In which some earlier writings become useful

The blog Journal to Perplexity has a terrific post up about the movie, WR: Mysteries of the Organism, a Yugoslavian movie from 1971 that takes up the–largely deranged–Freudo-Marxist theorist, Wilhelm Reich.  The post, complete with stills, does a great job capturing the weirdness that Reich seemed to attract, and rounds up a couple of additional links that are interesting.

I have actually seen WR, because my first interesting publication is an essay on Reich called “Loving Civilization’s Discontents,” in Tim Dean & Christopher Lane’s collection, Homosexuality & Psychoanalysis.  (Thanks to the magic of Google Books, you can see a bit of it online here.)  That article features my favorite epigraph, from one of Reich’s journal entries, as he dimly perceives that, you know, maybe he was wrong to break with Freud:

Somewhere my political-psychological theory has an enormous loophole where all the facts I try to gather slip through my fingers.   The more I attempt to cling to the idea of human decency, the more man behaves in an indecent, unintelligent, stupid fashion.

Or, as Freud put it more accurately, Homo homini lupus.

Also, Brian Doherty has a mini-review up at Reason‘s Hit & Run blog of Dennis Cass’s Head Case, which I point to only as an excuse to remind people of this interview I did with Cass at

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2 Responses to In which some earlier writings become useful

  1. Todd Phillips says:

    Apparently you are unaware of Reich’s contributions, his break with Freud yielded many things, including the discovery of Transferance.

    Not to mention the cesation of sitting behind the patient, out of sight, during therapy.

    Only an idiot would refer to Reichand his work as “Freudo-Marxist theorist”.

    Congratulations, you are a retard.

  2. jbj says:

    Ah, welcome to the world of Reichians, where concepts discovered decades before Reich met Freud nonetheless owe their existence to Reich.

    Simple chronology, unfortunately, suggests that Reich didn’t have much to do with either of these.

    Look: I’ll freely admit that Reich was apparently a gifted clinician. And there’s a kind of relationship between “character armor” and what we now call ego psychoanalysis. But that’s about it.

    And “Freudo-Marxist” is a
    standard way of referring to Reich–including, according to some sources, by Reich himself!

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