Category: Projects

Wilhelm Reich: Die sexuelle Revolution. 1936

Wilhelm Reich (1897 – 1957) is an unusual psychoanalyst: He connects psychoanalysis with a Marxist analysis of society, and he revolutionizes psychoanalytic treatment by directly including the body. His writings inspired various forms of body-oriented psychotherapies. He is also much more explicit than many other psychoanalysts about working with the client’s sexuality. The following excerpt from his 1936 book “The Sexual Revolution” examines how the family structure translates the oppression of capitalist modern states (which are still authoritarian) into the repression of sexual impulses. Psychoanalysis studies these forms of repressions as “symptoms”, for instance in obsessive-compulsive behaviors. In Reich’s analysis,...

Timeline of the life and work of Karl Marx

The following timeline is adapted from Marxists.org, which is an excellent source for Marx and Marxism. (The links below will lead to texts at Marxists.org.)  Marxists.org also has a timeline of the works of Marx and Engels. There is also a  good timeline for Karl Marx at the Wikipedia. May 5, 1818 A son Karl is born to barrister Heinrich Marx and his wife, Henriette, in Trier November 28, 1820 A son Frederick is born to textile manufacturer Friedrich Engels and his wife, Elisabeth, in Barmen July 27-29, 1830 Revolution in France September Revolution in Belgium 1830-31 Uprisings in Poland October 1830 Karl...

Karl Marx: Theses On Feuerbach. 1845

Karl Marx wrote his “Theses on Feuerbach” in the Spring of 1845. Friedrich Engels made some editing changes, and the short and sketchy text was published much later (after Marx’s death) as an appendix to Ludwig Feuerbach and the End of Classical German Philosophy in 1888.  Source: Marx/Engels Selected Works, Volume One, p. 13 – 15. Introduction The “Theses on Feuerbach” are eleven short philosophical notes that were meant to outline the first chapter of the book The German Ideology. The 11th thesis became famous and was used on Marx’s grave. “Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various...

Jacques Lacan: The Neurotic’s Individual Myth. 1953

This paper originated from a lecture Lacan delivered in Paris in the early 1950s; the initial text was distributed in 1953. A modified French edition was done by Jacques-Alain Miller and with the approval of Lacan was published in the journal Ornicar? in 1979, and in the same year an English translation appeared in “Psychoanalytic Quarterly,” which is the basis for the following text. This is an early lecture, before Lacan’s official seminars started (Seminar 1 was given in 1954.) It demonstrates Lacan’s basic structural approach to the psyche, which he refined into topological models throughout his work. The current...

Political Philosophy Quotes

“From these things it is evident, that the city belongs among the things that exist by nature, and that man is by nature a political animal” (Aristotle, The Politics, 1253a1–3). Authority implies an obedience in which men retain their freedom. Hannah Arendt Plato: The Republic. Book VII: “Say then, my friend, in what manner does tyranny arise?–that it has a democratic origin is evident. Clearly. And does not tyranny spring from democracy in the same manner as democracy from oligarchy–I mean, after a sort? How? The good which oligarchy proposed to itself and the means by which it was maintained...

Ayn Rand: “Atlas Shrugged.” John Galt’s Speech. 1957

Introduction Ayn Rands‘ philosophy is at the core of the American Right; it is an expression of strong libertarianism in support of capitalism and not the “compassionate conservatism” of the Bush Era. Her main book is “Atlas Shrugged,” 1957. In it, the hero, John Galt, makes a radio speech to the nation explaining the strike of the “producers” (Capitalists.) The speech reveals the philosophical mystery of the plot: Why are the most productive people leaving their work and disappearing from society? This speech provides a comprehensive introduction to Ayn Rand ‘s philosophy, but it is tailored to the events and characters of the...

C.G. Jung: Die sieben Reden an die Toten. 1916

Einleitung Der ägyptische Gnostiker Basilides in Alexandria (117 – 138 AD) bezeichnete das Symbol des höchsten Urwesens mit “Abraxas” (griechisch Ἀβρασάξ, Ἀβράξας). Aus diesem Urwesen entstehen die fünf Urkräfte: Geist(Nous), Wort ( Logos), Vorsehung (Phronesis), Weisheit(Sophia), sowie Macht und sittliche Vollkommenheit, die inneren Frieden einschliesst. Basilides verarbeitete verschiedene christlich-jüdische, persische und neuplatonische Überlieferungen zu einem dualistischen Weltbild.Das frühe Christentum war stark gnostisch geprägt, gnostische Richtungen gab es auch im Judentum, und sogar der Islam hat seine Gnostiker (die Sufis). Die Gnostiker gehen davon aus, dass der Kern eines jeden Menschen ein “göttlicher Funke” ist. Der göttliche Funke ist unsterblich, er existiert außerhalb...

Erich Fromm: Human Nature and Social Theory. 1969

The following letter Erich Fromm wrote in 1969 to the Russian philosopher Vladimir Dobrenkov shows his interest in connecting with socialist thinkers and to discuss with them his reception of Marx and his understanding of socialism. Dobrenkov wanted to write a book on Fromm and therefore started a correspondence with him. Fromm tried to clarify many topics Dobrenkov misunderstood. But Fromm’s clarifications did not have much effect on Dobrenkov’s book “Neo-Freudians in Search of Truth. (Published in many languages in the seventies. Moskau: Progress Publishers). This letter is a summary of Fromm’s concept of man and society; it shows Fromm’s understanding...

Michel Foucault: The Archaeology of Knowledge. 1969.

Chapter 1: The Unities of Discourse Source: The Archaeology of Knowledge (1969), publ. Routledge, 1972. The first three Chapters are reproduced here. The use of concepts of discontinuity, rupture, threshold, limit, series, and transformation present all historical analysis not only with questions of procedure, but with theoretical problems. It is these problems that will be studied here (the questions of procedure will be examined in later empirical studies – if the opportunity, the desire, and the courage to undertake them do not desert me). These theoretical problems too will be examined only in a particular field: in those disciplines – so unsure...

Madness and Civilization, Revisited

“For the madness of men is a divine spectacle: In fact, could one make observations from the Moon, as did Menippus, considering the numberless agitations of the Earth, one would think one saw a swarm of flies or gnats fighting among themselves, struggling and laying traps, stealing from one another, playing, gambling, falling, and dying, and one would not believe the troubles, the tragedies that were produced by such a minute animalcule destined to perish so shortly.”  ― Michel Foucault, Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason. 1961. America struggles with mental health: we are in the...

Michel Foucault: Madness and Civilization. 1961

The book [easyazon_link identifier=”067972110X” locale=”US” tag=”mainacademicsite-20″]Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason[/easyazon_link], written by Michel Foucault in 1961, is a classic in 20th century Continental philosophy. It offers a sharp historical analysis of the relations between rationality and mental disorder. The book marks a turning from phenomenological method towards structuralism: the change in the relationship between madness and rationality is driven by powerful social structures. The person with the mental disorder is seen as “the other,” and the attempts to dialog and understand the person affected by the disease are increasingly replaced by a monolog of...

The History of South East Asia

Southeast Asia is an extremely diverse region on Earth. It consists of many large and small ecological areas. It has a staggering variety of economic, social, and cultural niches. Hundreds of ethnic groups and languages coexist in the space between the two large cultural neighbors, India and China. Over the centuries, the region has been colonized by the Europeans, and in the aftermath, it has developed its independence with a strong underlying sense of unity. unity,

South East Asia

I became interested in South East Asia in recent years, and I traveled through the region during the summer of 2017. I live in the Bay Area of California,  which is increasingly influenced not only by China, but also by Vietnam, the Philippines, and Thailand. America’s identity is deeply intertwined with Asia: The American defeat in the Vietnam war changed America’s political consciousness, and from then on, the US was perceived as the “bad” superpower by many people in the rest of the world. South‐East Asia is largely the product of external cultural influences. It was formed in the intersection...

C. G. Jung: Psychological Types. 1921

(Translation by H. Godwyn Baynes, 1923) GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE TYPES A. INTRODUCTION In the following pages I shall attempt a general description of the types, and my first concern must be with the two general types I have termed introverted and extraverted. But, in addition, I shall also try to give a certain characterization of those special types whose particularity is due to the fact that his most differentiated function plays the principal role in an individual’s adaptation or orientation to life. The former I would term general attitude types, since they are distinguished by the direction of general interest or...

Carl Jung: Quotes

There is a good documentary about Carl Jung: Matters of the Heart, 1983. And here is Jung in an interview, from 1957. “The psyche is the greatest of all cosmic wonders and the sine qua non of the world as an object. It is in the highest degree odd that Western man, with but very few and ever fewer exceptions, apparently pays so little regard to this fact….Swamped by the knowledge of external objects, the subject of all knowledge has been temporarily eclipsed to the point of seeming nonexistence.”   C. G. Jung, 1946, CW 8, par. 357. “Not nature but...

Gordon Allport: Becoming (1955)

This is an extract from a short text by Gordon Allport (Becoming, 1955) subtitled: Basic Considerations for a Psychology of Personality. In these passages, the human being is seen as characterized by a process of individuation (personal) and socialization (tribal). According to the vision of the human being held by Gordon Allport: “All his life. this human being will be attempting to reconcile these two modes of becoming, the tribal and the personal: the one that makes him into a mirror, the other that lights the lamp of the individuality within”. The Goal of Psychology The goal of psychology is...

Abraham Maslow: Toward a Psychology of Being. (1955-1957)

Abraham Maslow has become famous as a psychologist for his “hierarchy of needs.” He focuses more on the healthy personality, rather than on forms of psychopathology. He belongs to the tradition of existential-humanistic thinking in America. These extracts from texts written in the middle of the 20th century have not lost any of their insight and freshness. Deficiency motivation and growth motivation (1955) So far as motivational status is concerned, healthy people have sufficiently gratified their basic needs for safety, belongingness, love, respect and self-esteem so that they are motivated primarily by trends to self-actualization (defined as ongoing actualization of...

Erich Fromm: Territorialism and Dominance (1973)

In this short extract from [easyazon_link identifier=”080501604X” locale=”US” tag=”mainacademicsite-20″]The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness[/easyazon_link], Erich Fromm rejects the idea that an instinct of territorialism exists that leads humans and animals to defend vast areas of territory they inhabit. He argues instead that there is a tendency to invade and appropriate new territories. In his view, this has nothing to do with innate human instincts, but with man-made aggressive ideologies and institutions. Here is the excerpt:  The popular picture of animal aggressiveness has been largely influenced by the concept of territorialism. [easyazon_link identifier=”B001UKYQUE” locale=”US” tag=”mainacademicsite-20″]Robert Ardrey’s Territorial Imperative[/easyazon_link] (1967) has left the general public...

Erich Fromm: Mechanisms of Escape from Freedom (1942)

The following passages are from Chapter V of [easyazon_link identifier=”0415253888″ locale=”US” tag=”mainacademicsite-20″]Fear of Freedom[/easyazon_link]Fear from Freedom. Erich Fromm explores and presents the psychological and social mechanisms that lead an individual to be afraid of freedom and to prefer to give it up. They appear as the tendency to be led by a “superior” power and/or to behave like a social automaton conforming to a role assigned to him by others or by circumstances. And there is also the drive to destructiveness (towards others or towards himself) when the feeling of powerlessness is overwhelming. It is interesting that in all of...