Back to Solid Ground, More or LessAt the same time that Stevenson and Haggard appeared, another of the great mythographers made his appearance. Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) brought his great psychological projection Sherlock Holmes onto the world stage. Doyle listed Poe as his second most influential author with whom he had been familiar since his youth. All the great mythographers were well acquainted with Poe. He was the great originator.
Holmes is the first great psychological projection of the Scientific Consciousness. He fulfills the role of the Mastermind. His intellectual greatness fulfilled Poe's dictum of the analytical mind.
As the two Dupins fulfilled the roles of ego and alter ego so Doyle gave Holmes Dr. John H. Watson as alter ego and foil. Holmes represented the future while Watson was a relic from the past. As the evil Hyde-like representative of the subconscious Doyle provided us with the infamous criminal mastermind, Dr. Moriarty.
With the introduction of Holmes the Scientific mythology began to take shape.
The new mythology was base on the new discoveries of science. The scientific mind was pouring out new technological wonders almost on a daily basis but it was the discoveries in the sciences of biology and psychology which would most undermine the Religious Consciousness.
Darwin had organized biology along the new scientific lines when his Origin of Species appeared in 1859. There was no greater challenge to the orthodox belief system than this. When a few years later he issued The Descent of Man things really erupted. According to the religious viewpoint since the origins of consciousness the notion had been that man was descended from the gods later monotheistically amended to God. In a really inept choice of words Darwin states, or his followers did, that man was descended from monkeys. The idea of evolution might have met with less resistance had Darwin named his book: The Ascent of Man since, properly speaking, Homo Sapiens is an advance on monkeys and all that has gone before. Thus man could have been said to ascend from the apes but descend from God meeting somewhere in the middle. Darwin wasn't so farsighted.
At the same time great advances were being made in psychology. The Frenchman, Jean Martin Charcot, was proving the effect of the subconscious on our minds in his studies of hysteria and hypnosis. The sub or unconscious mind had been a topic of consideration since the days of the Enlightenment but discussion was carried on in vague terms. In 1886 the English psychologist FWH Myers identified the subconscious by the name of the Unconscious preparing the way for Freud who would set the world on its psychological ears the way Darwin had its biological ears.
The way was now prepared for one of the two greatest of mythographers, H. G. Wells (1866-1945). Wells had a split personality. On the one hand he was a mythographer and on the other he was a Red/Liberal Utopian. In 1920 the Utopian side won out and he became a whole-hearted Revolutionist.
Wells began writing about 1893. His early work was in the genre of scientific fantasias, as they were called at the time, of which genre he is said to be the founder. Wells noted quite correctly that about mid-century a new type of scientific man became increasingly apparent.
Let there be no mistake but that a few centuries earlier these scientific disturbers of the peace would have been murdered. The reaction by the beginning of the twentieth century was that science was evil and ought to be stopped. George Griffith, himself writing a scientific fantasia for Pearson's Magazine, Stories of Other Worlds, put these words into heroine Zaidie's mouth as she was on the way to Mars:"They're very ugly aren't they?" said Zaidie; "and really you can't tell which are men and which are women. I suppose they've civilized themselves out of everything that's nice, and are just scientific and utilitarian and everything that's horrid."And Zaidie was a sweet thing too. Against an even more hostile background Wells understood that tempers against science were running high but he came down on the side of the new men. In his interesting fantasia The Food of the Gods he postulates that the new men had perhaps been fed some new synthetic food which made them intellectual and physical giants.
Actually they had been around for centuries but had been suppressed by the Religious Consciousness in the form of the Judeo-Catholic religion. As their forces gathered in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries they became strong enough to defy the Judeo-Catholics. Thus when the evidence of their emergence became evident in mid-nineteenth century they were already too numerous and too strong to be set aside. The two consciousnesses came into conflict with the Religious Consciousness splitting into the reactionary Devout group and the other the more forward leaning Red/Liberals.
Thus Wells on his Utopian side became the advocate of a form of the Religious Consciousness as he struggled with his Scientific Consciousness. After the Russian Revolution he wholeheartedly went over to the revolution.
While very influential on subsequent mythographers Wells was unable to create a psychological projection of his own while after 1920 he became a member of religious communism turning out political tracts.
Emerging at about the same time as Wells the Irishman Bram Stoker contributed the master psychological projection of the twentieth century in his masterwork, Dracula while E.W. Hornung (1866-1921) created the minor projection, the Amateur Cracksman -- Al J. Raffles. A cracksman was a burglar; Raffles was a gentleman thief. While Raffles himself has virtually disappeared from the memory, the notion of the gentleman criminal has taken hold on the mythological consciousness. Raffles is not to be confused as a version of the earlier Robin Hood who "stole from the rich to give to the poor." No, Raffles unashamedly kept and spent all the proceeds.
Hovering in the background all this time the greatest of the creative mythographers, Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875-1950) was waiting for this consciousness to mature. It matured in 1911 when he first created John Carter of Mars, then followed up with the prodigious psychological projection of Tarzan of the Apes. Shew, bigger than an A-bomb.
Burroughs was the plateau to which all other roads led and from which all other roads proceeded. He managed to consolidate all the mythological trends of the previous decades into his work where he refined and perfected them sending them on to new heights.
Edgar Rice Burroughs. To coin a cliché, Burroughs was an enigmatic figure. While himself a great original writer he managed to incorporate the various strands of the myth into his writing in such a way, either clumsy or tributary as you wish, that he stands accused of being a plagiarist. This is nonsense of course. Like any mythographer he had to work with the established materials. Myths are not original -- they are cooperative efforts. The great Greek cycle, of which Homer is the center, was the work of many hands. The fact does not diminish Homer's contribution.
Look at how ERB deals with the problem of the intellectual dichotomy of scientific Man after having studied the earlier investigations. We know that Haggard was the major influence on Burroughs. He read Poe, Conan Doyle, E.W. Hornung and Stevenson's Jekyll and Hyde and certainly a stellar light like H.G. Wells although he denied it.
In The Return Of Tarzan he presents his solution to the problem of the dichotomy. As a platform for discussion he chooses Poe's 'Murders In The Rue Morgue.' In what looks like a simple case of direct plagiarism he tells his version in Chap. 3 What Happened In The Rue Maule.'
It would be impossible to deny that the chapter is not only influenced by Poe but is a virtual copy of Rue Morgue. However there are a number of differences which change the significance of the story. Tarzan and D' Arnot take the place of Dupin and the narrator while Tarzan also plays both roles of Sailor and Orang utang. Unlike the split personality of Jekyll and Hyde and the beast-human relationship of the Sailor and the Orang Tarzan is able to move freely from primordial beast, as he was raised an ape, to sophisticated human as the situation demands. This is the significant detail of the seeming plagiarism. While the Orang was out of control or oblivious to the import of his actions Tarzan is always in control managing his actions appropriately.
J.G. Frazer of 'Golden Bough' fame always warns of the thin veneer of civilization that covers Man's primitive nature. Thus when Tarzan is attacked by the Parisian apaches Burroughs says 'the thin veneer of his civilization fell from him.' Having vanquished the apaches, must be a joke there, Tarzan returns to his veneer as he talks to the police. They insist on arresting him so once again the thin veneer falls from him as he returns to fine jungle form. In true ape fashion he leaps from the window to a telephone pole, from the pole to roof, scampers across several roof tops, then 'runs down' another pole to the street. He cleans up in a cafe restroom then in full command of his veneer 'saunters' down the street.
He meets the Countess Olga de Coude on a street corner where she can detect nothing amiss. The veneer looks like solid wood.
Thus as an archetype of the ideal twentieth century man Tarzan unites the wild man and the sophisticate in one totally acceptable package. He is able to perform Haggard's one small leap backwards and forwards at will as well as Stevenson's transition from Jekyll to Hyde and back again.
In this manner Burroughs was able to incorporate the two most significant disciplines of psychology and evolution into his work in such an entertaining manner that the seriousness of his thought was lost in the glamour.
While the sources of Burroughs' evolutionary ideas which will be discussed in Part II, are relatively easy to trace his psychological sources are more difficult. That he had already thought deeply on psychological matters before he began writing is obvious. That he continually added to his learning in psychology as well as evolution is clear from the development of his thought throughout the corpus.
He was especially concerned with the nature of the unconscious. He was an intelligent man who knew that his own behavior was controlled form his subconscious. I am certain that he was familiar with the 1886 work of F.W.H. Meyers, as well as Meyers' 1903 work HumanConsciousness. As Freud was not translated into English before 1912 it seems certain that he had not had direct contact with the man's work before then, however, by 1916, in his short story "Tarzan's First Nightmare," it seems evident that he had read at least The Interpretation of Dreams."
Still, Burroughs had considerable contact with practicing psychologists as he indicated in The Gods of Mars.
As the notion of the unconscious was discussed in various journals he very probably had read a number of articles, while as the notion of the Freudian slip was current in the second decade of the twentieth century he may have been familiar with Freud's Psychopathology of Everyday LIfe.
At any rate his writing of that decade drove relentlessly toward the goal of integrating his personality which is to say unifying the subconscious and conscious minds which he succeeded in doing by 1917 when he published The Oakdale Affair or, alternatively titled, Bridge and the Oskaloosa Kid.
In his portrayal of the Big Bwana, Tarzan has an integrated personality from his beginning in 1912. In his other works Burroughs constantly offers many portrayals of the subconscious.
The contrast between the conscious, or intelligent mind, and the unconscious, subconscious or "instinctive" mind is one of the central tenets of the myth.
For Burroughs the study of the subconscious was to liberate, for Freud it was to subjugate, the human will. Make no mistake, I consider Freud an evil presence while being the most destructive force of the twentieth century equal to any number of atomic bombs. Freud's notion of the subconscious as a Hyde-like repository of horrid repressed criminal needs was very mistaken.
One has the feeling that Freud leaned much more about the human psyche than he told and that he told what he did with ulterior motives in mind. Those ulterior motives did not go unnoticed at the time. As D. H. Lawrence expressed it in his Psychoanalysis and the Unconscious of 1911.And does it need a prophet to discern that freud is on the brink of a Weltanschauung -- or at least a Menschenschauung, which is a more risky affair? What detains him? Two things. First and foremost, the moral issue. And next, but more vital, he can't get down to the rock on which he must build his church.Actually the unconscious was the rock but another rock was how to turn the basis of psychoanalysis, which is emasculation, into something palatable. Freud stumbled over his concept of castration which he was apparently sincerely unable to extend into the workable concept of Emasculation. The Castration Complex is only a symbol for Emasculation. And then there was the difficult moral issue. Lawrence, same work, again:First and foremost the issue is a moral issue. It is not here a matter of reform, new moral values. It is the life or death of all morality. The leaders (Freud, Ferenczi, Abraham) among the psychoanalysts know what they have in hand. Probably most of their followers are ignorant, and therefore psuedo-innocent. But it all amounts to the same thing. Psychoanalysis is out, under a therapeutic disguise, to do away entirely with the moral faculty in man. (My italics.)Lawence put his finger on the criminal intent. Freud was in fact running an Order in which one learned the true intent as one moved from initiate to adept. Freud in fact did wish to destroy the concept of morality and he had his reasons. But why the "unconscious," why something which in his vision lies outside, even beyond, our minds, some alien evil force which controls our actions against our will. Lawrence persists:It is obvious we cannot recover our moral footing until we can in some way determine the true nature of the unconscious. (Percipient.O) The word unconscious itself is a mere definition by negation and has no positive meaning. Freud no doubt prefers it for this reason. He rejects subconscious and preconscious, because both of these would imply a sort of nascent consciousness, the shadowy half-consciousness which precedes mental realization. And by his unconscious he intends no such thing. He wishes rather to convey, we imagine, that which recoils from consciousness, that which reacts in the psyche away from mental consciousness. His unconscious is, we take it, that part of the human consciousness which though mental, ideal in its nature, yet unwilling to expose itself to full recognition and so recoils back into the affective regions and acts there as a secret agent, unconfessed, unadmitted, potent, and usually destructive. The whole body of repressions makes up our unconscious.Here Lawrence states the obvious, there is no such thing as an unconscious. There is a subconscious which he rightly understands Freud to have rejected for ulterior motives. A subconscious is part of us which can be dealt with while an unconscious which is metaphysical cannot, it therefore follows that there cannot be an unconscious which would be a religious symbol or in other words, supernatural.
However Lawrence while he scoffs seems to understand the function or a function that Freud gave to this unconscious which is in fact partially true of the subconscious. "The whole body of repressions makes up our unconscious." Not a fact because when the personality is integrated and fixations or repressions disappear there is still a function to the subconscious which is unrelated to fixations or repressions. I believe repression to be an inaccurate term. Rather what Freud calls repressions are fixations. A Challenge which the mind finds overwhelming is received and perpetuated as a fixation in the subconscious which in its control of the personality appeared to Freud as repression. Freud repeatedly reports the symbol as the fact whether through misconception or in intent to deceive is not always clear.
What is clear is that as Lawrence perceived so clearly in 1911 was Freud's intent to destroy morality in a Jekyll-like intent to release Hyde-like repressions on the world. In this he succeeded quite well. Much to his own injury. Just as Hyde brought destruction on himself so Freud brought destruction on the Jews in this Jewish millennial period.
At this point it might be instructive to examine an aspect of the intellectual. milieu in which Freud developed. A large part of personal psychology is integral in one's group psychology and general psychology as in, for instance, education. By education I do not mean schooling per se, but all the influences which constitute character formation.
Freud's father came from an area of the Pale known as Galicia. This area is very close to the homeland of the ecstatic variant of Judaism known as Hasidism, and in fact his father was a Hasid. This sect arose out of the period of the last great messianic individual, Sabbatai Zevi. This man was active during the period of 1640-66. As might be expected in group psychology when the Day approaches the faithful raise their expectations, growing elated, becoming forgetful of the niceties. This is what happened to the Jews of the southern Pale in 1648. As auxiliaries of the Poles who had conquered the Ukraine the Jews suffered the same fate as the Poles when the Ukrainians revolted. This massacre occurred at the same time as the expected millennium which was a complete contradiction of terms, or in other words, how mysterious are the ways of God? Then in 1666 the whole millennial illusion collapsed when Zevi failed as a messiah.
One result of the failure was the attempt to regenerate Judaism by means of ecstatic Hasidism. By all rights Yahveh, not for the first time, having failed his people should have been renounced. The Jews couldn't do this. There was also a second effect. Out of the wreckage of Zevi a man named Jacob Frank evolved another strain of Judaism in which he said that the age of the millennium would never appear until the Jews had exhausted their proclivity for evil. It was therefore necessary for Jews to indulge in whatever evil impulses they had, to purge their systems to make way for the good.
Here also is where the Jewish notion of good arising from evil finds its clearest expression Jewish ideas are never distinct from the ideas of the general community, in this case European. A European reaction to Judeo-Catholicism had been going on for centuries passing through many manifestations such as the Beggars, the Free Spirits, Anabaptists and others. All of these like the Frankists believed, like Freud, in the free expression of subconscious impulses.
Now joined by Frankist notions after the beginning of the eighteenth century the basis of the Revolution was formed.
By mid-eighteenth century many of these groups, now styled Libertines were functioning openly in England and on the Continent. Perhaps the most famous organizations representing these beliefs which were integral to the Revolution which had been developing for centuries were clubs like the Hell Fire Club of England.
These groups of people were quite extreme. Their credo was startlingly expressed in Tobias Smollett's 1748 novel Roderick Random. Note the date, which is just before the destruction of the notorious prisons, Newgate in England and the Bastille in France. Smollett's novel is forty-one years before the outbreak of the French Revolution which was supported in England by members of these clubs.
Smollett's hero, Roderick Random, was introduced into the home of one of these incendiaries to whom he attributes the following poem:Thus have I sent the simple king to hellSound like any two revolutions you may have heard of? The above pretty much defines Freud's intent in his use of the subconscious while forming the framework of his personal Weltanschauung. Whether Freud was consciously aware of these notions or whether they were part of his subconscious is open to question. Much of the education of this sort is absorbed on the subliminal level perhaps never being or becoming conscious. Most of this primal education is buried so deep that one is never aware of its source. I scoff at Freud's claim that he was able to analyze himself in just one year at the turn of the century.
Without or coffin, shroud or passing bell.
To me what are divine or human laws?
I court no sanction but my own applause!
Rapes, robb'ries, treasons, yield my soul delight;
And human carnage gratifies my sight;
I drag the hoary parent by the hair,
And toss the sprawling infant on my spear,
While the fond mother's cries regale my ear.
I fight, I vanquish, murder friends and foes;
Nor dare the immortal gods my rage oppose.
Now, the majority of Freud's thought was completed by the time he published his Introductory Lectures in Psycho-Analysis in 1917 just before the Bolshevik Revolution. In order to explain the results of the Freudian ideas of the "unconscious" let me provide a framework by moving ahead a little.
What we are talking about here is in the context of Freud's notion of the castration complex. Castration is a specific symbol while the generalized concept is Emasculation. The Castration Complex is not even an affect but only a symbol. If Freud was aware of the generalized Emasculation concept he nowhere lets us know. Emasculation is caused by an unresolved affront to the Ego from which all men and women suffer to some degree.
The scapegoat for our sins or arch-villain of all time as some would have it was and is Adolf Hitler. Hitler was seriously emasculated. Having read all the major Hitler biographies while delving in some detail into the history of post-Great War Germany I was at a loss to explain the man and his time down to the Rock of his Church. Having followed through on Freud's notion of the Castration Complex elucidating it into the Emasculation theory I came across the novels of that most horribly emasculated and repulsive figure in modern literature, Jean Genet.
For those not familiar with Genet, he wrote plays which I have not read and five novels I have, which I list: Our Lady of the Flowers, The Miracle of the Rose, Funeral Rites, The Thief's Journal and Querelle of Brest.
Genet was a vicious homosexual and criminal which is to say he was completely emasculated. He wore women's dresses but not as a transvestite. Any self-respect he had was totally negative. However, it is possible to recognize something of oneself in his hurt. He knew how to universalize his anguish. His degradation gave him some insight into his times and its personalities. He traveled in Nazi Germany between 1930 and 1940.
While not using these terms he understood and applauded the criminal annexation of law and government to the uses of Freud's concept of the unconscious or, in another word, criminality. The criminal nature of the regime was so in accord with his own perversions that he had no desire to thieve as such crimes seemed to him in Germany no insult to society.
It seemed to him that Hitler was one with himself in his desires.
I don't believe that Hitler was a practicing homosexual but he was emasculated to the point of deformity. Which is what I suppose revolted his contemporaries so. However, as all emasculation is expressed in a variant homosexual manner, self-hatred being a form of homosexuality, one may believe that he was a "latent" homosexual. One wonders about his relationship with Hindenberg; what exaggerated respect and smoldering resentment must have been there.
In many ways Genet forms a link between the ante and post WWII worlds. In his own goals and aims he was peculiarly related to Freud.
Shortly after the Great War Freud wrote "Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego." This essay is applied Freudianism; it doesn't do you any good to have the scientific knowledge if you don't apply it. Man has his individual ego while sharing it in one or more group egos. The question then becomes how does one engineer the individual ego into a group ego so that the individual within an artificial group can achieve your desired political ends against his will, hypnotized as it were.
Freud tackles this problem in Group Ego. The book raises several interesting questions. Freud based this work on an 1895 study by Gustave Le Bon titled: The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind. Le Bon's was a seminal work still in print after 110 years. He might be said to have originated the concept of group psychology which Freud appropriated. "Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego" is virtually The Crowd rewritten with better organization and definition. At the risk of quoting too extensively I have abstracted several quotes from Le Bon used by Freud in Group Ego which form the basis of Freud's essay. Le Bon's book may be illustrative of the manner in which Freud built several of his ideas:
The most striking peculiarity presented by a psychological group is the following. Whoever be the individuals that compose it, however like or unlike be their method of life, their occupations, their character, or their intelligence, the fact that they have been transformed into a group puts them in possession of a sort of collective mind which makes them feel, think and act in manner quite different from that in which each individual of them would feel, think and act were he in a state of isolation. There are certain ideas and feelings which do not come into being, or do not transform themselves into acts except in the case of individuals forming a group. The psychological group is a provisional being formed of heterogeneous elements, which for a moment are combined, exactly as the cells which constitute a living body form by their reunion a new being which displays characteristics very different from those possessed by each of the cells singly. (p.29)The remainder of Freud's Group Psychology is the application of Le Bon's observations as a manual for psychologically manipulating groups through hypnosis and suggestion to achieve an agenda. I will repeatedly refer to Group Psychology in Freud's plan hereafter. While it is clear that Freud read Le Bon's 1895 book absorbing much, the book was immediately translated into English in 1896 where it became accessible to a world public, it is therefore probable that a number of other people read the book taking what they needed for their purposes.
It is easy to prove how much the individual forming part of a group differs from the isolated individual, but it is less easy to discover the causes of this difference.
To obtain at any rate a glimpse of them it is necessary in the first place to call to mind the truth established by modern psychology, (1895) that unconscious phenomena play an altogether preponderating part not only in organic life, but also in the operations of intelligence. The conscious life of the mind is of small importance in comparison with its unconscious life. The most subtle analyst, the most acute observer, is scarcely successful in discovering more than a very small number of the conscious motives that determine his conduct. Our conscious acts are the outcome of an unconscious stratum created in the mind mainly by hereditary influences. The substratum consists of the innumerable common characteristics handed down from generation to generation, which constitute the genius of a race. Behind the avowed causes of our acts there undoubtedly lie secret causes that we do not avow, (The issue is not the issue, Mark Rudd) but behind these secret causes there are many others more secret still, of which we ourselves are ignorant. The greater part of our daily actions are the result of hidden motives which escape our observation. (Ibid. 30)
A necessary transition note from Freud. (Page 9, Group Psychology). Le Bon thinks that the particular acquirements of individuals become obliterated in a group, and that in this way their distinctiveness vanishes. The racial unconscious emerges; what is heterogeneous is submerged in what is homogeneous. As we should say, the mental superstructure, the development of which in individuals shows such dissimilarities is removed, and the unconscious foundations, which are similar in everyone, stand exposed to view.
In this way individuals in a group would come to show an average character. But Le Bon believes that they also show new characteristics which they have not previously possessed, and he seeks the reason for this in three different factors.
Freud quoting Le Bon again: The first is that the individual forming part of a group acquires, solely from numerical considerations, a sentiment of invincible power which allows him to yield to interests which, had he been alone, he would perforce have kept under restraint. He will be the less disposed to check himself, from the consideration that, a group being anonymous and in consequence irresponsible, the sentiment of responsibility which always controls individuals disappears entirely. (Ibid. 33)
The second cause, which is contagion, also intervenes to determine the manifestations in groups of their special characteristics, and at the same time the trend they are to take. Contagion is a phenomenon of which it is easy to establish the presence but which it is not easy to explain. It must be classed among those phenomena of a hypnotic order, which we shall shortly study. In a group every sentiment and act is contagious , and contagious to such a degree that an individual readily sacrifices his personal interest to the collective interest. This is an aptitude very contrary to his nature, and of which a man is scarcely capable, except when he makes part of a group. (Ibid. 33)
A third case and by far the most important, determines in the individuals of a group special characteristics which are quite contrary at times to those presented by their isolated individual. I allude to that suggestibility of which, moreover, the contagion mentioned above is also an effect.
To understand this phenomenon it is necessary to bear in mind certain recent physiological discoveries. We know to-day that by various processes an individual may be brought into such a condition that, having entirely lost his conscious personality, he obeys all the suggestions of the operator who has deprived him of it, and commits acts in utter contradiction with is character and habits. The most careful investigations seem to prove that an individual immersed for some length of time in a group in action soon finds himself -- either in consequence of the magnetic influence given out by the group, or from some other cause of which we are ignorant -- in a special state, which much resembles the state of "fascination" in which the hypnotized individual finds himself in the hands of the hypnotizer.
. . . The conscious personality has entirely vanished; will and discernment are lost. All feelings and thoughts are bent in the direction determined by the hypnotizer.
Such also is approximately the state of the individual forming part of a psychological group. He is no longer conscious of his acts. In his case, as in the case of the hypnotized subject, at the same time that certain faculties are destroyed, others may be brought to a high degree of exaltation. Under the influence of a suggestion, he will undertake the accomplishment of certain acts with irresistible impetuosity. This impetuosity is the more irresistible in the case of groups than in that of the hypnotized subject, from the fact that, the suggestion being the same for all individuals in the group, it gains in strength by reciprocity. (Ibid. 34)
We see, then, that the disappearance of the conscious personality, the predominance of the unconscious personality, the turning by means of suggestion and contagion of feelings and ideas in the identical direction, the tendency to immediately transform the suggested idea into acts; these, we see, are the principal characteristics of the individual forming part of a group. He is no longer himself, but has become an automaton who has ceased to be guided by his will. (Ibid. 35)
One of these may very well have been Edgar Rice Burroughs. I know of no way of determining the fact that he read the book but one asks is there any evidence in his novels that would indicate that he had. I'll be darned, there is. As I said, because of the frivolous nature of the novels one dismisses Burroughs as an uneducated fantasist. He himself said that he would take a political or social idea and highly fictionalize it into something else. If one reads his 1914 novel Thuvia, Maid of Mars one finds a story suspiciously like Le Bon's ideas in The Crowd but highly fictionalized.
Burroughs' psychological ideas are difficult to trace but well developed. Throughout his corpus Burroughs is well informed about hypnosis, it appears to be a subject he gave special attention to. Le Bon's ideas are based on group hypnosis. In Thuvia the hero finds his way to the Martian kingdom of Lothar. He engages in a battle between the Lotharians and invaders. The city walls of Lothar are manned by innumerable bowmen firing arrows on the Green Men of Mars. The field is strewn with dead Green men killed by the arrows of the bow men.
The fight ending the hero looks away for an instant breaking eye contact with Lothar. When he looks back the field is still strewn with dead Green Men but the arrows are gone. Wondering about this he looks back at Lothar to find the bow men too are gone.
As it turns out the Lotharians no longer exist in physical form but are merely psychological projections who have learned to hypnotize their enemies into believing that they do exist and are shooting real arrows. Their enemies believe they are real arrows and so die by them.
Thus it is quite possible that in Thuvia we have a fictionalization of Le Bon's ideas which Burroughs picked up from the 1895 book converting them into fiction in 1914 well ahead of Freud and Hitler.
Oh yes. Him again. Hitler. Whether historians would agree that Germany was "stabbed in the back" or not, it was universally believed by Germans, especially by Hitler, and they and he acted on that belief. Thus the psychic injury suffered by the privations of the war, the loss of the war, and the belief that victory had been taken from them by traitorous means made a curious form of group emasculation of the ego creating the conditions for a group psychology which under the influence of a hypnotizer they would not be responsible for their acts. The group ego is where the emasculation occurs being then relegated to the group subconscious where it surfaces under various names and impulses. As the American Jew Mark Rudd was to say in respect to his group's post-WWII emasculation: The issue is not the issue. In other words, their complaint was the disguise for their emasculation which is what they were really addressing.
Jean Genet was not a philosopher or a politician so that he did not understand that Hitler was not the protagonist but the antagonist. He was not acting but reacting. What was he reacting to? Let's go back to Freud.
and Follow the Navigation Chart for the
Entire Series of Articles
Differing viewpoints are welcome.
are not necessarily those held by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.