Breaking Down Walls of Silence

Recognizing the effects of child abuse in the individual and society
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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2007 1:53 pm 
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The beginning of a new design of this website has been made and is online:

--link removed because site has been updated again-- (Or click on the banner on the top of your screen)

Any suggestions or remarks are welcome.

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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 2:55 am 
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Very Nice Dennis. I like the new Look.

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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 2:37 pm 
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Yes, the new design for the website looks real good!

And going back to psychohistory which was an earlier topic on this thread: other than discussions and books, I don't see much value in psychohistory. What can we really do with it?

I was active on the psychohistory forum a few years ago and was questioning some of the underlying assumptions. For example, can we really accurately analyze people at a distance etc? I think the answer is no. But De Mause's reply was to point to the large volume of his writings, as if that was proof in itself.
Ideas like "psychoclasses" are very broad generalizations. The important thing is what happens at the level of the individual or family and that can vary greatly in any society.

Phil


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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 7:09 am 
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Phil:

The best way that occurs to me to show what psychohistory is to cut and paste some excerpts of ‘Talk:Early infanticidal childrearing’, from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Below you can read a flaming debate between seven orthodox academics and a single psychohistorian:

Does this "model" [psychohistory] reflect actual facts? Increased mortality after weaning is common in non-Neolithic cultures as well; it's a consequence of inadequate nutrition, not of parental desire. -- Academic

You're wrong there. "Inadequate nutrition" isn't some random fact of reality. It's a consequence of feeding pap to children, and not having the empathy necessary to understand that crying means the baby is hungry. These are both psychological problems of the parents (since feeding pap is a response to the fear of breastfeeding). --Psychohistorian

So PNG [Papua New Guinea] children were better off in the more "primitive" culture, and exposure to an "advanced" society has increased sexual abuse of children. --Academic

Yeah right. The myth of the "noble savage" rears its ugly head again. The reproductive rate is inversely proportional to the ignorance and poverty of the population. So the more ignorant and poor the population, the more they will fuck. What's generally the case is that birthrate is inversely proportional to female education. The PNG have a VERY HIGH reproductive rate. The PNG have a VERY HIGH rate of infanticide, child suicide. So now you know why I think those "noble savage" and "increasing child mortality, oh the horror!" is just complete bullshit.

Neolithic childrearing refers to childrearing practices in Neolithic societies. The Neolithic, or "new stone age," was a period in human history dating from about 10,000 years ago to, in some places, 5,000 years ago and in other places until one to five hundred years ago. There are no longer any Neolithic societies. What deMause really wrote was: ‘‘the impassive mother who can handle her infanticidal wishes only by either merging with the child or by complete emotional withdrawal [...] is able to massively project [her] unconscious into the child’’.

There are a bunch of known facts which everyone agrees on. 99% of modern people will put a very specific interpretation on those facts. That interpretation is that primitives are pedophilic, incestuous child molesters. This isn't something which is cooked up by deMause's model. --Psychohistorian


I am unimpressed by your hysterical claim that 99% of our society would agree with this. My claim is that people in different cultures describe things differently. --Academic

If you want to find out what evidence deMause has amassed on the matter then read his fucking books. And the interpretation of child abuse in the case of infants is acultural. Infants do not have culture so are incapable of "interpreting" anything through a cultural filter. And yet again, you persist in ignoring the child's point of view, as if the rationalization of the child abuser mattered to them. Only anthropologists care about how the members of the primitive culture rationalize their behaviors. Anthropologists are just very bizarre people, and about as relevant to most people's view of what constitutes child molestation as experts in the paranormal. The relevant experts in the area are developmental psychologists.

There is a substantial faction that regards any kind of sexual activity with children to be inherently abusive. At the center of this faction are the likes of Alice Miller. There is another faction that traces its lineage all the way to Freud. When possible, it denies that child abuse exists. When it can't do that it denies that it is traumatic. And when it can't do that, it denies that it is inherently traumatic. --Psychohistorian


The purpose of anthropology is to describe culture, not judge it. If an anthropologist judges a culture under study, the ability to describe a culture objectively and explain how it is perceived by its members is lost. --Academic

Anthropologists widely report that primitives do not see their practices as abusive or sexual. I have no hesitation agreeing with that. But then, neither do typical pedophiles see their practices as abusive either. --Psychohistorian

That's like implying that a Papuan is dumber than a European just because his culture doesn't use electricity. --Academic

But Papuans are dumber than Europeans because they don't use electricity.:) You just have to ask "why do we use electricity"? We use it because we have a high population density and a high technological level. Why is that? Because we are culturally evolved. Why is that? Because at some point a couple of millennia ago, our ancestors decided to stop murdering their children and start evolving culturally. --Psychohistorian

What you are proposing is a form of genocide: systematically destroying a culture [what I call Neanderthal extermination - Cesar Tort], simply because you consider that culture to be primitive and immoral. You are a ‘moral absolutist’. --Academic

Just because I'm a moral absolutist doesn't mean I think I have a perfect access to moral truth. It does mean, based on my provisional judgment, that I have a far, far better understanding of basic moral truths than people who beat or sexually abuse kids. It's not moral assumptions which differ between societies. It's the capacity for empathy and rationality. --Psychohistorian

The anthropologist in me, OTOH [on the other hand], still bemoans yet another drop added to the overflowing bucket of human cultures forever lost. --Academic

The primitive cultures are a failure. We should let them die. --Psychohistorian

Good --as long as we all understand that psychohistory has nothing to do with history and is not even accepted by all schools of psychology. I think that there's a real problem here in that the entire concept as titled ["Early infanticidal childrearing", the title of the Wikipedia article] makes no sense. Primitive cultures tend to be those most concerned with long-term survival on a basic level. The title implies that these cultures intentionally endanger and kill their children (not to mention that it's plain oxymoronic): something that makes no sense for peoples who want to survive and which, if these cultures still exist after thousands of years, is clearly is misleading. --Academic

I've chosen to take extreme offense at what you've said, e.g. "psychohistory has nothing to do with history", and to treat you like a hostile.
I already explained that rape wasn't just about sex. I also explained exactly why it was still sexual. If you accuse me of reductionism, when I have explicitly warned against that, then it's only because you're deliberately being stupid.

I really wish I didn't have to deal with people who say stupid things. For example, things that amount to "every human being is rational and since it's not rational to kill children, this negates the overwhelming evidence that infanticide occurs". Never mind such truly stupid statements like "preliterate hunter-gatherer tribes are those most concerned with basic survival". Oh really, I guess that explains why they never developed any technology in order to guarantee their survival. --Psychohistorian


Ark, play nice. JHK is many things, can even be abrasive sometimes but acting "stupid" (I see you modified the "idiot" statement - thanks). That's over the top. She is one of the smartest people contributing to Wikipedia. Sorry, but regurgitation of the canon of human knowledge is what we do here. -- Academic

I disagree, Maveric. One of the things that makes Wikipedia different from a standard encyclopedia is our ability to reflect new thinking.
Now, the whole that deMause put together and Ark is advertising here is striking, but I think that you will find most of the individual points are not nearly as radical or contrary to current understanding as you seem to present. To begin with, there are many people who would reject cultural relativism. The first example that comes to mind are the women's historians which have become increasingly common, but a proper search shouldn't have trouble coming up with others. Further, the idea of the noble savage is very controversial, and one should hardly consider it some sort of canon.

With regards to infanticide per se, I personally have very little knowledge about the Paleolithic, but that deliberate murder or abandonment of infants was common among ancient civilizations like Carthage, Greece, and Rome is well-known, and I can remember a mainstream text mentioning Mohammed's prohibitions against the then-widespread killing of children without any implication that might be controversial. In absence of further data, a backwards trendline would be all it takes to suggest that Paleolithic infanticide was very common indeed. And I can recall articles suggesting that tribal cannibalism, to take the most headline-grabbing example, was far more common than previously thought.

In short, I think this position is not nearly outlandish enough to deserve such curt rejection. An informative and lasting page [i.e., the Wikipedia article] on this would be valuable enough. --Another Academic

Note that the definition of rape and molestation vary among cultures. --Still another Academic


Rape and molestation do vary among cultures. This is bad. Cultural relativism is crap, believed only by idiots, ignoramuses, anthropologists and historians. The Convention on the Rights of the Child explicitly rejects cultural relativism. Cultural relativists are merely denying human rights. (On a moral level, they are still violating human rights.) Anthropology and history have achieved nothing, or close to nothing. The reason anthropology and history are fucked is because they reject psychology and that is the only possible explanation for both culture and history. This theory [psychohistory] is sound since it does explain a lot of things (e.g., why warfare occurs, probably the number 1 unresolved question in both history and anthropology). In fact, warfare is a very indicative example and one where deMause crucifies historians. For psychological reasons, anthropologists have been butchering psych-heavy data; on the whole, the data is irretrievably corrupt and needs to be junked. Psychohistory is a new field of academia which grew up around the methods deMause pioneered. It is independent of both history and psychology. It is at war with both for their turf and so extreme animosity is predictable. As the new kid on the bloc, it's going to get attacked as "simply not recognized by most historians / psychologists". There is no rational argument against psychohistory's methods. Conservatism is not a rational argument. Like cartography or natural history, anthropology and history (A&H) aren't sciences per se. Cartography was never anything more than an engineering enterprise (though it did give rise to plate tectonics) and when the time came, natural history gave way to evolutionary biology. Similarly, A&H should give way to psychohistory wherever the latter is interested in taking over. --Psychohistorian

To those who promote the myth of the brutal savage, I point out that Westerners have often characterized non-Western practices as stupid, unhealthy, or wrong in part out of their own ignorance, and in part to justify colonial oppression. --Academic

The savage savage isn't a myth. What do I mean by the "savage savage"? I do not mean by it that we aren't savages. That is a notion you rightly reject and which is indeed the flip side of the noble savage myth. However, since that's not a notion I've ever defended and the only reason I don't attack it is because it would be futile (any article attacking modern people as savages will be destroyed), belief in the savage savage myth isn't something you can level on me.

What I do claim is that modern societies are less savage than societies in the past. That's most certainly not a myth. And to argue otherwise is to promote the noble savage myth. If you have an absolute standard of morality, there is no choice other than the savage savage or the noble savage. Even if you use just "violence and inequality" as your absolute standard, that's sufficient to force a choice between either the savage savage or the noble savage (as long as you don't redefine rape and murder as non-violent behaviors, which by now I don't trust you not to do). Whether deliberately or unwittingly, you have been promoting the noble savage myth. Either that or complete cultural relativism.

To recap: Primitives, in relation to modern people can be either:

1. equally savage (obviously untrue)

2. differently savage (cultural relativism)

3. less savage (noble savage)

4. more savage (savage savage)

So rejecting options #2 and #3 leaves one only with #4. There is no maneuvering room for anyone to weasel around. --Psychohistorian


And this is where you and I differ. I generally contend that all present-day cultures are essentially "differently savage". --Academic

(Long response linked here)

Morality is a psychological phenomenon. It refers to a person's capacity for empathy. It's difficult to describe empathy since nobody has a good grip on what it means. But of course, that's the point: if a person has no morality then they don't have any of these emotions. Keep in mind that our very ability to accept social and technological progress at the rate we're going is something which primitives lack. And we've yet to annihilate a foreign nation (as the Assyrians did) to pay for that progress. This too is a genuine advance. --Psychohistorian


Yeah, but India and Pakistan came awfully close last month. --Academic

India and Pakistan have societies that are at least 2 centuries behind the times in relation to the Northern European countries. The USA is behind maybe 50 years. We're talking about fairly primitive societies for the amount of technology and military power they have. --Psychohistorian

Ark: in the interests of fairness, I went ahead and looked at the deMause article. Basically, it can be digested into one Philip Larkin poem. Big Whoop. Parents fuck up their kids. We know that. There is absolutely NOTHING there besides that fact that is provable. It is a mass of huge generalizations predicated on two simple ideas: violence begets violence (duh) and everything that happens is down to psychology. Yes, there are references to acts of violence by parents (particularly mothers) against children, but we don't get to see the breadth of the studies to show what kind of population was used, etc. I stand by my statement that most historians reject psychohistory not because we feel threatened by it, but because most historians believe that human society is complex and filled with individuals who may act in particular ways for any number of reasons. Generally reductionism is not provable -- merely a simplistic way for the insecure to find meaning. --Academic

You dismiss the article I cited because it doesn't provide concrete proof against history's "no explanations" stance. Well so fucking what? I never claimed it did. I merely claimed it crucified history as a scientific field and historians as scientists; by showing that the theories historians entertain are all unbelievably idiotic. --Psychohistorian

Will someone please ban ARK? His non-stop slander, personal attacks, and foul language are damaging the Wikipedia community. --Academic

I would happily do so, but being a ranting troll who supports crank theories in an anti-social way isn't enough for a ban. He is correct in his assertion that deMause's theories deserve their own article --even if he's amazingly rude in the way he treats others. Although I can't imagine that any long-time wikipedian finds him anything but offensive, and his insults towards me.

To that end, Ark, You haven't convinced anyone that you're anything but a crank who thinks he's far more intelligent than he's demonstrated so far. --Another Academic


I have a pretty good grasp on what history is and what it is not; more or less what you describe actually. As for psychology, you're wrong about its scientific basis. Overall, it's a fucked field but it's one that has always aspired to be scientific. Its current status is merely a temporary setback. As for psychohistory, it is not a fucked field. These two facts (history not being science and psychohistory being science) explain why I'm so eager to dismiss history. Why should scientists be subjected to the authority of non-scientists? The same arguments apply to anthropology, and doubly so when the psyches of primitives are concerned.

Convincing people was never my goal, I'm too lazy and people are too bigoted for that. As for people thinking I'm a crank. I'm a power unto myself and I haven't need for their approval nor favour. What people think of me can't change who and what I am. And even if I were craven enough to give that kind of power to others, I certainly wouldn't give it to some anonymous nobodies. As for your opinion, I've already maligned your intellect; did you seriously believe I'd care what you think of me? (Don't feel compelled to respond, I know you're just acting for the audience, as am I for that matter.) [...].

This is a fucking encyclopedia article. I'm not interested in proving a goddamned theory here. Like I said, only two people other than me are interested in cooperating, giving some leeway and credit to other contributors. Since there are masses of idiots and butchers intent on destroying the theory for every one person interested in helping, I'm just not interested in being the whipping boy on this subject. Fuck you all. -- Psychohistorian


This is only a fraction of the flaming debate.

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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 2:11 pm 
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I think that the scientific basis for psychohistory can be debated.
But you haven't answered my question about what we can do with it besides write books and argue. You just gave me more examples of the debates. What happens if an orthodox academic is actually convinced by a psychohistorian? My guess is nothing. It is an academic exercise.
.
The 20th century was arguably the the worst in history because of modern societies. So far, the 21st hasn't been much better.
For me, those would be some additional significant points to add.

But nobody is going to change their behavior because they were convinced in a debate by a psychohistorian.

Phil


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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 3:44 pm 
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Hi Cesar.

Very intense debate, I learned some interesting things. Although I find Psychohistory compelling, I don?t want to I defend it at this point because I lack the 'credentials'. But I would like to share the following after reading the above.

I think that 'Academic' as well as other Historians and Anthropologists (H & A) are too detached from their hearts to allow psychology to merge with their ?paraphernalia?. By nature, their disciplines require an objective and clinical stance and the intellect is 'king' in these matters and never shall the heart and mind meet in Academia.

This is why 'Academic' sounds as if though his primitive cultures are as 'ant colonies', and a 'collections of things'. He speaks of them as if they were a 'collection of toys' that may get lost (become extinct) if one interferes (allow feelings to explain and influence his study) with their development. He must have watched too much Star Trek and was influenced by the 'Prime Directive'. Ironically, although 'Academic' is detached from his object of study, he is obstinately attached to the academic 'process'.

I enjoyed reading some of 'Psychohistorian's' insights. I especially like the view that History and Anthropology achieved nothing because they reject psychology, which may be the explanation (foundation) for History and Anthropology.

About Cultural Relativism, to me is the same as Cultural Convenience. This reminds me of today's American Politics, for example.

Ok Cesar, thanks for mentally exhausting me. Be well.

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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 4:35 pm 
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Here is an example of the complaint I have with psychohistory: The analysis of the purpose or role of foot binding of females in historical Chinese society. That the foot was mutilated to create a penis substitute for Chinese men. Because Chinese men were so afraid of the vagina as a castrating organ and could only feel sexual towards womens feet.

How in the world can such a conclusion be made? It is just so general.
I was amazed to read these things. The practice of binding girls feet was extremely abusive but where is the evidence for these conclusions. It is psychoanalytic theory. Not much different than Freud talking about penis envy.

Real insights are the ones that individuals come up with for themselves.
Those Chinese would have had to do their own healing and say for themselves what purpose was served from foot binding in their psychology.

I have no doubt that history is messed up because of crazy people, but I just don't buy the specific conclusions of psychohistory, I don't think they come from anyone's actual healing. But child rearing practices are certainly very important, but the effects are specific to each individual.

Phil


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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 5:32 pm 
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(Edited once to fix apostrophes because of wrong conversion after the new design of this website:)

cc:

Thank you cc. Nice to see you again! Actually, it's a real pity that the book I just finished on psychohistory, available online, is in Spanish.

Phil:

Quote:
The 20th century was arguably the worst in history because of modern societies.


Nop! I quote from deMause's The Emotional Life of Nations:

That twentieth century wars have been more violent seems to be an obvious fact. Technology alone allows us to be far more lethal than in earlier centuries, when wars causing 250,000 or more deaths were rare, while World War II alone killed 15 million people in battle, and total battlefield deaths for the twentieth century have exceeded 100 million. What's more, if one expands the definition of war deaths to what Rummel terms "democide"--so that the 40 million Russian deaths ordered by Stalin, for instance, are included--the number of "deaths by government" in the twentieth century jumps past 170 million. Surely Nordstrom is right in saying, "This past century was the bloodiest century in human existence," thus disproving the psychogenic theory of decreasing violence resulting from improving childrearing.

Yet Nordstrom's pessimistic conclusion is reversed if one measures the rate of violence by the likelihood of one's dying by war and democide. With several billion people on earth during the twentieth century, the rate of death by wars is in fact less than two percent of the population. Although individual wars in the past have killed less in numbers, they could easily wipe out many times this percentage of the population, particularly if--as is rarely done--the battlefield deaths are increased to include the democides of the past, when massacring civilians in entire cities was a common practice. Further, what is more relevant to the childrearing comparison is that lumping all nations in the twentieth century together regardless of their childhood evolution masks the fact that advanced democratic nations like the United States, England and France have lost only a fraction of a percentage of their populations in wars during the century. The United States, for instance, lost 120,000 soldiers in WWI, only .12 percent of the population, and 400,000 soldiers in WWII, only .34 percent of the population. The Korean War only lost .04 percent, the Vietnam War only .03 percent, and the Gulf War .0003 percent of Americans. The facts are that the more advanced the childrearing, the more democratic the society and the less percentage lost in wars. This is why no democratic nation has ever gone to war with another democratic nation in history.

Anthropologists have promulgated what Keeley calls "the myth of the peaceful savage" so effectively that when actual deaths by war are tabulated for pre-state simple societies one is astonished by how such a notion can continue to be taught to students. Keeley documents 22 prestate tribes with war deaths five to ten times that of contemporary democratic nations, concluding that "what transpired before the evolution of civilized states was often unpleasantly bellicose." Death rates in areas like New Guinea and South America, where there has been less Western policing of war than in Africa and Asia, range from an astonishing 25 to 35 percent of all adult deaths. The most warlike society ever described is the Waorani of the Amazon, which produced 60 percent of all adult deaths from war raids. It is likely that prestate societies 10,000 years ago had similar astronomical death rates from wars, if the number of human bones with stone axes and arrowheads embedded in them are counted. The 30 percent average of adult deaths in prestate societies is even higher than the figures of below 10 percent that early modern wars tended to average out, although admittedly little has been done to date to measure non-battlefield deaths in state wars prior to the twentieth century. The overall historical decline from 30 percent of adult population to under one percent for war/democide adult deaths for democratic nations has therefore been plotted in the graph below as a clear downward trend through history, as childrearing improves through the ages and gradually reduces the inner need to kill others.

The Decline of Human Violence [you can see the graphic here]

Besides war and democide, the graph also shows the decline of the two other outlets for human violence: infanticide and homicide/suicide. Infanticide is usually not counted as murder by demographers, since they do not consider newborn as human. But most human murders in history were in fact committed by mothers killing their newborn. The rates of infanticide in contemporary pre-state tribes are enormous: Australian Aborigine mothers, for instance, killed about percent of all newborn, and the first missionaries in Polynesia estimated the two-thirds of the children were murdered by their parents. Birdsell hypothesized infanticide rates as high as 50 percent for prehistoric tribal societies, based on high fertility rates and slow growth of populations. My own cross-historical study, On the Demography of Filicide, is based on a large number of boy-girl ratios that ran as high as 135 to 100, which showed that girls until modern times were killed in sufficiently higher numbers than boys to have affected census figures for children. Tribal societies also often infanticide enough of their newborn girls at a higher rate than boys to produce childhood sex ratios of from 140 to 100 (Yanomamo) to 159 to 100 (Polynesian), meaning that virtually all families killed at least one child and most killed several, averaging perhaps half of all children born, especially if "late infanticide" (such as letting an infant starve to death) are counted. Since 50 percent infanticide rates seems to be the norm around which all these studies of simple tribes center, it is what is shown at the left of the chart.

The third outlet for human violence is homicide/suicide--lumped together because when homicide rates initially go down in modern times suicide rates tend for a while to climb, suicide being somewhat more "advanced" (less impulsive) method of personal violence than homicide. Many simple tribes had homicide rates of up to 50 or 60 percent, causing one anthropologist to conclude about one group, "There was not a single grown man who had not been involved in a killing in some way or another." Even so-called "peaceful" tribes like the famous !Kung of Africa actually have "twenty to fifty times" current modern homicide rates. Knauft's careful study found the Gebusi homicide rate to be sixty times the current U.S. rate, with 60 percent of all males admitting to having committed one or more homicides, while Steadman found the Hewa--who specialize in killing witches--had a homicide rate of one percent of the population per year, a thousand times the current U.S. rate. Most tribal homicide rates run around ten percent of the adult population over a lifetime. Suicide in small societies is usually higher among the women, since they live lives of despair, often reaching 10 to 25 percent of adult women's deaths, staying high in antiquity but declining under Christianity, when suicide was declared to be self-murder. Homicide rates in medieval and early modern history, when almost everyone carried a knife or sword and often used them, ran about ten times higher than today's rates of about a quarter of one percent--although they should be adjusted upward for the number of unrecorded homicides in the past--while suicide rates today run about a half of one percent of adult population over a lifetime. Thus homicide/suicide rates, like those of war and infanticide, have decreased steadily, to less than one percent for most democratic nations today. Added together, then, the rate of human violence has dropped from around a 75 percent chance of being murdered by your fellow human beings to around 2 percent for advanced democratic nations today, as a result of the slow and steady improvement in childrearing over the centuries, with the reduction of early trauma, the growth of the hippocampal-orbitofrontal cortex network and more balanced neurotransmitters in the human population.


Quote:
Because Chinese men were so afraid of the vagina as a castrating organ and could only feel sexual towards womens feet.


Agreed. This is an dumb theory. Sometimes DeMause does state stupid, Freudian-like theories. Where did you get that quotation? What deMause wrote in The Emotional Life of Nations is this:

Therefore China which was culturally ahead of the West in many ways at the time of the introduction of footbinding-became culturally and politically "frozen" until the twentieth century, when footbinding was stopped and boy-girl sex ratios in many areas dropped from 200/100 to near equality. The result was that whereas for much of its history China punished all novelty, during the twentieth century rapid cultural, political and economic evolution could resume. Japan, which shared much of Chinese culture but did not adopt footbinding of daughters, avoided the psychogenic arrest of China and could therefore share in the scientific and industrial revolution as it occurred in the West.

The same kind of epigenetic arrest can be seen in the damage caused by genital mutilation of girls among circum-Mediterranean peoples that began thousands of years ago and continues today. Since "hopeful daughters" do not thrive on the chopping off of their clitorises and labias, the present cultural and political problems of those groups who still mutilate their daughters' genitals are very much a direct result of this psychogenic arrest. Much of the remainder of this chapter will analyze the conditions for psychogenic arrest, when childrearing has failed to evolve and culture remains in a psychogenic cul-de-sac, static for millennia.

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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 6:51 pm 
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I saw De Mause's ideas about Chinese foot binding on his website in "The Universality of Incest", I thinks its called.
He's right about child rearing, in general.
But so much of the analysis jin psychohistory is bizzare, in my opinion.
It is on the right track, however, in that it points to childhood roots to the craziness in society.

And, we may be killing fewer people with wars, but we are still producing loads of crazy people (some of whom are our chosen leaders). We still may yet kill everyone with a big war.

Phil


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(Edited once to fix quotation marks because of wrong conversion after the new design of this website:)

Absolutely agree, Phil.

That's why I stated elsewhere "Europeans are still Neanderthals", even psychohistorians [I already removed such title for another thread - CT (2008)]. In my final chapter of El Retorno de Quetzalcóatl I explain how "socializing modes of childrearing" --this is our own psychoclass according to deMause-- are still very abusive to children.

A good paradigm is compulsory schooling and child psychiatry. The ADHD pseudoscience that goes with the label is intertwined with compulsory schooling. In the last chapter I criticize deMause for his blindness about the parental and psychiatric war against children. It's a shame that deMause cites that in ancient Egypt parents controlled children with opium and he says nothing about how his own countrymen control children with psychiatric drugs. In that context I quoted Dennis' letter.

I consider myself a post-deMausian psychohistorian, post-Miller guy. I would never, like deMause did, address the shrinks at an American Psychiatric Association meeting. Nor would I have behaved like Miller as she did in her forum (preventing people like us to actively work with her for a much needed journal on child abuse). Similarly, Janov is no longer an iconoclast. Too bad that, with the exception of Dennis, Janovians have no interest in the ideas of Miller.

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Phil gives a very good example why DeMause's psychohistory is often being laughed away. Despite the load of convincing material, statements like the one with the Chinese feet and fear of castration makes it all a joke again, to the majority of people. Vaginas cannot induce fear for castration and I remember Jean-Paul Sartre writing about the exact same thing, when he explained the female orgasm (don't ask me for the source - it was a Dutch library book I read many years ago).

It's not necessary for DeMause to make these vague generalizations, because there are no mysteries in explaining cruelty when it comes to childhood. A small child being abused doesn't have any history but that of himself. You can theorize why parents do what they do because of their parents and then somewhere in history you'll get to the source, which is usually some crazy authoritarian inflicting some crazy rules on people. When a load of crazy people get together and perform a massive traumatic experience like a war, it sets back the time in human development. It's not a coincidence that there hasn't been any war in Sweden for 200 years and Sweden has the slowest birth rate in the world.

Pretty intense debate with those academics by the way. People with an academic degree are not interested in truth and knowledge, but in careers. And they work according those career steps, by obeying the scientific establishment. They protect their careers at all cost. And a higher education has cost a huge amount of money.

Dennis


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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 9:29 pm 
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(Edited once to fix apostrophes because of wrong conversion after the new design of this website:)

Hi Dennis,

I agree with you and Phil. In fact, deMause and the psychohistorians could have revolutionized the field sooner had they not advanced these kind of dumb theories. Sometimes deMause is as intellectually wrong as Miller is emotionally wrong. And the reason is the same: they are not totally integrated individuals.

As to academics, what a shame that because of the publication of the only Ph.D. dissertation that deserved to be read by the general public, Daniel Goldhagen's 1996 Hitler's Willing Executioners, Goldhagen could not teach at Harvard. Fortunately the book was a huge bestseller in Germany and Austria.

Goldhagen's analysis of the Holocaust may be incomplete. DeMause and Miller have written more complete explanations of it. But what strikes me is the academic repudiation of a scholar who blames the German perpetrators, many of them civilians (before Goldhagen, academics only liked to blame the Nazis and the SS).

It's unbelievable the level of denial in the academia. The best thinkers who fought against totalitarianism in the 20 century were not academics. They were lone writers: Orwell, Koestler, Solzhenitsyn.

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Cesar


Last edited by Cesar Tort on Mon Jan 28, 2008 3:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 2:13 am 
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Cesar,

I am in agreement with what you say in your last posts. It's a great idea to have a journal of child abuse (and neglect) I wish there would be such a thing. Maybe such a journal could be a thread right here, now that I think about it. A place where people could write, but free from any comments.

Phil


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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 2:31 am 
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Since we have not the money deMause has, we can only publish an online journal.

If you all agree, I could host the online journal in my web site. But we need an editor since I know as much about computing as an average Mexican woman about her car's mechanics.

I propose to ask Daniel if he wants his article on Miller to be the first article in the first issue of the journal.

Thoughts?

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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2007 10:21 am 
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We've talked about a journal before and I even wrote a topic in Daniel's forum last year with some proposals but with zero replies.

The first step is getting together a few people who want to do this. As I said before, I can print it and have an international ISSN number with it. The distribution will be the hardest. To find people who want to write for it, doesn't seem too difficult. I really recommend a paper version over an online version. It's such a difference to be able to take it with you and read it anywhere a person wants to. Together with such journal, I can design a matching website for it to support the paper version (with its own domain name). But if there are any sponsors out there who want to financially support this, they're welcome.

I suggest if this is worth discussing, we open a new thread.

Any good titles for it? I was thinking of: Childhood Inside Out

Dennis


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