On Sigmund Freud

A very good article from RenewAmerica says this about Sigmund Freud:

A mad man’s myth about human nature

Prior to Freud, most people acquired an understanding of human nature through relationships, experience, family, society, the Bible, church, and the literary classics. Freud wracked his fevered brow, brought forth dark speculations, and built a new model of man that radically contradicted all older concepts.

Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) was the founder of psychoanalysis. Science has been unable to validate the effectiveness of traditional (Freudian-style) psychoanalysis, and it has largely passed out of use among younger psychologists. It is now known that Freud had no solid clinical evidence for some of his more controversial theories, but speculated upon his clinical observations to establish his theories.

Freud’s personal mental pathologies suggest that he was a driven man — not driven to follow the evidence, but driven by his own neurotic agendas. He was subject to depression, phobias, exaggerated fears of dying, and psychosomatic illnesses. Cocaine was his drug of choice — which he rationalized as a therapeutic anti-depressant. [emphasis – de Plevna]

Freud did a great deal of psychoanalysis on himself — which a self-absorbed drug-addled psychologist was bound to do. During his obsessive journeys into his inner darkness, he discovered perversions that he used as the basis for his theory of infantile desires for incest as the source of neurosis. He also theorized that religious joy was a delusional relapse to an infantile state during which one freshly experiences the remembered joy he had in his mother’s arms. Incredibly, such drivel was popular for a couple of generations.

Modernists have foolishly entrusted themselves to the guidance of this drug-addicted mad-man in their quest to find out who they are. Unfortunately, Freud’s baleful influence lingers on in literature, films, and philosophy, and in Marxist and feminist theory. His self-sedation with drugs and his preoccupation with the most primitive impulses of his psyche were reenacted at Woodstock. Freud created a mythology of human nature that has been adopted as part of the modernist program. Freudian science is dead, but the Freudian cult is alive and well.

Freud and modernism

How does Freud fit in with the agenda of modernism? To start with, he was an atheist and materialist like Darwin and Marx. He saw man as a dynamic biological system. As a biological determinist, he thought our perceptions of free will are delusions. He asserted that the conscious mind plays a minimal role in our actual behavior. We are thereby reduced to the status of mere automatons running on the fuel of primeval impulses. Freud’s primeval man accords well with Darwin’s classification of man as an animal descended from the apes. One cannot negate God without negating man as well.

If man has no freedom of choice and is not guided by the conscious mind, he is free from moral accountability. Freud treated “guilt-feelings” as a psychological disorder that can be treated with therapy. He rejected as a religious myth that an objective moral guilt can exist. Beginning with Freud, the psychological profession has struggled mightily to take the moral stigma out of crime and to rationalize criminality and sexual immorality. Their encouragement of liberation from sexual “repression,” an idea of Freud, gradually led the profession to the formal acceptance of homosexuality and sexual perversion.

Modernists have consistently followed Jean Jacques Rousseau ( the founder of liberal modernism and a co-founder of the Romantic movement) in denying the existence of innate evil in man and in arguing against the moral responsibility of the individual. Modernism and the Freudian model of man have been popular because they fit the modernism agenda, and because most men are rascals and wish to escape moral responsibility. A being that rejects moral responsibility is unfitted for freedom, but must be supervised by an authoritarian socialist government — which is one of the objectives of the modernist program. Encourage moral depravity and then call upon big government to clean up the mess. If this is not evil, nothing is.

Fresh rationalizations

In her novel, Wharton’s spoke of the desire of moderns to break free from the restraints of traditional society. Freud offered fresh rationalizations for breaking free from restraint. He theorized that the subconscious mind represses primeval desires and urges. The result of this repression, he said, is neurosis. The objective of Freudian psychoanalysis was to bring the repressed desires up from the ocean depths of the unconscious to the surface, where the consciousness mind can observe it for purposes of therapy. Notice that after minimizing the role of the conscious mind, Freud attributes therapeutic powers to the conscious observing mind. Freudianism is self-contradictory.

Freud did not advise his patients to give way to the primitive impulse, but just to liberate it from repression and observe it for therapeutic effect. Whether the mere exposure and observation of the repressed desire has value for therapy is a matter of controversy. A psychologist of my acquaintance told me that playing with buried complexes of identity is unwholesome because it stirs those dark entities up and gives them power. Tampering with the secret complexes can make one more neurotic — just as Freud became more neurotic after his own self-analysis.

Freud and the social sciences

Tragically, as Freudian thought moved into the social sciences, the emphasis shifted from therapeutic observation to acting out the impulse. The Freudian voyeur became a libertine experimenter. The social scientists recommended that after one was freed from repression, he should actualize the thing that had been repressed. Freud opened Pandora’s box, and the social sciences encouraged the demons to fly out of their cages. Freud rationalized the monstrosities, and the social sciences introduced them to society.

Anthropologist Margaret Mead (1901 -1978) brought sexual Freudianism into the social sciences. She wrote about the “sexual liberation” of Polynesian girls in Coming of Age in Samoa (1928). Mead favorably contrasted the sexual promiscuity of Samoan adolescents with the “sexual repression” of American girls. However, it is now known that the Polynesian girls soon caught on to Mead’s sexual agenda and invented lurid sexual stories to titillate her morbid preoccupation with sex — and laughed at her behind her back.

Freud and the arts

As Freud’s pernicious influence has spread throughout Western culture, his effect upon the visual arts was particularly striking and shocking. Performance art, the acting out of one’s primeval impulses, is merely the exhibitionism of the narcissist who is pretending to be an artist. A second aspect of Freudian art was art as therapy, which was most obvious in abstract impressionist art.

Jackson Pollock (1912–1956), the inventor of abstract impressionism, tossed together atrocious pictures that appear to be paint randomly splashed upon canvas. The effect might not be so hideous if purely random methods were used. Pollock obeyed primeval urges as he splashed, dripped, and smeared the paint. The depressing, haunted, and demented quality of modern art is no accident. It is the depraved art of Freudian mad men.

Pollack, who was a frequent psychiatric patient, used his paint drippings for self-therapy, much as he had used Rorschach inkblot tests. Just as he had seen his demons in the ink blots, he conjured up his demons as he splashed his paint. His psychoanalysis had freed him of the inhibitions that had kept the monsters of his haunted forest in the forest. Pollock brought the monsters out of the forest so they could haunt his “art.” The manic “authenticity” of his arm movements as he followed his demented impulses was more important to him than what the mess looked like on canvas.

The hideous ugliness Pollock created bespeaks of an insane man in hell. This is what the brave new world must be in the end. The utopia turns into a hellish haunted house. Pollack turned to alcohol to escape his tormented madness. When that did not work, he killed himself by crashing his automobile and took a young party girl with him. If C.S. Lewis had included Pollock in his book The Great Divorce, he would have said that Pollock was in hell before he died and continued in hell after he died. His paintings are a record of his descent into hell.

The subversive nature of modern art

Modern art involves a radical renunciation of the Western aesthetic tradition. Traditional art exalts beauty, but modern art wallows in ugliness and rejects beauty. Traditional art seeks order, harmony, and proportion, while modern art revels in chaos. Traditional art is committed to form and reason. Modern art shatters form and seeks disordered experiences that undermine reason.

Saint Augustine defined evil as that which undermines and subverts the good. By this definition, modern art is evil. Since the modernist agenda lays aside the Western cultural tradition, resulting in the loss of much that is good, it can be argued that the modernist program is in large part an evil agenda.

Jackson Pollock was evil, not just through his perversion of art, but in his personal abuse of everyone who tried to help him. His murderous hatred of life was expressed in his suicide and in his murder of the party girl.

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