Bulletin N° 626
Subject: ON THE ETIOLOGY OF HUMAN SUFFERING AND THE PROFITEETS WHO BENEFIT.
21 September 2014
Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
A recent trip to the 63rd parallel in Norway brought to memory the political culture of Quislings and the Resistance.
The checkerboard history of Norwegian resistance and collaboration with the fascist invasion --their legacy of opportunistic betrayals of the resistance-- is by no means unique to Norway. The ferocious 20th-century violence against civil society extends across the industrialized world, and we can see the open wounds and scars tissues from this violence in everyday life around us and perhaps within us, as well. Those who prosper under fascist controls, and those who do not, represent a veritable litmus test for the health of the environment in which they live.
Vidkun Quisling, Heinrich Himmler, Josef Terboven, and Nikolaus von Falkenhorst
seated in front of officers of the Waffen-SS, German Army and Air Force in 1941.
The political culture and the ‘Emotional Plague’, as Wilhelm Reich called it, was not so different in Norway from the rest of Europe, as he would discover after he went to Oslo in October 1934, at the invitation the University of Oslo. He had fled Nazi Germany in 1933, moving first to Denmark, then to Sweden. In August 1934, he had been expelled from the International Psychoanalytical Association at the behest of Anna Freud and Ernest Jones, but once he settled in the Norwegian capital, Reich was able to set up a practice as a psychoanalyst and he founded the Institute of Sex-Economic Bioresearch which publicized his libido theories. His belief in the biological as well as the social origins of human misery led him to study the electrical impulses that sexual stimulation produced in the human body. He purchased through his Institute in Oslo an oscillograph and other electronic apparatuses, and he began a series of experiments to measure the electrical potentials of erogenous skin surfaces during sexual stimulation and orgasm. He also conducted research on what he called “bions,” which he believed to be the origins of life.
Respectable members the Norwegian scientific community, however, became alarmed by this scientific research. Oslo newspapers began running articles in 1937 denouncing Reich, and when his visa expired in February 1938, several Norwegian scientists argued against its extension. However, it was acknowledged that not granting an extension might lead to his expulsion to Nazi Germany, and at great risk as his parents were Jewish. The anthropologist Bronisław Malinowski (1884–1942), wrote to the press in Norway defending Reich's sociological works as ‘a distinct and valuable contribution toward science,’ and A.S. Neill (1883–1973), founder of Summerhill, a progressive school in England, wrote that ‘the campaign against Reich seems largely ignorant and uncivilized, more like fascism than democracy.’ Finally, the Norwegian government renewed his visa, but a Royal Decree was issued stating that the practice of psychoanalysis required a state license thereafter, and it was implied that Reich would not be granted one.
On August 19, 1939, Wilhelm Reich sailed from Bergen, Norway to New York City, on the last ship to leave Norway before the Second World War; the following month, on 1 September, the German Blitzkrieg into Poland began, and 'The Phony War” phase of the WW II was underway. In 1940, Norway’s neutrality was violated when German troops began their conquest of Norway on April 9. Vidkun Quisling, leader of the Norwegian pro-Nazi movement, took over the government in Oslo in June 1940, while King Haakon VII escaped and set up a government-in-exile in England. In the same month, German troops outflanked the Maginot Line and with the French surrender the Second World War began in earnest, while the Free French Army gathered in London, under the leadership of Charles De Gaulle.
Reich had worked to discover the etiology of fascist behavior in Berlin, seeking to understand the causes for the mass attraction to fascism, what he called the "Emotional Plague.” The answer, he thought, was to be found in the character structure of individuals, which is produced by the social pressures in which the organism was born. He worked closely with the German Communist and Socialist Parties in Berlin between 1929 and 1933 because that was where the ordinary people were to be found, and he wished to study and to influence their behavior. At first, Reich tells us in the book ed. by Mary Higgins and Chester M. Raphael, Reich Speaks of Freud (1967), the party leadership welcomed him as ‘the famous psychoanalyst’.
This was the typical procedure of politicians in sexual and mental hygiene matters: As long as they did not know what it really meant and as long as they saw people streaming into meetings to obtain information and help regarding their private lives, the politicians were all for it. ‘Politicians’, here, not only means the party politician, but it means every man or woman to whom power, influence, career means everything, and human misery and knowledge nothing.
As soon as the sex-political questions revealed its force, its tremendous social importance and its emotional impact on people, and as soon as the physician, educator, and functionary faced the grave problem of how, practically, to go about the mass misery in the midst of all the ideological, medical, scientific confusion, with thousands of noises babbling and chattering wrong ideas all around them, the politicians again slandered in order to destroy the true issue of the mental and sexual health of the multitudes. Then, having destroyed the issue, or debased it by politicking means, they took over the people for further betrayal. This was typical procedure, and it will occur until there are powerful centers based on knowledge and skill which will be able to cope with this tremendous issue of man. (footnote 9, pp.47-48)
While I was accused by Freud of criticizing his psychoanalytic theory on behalf of and at the command of Moscow, … Berlin stooges of the Moscow dictators, were using the most intricate devices of defamation, underhandedness, distortion, lies and calumny in order to wrest some fifty thousand men, women, adolescents and children form by influence. These people had joined the Sexpol organizations in Germany solely because I had made them look at the social institutions from the standpoint of the gratification of human needs. In contradistinction, the red fascists were only interested in state power and in getting social influence by misusing what I had built up. They were not at all interested in factual, concrete solutions of the sexual misery of people. Therefore, they fought me as an ‘anti-Marxist, counter-revolutionary Freudian’. A few years later, I pulled out of this Freudian and Marxian mess and moved onto the road which led to the common functioning principle underlying both Freud’s and Marx’s discoveries, i.e. the living in the human unconscious mind as well as in the human creative working power. (footnote 2, p.49)
Speaking many years later from his home in Rangeley, Maine, on October 18 & 19, 1952, Reich described to Dr. Kurt Eissler, who represented the Sigmund Freud Archives and wished to record for the Archives Reich’s views of Freud, his anti-fascist activities, and the events that led to his expulsion from the International Psychoanalytic Association at the August 1934 International Congress in Lucerne.
The whole horrible thing burst out at the Lucerne Congress. Do you want to hear about that [slander]? . . . That I seduced all my patients. I was a psychopath. I was this. I was that. Then, finally, I had gone schizophrenic. That went on for years. You know that? . . . I doubt that you never heard that I’m ‘paranoiac’, ‘schizophrenic’ . . . . I can explain how they came to invent such a rumor, or to set such a rumor into motion about me. In 1929 –I think it was then—I began to work in character analysis with physiological emotions, with physiological feelings in the patients. You are acquainted with character analysis? . . . You know what I call preorgastic streamings? Orgonotic current?
Well, in schizophrenics, the bio-energetic emotions or excitations break through into consciousness. In the so-called normal human beings, these excitations are more or less shut off. This is particularly the case in the affect-blocked compulsion neurotic. In investigating the difference between the typical neurotic and the schizophrenic, I learned that the neurotic recognizes the excitations which may break through spontaneously, or in the course of treatment, as biological, as arising from within. The schizophrenic fails to recognize these primary, biophysical sensations and plasmatic streaming as an inner process and, thus, comes to misinterpret and distort them. That is, he believes the excitations –the sensations, the crawlings, the stirrings in him—are due to outside influences, for example, to persecutors trying to electrocute him. He does perceive his bio-energetic emotion, but he misinterprets it. This explanation of the schizophrenic process was viewed as distorted and even delusional by psychoanalysts such as Jones, Federn, Fenichel. And out of such things grew the slander of calling me a paranoid schizophrenic. I want you to read that third edition [of Character Analysis]. You have it?(pp.9-12)
The Emotional Plague, according to Wilhelm Reich’s diagnosis is due to the formation of muscular ‘body armor,’ and he concluded that individual therapy was insufficient to rid all of society of this plague; but, on the other hand, its expansion could be prevented. Toward the end of his life, he turned to advocating prophylactic measures that would protect new-born infants and children from the violence that produced the deformation of human character structure that propagated this world-wide plague and has created such misery for humanity for so many millennia, of which WWII was but one bloody episode.
Today, Reich’s work, according to critics, has been predictably distorted to serve the Forces of Order in consumer society. Just as after “the murder of Christ”, [see Reich’s book, The Murder of Christ (1953)] the Christian Church distorted the life work of Jesus by institutionalizing modified representations of his teachings; so, likewise, have the recent advances of consumer society distorted Reich’s discoveries in order to control consumer behavior in mass society, entirely contrary to Reich’s research objectives.
Do you know what Christ knew? He knew about the Life Energy. . . . In a simple way, he knew about the fields and the grass and growth and babies. That’s what he knew. Freud didn’t. Freud was anti-emotional, very anti-emotional. Freud was for intellect only, you understand. I myself am quite intellectual. But intellect without an emotional basis can’t quite fully live or work. Now, I know why he was against the emotions. He opposed them because he rejected the secondary emotions, the perverted emotions. And the normal emotions, the natural ones, the deep ones –nobody knew about them, then. . . .
The moralistic world has for thousands of years, especially since the beginning of early patriarchy, suppressed the natural genital drives. It has thus created the ‘secondary’ or perverse and pornographic drives, and was then forced to build up a wall of moralistic, hygienically disastrous laws and rules against the same pornographic human mind which was first created by the suppression of natural sexuality.(pp.64-65)
For a rich and critical account of Wilhelm Reich’s life and an analysis of the social context of his intellectual evolution, see Bertell Ollman’s book, Social and Sexual Revolution: Essays on Marx and Reich (1979).
The 7 items below offer CEIMSA readers a chance to revaluate Reich’s original analysis of the origins of suffering in today’s society. Could it be that each of us is the unconscious product of a ‘plague’ that has affected us from the time of birth, and has affected human society almost from the beginning; or are we indeed conscious of our deepest needs and feel free to express them openly? Are we really equipped to assume responsibility for our actions and govern our bio-energy as we wish, or have we been weakened and confused biologically and emotionally by the repression of and diversion from our ‘primary’ emotions; have we been violently conditioned by feelings of fear and disgust to limit or to abandon entirely all attempts to assert control over our own lives, all hope of ever fulfilling our genuinely human needs and desires?
Item A., from two university union representative on the Grenoble campus, offering short descriptions (in French) of the state of Grenoble University at the start of this academic year, 2014-2015.
Item B., from Jim O’Brien of Historians Against War, is a series of recommended recent articles.
Item C., from Information Clearing House, is a speech by Matti Peled on Israel, the deadly myth.
Item D., from Information Clearing House, is an article by Immanuel Wallerstein warning that the USA now is out of control and heading for a crash.
Item F., from The Real News Network, is an interview with Andrew Levine discussing the question, is Israel obsolete?
Item G., from Anonymous, is a “modest proposal to end war in the Middle East.”
And finally, we invite CEIMSA readers to take a look at three videos by and about Wilhelm Reich and which attempt to answer the following question :
Why would the United States government seek out and literally burn all the books they could find that mentioned a particular scientist's work?
Wilhelm Reich - Man's Right to Know
(Produced by the Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust, 2012)
Wilhelm Reich - Alone (10 min. home recording)
The Strange Case of Wilhelm Reich
written & directed by Antonin Svoboda
(with first 2 minutes in German language)
Professor of American Studies
University of Grenoble-3
Director of Research
University of Paris-Nanterre
Center for the Advanced Study of American Institutions and Social Movements
The University of California-San Diego
From Labor Union reps. on the Grenoble University Campus :
Date: 16 September 2014
Subject: Preparing for the upcoming meeting of Grenoble University union representatives.
La rentrée se passe très mal à l'U3 : personnel administratif et enseignant (du moins tous ceux, et ils sont nombreux, qui sont chargés d'un bout d'administration) était sur les rotules avant même la reprise des cours, et plusieurs "au bord de la crise de nerf" (j'ai l'air de plaisanter, mais c'est très angoissant). La période de renouvellement contractuel y est pour qqc, mais aussi l'élargissement de "l'outil" informatique (ADE par exemple crée de nouvelles contraintes) et une gestion de plus en plus à flux tendu (ouverture / fermeture de groupes à moins d'une semaine de la reprise des cours sur de pures raisons comptables ; services calculés essentiellement sur les "fondamentaux", ne permettant aucune souplesse, notamment car ne permet pas d'anticiper le besoin en vacations qui auraient pu être statutaires, type ATER), sans parler d'une reprise anticipée (plein d'étudiants sont encore en train d'arriver, tout au moins en M).
Pascale Robert, de la Ferc-CGT, a fait passer sur info-syndicales un excellent message que je vous copie ci-dessous. Il faut vraiment que nous arrivions à une action collective sur cette question : une nouvelle version de "l'université s'arrête" ?
En parallèle, et ça a quelque chose de surréaliste, la direction nous présente les textes fondateurs de la Comue.
Santé et sécurité au travail-Rythme, durée, contenu, cadre, environnement de travail... Ce sont des choix d’organisation du travail faits par l’employeur. Ils déterminent nos conditions de travail.
Il y a un lien très fort entre conditions de travail et santé puisque cette organisation du travail a des répercussions, immédiates et différées sur la personne : fatigue, stress, maladies, accidents, absentéisme ... Ou satisfaction, présentéisme, bien être...
Les conditions de travail sont donc déterminantes de la qualité de vie, de la qualité de vie à la retraite, de l'espérance de vie.
L'amélioration des conditions de travail dans la fonction publique constitue un enjeu essentiel de la rénovation de la politique des ressources humaines et des relations sociales. C’est sur ce constat que le gouvernement a signé un premier accord le 20 novembre 2009 sur la santé et la sécurité au travail dans la fonction publique.
Ce protocole intègre durablement la prise en compte des risques psychos-sociaux RPS au même titre que les autres risques professionnels dans les politiques de prévention puis d’aller à terme vers des mesures plus larges d’amélioration de la qualité de vie au travail (QVT).
Lors du rendez-vous le mercredi 10 septembre 2014 des membres du CHSCT* avec l' inspecteur CHSCT dans le cadre de l'inspection Hygiène et sécurité de l'université, nous avons pu l' informer de la situation actuelle des conditions de travail à l' Université Stendhal.
L'université Stendhal a subi de profonds changements en vue de la fusion avec les autres universités de Grenoble dès l'année universitaire 2011-2013 avec la réorganisation en seulement 2 UFR .
Depuis les réorganisations des services et composantes se sont enchainés.
Cela a entrainé une surcharge de travail de travail pour la plupart des personnels et a dégradé le « vivre ensemble » dans le travail. Ces changements profonds ont aussi généré des conflits.
Nous constatons de plus en plus de souffrance au travail aussi bien parmi les personnels administratifs ou enseignants.
Les causes sont multiples, nous pouvons en citer quelques unes :
- charge de travail anormale le temps alloué pour réaliser le travail est trop court, délais trop courts les temps de pause ne sont pas respectés
- le travail ne peut s'effectuer sans interruption, perturbation (sans oublier pannes d'applications de logiciels , de serveurs, d'impression, etc..)
- le nouveau système d'impression -photocopie-scanner diminue l'efficacité (temps d'attente d'impression _machine et file d'attente d'impression-photocopie, déplacement , etc) changement périodique des logiciels utilisés (sans formation ou formation dispensée tardivement) si bien que les personnels ne peuvent acquérir les automatismes nécessaires à une bonne utilisation.
On ne donne pas aux personnels les moyens de faire un travail de qualité d'où les erreurs plus élevées , qui demandent un temps de correction ajoutant à la charge de travail _un cercle vicieux !
- rotation importante des personnels (turn-over), soit encadrants , soit exécutants ce qui nécessite encore un temps de formation , d'adaptation .
- Les consignes données ne sont pas toujours claires un problème de communication : l' information prise par la hiérarchie ne descend pas !
- le travail en équipe et la concertation entre collègues ne sont pas toujours possible , d'ailleurs l'organisation prévoit rarement du temps pour le faire
- la direction, la hiérarchie, elles aussi débordées ne sont pas toujours à l'écoute de leurs personnels et elles n'aont pas une idée juste du travail qualitatif, quantitatif qu'ils effectuent.
- pas de réduction des effectifs, mais redistribution , et surtout augmentation des taches et des procédures, lourdeurs des nouvelles procédures.
- La présidente de l'université et la gouvernance appliquent toutefois les directives demandées par le Ministère. Elles appliquent les mesures réglementaires : visites des services, réunions du CHSCT, mais les problèmes de fond restent inchangés. Et dans la pratique, sur le terrain, on constate de plus en plus de souffrance au travail .
Au vu des plaintes des personnels quant au manque de respect au travail, une formation sur les risques psycho-sociaux a ainsi été mise en place pour les personnels encadrants.
De plus, une formation aux risques psycho-sociaux a été mise en place en 2013-2014, mais sans tenir compte des recommandations du CHSCT : mauvaise information des personnels, choix de la date des groupes de parole inapproprié (fin mai et juin2014). Ainsi une quinzaine de personnes au plus a participé à cette démarche. Et après , que sera-t-il proposé concrètement ?
Nous, les membres du CHSCT, nous sommes entendus par la gouvernance de l'université, mais sommes rarement écoutés ! Nos alertes restent le plus souvent sans changement dans l'organisation du travail et les problèmes s'intensifient !
De plus, notre engagement nécessiterait une réelle décharge de travail comme cela est le cas dans les autres universités du site grenoblois. Nous estimons que nous ne pouvons assumer correctement nos fonctions et si cette décharge nous est à nouveau refusée, nous serons amener à démissionner de nos fonctions.
Nous ne pouvons rester sourds à la souffrance exprimés par nos collègues , enseignant ou administratif, au travail , conséquence directe de la dégradation des conditions de travail entrainées par la fusion des universités. Nous ne voulons rester pas impuissants face à la souffrance de nos collègues et à la dégradation de leur santé .
Agir pour préserver sa santé au travail, son bien-être, passe par connaître le droit pour le faire respecter.
représentante des personnels
en savoir plus :
* Le CHSCT : comité d'hygiène et de sécurité et conditions de travail
Pour rappel voici
Les compétences du comité d'hygiène et de sécurité et conditions de travail
Le comité CHSCT est consulté sur les règlements et consignes relatives à l'hygiène et la sécurité. Il est aussi chargé de faire toutes propositions utiles au conseil d'administration de l'établissement, en vue de promouvoir les conditions d'hygiène et de sécurité et la formation à la sécurité. Entre autres, il :
Améliore les Conditions de travail et forme les agents à l’hygiène et à la sécurité (art. 46)
Examine les observations consignées par le personnel sur le Registre d’Hygiène et de Sécurité (art. 47) concernant entre autres les conditions de travail. Tout personnel peut consigner ses observations dans ce registre , qui sera visé par le supérieur hiérachique et examiné par le comité CHSCT.
pour plus de lisibilité voir la pièce jointe (désolée ne peut saisir les accent circonflexes avec mon clavier !)
From Historians against War :
Date: 16 September 2014
Subject: Notes 9/16/14: Links to recent articles of interest.
Links to Recent Articles of Interest
Interview with Phyllis Bennis on Democracy
Now, posted September 15
By Juan Cole, Informed Comment blog, posted
The author teaches history at the University of Michigan.
By Gary Leupp, CounterPunch.org,
posted September 15
The author teaches history at Tufts University.
By Andrew Cockburn, CounterPunch.org, posted September 15
Based in part on an interview with ex-Senator Bob Graham, a former member of the Senate Intelligence Committee
By Lawrence Wittner, CounterPunch.org,
posted September 15
The author is a professor of history emeritus at SUNY Albany.
By Robert Fisk, The Independent, posted September 11
On the ironies of president Obama's language in light of recent Middle Eastern history
By Andrew J. Bacevich, Reuters
blog, posted September 10
The author recently retired as a professor of history and international relations at Boston University.
By Noam Chomsky, TomDispatch.com, posted
By Mariam Karouny, Reuters, posted September 4
A chilling picture of ISIS' staying power and an implied warning of the extreme difficulty of dislodging it
By John Mearsheimer, Portside.org,
posted September 2 (from the September-October issue of Foreign Affairs
This list was edited by Steve Gosch and Jim O'Brien, with thanks to Rosalyn Baxandall, Mim Jackson, and an anonymous reader for suggesting articles included in the list. Suggestions can be sent to email@example.com.
From Information Clearing House :
Date: 16 September 2014
Subject: Israel, the deadly myth.
When Everything You Know Is Not True: Miko Peled Debunking Jewish Myths
"If Anybody here, came hoping to hear a balanced presentation, then they are going to be sorely disappointed. I say this, because a lot of the things that you are about to hear tonight are difficult to hear."
“Miko Peled is a peace activist who dares to say in public what others still choose to deny. He has credibility, so when he debunks myths that Jews around the world hold with blind loyalty, people listen. Miko was born in Jerusalem in 1961 into a well known Zionist family. His grandfather, Dr. Avraham Katsnelson was a Zionist leader and signer on the Israeli Declaration of Independence. His father, Matti Peled was a young officer in the war of 1948 and a general in the war of 1967 when Israel conquered the West Bank, Gaza, Golan Heights and the Sinai. http://mikopeled.com/
Miko Peled, author of The General’s Son, whose father was the renowned Israeli general Matti Peled, speaking in Seattle, October 1, 2012.
From Information Clearing House :
Date: 19 September 2014
Subject: Like the driver of an expensive car gone out of control.
"How easy it is for officials and the media to “spin the public into a panic.”
From Democracy Now! :
Date: 18 September 2014
Subject: The People’s Climate March in New York City.
At least 100,000 people are expected to take part in the People’s Climate March in New York City on Sunday. More than 2,000 "People’s Climate" events are planned worldwide in 150 countries. And on Monday, climate activists are planning to stage a mass sit-in in the financial district in Manhattan in an action dubbed "Flood Wall Street." The actions are taking place ahead of Tuesday’s one-day United Nations Climate Summit. We speak to acclaimed journalist Naomi Klein, author of the new book, “This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate,” about the upcoming climate activism as well as the global grassroots movement dubbed "Blockadia," which is fighting fossil fuel extraction from Canada to Nigeria to Greece.
Naomi Klein on the People’s Climate March & the Global Grassroots Movement
Fighting Fossil Fuels
From The Real News Network :
Date: 17 September 2014
Subject: Is Israel obsolete?
Andrew Levine says that Cold War strategic thinking about the Middle East is no longer relevant.
From Anonymous :
Date: 16 September 2014
Subject: A modest proposal to end war in the Middle East.
· Stop ISIS recruiting drive by ending the bombing missions in Iraq and Syria.
· Stop the ISIS economy by ending the cut-rate oil sales to Turkey.
· Stop the ISIS war machine by ending admissions of wounded ISIS fighters to Israeli hospitals.
· Stop the ISIS war supplies and hostage taking by ending subsidies from Qatar and Saudi Arabia to the Syrian ‘moderates’ who sell arms, as well as western journalists and humanitarian workers for public execution by ISIS.