THE SEXUAL IMPOTENCE OF THE PUERTO RICAN SOCIALIST PARTY
By Lyn Marcus [Lyndon LaRouche]
The Campaigner, Vol. 7, No. 1, Nov. 1973
Left politics in the Puerto Rican culture is a bitter, comic-opera farce. As expressed in the form of the pathetic Puerto Rican Socialist Party, it is a self-confessed farce; what else can be said of a Party membership which sees its own essence in such a buffoon as Juan Mari Bras? There is only one phenomenon to compare with such pitiful caricatures of socialist politics; that is the even more pathetic performance of the Latin-American “Macho” in the bedroom. In fact, the political life of the PSP is the principle of the sexual impotence of the “Machismo” extended into the domain of political commedia.
This is not strictly peculiar to Puerto Rico; all Latin politics is permeated with the same pathetic, self-defeating quality. The heroic but partly foolish figure of Fidel Castro speaks of the “Cuban model”: year after year, month after month, small bands of Latin American students move out into the countryside, with a handful of small arms and a possible complement of compassions and lumens, to be ritually butchered a few days or weeks later. Nor is the problem limited to Latin American culture; the Italian Left ranges from almost as miserable down to more wretched than the Spanish “Machismo.” To an equal or slightly lesser degree, the entire population of the capitalist world is infected with the same impotence, and the consequent tendency to make Left political life a thinly-disguised reflection of that same sexual impotence. We speak therefore of such impotence in “Macho” Left politics not to degrade the Latin revolutionaries, but to begin to rid them of this disease. To cure such a disease, especially such a disease of the mind, it is first necessary to identify the disease; to bring about the cure, it is first necessary to acknowledge the sickness.
As for the PSP itself. It has become obvious to us that the organization is not salvageable; there is no possibility that PSP members individually could become revolutionaries so long as they are attached to such a cult of opportunism. What we have to reveal here will perhaps bring about the collapse of that Party—what Latin will wish to advertise his sexual impotence by maintaining a connection to a cult which is itself the publicly-exposed essence of sexual impotence? Some Papers will rant and rave and shriek: “You are ‘counter-revolutionaries' engaged in destroying the Puerto Rican revolutionary movement!” On the contrary, by debunking the flatulent PSP we are making possible, and in the absolutely necessary way, the establishment of a revolutionary movement among Puerto Ricans. We help such trapped would-be revolutionaries to break with the PSP's cult of impotence, that they may assume their rightful, human, potent role as the active link between the North American and South American revolutionary struggles as a whole.
To accomplish our purpose—to make the truth clear to the readers throughout Latin America (especially)—we organize our presentation in the following main respects. Firstly, we shall identify the scientific basis for our analytical method at some length; we shall define sexual impotence and the general cause for this mental disease in bourgeois ideology and bourgeois family relations. Then, we shall document the impotence of the PSP as an organization. Throughout, we shall state the psychological truth which every Latin can recognize in his own private thoughts as the essence of “Machismo” as sexual impotence. In that setting, we shall show the direct, causal connection between this impotence and the extension of it into the domain of so-called Left politics.
Most important, since we are revolutionaries, not “psychoanalytical” commentators, we shall identify the cure of this disease, offering the first step toward relief to the would-be revolutionaries who refuse to tolerate another wretched night of impotence-ridden despair.
WHAT IS MALE IMPOTENCE?
The immediate objection of the hysterical Latin reader to our entire approach here will be, inevitably, “This is not objective politics! We are serious revolutionaries, who have no time to waste in anything but the objective struggle!”
There are two immediate replies to that pathological objection. Firstly, as we shall demonstrate, the insistence on “objective politics” is itself the infallible symptom of sexual and political impotence.
Secondly, besieged today by a world-wide food crisis, in which millions will starve to death this winter, and tens of millions more suffer bodily depletion—a food crisis caused not by lack of means for growing food, but by capitalist speculation in foodstuffs—what possible objective reason could permit any working-class person or farmer to tolerate the capitalist system another hour? If we are to have food, we must seize the means of production instantly, that we may immediately begin growing today the expanded production of food for tomorrow's survival! There is no objective alternative! Why, then, is it not the case that the world working class is not presently engaged in socialist revolution? Why will the capitalist system still exist tomorrow morning, when every working person and farmer has the most immediate and fundamental motive to be part of an overwhelming force obliterating capitalism today?
The answer, dear comrade, lies in the subjective realm! What is this self-defeating, self-destroying flaw seizing the minds of proletarians which prevents them from immediate total mobilization for socialist revolution? What are the chains of illusion which imprison them to capitalism with a force even greater than that of bombs and bayonets? What is this inner terror obviously so much more powerful a force of enslavement than the terror of external physical destructive force? Objective politics is therefore first of all fundamentally a subjective question. To ignore so obvious a fact is itself a kind of hysterical blindness, is evidence of sexual impotence rampant in political life.
The objector now falls back to a weaker, more rearward position of defense of his sexual impotence. He insists, “Hegel, Feuerbach, and Marx never preoccupied themselves with such questions; what has all this to do with Marx, with ‘Marxism-Leninism?' Here, dear comrade reader, you again display your impotence, your impotent reading of Hegel, Feuerbach, and Marx ... your impotent view of the potent Lenin. If you read Hegel's Phenomenology of Mind, Feuerbach's Principles of the Philosophy of the Future, and Marx's “Theses On Feuerbach” and “Feuerbach” section of The German Ideology from the standpoint of our “Beyond Psychoanalysis,” from the standpoint represented here, you will be shocked to discover that in what we say we do little more than go to the very essence of the German dialectic's development. We merely make empirical what is developed in a relatively theoretical, abstract form in our predecessors' works.
Hegel himself states the principle involved in the “Preface” to his Phenomenology:
While the new world makes its first appearance merely in general outline, merely as a whole lying concealed and hidden within a bare abstraction, the wealth of the bygone life, on the other hand, is still consciously present in recollection. Consciousness misses in the new form the detailed expanse of content; but still more the developed expression of form by which distinctions are definitely determined and arranged in their precise relations. Without this last feature science has no general intelligibility, and has the appearance of being the esoteric possession of a few individuals—an esoteric possession, because in the first instance it is only the essential principle or notion of science, only its inner nature, that is to be found; and a possession of a few individuals, because, at its first appearance, its content is not elaborated and expanded in detail, and thus its existence is turned into something particular. Only what is perfectly determinate in form is at the same time exoteric, comprehensible, and capable of being learned and possessed by everybody. Intelligibility Is the form in which science is offered to everyone, and is the open road to it made plain for all ... [emphasis added—pp. 76-77 of Harper edition]
Our most fundamental principle, and the most fundamental principle of sound clinical work, is set forth in essentials in the “Introduction” to the same Phenomenology. It is by applying this principle, as successively corrected by first Feuerbach and then Marx, that we have been able to advance beyond the bare concept as initially developed by Hegel to the elaboration of dialectics as an empirical science. Respecting the ostensibly subjective or psychoanalytical aspects of this empirical science, we have resorted to the correlation between general political behavior and clinical individual and group analysis, to make clear and comprehensible to many what was heretofore only the possession of a few. We have accomplished this necessary advance in the elaboration of science by the very means Hegel variously implicitly and explicitly prescribes: we make the science of dialectics comprehensible to you by demonstrating the psychological truth of dialectics in terms of what you have previously considered the terra incognita of your most private reflections. We rip aside the mask not only for what you imagine you are able to conceal about your private thoughts from public knowledge; we also rip aside the mask you employ to conceal the truth of your unconscious motivations and mental dynamics from yourself.
The fundamental principle of mental science, a principle readily given conclusive empirical demonstration in clinical work, is that the mind of the individual under bourgeois social and family relations is made up of three qualities of consciousness. First, simple consciousness, then simple self-consciousness, and finally what Freudians equate to “pre-consciousness.”
First, as Hegel emphasizes, there is the banal consciousness, the Ego-state. In this degree of consciousness, there is only the naive notion of the Ego's emotional relationship to objects outside it. This is the degree of awareness of self which is predominant in bourgeois ideology, in individual neurosis, and in sexual impotence. It is the pathetic banality of simple consciousness in which the individual is governed, indeed seized, by preoccupation with the “sincerity of his feelings.” In this pathological state of simple awareness, he is therefore the naive, clinically infantile victim of whatever moods, emotions, and so forth the devils within him elect to impose upon him. He is the pathetic prisoner of irrational motives.
Yet, that is not the limit of his awareness. The individual is also capable, as Hegel insists, of “going behind his own back,” to overlook the Ego-State of infantilism. He can reflect: “I am thinking this, feeling this, and so forth, for what I believe to be the following reasons. I can see the miserable tricks I play upon myself with my infantile feelings.” This is simple self-consciousness.
The Agony of Self-Consciousness
The difficulty most persons experience in being simply self-conscious is that self-consciousness sits like a helpless spectator at the bull-ring. In the arena, the Ego, the matador, passes through the customary, disgusting ritual of assassinating the bull—itself a practice coinciding with the bestiality of the Macho psychology, bull-fighting is a clinical correlative of male sexual impotence! The spectator sees all this but is unable to intervene to stop the recurring nightmare being performed.
Night after intervening night, the Macho beds his whore-wife with an inner sense of bloody violence and self-degradation. In the morning, this miserable existentialist arises from the bed of disgust and self- disgust. He looks with disgust at the sleeping figure of the woman with whom he has shared self-degradation, and trudges, bearing an awful load of anomie, back to the house where he lives with his madonna-wife and her children. He needs a drink so desperately, to seem to wash the wretched taste from his mouth, but the drink merely begins the cycle of the new day's recurring nightmare. Tonight, he will sleep beside his madonna-wife, after an evening of being patron to her children, and Friday night the homosexual, he will be back with his whore-wife again.
It is a nightmare of his pathetic Ego-state infantilism, which goes on until psychosomatic physiological impotence frees him from even the possibility of relief with his whore-wife. He sees all this, but finds all his self-conscious wish to end the commedia as impotent as he is.
Tell the Macho his type is often a schizoid, make this clear to him, show him his miserable childhood swarming with sadistic mother and sibling and other surrogate-mothers, and his self-consciousness will acknowledge all this to be the truth of the bloody, tiring matador of an Ego in the bull-ring below. Yet, he whimpers, becoming angered at the person who has afflicted him with such self-knowledge: “I am helpless but to behave so. Don't you see; I can act only on the ‘sincerity of my feelings?'”
He will confess more. His self-consciousness will confess more. He has never had a self-conscious sexual relation with an actual woman. When he is in bed with a woman, his sexual performance is under the control of a fantasy. What he has always demanded most of the woman is that she do nothing to interrupt his fantasy, lest he instantly lose his apparent physiological potency. Indeed, the more women he has bedded, the more acutely painful and real to him is the fact that he has never maintained a sexual relationship in which the woman was the conscious subject of his desire for her as she is.
He will also admit—his self-consciousness will admit—that it is the same with the women with whom he has shared such a bed of alienation. Too often, he has heard a woman's voice in the darkness, asking him, “Are you finished?” in either such plain words or words which mean the same to his self-consciousness.
Probe his unconscious processes more deeply, bringing up for him what he has barely concealed from himself for so long, and his self-consciousness will know that all these women, his madonna-wife and his whore-wives, are surrogates for his possessive, sadistic mother. It is merely necessary to connect his infantile feelings from the ages of between approximately two and five to his adolescent and adult fantasies, and he must shriek with agony of despair that this, too, has always been true.
He will also immediately understand that the preoccupation with the cult of the Virgin Mary is the cult of female sexual impotence, the cult of female sadism, and he will thereby also understand the feelings of bloody violence he has for all sexual acts, and the sense of rape he experiences in sharing the bed with his madonna-wife.
His self-consciousness can be made to know all such things, but it nonetheless sits the helpless spectator around the bull-ring, muttering, “But lam helpless. but to do the same again. I must respect the ‘sincerity of my feelings.'
This terror of truth, this terror of self-consciousness is close to the fundamental experience of male sexual impotence.
More deeply, it becomes a sense of psychological death. More deeply explored, the infantile love of the Macho for a woman is often reified hatred of his infantile, sadistically possessive mother. It is reified because infantile hatred toward the mother is associated with a powerful dependency, such that infantile love and infantile hate become thus mixed, confused. The need to love becomes also the need to destroy, to degrade; one can love only a degraded woman (the whore-wife) and one can love the madonna-wife (the mother of her children) only by sensing this to be an act of degrading the Virgin. His madonna-wife must be chaste (i.e., a certain kind of Virgin), so that she does not deprive him of the feeling of rape in her bed. The woman, especially the madonna-wife, is a pure sadist in bed—she lures and rejects, both as her labile, sadistic mother lured and rejected her, as her mother lured and rejected her father, and taught her thus the way of a madonna with men. The whore-wife artifices the madonna-wife as caricature, as parody; she is sadistic, but is always finally conquered, the payment of price the veiled homosexual's consummate act of degradation of both the man and herself, the payment of the “gift” to the mistress her certification as a whore. For the mistress, to discard the lover's gift is to destroy him totally—he never existed. He is merely an object, without inner life; he is dead.
Self-consciousness can be readily made to see such ugly truth, but it cannot so simply will itself to leap out of the spectator's stands and end the bull-ring farce. “The nightmare must go on. I must act on the ‘sincerity of my feelings.' ”
Out of the Agony
In Hegel, self-consciousness acts only non-sensuously, by abstracting itself and the Ego from the domain of actual sensuousness. Hence, Feuerbach's genius. (Hence, also, Feuerbach's impotence—as we shall see.)
In individual psychoanalysis, or the more powerful processes of competently-led group analysis, this impotence of self-consciousness is overcome, to a varying, greater or lesser, extent, by the substitution of social love from the individual analyst and members of the group for the dependency upon the internalized image of the mother within the victim of Ego-states. “Can't you see what you are doing to yourself?” from a member of the group is an address to the self-conscious self, and represents the fixing of emotion (the emotion of love between the self-conscious self and the speaker) to self-conscious knowledge. When this feeling of love for the self-conscious self is sufficiently strengthened, the self-conscious self develops the power to act in opposition to the “blind sincerity of feeling” associated with the simple state of Ego-consciousness. “Say this to ... ” and “Immediately perform this act,” become the arena-issue of a struggle between self-consciousness and the Ego-state. Provided that the specified act corresponds to an act against the negativity of the Ego-state infantile impulse, the person who thus acts for self-consciousness has to that limited extent freed himself (or herself) from being so entirely the helpless prisoner of blind, infantile emotion.
Such a step forward and potency are one and the same thing. To actually love another person is to use one's lovingness toward them to enable them to attach emotion to self-consciousness, under circumstances in which blind emotion is impelling them to either action or inactivity of a sort which is contrary to their self-consciousness. To love is to first awaken the other's self-consciousness, to enable that person to “see” the self-degrading fallacy of “sincere feelings;” that is the first step of potent love. The next step is to strengthen the mere self-conscious knowledge newly awakened by offering loving support for the individual's new wish to be able to escape the pathetic spectator status, to be able to end his or her imprisonment by self-degrading “sincere” feelings. For the loved person to act according to awakened self-consciousness, and to reciprocate by speaking or acting in a way which acknowledges the self-consciousness of the other, is potent love. To bring self-consciousness thus sensuously into communication with self-consciousness is potent love; the inability to accomplish this, the compulsion to react from blind emotion to another's blind emotion, is impotence.
The dialectical method is immediately, empirically, a change in the state of mind, in which control by “sincerity of feeling” is ended, and in which the self-consciousness of the individual comprehends the self-consciousness of others internally in a kind of internal dialogue between the “I” and the “Thou” (of Feuerbach's Principles ... ). The dialectician is the person who has overcome sexual impotence (e.g., “Machismo”) by locating the sensuous motivation of his or her actions not in blind “sincerity of feeling,” not in the Ego-state of infantilism, but has attached emotional force to self-consciousness, such that he (or she) characteristically acts against the “sincere feelings” or absence of feeling in the Ego-state of himself and others. He defines his relationship to others not merely in terms of his self-consciousness of their Ego-states, not as contemplation of their pathetic infantilism; he defines his relationship to others as one of addressing their self-consciousness, educating their self-consciousness to will to act contrary to their previously-existing “natural” inclinations of blind “sincerity of feeling.”
This state, a dialectical world-view, is thus a condition of acting according to self-consciousness of the self-consciousness of others. The relationship among two persons, each looking at the other from this dialectical point of view, yet each acting in common as a combined self-consciousness of the self-consciousness of third and fourth, etc., persons, is the emotion of love, of potent or self-conscious love.
A Fundamental Discovery
The subsumption of self-consciousness in many, in this fashion, by two or more persons in self-conscious relationship to one another, results in what must first appear to be an unending series of the following form: We are self-conscious of our mutual self-consciousness of the self-consciousness of others. The more others are subsumed by this self-consciousness, the greater the enumeration of self-consciousness of self-consciousness of self-consciousness, etc. Yet, this enumeration implies nothing but a “bad infinity” in the sense of that term as given variously by Hegel and the mathematician Georg Cantor. Cantor's notion of “bad infinities” and transfinite existences has, as mathematicians know, an immediate, “projective” correspondence to the Riemannian theory of manifolds. The following, several, interconnected primitive principles arise from such universe-shaking observations.
Firstly, in empirical clinical work, the states of self- conscious (or, dialectical) relationships results in a “tingling” awareness which recent German clinical experiences have identified as an “unheimlich,” approximately in English, “eerie,” “uncanny,” feeling of a higher state of awareness. In Freudian usages this “unheimlich” feeling corresponds dynamically to pre-consciousness and descriptively to the Superego. This is the most important of all clinical phenomena, to which we now turn more concentrated attention.
The effective psychoanalytical group leader depends upon the developed power to abstract Gestalts from the intra-group dynamics, Gestalts which correspond to potential images for the unconscious feeling-states of various group participants. Through knowledge of such Gestalts, the group-leader is able to force the participants to bring forth from unconscious processes corresponding conscious images of their unconscious states. This initial advance then results in the manifestation of new Gestalts, which, when identified, call forth the next layer of emotional imagery from the participant's unconscious processes as conscious images. The effect on the participant is as if the group leader were reading his unconscious mind, which, to a large degree is exactly what is occurring. As the group process advances, through closer interconnections among the unconscious processes of the participants in this way, the group leader is able to operate through the internalization (“within his head”) of a collection of Gestalts, each corresponding to the essential inner self of the participant associated with that image.
It is as if the group-leader had each participant's mind inside his own, to the extent that he is able to follow the unconscious thoughts of participants through two devices. Firstly, every bit of mime by a participant becomes immediately comprehensible to him; secondly, he is able to internally predict the internal reaction (unconscious reaction) of each participant to any new developments in the group process. At this point of development of the group process, the leader is situated to plunge certain of the participants down into the very depths of themselves in a strictly scientific fashion. (He is limited, most of all, by the extreme physiological drain on himself occasioned by the degree of concentration and effects on his ACTH dynamics of containing so much replication of so many others' profound emotion within himself.)
There is no voodoo or jiggery-pokery in this process. Everything can be empirically demonstrated.
The whole process begins as a kind of poking a stick into dark waters. Gradually, in the typical case, certain semi-amoeboid forms begin to be distinguishable as Gestalts. The analyst begins to make out the lawfulness of the way each individual's sense of social identity regulates his or her behavior, and to also sense similarly the determinants of this sense of identity—chiefly through identity-strengthening and depressing reactions.
Occasionally, he encounters such a “harder” shape, a potential psychosis. In such latter instances, the individual's physiological mental processes obviously include a parasitical entity, not in the sense of a tissue formation of the ordinary notion, but as a process- Gestalt. These entities, seizing upon the physiological processes of mentation of their victims, act as if they were independent intelligences, which must be trapped and otherwise outwitted if one is to free the victim of this parasite.
These “hard” parasitical formations are so definite that names can be given to them. “The witch” is a not-uncommon form of such a “Poltergeist,” in both men and women, since the more common potential psychoses and extreme manic-depressive “parasites” of this sort are modeled upon a parody of the mother- image. (The labile, possessive mother, or the “Schwaermerei” of a variety of surrogate mothers is a common basis for a “witch” image.) In no case is such an inferred image a mere construct; in all cases, discovery of such a Gestalt of a mental parasite-entity permits empirical demonstration of the existence of precisely such an entity. Indeed, the afflicted individual has often been aware of such a parasite within himself or herself long before, and in many cases the ingenuous appellation of the name of the parasitical entity has been made by close acquaintances (e.g., “she's a witch”) before then.
Only hysterical fools would imagine that competent psychoanalysis is not a rigorous, empirically-grounded science.
These discoveries of Gestalts are demonstrable in a variety of interconnected ways. Most obviously, by observing distinct personality-changes in the affected individuals, and more to the point by the group leader's ability to lawfully determine the succession of such personality changes. (For example, to recall the self- conscious person from under seeming total control by the personality of a parasite-entity.) Once these experiences of clinical settings are applied to the observation of behavior in life generally, the insights and powers of insight acquired in the clinical setting become most efficient insights into the behavior of everyday situations.
In general, the individual's sense of identity is associated with such images of definite “shape” and behavior within his or her mind. The inner mind of man contains a large hall, with benches running up the sides of the room, and a large arena-like area, flanked by such rising benches, before a podium. At the podium are usually found parodies of mother and father images, with the mother usually the most massive figure. Along the walls are seated a mass of other figures, sometimes seeming to be ordinary human images, but easily exposed as the sort of images one sees in the elder Breughel, Bosch, or the “dark period” of Goya. One knows, after a few entries in such halls within the mind of others (and oneself) whence Breughel, Bosch, and Goya secured the models of the monsters in their paintings. One sees the Ego standing in the pit, confronted mostly by the mother, looking with fear of the mother at the father, and sometimes at the semi-human monsters (sometimes turned into rats or gigantic insects) along the flanking benches. Above, self-consciousness watches this horrid trial of the Ego, and sees with tearful fascination the fashion in which the images in the hallway terrorize the individual ego into self- degrading acts of “sincerity of feeling.”
One plunges through the layer of mind in which fantasy is generated into the deeper regions in which the need for fantasy of so definite, characteristic a form is determined. At this point, nothing is secret; there is only blindness, which alone prevents all from plainly seeing what should be obvious enough.
At this point in the proceedings of group work, the leader's mind is subjected to a gross experience of the “unheimlich” feeling, the feeling of being always able to reach the next order of self-consciousness above that he presently experiences, and on and on. I self-consciously think this; I can be self-conscious of my thinking this. I can do so by projecting my present experience of self-consciousness to the others here and then, in turn, being self-conscious of my act of communicating that self-consciousness. The essence of this is already in Hegel's Phenomenology!
Now, we have met Hegel's Logos! It is identical with what Freud terms the Superego or the experience of pre-consciousness. It is a concrete state of mental awareness of the process of enumeration of higher degrees of simple self-consciousness of the self-consciousness of others. The group leader experiences this in terms of his internal mental dynamics respecting the “I”—‘Thou” relationship among his self-consciousness and that of the Gestalts of the others. His knowledge of his ability to communicate his experienced state of self-consciousness to the others becomes what is for Cantor a transfinite consciousness, a concretized comprehension of such a process of self-conscious relationships. Most important, this concrete form of transfinite consciousness can be replicated in others and thus itself experienced. This defines a new series of first-order transfinite self-consciousnesses, and ... ”unheimlich”! ... a new order of transfinite self-consciousness. Then ...”unheimlich”!
If one has understood that—actually comprehended it—then one has the bare conception of Hegel's Phenomenology!
The Discovery Elaborated
It is most useful, now, to introduce consideration of a common query from among critics of Hegel, et al. “How is it possible for the human mind to conceptualize totalities except as collections of definite object- images, discrete object-images?” This is no digression, but rather provides us an immediate access to the most fundamental conceptions to be comprehended.
The argument, obviously enough, abstracts from consciousness—from simple, Ego-state consciousness (Cf. Hegel, Phenomenology ... , “Introduction,” “Sense-Certainty”)—only the object-images of naive sense-certainty, and on such premises falsely argues that thought itself is limited to object-images. Hence, ignorant opinion vehemently insists, science must always begin with commonly-acknowledged definite (discrete) object-images as the primitive constituents of all human knowledge. That conceit is itself rigorous proof of sexual impotence in the credulous advocate of empiricism or existentialism, as we shall demonstrate.
Is it then possible to have thought without emotion? In certain instances of extreme sexual impotence, it might be reported (as by sexually-impotent pure mathematicians) that this is the case. However, clinical work demonstrates that the emotion exists, by virtue of elation and depression phenomena which can only be the results of emotional shifts of the most powerful sort. If the pure mathematician usually imagines that he dreams only in black and white (and the gifted musician in color), this is because the sexually-impotent mathematician has blocked recognition of color (emotion), and thus usually experiences (consciously) only depression, elation, and rage ... emotions!
Object-images exist for thought as subjects of emotion; they never exist without emotion, but always uniquely in a cathexized form. Pure object-images do not exist—contrary to sexually-impotent forms of algebraic and other formal logics. The discrete (the so-called primitive object-image of sense-certainty) does not exist except as a predicate of the continuous, emotion. Emotion, usefully linked to the proprioceptive, endocrinal disposition for action, is the intellectual experience of the pure continuum.
Returning from this particular aspect of the matter to the “transfinite,” the experience of the “unheimlich” state of self-consciousness, implicitly manifest as pre-consciousness, is associated with a definite quality of emotional state, corresponding most closely to what is otherwise known as self-conscious motives for potent sexual loving, as distinct from the usual infantile “loving.” The same emotional state is experienced characteristically in the outbursts of thought which can subsequently be “objectively” identified as great creative impulses for discovery and comprehension of new Gestalts. This, as we develop the case in “Beyond Psychoanalysis,” is the emotion of self-conscious love and of creative mentation.
It corresponds, as we can readily demonstrate through Cantor's notion of the “transfinite,” to a certain comprehension of the entire universe.
If we break from the notion that the universe is a fixed sort of Riemannian space, to the conception of the historical universe as a nest of successive Riemannian spaces of ever-higher order, then we have a conception of the universe which exactly corresponds to the “unheimlich” state concretized. This would mean a universe which at each historical moment was characterized by an invariant mode of determination of relationship among parts, but in which the quality of the invariant shifted as the next historical moment (next higher-order of space) evolved. The pattern of shifting values thus described would represent a true world-line for the historical universe.
This has several fundamental implications. Firstly, if the universe is merely of a fixed order of space (in the special sense employed here), then we are situated in a most perplexing state respecting the possibility of scientific knowledge of that universe. We are implicitly stuck in the continuous universe of simple identity of Joseph Schelling, a universe which is, as Hegel sardonically describes the matter, “a night in which all cows are black.” In such a universe as that it is impossible to simultaneously “reduce” the notion of the entire universe to a single, continuous comprehensive law and retain the actuality of necessary existence of definite object-states in the here and now! (The epistemological essence of the “generalized field problem.”) Only if the universe is organized not on the principle of simple energy (fixed quality of space in this special sense), but organized on a principle of universal negentropy, in the sense of the nest of successive historic orders of space, does there appear the possibility (the epistemological potentiality) of comprehending the elaborated universe as a single, continuous totality in terms of a single conception of universal law.
Yet, if the universe is of exactly the “nested” historical form of self-subsisting positive evolution thus implied by epistemological necessity, the form of possible degrees of self-consciousness of the human mind is in exact correspondence with such a universe, and thus the universe represents a totality which is in precise correspondence with the creative potentialities of the human mind.
This would signify, along the lines developed in “Beyond Psychoanalysis” and Dialectical Economics, that the emotion of self-conscious love, the affective state of creative mentation, the fundamental law of the universe, and the Marxian principle of historical materialism, are all “projective” equivalents of one another!
The Case of Marx
Admittedly, Marx himself does not go explicitly so far. We have dealt with the problem of Marx's limitations in Dialectical Economics. Marx reduces the issue of the dialectical form of the sensuous act and object to a practical question of revolutionizing human socialized practice, and thus evades as well as avoids the implied issue of the susceptibility of the laws of the physical universe to such revolutionizing. Yet, within that limitation, Marx's notion of historical, positive (self-subsisting) evolution of successive, historically-specific states of social-reproductive practice is nothing but a special case of what we have described above.
Where Marx himself is most definite, as in his Capital, Volume III treatment of “Freedom/Necessity,” is in his conception of expanded reproduction, as we have treated the relevant issues within the socialist movement in our “In Defense of Rosa Luxemburg.” The moment of actualization of the human quality of individual existence, the actualization of universal labor through cooperative labor, is not the simple productive act, but rather the revolutionizing of the mode of production as a whole, first approximated through technological advances which represent, in effect, higher states of negative entropy in terms of S/(C+V). Universal labor, expanded reproduction, and sexual potency are one and the same at root. All signify “elitism,” all signify the process of fundamentally altering the inner mind of others, and being positively altered in the same way, by creative mentation (universal labor).
As we indicated earlier in this, what we have done is to elaborate these conceptions beyond their bare form of conception, utilizing, the empirical evidence of the mind and the cited line of achievements of modern scientific knowledge (e.g., the line defined by Riemann and Cantor).
Sexual Impotence Per Se
Everyday rationalization limits the conception of sexual impotence to impairment of the individual's physiological capacity to perform sexual acts or, inclusively, impairment of the capacity for sexual “arousal.” In the final analysis, most of these acknowledged forms of psychosomatic impotence are to be regarded as consequences of the more fundamental and pervasive psychological impotence to which we refer here. Hence, the point is made most clear if we confine our attention to the cases of extreme sexual impotence in which there is little or no obvious physiological defect in the individual's ability to perform sexually. Indeed, the most revealing form is not given by the case of inability to maintain an erection, or ejaculatio praecox, etc., but rather by the impotent male (for example) who can perform credibly and almost indifferently with women, sheep, large dogs and other men.
The classical case is the sexually athletic Macho who regards himself as a successful performer in bed, the Macho who has much to say and think respecting his capacities for various modes of penetration and frequency and cubic centimeters of ejaculations. The ugly secret of the matter is that he is almost totally sexually impotent.
Firstly, his sexual relations are not relations at all, but are essentially sexual performances before an internalized audience. He is admittedly somewhat ambivalent about inviting a large audience to witness his performance with even a prostitute, which does not inhibit his homosexual impulse to recount his fantasy of the performance in the most painstaking detail (somewhat “improved” in the telling) before the first large audience he deems suitable for this purpose. His relationship to the woman is immediately a relationship of himself, as performer in a fantasy, to an audience for this fantasy.
Secondly, the woman with whom he is psychologically mating is seldom (if ever) the woman in bed with him; he is making love to a woman of pure fantasy. The actual woman's relationship to this fantasy is predominantly negative. She must, of course, suggest the woman of his fantasy to him, either by a resemblance to the fantasy-object or by the law of reaction-formation. Her essential duty to the performer is to play her part in such a way that she re-enforces and does not unmask the fantasy.
Hence, among the Macho's favorite prostitutes and mistresses, the art of playing various fantasy-supporting roles is the quality which the poor, impotent Macho finds most endearing. She, too, is merely giving a performance, and participating in the game in terms of her own fantasies.
Sometimes—often enough—her fantasy is not specifically sexual at all, but rather one of pure female sadism. With the (typically) frigid woman, the gratification of sexual performances originates in the sense of power over the male whom she sees as essentially pathetic.
Hence, the fabled “Latin Lover.” In public, he is of course the familiar Macho, a total fraud. In private, and the more pathetically so the closer the bedroom, the Latin, especially, turns into a whimpering child, begging for a little love. This pathetic (depressive) aspect of the Macho syndrome gives the sadistic woman the greatest pathological joy. Here she has the most suitable of victims, a wretched creature to torment with her “moods.” “Come here, Fido,” she grudgingly offers him in one moment, and in the next, “Sorry, Fido, I'm not in the mood. Let's discuss art, Fido. Down, Fido, don't you respect me at all!” What pure sadistic delight for her it is to be as impotently capricious as she chooses, to play cruelly with this helpless pet. He perhaps strikes her; she resents the blow, but delights in the evidence of the misery she has effected in him! Here is a man in whom she can evoke the most profound suffering. (Ergo, the attractiveness of the dog-like Latin Lover to the frigid Anglo female.)
No wonder, then, that one morning the man sits on the edge of his bed in profound depression. Sex no longer represents a satisfying illusion for him. Sex with this woman leaves him feeling even more empty than when he began the affair with her. In the need to escape such a relationship and yet, perhaps, his greater fear of leaving it, the man thus experiences the awful depressing sense of his essential sexual impotence. The more women he has bedded, the more insistently the truth of it all comes upon him and depresses him; in none of this did he love, nor in any of this was he loved. The physiological excitement of coitus, the anticipatory sensations of fore-play, were a gigantic fraud, a hoax. He is impotent.
As for the woman: one day, she too, tires of the monotony of tormenting her pet pathetic rapist, her husband. She becomes pregnant, and is now free to distance herself from her husband by exercising that form of more gratifying sadism she learned from her mother—the sadistic possession of her children. Through her sadism, her possessiveness, she turns her sons into Macho dogs like her husband before them, and her daughters into frigid pseudo-Virgin Marys, like herself. She and her husband meet as strangers, as hostile ambassadors from their respective worlds. He, from the homosexual world of his cronies and his whore-wives; she, from the world of the household, where she is the Virgin-Mother possessor of her victim- children.
Motherhood and Impotence
Think back to childhood. If you had a father, recall the hope of joy you often experienced when father came home in the evening. The stale, grey monotony of “life with mother” was suddenly relieved, the household became illuminated with color—at least, on the better evenings. “Company's arrived—it's father!” Think, then, of the wretchedness of emotional life in the household, Latin or U.S. black ghetto, in which there is no father to come home and bring light to the household, in which every wretched hour of life at home is only the grey, tasteless monotony of mother-mother- mother. Mother grows more oppressively gigantic as the years of childhood succeed one another. Get away from mother! Or, capitulate to mother. The child hangs between the two awful impulses; to get away from the only identity-giving figure he or she knows into the empty, strange world, or to stay and degrade oneself yet again in this dependency. It is a world of hateful—literally hate-filled, Blah, Blah, Blah and more Blah. It is the awful, terrifying sensation of impotence, the constant inner terror of being suspended half-way between life and looming death below.
To be the child of only a mother is to be the victim of sadism, no matter how much that mother may wish to love. The individual possessed by a single other person can experience only being fed and petted. He or she, the child, is the object for the mother's affectionate possession, and therefore only an object. The mother, in turn, is an alien for the child. It is slave-object (child) and master-object (mother). There is no mediating human love-relationship through which the child and the mother can share love as shared self-consciousness of the self-consciousness of another person.
“What are you doing, mother?”
“Baking a cake for father.”
“Can I help, mother?”
“Will father like the cake?”
“Father likes this kind of cake very much.”
“Oh, he'll be happy when he finds it, won't he?”
“Yes, love, he will be.”
“We love father, don't we mother?”
“Yes, we love father very much.”
The child experiences thus love for the mother and the mother for the child. They are, in this small but not-unimportant way, sharing self-consciousness of the consciousness of a third person. The child is learning the power to love. This can even be self-consciousness of the father's self-consciousness, if it is implied in such a dialogue that father is often depressed (in an unhappy ego-state) when he returns home. They anticipate his enjoyment of the cake not merely as his sense of infantile sensual gratification, but as his self-consciousness of their self-conscious effort to make him self- conscious of their love. That is the way a child learns to love. He sees the mother and father as loving persons, and delights in its own capacity to share the love between his parents.
What, then, when the mother “distances” the father, implies that the father is a “failure,” that “men are no good,” that men “are always annoying women” as when they wish to sleep, and so forth? What agony for the child.
The possessive mother insists that the daughter is pretty and clever. The father agrees; yes, the daughter is so pretty, so clever. The daughter senses a plunging agony of rejection: father does not love her; he is merely taken in by the “outsidedness” her mother is seeking to impose upon her. It is only where the mother and father can self-consciously love another that their respective relationships to the children become coherent if different expressions of the same universality of loving for the child. Where there is no such love between the parents (especially during the critical first five years of the child's life), the likelihood that the child will ever know love—real love—is enormously diminished.
It is the child's sense of the father's love, especially beginning in the period of late infancy and early childhood, when the image of the father tends to be more clearly distinguished (unconsciously) from that of the mother, which awakens the notion of love in the child. The child, sensing the coherence of both the mother's and father's loving, is compelled to become self-conscious of their loving self-consciousness of him (or her). It takes at least three to communicate the notion of self-conscious love. No two people by themselves can love one another, except in an infantile, almost bestial way. Love begins as the shared self- consciousness of the self-consciousness of others; love is the self-consciousness of those whom we love together. Love between two is a shared loving toward the self-consciousness or hope of self-consciousness among others in the “outside” world.
Hence, a mother-child relationship, maintained against the “interference” of the father, etc., especially against the father, is inherently a sadistic relationship of mother to child, resulting inevitably in sexual impotence and selfishness in the adult outcome of such a childhood.
We can remedy such hideous outcomes of sadistic, possessive “anti-father” “mother-love” only by self-consciously recognizing and destroying the dependency of the adult to an internalized image of the “mother,” This can be accomplished by a general climate of comradely love, within which there is a self-conscious love-relationship to a single individual of the opposite sex who serves as a concrete universal, as the universal, constant reference point of self-conscious social identity in respect to all other human relationships.
Yet, apart from that remedy, which the revolutionary movement must afford first to its own members and through them to the working-class generally, one who has any knowledge of the Latin (or Italian) cult of motherhood, knows that from such monstrously depraved forms of the bourgeois family can emerge only generally such pathetic human wreckage as the Macho.
Admittedly, the problem is not absolutely this or that. In most Latin families, there must have been some small scent of loving by the father, by siblings, some small taste of loving from playmates of the “outer world,” from grandparents, and so forth. There are, happily, very few absolutely pure Machos; most Machos have some sense of what real love should be, a small grip on real humanity. It is essential to locate that, to use it as the source of strength to build upon in addressing the Machismo-system victim's self-consciousness, and in thus beginning to free him from his self-degradation.
Yet, for this very reason, it is even more essential that a high priority be given to recruiting Latin women to the movement, and in similarly freeing these women from the grip of their frigidity, their sadistic semi-bestiality and self-bestialization as potential “mothers.”
Relationship to Politics
The banal state of simple consciousness, the ego- state of “my sincere feelings,” is the reduction of the self—and other selves—to virtually unchangeable objects. “I have my nature.” The belief in magic, in astrology, or existentialism are thus infallible symptoms of bestialization of the impotent individual. “I cannot be changed.” “You must not try to change me.” “accept me as I am.” “I have my psychological needs.” “They have their psychological needs.” “We must not impose our ‘elitist' will on the workers.” “The workers, through their experience, are the only ones who could know what they really desire; we must not impose our values upon them, since we do not have their experience.” All of these and similar symptoms are evidence of sexual impotence and its political correlatives. Similarly, “Local control,” and “nationalism,” are also expressions of impotence in their appropriate symptomatic expressions as politics.
The will of the worker must become the will to do that which is in the historic interest of the world's working-class as a whole; nothing else. If the workers passionately cling to any contrary sentiment of imagined self-interest, that sentiment must be seized upon and ripped out of them. No human being has the right to believe or “feel” anything except that which impels him to act in the historic interest of the world's working-class as a whole.
This does not deprive him or her of individual rights; to act for the human race is to actively express a certain quality of self as capacity, as developed individual human powers. The political working-class properly demands that each of its members enjoy those individual rights, including leisure and material consumption, which are essential to the individual to develop his or her individual human powers to the “level” corresponding to what the individual must do for the working-class as a whole. The individual who fights ruthlessly for his family's consumption, their education, their leisure, to such historic ends, is not being “greedy,” but is being class-conscious. Yet, this very fact only more forcefully demonstrates that there is no rational basis for tolerating any beliefs or “feelings” in anyone which would impel that person to act contrary to the historic interests of the political class as a whole.
There exists no (heteronomic) individual, local, or “national” self-interest which is to be tolerated (as “legitimate”) if it conflicts in the least with the historic interests of the world-wide working-class as a whole.
To the extent that anyone is impelled by false belief or simple consciousness of irrational “feeling” to the contrary, that person's beliefs and “feelings” must be ripped out and replaced with appropriate human beliefs and “feelings.” To do just that is an act of potent loving; to avoid that, to fail to undertake just that task, is an act of sexual and social impotency.
“You don't understand my wife. She's a devout Catholic, like her mother.”
“Then, change her. Do not permit her to remain a degraded creature as her mother was. Love her; change her inside.”
Any politics which panders to “national” sentiments, to “localism,” to backwardness is the expression of sexual impotence in politics.
Let it be clear here: we are not speaking merely of parallels between sexual and political impotency. We insist that there is a direct, causal connection, such that sexual impotency is generally the causal root of Left political impotency.
Firstly, the search for a meaningful sexual relationship is the search for a concrete universal, a person of the opposite sex to whom one opens the entirety of oneself, and through that deep interconnection of shared self-consciousness one finds in that relationship something stronger, better than the earlier location of one's identity in being a child of one's parents. The search for this is the most profound and essential dynamic of all individual thought and behavior, a dynamic which is necessarily the basis for every form of social conduct of the individual. Hence, in what the individual expresses respecting the search for a concrete universal, we encounter more than a parallel for what he does in other aspects of life; we encounter in the search for such love the very essence of his behavior in all aspects of life.
As we laid the matter out in “Beyond Psychoanalysis,” the unique physiological premise of mentation in the hominid infant (not yet human) is merely the development of the Infant's power of self-development of his powers to exist. It is this integrating principle—this psychosomatic principle—which uniquely empowers him to develop Gestalts; perception, conception, recognition, to determine existent actualities in the form of Gestalts (object-images) from the continuity of experience. Yet, the problem he must solve in order to develop deliberative powers for his existence is the circumstance in which his existence depends upon power over the socialized processes which entirely mediate his individual relationship to nature generally. Consequently, he becomes human (rather than a mere hominid) as his individual powers become entirely social powers. He does not acquire individual (isolated animal) powers over nature per se, but rather powers over the forces of his society.
This process begins for him in this culture (in particular) in terms of the mother-image. It is his mother and her surrogates who ‘mediate his relationship to the world; thus, he must solve the problem of the mother-image, must learn deliberate control of the mother-image, as his initial development of socialized powers. Because he develops the power to recognize himself as the object for the behavior of another (the mother- image), he develops a conception of identity—social identity, not pure individual identity—and thus accomplishes the evolution from hominid to human being. (Theologians may consider the issue of infant baptism settled accordingly; only a bestial (e.g. feudal) society could tolerate infant baptism.)
Accordingly, there develops a cathexis between his primary psychosomatic emotion and the interconnected recognition of the images of his mother and his mother's object, himself. The approach of the mother-image becomes the opportunity to exercise his developing deliberative powers; his sense of identity is thus more strongly awakened. He is elated ... unless ...
“No, it is not the mother-image; it is some creature who does not respond as the mother-image does! It is a hateful image;” the sense of identity recedes, and the capacity for determinate thought (conception) is shrunk, overwhelmed by a Schwaermerei of half-digested images and other sensations.
We elaborated a bit of the process by which this infantile relationship to the mother-image is properly superseded in later infancy—the onset of childhood—by the emergence of actual self-consciousness, usually through relationships to the father, other siblings, grandparents, and so forth. Yet, the location of the sense of identity in the mother-image remains.
Increasingly, it becomes apparent to the systematic observer that the actual woman, the mother, and the child's internalized mother-image are not the same person. The mother-image is the product of the relationship of the mother to the child, and also mixed with the relationship of mother-surrogates to the child, for which relationships the mother-image is “blamed.” In later childhood, the internalized mother-image is modified, but the basic personality of this image remains that formed, with decreasing force of change, throughout the period up to about five years of age.
In later life, it becomes necessary for the individual to be psychologically weaned, to supersede the mother- image with (in the case of the male ex-child) another woman who performs for him as adult the same essential function as the mother-image in childhood. It is the concrete universal he seeks, the person to whom his inner self is entirely opened, the person whose existence is the internalized and externally actualized location of his sense of identity. His impotence, including his sexual impotence, is his inability to establish just such a relationship; yet, that impotence does not end his searching, but only intensifies the empty-feeling agony of his bad-infinity searching. This is both the concentrated essence of everything else he seeks in every aspect of social life and is the point of reference to which he refers every question from other aspects of personal social life. Inevitably so, since this search is a search for affirmation of his inner sense of identity.
What is thought? It is the judgment which is regulated by the increase or decrease of the sense of identity. One acts not merely to attain fixed objects, fixed sensuous acts, but to obtain those objects, actualize those thought-acts which mediate an increased sense of identity. In the pathological state, the force of judgment is regulated by an internalized babble of images, dominated usually by the mother-image. With small effort, one can bring up the mother-image either re-enforcing or reducing the sense of identity as an immediate regulator of “sincerity of feeling” in the adult. It is the same in politics.
In this sense, the neurotic adult must be systematically regarded as a pseudo-adult—either as the victim of individual neurosis or of that collective neurosis recognized as bourgeois ideology. His sense of identity is pathologically determined by childish fantasies, and not by self-consciousness of his positive basis for adult existence. By contrast, the revolutionary is essentially the only true adult by contrast with the pseudo-adult children about him. The neurotic loves his wife as a surrogate for his mother; the adult loves his mother and father not as internalized images, but as actual human beings, and loves his wife as an actual human being in her own right. He has put aside his mother and father, who becomes specially-loved peers on the outside of his identity, and locates his identity in the adult woman who has become the focus of his sense of identity.
The Macho, for example, is not a true adult man, but only an overgrown, neurotic “little man,” “his mother's little man.” The secret of the Macho, or of the kindred petit-bourgeois Italian Left intellectual with his citric Weltschmerz, his pathetic existentialism, is that he, relative to his “Northern” class brothers, is less civilized, less socialized. Latin culture is relatively a culture of uncivilized, barely-socialized children; remove the thin veneer of civilization from the infantile little beast of mother-love, and pure beast emerges—the beast of the bull-fight, the beast we see in the murderous, torturing juntas and the sadistic peasants who perform such hideous, bestial tortures.
It is, of course, true that the butchers of Latin America are the agents of the U.S. State Department, CIA, and international cartels. It is also true that in Latin America the CIA finds such excellent butchers for its purpose, and populations which not only tolerate such bestiality, but in which the Left itself has such a necrophiliac fascination with sado-masochistic submission to death by torture. The Macho Leftist is little concerned to wipe out the butchery; his image of the revolutionary is the sacrificial victim baring its chest to the bullet, the victim submitting to the ultimate homosexual masochistic fantasy of being sodomically raped to death. He is the most pathetic of Christians, especially when he deludes himself he is an atheist; the prototypical Macho revolutionary is the revolutionary priest reliving the Passion of Christ in submitting to the most degraded tortures and death, indeed almost begging to be sodomically raped in such a fashion. The Macho Left will then make gigantic bull-fight posters of the victim, eulogizing the “beauty” of this sodomic death-rape; they will parade pictures of the victim's mutilated body to the credulous Machos who dream of themselves achieving the same Passionate perfection of “being a true revolutionary.” The imagery of Macho Left poetry and painting is so painfully self-revealing—and disgustingly abominable!
It is time to end this nightmare, this recurring nightmare of infantile Macho Leftism, its abominable, self-degrading fascination with mutilated bodies—its homosexual fantasies respecting the sodomic death-rape of human bodies, fantasies which so often, not accidentally, pervade the Macho's sexual fantasies as such. It is time for childish Latin would-be revolutionaries to break free of such sadistic mother-love, such Machismo, and to become human adults.
The essence of Macho politics is the fear of rats. This is, of course, characteristic of all bourgeois culture, and is only intensified among Machos. “Honor,” “Manhood,” and so forth, the entire disgusting paraphernalia of “Latin courtesy,” reveal this. “Intrude upon my honor, my sense of manhood, and I will kill you!” “Try to psychoanalyze me and I will kill you!” The impotent Macho is trained by his pathetic culture to take the other person at the outward value that person seems to place upon himself; that is the condition for “being accepted.” Break “the code” and the entire peer group suddenly turns into a horde of rats, attacking “the violator of honor.”
What is “Honor”? What but the guilty knowledge that underneath the facade of outer pretenses the “inner person” is a worthless, degraded beast. Look beneath the surface and you have seen what no “honorable” person will endure to be revealed about himself; this guilty knowledge must be destroyed by destroying the person who possesses it.
Yet, revolution is nothing but the subjective activity of probing most deeply into the inner selves of others, in order to rip out self-degrading “sincerity of feelings,” to awaken self-consciousness, and to fundamentally change the other persons, into the adult, actually human beings they are capable of becoming. To respect “Honor,” “Manhood,” and so forth is to be impotent. To “respect the chastity of women” is to be impotent: sexually and politically. The Macho, who is not capable of being a real man or a revolutionary, does not know love, does not know humanity; he knows only either masochistic submission to the eternal chastity of the Holy Mother or rape, especially homosexual rape.
Macho Left politics is a pathetic mixture of “Latin courtesy,” “Latin posturing,” and unimaginative childish insults. Nothing is more typically pathetic on this count than the empty posturing of the PSP.
Hegel, Feuerbach, and Marx
There are three degrees of relative freedom from sexual and political impotence, respectively associated with the names of Hegel, Feuerbach, and Marx. What distinguishes these three—and those associated with their humanist faction—is their conception of the political organizing process as one in which self-consciousness defines itself by creating self-consciousness of the same quality and actualization in others. The respective ways in which Hegel, Feuerbach, and Marx propose to realize that human quality is their respective distinctions from one another.
In Hegel, self-consciousness is limited to the roles of the classroom educator or enlightened official. Reality exists for him only in the form of abstractions from reality, which he mistakes for the essence of reality. Actual, sensuous relations among actual persons do not exist in Hegel's system.
In Feuerbach, a great advance is made. Feuerbach exposes the great fraud of Hegel, the fraud of the abstract Logos. Feuerbach—in our adopted terms of clinical reference—insists on the psychoanalytical principle of cathexis: ideas do not exist detached from emotion; the abstract Logos of Hegel is the grey, lifeless abstraction from the universality of love = creative mentation. For Feuerbach, and this is the kernel of his genius, the thought exists as actualizable thought only as its determined object-image is the impulse for a sensuous act in the sensuous world.
Feuerbach's great flaw—his relative impotence—is that he cannot get beyond the role of the “explorer of nature.” His individual is able only to select sensuous acts from nature as given by nature. Feuerbach is thus a petit-bourgeois democrat where Hegel is an enlightened Prussian official. For example, to apply the petit- bourgeois principle of Feuerbach's relative impotence to Left politics, Feuerbachian impotence is exemplified by support of a specific, fixed objective, such as support of the specific objectives of a strike. When the strike is finished, won or lost, the mobilization of self-consciousness for continued class struggle is aborted—is revealed as impotent. Support of “national revolutionary” objectives is similarly a political expression of sexual impotence.
Marx, beginning with the first of his “Theses On Feuerbach,” cuts through sexual and political impotence.
The chief defect of all hitherto existing materialism—that of Feuerbach included—is that the thing, reality, sensuousness, is conceived only in the form of the object or of contemplation, but not as human sensuous activity, practice, not subjectively. Hence it happened that the active side, in contradistinction to materialism, was developed by idealism—but only abstractly, since, of course, idealism does not know real, sensuous activity as such. Feuerbach wants sensuous objects, really differentiated from the thought objects, but he does not conceive human activity itself as objective activity. Hence, in the Essence of Christianity, he regards the theoretical attitude as the only genuinely human attitude, which practice is conceived and fixed only in its dirty-judaical form of appearance. Hence, he does not grasp the significance of “revolutionary,” of “practical-critical” activity.
We cite that passage here because it has absolutely not been understood by any known philosophical critics or “Marxist-Leninist” babblers.
It signifies that, for Marx, the act, the sensuous object, exists in reality only as the mediation of self- consciousness, only as a connection between one degree of self-consciousness and a still-higher degree of self-consciousness. This identifies the semi-genius of Trotsky's conception of “permanent revolution”—semi-genius because Trotsky himself, to say nothing of his so-called followers, never fully understood the deeper implications of his half-discovery. The act must not be an end in itself, otherwise we are back at Feuerbachian “democratic” politics, back at Feuerbachian “dirty-judaical” preoccupation with possession of the fixed goal, back at Feuerbachian political—and sexual—impotence. The act must be only the necessary mediation through which higher states of self-consciousness for higher qualities of mediating sensuous practice are attained.
This Marxian principle is uniquely located in the principle of socialist expanded reproduction. The person who proposes a “socialist society” based on “equitable distribution” is ipso facto sexually and politically impotent. The person who proposes to “seize the factories” is also impotent. Expanded reproduction means the positive development of the self-subsisting form of the productive forces, through uniting the world-wide working-class into a single political unit and accomplishing the technological development of the productive forces at the most rapid rate, subject to the included development of the intellectual and productive powers of the working-class individuals.
This means to organize the working class forces (workers and their political allies) both against infantilism, against Ego-state “sincerity of feeling,” and for self-consciousness of the universal task of appropriating and developing the world's productive forces. It means, above all, to fundamentally change the inner self of the workers.
In contrast, that Left politics which proceeds from “existing realities,” from the appealing to the existing prejudices of workers, etc., from pandering to “nationalist” prejudices, from admiring the infantile sentimentalities of the “popular forces,” etc., is viciously anti-Marxian, viciously anti-dialectical, viciously sexual impotence in the domain of Left politics.
The most comi-tragic expression of this is the pathetic commedia called the PSP.
The PSP As A Phenomenon
Since its previous phylogenetical state of larval existence as the MPI, the PSP has always been distinguished unfavorably from most Left groupings by its notorious and most extraordinary degree of opportunism. This opportunism is most conspicuous inside the organization itself, where various bitter factions of self-styled “Marxist-Leninists” are set buttock to buttock with a varied assortment of “Puerto Rican Nationalists.” There is no principled basis in belief for most of the PSP members to be in the same organization with one another, except that principle which otherwise unites the prostitute briefly to her client. The only common essence binding such a varied assortment together in the Party is opportunism: the desire to have a “large organization.” It is Saturday night, and the PSP Macho wants the political equivalent of an impotent sexual embrace, so desperately that he does not look closely at the qualifications of those persons who consent to perform the desired service for him.
The essence of Papers' “politics” is simple: this Macho desires only a big movement of the “Puerto Rican Popular Forces.” This desire for the political equivalent of the Macho's sexual orgasm he identifies as the irrational feeling of being regarded (and self- regarded) as something exciting, something dangerous—a Rrrrrrrevolutionary! He wants to bring together a horde of the Puerto Rican Popular Forces, and then they will all share one big political orgasm, which is called “independence.”
Economic theory? He shrugs his shoulders; he is essentially a revolutionary of feeling; besides, since he regards Puerto Ricans as full of duende, and thus emotional rather than literate, it is not compatible to introduce such a gringo quality as “intellectuality” into the movement of the Popular Forces. How will this independent revolutionary island feed and clothe the people? He shrugs; he has a feeling that this will be no major problem. He argues: There is enough, if we have the feeling to seize it for the people. To impose a program of expanded socialist reproduction upon the people would be elitism; it is necessary to respect their feelings. It is necessary to regard the “ignorant people” as already possessing all the “natural,” “racial” intellectual and other qualities necessary for “revolutionary independence.”
“Culture”? He feels that the Puerto Rican people already have a culture, of which they must merely be proud. To him, the “natural culture” endemic to the people is already “Marxist,” and “revolutionary,” and hence axiomatically the struggle for this endemic culture (whatever that appears to be to him at the moment) is already self-evidently an anti-bourgeois culture, an anti-capitalist “liberating” culture.
He ignores the fact that the Puerto Rican people are deprived of any culture of their own. The comprador caste of educated and semi-educated Puerto Ricans (from which the PSP leadership is recruited) has a heritage chiefly of the reactionary side of Spanish culture, and a family and school cultivated link to the Spanish language and literature, as is the case with the Spanish upper classes and the cognate comprador classes throughout Latin America. The Puerto Rican people also have a heritage of peasant culture, of the idiocy and bestiality of rural life. The comprador classes have also a large dosage of Yanqui culture, the culture of Fomento, Coca-Cola, Rancheros, and similar autochthonous productions of the Puerto Rican people. Yet, the proletarian masses do not even have a language, neither Spanish nor English, nor a Puerto Rican syncretism of the two, but only argot, a Schwaermerei of a language which is neither quite Spanish nor English nor anything else, but only a slave-language, a lingua franca of the slaves.
The PSPer ignores the fact that the Puerto Rican masses are denied the right to a culture in which they can identify themselves as collectively contributing to the enrichment of the intellectual life of the world. Their “culture,” like most of their food, is whatever their semi-colonial master arranges to have imported from other places.
The picture of the PSPer respecting “Puerto Rican culture” is like that of the enlightened colonialist “cultural relativist” or slave-master who sees the oppressed subsisting on refuse. He says, “That is what they like. Do not impose alien values on them. Their preference for garbage from hotel kitchens is an outgrowth of their cultural experience, like their preference for the shacks of the barrio.” The colonialist, like the thinly-disguised comprador petit-bourgeois of the PSP leadership, always explains: “The slaves are happier to keep their own little ways.” He sees the masses deprived of culture, making a poor imitation culture of whatever refuse decaying Spanish heritage or Yanqui imports have discarded into the streets; the PSP petit- bourgeois smiles indulgently: “That is the people's culture.”
The wretched comprador petit-bourgeois mentality of the PSP leadership is in no way more pathetically displayed than in its ritual worshiping at the cult of “Island Independence.”
It is a fact: Puerto Rico cannot feed itself, and could not feed itself. Very well, independent Puerto Rico will import food. From whence, with what means of payment? From the proceeds of the Yanqui plants which are already running to the cheaper labor of the Dominican Republic Fomento? What if the Yanqui semi-colonialists close down their plants? What would “independent” Puerto Rico export merely to secure sufficient food for its people; it could export only its people! Indeed, it has been exporting its people for decades!
The PSP almost pretends that the recent electoral results did not occur. On the contrary, the Puerto Rican worker finds the present political status of the island advantageous to him because this status is part of the basis for the tax and other conditions which have made the island attractive to Yanqui employers running from the political (statehood) conditions of the mainland. The majority of voting Puerto Ricans reacted against the stupidity, not the “revolutionary extremism” of the independence parties in the elections.
The Puerto Rican who is so zealous in celebrating the purely religious idea of independence on weekend festivities has an opposite view of independence from his other, secular vantage-point in the real world of food, employment, housing, and so forth. He knows, from the labels on the imported food, from the names of the factories and other places where he is employed, that Puerto Rican material existence is possible only as an extension of the U.S. economy. In practice, outside the “churches” of the independence parties, and their rituals, he knows that his existence is located in a special political-economic arrangement for Puerto Rico within the U.S. economy, and he votes accordingly.
The popularity of the purely religious fantasy of “independence” for the same Puerto Rican who votes against political-economic independence, is a natural expression of slave-mentality. The slave exists by being a slave, and desires to continue being a slave because that, for him, is the only existent possibility for his material existence. Yet, he hates slavery nonetheless; he hates slavery in his dreams, his rituals, his purely unearthly occupations. He hates the Yanqui face, the Yanqui language, the Yanqui exploitation—with a deep, religious hatred. Just, as he hates the mental image of his sadistic, possessive mother, on whom the Macho is so fearfully dependent for his inner sense of identity. He hates his mother-image by devoutly worshiping it!
The Puerto Rican independence organizations thus function as special “religious” bodies, having little to do with the material actualities of this earth. Their function is not to change the world, but only to assist in creating those fantasies by which the oppressed mind seeks to preoccupy himself with the mere illusion of another world—that could never be. Accordingly, it is no miracle that the PSPer (and other independence factioneers) are so euphorically transported in their rhetoric when they speak of “Puerto Rican culture,” of “independence,” and the chiliastic “victory of Popular Forces.” They become pathetic, foolish, only when they make the pitiful blunder of attempting to bring their silly Heaven to Earth. To attempt to bring a wild fantasy into the real world of everyday practice is to make a pathetic mockery of that fantasy.
Similarly, the Macho is in transports of delightful fantasy when he thinks of the glories of coitus; it is when he attempts coitus with an actual woman that he becomes so pathetic, so obviously impotent. He is at liberty only with the loose woman, with the prostitute, with the mistress he secretly knows is “had” by other men. Thus, he conceals his homosexual impulses, his hatred of women, by degrading them in the name of love, and by thus performing the homosexual act of sharing coitus with a woman with another man.
(The prostitute, of course, at least unconsciously knows this secret of her Macho client. She does not object to this? Why should she? The prostitute thereby serves her own lesbian need to share the sexual act with the man's wife. The angered, sadistic woman revenges herself on a man by bedding another, by thus implicitly subjecting the hated lover to a homosexual relationship.)
The idea of “independence” is hence an unconscious act of self-degradation of the Puerto Rican peoples, akin in this respect to the popularity of “local control” among self-hating U.S. ghetto blacks. “Local control” of what? “Of our poverty, our slums, our degradation!” What is the ironic mythos of “self-help” prevalent in the U.S. black ghettoes since the 1950's? It is noting but the looting of one black neighbor—of clothing, TV sets, and so forth—to sell this loot to another, neighbor, sometimes in the same neighborhood within almost the very hour it was stolen: “self-help,” “local control.” The essential, unconscious notion involved: “We are so inferior that we can achieve a sense of equality only by separating ourselves from our superiors.” It is the profound, colonialism-induced poverty, ignorance, lack of culture, and so forth, of the oppressed Puerto Rican which induces him to believe that he would be equal only if cut off from all direct comparison (“competition”) with the higher-ranking species of man. By playing up to this belief in independence—this belief in inherent inferiority of the Puerto Ricans—this self-degrading mythos of “independence,” the PSPer, notably expresses his petit-bourgeois comprador's belief in the innate superiority of, Coca-Cola.
In this connection, it is most useful to compare the pervasive preoccupation with “Spanish culture” among Latin-Americans to the attitudes among democratic and socialist revolutionary Germans over a century ago. The revolutionary Germans, typified by Kant, Hegel, Marx, seized upon the more advanced culture of their immediate oppressors (Napoleon's French, the English), and made a gigantic advance in capitalist culture over the heads of those from whom they appropriated such things. By contrast, the Latin-American petit-bourgeois (e.g., from the comprador classes), seizes upon that which is most bathetically backward in the world; he claims his right to the rubbish of the world—as that which, alone, he considers peculiarly fit for the inferior Latin peoples. This “cultural relativist” seeks in Indian relics, in the misery of the mestizos, in the pathetic possessions of the backward, ignorant and oppressed, that which is peculiarly suited to the perpetuation of a culture of inferiority, of oppression.
The “Glories of Spain”?! Peron's friend, Francisco Franco, perhaps? That wretched, debased crew of present-day Spanish upper classes and bureaucrats who typify and subsist on the most backward culture of Western Europe, who could not “compete” in a world in which peasants and workers were not so miserably oppressed and debased as they are in Spain today!? The Spain of the Conquistadores? Bankrupt Spain of the sixteenth century, ignorant, priest-ridden, horse-ridden, almost bestial baboons of Conquistadores, raping, illiterate butchers? All to pay the debts of Charles V to Italian, German and Low Countries usurers? The Spain of the Inquisition?
Cervantes and other products of the Moorish-Latin heritages? Yes. Even the minor composer, Soler—yes. Goya? Absolutely! These are world-historical figures who rose above parched, miserable, hungry, priest-ridden, bull-baiting Spain with its Burgundian-Hapsburg bestialities.
These achievements of the great Spaniards are not what fascinate the Latin-American comprador.
Rather, he is fascinated by the wretched Spain, the cheap, inferior Spain, the only Western European culture (barring the wretched Portuguese) which is miserable enough to be within the price of the Yanqui's Latin slaves ... unless one considers also the most degraded existentialist, structuralist offal of decaying Parisian “culture,” which can be had for no price by anyone sufficiently lacking in respect for himself. The fascination with Spanish culture is primarily a preoccupation with the world of the Spanish-language ghetto, it is the self-image of the Latin comprador as an inferior person in the world.
Pathetic Lorca, imbecilic Neruda. The gifted Cortazar self-degraded into composing Parisian buffoonery. Marquez's genius slipping into pathetic existentialism. What is wanted is a true revolutionary spirit in Latin culture, which self-situates the best spokesmen of an oppressed people in the proper role of world-historical figures, leading not merely the “inferior” people of the vast Spanish-speaking ghetto of the world, but participating as equals in the remaking of the entire world. The world wants Latin Goethes, Hegels, Heines, and Marxes.
Of such human aspirations, such revolutionary aspirations, the petit-bourgeois comprador mentalities of the PSP leadership have absolutely no sensibility. Hence, their contempt for the human potentialities of the Puerto Rican people, and—not incidentally—the Macho's deep contempt for himself, in the pathetic cult of Puerto Rican “independence.”
Like everything else about the PSP, even the comprador pose of its leading strata is a pitiful parody of the Latin-American Left political farce in general.
In the major Spanish sectors of Latin America, the comprador families who rule the country for the Yanqui send their sons to the university. At the university, the sons and cousins of the leading families begin their roles as future Yanqui's satraps by political assortment. One son assumes the traditional political pose of “comprador orthodox politics”—caballero conservativism,—another becomes a future colonel, another becomes the fiery democrat, another becomes a populist publicist, another, or perhaps a cousin, becomes the family's “official Marxist-Leninist” firebrand. These sundry roles are, naturally, reviewed with suitable courtesies at all family gatherings. It is all a family affair—from extreme Right to extreme Left—every department of political life duly put under the supervision of some member of the comprador family. A guerrilla nephew may take a conservative uncle hostage: “Excuse me, uncle; this is merely political.” The uncle may, in turn, politically shoot the Leftist nephew and then weigh the delicacy of appearing at the family wake; or, the nephew may, after ending his term of temporary service to the family in the Left, be pensioned off as minister of education to his uncle's Popular Democratic government.
In certain poorer, rural-mentality-ridden sections of the U.S., it was once fashionable for young plebian ladies to join sororities based on the local public high school, in pitiable emulation of the university sororities to which their parents could ill afford to send them. On the same principle, the PSP leading strata attempt to pitifully emulate the comprador traditions of the political life of Venezuela, Colombia, etc. What contemptible little charades of a show of respect for the prestige of the other leader! What a picaresque charade! Poor, plebian, faceless PSPers attempting to play at the courtly manners of the comprador “aristocracy” of more auspicious Latin regions. One is astonished that the PSP's Claridad does not write of Don Juan Man Bras! Thus, the PSP of poor Puerto Rico parodies the comprador farce of other Latin regions.
CLARIDAD Attacks Casals
If one searches his knowledge for the name of a contemporary Spanish artist of present-day world-historical importance, the obvious choice he could unquestionably defend would be that of Pablo Casals. Casals was the world's great instrumentalist of the cello for several decades of this century, generally now more renowned more for his more significant musicianship. He was the guiding spirit of the world's greatest musical event of the past quarter-century, the Perpignan “Casals Festival.” He unquestionably ranks high both as a leading Spanish humanist and among the greatest figures of the Spanish artistic heritage, certainly the outstanding contemporary world-historical figure in Spanish art. Otherwise, up to his recent death he was the only notable person of genuine world-historical importance living in his adopted home of Puerto Rico.
It happens that with a good taste rarely exhibited among the dilettantes of the Puerto Rican comprador caste, Casals was the honored figure of a New York City “Fiesta Puerto Rico.” The pathetic, contemptible reaction of the PSP's Claridad weekly to Casals' participation in this concert is most revealing.
The weekly's June 24, 1973 editorial denounced the festival's inclusion of Casals as “Cultural Aggression,” denouncing in particular, “twenty-five thousand dollars stolen from the workers of Puerto Rico to sponsor a program which was not representative of what is our culture.”
The editorial continues, characterizing the concert in the following terms:
... clearly another attempt to force us into “another cultural bag.” The implication was clear: that part of the program which was termed “folkloric” was seen as being inferior; it was the classical part of the program which “saved” the event. But we no longer believe such fairy tales. As Puerto Ricans, but especially as revolutionaries struggling for a new society, a socialist society, we understand the importance and necessity of all peoples developing their cultures.
Our anger is not directed at the classical music of Europe, but at the attempt of the imperialists to force it upon us, and imply that our music is inferior to it ... It is the culmination of this genocidal process which will convert all Puerto Ricans, whether here or in Puerto Rico, into a national minority ...
What degrading, pathetic philistinism! “European” music? What of the Spanish language, which is also European? What of mathematics, textile manufacturing methods, modern types of vegetables and meat, the automobile, the airplane, etc., which are also presumably the efforts of the “imperialists” to impose a “culture” upon the native islanders?
Or, in a similar vein, is it “cultural aggression” upon Puerto Ricans that gringo “Rock” and “folk” fads are spreading through the island today; is the growing popularity of Mexican Macho ballads in the island to be construed as an example of Mexican “cultural aggression”? The following three examples of Mexican popular song lyrics are exemplary of the genre now sweeping the island.1
Nada importa haller la muerte
en Ia reja de una ingrata,
o llevar en la conciencia
otra culpa por matar.
En los Altos es de machos
respetar la valentía
y su ley son unos ojos
que enamoran al mirar.
Tienen fama sus caballos
que los charros jinetean,
y sus chinas son luceros
de belleza sin igual.
Por sus besos van sus hombres
sin temor a la pelea,
entre sangre de sarapes
y cortadas de puñal.
y los machos de Jalisco
afamados por entrones
por eso traen pantalones.
Vengo en busca de una ingrata
de una joven presumida
que se fue con mi querer,
traigo ganas de encontrarla
pa'eñsenarle que de un hombre
no se burla una mujer.
Se me vino de repente
dando pie pa'que la gente
murmurara porque sí,
porque a ver hoy que la encuentre
y quedemos frente a frente
que me va a decir a mi.
!Ay Jalisco, Jalisco
tus hombres son machos,
y son cumplidores
valientes y ariscos
no admiten rivales ...
en cosas de amores.
!Ay Jalisco no te rajes!
Yo fui uno de aquellos
“dorados” de Villa
de los que no tienen
amor a Ia vida,
de los que a la guerra
llevamos nuestra hembra,
de los que morimos
amando y cantando,
yo soy de ese bando.
The two cited examples of popular “folk culture” from Mexico illustrate not only what is so readily assimilable as Puerto Rican “folk culture,” but in that way we have illustrated two other points of general importance here. Firstly, considering the psychopathological content of these songs—and therefore the self-degradation of the persons to whom these songs appeal—we are illustrating the point that most so-called “folk art” of this sort is principally significant as clinical evidence of the self-debasement of an oppressed people. However, secondly, sometimes the very articulation of psychopathology in such “cultural” forms does attain to the status of art.
Some development of this latter point is relevant to the PSP attack on Casals.
In the case of the psychological portraits of the older Goya, the material displayed by the artist is nothing but the content of his own mind. Goya's chimerical figures are not sheer concoctions, not strictly fictions; they are what any qualified psychoanalyst would recognize as psychological truth, accurate representations of the horrible images one finds in the process of deeper probing of unconscious processes. Hence, in the case of these portraits (or, similarly, the psychologically important bull-fight sketches of Goya), or in the similar psychological revelations of Hieronymous Bosch, we have artistic works which are great art exactly because they exemplify the artist (and, implicitly, the audience) gaining self-conscious willful control over those hideous forces through which his society oppresses him, bestializes him internally.
Is the psychopathological behavior of the street-corner Macho therefore also “artistic” on such grounds? On the contrary, his performance, and the exemplary celebration of that self-degradation in Mexican ballads, is an act of strengthening and perpetuating the degradation expressed by this behavior. Art focuses on psychological truth, and hence often enough on portraying the hideousness within man, but to the effect of liberating man from that hideousness. Great art often “gets out” the representation of the hideousness within man to the either explicit or at least implicit end of enabling man to master, to conquer that self-degradation through self-consciousness.
The essential feature of great art is that it is a product of more or less direct and self-conscious recall and application of the special kind of emotion to which we refer in the concluding summary of this present article. It is the application of the emotion otherwise identified with creative mentation or with “oceanic” impulses of “non-erotic loving” to the effect of liberating the individual from the sort of banality of feeling expressed typically in vulgar “folk culture.”
However, this is not to brush aside all of what is sometimes termed “folk art.” Most of the great musicians of the past. Beethoven notably included, have seized upon so-called “folk songs” and other elements of popular music (dance-forms) as a point of departure for artistic production. In such instances, they do essentially what Goya did in his psychological portraits; they abstract, so to speak, from these “popular forms” of experience for the purpose of revealing a truth otherwise concealed behind the ordinary experience.
Sometimes, a naive, uncelebrated person, thus termed a “folk artist” because he lacks formal credentials in fine art, applies the same essential personal, less-developed gifts to some of his productions, lacking only the depth of training required to express the accomplishment in better than a clumsy fashion. Yet, despite the predominant banality of, for example, the resulting folk-song he produces, there is an offsetting element of “genius” in his work which enables it to serve an artistic purpose in the exertions of a gifted performer.
Hence, since there is only one set of standards for judging all art, the question of what should have been represented as the achievements of “Puerto Rican culture” at the New York “Fiesta” is a concrete issue. Is there, today, some outstanding Puerto Rican com poser whose work was ignored (i.e., suppressed)? Was there some particular song, etc., some group of musical works from Puerto Rican sources which was of equal merit to that featured in the Casals segment of the “Fiesta” program? If not, then all that could have been offered in decency was the best possible interpretative performance of great “European classical music” by the most gifted residents of Puerto Rico aided by their friends from all parts of the world.
Unless there is some work of unusual artistic merit buried in Puerto Rican popular musical entertainments, then the really oppressive feature of the “Fiesta” was the inclusion of the actually inferior “folkloric” trash. To hold up the pathetic “folkloric” works of Puerto Rico as exemplary of the human qualities of the Puerto Rican people is the most contemptible sort of imperialist patronizing. A comparison can be obtained from the tasteless wealthy dilettante father who arranges a major exhibition for the productions of an ungifted daughter who “paints” without a semblance of creative talent.
There can be no doubt that the editors of Claridad do express exactly such patronizing contempt for the Puerto Rican people. The attempt to contrast the “classical music of Europe” to a “native culture” of pathetic Macho ballads, etc., already says several things of decisive importance respecting those editors. Firstly, in terming the greatest music of the modern world “European” in this sense, they are insisting that Puerto Ricans are so inferior in mental and emotional potential that they are not a part of world culture, and could not possibly rise to such levels as to master Bach, Mozart, or Beethoven. When Claridad writes of the need of all peoples to develop their own native culture from the standpoint of the apotheosis of “native” trash such as the Mexican Macho songs we cited, it is the editors who are expressing the dominant philosophical world-outlook of the most reactionary imperialists.
Just as drunken capitalists used to go “slumming” in the U.S. black ghetto, and as white racists thus developed the myth that black people are “naturally good at” jazz, and have “soul” (i.e., have emotions, not intellectual competence), the post-war imperialists developed the reactionary fad in anthropology called “cultural relativism.” “Cultural relativism” is the groundless, racist theory that each people is genetically predisposed toward a certain kind of culture, that different national groups and races are merely different species of talking cattle, and therefore do not require the same quality of nutrition, housing, education, and rights as the wealthiest capitalist families. (“The happy-go-lucky slaves must be left to enjoy their own quaint customs.”)
It is the editors of Claridad who insist that Puerto Ricans are intellectually and emotionally inferior people. Claridad insists that a world-historical genius in music, Casals, could be understood only by wealthy, well-educated “Europeans.” Puerto Ricans, Claridad insists, are not capable of any higher intellectual and emotional level of “culture” than psychopathological ballads and quaint dances.
Notably, the “revolutionaries” of Claridad make no protest against the invasion of Puerto Rican cultural life by “Rock music,” a form of pseudo-music which celebrates and exacerbates the bestialization of intellect and emotion.
When the editors write that they are not attacking “classical music, “they are lying. It is precisely “classical music”—and all other serious forms of art and intellectual life—to which the obviously philistine, sexually-impotent moral cretins of the weekly are most violently opposed.
CLARIDAD On “Tango”
The exact form of the philistinism behind the PSP attack on Casals is revealed by a lengthy review of “Last Tango In Paris” appearing under the by-line of Carmen Vazquez Arce in the July 15, 1973 issue. (Notably, Claridad does not balk at the efforts of Arce to commit the “cultural aggression” of imposing Parasite existentialism upon the weekly's Puerto Rican readers.) Arce seizes upon everything in the film which expresses the most degraded form of bourgeois, bestial sexual relations and holds this up as a purgative “revolutionary” attack on bourgeois morality.
Existentialism, the point of view of the film, is both a professed “philosophy” and a psychopathology. The difference between the literary argument and the disease is located in the fact that many leading existentialists (notably Jean-Paul Sartre) are not entirely consistent exponents of the psychopathology which is otherwise the axiomatic kernel of their world-outlook in the writing; in writing, certain existentialists such as Sartre are “afflicted” by intellectual gifts and social conscience contrary to their otherwise prevailing mental illness, thus introducing into literary existentialism contradicting elements which preclude a simple equivalence between the philosophizing and a consistent exposition of the essential world-outlook expressed in the philosopher's axiomatic assumption.
There is nothing strained in any respect in our terming existentialism as a disease (“French disease”?). There is the development of R.D. Laing's cult out of Sartre's existentialist psychology and the parallels to this in the advocacy of insanity by such structuralists as Foucault and Althusser, as well as the advocacy of insanity (although in milder terms) in Sartre's psychological writings themselves. (A “structuralist” is an existentialist suffering from an overdose of grammar.)2
To make short of the point at hand in respect to the “Tango” review, in cultures in which the alienation of the individual is most extreme (France, Italy, Latin America, etc.), the sense of unreality of the self-conscious self is especially acute. For example, the case of the Macho, who is fanatically determined to conceal his “inner self” from all external access. As a result, the infantilism rampant in the culture is relatively more extreme in the form of a preoccupation with the individual sensual experience per se. The “strong feelings” of rage, fear, elation of object-possession, characteristic of the alienated (emotionally blocked) individual are perceived by the victim as purely-individual feelings demanding individual (heteronomic) sensual expression per se.
Correspondingly, just as in the Macho's “extracurricular” sexual relations there is absolutely nothing personal respecting the woman being used at the moment, the ideal of the existentialist lover is to “have” a woman without an exchange of names, to engage in a purely animal sensual relationship with the woman—without either of them knowing who the other is or incurring any other sense of a continuing social relationship—a “purely sensual” relationship, or, otherwise, a purely bestial sexual relationship a la D.H. Lawrence.
The bestialized person such as Carmen Vazquez Arce, imagines that because the existentialist sexual relationship is nominally “dirty” and “immoral” by bourgeois standards, that such a degraded form of sexual relationships is therefore somehow anti-capitalist and hence “revolutionary.” Arce overlooks the fact that “dirty” and “immoral” prostitution is already an honored bourgeois institution, especially In Latin American culture. (The Latin father introduces his son to a prostitute—a sort of Latin “bar mitzvah.” Later, the son, reared to sex in relationships to prostitutes, rapes his bride on their wedding night, a bride whose entire sexual education was probably at the hands of nuns. The Latin father is seldom offended by his son's “whoring around”; the Latin is offended only by treating a “madonna” as whore. Typically, in cultures—e.g., Spanish, Italian—in which this “noble” existentialist tradition of chastity prevails, the male feels most secure in “whoring around” with a woman from another language-group, etc.)3 Is prostitution, the self-subsisting form of existentialist sex, therefore a “revolutionary” institution? We may judge that Arce speaks authoritatively for the editors of Claridad in holding up sexual impotence and sexual degradation as the official political policy of the weekly.
In short, there is an obvious direct connection between Arce's professed sexual self-degradation and the weekly's countercultural hostility to “classical music” and great Spanish artistic achievements. Claridad's policy, on culture as well as politics generally, is that Puerto Ricans are an inferior people, who should never be subjected to important tasks of intellectual or emotional life.
The cases of the El Mundo newspaper strike and the general strikes adequately identify the total impotence of the PSP in its island politics. Unlike the now-defunct Puerto Rican Socialist Party of the 1930's, the leadership of the same party (as Marx would say, “repeated as farce”) which has taken its name militantly denies the fact that Puerto Ricans are an oppressed minority within the U.S.A. (e.g., editorial, June 24, 1973). Thus the PSP pretends that it is unnecessary for island Puerto Ricans to constantly link their own class struggle to that of the mainland working class. Like all reactionary nationalists, the PSP hostilely rejects class principles whenever the “national question” is posed. It treats the U.S. working-class generally as almost equally “imperialist oppressors” together with the mainland capitalists.
The reactionary side of Puerto Rican nationalism shows most clearly as impotence whenever the PSP leadership is confronted with a situation which demands connecting the Puerto Rican workers' struggles to the mobilization of class struggle forces in alliance with mainland workers generally. By thus cutting off Puerto Rican workers from the of mobilizing mainland workers generally, the PSP (like other “left” nationalists) ensures the absolute crushing defeat of all island class struggles. As if half-conscious of this counterrevolutionary aspect of its nationalism, the PSP attempts to cover up its counterrevolutionary role of impotence with the most astonishing charades and double-talk.
The following summary prepared by a leading staff member in charge of the Island intelligence file, makes the essential case.
The EL MUNDO Newspaper Strike
From the first days of the strike in early February, both island and overseas capitalist firms put forth a united front with the newspaper to break this strike. They intended to use that strike-breaking as an example for on-going and future strikes. Therefore, the first picket lines were met with police clubs and the arrest of the strike leadership and rank and file.
Realizing the strength of the strikers, El Mundo decided to rent five helicopters to airlift the paper from the plant and to import scabs. When a legal challenge by the union failed, the “Armed Commandos of Liberation” (CAL), a petit-bourgeois nationalist terrorist group, bombed the five helicopters. CAL is viewed sympathetically by the PSP-MPI.
General public sympathy for the El Mundo strikers was indicated by the rapid decrease of the newspaper's readership up until the point management opted for a lockout. Moreover, the United Workers Movement (MOU), a PSP front organization of progressive trade unions, mobilized their rank and file, especially the Teamsters, to join the picket line and to distribute propaganda about the strike. Similarly, students, intellectuals, and professionals organized rallies and marches in support of the strike.
During the seven-month El Mundo strike there were four other major strikes—by independent truckers, bus drivers and maintenance personnel, electrical and water services workers—and forcible land seizures by dispossessed people. In the first six months of 1972, there were more than a hundred strikes of more than 75,000 strikers. This figure is about twice the annual average in Puerto Rico.
All of this presented a clear opportunity for the Left to intervene in this mass-strike process. Immediately an island-wide strike-support organization could have been created to put forward a common interest program of expanded jobs, housing and necessary services by taxing capitalist income. In that period, such a Puerto Rican vanguard effort could have been made effective by spreading the struggle to the U.S. mainland.
The local and “Yanqui” capitalists were very aware of the explosive potential of this strike wave. On June 23, the associate commissioner of the Industrial Commission of P.R. suggested the creation of a native Pay Board composed of eleven “authentic” union leaders selected by the rank and file. On the first week of August, 1972, the government of Puerto Rico (New Progressive Party) initiated a strike-breaker plan to temporarily replace the striking water services workers. The Civil Defense, the police, firemen, the Department of Public Works and Water Service would act as strikebreakers in this and other strikes in the near future. Although these two plans never materialized, it gives us a concrete expression of how aware the capitalists were of the potential mass-strike process going on.
In December 1971, Juan Mari Bras, the General Secretary of the PSP, said at a New York City lecture that his party had organized an “aspirant” group among El Mundo workers. Thus, by the outset of the strike on February 9, the PSP had an active militant caucus inside the Puerto Rican Newspaper Guild (UPAGRA).
The aims of this PSP-led caucus were to move within the union to more radical “pure and simple” trade-union positions, while the PSP militants played the role of the honest and humble “friends of workers.”
At the time of the lockout (last week of June) the President of “El Mundo” Corp. sent a letter to her employees which was answered by the Workers Affairs Secretary of the PSP as follows:
In the present stage of our struggle, the strategy for economic strikes is set up by the workers headed by their own trade-union leadership. It is within this strategy that our support began to function. That is why we always insist that the terms of our support be determined by the workers. This is what is in harmony with the working-class-conscious development of the Puerto Rican workers and the ideological development of the most advanced trade-union leadership.
Claridad, July 2, 1972, p. 9.
Thus, the only nominally socialist party on the island decided to throw politics out of the window at precisely the point where a government-employer front was developing to generate a political approach to crush the strike wave.
The soup-pail method of the PSP in the El Mundo strike reached its climax when, rather than seeking outside political support, the PSP sent its best cadres all over the island in a “Salvation Army” effort to collect the $10,000 fine slapped on the union through a Taft-Hartley injunction which banned mass picketing in front of the plant gate.
During this period all the Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP) had to offer was its cultural-nationalist militant image toward the bourgeois election. Even the potentially proletarian faction in the Political Education Secretariat (at that time) was forced to play the party's opportunist election game. PIP had approached the El Mundo strike and all other interventions in the class struggle with this same gate-receipts perspective.
Although the El Mundo strike was in the PSP's “territory,” for the second time the PIP decided to expand its vote-getting campaign into the PSP's area. It organized May 1 activities with massive pickets at the newspaper's plant culminating in an electoral rally. Even though the vice-president of the PIP was directing the truckers' strike at that time, his party refused to seek outside political support for either this or the El Mundo strike—because the PIP's sole concern was to win elections—not working-class battles.
At the time of the lockout, the PSP, unable to orient the labor upsurge, chose to interpret it as a “workers' victory;” workers who instinctively knew how to recognize lockouts as powerful weapons were told: “The regaining of the Fatherland means courage and sacrifice.”
July General Strike
The island's firemen went out on strike July 4, 1973. They were followed by the Irrigation and Electricity Workers Union (UTIER) of the island's Water Resources Authority (AFF). A few days later the San Juan City Sanitation Workers went out. In addition to these three main strikes, minor ones erupted, among them the workers at Corona brewery and the San Juan Cemetery Workers.
The island's governor, Rafael Hernandez Colon, immediately brought the might of the government against the strikers. Injunctions were issued, along with bench warrants for the arrest of the strike leaders. Colon mobilized the National Guard against the firemen and the AFF workers soon after they went on strike. For the first time in Puerto Rican labor history, the National Guard was used to break a strike. This made it only the third time that the capitalists have wielded the National Guard in Puerto Rico as an active force of repression. (The first National Guard action was an attack against nationalists during the 1930's and 1950's). With this move the capitalist class had declared open warfare against the Puerto Rican working class.
Hernandez Colon had to call the National Guard to demonstrate to the capitalists that he could deliver the, payments on debt obligations; and given the strike conditions, he could hardly afford to make concessions to the Puerto Rican workers.
The Puerto Rican workers responded very militantly but ineffectively to this declaration of war from the capitalists. Under the leadership of the United Workers Movement (MOU), demonstrations were held to protest government repression and to demand the withdrawal of the National Guard.
However, at no time did either the PSP or the PIP present the workers with a fighting method or a programmatic alternative to Hernandez Colon.
The AFF strike exemplifies this problem. The AFF provides most of the electricity used on the island. It also has debt payments which amounted to $38 million in 1972, and were to reach close to $40 million this year. Both the PSP and the PIP limited their organizing to “pressuring” the government not to be repressive, asking it to make concessions.
The PSP's newspaper Claridad cheered on the worst anarchistic behavior of the strikers, including acts of sabotage which only caused more misery for other workers. One of the places where the power failure first hit was the only hospital of Utuado, a town of 50,000 people.
At no point did they attempt to expand the strike perspective so that it could become a class struggle. They let other sectors of the class stand by and watch a “bunch of greedy workers” who would cause their bills to go up. The left forces never presented the whole population with a class program, which in the case of the AFF would have called for the expropriation of all form of debt held on public utilities and the use of those resources to increase the wages of the strikers and reduce the cost of electricity for everybody.
Lacking this class perspective, the strike failed to gain support. Many other sectors of the class actively supported the use of the National Guard. The activity of both the PIP and the PSP oscillated from reformist pressure politics to the worst extreme of workerist anarchism, as the AFF strike showed.
What, then, but such PSP antics of political impotence is the basis for the growing political credibility of the Popular Democratic Party (PPD), while at the same time the PSP-MOU-UNT (National Workers Union) have also strengthened their influence on the organized labor?
During 1971-72, the PSP was forced to develop “semi-independent” political practice toward the PPD because they wanted to “polarize” the Puerto Rican population (pro-statehood vs. patriotic forces), while they also began penetrating the trade-union movement. During this period also, a potential mass strike process was developing, as organized labor, the land seizure movement, and students launched a united attack against the New Progressive Party (PNP), which culminated in the seven-month El Mundo strike.
Unlike the PPD in 1973, the PNP was unable to launch a frontal attack against these strike waves because of the constant outside support and the bourgeois election which was just around the corner. All this working-class ferment was polarized into the PPD, due to PSP electoral vacillations toward the PIP. After the PPD electoral victory, the PSP began tailing the “autonomous local control” faction of the PPD, which had temporarily gained control of the party. This faction began pushing for “Puerto Rican local control” over immigration, the draft, labor relations, and especially for anti-inflation measures. The PSP and a legislative representation of the PIP gave critical support to all these measures. The PSP went so far as to propose joining the government's anti-inflation town committees to police the greedy local merchants. The basic premise of the PPD “autonomous” faction is the same as that of the PSP and PIP: the immediate problem of Puerto Rico can only begin to be solved by cutting the cord connecting Puerto Ricans to the U.S.A.
After all these vacillations and blunders, it was no surprise that the PPD could calmly send the National Guard to start their offensive against the Puerto Rican working class. The July general strike was the Puerto Rican “Attica” to show all sectors of the class just what happens when they rebel. With the ebb of the working-class ferment, the government didn't have to pretend that they were dealing with the soaring inflation on basic food products; the PSP could now go back to its ritualistic politics—campaign against the construction of an oil super-port, the right for self-determination at the United Nations and at the Fourth Conference of Non-Aligned Nations.
The Badillo Affair
The most prominent feature of the impotence of the PSP on the U.S.A. mainland is the general refusal of the leadership to consider linking the struggle of Puerto Ricans in the U.S.A. to the general class struggle here. In fact, the PSP has no perspective at all for Puerto Ricans living in the U.S.A. but the general chiliastic hope that somehow these workers will rally to contribute money and adulation to the mainland branch of the party. It insists on the separation of even the mainland Puerto Rican struggles from the struggles of other (“non-Third World”) workers, but has absolutely no revolutionary goal which it proposes to these workers except a vague implication that all will one day flock back to an “independent” Island nation. If that silly proposal is not explicitly made, since the Island could not support such a population, by virtue of implication and lack of anything else it is the de facto perspective the silly PSP leaders hold out.
This general policy is epitomized by the queer conduct of the PSP leadership here respecting the 1973 Democratic primary mayoral candidacy of Herman Badillo. Internally, the PSP voted up a resolution denouncing Badillo in relatively appropriate terms. However, during April and May, 1973, the period of primary campaigning, especially, the party refused to either publicize this denunciation or to act in any way according to such a policy.
Claridad later went so far as to criticize the Communist Party for supporting Badillo (in a primary run-off), but refused to “reveal” its own policy on Badillo to its readers. When hooligans working for Bronx honcho Velez attacked PSP members physically, Claridad did denounce Velez, and did make allusions to Velez's connections to Badillo, but even then refused to publicize its internal position.
Is there anything more typical of sexual impotence? “Inside myself, I do have certain values and attitudes toward important matters in the real world, but I never act on or let anyone see this part of myself.” Attack the PSP leadership for failing to publicly denounce Badillo, and they become most indignant; “We have our position on Badillo.” Insist that they state it if they have it, and they draw themselves up with Macho pride; they will not be forced to act upon what they think. What they think deep inside has no relationship to what they do in the outer world.
One is reminded of the Macho “lover” who has had a long succession of women in bed with him: there is nothing personal in any of these affairs; he is sexually impotent—the PSP is absolutely politically impotent.
It is not difficult to locate the motivation for the PSP's refusal to reveal its internal resolution on Badillo.
If the PSP leaders would be Machos in appearance, they are at the same time political whores in reality. During the early months of 1973, the mainland group concentrated on the effort to build a gigantic organization by calling together any individual who had once given as much as a friendly smile in the direction of either the PSP or its predecessor, the MPI. As for the neglected old whore stalking unchallenged through the lonely night, the effort failed, but the desire continued.
The PSP leadership, which represents a pitifully small mainland organization, pretends loudly to be “The Big Revolutionary Organization of Mainland Puerto Ricans.” Like the Macho whistling at girls on the street-corner, the PSP must keep up appearances. It must not estrange any possible supporter—in its desperate fear that it might lose the potential financial contributions of some Puerto Rican, or that someone might be motivated to say bad things about its virility. Since a large proportion of New York City Puerto Ricans support Badillo, the PSP must not risk “alienating” them by telling the truth about Badillo.
Such Macho “revolutionaries,” who are afraid of the influence of a contemptible hustler as Badillo, imagine themselves to be the brave leaders of insurrections against real bourgeois forces! “Militant whores” so “revolutionary” they are afraid to say “bad things” about the neighborhood corner pimp!
The following extracts from our file on the activities of the mainland organization make the point.
Badillo and the PSP
The PSP in the U.S. uses the Puerto Rican population as a commodity in two ways: first, as a fixed pressure group, and secondly to financially accumulate from them the funds that the PSP needs in Puerto Rico. It is in this context that we must analyze their impotence in confronting the biggest illusion of the Puerto Rican population in the U.S.—the New York mayoral aspirations of Congressman Herman Badillo.
Badillo was set up by the ruling class at precisely the time when the third generation of Puerto Ricans in the U.S. were beginning to rebel against the conditions in the ghettoes. Since that time, he has also been pushing capitalist depression schemes, under the guise of the “special interests” of Puerto Ricans: he supports union-busting minority hiring and “work-study” programs, and lately he has argued that the U.S. federal wage should not apply to Puerto Ricans on the Island.
What is the ideological significance of Badillo? The average Puerto Rican, like all victims of bourgeois ideology, tends to look at things as fixed objects, especially since he is at the bottom of the economic scale. Thus, when confronted with two capitalists like Badillo and Abe Beame as mayoral candidates in New York, he deceives himself by selecting the “lesser evil.” “Badillo is a Puerto Rican,” he tells himself, “and maybe he can hustle something for us. Anyway, if we're going to get screwed we may as well get screwed by one of us.” This was the typical response of Puerto Ricans confronted with Badillo's past record of scab-herding and slave labor. Even Badillo's recent endorsement of “greater evil” Beame has not shattered these illusions.
The Badillo mayoral campaign has also had a significant ideological impact on the Island: it has been used to diffuse labor upsurges there and to portray Badillo as the clever “jibaro” (peasant) who made it in the States.
The PSP, for fear of confronting these illusions fostered in Puerto Ricans since the 1940's, decided not to expose Badillo's capitalist schemes. They were afraid of “alienating” their progressive periphery who buy Claridad every week, the same periphery who also support Badillo, Luis Fuentes and other Puerto Rican scabs, simply because all of them represent different facets of the same cultural family. Like impotent “Father” Albizu Campos, they were more interested in uniting this “neurotic” (class-collaborationist) family, than in settling accounts with the subjective neurosis that generally renders Puerto Ricans impotent when confronted with revolutionary politics.
The PSP knew that to the extent that they exposed Badillo, their best periphery and membership would demand a positive revolutionary alternative from them, an alternative to be used both during the elections and afterwards to build a political machine in the U.S. to concretely support the struggles in Puerto Rico and in the rest of Latin America by building an international revolutionary movement here. But such are the tasks of potent revolutionaries, of cadre who are willing to bust up the “family” and organize around the socialist alternative for the future.
The PSP, however, succumbed to their bedroom manners instead, posturing for the outside world in the same way the Macho takes up a “position” for his woman and the outside family (mother). In the outside world they dared not break up the Puerto Rican happy family by actually organizing against Badillo. In private, however, they followed the typical Communist Party tradition: internally, with the organization, they were able to despise both Badillo and Fuentes, much as they do their own mothers. But making this public, actually organizing on the basis of this “secret” understanding, would mean to shatter the illusions that hold the neurotic family together, especially mother's illusions.
Thus, like good mama's boys, they put on their public personas and wrote “objective” articles about how Badillo was discriminated against by the New Democratic Coalition and Beame. Certainly they also felt compelled to chastise Badillo and especially his henchman Velez for stealing funds from poverty corporations, but only after Velez directly threatened them by hitting two PSPers who were selling Claridad outside his office. And to actually organize a revolutionary alternative to expose him and his kind?
Why, mother would blush at the very thought!
Furthermore, this would mean inviting “strangers” inside the household, outsiders who would certainly disrupt the internal affairs of the family. The powerful strangers, to the PSP, are the American working class as represented by the U.S. Labor Party and the Revolutionary Youth Movement (RYM). The U.S. Labor Party mayoral campaign and RYM are the real fears of the PSP, precisely because they are confronting the very illusions among Puerto Ricans and others that the PSP skirts entirely: the felt need of Puerto Ricans to view themselves as isolated, fixed commodities, and to block out the crude reality of the ghetto by constantly glorifying the myth of someday going back to the island. It was this fear that drove the PSP to refuse to join with the U.S. Labor Party in debating Badillo last February, and to reject a joint campaign to expose the Beame-Badillo candidacies.
Now, with Badillo's endorsement of Beame and the PSP's continued silence on the matter, the PSP has completed their surrender of the Puerto Rican, black, and white working class to the man that Rockefeller has appointed to implement slave labor in New York City.
Bourgeois Family/Bourgeois Ideology
The apotheosized model of U.S. worker-husband trudges directly to and from his job. If he is a “good husband” he returns directly to the house, or to a second job. In the house the “good husband” becomes an appendage of his mother-wife; he reprimands the children at her command—he becomes the stern, reproving father at her command, and ceases this mock-Jehovah role also at the command of the ruling mother. He carries out the garbage, runs the errands, and otherwise certifies the supremacy of the bourgeois household, his pathetic, secondary robe as a mere appendage of wife-mother's house.
If he lingers at the bar, or returns late in a drunken rage, his delay is merely a pathetic act of rebellion by “mother's little man.” (Often enough, the “good husband” goes out once or twice a week—to spend the allowance wife-mother has given him for this purpose.) His male rage is guilt-rage, and often the image one sees in his contorted features are those of his mother in one of her rages.
In the bar or in the kitchen, he discusses “politics” and the “affairs of the world in general,” all to no consequence. He almost never does anything about “politics” or the “affairs of the world;” he merely has “little manly” opinions which it pleases him to be able to air.
Behind him, wife-mother cynically giggles at men “with their political discussions,” and in due course calls an end to the “little boys' chattering”: “The world will just have to get along without your wisdom for a while,” she asserts, “it's time to get washed up for dinner.” This, to her, is realism. She occasionally giggles at men and their silly political discussions during her chattering with other women: “Talk, talk, talk,” she chatters on about the men's conversations, until she brings the discussion back to housewifely gossip.
The reactionary content of women's ideology is often most directly and succinctly revealed in the family difficulties between the Left-political husband and the apolitical wife. She insists that the ordering of their personal lives be settled without regard for political obligations: “Don't drag politics into this,” she often insists. Is it “politics” whether her children are fed? Is it “politics” whether she and her family are sent into slave labor, or die in a fascist concentration-camp? Is it sane for this pathetic woman to assert that there is such a thing as “personal” matters separate from politics in this period? Is her mental sickness not most clear in just such situations?
No woman has a right to drag her husband—or herself—out of an active socialist political life, for any reason. Any man who permits himself to submit to such “obligations to my wife” is a pathetic, degraded spectacle, a virtual Judas to the human race; any woman who succeeds in such a counterrevolutionary act is not only counterrevolutionary, but a vicious oppressor of her children. If her children go hungry, if her husband, her family are victimized by depression, by slave labor, or die in concentration camps, that woman is responsible for such atrocities to the limit of her influence—to that extent, the woman successfully makes herself less than human.
Any man who permits his wife to drag him down in such a fashion Is also permitting her to degrade herself to something less than human; he is thus degrading her.
What is the essence of the matter? What is it that makes wifely womanhood, motherhood so pervasively a reactionary “molecular” political force in capitalist culture?
Bourgeois life for the worker is essentially a family-centered life. The center of the worker's life is the mother's or wife-mother's home. Father runs errands into the “outer world” to get food and so forth for mother. It is a strange, unreal outer world, governed by mother's magic. “Behave as your mother teaches you,” “Be guided by your mother's fears,” “Respect your mother's fears,” “and you will survive in the outer world.” (“Don't step on a crack; you'll break your mother's back.”) “Mother's magic” is the secret of religion. Organized religion is the super-sensuous essence of the universal form of bourgeois mother's magic—mother's home remedies, mother-wisdom, “old wives' “remedies. Religion is for and by mothers, who conspire at religion with pseudo-men (priests) and impose the Mother-Church upon the household.
For bourgeois mothers, the object of consumption is not a creation of self-consciously acting humanity; for mother's household, the object of consumption is a magical object secured because mother's husband “is a good provider,” because “mother's prayers” are protecting the family from want, etc. The object of consumption is thus a magical object. Only mother's world, the family circle, is real; the outer world is alien, unreal, unpredictable, unsafe without the protection of mother's magic, mother's religion, mother's “law and order.”
Hence, the mother-centered household existence, which denies the objective reality of the world outside the household, is the active principle of bourgeois ideology. The real processes by which the real world is determined, the political-economic processes which determine the material conditions of life, are depicted by mother as somehow unreal, a matter of “little boys' silly talk,” whereas the pathetic, impotent individual household, the impotent isolated family, the infantile self-conception of the family, is defined as the only reality—the only domain for exercise of the individual will.
The reductionist world-view, the formal expression of bourgeois ideology, is essentially symptomatic of such mother-alienation in two interconnected ways.
Since mother portrays father as impotent, and since father is a creature of the outer world, there can be no real emotion in the outer world, but only rituals, poses, masks, mime. Color (emotion of the will) exists only in the family, in mother's world—in personal relations; the real world, i.e., the subjective world, exists only in close personal relations. Outside close personal relations, the world is merely objective, i.e., without real emotion, i.e., merely a black-and-white world of self-evident objects, a world of inexplicable abstracted predicates.
In the outer world, the son or daughter who becomes a professional or wage-earner, does so (except in certain woman's surrogate household professions, such as teaching, secretarial—office-wife, and similar occupations) by utilizing the image of father (or a surrogate father-image) for the persona worn. However, since father is viewed as essentially impotent by the child, the child attempting to act in the outer world models himself or herself on the image of an impotent father, a creature of formality, objectivity—impotence.
Secondly, as we have already emphasized, the outer world itself is seen as magical by the victim of the family tradition, a world of inexplicable objects, of objects controlled by mother's witchcraft, not objects whose existence is willfully determined by a lawful social process. The essential relationship of the bourgeoisified (i.e., mothered) individual to the objects of the outer world is essentially a fetishistic, i.e., propitiatory relationship. One does not attempt to change the outer world, “silly little man!”; one propitiates the outer world by ordering one's life according to mother's prescriptions for a proper son or daughter of her household.
Hence, the important, vicious psychoanalytical flaw in Feuerbach's great Essence of Christianity. Poor genius Feuerbach, afflicted with his mother-image, could see the outer world only in its fixed-object aspect as a given world to be explored, a world of a fixed reality to which self-consciousness could only submit respecting the fundamental order of things. Feuerbach's great flaw, in his Essence of Christianity, is akin to the flaw of the superficial psychoanalyst, who permits himself the consoling delusion that fathers, not mothers, are the underlying secret of neurosis, ideology, religion and the deity. Hence, for Feuerbach, the Object could not be seen in other than its “dirty-judaical” or fetishistic quality, as a fixed sensuous object, an object of mother's magic. (Hence, the “feminine” feeling of Feuerbach, vis-à-vis the “fatherly” Gestalt of Marx.)4
To recapitulate this essential point. The formal essence of bourgeois ideology is the mother's belief in the unreality of the “outer world.” The outer world is unreal precisely because the victim of capitalist ideology denies the fact that the material conditions of life are totally the willful creation of human practice and can be changed according to the willful change of human practice. Bourgeois ideology sees the outer world as essentially given, as something to be propitiated, not to be changed. The recurring origin of this ideology is the bourgeois family, notably the infantilism of sadistic mother-possession of the infant and child, and the degradation of woman, emotionally and intellectually, into the appropriateness to become bourgeois mothers and wives. The most notable dynamic feature of the interconnection between family and ideology is the separation between family life (real) and the outer world (the alien realm for mother's propitiatory magic—religion), such that the individual imagines himself without power over the willful determination of the outer world as a whole.
The most conspicuous single feature of mother's oppression of the son, daughter, and husband is her fears, her fear of rats—her demand that the family—out of respect for her fears—keep the house free of “strangers,” and do nothing to bring down the rage of the outer world upon the house. Thus, “I love and respect my mother” becomes the expression for the very essence of bourgeois ideology—and ultimately even the essence of fascism.
The situation is not hopeless. To the extent that the male worker finds a meaningful social-productive role in the outer world, and his children thus see him as a potent producer of wealth in a social way, his children, as workers, sense the possibility of non-childish adult life as potent producers of the material conditions of life.
Clinically, this point is borne out in a perverse way by the obvious increase in sexual impotence in the current U.S. youth generation over that of their parents' and especially their grandparents' generation. In the sort of case identified for this purpose, one notes the young scions of suburbia whose grandparents were workers, but whose mothers and fathers degenerated from workers (potency) into petit-bourgeois professionals, shopkeepers, paper-shufflers, and—morally, the lowest of the low—salesmen (impotence). This dismal phenomenon extends into even the ranks of the children of skilled and semi-skilled workers by the post-war U.S. de-emphasis on productive development, the imposition of Zero-Growth-type “anti-materialism” (petit-bourgeois paper-shufflers' cultural norms) upon the household standards of the working-class family, principally through the influence of the “upward-mobile” working-class wife. The more the emphasis on productive values lessens (less potency) the more impotent, the more “feminine” (in that sense) the culture becomes.
The same point is to be made respecting Latin culture. In that culture, we have both the peasant tradition, in which the bestial principle of the isolated family versus the unreal outer world is most extreme, and the backwardness of the capitalist development, such that working-class values (potency) are less developed for the males than in a developed industrial culture. The male Latin culture is objectively (productively) more impotent than the male in Germany, Britain, the U.S.A., or Canada generally. Latin culture is permeated with peasant, lati-fundista, bureaucratic mentality and morality, in which the male is objectively impotent, in which the mother is objectively more relatively potent than her husband. Hence, Latin culture's underdevelopment (Italy, Spain, Latin America—and also peasant-petit-bourgeois France) is associated with the pathetic image of the “Latin lover” and of the squatting, infantile, sadistic Latin mother. Hence, Latin culture's predilection for Catholicism, the most vicious expression of the Mother-Church, cultural backwardness, and sexual impotence.
However, respecting remedies, what is true for the male is more than equally true for the female. If the male is to free himself from the oppressive, emasculating mother-image, he must replace the mother-image as the central internalized figure of his identity with a real woman, his wife. This cannot be accomplished unless the wife is a liberated woman, a woman whose liberation from the bestial “witch” or “cow” mother-image within her depends upon the reciprocated support and commitment of a socially potent husband.
It is not the woman (wife or mother) who is the original oppressor, nor the man. The oppressor is the mother-image, an internalized monster within the mind of the child, a monster based not on the existent woman, the mother, but the mother's bourgeois-family relationship to her husband and children. The male does, as we have noted, mediately oppress the woman who mediately oppresses him and the children—by encouraging, even forcing the wife to retreat into a banalized (sadistic) role. As every self-conscious wife knows, bitterly, the agency within the husband which is most responsible for her husband's oppression of his mate is the mother-in-law, the internalized image of his mother within him (unfortunately, too often assisted by reinforcement from the existent mother-in-law). Similarly, the wife's oppression—sadism —toward her husband and children is immediately generated from the control of the internalized mother-image within her (sometimes assisted by reinforcement from her actual mother). Indeed, the oppressive feature of most bourgeois marriages is that the puppet-victims of that institution are largely proxies suffering the actual “marriage” relationship between the two mothers-in-law.
Women's Liberation Versus “Feminist” Self-degradation
This will undoubtedly produce rage from the so-called “radical feminists.” The woman who is banalized and otherwise degraded by capitalist culture is stripped of every possible power over society except the role of the female sadist. Until she is confronted with her real oppression—her banality—and her real oppressor—her internalized mother image, and unless she is also offered a real alternative, human role in society, she will cling with rage and terror to the one power—female sadism—bourgeois society offers her. Hence, hyper-neurotic petit-bourgeois women, frustrated with their own impotence, frustrated with the collapse of the traditional woman's institution, the family, lacking a real, alternative, potent role in the real world, feel the terror of their meaningless lives, and locate the cause for that terror in the form of whatever hysterical rationalizations their internalized mother-images will permit them.
If the healthy woman's liberation struggle against objectively oppressive customs and practices is pathologically extended as a thing-in-itself into such quackery as “consciousness-raising” sessions led by incompetents, what will be dredged up by group sessions will be nothing but an almost psychotic reinforcement of the fundamental neuroses: in the form of “man-hatred” and lesbianism (complete heterosexual impotence). (This is quite distinct from the human dynamics of homosexual pairings.)
This ought to be the ABC of any competent clinician. Along the lines indicated earlier in this article, the essence of clinical work is the successful counter-position of the will of self-consciousness to the infantilized impulses of the Ego-state. If group sessions are constituted on the basis of socially reinforcing the Ego state impulses in opposition to the “ego-ideals” of self-consciousness, then the result of the group sessions can only be to exacerbate neuroses, and to even harden mere neuroses into actual psychoses. The correlatives of such quackery “consciousness-raising” sessions are a marked increase in selfishness, accompanied by deep personality changes and intensified infantilism generally—as is the typical outcome seen in those who have subjected themselves to the degradations of the “extreme” wings of the women's movement, a “radical feminism” whose literature verges upon or even into the most blatant paranoid-schizoid expressions.
The task of real women's liberation is to generally strengthen women's self-consciousness and their power and opportunities to act upon self-consciousness. It is necessary to add something to what must be done for map on this point. Since the woman has a special, doubly-hard struggle to realize a socially potent intellectual life, it is necessary to go beyond mere self-consciousness of adult individual roles, to self-consciousness of the process of struggling against the special kinds of problems which confront women in their efforts to play a positive role in the socialist movement.
For example, the most vicious problem immediately confronting any woman who has resolved to overcome her past banality is the general lack of any suitable, prospective male who will struggle with her for a mutually-self-conscious human mating relationship. The sexual banality of the available prospective mates constantly threatens the woman's self-consciousness, impelling her to compromise with her self-consciousness out of the urgency of being loved. She finds herself agonized by the temptation to accept infantile expressions of male love as the only visible alternative to no love at all. Once women begin to struggle against their own self-oppression in this way, it becomes absolutely impermissible to tolerate banality (i.e., mother-image domination) among the majority of males in the movement.
Thus, the vicious problem confronts us. As long as Latin would-be revolutionaries remain Machos (i.e., mother's “little men”) the Latin woman has poor hope of finding a full life as both a revolutionary and a woman within the movement. Yet, without such women, struggling for self-consciousness against banality, the Latin male would-be revolutionary has virtually no hope of freeing himself from his mother-image, his Macho impotence. Hence, the coordinated, simultaneous, ruthless attack on the mother-image in both the male and female young would-be revolutionaries is the essential precondition for building a mass-based vanguard force of genuine Latin revolutionaries.
We have merely indicated the scientific form of the problem and its general solution. Beyond that, we are not entirely so original: all important Latin American literature, whether otherwise reactionary or revolutionary in intent of the author, shrieks out the images of the special psychological oppression of the Spanish-language man and woman. The great novels and poetry of Latin America have contemplated this monstrous problem; now is the time to change it.
The Clinical Form of “Love”
As the writer emphasized in “Beyond Psychoanalysis,” the short-term focal objective of the Labor Committees' work in applied psychology is the willful development of powers of creative mentation in a growing plurality of the organization's cadres—with the further objective of replicating that achievement among a vanguard of the broader working masses. Limited success to this end has occurred for a portion of the participants in the special psychoanalytical groups established to date. In general, these results have been encountered in less than fifty hours of sessions, in each group's cases. Otherwise, study of the present writer's materials on psychoanalysis and certain other subjects has produced parallel reactions meanwhile among a few persons outside the sessions of the several groups now in progress. The clinical results obtained in that way clarify the most urgent positive features of the present critique of Latin ideology.
The direct conscious perception of the fundamental emotion (love = creative mentation) has been brought forward in two different but fundamentally connected ways. In some of the cases, it has been classically identified by the subject as an overwhelming (“oceanic”) and absolutely terrifying “non-erotic” feeling of “love-death” (Yes, the opening—storm at sea—and famous duet of Tristan and Isolde are of extraordinary clinical relevance). In a few other cases, the identical emotion is brought forward by concentration on certain key features of the writer's papers, in connection with the conceptualization of a self-perfecting continuum as a “true infinity.” In both types of instances, the quality of feeling is identical with the most fundamental emotions brought forward in depth analysis of individuals.
Ordinarily, outside the Labor Committees, there are dangers in exposing a person to such an overwhelming emotion. The program is safely undertaken in the NCLC, where it could not be so with laymen, since the LCer has a self-conscious identity in the world, which the ordinary layman lacks. Under some unfortunate circumstances, this experience, absolutely the most terrifying the human mind can know, can prompt suicides, or provide the impetus for psychotic collapse.
The danger is not located in the emotion itself; it is not the emotion involved which is “bad” or “dangerous.” The popularized “Eros-Thanatos” thesis is absolutely nonsensical, even though the surface form of the phenomenon in bourgeoisified individuals is normally that of “love-death” or “love-insanity-death.” The danger is located in the fact that the initial outpouring of such an unleashed emotion dissolves all ordinary sorts of mental object-images, including the infantile form of the bourgeois individual ego itself. Hence, if the individual has no sense of personal identity apart from his identification with the infantile form of the ego, the outpouring of this emotion is indeed therefore the sense of death. The fact that this emotion is also the overwhelming sense of what the feeling of love ought to be results in the ambiguous judgment that this is the feeling of Love-Death.
There is no actual distinction between “Eros” and “Thanatos” in mental life; the feeling is identical—Love-Death is merely a name appropriate to the single fundamental emotion of identity from the standpoint of the bourgeoisified infantile ego.
The point is probably clarified for a larger number of readers if we introduce the following explication with the aid of a metaphor. If one imagines the infantile ego-object to be like a rock jutting out from the sand at the low-tide line, imagine the effect of holding firmly to this rock during the incoming tide. If one can swim, or even float, the gentle incoming tide is no danger; however, if one is chained to the rock, one must drown—die. It is “holding onto” the infantile ego which causes the incoming tide of the fundamental emotion to be so terrifying—and destructive.
Exemplary is the “Werther”-type model of adolescent suicide. The love-object of adolescent infatuation is an infantile ego's surrogate for the mother. Adolescent love is infantile mother-love-seeking. This feeling brings up, however—or tends to bring up, a sense of the fundamental “oceanic” feeling of Love-Death, whose prescience the adolescent recalls usually from the earliest years of post-infantile childhood. The attachment to the ego through the idea of the love-object's giving (infantile) identity to that ego, and the overwhelming sense of “oceanic” feelings, lacking an object (person) to attach to those feelings, causes the threat or actuality of the psychological death of the ego. Under special circumstances, this experience of psychological death can become either a will to enact death or to realize psychological death in the form of psychotic withdrawal. That account is of course oversimplified out of respect for the principal objects under consideration in this paper, but the gist of the point is nonetheless accurately, if metaphorically made.
Unless the individual has developed a durable sense of self-conscious identity in the world as an alternative to the infantile ego of “family life,” the outpouring of the fundamental emotion is the experiencing of “psychological death.”
The self-conscious identity is readily located. In respect to Goya's psychological portraits, this identity is not one of the figures in the portrait, but is the eye of the painter looking at the portrait. It is, as Hegel defines it and as we noted before, the self which can come up behind the back of the ego.
This ultimate terror of the fundamental emotion is also the experiencing of the emotion of potent love, properly the form of love between self-conscious identities, the affective concomitant of willful creative mentation, and the emotion associated with cognition of the most powerful of the great classical musical compositions. (Indeed, many persons who never experience this emotion enjoyably under any other circumstances, including those who never experience it in sexual relationships, have fairly frequently experienced it in connection with certain musical compositions. Parts of Bach, the early passages of the Mozart Requiem, Beethoven's Grosse Fugue are typical of the more moving compositions through which a certain degree of the fundamental emotion is more frequently experienced. The case of the gifted pre-adolescent musician who loses his or her intimate relationship to music in adolescence and later is also relevant.) What is the greatest imaginable terror for the ideologized individual of bourgeois culture is identical with the emotion giving the greatest serenity to a Spinoza—or to any other person who has known either potent loving or willful creative mental life.
In the case of the individual clinging to the bourgeois infantile ego, either through the mediation of the mother-image or the love-object of a banalized sexual relationship, the experiencing of even a significant outpouring of the fundamental emotion is an experience of psychological near-death. The “threat” of the emotion is associated with the shrinking of the ego down to a “point,” surrounded by a “Schwaermerei” of fragmented thoughts and feelings. In such instances, where they occur in a clinical setting, the problem is resolved by bringing the self-conscious identity to “wakefulness” at the same time that the individual is disassociated from whatever infantile preoccupations are causing strong attachments to the infantile ego.
One should add, for emphasis, that there is a direct connection between this sort of phenomenon and the remedying of even severe psychosomatic illnesses. Intestinal psychosomatic involvements and migraine headache syndromes are among the most accessible to remedy in this way. (Indeed, the variety of disturbances falsely deemed of organic etiology which are susceptible of remedy or significant improvement through analysis indicates that psychosomatic medicine is of far greater importance and engages much more of the realm of “organic” disorders than is usually admitted even by professionals. If the “organic” problem can be remedied or checked by psychoanalytical clinical methods, then the case for its probably psychosomatic origins has been strongly made.) The link between psychological disorders and somatic disorders shown to be connected to this psychopathology is through the mediation of the fundamental emotion, which is obviously linked to proprioceptive and ACTH dynamics.
Much more could (and, soon enough will have to) be written on this set of phenomena. For the present, we confine ourselves to that which is essential to the topic at hand.
Limiting ourselves momentarily to the general incompetence of self-professed “Marxist theoreticians,” the progress of the movement demands two interconnected competences from leading cadres (from especially the leading cadres).
Formally, there can be no competent strategic and tactical analyses nor competent economic program until the notion of “expanded reproduction” has actually been conceptualized. This conceptual problem is identical with that otherwise posed by the case of the “perfection” theorem of Descartes (as we develop it in “Beyond Psychoanalysis”) and the connected problems of physical science in developing a “unified field theory” from the standpoint of a negentropic principle connecting the historic succession of nested manifolds. In sum, the ability to conceptualize expanded reproduction in more than descriptive terms demands that the individual locate within his mental processes a referent which is not an object-image, and which is not merely simple continuity.
The only referent which exists in the mental processes which corresponds to a self-perfecting continuity, to such a notion of infinite negentropy, is the emotion of creative mentation, the so-called Love-Death fundamental emotion. Hence, it is no metaphor to insist that the leadership of the PSP (in particular) is shown to be characterized by sexual impotence on the sufficient grounds of its anti-intellectualism and its correlated banalized hearsay knowledge of the existence of Karl Marx's writings.
The same form of conceptual problem is encountered in the second aspect of the matter. It is impossible to uncover and conceptualize the dynamics of social processes without making the same fundamental emotion conscious and agreeable to deliberate usage.
This is no broad descriptive generalization. In the Labor Committees we have been able, and recently with increasing precision, to locate the exact points of reasoning at which members are blocked from going the next step to a direct conceptualization of expanded reproduction and social processes. Typically, the affected member is able to formulate the problem to be conceptualized in ample scholarly, statistical, etc., terms. The result of these preliminary exertions is to locate the notion to be conceptualized, not directly but by a process of circumnavigation of the idea to be seized. Then, the member attempts to leap mentally directly into the middle of the circle or ellipse he has defined, to seize the subject he has circumscribed in that way. It is at just this point that various sorts of blockages occur, usually with definite physiological correlatives: sleepiness, fainting, choking sensations, etc. Where these physiologically-linked phenomena are clinically explored, the block proves to be a block caused by the threatened onrush of the fundamental emotion.
The isolation and analysis of this blockage is one of the most important clinical discoveries in the history of psychological science. It represents what G. Riemann identifies as a case of “unique experiment.” We already know from epistemological analysis (Cf. Dialectical Economics, passim; “Beyond Psychoanalysis,” Sections 2,3) that the necessary form of both the fundamental law of the universe and the “a priori” physiological principle of human mentation are of an equivalent form, the form of Cartesian self-perfection identified by the notion of self-moving negentropy as invariant for an historic nesting of manifolds. It is therefore the most important breakthrough in empirical scientific knowledge to discover that the attempt to directly conceptualize the notion of negentropy is identical with the effort to self-consciously bring forth the most fundamental emotion, and that the block to conceptualizing the dialectical method is related to the blocks causing sexual impotence.
Both tasks, that of programmatic and social-process conceptualization, absolutely demand the cadres' ability to willfully call forth and apply the “terrifying” fundamental emotion. For, to conceptualize it is necessary to locate a comparable quality within the mind for that external reality which must be cognized. The only quality of inner mental life which corresponds to actual expanded reproduction or to actual revolutionary transformations of social processes is the fundamental emotion.
Ordinarily, victims of bourgeois ideology and social relations are blocked (by anticipated terror) from directly and consciously experiencing this emotion, and most victims are unable to experience any emotions at all but the three bourgeois-feeling-states of fear, rage, and elation of object-possession. (For example, rage is the primary emotion employed in mathematical logicizing and most chess-play, etc.) The difficulty of conceptualizing a negentropic true continuum or, analogously, actual extended reproduction or dialectical method, is entirely a result of commonplace, vicious neurotic (ideological) blockages, blockages characterized by a determinable dynamic of suppressing more fundamental emotions. Hence, the direct connection between neurotic blocks of intellectual life and sexual impotence. For example, it is strictly accurate to diagnose the interest in “analytical philosophy” rampant on campuses today as conclusive evidence of sexual impotence in academic life.
There is nothing accidental about the blockage or the sensation of terror. The blockage of the fundamental emotion does not arise directly from capitalism's intention to produce sexual impotence as such, but from capitalism's implicit concern to prevent creative mentation in the general population. For, a person who operates from creative mentation is necessarily characterized by hubris toward “established authority,” and is motivated by his sense of identity to change things constantly in a fundamental way. Apart from the immediate terror of the “death of the infantile ego” which the experiencing of the fundamental emotion involves, the implication of acting upon that emotion (upon self-conscious identity, Spinozan identity, motivated by such emotion) is to change the outer world drastically, and to act in concert with a mobilized creative humanity to change the world into that which our powers of reason dictate that world must become. To experience the fundamental emotion is to leave the protection of the illusions of the alienated bourgeois family and to enter into the outer world, to find one's identity in positively changing the world rather than in the infantile consolations of the compartmentalized “family life” or infantile “love-relationships.” The terror which the fundamental emotion thus presents to the infantile ego is thus both coherent and in projective relationship to the implicit objective terror resulting from acting upon the dictate of the fundamental emotion.
Self-consciousness experiences discovery, and the self-conscious self, once knowing that the discovered act is a socially-necessary act, is suddenly and brutally repelled by the charge of hubris (usually from the mother-image's sneer: “Who are you to consider doing that? Be yourself. Stick to what you are”—mother's little baby, mother's “little man.”). The discovering mind is so plunged into despair, and snuggles into the warming consolations of the family hearth, resolved never to go to the cold slopes of mountain-ascent again.
There is therefore a direct and necessary correlation between the sexual impotence of the PSP and its banality, a correlation between that sexual impotence and the consummate cowardice of the PSP in political life. Like any petit-bourgeois schoolboy of a cowardly bully, like any cowardly Macho, the PSP mistakes courage for mere bullying and insolence (indeed, even the Puerto Rican dialect expresses pathetic psychological truth by equating “coraje” only with anger—insolence). The miserable “objective” political record of the PSP exemplifies its pathetic cowardice in face of the mere threat of popular criticism from among the ranks of the Puerto Rican majority. The PSP cowards lack the moral conviction to attack the self-degradation of the oppressed Puerto Ricans. Hence, the sexually-impotent PSP is incapable of a single gesture in direction of an actually-revolutionary act. The PSP schilmihls are determined not to even suggest a single change in the dominant self-degrading ideology of Puerto Ricans!
The PSP loves Puerto Ricans in the way a whore loves her clients, which absolutely does not entail freeing them from impulses of moral self-degradation.
1. Source: Aramoni, Aniceto, Psicoanalisis de Ia dinamica de un pueblo (Mexico, tierra de hombres), Second Edition, Mexico: B. Costa-Amic, 1965
2. The case of R.D. Laing will be reviewed in a forthcoming issue of The Campaigner. Laing has been selected for this, rather than Foucault and Althusser, on grounds that Laing's version of existentialist psychology involves the hysterical perversion of actual clinical insights, and hence his version of existentialist insanity-mongering has a connection to investigation of psychopathological life entirely lacking in such outright quacks as Foucault and Althusser.
3. This is most visible in the U.S.A., where the “good Italian” cazziste limit their “whoring around” to non-Italian girls, e.g., Irish girls, and the Irish, Polish, etc., “Machos” reciprocate in kind.
4. The argument that “God the father” reveals “male-dominated” religion is entirely specious. The male deity is not an abstract essence of ordinary males in general. The “typical male” of capitalist society is a pathetic figure, reduced to fury at his mother and wife. The “father figure” of the deity is derived from the image of the King, from the magical potenties of society.
Exemplary, in the New Testament we have cuckold Joseph left outside the bedroom as the Virgin Mary is being impregnated by the visiting Angel Gabriel. “God the father” is not adduced from the wife's husband, but from Washington, D.C., Big Corporations, and other potencies of established authority. In recent U.S. history, President Eisenhower epitomizes the image from which modern notions of “God the father” are sustained. The male Deity, whether Christian or Judaic, is Mammon, is the abstract maleness of established capitalist authority—is the Big Corporation Executive who sleeps in mother's bed while cuckold father is at work in the corporation's plant. He is mother's not-so-secret lover, the same figure of “law and order” which mother warns her children to “respect and obey.” The paterfamilias, the moral cuckold of the household, merely pathetically, impotently echoes her: “Do as your mother says.”
BIBLIOGRAPHY ON MACHISMO
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