Download Alchemists of Human Nature - Psychological Utopianism in by Petteri Pietikainen PDF

By Petteri Pietikainen

This can be the 1st book-length research of Modernist utopias of the brain. Pietikainen examines the psychodynamic writings of Otto Gross, C G Jung, Wilhelm Reich and Erich Fromm. once they broke from Freud and orthodox psychoanalysis, Pietikainen argues, utopianism grew to become more and more vital to the elemental objectives of all 4 thinkers. He indicates how Gross' "Matriarchal Communism", Jung's "Archetypal Cosmos", Reich's "Orgonomic Functionalism" and Fromm's "Socialist Humanism" have been makes an attempt to reshape social buildings and human relatives through conquering the subconscious. Pietikainen areas the 'utopian impulse' with the historic context of the massive, violent socio-political narratives of the early 20th century. This cutting edge interdisciplinary publication contributes to ongoing scholarly discussions in regards to the historicity as opposed to the universality of human nature.

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Additional info for Alchemists of Human Nature - Psychological Utopianism in Gross, Jung, Reich and Fromm

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The Enlightenment emphasis on the utility and applicability of reason paved the way for a new conception of humans, which was founded on the normative notion that we are in control of ourselves; that our behaviour is shaped by appropriate rational standards that cannot be subjugated by random impulses and urges. A paradigmatic modern example of such an attitude can be found in B. F. 54 As a behaviourist, Skinner was pleased with this development, because it guaranteed to him that the environment that determines our destiny functions rationally.

While objecting to the prejudiced mentality of the common (white) man in general, they did not raise their voices to attack the white man’s racial prejudices and discriminatory politics in particular. They addressed their message mainly to an educated (white) middle-class audience, and did not critically examine the sociocultural parameters of their own assumptions, but their visions of the good life included the whole of humanity and not just certain groups of people living in the West. Jung’s initial infatuation with the ‘archetypal’ dynamics in National Socialism is an exception to the universalist outlook of psychological utopianism, and in my chapter on Jung I shall discuss his utopian ideas regarding Nazi Germany.

47 According to the Bolshevik anthropology, humans are made of plastic material, and there is nothing in human nature that cannot in principle be altered. Bukharin expressed a similar environmental determinism to that adopted by the totalitarian government in Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. As the government agent O’Brien, the fearsome representative of Big Brother in Orwell’s dystopia, says to the captured ‘dissident’ Winston: ‘We create human nature. ’48 In 1932, Zalkind himself became a victim of the ideologically-based institution of Soviet psychology which he had actively helped to build.

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