Tag Archive | "Housni Mubarak"

Jubilation in Cairo, Would it Last? An Orgonomic analysis.

For many weeks, the social unrest in Egypt has dominated the headlines. News of protests saturated radio reports and the internet; the throngs of protestors appeared in videos during each broadcast of the nightly news. Masses of people poured the street of Cairo, demanding the departure of Egypt’s president Muhammad Hosni Sayyid Mubarak (the successor of Anwar Sadat and Gamal Abdel Nasser, consequently). The images of the masses demanding the departure of Hosni Mubarak utterly dominated the media. Unified in cause, the protestors demanded Housni Mubarak to step down from his position as president. They yell: “This man has to go!”

Demonstration against Housni Mubarak 2011

In the 1950s, Jamal Abdel Nasser gained the power of Egypt amidst a rising tide of support and jubilation among the masses of Egyptian people. Mr. Nasser was succeeded by Anwar Sadat in 1970, and Hosni Mubarak succeeded Sadat in 1981.

Jubilation for Jamal Abdel Nasser 1961

Spurred by the success of protests in Egypt, similar movements gain momentum in the  neighboring countries, where similar protest movements were enacted. In each case, the masses of people protested, demanding the downfall of a leader that they themselves had once jubilantly brought to power.

From time to time you lift your head out of the muck and shout Hurrah!

[From the book, “Listen Little Man” written by Wilhelm Reich with illustrations by William Steig.  Courtesy of Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust.]

Examining these movements from the Orgonomic point of view, or Reichian point of view, raises our concerns and worries. If the masses of people attribute their misery and unhappiness to one person–in this case Hosni Mubarak–and shout “this man has to go!” it implies that theses people might just as well put their fate in the hands of another person, and that of the fate of their happiness, prosperity and relief. From our point of view, in such a structured pursuit of happiness, they are setting themselves up for a major disappointment which history can attest. In Listen Little Man, Wilhelm Reich writes:

“For 25 years I have been speaking and writing in defense of your right to happiness in this world, condemning your inability to take what is your due, to secure what you won in bloody battles on the barricades of Paris and Vienna, in the American Civil War, in the Russian Revolution.  Your Paris ended with Petain and Laval, your Vienna with Hitler, your Russian with Stalin, and your American may well end in the rule of the Ku Klux Klan!  You’ve been more successful in winning your freedom than in securing it for yourself and others.  This I knew long ago.  What I did not understand was why time and again, after fighting your way out of a swamp, you sank into a worse one.  Then groping and cautiously looking about me, I gradually found out what has enslaved you:  Your Slave Driver is You Yourself.  No one is to blame for your slavery but you yourself.  No one else, I say!”

Only you yourself can be your liberator.

[From the book, “Listen Little Man” written by Wilhelm Reich with illustrations by William Steig]

Masses of people who demand the downfall of one leader and hail his replacement are hoping that by this change they will experience freedom and happiness. How can they experience happiness and freedom, however, when their own character structure is making them incapable of sensing the freedom and happiness? How is it possible to have a leader who will represent the freedom and happiness? Who will bring democracy for them if that leader’s character structure is reflection of their own? In a chapter titled “The Authoritarian Ideology of the Family in the Mass Psychology of Fascism,” from The Mass Psychology of Fascism, Reich Says:

“Hitler’s success, therefore, would certainly not be explained on the basis of his reactionary role in the history of capitalism, for this role, had it been openly avowed in his propaganda, would have achieved the opposite of that which was intended.  The investigation of Hitler’s mass psychological effect has to proceed from the presupposition that a führer, or the champion of an idea, can be successful (if not in a historical, then at least in a limited perspective) only if his personal point of view, his ideology, or his program bears a resemblance to the average structure of a broad category of individuals…  Only when the structure of the führer’s personality is in harmony with the structures of broad groups can a “führer” make history.

The psychological structure of an average person is shaped up in an authoritarian, undemocratic and repressive patriarchal family with anti-sexual, sex-negating attitude. Raising children in this type of family structure makes them emotionally armored and psychologically crippled.  It prepares them and lays the ground for dictatorship. In The Function of the Orgasm, under the heading “What are the Sources of Neurotic Plague?” Reich says the following: “The most important source [of neurotic plague] is authoritarian, sexually repressive family upbringing with its unavoidable child-parent conflict and genital anxiety.” In other words, there can no longer be any doubt that people become neurotic on a mass scale.  Masses of people with deep characterological defects that are a consequence of their upbringing feel deeply unhappy and restricted, but they are unable to free themselves from it and hence they look for leaders to arrange that happiness on their behalf. It is obvious, however, that no leader can bring the happiness to the masses of people that are structurally constrained and limited; in fact, the unhealthy masses will bring leaders to power who resemble some of these same structures.  We can see examples of this, all over, in different countries. The reader of this article, wherever in the world he is, can remember in his lifetime, in his country, similar events. In The Function of the Orgasm, Reich writes about fascistic irrationalism:

“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 bread 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 irrational human character structure swept over large parts of the world in the form of victory of dictatorship.  What the superficial veneer of a good breeding and artificial self control had held in check for such a long time now broke though into action, action implemented by the freedom striving masses of people themselves – in the concentration camps; in the persecution of Jews; in the annihilation of all human decency; in the sadistic, playful, mowing down of entire cities by those who are capable of feeling life only when they goose-step, as in Guernica in 1936, in the stupendous betrayal of the masses by authoritarian government claiming to represent the interest of people; in the engulfing of tens of thousands of young people who naively and helplessness thought that they are serving an idea; in the destruction of billions of dollars worth of human labor,  a fraction of which would have been sufficient to eliminate poverty the world over.  In short in a St. Vitus dance which will return again and again, as long as those who work and have knowledge fail to destroy the mass neurosis in themselves and outside of themselves, the neurosis which calls itself ‘high politics’ and thrive upon the characterological helplessness of citizens of the Earth. “

Massive demonstrations, ostensibly for freedom, will continue to end in fascism. They will continue to end in fascism when, returning home from their demonstrations, a man finds a women alone and attacks her sexually, like a hungry animal attacking prey. Or, inside their homes these demonstrators frighten and punish their children when if they are happy and their children’s happiness irritates them. They will particularly punish their children for expression of their sexual happiness and legislate laws against it, laws that alienate family members from families, or humiliate women. We are of the opinion that parallel with changes in leadership of dictatorial regimes, a Reichian kind of emotional hygiene for the masses is crucial for genuine progress and democracy.

“All your cries of “Up” and “Down” won’t bring you one step closer to your goal little man.  You have always thought you could safeguard your freedom by standing people “up against the wall” you’d do better to stand yourself up to a mirror…” -From the book “Listen Little Man” by Dr Wilhelm Reich, with illustrations by William Steig.


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