Recent Psychoanalytic Contributions to Social Theory and Practice
Floyd Henry Allport
PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL ADJUSTMENT. By Ernest R. Groves, Professor of Sociology at Boston University. New York. Longmans, Green and Co., 1923. Pp. ix+292. Price $1.40.
PSYCHOLOGY AND POLITICS. By W. H. R. Rivers. With a Prefatory note by G. Elliott Smith, F.R.S., and an Appreciation by C. S. Myers, F.R.S. New York. Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1923. Pp. xi+181.
PSYCHOANALYSIS AND SOCIOLOGY. By Aurel Kolnai. Translated by Eden and Cedar Paul. New York. Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1922. Pp. 185.
It is not to the credit of psychologists that the contributions of psychoanalysis have found readier application to human problems at the hands of sociologists than at their own. Neither is it particularly to the advantage of the problems to which psychoanalysis is applied. For the province is distinctly that of psychological science, and to psychologists belongs the responsibility for the testing, reshaping, and using of this recent body of fact and theory. Since psychologists on the whole have stood aloof from the opportunity, we must be the more grateful to writers who, like Professor Groves, have stepped out of their field in order to bring this valuable material into the service of social science. This same consideration should cause the reader of this review to pass over charitably the criticisms offered below from the standpoint of psychology, criticisms which are made for the sake rather of scientific accuracy than of reflecting upon the high practical merit of Professor Groves' book.
Personality and Social Adjustment was written "for those who have to do with people, especially with children". It is the "product of experience in working out conduct problems of a social character amongst those who are catalogued as normal". "These problems'', says the author, 'have strikingly centered around home life, and have illustrated the principles of behavior emphasized by recent science". Beginning with an account of the fundamentals of human behavior, the book takes the reader through a discussion of the socially important aspects of the
(209) various emotions and "instincts", the emotional maturing of the boy and the girl, inferiority conflict in social. life, phantasy and social rationalization, authority and individuality, and closes finally with the social conduct of the abnormal personality. The dominant note is one which may be described as "mild psychoanalysis". Professor Groves, whether for the reason of making his book available for the elementary student or because of personal resistance, shares the smug caution of those who follow psychoanalysis "so far, but no further". Not that the reviewer believes any scientific movement to be infallible, but that the self-protection which prompts one always to err on the side of conventionality and delicacy is a source of error in science. There is also a tendency (based perhaps on resistances) among publishers, authors, and in fact teachers to underrate the candid desire of our students for plain truths, or at least for unembarrassed discussion, upon all important topics, not the least among which is sex. This criticism applies not to the book as a whole but to a few salient passages. For example, in the explanation of the parent complex on page 40 there is much circumlocution in order to avoid specific reference to "sex" or even to "love" This emission is partially atoned for on pages 187 and 197; but still we are not informed that the basis of the whole trouble lies in a love attachment to the parent which behaves as though it were sexual, which at puberty becomes inseparably bound up with the sex life, which some indeed believe is sexual from the start, and which so conflicts with the mature attitudes demanded by society that it leads the individual to repress it from his thoughts and often with it the awareness of the entire sex drive. All the husks and consequences of parent fixation are there but the kernel itself is missing. To quote a little of the author's vagueness : "The son or daughter who continues after adolescence the intense attachment to mother or father characteristic of early childhood is extending a relationship beyond its biological sanction. This brings great risk that the youth will fail to meet his proper social [he does not say `sexual'] obligation." This is the most pointed statement the reviewer can find; and he believes that one wholly ignorant of these matters (and for such a one a book like this is most needed) may read this passage and completely fail to get the point.
Failure to go below the surface in interpreting character is another example of the "over-mild" psychoanalysis. In illustrating the lack of balance and control of the ascetic Professor Groves relates the story of a young American woman visiting in England, who at first showed a puritanical resistance to drinking tea. She soon threw her objections to stimulants aside in order to be sociable, and began to indulge excessively, sometimes to the extent of twelve cups in a day. Realizing the harm of this she once more turned against the beverage and conceived an intense dislike for it, so that she became practically an abstainer for ten years. In the end she gradually returned to an unemotional state in which she liked it in moderation. The author would have told us more about the
(210) ascetic personality had he gone a little more deeply into this symptom. Beneath this emotional addiction there lay forces far more powerful for character than tea-drinking, forces which are fairly obvious to those who have had practice in dealing with such cases.
After an introductory chapter upon "the new understanding of conduct" a beginning is made with an account of "impulse and social control" which argues the necessity for a, socialization of primitive impulses. The reader is confused by the terms "instinct" and "impulse". It is not clear whether they are intended to mean the same or different things. There is the usual fault of those who step into psychology without building up a, point of view for themselves in that science-the fault, namely, of accepting a ready-made version of human nature. The writer adopts, for example, three fundamental instincts which play into the hands of :analytic theory. These are the instincts of self-assertion, of the herd, and of sex. They are broadly defined. The instinct of self-assertion is made to include not only self-regarding and protective acts, but even a socialized ( !) hunger urge. It will be seen that the grouping here is teleological and unsuited to an explanation of the mechanisms involved. Whereas some instinct theorists derive the principle of mental conflict from the blocking of expressional outlets of reservoirs of energy, Professor Groves assigns it to the obstruction which the expression of one instinct puts in the way of another. "The opportunities for conflict between the self-assertive tendency and the herd-regarding attitude are particularly numerous. As one instinct meets obstructions it throws its momentum back upon the mind itself, and an adjustment of the individual's self-expression follows the checking process. All sorts of relationships become possible, due to the limiting and conflicting influences of the primary instincts upon one another" (p. 37). Although an element of conflict is conceived in this statement, the question of how "primary instincts" happen to be unbiologically turned against one another, which is the main question, is left unnoticed. In searching for an answer we should find that conditioning and habit formation are needed to build up the action patterns opposed to instinctive drives. As a statement of the mechanism of the neurosis the above account though unsatisfactory is perhaps as good as could be expected from the psychological materials of which it is constructed. Another instance of borrowing rather than building up one's psychology is shown in the superficiality of the treatment of the conditioned reflex (pp. 22-24). Some attention is given to "complex", which in Groves' account resembles somewhat the notion of complex in Professor Gault's Social Psychology. From this discussion, however, the complex emerges as little more than a system of associated and integrated behavior material such as might come into play in our attitude at the beginning or at the close of the day. The essential fact of conflict and dissociation in the formation of the complex is overlooked.
The errors criticized above have been made to seem more important than they really are. - The fairest standpoint from which to judge Pro-
(211) -fessor Groves' book is that of its practical usefulness. There is indeed a great deal of well chosen material. stated in compact form and throwing light upon personal and social; problems. Chapter V treats of the emotional basis of social conflict which lies, according to Dr. Healy, to a large extent in mental. conflict in the child.- Repression is at the root of many conduct problems in children. An account is given of Healy's list of causes most prolific in emotional disturbances. These include the child's doubt about his own parentage, his reaction to discovery that he has been deceived, unfortunate repressions and fears inculcated in regard to sex, harsh treatment and false accusation, and a miscellaneous group, of misfortunes such as organ and speech defects, deformities, and loneliness. Situations especially provocative of disturbance in adolescence are unreasonable restriction of growing instinctive demands, shame in regard to parents or home [inferiority conflict], undisciplined impulses, vanity, pronounced sensitiveness, realization that one has been encouraged through childhood to hold too exalted an opinion of one's self [narcissism], changes in religious belief, and feeling of inferiority arising from brooding' over physical unattractiveness. The social self (e.g., how the adolescent girl believes others are regarding her) is at this point a strong influence in the development of the personality. The chapter closes with a good account of the extrovert and introvert tendencies in children, and the useful suggestion that some children (extrovert) have no use for fairy stories, or imagination; but ask continually about the real and the practical.
The chapters upon the social significance of fear and anger, though somewhat general, emphasize such vital matters as the evil of suggested fears in children, fear arising from wrong ideas of sex in girls, and effects of country and city life upon fear. The value of socialized anger is shown, as well as the existence of compensatory outlets for hostility in fantasies of revenge and of suicide for the purpose of bringing remorse upon- the real or supposed oppressor. Real suicides sometimes result by design or by accident from this motive. Rationalized anger, such as that aroused by the agitator or .military leader against a class or party is of no little social significance. Here-the method is to give the crowd an objective and personified source for their general discontent and feelings of inferiority [projection].
The discussion of "the social significance of sex" is commendable for the directness with which the sex motive is shown to underlie the development of the personality of the youth, the phenomena of love, and many of the distortions of character which threaten this period. The inclusion of the parental instinct in the category of sex shows particular insight into these questions. As the author says: "Perhaps the best way to understand the two instinctive responses is to consider them both part of the larger, inclusive sex complex. In such a case the interests that, gather about sex, instinctive in origin, would have three distinct expressions---physical sex, comradeship with the opposite sex, and an emotional attitude toward the offspring" (p. 126). Another important point is that "sex
(212) enlightenment" of children is worse than futile without the inculcation of the proper attitudes toward sexual behavior. The danger of venereal diesase has doubtless been given too much space in the sex education of the past. This fact seems to be further proved by the questions asked by adolescent girls in Dr. Davenport's recent study of "Adolescent Interests", Archives of Psychology, no. 66 (reviewer). We cannot agree with the author that sex in itself requires sublimation in order to divert man's energy from erotic activities to the building up of a civilization. This seems to be one of the many misconceptions now current in regard to sublimation.
Three chapters dealing with self-assertion and its rôle -in the social and family life contain much sound social psychology. The need of self- . assertion as the positive correction for inferiority attitudes has wide consequences. Conversation, rivalry, and identification of ourselves with those more fortunate, reflect this compensatory drive. The popularity of secret societies among negroes, as a means of enhancing one's self-importance has been adapted from Professor Odum's monograph upon the Social and Mental Traits of the Negro. Razing in college gives the inferior person a chance to use his power. The same may be said of the motive for self-assertion and recognition behind industrial strikes and revolutions. The domestic tyranny of the neurotic husband or wife in the home is given due attention.- Family ambitions, and desire for high standing play their part. Four kinds of children are in danger of exploitation through self-assertive parental -cravings : the wealthy child, the only child, the sick child, and the favorite child. The home should not be primarily a place of refuge or of comfort, but an educational institution. Free expression is demanded, disputes capable of friendly adjustments should arise, and despotism should be absent. Continual change is necessary; a static condition such as that imposed by lavishing too great affection [fixation] upon the children is dangerous. The family must have its "growing pains". Preparation for outside social relationships should be a purpose always in view; and the parent must develop broader interests to occupy his emotional life when it is time for the children to leave the home.
There follows a concise summary of the emotional maturing of the boy and girl based largely upon Dr. Miller's The New Psychology and the Teacher. "The child is led into altruistic attitudes and conduct as a result of his responses to the love of his parents." The parent is likely to bestow upon the child of the opposite sex more affection than upon the child of the same sex, a fact important in the development of heterosexual tendencies. The necessity of comradeship between father and son is emphasized., together with the evils of persistent parent fixations. Ambivalence of attitude of the daughter toward the father is a further symptom of maladjustment in the home. Attitudes and aversions inculcated in girls toward the sexuality of men (p. 208) agree well with Davenport's findings from spontaneous questions (see reference given above). L. A. Dooley's "Psychoanalytic Study of Charlotte Brontë" is described as an
(213) example of father fixation and dependence of the child. "Crushes" of a homosexual nature in adolescent girls are a bar to the heterosexual adjustment.
A special chapter is devoted to further social consequences of the inferiority complex. Many minor social attitudes may be traced to this source. Inferiority is used in a wide sense to cover limitation of wealth, family standing and other defects. The person who has a repressed attitude of this sort resulting from childhood, and who does not sufficiently value his compensatory achievements is a familiar figure. The inferiority may be imagined rather than real. Despotic behavior, producing maladjustment in the husband or wife, the parent, the teacher, the officer of the army, the labor leader, and others entrusted with power results from a lack of insight in compensating for feelings of inferiority.
In the discussion of authority and individuality there is pointed out a three-fold problem of the parent and teacher. It is necessary first to develop the child's self-expression, secondly to socialize the impulses in such a manner that the result will not be a suppression but a true form of release, and thirdly to preserve through this social discipline the individuality of the child. The author points out that abnormality of social conduct is by no means always traceable to defect of intelligence. Mental defect as a cause of crime has been overrated. "Personality traits always count in every individual and particularly in the case of defectives." Delinquency is sometimes due to suggestibility combined with the desire to attract attention or to be an outlaw hero, thus gaining relief from a stigma of social and moral inferiority. Prostitution may result from the discovery by an inferior girl that at least sexually she may be attractive to others. Methods of training are advocated which will approach these character deviations from the standpoint of corrective social influence. Although a suggestion is given of the value of helping the delinquent to obtain insight into his motivation, the various forms of practical psychoanalytic procedure which might be used in these cases are strangely neglected. The work closes with a short account of the influence of constitutional psychopathic personality and insanity upon conduct.
The book is equipped with more than the usual pedagogical aids. At the close of each chapter are appended topics for discussion, topics for report, and a selected bibliography. A short list for the teacher's library is given at the end of the volume. Though hardly adaptable as a, text in psychological courses the work should serve admirably for classes in social science in all courses which recognize the personality of the individual as an important basis of social adjustment.
Applications of psychoanalysis to social theory, somewhat broader than those treated in the work just reviewed, are discussed in a series of posthumously published lectures of the late W. H. R. Rivers. These references however are somewhat scattered. and are treated in the sketchy manner, necessitated by the brevity of the lectures. Psychological considerations other
(214) than those of a psychoanalytic nature are also included. The first lecture, entitled Psychology and Politics takes up some points of contact between psychology and problems of government. Rivers contends that social and political studies at present may contribute more to our knowledge of human nature than the latter may contribute to the science of politics.
In this he is following a trend already apparent in a number of American writers, for example, in John Dewey and W. F. Ogburn. Under the regime of woman's suffrage, for example, the differences of political behavior in men and women should give us new light upon psychological differences of sex. The need is emphasized of applying our knowledge of the morbid in individual psychology to social problems. A psychological approach is outlined for studying and improving the work of executive and advisory committees in governmental procedure. The "red tape" which is a besetting sin of bureaucratic forms of governmental control Rivers ascribes in part to the defense mechanism of making a big show which arises from inferiority conflicts in government officials.
The second lecture, upon Instinct in Relation to Society, describes differences in attitudes toward customs and institutions in various primitive and civilized societies. Very little in social life can be explained upon the grounds of "pure", a modified instinct. Suggestion is considered as the uniformity of behavior, perhaps due to "herd instinct", by which individuals act toward a common end. Groups under leaders are to be distinguished clearly from other groups. The leader influences the group by prestige-suggestion, a process common to hypnotism, medical treatment, and political leadership. The leader controls the group by "faith", which is a more conscious form of control than the suggestion process in the "all-or-none" behavior of the leaderless group. The attitude of the group toward the leader is that of reverence, rather than mere sympathy, and obedience rather than imitation. The hypothesis is put forward that the modern instinct of the group-members to be led may be complicated by a trace of the Oedipus complex and jealousy against the father who in the olden days was the despotic ruler of the herd. The king in civilized countries is the surrogate of the father. These views bear close resemblance to the relation. of leader and group as developed in Freud's recent Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego. The personality of the leader plays a considerable part in the general. acceptance of the cause for which he stands. He must be able to inspire confidence and so "actuate the instinctive attitude of the animal herd toward its leader". It will be seen that the conception of instinct offered in this lecture is wholly mystical.
The third lecture, The Concept of the Morbid in Sociology, is remarkable for a brilliant but highly speculative development of the pathological group mind metaphor. The author criticizes unconvincingly the careful arguments of Dr. Morris Ginsberg (The Psychology of Society) against the postulate of a social organism distinct from the individuals who compose society. Rivers was inclined to believe "that the resemblance [between society and organism] not only forms a useful guide to practice,
(215) but that we shall in time come to see that the resemblance is something more than an analogy, and depends on the operation of some fundamental laws of development common to both organism and society" (p. 62). The similarities between the dissociated individual mind and conflict within the "social mind" are as follows: Both require a diagnosis which goes beneath manifest symptoms; progress in both individual. and political disorders is uncertain ; forgetting the unpleasant in the individual's life, which is more or less "unwitting" (and is elsewhere termed "suppression." by Rivers) is analogous to the more fortunate classes of society turning their backs upon the miseries of the lower classes; deliberate, or witting, extrusion from the mind of painful material (repression) (Freud's censor) corresponds to political censorship by which expression of the wrongs suffered by the lower and oppressed classes is prohibited. Time nightmare of the neurotic represents revolution in society in that both arc outbreakings of the repressed elements. In both cases also the cure Tics in complete insight into the individual or the political situation. The reviewer believes that writings of this kind reflect a widespread "group fallacy" (see his Social Psychology, eh. 1). Conflict within a "social mind" is not only purely metaphorical, it diverts explanatory effort into precisely the wrong direction. Since the arguments against the pathological metaphor have been developed elsewhere ("The Group Fallacy in Relation to' Social Science", this JOURNAL, April-June, 1.924) there is no need for further discussion here.
The three addresses which follow, entitled respectively Socialism and Human Nature, Education and Mental Hygiene, and The Aims of Ethnology, contribute little of interest either to abnormal or to social psychology. The Aims of Ethnology reviews approvingly the history of Dr. G. Elliot Smith's endeavors to prove the universal diffusion of culture and the derivation of culture forms in remote parts of the world from early Egyptian art. It is to be regretted that a useful doctrine, such as that of diffusion, can not be upheld without being partially discredited by the extreme pretensions of its adherents. Followers of Dr. Smith seem strangely intolerant of the simple fact that given human nature, which is essentially the same the world over, and a common struggle with fairly similar environments, we should expect many points of close cultural resemblance as a natter of course. The reviewer once heard Dr. Rivers allude to the theory (or perhaps better the fact) that the culture of the American Indians developed on this continent as the "Scientific Monroe-Doctrine".
A short but "pungent" note by Dr. Smith follows Rivers' lecture on ethnology. In it is aired an important controversy between British ethnologists and the psychoanalytic interpretations. He charges that "Freud and his followers have become involved in an intrigue with ethnology which threatens disaster to both parties, and under no circumstances can lead to a stable union". The nature of this `improper liaison' is best shown by the following quotation from pages 144-45. "Freud and his disciples eagerly accepted this ethnological teaching [independent
(216) origin theories] as the true gospel---For if the ethnologists were able to assure Freud and his followers that scattered peoples had independently devised the same myths and folk-tales, then the reality of `typical symbols' was proved. Hence Freud, Abraham, Rank, and the rest of them began to provide the world with such striking demonstrations of reductio ad absurdum as Totem and Taboo, Dream and Myths, The Birth of the Hero, inter alia, and Jung to write about `the collective unconscious' and the phylogeny of symbols. [Instead of consulting the first-hand sources of information] the Freudians are satisfied to get their ethnological information second-hand from the writings of Sir James Fraser and Wundt, two authors deeply committed to the Bastian-Tylor fallacy. The common features of myths and folk tales are not expressions of instinct or `the collective unconscious', nor are they `typical symbols'. They are due to the diffusion from one center of an arbitrary tale which had a definite history differing vastly from that postulated by either Freud or Jung." Although it is indeed hard for us to follow the mysterious theory of "archetype" and the "collective unconscious" of the Jung school it is perhaps no less acceptable than Dr. Smith's highly exaggerated "diffusion of an arbitrary tale" through which the psychoanalytic doctrine is assailed. Dr. Smith would still have to explain the motive or interest behind the spread of folk-tales, and the reason why some tales travel much more extensively than others. Ethnologists would indeed be rash to reject all the illuminating contributions of psychoanalysis to this field because some of them are overdrawn. It should also be mentioned that Dr. Smith himself has elsewhere admitted the validity for ethnology of such Freudian contributions to our knowledge of taboos and folk-ways as are to be found in the above anathematized Totem and Taboo.
The book closes with an excellent account by Dr. C. S. Myers of the psychological achievements of Rivers, together with a fitting tribute to the memory of this brilliant and thorough (if somewhat erratic) psychologist, and the reader will doubtless agree that this little biography is the most solid contribution of an interesting and unusual volume.
Psychoanalysts have begun to discern in the organization of the primitive paternal horde the affections, repressions, and maternal relationships characteristic of the family. Inasmuch as the earliest social group was the family or kinship group there is some foundation for this theory. The facts of primitive social organization also support it. Can we, however, interpret the non-kinship sociopolitical organization of modern society upon the same basis? Rivers saw in political leadership a trace of the totemic motive of early man. In Psychoanalysis and Sociology Kolnai carries' these speculations further than some sociologists would care to follow. He also courts the fallacy of the collective mind as the receptacle of racial symbols. "It is worthy of note", he says, "that the mechanism of collective ideas exhibits striking analogy with the mechanism of dreams, mental disorders, and even some of the products of contemporary literature. Psychoanalysis teaches us that mental disorders are disturbances of the adaptation to the
(217) extant form of society, are regressions to lower stages, whereas dreams are normal forms of similar regressions. These regressions coalesce with primitive social ideas" (pp. 21-23). A kind of mystical "primal unity" is postulated out of which differentiation subsequently occurs, to which the community of symbolization can be traced, and to which through the Oedipus motive modern man is trying to return. Return to the mother typifies desire for reabsorption in the life of the group. Ambivalence, conflict, repression, and symbolization (which is "stabilized projection") are all of social origin. Myths are disguised wish fulfillments which give further proof of the "primitive and specific unity of the individual and society ".
In the chapter on "Beginnings of cultural development" primitive sex customs are considered, and an agreement pointed out between the views of Freud and Durkheim. A number of important suggestions occur in the chapter dealing with "Social Organization and the Individual A unique and behavioristically sound restatement is given of the conscious an(], the unconscious. The conscious is that which we can formulate in words, and can thus communicate to others. It can be incorporated in "a system of extant social conventions". The unconscious is that which can not be expressed in words and "can not present itself before society" (pp. 50-51). The psychoanalyst aims to make accessible to society (i.e., to the "conscious ego" and the physician) the unformulated material of the unconscious. Much can be said for this conception. It agrees with the fact that the repressed patterns are emotional, that is, being connected with smooth rather than striped muscle, they do not have access to the organs of speech. To be able to speak the unconscious trends gives them release through somatic (as distinguished from visceral) activity. To be clearly conscious of a situation is to have implicit verbal responses toward or About the situation. Kolnai recognizes this view in a footnote (p. 51). This theory also clarifies the rôle of social factors in mental conflict. The same medium (language,) is used for two purposes: (1) to think, or to be clearly conscious of a thing ourselves, (2) to communicate our thoughts and motives to others. Repression of the second tendency therefore naturally inhibits the use of the very mechanism by which a clear recognition by the individual of his own mental processes is possible. In an intimate sense then the resistance to telling about the conflict and the resistance to facing it are phases of the same occurrence. It actually happens, of course, that this resistance is strengthened by setting up in the thoughtspeech mechanism reactions which are allied rather than antagonistic to our conscious attitudes of socialized behavior. This is known as rationalization. It has a secondarily elaborated emotional accompaniment in ambivalence. Developed in this manner Kolnai's theory becomes one of the most illuminating and socially important formulations of the neurosis which have yet been given.
The thesis is further extended by assuming that in primitive solidarity it was essential to forbid the mere mention of an antisocial wish. Its public discussion would bring to bear opposing views based upon conflicting
(218) self-interests. Formulation of the dissenting idea is therefore prohibited; and we can scarcely believe that "that of which it is forbidden to speak can remain permanently in the consciousness" (p. 58). In this manner the actual work of repression takes place. The reviewer wishes, in this connection, to call attention to the strict provisions in primitive law against the temptation toward incestuous attachments, for example, in the custom of mother-in-law taboo (substitution of mother-in-law for one's own mother) and in exogamy. These restrictions are imposed by public opinion upon the individual, and, as travelers tell us, there is real ground for attempts to suppress incestuous behavior. Among normal civilized people the coercion is compressed into the very action system of the individual. Social compulsion, though existing in law, is seldom needed. The individual's resistance (horror of incest) has become so strong as to control his action even at the cost of inner conflict and dissociation. Social conflict, and control is thus taken from the social sphere and compressed within the individual. That which in primitive man was tabu by the power of external and social authority has, in civilized man, become repressed by systems of socialized habits. This interpretation, which is in accord with Kolnai, the writer believes to be of high value in clarifying the mysterious resemblances alleged to exist between the collective mind of primitive man and the (racial) unconscious of the modern individual. It can not be said, however, that the author has followed out its logical consequences.
A few general considerations are given. regarding the sociological tasks of psychoanalysis. Among these are a study off the effects of wealth and poverty, social status, and religion upon psychoneurosis, and the psychoanalytic interpretation of social classes and of racial and national characteristics.
The analysis of anarchist communism as one of the sociological tasks of psychoanalysis :is given rather too much space for the importance of the ideas advanced. It takes up the last seventy-five pages of this small volume. A number of interesting suggestions, however, are made. Anarchism means fundamentally the revolt against the authority of the father. Rebellion against paternal authority is in fact the root of social reform (p. 81). The anarchist seeks to abolish repression and replace it, not by self-critical judgment, but by libertinism. In this we find a tendency toward regression, with the father (governmental authority) out of the way, to an unhampered nutritive and sensuous satisfaction in the mother. Return to complete license is however the opposite of the policy demanded by social realities, namely the restraint of self-indulgence which makes social life possible. Anarchy therefore is inherently impossible as a form of organization. "Bomb throwing", says Kolnai somewhat dogmatically, "is an entirely mystical, individual, and unsophisticated copy of parricide". The anarchists are alleged to be "personally speaking more often pathological specimens than the communists are".
The communist movement, though a regressive one, is not fundamentally opposed to the authority of the father. Dictatorship of the proletariat really amounts to control by strong leaders who are supposed to embody
(219) the principles of the common people. There is occurring, however, a transition to the mother principle, keeping an element of father control as a compromise. The protective feature of communism ultimately harks back to regression toward the life within the mother's womb, and toward the matriarchal type of primitive community. This trend, however, goes directly against the demands of reality made by the physical and social environment; and communism therefore is doomed to fail. "Just, as the foetus is unable to use its hand, and just as the little child is incompetent to drive a motor car, so the fruits of technical progress will not be at the disposal of a community which can not master, develop, or even use extant technical acquirements" (p. 147). (Quotation slightly modified for abridgment.) Marxism is therefore in certain respects a "social psychosis". "The idea of the salvation of the world by the proletarian class vividly recalls the motif of the rôle as saviour and the great good fortune of the youngest brother or some other person who has been despised and rejected (the conception. of Lorenz) ; it signifies the wish fantasy of the son who . . . longs to gain possession of the mother (earth, land, the world) ". The reader is here reminded of the "messianic" goal of crowd-revolutionsdescribed in E. D. Martin's The Behavior of Crowds. In conclusion Kolnai refers to neurotic manifestations in the personalities of adherents to the "communist persuasion". Narcissism and bisexuality are among the traits in evidence.
That such analyses throw some light upon the nature of the proletarian philosophy of government can not be denied. Yet there is danger of being too schematic in assigning specific neurotic causes for vast and complex social movements. The conviction borne by psychoanalytic procedure is always in direct ratio to the immediacy of the human material and the specific character of the basic symptoms. Large scale social phenomena, are of necessity lacking in these very requirements. Another defect arising from lack of concreteness is obscurity. The book as a whole is difficult to read because of a technical phraseology which is probably not the fault of the translator. Psychoanalysis as employed in individual cases can be wonderfully illuminating. When "applied" in general terms, mechanisms and complexes which may be, found in certain individuals are sweepingly asserted. to be the forces which must be accepted as underlying movements of nationwide proportions. The result is cheapness of explanation, dogmatism, and obscurity. As an example of all three of these vices, the following quotation is given, which it must be said in justice to Kolnai, is not characteristic of the entire work: "As far as concerns large-scale landed proprietorship, there is a manifest connexion between the libidinous tie man-earth and the authoritative tie father-child. When the end of serfdom carne, and when liberalism won the victory, large-scale landed proprietorship ought to have come to an end, earth eroticism ought to have assumed the form of petty proprietorship, while the likewise sublimated father principle should have indued the form of coöperative organization" (p. 151). A psychoanalytic glossary which is appended does little to relieve the confusion.
FLOYD H. ALLPORT