By Petteri Pietikainen
This is often the 1st book-length examine of Modernist utopias of the brain. Pietikainen examines the psychodynamic writings of Otto Gross, C G Jung, Wilhelm Reich and Erich Fromm. when they broke from Freud and orthodox psychoanalysis, Pietikainen argues, utopianism grew to become more and more very important to the basic pursuits of all 4 thinkers. He exhibits how Gross' "Matriarchal Communism", Jung's "Archetypal Cosmos", Reich's "Orgonomic Functionalism" and Fromm's "Socialist Humanism" have been makes an attempt to reshape social buildings and human kin via conquering the subconscious. Pietikainen locations the 'utopian impulse' with the ancient context of the big, violent socio-political narratives of the early 20th century. This cutting edge interdisciplinary publication contributes to ongoing scholarly discussions in regards to the historicity as opposed to the universality of human nature.
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Extra info for Alchemists of Human Nature - Psychological Utopianism in Gross, Jung, Reich and Fromm
But he also gave some credit to Jung for his understanding of dreams, symbols and the overall creative function of the unconscious. Thus, we can hardly call our quartet a ‘gang of four’ or four musketeers; they were more like four cocks strutting around and pecking at rivals whom they thought of as having encroached on their territory. They were rather ill-equipped to work on equal terms with their professional peers, let alone to submit to the intellectual authority of anyone, not even Freud. They all had a prophetic streak in them, and a high regard of their own capacity to divine the inner thoughts of others; to understand what other people and the whole of culture truly needed; 24 Alchemists of Human Nature to see the timeless sphere of truth and beauty beyond the everyday world of appearances and historical contingencies; and, ultimately, to heal sick humanity.
16 Unlike Lenin, who was apparently quite indifferent to Freudian theories, Trotsky supported psychoanalysis, primarily because he believed in its social utility. He was not the only high-ranking party official who was well-disposed towards psychoanalysis, for his interest was shared by Stanislav Shatskii - leader of the government’s pedagogical section - and Otto Schmidt, among others. 17 In 1908, Trotsky had met Adolf Joffe in Vienna, and together they edited the Viennese Pravda. Ten years later, Joffe was one of the central figures of the Russian Revolution and worked as Soviet ambassador in several countries in the 1920s.
The regime still tolerated the practice of psychoanalytic psychotherapy, while denouncing Freudian theory as incompatible with Marxism. 29 The Psychoanalytic Society had its last meetings in 1930. In early 1931, a series of meetings was held at the Academy of Communist Education, the purpose of which was to point out and discuss the ‘ideological mistakes’ of such behavioural scientists as Luria, Vygotsky (who had been interested in psychoanalysis in the 1920s) and Zalkind (see below). These scholars publicly confessed their past sins and regretted their ‘political blindness’, or at least deplored their ‘uncritical’ attitude towards Freud.