FALL 2014 VOL 42 ISSUE #2

Fall 2014

U.S Masculinity Crisis: Militarism and War, Victor Meladze

From the military school of life, what does not kill me makes me stronger. —Friedrich Nietzsche1

The nexus between a nation’s unstable gender identity systems and its predisposition to militarization and war has long been noted by numerous prominent scholars in the behavioral sciences.2 According to psychohistorical theory, group rebirth rituals that are aimed at restoring the sense of masculine vitality and warding off feminine pollutants reflect the collective need to neutralize fears that are triggered by persecutory parental/maternal alters.3 As Lloyd deMause has theorized, alters are internalized object representations of parental figures of infancy and childhood. According to deMause, alters are organized around split images of the primary object, “good” parent and “bad” parent. …

Putin’s Macho Pose: On Masculinity and Psychopolitics, Juhanis Ihanu

Be still my tongue: here it profits not to tell the whole truth with clear face unveiled. –Pindar, Nemean, 5, episode 1.

To rhetorical questions a concrete answer-here Putin is a Soviet. –Laine (2007, 72).


Just as I began writing this article on Vladimir Putin, the fourth such study,1 I had a dream. First, I was in bed sleeping in the courtyard of the Institute of Behavioral Sciences in Helsinki. Some of the Institutes’ leaders came to ask when I was going to leave. I replied that soon I would have to travel. In the next phase of the dream I went to Russia, to St. Petersburg, where I happened to meet Putin, who was “Putin'” his sun-glasses on. He looked far more slender than I had expected and smaller. …

War Crimes and Atrocities Committed by the Western Superpowers Jamshid A. Marvasti

INTRODUCTION: The U.S. is committed to the worldwide elimination of torture, and we are leading this fight by example. I call on all governments to join with the U.S. and the community of law abiding nations in prohibiting, investigating and prosecuting all acts of torture.  –George W. Bush

If the above statement of principle is to be truly enforced, then “W” (as some people call him) should be prosecuted as a war criminal, as should his attorney general, defense secretary, and White House lawyers, all of whom approved the torture of detainees.

In general, when speaking about war crimes perpetrated by the U.S. government, one is likely to find a tremendous amount of resistance and denial by Americans. …

The Family Romance of the Group’s Political Delegate, Dan Dervin


From Erik Erikson through Lloyd deMause and beyond, psychohistory has profited from a rich body of theory, which in turn has greatly enriched the range of historical inquiry. One of the most generative contributions to our interdiscipline has been Helm Stierlin’s concept of the delegate in group processes (Adolf Hitler: A Family Perspective (New York: Psychohistory Press, 1970). As he shows, traditionally, the delegate is one who has been sent forth entrusted with a mission. In family dynamics the child may be assigned the delegate-role to redeem a parent’s past injuries or to fulfill a parent’s future dreams and desires. The classical instance in the public arena is Hitler’s scripting by his mother’s thwarted wishes for recognition, empowerment, and emotional revenge, ultimately contributing to the overcharged political agenda of Lebensraum. …

Capitalism and Performance Parenting, Valerie Rose Brinton

A child’s work and play are not divided and those who achieve remarkable success in any field are often like children in this way. They play at their work, their work is their play. Other work pales in comparison in its capacity to enliven the worker and in the ability of its products to satisfy those who use or experience them. However, mediocre goods and services are the norm of modern capitalist society, where labor is rarely felt to be play. This critique of capitalist society is not new. “For Marx, as for his mentor Aristotle, the good life consists of activities engaged in for their own sake. The best things are done just for the hell of it” (Eagleton, 2011, p. 124). Which is exactly why children do what they do. …


FEAR: THE HISTORY OF A POLITICAL IDEA,  Corey Robin, New York: Oxford University Press, 2004
Reviewed by Allan Mohl

It was the iconic late psychoanalyst and sociologist Eric Fromm, who stipulated that the revolution in science that evolved in the 16th and 17th centuries with Copernicus (1473-1543) and Galileo (1564-1642) negatively affected the biblical view of man and the position of the earth and its place in the universe. The successful challenge to Church teachings disconnected the masses from their known world, and this history, which included the breakup of the feudal system, can cause anxiety and a search for strong leaders who profess to have answers to complex problems. This factor can lead to despotism and or totalitarianism. The equation is anxiety which leads to fear which leads to despotism. This was a theme in his book, Escape From Freedom.

                  Corey Robin points out in his book Fear, The History of a Political Idea, that Thomas Hobbs the 16th century philosopher saw fear as a major instrument of control over the masses. He links Hobbs’ philosophy to Galileo who, although accurate in his scientific research, recanted to the Church officials, “when shown the instruments of torture by The Inquisition”. It was Hobbs contention that the fear of death is a predominant factor in controlling the masses.