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Feb 1994 conference speech _Freud and the Frankfurt School by Michael Minnicino

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Dialogue Of Cultures

SCHILLER INSTITUTE
Schiller Institute/ICLCConference
"The Palmerston Zoo"
Freudandthe
FrankfurtSchool
by Michael Minnicino
Presidents Day, 1994
This report is adapted from presentations delivered to the Conference of the Schiller
Institute/ICLCConference in suburban Washington, DC., on President's Day weekend,
1994. See SolvingtheParadoxofCurrentWorldHistory" for the setting of the
following articles. It was published as a special report by EIR, and is available in
photocopy. Contact Schiller Institute at email or phone numbers listed below.
Links to the all the panel presentations are included below.
SolvingtheParadoxofCurrentWorldHistoryNancySpannaus,PanelChair
IntroductionWebster Tarpley
The Venetian Takeover of England: A 200-Year Projectby Gerald Rose
How The Venetian Virus Infected and Took Over EnglandH. Graham Lowry
British Intelligence Subversion: Shelburne and BenthamJeffrey Steinberg
America's'YoungAmerica'movement:slaveholdersandtheB'naiB'rith
Anton Chaitkin
PalmerstonlaunchesYoungTurkstopermanentlycontrolMiddleEast
Joseph Brewda
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Feb 1994 conference speech _Freud and the Frankfurt School by Michael Minnicino

Freud and the Frankfurt SchoolMichael Minnicino


JimCrow,aculturalweaponinthehandsoftheConfederacyDennis Speed
Epilogue
LINKS:
Other Conferences
Join the Schiller Institute

Freudandthe
FrankfurtSchool
by Michael Minnicino
Chorus:B'naiB'rithnetworkswillhaveadevastatingimpactonthecultureofthe
twentiethcentury.SigmundFreud,thefounderofpsychoanalysis,willbealeading
memberoftheB'naiB'rithlodgeinVienna,Austria,duringthetwilightoftheHapsburg
Empire.Freudlaterwillcordiallythankthemembersofthatlodgefortheirsupport
duringhisarduousearlyyearsinpsychoanalysis.Indeed,severalmembersofthelodge
willprovidetheinitiatingcadrewhoalongwithFreudwillfoundthequackeryof
psychoanalysis.ThisFreudwillbeacharlatanandacabbalist.TheantiSemitismof
FreudandofB'naiB'rithasanorganizationofBritishintelligenceattheexpenseofJews
willbeperhapsmostclearlydocumentedinFreud'slastmajorworkMosesand
Monotheism.Hishatredforcreativityandthehumanmindwillbedocumentedinhis
essayonLeonardodaVinci,inwhichhewillassert,onthebasisofnoevidence
whatsoever,thatLeonardowasahomosexual.
Later,theFrankfurtInstituteforSocialResearchwillbefoundedwiththeprogramof
mergingMarxwithFreud.OneofthepillarsoftheFrankfurtSchoolwillbeMax
Horkheimer.AftertheSecondWorldWar,Horkheimerwillbeinstrumentalinre
foundingandreorganizingB'naiB'rithinFrankfurt.TheFrankfurtSchoolwillprovide
thematrixfortheyouthcultureandcountercultureofthepostwardecadesinthesame
waythatMazzini,thehighpriestofromanticism,hasusedhisyouthcultstoshapethe
firsthalfofthenineteenthcentury.
[Notetothereader:Theauthorwishestopointoutthatinhisconferencepresentation,
transcribedbelow,hewasactingoutacaricatureofasessionwithaFrankfurtSchool
trainedpsychoanalyst,andthattheviewsheexpressesarethereforebynomeanshisown.
Theauthoralsopointedout,duringalaterquestionandanswerperiod,thatthereare
manyotherformsofpsychologicalaidwhichareofgreattherapeuticvalue.]
So,tellme:Abouthowlonghaveyoubeenfeelingdepressed?...
Okay,wecancomebacktothatlater.Ifyouaregoingtoundergopsychoanalysiswith
me,perhapsitmightbebetterifIstarted,andtoldyouhowIgoaboutthings.I'mnot
reallyastrictFreudianpsychoanalyst,youknowalmostnobodyisastrictFreudian
thesedays.But,thatisnottosaythattheoldboydoesn'thavehisinfluence.It'samazing,
youknow:SigmundFreud'sscientificcredibilitywasnearlydestroyed,butrightafter
WorldWarII,hisideasbecamethemostwidelydiscussedtopicinAmerica.Doyou
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Feb 1994 conference speech _Freud and the Frankfurt School by Michael Minnicino

knowwhyhebecamesopopular?Becausehesaidthatitwasokaytobeapessimisthe
provedthatifyouwereunhappy,itwasokay,anditwasn'tyourfault.
And,Ican'thelpnoticingthatyou,personally,don'tappearverypessimisticasamatter
offact,youlookratheroptimistic.Toomuchoptimismishowalotofpeopleget
depressed:Theythinktheycansolvetheproblemsofthewholeworldalltheyhavetodo
isgetpeopletoactrationally.Ifyouputtoomuchfaithinthepowerofreason,youare
goingtofail,andyouarejustgoingtomakeyourselfdepressed.SigmundFreud
understoodthatthatdowndeep,peoplearen'treasonable.Thatiswhymyoldteacher
ErichFrommbackin1970saidthatpsychoanalysiswasreally"thescienceofhuman
irrationality."
Anyway,thisoptimismstuffis130yearsoutofdate.LetmeseeifIcanrememberthat
poem:
Ah,love,letusbetrue
Tooneanother!fortheworld,whichseems
Toliebeforeuslikealandofdreams,
Sovarious,sobeautiful,sonew,
Hathreallyneitherjoy,norlove,norlight,
Norcertitude,norpeace,norhelpforpain
Andwearehereasonadarklingplain
Sweptwithconfusedalarmsofstruggleandflight,
Whereignorantarmiesclashbynight.
Now,thatispessimism:MatthewArnold,"DoverBeach,"1859.Andyouknow,people
didn'tgenerallywritepoetrythatpessimisticbefore1859.That,bytheway,isthesame
yearthatCharlesDarwinpublishedTheOriginofSpecies,thebookthatreallygotpeople
tolookatthehumanracerealistically.MostpeoplethinkthatDarwin'sbookisdevotedto
evolution.Notreallyasamatteroffact,Darwindidn'tevenusetheword"evolution"in
thatfirstedition.Thefulltitletellsitall:OntheOriginofSpeciesbyMeansofNatural
Selectionor,thePreservationofFavoredRacesintheStruggleforLife.Darwingot
peopletorealizethatlifeisnotprogressordevelopment,butanendlessstruggleyou
can'tbeoptimistic,becausehowthingsturnoutisnotaquestionofmorality,oradivine
planit'saquestionofbiologyoverwhichyouandIhaveverylittlecontrol.
ThomasHuxley,Darwin'sgoodfriend,saiditbest:"Iknowofnostudywhichisso
utterlysaddeningasthatoftheevolutionofhumanity.Manemergeswiththemarksofhis
lowlyoriginstronguponhim.Heisabrute,onlymoreintelligentthanotherbrutes,a
blindpreytoimpulses...avictimtoendlessillusions,whichmakehismentalexistencea
burden,andfillhislifewithbarrentoilandbattle."
Thisstuffchangedtheworldbackinthe1860sand'70severybodyhadtoexplainthe
universeintermsofDarwin.EvenHermannHelmholtz,themechanistphysicist,toldhis
colleaguesthatthe"struggleforexistence"was"thehighestprincipleofexplanation,in
thefaceofwhichnoteventhemolecules...andthestarsinheavenaresafe."And
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SigmundFreudsaidthatthetwomostimportantinfluencesonhimwereCharlesDarwin
andHermannHelmholtz.HeeventriedtostudywithHuxleyinLondonandwith
HelmholtzinBerlin.
Belowthebeltidentity
Yousee,whatFreuddid,wastaketheblind,mechanicalforcesofbiologydescribedby
Darwin,andshowthattheyoperatedonthemind.Forinstance,somepeoplegettheidea
thattheycanhelpthewholehumanracebut,Freudtoldeverybodythatthiswasan
illusion,likereligion.Freudrealizedthat,ifyougettheideathatyoucanhelpall
humanitysurviveandgrow,thatthisideaisactuallyyourowndesiretosurviveand
reproduceyourownindividualsexualurgeschanneled(whatwecall"sublimated")
intoamoresociallyacceptableform.
LookatFreud'scasehistoryofLeonardodaVincimaybethegreatestcombinationof
artistandscientistofalltime.YouthinkLeonardowasmovedbysomehigherpurpose?
Nowayit'ssex!It'salwayssex.Freudsaid:Sexstartsevenbeforeyou'rebornright
fromthestart,youarebiologicallyimpelledtoexplorethephysicalworldthat'swhere
yougetyourideas,fromgropingaroundintheworldofthesenses.
Forcenturiespeoplethoughtthatthiseroticgropingaroundwasabadthing.Freudhelped
usunderstandthatthiswasnaturalthatyouhavetheseeroticinstinctualdrives,these
irrationallittledemonsinsideyou,andyoucan'tdothatmuchaboutit.Formostpeople,
thiseroticismbecomestotallyinhibitedbyreligion,orbysomeotherculturalproblemor
itgetsrepressedbychildhoodexperiencesandtransformedintovariouskindsof
neuroses.
ButFreudsaidthatthereasonwhyLeonardowassuchagenius,wasthathewasoneof
thoserareindividualswhoseeroticdrivesbecameperfectlysublimatedaccordingto
Freud,Leonardoeffectivelynevergrewup(somewhatlikeMichaelJackson)and
scientificandartisticinvestigationbecameLeonardo'ssubstituteforsexualactivity.As
oldSigmundsaid,Leonardobecameacompletenarcissist,"theidealhomosexualtype."
Homosexual?No,psychoanalysisunderstandsthathomosexualityisnotreallya
perversionitisjustoneofthehealthywaysofdealingwiththeirrationaldriveswithinus
all.Anyway,Freudsaidthatallhumanbeingsarenaturallybisexual.
Iseethatyouaresomewhatafraidofthissubjectperhapsyouhaveneverdealtwithyour
ownhomosexualurges.Don'tworry:Wecandealwiththatproblemlateroninyour
therapy.
Youhavegottoberealistic.Itisabsurdtoworryaboutuniversaltruthstheonly
universalsarethesemechanicalforcesinyourbrainandinyourpants.And,eachperson
comesupwithhisorherown,moreorlesssuccessfulwayofreconcilingtheseforces
withtheexperiencesthatyoureceiveinthecourseofgrowingup.Why,thewholehistory
ofsocialsciencefromFreudandalmosteverypsychologist,plusalmostallof
sociology,andalmostallofanthropologyisonegreatefforttoprovethatyoucan't
judgeatruthintermsofallmankindtruthisallrelativetotheindividual.Andwhatis
more,youhavetoacceptthatyourmindisnottrulyfree:Biologymeansthatyoucan
nevercompletelycontrolthoseeroticlittledemonsinsideyou.So,don'tsetyoursights
unrealisticallyhigh:Theonlythingyoucanhopetodiscoverwiththehelpof
professionalslikemeishowtobewelladjusted.
OriginsoftheFrankfurtSchool
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Well,ofcourse,Ican'tproveit!
Psychoanalysiscannotclinicallyprovethattheunconscious,theid,dreamanalysis,the
Oedipuscomplex,oranyimportantFreudianconceptreallyexists.Freudsaidthat
psychoanalysisislikeareligion:Youcan'tproveit,butyouacceptitonfaith.Asamatter
offact,CarlJungoncewroteFreudaletter,suggestingthatpsychoanalysisstartactingas
aformalreligionFreudthoughtthatwasabittoopremature.
Actually,IthinkitwasthisreligiousaspectwhichattractedtheFrankfurtSchooltoFreud
inthe1930s.Iprobablyshouldtellyouthat,likemanypsychoanalyststoday,Icameto
FreudbywayoftheFrankfurtSchoolyouknow:ErichFromm,HerbertMarcuse,
TheodorAdorno.
AHungarianfellownamedGeorgLukacsfoundedtheFrankfurtSchoolbecausehewas
tryingtodeterminehowtocausemassivesocialchanges.Lukacswasspecifically
interestedindevelopingBolshevism,butthetechniqueworksforanyideology.Lukacs
saidthatyouhadtomakepeoplecompletelypessimisticyouhadtomakethembelieve
thattheylivedin"aworldabandonedbyGod,"asheputit.Atthesametime,thenew
socialmovementthatyouweretryingtocreatehadtohavecertainkeysimilaritiestoa
religionbut,ofcourse,withoutaconceptofaSupremeBeing.Infact,Lukacsseriously
investigatedtheBaalShemcult,aJewishcabbalisticsect,aswellasseveralmedieval
Christianheresies,inordertofindwhathecalledthe"messianic"ideaswhichcouldbe
incorporatedintoBolshevikorganizing.
FreudiantheoryfitthisbillpreciselyitwasjustlikegoingbacktotheGnosticcultsof
theMiddleAges:Thedemonswereback,theevilwasbeinggeneratedinyourownmind,
andyouneededanewpriesthoodtosaveyou.TheFrankfurtSchool'sextensionofFreud
wasthemajorreasonwhypsychoanalysisbecamesoinfluentialinAmericanlifeafter
WorldWarII.TheFrankfurtSchoolhelpedusalltodiscoverhowbadourmentalhealth
reallywashowwehadtoliberateourselvesfromtheauthoritarianconstraintsthatmade
usneuroticthatwemustresisttheimpositionofuniversalvalues,andembraceahealthy
personalhedonism.
FixingupFreud
Now,asyourpsychoanalyst,Ihatetoadmitit,but,eventhoughhehadagreatmodelfor
theindividualmind,Freud'ssocialpsychologywasadisaster.But,theFrankfurtSchool
solvedthat.Freudhadsaidthattheindividualhumanidentitywasbasedonthe
interactionofbiologythatis,theinstinctualdrivesembeddedinman'shereditary
structurewiththeexperiencesofgrowingtomaturitywithinthestructureofthefamily.
Freudthoughtallpeopleweremoreorlessthesame,becausetheinstinctualdriveswere
thesame,andthefamilystructuresweremoreorlessthesame.TheFrankfurtSchool
correctedthisbyemphasizingthateachculture,eachpeople,eachrace,haveimportant
differencesintheirpsychologies,becausetheirdifferingfamilystructurestransmitthe
ideasofauthority,value,morality,indifferentways.
So,ifyouwanttoliberateyourerosandbecomehealthy,themostimportantthingisto
findwhatseparatesoneculture,onepeople,onerace,fromtheotherones.The
differencesdon'thavetobeinthegenesImean,today,veryfewpeoplewilladmit
publiclythatblackpeoplearebiologicallydifferentfromwhitepeople.But,theFrankfurt
SchoolemphasizedwhatFreudonlyhintedat:Culturaldifferencestransmittedthrough
thefamilycanbeasrigidandaspowerfulasbiologicaldifferences,andthustheyproved
thatblackpeoplearefundamentallydifferentfromwhitepeoplebecausetheirculturesare
different.
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AndalotofpeopleinthiscountrysupportedandsponsoredtheFrankfurtSchool,
becausetheywereabletouseFreud'spsychoanalytictheorytodemonstratescientifically
thatallvaluesmustberelative.Andthisiswhy,today,everybodyeverybodyexceptfor
afewextremistsandreligiousfanaticsunderstandsthatuniversalvaluesarereally
authoritarian,andthatthefamilystructurehastobechangedmaybeevendestroyedto
stopimposingtheseobsoletevaluesontheyoung.
The'Jewishidentity'project
Anyway,inthemodernworld,inthepostindustrialsociety,wecannolongeraffordthis
authoritariansenseofpowerovernaturewhichthepatriarchalfamilytransmitstoday,the
mostimportantaspectofmentalhealthisgivingpeopleanidentitythatwillmakethem
happyanderoticallysatisfied.ThiswasthegreatoriginalcontributionoftheFrankfurt
SchoolafterWorldWarII,whentheyworkedwithseveralJewishorganizationstocreate
anewidentityforAmericanJews.TheFrankfurtSchoolsaidthathenceforth,Jewish
identitywouldbedefined,notbyreligiousbelief,notbytheideasthroughwhichJews
contributedtotherestofhumanity,butbytheHolocaust:Jewswouldbetrainedtosee
themselvesprimarilyasvictimsofgenocide.Thishasworkedfantasticallyeventoday,
JewswhothinkthattheB'naiB'rithareabunchofcrooksstillgivemoneytothat
organizationbecausetheyhavebeentrainedtobelievethattheyareprofoundlydifferent
fromeverybodyelse,andthatantiSemitesarereadytostartanewHolocaustatany
moment.
TheJewishidentityprojectworkedsowellthatweFrankfurtSchoolFreudiansaskedto
dothesamethingforblackpeople.Inthe1960s,manyblackpeopleweresuccessfullyre
trainedtobelievethatwhatreallydefinedtheiridentitywashowtheirAfricanancestors
hadbeenenslavedbywhitepeople.Wedidthesamethingforwomen:Thefeminist
movementusedFrankfurtSchooltheoryandFreudtohelpmillionsofwomenrealizethat
whatreallydefinedtheiridentitywasmalechauvinism.
Youseehowsuccessfulwehavebeen?Today,wegiveeverybodytheidentitytheyneed.
Weeventeachitintheschoolsit'scalledmulticulturalism.Everybodygetsanidentity
basedonwhorapedwhom:TheLatinAmericansunderstandthatthemostimportant
thingistogetbackattheSpanishcolonialiststheNativeAmericansunderstandthatthe
mostimportantthingistogetbackatthewhiteseveryoneseparatedfromeveryoneelse.
Fear?hatred?revenge?Sure!Wegivethemthatbutwealsogivethemanidentity,and
theyarehappy.
But,wehavespenttoomuchtimetalkingaboutwhatIthink.Weshouldbetalkingabout
whatyouthink.But,Iseethatourtimeisaboutup.IthinkthatIcanfityouinnextweek
shallwesayTuesday?Ashortsessionisusually$75youcanpayasyouleave.

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