31 ianuarie 2014

The psychopathology of ultranationalistm

The concept of nationalism actually reffers to three quite different things in terms of mental resorts involved in this feeling:

1 . the basic nationalism;
2 . the moderate nationalism ;
3 . the ultranationalim ;

These three forms of nationalism can be interpreted inside the language , depending on the attitude of those who subscribe to it. Interestingly, although they are specific to human race, their base is found in the animal world also, of course, somewhat in a kind of rudimentary form.

Te basic nationalism is the simple need for sociability, the need for belonging to a social group. There is not much to analyze here, simply some animals have found that community life is easier than solitary in certain circumstances. Likewise, the the human being noticed that if the individuals split up life issues and each one specializes in a particular activity, the community is more effective and things are better done. This type of nationalism involves the cordial relations a individual have with all community members. The moderate nationalism is different; it appears when the community has separate groups within, when there exists a certain tendency to reject other community members, or other nearby communities, and being more affective to it’s own community . It can be related to certain animal species that are threatened by a predator, by an unfavorable geographic reality, or by insufficient necessary for survival resources. In this case, the natural selection has a visible role for promoting for survival the most competitive individuals and for marginalization those less endowed . At this stage, the conflicts between groups inside of communities occur only in certain specific cases of mating or sharing resources, and the tense atmosphere does not perpetuate after they ended.

On the contrary, the ultranationalism has a constant hostility to these external groups that the individual does not belong, and visible aggressive behavior or attitudes towards them . Such a psychopathological conformation is basically modeled by the phenomenon of marching and marauding armies against other communities that constantly happened in the last millennia, plus other factors that I will analyze below. There is a precedent in the animal world, namely the predators species rival families that decimate each other when they have the chance, not only when are competing for resources or for mating. For example, a wolf that belongs a rival family can be killed by other family members if caught alone, without the protection of his family. But such behavior can not be yet called ultranationalist but rather normal wild. If the other two forms of nationalism have a visible correspondence in the animal world, on the contrary the ultranationalism is specifically human being. It cannot be reduced to such a savage war relationship because, in human’s case, it exists in peacetime also. In order to understand its inner mechanisms there must first be analyzed the social context of the other two forms.

Starting from its own family, the human being tends to decreasingly love people in a centrifugal direction from the core of its own person, to the family and then to other people outside of it, positioned on the next levels . On this centrifugal spiral line there are gradually found the self, the 1 degree relatives, the 2 degree relatives, the friends , the neighbors, acquaintances, coregionals and fellow-citizens. The society is a kind of extended family just as the normal family is a small society with closing and separations and with tensions and alliances between its members. Any social group works as the swarm of bees, when bees swarms hive off the older members form a new family, practically forgetting that the newest bees were part of their family not long ago; if the two bee families do not separate each other then there is likely to arise conflicts between them. In the same way, every family and every community, as it grows, it tends to separate in more compact but less antagonistic to the other small groups. The psychology has observed for long time now that the exclusion or marginalization of a member helps to strengthen the links between other members. Such a repositioning of connections between the groups members is a healthy natural movement for species in order to occupy more efficient the habitable territories; the conflict between species members, families and communities forces certain individuals to move on and colonize other territories. In this way , the species takes a kind of protective measure in case of possible natural disasters, populating the most diverse habitable territories increases the chances of survival of the species if such potential disasters.

As just being out from the wilderness, the human being behaves very much like the rest of the species, in this regard. 5000 , 10 000 or 15 000 years of civilization means very little compared to the humanity million years of evolution. Therefore, with overpopulation, tensions begin to appear inside the human community, as desire for separation and rejection. They are much stronger in the case of predators, as is the human being. In this case, the specie self-regulates itself in relationship with the prey that dependent on. This type of self-regulating process is made by strong assault against some of its own specie members. If predator specie would multiply too much, thus potentially bringing the prey to extinction, then the predator threaten its own specie with extinction. So instead exterminate its prey, the predator naturally accepts tighten the belt of its own specie. The enmity with rival species of predators is a stage of this self-regulating trend.

As ultimate predator, it is almost a miracle that the human population has reached over 7 billion individuals. The tiger, the snow leopard and so many other predators’ species worryingly stay around 1000. Anyway, our prosperity as a species comes not from a prey extermination unnatural caprice, but from the technology that we have developed in these few thousand years of civilization evolution. Instead of exterminating hunting, the human being innovatively turned to create farm animals, and started to breed and feed them. Not only that the man did not exterminate the prey species, but it has diversified them by artificial mating and somehow creating new ones. Genetics has allowed in the last century even creating completely new animal species.

Nevertheless, our number might still be too big. The perpetuating "nature colonization", its destruction to implement new human settlements or for its resources exploitation may cause such an imbalance which means even greater threat to already endangered species. The warrior mentality, predisposed to aggressive gestures against other social groups, is based on this opinion. Just like the predators self-regulating number through fierce struggles, in the same way those who subscribe to this mentality are directly or indirectly involved into reduction the number of individuals within their own species. But, on the other hand, there are opinions or psychical attitudes that the earth has enough resources to keep even more people than now*. However, when the humanity collective mindset comes the theme of reducing the number of individuals, each member proposes a criterion on which to meet it too. The nationalism, the xenophobia and all other forms of getting close to a particular group and rejection to other social groups is a cultural extension of this wild biological imperative to reduce the number inside its own species. The stronger the threats become the nationalism turn into ultranationalism, as aggressiveness, in response to these threats, becomes proportionally stronger.

[ ( The following paragraph is more technical . Covering it can help the comprehension following text, but one can skip it if consider too difficult) The Oedipus Complex is not only the Z erotic predisposition to X and the hostile predisposition to Y, as classical psychoanalysis says. The sexual instinct is secondary in this equation. In fact, the Oedipus Complex is a transgenerational synthesis of the warrior society mental heritance. Before being erotic, the Z closeness to X is a comradeship one, while the hostility toward Y originates in confrontation with the enemy. If a child inherits from parents strong sexual impulses then its Oedipus complex will be directly proportional strong to the intensity of those impulses, as been described by classical psychology. But if these impulses are weak then the Oedipus Complex is undersexualized also inversely proportional to the sexual instinct energy intensity that was inherited, thus manifesting less (inner) neurotic and more (outer) paranoid. In fact, the Oedipus Complex itself is the implication of childhood hostility and aggressiveness. And the aggressiveness is the secondary stage of the Traumatic Complex, after the primary stage which is the regressive-depressive phase**. Any psychical energy intensity increasing is due to the presence of resources to satisfy impulses, coupled by an actual threat or a traumatic experience that prevents this meeting. This Complex is a universal one since any human mind is governed by negotiation between the desire for pleasure and the fear of punishment. But it is more pronounced in the lower social classes, since they are more threatened with punishment than the upper ones. ] 

The ultranationalism problem is the social lower classes problem themselves, as they are dominated by cultural aggression due to the frustration education. The aggressiveness involves the refusal to accept a lower place in a social expanded hierarchy. The lower place that the social lower classes accept it is due to a simple need for social survival but not a total acquiescence. In their inside forum, the lower classes hate their social position and hope for a higher position, sometimes a mystical one. The key of religion itself originates here. That is why the social lower classes are unable to organize themselves and to accept a modest place in the decision making hierarchy. Thus the members of these social classes are unable to genuine fraternize and empathy each other. "Proletarians of all countries, unite! " is a true ideal, a push to streamline an outdated social status. If the communist political theories wanted a such empathy through what they called "the class struggle", on the contrary, the ultranationalism extends the social class to the whole nation. For the ultranationalism "The enemies of the people" are not bourgeois (at least not bourgeois only) but other nations (that the bourgeoisies belong to). Sometimes, between the two theories there is common ground. There are ultranationalists today who believe that the new bourgeoisie, the new owners, the rich have different national genealogy from the one that economically activate, thus they often paranoid ideation regarding this theme.

Emotionally speaking, the ultra-nationalists are very lonely people. Their empathic capacity is very small, proportionally inverse to the commitment that they love their country. That is because the notion of "nation", "people" and "country" are very ambiguous and implies the projection of an ideal into them, without being actually verified. In reality the ultranationalist is a paranoid, suspicious, loud and opinionated person, ready to start arguments with anyone who does not accept its views. The paranoid personality disorder is the most common among ultranationalists. The few friends they have are poor minded people who need a reference in the world that do not understand. Nevertheless, they often leave the ultranationalist and its theories, therefore, the word “traitor " is very frequently used. The ultranationalist goes to historical commemorations trying to establish emotional relationships with other ultranationalist planning to start a "national revolution”, eventually. The tears and the hopes for an ideal (national) world coming out from such meetings can be relatated to acute oedipal discrepancies of this psychopathological structure; such a titanic - melodramatic meeting resembles with the mother-child meeting after she has been gone a while. It is very interesting that, at the slightest disagreement or difference of opinion, the yesterday’s ultranationalist "brothers" can radically be perceived as ... traitors. The ultranationalists’ paradox is that, although they enormously love their (abstract) country and their (abstract) nation, they have often hostile or cold relations with their (real) people. Most of their acquaintances are appreciated either as cowards or as traitors. Being tired of so many “traitors”, the ultranationalists sometimes think about emigration to another "more civilized" country whose citizens are "real men" and "honest" ...

Ultranationalist can also be the hooligan from European football stadiums. When the national team is playing the ultranationalist puts the hand on its chest and very involved sing the national anthem. This person ecstatically embraces other hooligan that does not know when the national team scores. This thing is completely forgotten when the supported club team is facing a rival same country league team that previously had sung for. Although days ago, the hooligan was showing great deal of love for the other hooligan, later the table could turn into profound hate for those who support the rival team. Such a discrepancy has a traumatical resonance and, consequential, an oedipal one too. This case shows a social-family spiral distortion; instead of focusing the specific natural affection to its family core, the ultranationalist expels it to outer area into the national unknown. This person puts out there its chances of finding such a blank person in order to (positively) project an ideal in order to share its love with. Likewise, the hostility is also randomly thrown out of social-family spiral into the unknown of another nation area. Its own nation is perceived as a good parent while the different nations are perceived as a bad parent. In the case of at the ultranationalists, the psychopathological paranoid constitution dominance, the conflict between love and hate, pour out of classic oedipal familial riverbed, crossing over the border to the nation.

There will be a basic nationalism and a moderate nationalism as long as the slavery (either classical or corporate) will exist in this world. And as long as the technology will not have replaced all the human labor, there will be slavery. Of course, as long as there is slavery, the human society would be caught with one foot in the wildness. This will also involve the need to promote our own offspring in front of others, meant to be slaves. Nevertheless, the ultranationalism is outdated. There is no need for aggression against other nations and other groups in today’s civilized world. If endanger other species, the human species may decrease its number of individuals by controlling birth. It is more convenient and less traumatic than the war solution proposed by the ultranationalists. A very different spectrum of contraception methods that humanity developed can provide such a solution. Therefore, as a moral solution, the ultranationalism must be rejected.

* Personally, I subscribe to the second view. There are many deserts, steppes and other arid lands that human being could turn into oasis, with technology. Such a human specie development does not involve collateral damage to other species but their promotion. 

** The careful reader might notice a discrepancy with my theories from “The Dynamics of abyssal psychology”, now placing the Oedipus Complex near to the human archaic- primitive level of development, which is first Complexes group, the Traumatic-Eden one. In from “The Dynamics of abyssal psychology” I placed the Oedipus Complex as a part of the Narcissus Complex, as a particular form. But there is no inconsistency here. Simply the first group of Complexes metamorphoses in the second one (Polis - Cain) and also in the third one (Tabu- Narcissus) . In fact, all the subsequent Complexes are cultural-historical metamorphosis of the Traumatic Eden Complexes group.

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