Alchemists of Human Nature - Psychological Utopianism in by Petteri Pietikainen

By Petteri Pietikainen

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. once they broke from Freud and orthodox psychoanalysis, Pietikainen argues, utopianism turned more and more vital to the basic goals of all 4 thinkers. He indicates 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 family members by way of conquering the subconscious. Pietikainen locations the 'utopian impulse' with the historic context of the big, violent socio-political narratives of the early 20th century. This leading edge interdisciplinary ebook 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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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. At a meeting with Soviet writers at Maxim Gorky’s house in 1932, Stalin called them the ‘engineers of the human soul’,44 and he established a new intellectual and artistic genre, Socialist Realism, the goal of which was to see both in the psyche and in the external world the traits of true socialism, and to portray these traits.

This signified the end of psychoanalysis in the Soviet Union. Psychoanalysis was not the only psychological theory that was eliminated after 1925, by which time the era of relative openness, experimentation and tolerance was over, and the Communist Party started to look with growing suspicion at any theory or organization that could be seen as a potential threat to the official doctrine and the stability of the state apparatus. Later on in the 1930s, pedology - the behavioural science of childhood - and industrial psychology shared the fate of psychoanalysis.

Presumably, he could not have cared less about the work of young Freudian analysts, such as Reich. 46 Reich and Fromm moved in the same psychoanalytic circles in Berlin in the early 1930s but, although they were both sociologically-oriented Marxist analysts, they never collaborated, and in later years they made predominantly negative comments about each other: Reich accused Fromm of watering down the radical implications of psychoanalysis, especially the emphasis on the power of sexuality, while Fromm characterized Reich as misguided in his association of sexual emancipation with political radicalism.

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