Date(s) - 28/09/2019
10:00 am - 12:30 pm
Cambridge - Friends Meeting House
The Return of the Oppressed:
The Birth of the Other and Collective Western Guilt
Freud stated: ‘When once the Apostle Paul had posited universal love between men as the foundation of his Christian community, extreme intolerance on the part of Christendom towards those who remained outside became the inevitable consequence – just as the dream of Germanic world dominion called for anti-Semitism as its complement.’ This tendency was described by the historian Norman Cohn as ‘those who seek to purify the world through the annihilation of some category of human beings imagined as agents of corruption and incarnations of evil.’
Crucial here are those social processes that support denial of our nature and the splitting off of uncomfortable aspects of ourselves and locating them in others. The Nazi regime created a terror in the entire population of being superfluous and provided others who could then embody it.
The discourse on immigrants, asylum seekers and scroungers follows a similar logic. We are all anxious about our place in the world and we all increasingly fear being surplus to requirements.
The migrant or indeed the poor or homeless threatens us where it hurts, in the fear that there is not enough to go round, global inequality and the ‘Hunger Games’ mentality lie at the heart of the anxiety that the other creates. The other serves as a perfect projective object and through them we can dispose of this unhappy insight.
The talk will include clinical material.
David Howell Morgan is a Consultant Psychotherapist and Psychoanalyst, Training Analyst and Supervisor, member of the International Psychoanalytic Association committee on Humanitarian Organisations. He worked in the UK National Health Service. He lectures Internationally and nationally and is currently Chair of the Political Minds seminars & Frontier Psychoanalyst on UK radio. He has published widely, having recently edited two new books, Political Mind 1 and 2 (Phoenix Publications, in press).
Chair: Mary Chadwick
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