Categorized | Sociology

Wilhelm Reich and Revolution

Article by Stephan Simonian M.D.

Wilhelm Reich and Revolution

Wilhelm Reich and Revolution

In the book of Function of Orgasm, in relation to changes that happened after World War I, Dr. Reich says the following:

After World War I, which had destroyed many compulsive authoritarian institutions, the European democracies wanted “to lead people to freedom”. But this freedom striving European world committed a major assessment error. It failed to see what thousands of years of suppression of the vital energies in man had bred beneath the surface. It failed to see the far reaching universal defect of character neurosis. The severe catastrophe of the psychic plague, i.e. the catastrophe of the irrational human character structure swept over large parts of the world, in the form of the victory of dictatorship. (1)

The major assessment error that Dr. Reich talks about in this paragraph keeps repeating over and over and therefore we see similar catastrophes again and again.

In the book Listen Little Man, Reich states:

From time to time you lift your head out of muck and shout hurrah! A frog croaking in a swamp is closer to life. (2)

In the book Children of the Feature, Dr. Reich says:

During the past century, our parents and grandparents have repeatedly tried to penetrate the wall of social evil with all kinds of social theories, political programs, reforms, resolutions and revolutions. They have failed miserably every time; not one attempt at an improvement of the human lot has succeeded. More than that or rather worse than that the misery became deeper and the entanglement worse with every new attempt. The present generation, i.e. those who are in their maturity today, the thirty to sixty year olds, have inherited the confusion and tried hard but in vein to get out of it. Some have been able to raise their heads above the chaos; others have been dragged into the whirlpool, never to emerge again. In other words, we have failed miserably as builders of a new orientation in life. We were too much burdened with our own past entanglements. We have carried chains on our legs while we tried desperately to jump into freedom. We fail and as a generation we shall never make it. (3)

Is there, then, no hope at all? There is hope, much hope, if only we muster, the courage and the decency to realize our miserable failure. Then, and only then, shall we be able to see where and how we can pitch in and help….We cannot tell our children what kind of world they will or should build. But we can equip them with the kind of character structure and biological vigor which will enable them to make their own decisions, to find their own ways to build their own future and that of their children, in a rational manner. (4)

Here let’s explore a bit about what Dr. Reich means by "chains" that has been carried on our legs which has prevented us as a human race to jump into freedom, and what does he mean when he says to provide our children the "character structure" which will enable them to progress. Dr. Reich does not talk about chains just as a figure of speech. He implies a deeper concept behind it. The chains that he talks about are the human character deformities that in Orgonomy we know it as character armor. In the previous articles in this journal we have explained how antisexual and authoritarian upbringing of children causes them to become armored. Dr. Herskowitz in his previous articles and speeches explained the character armor as the following:

Armoring converts free laughter into a chuckle or twitter; it may cause a woman to speak in a little girl’s voice. It does not merely change a function by degree but by a kind. It renders behavior more predictable, more stereotyped. Armoring puts life in constraint. Armoring is most often revealed in muscular tension but it is also revealed in eyes that are glazed, in excessive body fat, etc. [Armoring] is a dynamic event and it entails the consumption of energy. It constrains us physically, emotionally, and ideationally. It is a cocoon to which we gradually become accustomed. (5)

A society that is composed of the individuals with distorted character will be prone to fascistic ideologies, discrimination based on differences of any kind, deception and violence, etc. Dr. Reich in the book of The Mass psychology of Fascism states the following:

Extensive and pain steaking therapeutic work on human character has led me to the conclusion that as a rule we are dealing with 3 different layers of biopsychic structure in the evaluation of human reactions. As I demonstrated in my book Character- Analysis, these layers of the character structure are deposits of social development, which function autonomously. On the surface layer of his personality the average man is reserved, polite, compassionate, responsible, and conscientious. There would be no social tragedy of the human animal if this surface layer of the personality were in direct contact with the deep natural core. This unfortunately is not the case. The surface layer of the social cooperation is not in contact with the deep biological core of one’s self hood; it is borne by a second an intermediate character layer, which consists exclusively of cruel sadistic, lashivishes, ruptiousius and envious impulses. It represents the Freudian "unconscious" or what is repressed; to put it in a language of sex economy it represents the sum total so called "secondary drives". (6)

In the book The Function of Orgasm, Dr. Reich says:

Sexual suppression biological rigidity, moralism and asceticism are not confined to certain class or strata of the population. They are found everywhere". (7)

In Numerous writings Dr. Reich asserts the fact that real democracy will evolve by understanding of human structure and healthy upbringing of children free of harsh oppression of healthy psychosexual forces. To this end he indicates that to understand orgonomic principles of healthy upbringing of children and to bring human psychology to sociology and politics one has to revamp his thinking.

In the book Reich Speaks of Freud Dr. Reich states:

You have to revamp your whole way of thinking, So that you don’t think from the standpoint of the state and the culture and this or that, but from the standpoint of what people need, what they suffer from. Then you arrange your social institutions accordingly. Not the other way around. Now, that is foreign to the mind of a Marxist politician today. They only think in terms of "productive forces". They think in terms of the state. I think in terms of human beings and what they need. If I had anything to say politically, everything which exists would be arranged in accordance with what the child needs, the infant needs, the adolescent needs, you need, I need and everybody needs. Now, here, sociology becomes separated from politics for the first time. (8)

Therefore the fundamental change of human social structure based on orgonomic principles will not happen by continuation of contemporary upbringing and education of the children which makes them grow up armored, with chains on their legs and restrictions in their character. Any social change which is built upon defected and ruined human character will eventually crumble as history attests to this.

Dr. Reich in the book Reich Speaks of Freud states the following:

But I assure you that there is no solution to this world’s problems unless this point is cleared up, sociologically, politically, economically, psychologically, structurally, characterological, in every single respect. "I don’t believe that there will be any solution of any social problem as long as children and adolescents grow up with the stasis of biological energy". (9)

Philosophers, poets and writers have recognized the repetition of human atrocities with one predicament or other throughout the history. A contemporary Persian poet Ahmad Shamlou has a poetry titled "What a Slaughter House is this History of Humanity". In this poetry he depicts through Persian history of how one group is always killing others under different predicaments until today. This is also true in the history of all other countries. Therefore it is our opinion to help materialize every child’s earliest wishes "to save the world from war, destruction, evil and unhappiness". It is imperative, to study orgonomic theories in raising the children all over the world to help create a better world, where children can grow as they are ordained to.


(1). Reich W.: Function of Orgasm, translated by Vincent R. Carfango (page 235).

(2). Reich W.: Listen Little Man, translated by Ralph Manheim with illustrations by William Steig (page 99).

(3). Reich W.: Children of Future, translated by Derek and Inge Jordan (page 5).

(4). Ibid (page 6).

(5). Herskowitz M.: Excerpts from lecture in Germany, December 1993. Journal of Psychiatric Orgone Therapy

(6). Reich W.: The Mass Psychology of Fascism, third edition (page xi).

(7). Reich W.: Function of Orgasm, translated by Vincent R. Carfango (page 11).

(8). Reich W.: Reich Speaks of Freud, 1954 (page 50).

(9). Ibid (page 26).

This post was written by:

- who has written 64 posts on The Journal of Psychiatric Orgone Therapy.

Dr. Simonian is a general and child and adolescent psychiatrist. He completed medical school in Shiraz University, Shiraz Iran. He completed his general psychiatric residency training and fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at New York Medical College, Metropolitan Hospital Center. Concomitant with his psychiatry and child psychiatry training, Dr. Simonian completed the New York Medical College Psychoanalytic School Didactic Courses, including his own required personal psychoanalysis. In 1990, Dr. Simonian started his personal psychiatric orgone therapy, Reichian therapy, with Dr. Morton Herskowitz and in 1991 became a member of the Institute of Orgonomic Sciences (IOS), an Institute which is dedicated to promote and preserve Dr. Wilhelm Reich's work. Dr. Simonian started his private psychiatric practice in Milford, Massachusetts in 1984 and he was a chief of psychiatry department of Milford Regional Hospital for several years. He started his practice in Glendale, California since 2003. Dr. Simonian is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

One Response to “Wilhelm Reich and Revolution”

  1. Sam M. says:

    Excellent, to the point, article. Couldn’t agree more.

    Reich is very correct when he declares “….But from the standpoint of what people need, what they suffer from…and that is foreign for the mind of a Marxist politician today…”. Its just the state….


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