter-like levels of political radioactivity. The irony is that the progressive wants the sort of superficial "change" that keeps everything the same on a deeper level. In truth they want no change with regard to their visions of infantile dependency and fulfillment via the omnicompetent State. They just want a new mommy to administer it.

Note that the 'Crats are not deserting their stinking shit, as this would be tantamount to abandoning their religulous faith. Rather, they are flushing the craptain down the toilet, with the unconscious fantasy that they can project the source of the stink into him and leave it all behind. Which wouldn't work anyway, because we would still be left with his gaseous number two, Joe Biden.

This is the well-known logic of primitive sacrifice. Just as all of our hopes and dreams my be projected into the fantasy leader, so too may our fear, dread, anger, and rage.

When the latter happens, it is time to kill the king, either in reality or symbolically. But the more things superficially change, the more the wrong remains the same on a deep unconscious level. It's like when a baseball team loses 100 games. What do the owners do? Fire the manager. Then hire another failed old white guy to replace him.

Here is an example of sacrificial regicide, plucked at random from my library: "Frazer has acquainted us with the fact that the king himself may be sacrificed for the welfare of society; it is not surprising that the body of a king can be eaten by his successor. In Nigeria, the king of Julsum was only allowed to rule for seven years. During that period, if he fell ill, or sneezed or coughed, or fell off his horse, he might be put to death." No wonder Michelle wants to control our eating habits!

Speaking of indigestion, this brings up an important point. That is, the fantasy leader must maintain the illusion of strength in order to both contain and withstand all of the primitive unconscious material being directed his way. According to Susskind's new book, Obama himself recognizes this:

“Obama often felt that performance pressure -- having to play the part of president, in charge and confident, each day, in front of his seasoned, combative, prideful team, many of whom had, all together, recently served another president.... As he confided to one of his closest advisers, after a private display of uncertainty, ‘I can’t let people see that, I don’t want the staff to see that... But I get up every morning. It’s a heavy burden.’” Indeed. Especially for the narcissist who has no inner core of genuine strength. Rather, the only strength he possesses is the perception that he is strong. Once the projections are withdrawn, only the little boy remains.

Grotstein continues with a very brief tutorial that explains the irreducible intrapsychic complementarity of group <--> individual, the one conditioning the other:

"Long before brain laterality studies by neuropsychologists established the duality of normal consciousness" (left and right hemispheres), pioneering psychoanalysts such as R.D. Fairbairn discovered that the infant "treats (a) the object as part of the self and (b) the self as part of the object."

As a consequence, we have "an internal subculture of selves conducting 'conversations' and relationships of great labyrinthine complexity which nevertheless seem to bear a correspondence to their counterparts in the external world." This is not so much "as above, so below" as it is "as inside, so outside."

In this view, the "outside" -- including politics and culture -- becomes a kind of language through which we "speak" ourselves. However, at the same time, it means that we are generally restricted as to the who(s) we may speak -- or, more to the point, culture makes certain "selves" possible, while discouraging, punishing, or forbidding others.

Look at the culture of ancient Greece, which elevated man-boy love to an ideal, while denigrating male-female love. The fact that so many men "spoke" this perverse language -- or were spoken by it -- proves that homosexuality is not "genetic" (or certainly not only so).

What sorts of selves do the elites of contemporary American culture permit and reward? Well, they recently awarded their highest honor to a weak, feminized, metrosexual, faux-cerebral pseudo-intellectual with All the Right Beliefs, i.e., a projection of the idealized self-image of our vacuous media-tenured complex.

At the same time, there is nothing they detest more than a man who appears manly, whether it is Ronald Reagan, George Bush, or Rick Perry. For some reason they much prefer manly women, perhaps because the dreaded unconscious male energy needs to be projected somewhere.

Grotstein concludes his foreword by reminding us that "groups, like individuals, appear to have an Oedipal complex, and the selecting of a Messiah and of a human sacrifice seems to be its deeper function..."

Again, the one follows "logically" from the other, in that both are attempts to deal with troubling unconscious material, i.e., thoughts and what to do with them. Over and over again throughout history, men have conformed to the pattern of 1) create an unrealistic ideal, a messiah, and 2) murder either him or convenient scapegoats when the messiah fails us, which he must inevitably do (with one notable exception, whose devotees don't need no stinkin' political messiahs, whether from the left or right; to put one's faith in a political messiah is to have left conservatism).

41 Comments:

Blogger John Lien said...

"...(with one notable exception, whose devotees don't need no stinkin' political messiahs, whether from the left or right). "

I was wondering if you were going to mention the exception.

Never thought of the killing of Christ as part of an age-old process. Interesting.

9/19/2011 09:37:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

There is much commentary in the patristic literature about how human sacrifice seems to be a kind of garbled premonition of Christ.

9/19/2011 09:54:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

(Nice pic. Have you been tanning? :)

Relevant to the overarching theme if not specifically today's post, The Christianists Aren't Taking Over This Week.

9/19/2011 09:58:00 AM  
Blogger vanderleun said...

Bumper shitter for 2012: "BIDEN: How Bad Could He Be?"

9/19/2011 10:01:00 AM  
Blogger John Lien said...

@julie. He's been tanning under a full moon I think.

9/19/2011 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

All you guys are cracking me up. And the Louis Armstrong Swiss Krissly ad is just quirkily awesome. Now if only we could give a psychic dose to all of our politicians...

9/19/2011 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger vanderleun said...

Instant Bumper Shitter Now over at my place. Thanks for the inspiration!

9/19/2011 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

The fact that so many men "spoke" this perverse language -- or were spoken by it -- proves that homosexuality is not "genetic" (or certainly not only so).

At risk of sparking a big diversion, this touches on something I've often wondered about: Why is it that nobody questions the flexibility of (presumably genetically) heterosexual sexuality, yet homosexuality is considered completely rigid and unchangeable?

9/19/2011 10:26:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

(That's a mostly rhetorical question; btw. It strikes me as another instance of leftism maintaining lower expectations and standards for a protected class, though of course there may be more to it than that.)

9/19/2011 10:28:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

At Takimag, another apropos observation:

"Liberal Psych 101 subverted the dominant paradigm until nothing made sense... It published endless treatises on deconstruction without making a peep about how to reconstruct everything after destroying it."

9/19/2011 10:43:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

I am not sure what the question is, but I am sure the answer is not Hillary.

If we have to have a manly woman, let's go for an honest (if obvious) one.

9/19/2011 10:54:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"Very few millennialists are introspective enough to direct the critical spotlight on their own inner workings, and ask themselves not just "what was I thinking?," but "what motivated me do spin this once-in-a-generation world-historical leader out of my own psychic substance?""

One of the many benefits of choosing to claim that you do not have free will, is that you can literally say "The Devil MADE me do it!"

9/19/2011 12:27:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

John: appropriately enough, Wolf once recorded a song called Coon on the Moon. Maybe that should be our theme....

9/19/2011 12:44:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Heh - the album title for that one is all too appropriate today, too...

9/19/2011 12:57:00 PM  
Blogger vanderleun said...

Excuuuuuuuse me..... but as this rational boy says: ""If you're a white man, then shut the fk up about race!""

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=18p23-mE4e0

A fascinating video and certain to get everyone here back on the plantation.

9/19/2011 01:14:00 PM  
Blogger John Lien said...

@Vanderleun. Well that pretty much ends the discussion doesn't it!

I can't find more than a 30 second sample of "Coon on the Moon!" WHERE'S MY F*CKIN, FREE, UNLIMITED, INSTANTANEOUS ACCESS TO ALL THE MUSIC ON THE PLANET! RAGE! RAGE!

9/19/2011 01:37:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

John - it's at Spotify ;)

9/19/2011 02:09:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

I watched the video Gerard linked. First, I had to watch it twice to find the black person.

Second, even after watching twice, I still don't know what the hell that is in the green shirt.

9/19/2011 04:25:00 PM  
Blogger John Lien said...

@mush. LOL! It's Pat.

9/19/2011 05:06:00 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

Julie @9:58am part A --

:) That made me laugh.

(I'm not skilled at writing the shorthand versions of that sentence.)

9/19/2011 06:51:00 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

John Lein said...

"Never thought of the killing of Christ as part of an age-old process. Interesting."

I thought that is part of why it had to be such on the cross, or part of what it represented functionally (not symbolically), freeing man from those things. I thought this due to reading the first few posts on this blog, actually, the day I found it in very late 2007. It is something that has stayed with me, and it has seemed it probably carries through to such things as persecution, martyrdom, even control (such as statify), etc.

It is something we don't think about much because human sacrifice per se seems so archaic, so when I read those things, I was stunned at first... But intrigued, and then it made sense, even if I didn't know the full facets of it yet, and still don't.

9/19/2011 07:33:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

That is the thesis of Bailie's important Violence Unveiled.

9/19/2011 07:38:00 PM  
Blogger William said...

Nice, assassination promoter.

BTW....

Americans trust Obama more on the economy than the GOP 46-37%

72 percent disapprove of the job Republicans in Congress are doing, and 63 percent disapprove of the Democrats in Congress.

With just over a year before Mr. Obama faces voters again for re-election, it should be noted that Mr. Obama’s overall approval rating is similar to that of Bill Clinton’s (43 percent) and Ronald Reagan’s (46 percent) about a year before their presidential elections when they won re-election.

9/19/2011 07:47:00 PM  
OpenID tntuxedo said...

Oh, Great Gagdad!

Today marks my first contact with your blog (thanks to American Digest). I was quite unprepared to partake of the overpowering verbal tempest found just in your Profile. You're like Jackson Pollack with a keyboard!

9/19/2011 08:01:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

In case anyone missed it, William has an urgent update on his lax sphincter. The doctors say that with sufficient rehab, he should recover his speech.

9/19/2011 08:05:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Sounds like you might be doing your exercises wrong, William. Here, this video comes highly recommended!

9/19/2011 08:11:00 PM  
Blogger John Lien said...

Anna, Allow me to elaborate a little. I think I am where you were in 2007. It was kind of an "aha" moment. I knew that Christ had to be sacrificed, Lamb of God, all that associated imagery. But in my mind it was just compartmentalized in the context of the Judeo-Christian tradition of animal sacrifice. I had little or no knowledge of other human sacrifices, especially king sacrifices and no idea that it may be a common theme among all peoples. So, it was just one of those moments where two puzzle pieces were fit together in my head.

I never liked the whole crucifixion story. I have always asked, why did Christ have to be killed? I agree, it is so foreign to my experiences but I guess God is playing to a wider audience and maybe this really resonated with others, especially our ancestors. I still find it brutal and it is only beginning to sort of make sense. Maybe in time it will make more sense to me.

9/19/2011 08:12:00 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

John,

I knew that "without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins" (and animal sacrifice was a foreshadowing of this) but was not as aware of the connection to human sacrifice and the internal psychology, including of groups, of it. I'm not sure I can articulate this well, but the crucifixion might be one of those elements that stands out as something that is so unpalatable (but necessary [underscore that] and true) that it cannot be a secular invention. A parallel would be the conflict in Israel and the intersection of a geo-political and religious situation. What is the reality there? Are Jews a reminder to the secularists of the religious reality? (Though I've heard some "succesionist" [the promise to the to Jews is replaced by the promise to Christians] arguments lately that I'm completely baffled about, suggesting something different and am currently a little lost on this. I'm sure the unsaid "help!" on my part is audible there somehow. Interestingly, this hits on the Holocaust - both of these topics... and then Israel... and tomorrow [today in Israel] is the day the UN is voting about Palestine.)

Maybe I've had some strong Coca-Cola tonight.

9/19/2011 08:55:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"In this view, the "outside" -- including politics and culture -- becomes a kind of language through which we "speak" ourselves."

No wonder things are so screwed up - we stopped teaching grammar long ago - of course we "speak" so much gibberish.

"However, at the same time, it means that we are generally restricted as to who we may speak -- or, more to the point, culture makes certain "selves" possible, while discouraging, punishing, or forbidding others."

Got that right. Someone linked to a page of old advertisements not too long ago, and while the ads were mostly wacko, the faces depicted in them - happy (not stimulated, but happy), joyful, confident, and people who were well dressed, neat... what's the word...(good posture, solid stance...) poised?

If you find that in an ad today, it will be depicting a fool to be laughed at, while what's spoken as the 'normal' self will have a cynical, slouchy, smart alecy look.

It's hard to find places in America that "speak" American anymore.

9/20/2011 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger William said...

Think critically. Some have devoted their lives to the study of the Bible to seek the truth. Others have devoted themselves to convincing others to think like they do.

Some Messiahs are based on falsehoods that have been perpetuated for an agenda.

9/21/2011 08:33:00 AM  
Blogger William said...

Fixed link:

Some Messiahs are based on falsehoods that have been perpetuated for an agenda.

9/21/2011 08:34:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

To say that some messiahs are false is to imply that at least one messiah is true.

So who is your true messiah?

9/21/2011 08:36:00 AM  
Blogger William said...

Messiahs are a human invention created out of a need. You can see this when so many 'find God' in the midst of dire or wondrous life experience.

Me? I'm not feeling particularly needy right now.

Watch the video I posted above of of Dr. Erhmann. He's a guy who is a Biblical scholar educated at Moody Bible Institute, Wheaton College, and Magna Cum Laude Graduate of Princeton Divinity School and an ordained Baptist minister. He studied the source language of the Bible - ancient Greek language beginning at age 19 with the world authority of the subject at Princeton. He is intimately familiar with all 5500 source documents of the Bible. He has devoted his life to the study of the Bible with the only agenda being to ascertain the truth.

Consider these qualifications when you hear what he has to say and what his critics may tell you.

9/21/2011 08:49:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I agree. Erhmann is the Messiah.

9/21/2011 08:54:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

The science is settled!

9/21/2011 08:58:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

As Petey always says, "truth is symphonic, and cannot be found in a home-made video by a guy named Bart."

I finally get the joke. I wish he weren't always so obscure.

9/21/2011 09:04:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

:D

9/21/2011 09:10:00 AM  
Blogger William said...

Truth has no bias or agenda.

Bias impedes the search for truth.

To be invested in a particular belief system carries both bias and agenda. When a belief system depends on 'faith' rather than fact, truth, and evidence, then you can't effectively even begin a search for truth.

9/21/2011 09:30:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

ROFLMAO

9/21/2011 09:32:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

(ROFLMAO is another way of strengthening the sphincter)

9/21/2011 09:36:00 AM  
Blogger Anna said...

Post-modernist thought-circuit inversion syndrome. (PMTCIS) It's very stressful, causes cognitive dissonance on an almost continual basis, and many other issues... Originates with wrongful ideation indoctrination. Cure? A plank to the side of the head by the truth administer. Or any other inroad to shake things back upright.

wv: dednowee

9/21/2011 09:43:00 AM  

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