Friday, July 16, 2010

Lloyd deMause

The Childhood Origins of the Holocaust
There is one exception to the conclusion that democracies have less wars. It is a result of the concept outlined earlier that social violence is mainly caused by fears of losing the mommy’s love and approval because you try to exercise your freedom and individuation (the psychohistorical term for this fear of freedom is “growth panic”).11 Psychoanalysts often term this “abandonment depression,”12 and demonstrate that people who have abusive or neglectful childrearing fear all progress, all success, all freedoms and new challenges, and react with annihilation anxiety, fears that the fragile self is disintegrating, and by displacing their rage against “bad self” enemies. This is why wars are found far more frequently after periods of prosperity and social progress — wars after prosperity being 6 to 20 times bigger than those during depressions13 — plus no great-power war in the past two centuries was started during a depression.14 So the cycle of war historically begins with progress which leads to growth panic, fears of loss of maternal support, fusion with Motherland and finally war against all the “Bad Self” enemies of the Motherland.

But careful empirical studies of wars have also shown that the nations that are among the most prone to war are those that are in transition to democracy.15 This makes sense in terms of our “growth panic” model of war: democratizing nations are more belligerent because only a small portion of their populace are more advanced childrearing modes (psychoclasses). These more evolved psychoclasses — like liberals in Germany and Austria before the two World Wars — produce an explosion in industrialization and new social and political freedoms. But the less evolved psychoclasses — who were still in the majority — felt the new successes and freedoms were “selfish” and feared the loss of approval of the internal voice of their Killer Parent alter, and so had to oppose modernization and democratization . . . then fuse with the Killer Motherland and find “enemies” to punish. That is why genocidal wars have been specialties of fast-changing democratizing states which are “leaping into modernity.” As Michael Mann puts it in his book The Dark Side of Democracy, “murderous cleansing has been moving across the world as it has modernized.16 Even the United States carried out a genocide of American Indians while they were democratizing, following Thomas Jefferson’s directive claiming they “justified extermination.”17 Once these periods of democratizing wars are passed and the majority of the nation is able to achieve what I term “socializing mode” childrearing,18 mature democracies have in fact never gone to war with each other.19
Let me get those footnotes...
12. James F. Masterson, The Search for the Real Self: Unmasking the Personality Disorders of Our Age. New York: The Free Press, 1988, p. 61.
13. Joshua S. Goldstein, “Kondratieff Waves as War Cycles.” International Studies Quarterly 29(1985): 425.
14. Raimo Vayrynen, “Economic Fluctuations, Military Expenditures, and Warfare in International Relations.” In Robert K. Schaeffer, Ed., War in the World-System. New York: Greenwood Press, 1989, p. 121.
15. Edward D. Mansfield and Jack Snyder, “Democratization and the Danger of War.” International Security 20(1995): 5-38; Michael Mann The Dark Side of Democracy: Explaining Ethnic Cleansing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005.
16. Michael Mann, The Dark Side of Democracy: Explaining Ethnic Cleansing, p. 4.
17. Ibid, p. ix.
18. Lloyd deMause, The Emotional Life of Nations, p. 249.
19. John A. Vasquez, “What Do We Know About War?” In John A. Vasquez, Ed., What Do We Know About War? Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 200, p. 367.

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