The psychological structures that contributed to Hitler’s Germany are theorized to be the same psychological structures that contribute to the sensational reception of Hollywood in all its phantasmagorical atmosphere and culture of perversion.
Adolf Hitler’s rise to power and placement as leader of the Germany Republic during World War II brought some of the largest crowds in history to a leaders reception. He was sensational! The Germans loved him and he became their lost father figure. A patriarch who promised to usher the children of this country home. The same bewilderment of loss, after the Third Reich fell and Hitler’s removal from power, mimicked the same type of longing and mourning that is left in the wake of a child’s realization of impotence during Oedipus. This perpetual longing and seeking of a wish fulfillment that can never be realized and one that so solidly cements a person’s gender identity, that is, the perpetual longing for the opposite sex fulfillment of Oedipus. The same type of loss left behind in the psychic structures of the German people, left them with a narcissistic wound and compromised ego. This unfulfilled wish that could never be realized had to be worked through. Years later the working through of grief and mourning by the generations manifested itself in a few ways. In one way it manifested itself in creative endeavors. Creative endeavors that typically took the shape of biographies and films. The second way, wasn’t really a working through as much as it was a diversion of libido. It this diversion typically took place by the first generation decedents that were involved in war crimes themselves. This diversion took the shape of redirecting ones attention on family image. This excessive attention and focus on family image created an absence of emotional connection to the children themselves and thus contributed to the second and third generations feelings of loss and mourning and a need for reparation. A need for reparation because something needed was never received.
Eric L. Santner’s book Stranded Objects: Mourning, Memory, and Loss in Postwar Germany analysis German films of the late 60’s and 70’s period. Specifically, Santner’s analysis of Hans Jürgen Syberberg’s films which suggest the cultural transmission of the same “sensational sickness” of Hitler’s Germany is produced in modern day by Hollywood and film. The creation of sensational fantasies which typically take place in film, television, and modern media, make places like Disney World and Disneyland by-product of this very phantasmagorical wish fulfillment. These same phantasmagorical structures are the same type of psychic structures that contribute to mass perversions of mental illness. The thesis to this perverse transmission of mental illness is suggest that the root cause lies in something going wrong in the oedipal phase of development of children at risk for acquiring high levels of narcissism.
One of the disturbances that is thought to occur in early childhood development following through to Oedipus is the onset of homosexual gender identity. The onset of this process is thought not to have occurred during the oedipal phase itself but is rooted in the pre-oedipal and carries through to oedipal. Science also suggests the possibly of strong genetic factors. Within the construction of personality, biology plays a part. Genetics, hormonal influences, brain bio-chemistry are significant influences, as is a person’s pre-disposition to temperament, and of course, the nature of a person’s environment and what he or she has learned from past experiences, are also contributing factors as well. Beginning with the first pre-oedipal phase, or what Jessica Benjamin suggest in her theory of sexual differentiation theory, is the phase of nominal state of gender identity and this theory suggests the child is capable of identifying the differences between concrete representation of self-body and self-other body interactions, which are retroactively defined as gendered. She suggests that gender identity occurs through a series of interaction with both the same sex parent and opposite sex parent and that these interactions influence the child’s future gender choice. The child’s “sense of belonging to a sex becomes complicated by later conflicts and fantasies, anxieties, and defenses, complications that render masculinity and femininity far more ambiguous than maleness and femaleness” (Stoller 1973). Stoller argued that only if the male child separates from his mother in the separation-individuation, in “misidentifying” with the mother, can he develop the “non-core gender identity” which we call masculinity. The core gender identity for both male and female infants is thought to be feminine because the child‘s first interactions with mother is the maternal breast and is not seen as a separate individual but rather as an extension of the self which forms a homoerotic development of self-love. These first interactions root us in the first narcissistic phase of development (our infantile narcissism) and this stage can hold secrets to a person‘s development of narcissistic qualities because we know that if a child is left unfed for the first few days of life can have catastrophic consequences for the child.
It is important to note that the modern era has designated homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgender sexual identity benign forms of aggression that do not threaten the world at large. These personality constellations are no longer seen as mental illnesses and with good reason. But the same creations of high level of narcissism which can be found in some of these disorders are also found in the narcissistic personality disorder and other variants personality disorders of psychopathy. If the ancient Talmud of Jewish text which designates six different words that mean six different gender identities, then this means the dysfunctions of early childhood development, including the oedipal phase have been with us for thousands of years, if not since the dawn of homosapien arrival. This information is crucial because personality and gender disorders with their onset of sexual orientation and personal identity have been with us since ancient Israel, and this also suggests that they may not necessarily be troublesome disorders. This also means that the various forms of psychopathy and antisocial personality disorders have been with us for the same amount of time. Something else has changed in the human course of events, but what’s changed in the recent course of human history that is responsible for the proliferation of mass random shootings of people? The massive envy, loss, anger, and rage?
What has changed is the age of progress, the Golden Age or the age of exponential growth of technology and industry and along side it, population growth. Science suggests that this very technological growth is the reason for population growth. This progress of growth coupled with the sensational events of Hollywood are theorized to be the contributing factors to the exponential growth of mental illness and random mass shooting events. Shootings that seek to reinforce the sensational and reinforcement of a person’s ego ideal.
The dysfunctional by product is the compromised ego or wounded narcissism and the psychological indemnificatory process or the psychological payment in compensation for a loss. This indemnificatory process was witnessed in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. It was also witnessed in the Hitler’s programs of Jewish genocide. It can be seen in Gary Ridgway’s prolific murders of random prostitutes, and it can be seen in the high number of fatalities behind sensationalized random mass shooting events. This tremendous need to reinforce a person’s ego, a person’s weak and compromised ego stemming from a narcissistic wound suggest to psychologist that something is going wrong with Oedipus. These events typically surge during periods of depleted identity (identity crisis), especially during financial depletion or crisis in a population or country as was seen in 1930-1940s Germany. The formation of weakened egos by a culture that is left impoverished. This depletion or cultural lucanea or lacking has been viewed by feminist as a denial of the mother’s subjectivity, in theory and in practice, one which profoundly impedes our ability to see the world as inhabited by equal subjects. Hitler’s promise to re-vitalize Germany which reinforced the egos of many of the individuals living in the population and his action of genocide cast speculation on a theory. A theory that a shadow was cast upon a man, an omen of exponential oppression, one that was born out of the delusional fear and paranoia of “other” as an undeserving equal and individual subject with rights. This delusional fear and paranoia can be found in theories on matricide. The reinforcement of commodifying a species self-worth through material gains and capitalism, is theorized to be the root causes of our modern day ills. Actions of individuals who buy, purchase, or select sensational commodities that reinforce ideal consumerism and reinforce a weak egos to believe in their self worth. This consumerism is similar to the same type of consumerism that Hitler’s sold to the German population as the German-Ideal. This German-Ideal took the shape of indemnification of the Jewish people. Likewise, when we buy into a series of untruths created out of this delusional fear and paranoia, we lose a significant piece of truth about ourselves, a truth regarding our true individual identity and we are. When we continue to believe that what makes us who we are can be selected, gift wrap, and purchased we buy into a notion that our core identities can be fabricated like mannequins. These mannequins are the stranded objects left behind by a countries commodification through mass media and advertisements.
I don’t want to confuse issues between beauty and narcissistic wound created by the denial of the maternal subjectivity, one which profoundly impedes our ability to see the world as inhabited by equal subjects, including the self as a subject. An individual who may feel undesirable in her appearance and therefore behaves in a consistently self conscious fashion may choose to undergo plastic surgery to re-vitalize her libido. One may recall the individual who had to wear glasses all her life. The insecure child who was bullied and called “four eyes” in her neighborhood. This same child who, grows up to discover contact lenses and transforms herself into something wonderful by liberating her libido. She proves a neighborhood full of bullies wrong. This occurrence, by all means may be the preferred choice if it encourages a stronger sense of self, and one that doesn’t comprise the self through damage but actually encourages behaviors that seek to help, rather than destroy the self. Rather there is a distinction to be made between the issues. Products that serve to exemplify a compromised ego in facilitating beauty, and ones in which women or men behave in less self-conscious ways, ones promoting group harmony, are not being used in the same way as, say, another who’s sole purpose for breast implants may be to “secure a rich daddy” and maintain an easy lifestyle. Women should be encouraged to perform meaningful work, and if a little plastic surgery or a pair of contact lenses serve to better a person’s performance I would never speak ill of such transformations. Rather there are people who have repeated plastic surgeries that totally disfigure and derange their natural beauty. From a psychological standpoint, I think the ways in which we seek to make use of medical technologies, beauty products, and medicines should consider the ways in which we choose to utilize these very products because the way we chose to utilize them could, in fact, be detrimental to the self. Diet pills, as a product, are used to facilitate weight loss and can be abused or mismanaged. I think the tyranny of fashion can certainly be used to corrupt a person’s sense of self in ways that are perverse, but I don’t necessarily see fashion, style, and mass media as malignant forms of psychology found in our species. They can be used with a conscience. When fashion becomes an obsession, as we have witnessed in the obsessional preoccupation with weight in cases of anorexia, as an emaciated desired form of women in the fashion industry. I think this is something that is a perversion of fashion and a perverse image of self in the beauty of women, but, again, I don’t necessarily believe fashion, style, and mass media to be perverse in and of themselves. They certainly can rise to levels of abnormal and some media advertisements can certainly contribute to the transmission of this cultural sickness.
With exponential population growth and the growth of technologies that make our lives easier with “less to do” has contributed to the detachment we feel from one another. Today, work is done from behind a computer screen, we no longer have the face to face interactions which is seen to be so crucial for personal human development of social relations. We can certainly begin to understand how this can contribute to our cultural sickness when it rises to the levels of perverse. Over dependence on technology and obsessional use of its means can contribute to psychological problems. With our population growth, getting lost in a big class room is akin to getting lost in a bigger social order. Individuals can begin to feel like they lost their sense of self, lost in a world that wants to sell us the perfect ideal. The perfect mattress. The perfect car. The perfect husband. The perfect wife. The perfect life. When societies were smaller and people had to work hard for what they received, this shared condition help to foster inner-connections with one another. When one person lost a cattle or sheep to disease, its loss was felt be all the community because everyone knew the expense of that loss. When things become easily fabricated and manufactured, loss doesn’t seem so hard to take. It easy just to manufacture another one. This contributes to our modern day disconnect and lack of empathy and value for things, including people.
In discussing the phantasmagorical, the defense industry makes use of weapons that can be pretty sensational. For example, in recent events, North Korea and Kim Jong-Un who consistently displays high levels of paranoia is trying to manufacture a nuclear weapon. The North Korean Capital Complex where Kim Jong-Un lives is the most heavily guarded places on earth. His palace has high level security systems with security designs that make it impenetrable. Anyone navigating its high tech corridors without permission would probably be executed on demand. While North Korea is currently completing a project in creating a nuclear war head, the United States is getting ready to impose action. What form this action will take still remains uncertain. In the age of progress, in this Golden Age of technology, how phantasmagorical is a nuclear weapon? Think of the sensational devastation that could be cause by detonating something so massive. Again, we see the sensational behind the fantastical. The design and creation of nuclear devastation is subject to the analysis of the delusional paranoia of matricide. Perhaps the North Korean leader figures new people can be fabricated and manufactured like manniquins in a retail store. It is most likely that the United States will be unwavering and unsympathetic to the paranoia of a devil.