New PDF release: Alchemists of Human Nature - Psychological Utopianism in

By Petteri Pietikainen

ISBN-10: 1851969233

ISBN-13: 9781851969234

This is often the 1st book-length research 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 vital to the elemental goals 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 constructions and human family members by way of conquering the subconscious. Pietikainen locations the 'utopian impulse' with the old context of the massive, violent socio-political narratives of the early 20th century. This leading edge interdisciplinary publication contributes to ongoing scholarly discussions concerning 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

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In the mid-1920s, the ideological opponents of psychoanalysis began to attack in various ways what the Soviet authorities now referred to as ‘Freudism’ or ‘Freudianism’. For example, I. D. Sapir wrote a critical article on ‘Freudism and Marxism’, which was published in the leading Bolshevik journal, Under the Banner of Marxism, while V. N. 24 The fact that Trotsky approved of psychoanalysis intensified opposition to ‘Freudianism’ after Trotsky’s fall in the autumn of 1927. His gradual fall from grace after Lenin’s death coincided with the decline in the psychoanalytic movement in the Soviet Union.

There is, then, a burning moral vision in their utopian glorification of authenticity: as modern-day psychoalchemists, they wanted to ennoble the base substances of human nature and produce a new, improved edition of man. This was the philosopher’s stone they searched for, and even if they died (Gross), ended up in a haze of mental confusion (Reich) or became disillusioned with the capability of man to change for the better ( Jung and Fromm), their utopian imagination merits consideration. They had a dream that was destined to clash with reality, but to imagine a world without dreams is to imagine an anti-utopia.

Obviously, Russian 42 Alchemists of Human Nature psychoanalysts were driven by their own illusory hopes and beliefs, and at first most of them did not appear to see any contradiction between psychoanalysis and the developing totalitarianism - or, if they did see contradictions, they prudently decided to keep quiet. Stalin and the rest of the Soviet regime appeared to have the transformation of its people as their utopian goal, and they wanted to use intellectuals and scientists to carry out this transformation.

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Alchemists of Human Nature - Psychological Utopianism in Gross, Jung, Reich and Fromm by Petteri Pietikainen


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