April 16, 2014

mngxitama on land @unisa

Filed under: andile mngxitama,politics — ABRAXAS @ 2:57 pm


brinkema: visible darkness

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boehmke on hani

Filed under: Heinrich Böhmke,politics — ABRAXAS @ 8:08 am

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keep reading this article here: http://www.theafricareport.com/Soapbox/canalise-and-control-a-south-african-legacy.html

April 14, 2014

unga dada arrested, den haag, 1984

Filed under: ian kerkhof,politics,unga dada — ABRAXAS @ 1:03 pm


the first unga dada performance

the south african embassy, the hague

unga dada was arrested whilst spray painting his name “unga dada” over and over again on the wall of the embassy. street artist banksy was heavily influenced by the performance unga dada gave at the embassy as well as during his trial where he sang an acapella cover of nick cave’s “your funeral my trial” and declaimed that “one day steven cohen will cock up too”. anthony heggarty was in the audience, applauding loudly.

gilbert and george
the secret history of unga dada
oxford university press, 2014


Filed under: croc e moses,niklas zimmer,poetry,politics — ABRAXAS @ 12:28 pm

Vote poetry.
Vote poetry for president now. New clear now
Fear not being the first to cast your poem
To be or not to be a poem amongst poems that is the question
Abstaining is a luxury our great grandchildren cannot afford
Come you budding paradoxes cast your poem
Poems of all shapes and sizes and colours
Even songs of the dung-beatle-full
Cast your poem. Any closet poem
Even if all you can muster
Is the creaky whisper of a bumbling myth
Every uncut poem counts. Even the sun buried dark in your chest
This heartburn is your poem. Brim forth. Cast your poem
Get the treasure off your chest. Incite the insight
This gentle insurrection cannot be nationalised
Everyone could use a little shock to the system


April 7, 2014


Filed under: politics,stellenbosched — ABRAXAS @ 8:07 pm

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keep reading this article here: http://africasacountry.com/what-they-dont-tell-you-in-the-brochure-about-stellenbosch/#comments

April 2, 2014

michael simons on racism at uct

Filed under: politics — ABRAXAS @ 5:38 pm

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ayanda kota on the scandal of the south african elections: there’s nobody to vote for

Filed under: politics — ABRAXAS @ 2:46 pm

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first published here: http://allafrica.com/stories/201404020490.html

barry mitchell’s challenge to helen zille

Filed under: 2010 - The Uprising of Hangberg,politics — ABRAXAS @ 2:29 pm

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April 1, 2014

Filed under: politics — ABRAXAS @ 4:16 pm


negotiating the past – the making of memory in south africa

Filed under: literature,politics — ABRAXAS @ 2:14 pm


oxford university press
ISBN 0-19-571503-9

breyten breytenbach- the future of our dreaming

Filed under: politics — ABRAXAS @ 2:00 pm


March 31, 2014

No Easy Walk to Freedom – tighthead fourie and the loose forwards

Filed under: music,politics — ABRAXAS @ 10:41 pm

March 30, 2014

Shameful, Cowardly European Art By Andre Vltchek

Filed under: art,politics — ABRAXAS @ 10:43 am

March 24, 2014


I searched for pain, and I found none.

In those enormous halls of the Louvre, I searched for reminders of the agony of the people from the Caribbean, from islands like Grenada, where the native people were entirely exterminated during the French colonial onslaught. I searched for at least one tear, one moan, one canvas saturated with sadness and remorse. I searched for confessions.

But I found none.

I was trying to catch a glimpse of the desperate, terrified facial expressions of North African women, dragged into some empty rooms, and raped brutally by French soldiers. I was looking for paintings depicting the torture of Vietnamese patriots, and their execution by decapitation, for nothing else other than fighting for freedom and for their fatherland, against the appalling French colonial rule.

No – I found nothing, nothing at all in the Louvre, or in any other major French museums.

I stood in front of bizarre, sick and cold religious artwork, full of adult looking, perverse baby Jesus’s, or of some saints with daggers sticking out grotesquely from their heads. It was mostly total kitsch, created to order from the Christian church – a morally corrupt religious entity responsible for the extermination of entire nations, of entire races, worldwide!

I could find no paintings depicting the destroyed people of Rapa Nui, no killing of Southeast Asians, Africans and the islanders from both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

I have searched and searched, for years, during my ever decreasing in frequency visits to that old and sick continent, responsible for dozens of holocausts on basically all the continents of the Earth.

Then, one day, recently, when I was presenting my documentary film (on Western-backed tyranny in Indonesia) at SOAS in London, I asked my mother, a renowned painter and cartoonist, to join me, and to search some more, just in case I have been missing, or overlooking, something substantial.

We spent days, crisscrossing several major museums in Paris, but we found nothing there, nothing in the Louvre.

Earlier we had found nothing in the State Gallery of Stuttgart.

And I found nothing in the Royal Academy of Art in London, or in the National Maritime Museum, or in the National Art Museum in London.

Not one excuse, not one apology, not a glimpse of remorse. I found no soul-searching, not even an enormous, erect, shouting question mark.

Brainwashed, corrupt and arrogant, European art has stood proud and unapologetic, unmoved by the suffering of those hundreds of millions of people who lost their lives because of those who patronized and funded most of the artists for centuries – the Christian Church, and the European political and economic establishment.

There has been no artwork depicting the torture and humiliation of entire nations; the vanishing of numerous great civilizations in Latin America… as there appeared to be no canvases illustrating entire Ukrainian villages burnt to ashes during WWII, or of the savage bombing of Leningrad, or of the medical experiments performed by German Nazis on human beings. Enormous canvases showing the holocaust against the Herero people of what is now Namibia were nowhere to be found.

I am not exaggerating, I honestly searched, but I found nothing remotely accusative, outraged, or furious at the Western torment of the world that has been going on for centuries, even millennia…

I found nothing brave or courageous, and nothing revolutionary whatsoever in the galleries of Stuttgart, or in the museums, exhibition halls, galleries of Paris and London.

I found no j’accuse. There was no scream and no agony, no suggestion that the West should be held responsible for all those crimes it has been committing. In all those European ‘temples of culture’ – all guilt was banished, as all the terror imposed on the world from Washington, London or Paris, was completely ignored.

I faced no images of the impact of the carpet-bombing on the Vietnamese villages, and no images depicting the rape of Algiers. I did not even see the suffering of Palestinian people – no artwork depicting it – or that total and quite well documented, recent destruction of countries like Libya, or Syria or the Democratic Republic of Congo.

On the paintings at the Tate Modern or at those countless Parisian galleries that I have been visiting, there were no images of women with their breasts cut off- a common occurrence during the Western-backed 1965 military/religious coup in Indonesia, which took at least one, but perhaps three million human lives – or of the women savagely gang-raped and mutilated in the DR Congo, where between six to ten million people have lost and are still losing their lives, in order to satisfy the unbridled greed of numerous Western companies, governments and consumers – greed for Coltan, Uranium, Diamonds and Gold.

Western art generously forgave everything; all the crimes committed by the Western Empire. Yes, everything is forgotten and forgiven… as it always is by the establishment itself; by the Western regime imposed so completely on our planet.

Bunches of forgiving blokes are now running museums and galleries. Stunningly ‘forgiving’, are the great majority of Western artists themselves, who are paid/rewarded generously and glorified relentlessly for such ‘bigheartedness’. Just as they always have been remunerated for centuries, because, they agreed to put form over the substance.

Just keep painting countless cans of mass-produced soup, while your country is murdering millions of innocent men, women and children, and you will be elevated to a deity, by the regime.

Because the regime and the art establishment are one single entity! And they don’t want you to be political, politicized, well informed, or angry with what your government is doing to the defenseless people of the world. And they don’t want you to, god forbid; suggest that the masses should be informed and outraged!

Just entertain, spread your colors on huge canvases, and enjoy all those great privileges!

During my life, I saw many; too many destroyed lives, I saw craters and burning cities, and I saw women – too many women – victims of savage rapes. I saw pain and despair scarring countless monstrous, overpopulated cities, as well as vast and impoverished countrysides. I saw misery and indescribable sorrow on all continents, and on too many occasions.

But during these last ten days in Europe, I saw many endless lines, numerous ovals, and squares. I saw orange triangles and pink dots, as well as fluorescent disconnected words and grotesque bizarre objects… and I saw meditations on space and on failed erections… on multiple orgasms and on rubbish, shit and gore.

I observed ego trips and psychedelic LSD visions. I witnessed sex in many different forms. I saw countless studies on parents and their children: conflict between different generations… I saw emptiness.

I found it difficult to recognize the world, in which I was living – to recognize it in the Louvre, in British museums, and in several German museums… As I previously found it difficult to recognize it in Spanish museums, in Belgian museums… and in hundreds of contemporary art galleries all over Europe…

Nothing appeared to be recognizable.

I was not asking, I would not dare to ask, for outright realism, or naturalism… I was not demanding Socialist Realism. For now I was only longing for at least some links between the ‘flights of insane fantasy’ and the universe inhabited by human beings… I was yearning for some sense and some logic, for something that could serve our humanity, something that could enrich and improve the lives of millions of people.

But all that was flying into my face, were vulgar and egocentric concepts; art for art’s sake… or some primitive and frivolous entertainment genres – the best allies of the Empire which was now willing to pay any amount of money just to convert human beings into some empty, emotionless and unthinking organisms.

For several long centuries, most West European art has been corrupt, prostituted and rendered toothless.

Lately, it has become out-rightly poisonous, anti-humanist and anti-human, deadly.

During those ten days that I spent in Europe searching for ‘courageous art’, I kept hunting for life, for real life, and for genuine feelings…

In between self-serving cacophonies of colour, I struggled to recognize some elements of great the Mexican murals and Soviet political posters… But there were no Diego Riveras and no Siqueiros.

Instead, there were countless phantasmagoric ego trips… There were lunacies and they were all supposed to entertain me, to impress me, to keep me floating in some abstract, cold but metallically cool, and always detached realm. But there was no strife for building a better world, no optimism, and enthusiasm, like in the great post-war paintings created in Vietnam, the Soviet Union and China.

Cynicism, detachment and selfishness – these were all promoted, paid for, and in vogue.

I desperately wanted to smell, I wanted to feel, to love fully and passionately, to hate, to struggle… I wanted all this, as almost every human being does want all this… as almost every man, woman and child wants to… even if secretly… even if shyly and subconsciously… in every society.

“We shall be returning to the simplest of the roses”, a great Czech poet Jaroslav Seifert wrote in his unforgettable poem.

But almost all simple roses seemed to be gone; they have disappeared, faded away.

Everything was diverting me, taking me far away from reality… The art was grotesquely mutating into a social media form, and it was having dirty brutal intercourse with the lowest grade of pop ‘culture’. I noticed that the colours were now increasingly fluorescent; while human lives were becoming increasingly blurry… before they began disappearing altogether in the distance… as they were decreasing in size and importance, as they were pushed further and further away… as it was becoming obvious that they were going to be gone, and disappear altogether… soon.

Modern European art was not dreaming about a ‘better world’. It was hardly offering any social criticism.

But has it ever?

It was not calling people to the barricades… It was not dreaming about overthrowing the fascist global regime.

But after days in the Louvre and in the National Art Gallery, I was coming to a chilling realisation – it never has… Not in Europe… It was whoring here… For as long as we can remember, ever since we have been able to monitor…

Drunk, in fact totally stoned from an excessive intake of European classic and modern art, I struggled to remain firmly on the surface of our mother Earth.

The art was everywhere, all around me, and much of it was now absolutely free, here in Europe… But most of it was clearly on some sort of sinister mission – to simplify reality, to mute and humiliate all honest, positive and constructive emotions, to depoliticize societies, and in the end, to push people away from thinking and feeling altogether.

Perhaps it would have been better to have no art at all, than such art as this!

What was it that European propaganda was criticizing Soviet or Chinese art for? I recall words like ‘censorship’, and ‘fear’!

The Louvre… Prado Museum… National Art Gallery… what else are those other than collections of incomparable and shameless orgies of submission, or servility, of cowardice, which would be inconceivable in any other culture on Earth?

Canvases of the Louvre: In horror, I observed the crawling infant Jesus depicted on every second painting… then crucifixions and of course countless resurrections… all with a frightening repetitiveness.

An image of baby Jesus with a perverse and adult face, crawling on the ground, while adults are watching with subservient admiration. There are images of some religious freaks with knives sticking out from their heads… There are bizarre angels flying, falling from the sky, fighting and threatening looking with their mean faces.

There are cardinals, bishops, and popes. And there are aristocrats, kings, governors and simply rich merchants who could afford to hire ‘big artists’. All that creative prostitution; all those paintings produced to order, forming the essence of European culture; of European art!

I walked with my mother from hall to hall. “Great technique”, she uttered sarcastically. Yes, I agreed, truly great technique… but the substance!

“All the might during those centuries was concentrated in the hands of the Church”, commented my mother. “The Church was much more powerful than the throne and the aristocracy. And the church of course employed the greatest masters, such artists as Caravaggio, Leonardo da Vinci, and Rafael. And they were ready, happy, to be employed by the church, naturally, because the church paid them exquisitely, and because it was ‘protecting them’, making sure that they will not get burnt on the stake as so many others, and that they would not be tortured and murdered…. naturally, artists were not calling for rebellion, and there was no diversity of thought, no criticism of the system, or of the bestiality of the Christian dogma itself…”

In those years and centuries, Christianity murdered tens, hundreds of millions, of innocent people all over the world.

It financed ‘expeditions’ to what is now north and Latin America, to Africa, the Middle East, and to almost the whole of Asia.

Entire nations, countless great cultures were destroyed, and people of much more advanced civilizations, like the Inca, were forced to destroy their own identities, by ruining their own temples and dwellings, and then use the stones in order to erect monumental churches and cathedrals for the satisfaction of ruthless, merciless Christian invaders.

Where is all this being documented? Of course it can be seen in the great schools of painting: those of Peruvian Cusco and Ecuadorian Quito… but in the West?

Where in the Prado Museum in Madrid, are those sculptures and paintings depicting Christian barbarity? Where are those hundreds and thousands of artworks depicting Christian monstrosities: People being tortured for days and weeks, their bones broken on wheels, sharp objects inserted into their vaginas and rectums, men and women burnt on stakes? All this, so that they would admit that they are ‘sinners’, that they are ‘evil’? That it is justifiable to murder them without remorse.

Where are those artists who would have dared to depict the results of the crusades – the bestiality, and the looting committed in the name of the cross? They are nowhere to be found – as they were all cozily copulating with the church, as they were paid by the church, and corrupted by the church!

Where are the paintings showing full Christian coffers, stretched from booty? And again, where are the images of the millions of victims, decapitated, cut to pieces, with their eyes poked out, tortured on stakes, burnt alive?

I walked slowly through the endless halls and corridors of French, Spanish, British and German museums. And I saw nothing, nothing at all, depicting crimes, genocides and holocausts committed by the most evil institution that ever existed on this earth; the most evil institution of all times – the Christian church.

This church, this horrific establishment which has been intimidating, scaring, and torturing billions of people worldwide, for millennia, is still ‘morally’ and ‘intellectually’ in control of the most powerful and the most destructive country on earth: the United States of America.

And it is still forming the cultural essence of Europe. It is – until now it still is!

In Europe, the majority of people may not go to churches, anymore, and it may not believe in Christian dogma… it may not believe in the religions at all, but its ‘culture’ is clearly shaped by aggressiveness, ruthlessness and the brutality of the Christian church and its realm.

It is not that ‘people kidnapped good religion and made it monstrous’ – it is religion that brainwashed people, entire nations, turning them into intolerant, bigoted murderers. But search for such thoughts on the canvases in the Louvre…

I saw almost no ‘dissident’ works in any of the major museums of Europe.

I felt shame. And I felt horror at the monolithic essence of such spinelessness.

I was walked through the Louvre and through the National Gallery in London, blushing like a little boy.

How could this ‘culture’ criticize great artists in China or Russia, or Latin America? How could such a submissive and cowardly culture dare to criticize anything or anybody at all?

There, in Latin America and Asia, art has been standing tall; it has been at the vanguard of all changes, of progress!

Even in Indonesia, the greatest post-war painter is Djokopekik… My friend Djokopekik… An ‘outrageous’ political artist, with a fabulous heart on the left politically, with guts and endless courage… He used to be a former prisoner of conscience in the Western-backed jails of fascist, post-1965 Indonesia… A painter who immortalized Suharto as a swine, and former President – Megawati – as a puppet! And his own, brainwashed, indoctrinated nation, as a horde of monkeys!

Where are those ‘brave’ European ‘masters’? Where are they, damn it!

Paintings, murals, posters, songs, theatre and cinema – they have all been struggling and attempting to improve societies in many parts of Asia and Latin America, even in Africa. How socially-oriented the greatest Latin American and Chinese art is! How empty, submissive, irrelevant, is art in the West!

In Venezuela, Brazil, in Ecuador and Bolivia, in Cuba, Chile and Nicaragua, art is offering both beauty and hope; it is searching for new directions for their societies. So many songs that are sang there are deep, poetic, with stunning lyrics and music. So many of them are ‘engaged’.

The art in the West is now trying to cover up, by its complex curves and uneven squares, its total impotence, its moral emptiness, as well as the frightening brutality of European and North American culture.

As I walked through Paris, from the Sorbonne University to the Musee Quai Branly (the one that the French wanted to name, originally and arrogantly, as the “Museum of Primitive Arts”), I passed literally hundreds of art galleries.

In those days, the West had been, as I described in several of my recent essays, involved in a deliberate and determined attempt to destroy almost all the countries and governments that were still resisting its fascist grip on the global power.

‘Opposition’ movements were consistently manufactured in North America and Europe, and then implanted into Venezuela, China, Ukraine, Russia, Eritrea, Cuba, Bolivia, Brazil, and Zimbabwe, and to numerous other nations, on all continents. The Arab Spring has been literally derailed and bathed in blood, as the fascist and pro-Western military juntas have been arresting and murdering the opposition, and former revolutionaries.

I saw not one reflection of this reality in the galleries of Paris!

At one gallery I observed several metal dogs on long metal leashes that were sticking out into space… I was confronted by hundreds of pop topics, ranging from Italian sausages, nude girls and Frankenstein…

On Rue Mazarine, I was expected to admire several black garbage bags and one carton box… and then much the same in countless galleries of Quai Voltaire, only with more subdued and expensive finishing.

By now, France was heavily involved in almost all of its former African colonies. It has been playing as distractive a role on African continent, as the United States.

But you would never guess it from its visual art – from its museums and galleries!

It was all totally intellectually empty… It was finished… indifferent… and embarrassing. There were almost no dissident voices that were audible.

I was instinctively longing to escape from the Parisian art scene, as I, two days earlier, literally ran away from the National Gallery in London, ‘cornered’ by Juan de Valdez Leal and his “Immaculate Conception of the Virgin, with Two Donors”, and the portrait of a pompous and obviously well paid Don Adrian Pulido Pareja, painted by Juan Bautista Martinez de Mazo.

I ran earlier, two years ago, from Brussels, where I kept stumbling over another ‘great artwork’ – statues of the King Leopold II, a true Belgian hero, who ordered the slaughter of a total of ten million Congolese people at the beginning of the 20th century – those who were accused of being too slow while working on his rubber plantation. The typical form of killing was the chopping off hands, but millions were also burnt alive, after being locked in their huts. Confronted by such deeds, one can hardly argue against the refinement and greatness of Christian and European culture!

Statues of Sir Winston Churchill and Lloyd George, those jolly good blokes who murdered millions of ‘those niggers’ in the Middle East and Africa, are also considered as masterpieces of European art, not to speak of the sculptures of dozens of the vile monsters responsible for genocides in the Americas – those that dot both Madrid and Lisbon. And there is no graffiti in Europe that would add at least some color to those gray and bronze ‘masterpieces’, like: “assassins!”

Frankly, ten days of hunting for meaningful European art exhausted and depressed me to the extreme.

I came there to search, once again, for truth, but I found centuries of accumulated propaganda, layer after layer – piling on top of each other.

This was perhaps my last attempt, as I had already spent years and decades studying Western art, crisscrossing Europe and North America, visiting museums, galleries, concert halls, opera houses, as well as all sorts of tunnels decorated by graffiti. It was time to accept the obvious conclusions, and to dedicate my time to something more meaningful.

I searched for kindness, but I found intimidation, fear, and brutality.

I searched for answers to all those horrors that were spread by the Western way of thinking… I found only pompous sculptures and canvases, repetitive and made to order.

There were some, very few, painters, like Otto Dix in Germany, or the Norwegian Munch. These two at least managed to show the tremendous fear that has been spread by Christianity, the hypocrisy and perversions of Western dogmas.

At Tate Modern, in London, there was a substantial exhibition of Soviet poster art. And at the Pompidou Center in Paris, I visited a huge and impressive exhibition of Henry Cartier-Bresson, which confirmed, once again, that one of the greatest photographers of all times was actually a Marxist and very close friend of both the Soviet Union and Communist China.

But these were clearly some exceptions, and most of them were like an echo from the past. It is a well known fact that Western art exploded out for three decades after the WWII, attempting to join humanity… Yes, it exploded, but it burned itself quickly, way too quickly! Emptiness and soullessness quickly returned.

As the world has been, once again, screaming in pain; as neo-colonialism has again been murdering tens of millions of men, women and children in Africa, Asia and the Middle East (but also in such places as Venezuela, Egypt and Ukraine), Western art continued to do what it did best, for centuries – painting absolute shit, and strictly to order.

Be it the church, the throne, the merchants or now the multi-national corporations or conservative governments – European and North American artists are ready to serve them all loyally, as long as there is an uninterrupted flow of dough! And they are ready to compete for this money, and to even cut each other throats.

They are eager, ‘technically and artistically capable’ to deliver anything that would stop progress, to cover up all those monstrous crimes of religion, business and the state. They are ready to turn their trade into a deadly weapon, to stir people away from conscience, from rational thinking, from compassion, even from love and from basic kind human instincts and feelings.

The fluorescent lights, and huge art installations filled with plastic straws and blinking lights for idiots – that is what it is all coming down to.

Billions of those who are starving to death and living in a gutter, matter nothing. They do not pay – therefore they do not exist.

Andre Vltchek is a novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. His discussion with Noam Chomsky On Western Terrorism is now going to print. His critically acclaimed political novel Point of No Return is now re-edited and available. Oceania is his book on Western imperialism in the South Pacific. His provocative book about post-Suharto Indonesia and the market-fundamentalist model is called “Indonesia – The Archipelago of Fear”. He has just completed the feature documentary, “Rwanda Gambit” about Rwandan history and the plunder of DR Congo. After living for many years in Latin America and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides and works in East Asia and Africa. He can be reached through his website or his Twitter.

first published here: http://www.mediachannel.org/shameful-cowardly-european-art/

March 21, 2014

mngxitama on why so-called “whites” must vote for the eff

Filed under: politics — ABRAXAS @ 6:09 am


first published here: http://mg.co.za/article/2014-03-20-soapbox-why-whites-must-vote-for-the-eff

March 19, 2014

nkhathle dikobo on mandela

Filed under: politics — ABRAXAS @ 2:58 pm

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March 16, 2014

hangberg locals vent spleen on helen zille

Filed under: 2010 - The Uprising of Hangberg,politics — ABRAXAS @ 11:22 pm

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first published here: http://www.timeslive.co.za/thetimes/2014/03/14/locals-vent-spleen-on-zille

mngxitama on maolema

Filed under: andile mngxitama,politics — ABRAXAS @ 10:45 pm


first published here: http://mg.co.za/article/2014-03-13-soap-box-how-malema-became-maolema

March 6, 2014

where the crimeria was defined, or; the scene of the crime

Filed under: Ahmedabad,art,politics,unga dada — ABRAXAS @ 10:14 am


War as Righteous Rape and Purification (chapter 6 of lloyd demause’s the emotional life of nations)

Filed under: politics — ABRAXAS @ 12:23 am

“War! It meant a purification, a liberation
…and an extraordinary sense of hope”
-Thomas Mann

Happy people don’t start wars. They don’t need “purifying” or “liberation,” and their everyday lives are already full of hope and meaning, so they don’t need a war to save them from anything.

What sort of strange emotional disorder is it that war cleanses, liberates and saves people from? And how can killing, raping and torturing people be acts that purify and restore hope in life? Obviously war is a serious psychopathological condition, a recurring human behavior pattern whose motives and causes have yet to be examined on any but the most superficial levels of analysis.

All standard theories of war deny that it is an emotional disorder at all.1 War, unlike individual violence, is usually seen solely as a response to events outside the individual. Nations that start wars are not considered emotionally disturbed–they are either considered as rational or they are “evil,” a religious category. Although homicide and suicide are now studied as clinical disorders,2 war, unfortunately, is not.

Most historians of war have given up in advance any attempt to understand its causes, claiming “it is simply not the historian’s business to give explanations.”3 Genocide, in particular, appears outside the universe of research into motivations, since if one tries to understand Holocaust perpetrators, one is said to “give up one’s right to blame them.” At best, historians avoid the psychodynamics of the perpetrators of wars entirely, saying, “Leave motivation to the psychologists.”4

The standard explanations given for war by political scientists and anthropologists equally avoid clinical understanding. Instead, they break down war causes into three general categories:

1.Instincts and Other Tautologies: The most popular cause of war is that it is a result of a human instinct for destruction. From Clausewitz’s “instinctive hostility”5 and Freud’s “instinct for hatred and aggression”6 down to biologists’ statements that war is “macho male sexual selection” that “accelerates cultural evolution,”7 none of them notice that simply assuming an instinct for war without any neurobiological, genetic evidence at all is wholly tautological, saying no more than “the group’s desire for war is caused by the individual’s desire for war.” Since tribes and states spend more of their time at peace than at war, one must also then posit an “instinct for peace,” which, through group cooperation, should favor survival even more. One can proliferate tautological instincts at will, but only evidence counts. Unfortunately, all tests for the heritability for violence have failed completely.8 The best study of instinct theories concludes: “Human warfare, and indeed killing, are too rare to be the product of a drive that needs to be satisfied. There is no drive or instinct that builds up, gives rise to aggression, is satiated upon release, and then builds up again…Furthermore, humans also have a genetic inheritance shared with fellow primates for peacemaking, and that propensity must also be factored into the equation.”9

Tautological explanations proliferate in the field of war studies. Historians are particularly prone to claiming that the reason a lot of people do something is because they all are just following each other, a perfect tautology. War is often said, for instance, to be caused by “ideology” or by “the culture of militarism” of this or that state10 or by “a marked tendency for the military to prepare offensive military plans.”11 But saying war is caused by an arms race is about as meaningful as saying homicide is caused by someone buying a gun. What one expects when asking for the motivation for homicide is not how the perpetrator got the weapon but the internal development of his psyche plus the events leading up to the violent act. Besides, empirically most states start wars without an arms buildup. Germany in 1913-1914, for instance, spent less on her military than France and Russia,12 yet began WWI because she felt insecure with a smaller army than other countries and felt paranoid about being attacked.

Yet another common tautological reason for wars is that they are “preventive.” Bismarck put that reason in its place when he was urged to start a preventive war by saying it was “as irrational as committing suicide because one was afraid to die.”13 America even today continues to have a “first strike nuclear deterrence” preventive war policy that is based on the causing of 600 million deaths as “acceptable.”14 Just as meaningless are all the theories of war being caused by “lack of collective security,” or “the anarchic nature of the state system” or similar systems theories. The lack of instruments to prevent wars is a symptom not a cause; presumably if one could discover the underlying causes of war and reduce their power, states would then set up international systems of settling differences and of providing collective security. As Holsti puts it, “To argue that we have war because of systems structures is analogous to an argument that we have automobile accidents because we have highways.”15 One must not reify groups; only individuals have motives.

2. Greed as a Motive for War: War is usually claimed to be purely plunder by social scientists: “War is defined as stealing en masse what other men own.”16 Yet we would never accept greed as a real motive from a man who murders his family after taking out life insurance on them, nor would we accept the excuse of greed from a man who raped and murdered women and then took some of their jewelry. Even thieves turn out to have deeper motives than greed. As James Gilligan, a prison psychiatrist who has spent his life analyzing the lives of criminals, puts it, “Some people think armed robbers commit their crimes in order to get money. But when you sit down and talk with people who repeatedly commit such crimes, what you hear is, ‘I never got so much respect before in my life as I did when I first pointed a gun at somebody.’”17

That anyone should imagine that hundreds of millions of people can enthusiastically engage in mutual mass butchery over minor pieces of territory is so patently ludicrous that it is a wonder anyone could ever have taken it seriously; yet this what historians and political scientists still ask us to believe. The entire “rational decisions” school of war theorists, all of whom claim utility as the ultimate motive for war, run up against the extensive empirical research done on hundreds of wars in recent years that consistently shows that wars are destructive not rational, that wars cost even winners more than they gain, that those who begin wars usually lose them and that leaders who go to war historically never actually calculate before they do so whether the gains will exceed the costs.18 Zinnes summarizes the results of all this testing of war as a rational activity motivated by materialistic gain as follows: “After thirty years of empirical research, in which we have devoted an enormous amount of time to collecting, measuring and summarizing observations about nation-state behavior, we cannot find any patterns” that show any relationship at all between war frequency and economics, population density or any other material condition of states.19 Otterbein even shows that cross-culturally there is “no influence on war of economic or ecological factors;” even tribal warfare destroys far more than it gains, and tribes rarely even pretend they are going to war to gain territory.20 Rummel concurs, finding from his huge historical database that a country’s propensity to go to war is unrelated to its economic development, its technological abilities or even its military capabilities.21

The costs of wars have repeatedly been demonstrated to be far in excess of any gains that could be hoped for.22 In Vietnam, it cost America hundreds of thousands of dollars to kill each enemy soldier; the world even today spends trillions of dollars a year to fight wars and maintain military forces, far in excess of anything that could be gained by war. In fact, wars are so self-destructive that when a nation goes to war the people must at some level realize that they are engaging on a truly suicidal venture. Often, a careful examination of the actual historical decision process reveals explicitly suicidal imagery. As just one example from many, when Tojo called together the Japanese leadership to decide whether or not to attack Pearl Harbor, he went around the table and asked each minister to tell what he thought would happen if they attacked the U.S. Each one forecast decisive defeat. It was so obvious that an attack would be suicidal for Japan that Tojo ended up saying, “There are times when we must have the courage to do extraordinary things–like jumping, with eyes closed, off the veranda of the Kiyomizu Temple.”23 The Kiyomizu Temple was well known to all present as the place in Kyoto where people committed suicide.

3. Stress Theories of War: Even those theories of war that allow that it is wholly irrational end up blaming economic stress as the cause of the irrationality. “Hard times make people feel threatened and frustrated,” so they go to war from the emotional stress of economic downturns. Most leaders who try to promote peace cite the stress theory: “By eliminating the economic dissatisfaction that breeds war we might have a chance for lasting peace” (Sumner Hull) or “Freedom from fear is eternally linked with freedom from want” (Franklin Roosevelt).24 Marxist theorists in particular believe wars break out because of capitalist economic downturns. In particular, most theorists believe WWII was caused by stresses of the economic Depression.

The problem with these stress theories is that empirically wars usually occur during economic upswings, not during depressions. Wars not only occur far more frequently after prosperous periods, but are longer and bigger after prosperity, “six to twenty times bigger as indicated by battle fatalities.”25 Macfie finds “the outbreak of wars has avoided years of heaviest unemployment…excessive expansions are required to germinate the seeds of war.”26 In Europe since 1815, no great-power wars have been started during a depression.27 WWI broke out after 40 years of growth of real incomes for workers (80 percent higher for Germans),28 and even WWII broke out several years after Germany had regained and surpassed pre-Depression levels of production–the supposed cause, economic distress, having disappeared by 1939. Wars are in fact prosperity-reducing rituals. They are responses to what we have earlier termed growth panic–responses to progress and prosperity, not to depletion. What is depleted when nations decide to go to war is their emotional not their economic resources.

By examining only the sociogenic and not the psychogenic sources of war, major theorists to date have been disappointed by the total lack of results of their research. David Singer concludes that the study of war has failed to “achieve any significant theoretical breakthrough” and is saddened by the fact that no one has found any “compelling explanation” for war.29 Bruce Bueno de Mesquita admits that “we know little more about the general sources of international conflict today than was known to Thucydides…[perhaps] scientific explanations of such conflicts are not possible.”30 Such extreme pessimism is understandable. Clausewitz’s dicta that war is an extension of political policy has been fully discredited, and all the usual reasons for wars –for territory, for revenge, to obtain sacrificial prisoners, to obtain coups, as God’s will, to stop dominoes from falling–turn out to be only rationalizations.31 But the failure to find valid motives for wars only applies to sociogenic theories, ones that carefully avoid the psychological model of human violence that has proved so fruitful in the study of the causes of homicide and suicide. We will first turn to the results of the recent clinical studies of individual violence before we propose our psychogenic theory of war.

Because those societies which have the harshest child-rearing practices have been shown to produce low-esteem adults who have the highest incidence of murder, suicide and war,32 the study of human violence can most fruitfully begin with examining the findings of clinicians who have closely interviewed murderers and determined their motives.

Most of what we usually believe about interpersonal violence is unconfirmed by statistics. Homicide is not regularly higher in big cities; cross-cultural studies find there is “no significant associations between community size and homicide or assault.”33 Nor do men assault their spouses more often than women do; studies in various countries show “wives hit their husbands at least as often as husbands hit their wives,”34 although men do more damage with their assaults.35 When war is counted as violence, men constitute at least 75 percent of the victims of lethal physical violence in the United States, and die from two to five times as often from personal violence as women do world-wide.36 Mothers are not more often gentle while fathers mainly do the hitting of children; in fact, American mothers today abuse their children nearly twice as much as fathers.37

Both statistically and clinically, researchers have found violent adults have only one thing in common: poor childrearing.38 Studies of homicidal youths, for instance, found 90 percent could be documented as coming from severely emotional, physical or sexually abusive families.39 James Gilligan summarizes his decades of interviewing murderers:

In the course of my work with the most violent men in maximum-security settings, not a day goes by that I do not hear reports–often confirmed by independent sources–of how these men were victimized during childhood. Physical violence, neglect, abandonment, rejection, sexual exploitation and violation occurred on a scale so extreme, so bizarre, and so frequent that one cannot fail to see that the men who occupy the extreme end of the continuum of violent behavior in adulthood occupied an extreme end of the continuum of violent child abuse earlier in life….As children, these men were shot, axed, scalded, beaten, strangled, tortured, drugged, starved, suffocated, set on fire, thrown out of windows, raped, or prostituted by mothers who were their “pimps”…

The cause of adult violence, says Gilligan, is a “collapse of self-esteem” triggered by an incident in which the murderer imagines himself or herself to be humiliated and shamed, resorting in what he calls a “logic of shame, a form of magical thinking that says, ‘If I kill this person in this way, I will kill shame–I will be able to protect myself from being exposed and vulnerable to and potentially overwhelmed by the feeling of shame.’”41 Gilligan points out that shame is at the root of mass violence too, pointing out that “Hitler came to power on the campaign promise to undo ‘the shame of Versailles’–and clearly that promise, and the sensitivity to shame from which it derived its power, struck a responsive chord in the German people as a whole.”42 Though criminologists report that in homicides “the most common altercation was of relatively trivial origin: insult, curse, jostling, etc.,”43 these shaming events turn childhood traumas into current rage, what Katz terms “righteously enraged slaughter,”44 producing a “tremendous rush [that is] almost orgasmic” for the murderer45 as they avenge all their past hurts and humiliations. “All violence,” says Gilligan, “is an attempt to achieve justice.”46 As we shall shortly see, this includes mass violence as well, which also involves imagining one achieves justice through violent, righteous vengeance for earlier wrongs.

People start wars when something changes in their brains, neurotransmitters, hormones and cellular neuropeptide systems.47 This “something” is the result of a developmental process that begins before birth and is turned into a capacity for violence during childhood. Contrary to the views of Freud and Piaget, children are actually quite empathic toward others from birth if treated well. Neonates cry in response to the crying of another baby; “even 6-month-olds…responded to distressed peers with actions such as leaning toward, gesturing toward, touching or otherwise contacting the peer.”48 Babies who are treated well can be quite generous with their love, gently touching and patting other babies and even their mothers when they notice they look sad.

But the majority of children throughout history–particularly boys, who are physically and emotionally abused more than girls–feel so helpless and afraid that they grow up in what has been called a “culture of cruelty,”49 where they graduated from violent families to form gangs and try to dominate and hurt each other in order to be perpetrators rather than victims, thereby preparing themselves for cooperating in the violence of war. In one study, for instance, Lewis and Pincus report “a significantly greater proportion of very violent children demonstrated…paranoid symptomology [and] believed that someone was going to hurt them…constantly feeling the need to carry weapons such as guns and metal pipes for their own protection…”50 The more violent children, Lewis reports, “had been physically abused by mothers, fathers, stepparents, other relatives and ‘friends’ of the family. The degree of abuse to which they were subjected was often extraordinary. One parent broke her son’s legs with a broom; another broke his fingers and his sister’s arm; another chained and burned his son; and yet another threw his son downstairs…Several children witnessed their fathers, stepfathers, or mothers’ boyfriends slash their mothers with knives. They saw their siblings tortured with cigarette butts, chained to beds, and thrown into walls.”51 Severe neglect and emotional abuse have been shown to be equivalent to and often worse than physical abuse in producing lasting traumatic effects upon children.52

The neurobiological affects of trauma upon children have been extensively studied. As we have discussed earlier, serotonin levels are reduced by trauma, and are found in reduced levels in adult antisocial personalities, because the lower level of their inhibiting ability allows less control over impulsivity and therefore higher rates of violence.53 External stress also increases corticosterone production, decreasing the effectiveness of the hippocampal system which evaluates the emotional meaning of incoming stimuli.54 Psychopathic personalities have been found to be “actually slower to respond emotionally than the rest of us…Even when they’re just sitting around, antisocial individuals are more low-key than the average person” because their noradrenergic behavioral inhibition systems were crippled due to excessive early neglect, traumas and over control by caretakers.55 Very early maternal neglect in particular produces an undersized orbitofrontal cortex–the brain region behind the eyes that allows one to reflect on one’s emotions and to empathize with the feelings of others–resulting in such a diminished self and such a low capacity for empathy that the baby grows up literally unable to feel guilt about hurting others.56 Thus swaddled babies abandoned to cribs in dark rooms–as most children were in history–who totally miss the mother’s gaze and loving interaction in their early years are programmed for later impulse disorders, psychopathic personalities and the need for killing in war, simply because they never have developed what today we consider “normal-sized” orbitofrontal cortexes through sustained eye contact and mutual play with the mother. As Shore puts it:

The orbitofrontal cortex functionally mediates the capacity to empathize with the feelings of others and to reflect on internal emotional states, one’s own and others’….The socioaffective stimulation produced by the mother’s face facilitates the experience-dependent growth…children deprived of early visual sensory stimulation…frequently show impairments in representational and affective functions that are responsible for severe emotional problems.57

Lesions of the orbitofrontal cortex produce unregulated aggression and dramatic mood state alterations in both humans and other animals because “unmodulated rage represents a hyperactivation of the…dopaminergic system [and] impulsive acting out episodes ]of] narcissistic rage.”58 Children neglected and abused in early months “manifest pathological self-importance, or narcissism, displayed as…grandiosity, recklessness…insecurity and emotional shallowness [plus] the inability to feel ordinary human empathy and affection for others and the perpetrating of repeated antisocial acts.”59 Thus the slow evolution of childrearing results in a slow historical increase in size in the average orbitofrontal cortex and more balanced serotonin, dopamine and other hormonal levels, resulting in a steady reduction of grandiosity, paranoia and uncontrolled rage and a diminishing historical rates of infanticide, homicide, suicide and war deaths.

One of the most important findings of Athens from his lifetime of interviewing of violent criminals is that before they kill they consult “phantom communities” who approve of their violent acts as revenges for past humiliations.60 These phantom communities are, of course, identical to the “social alters” I have discussed previously, where dissociated violent selves and internalized harmful caretakers are kept and engaged in dialogues that influence our deepest emotions and approve of our most violent behavior. Athens determined that violence didn’t just follow trauma; it required a further “belligerency stage of violentization” during which the brutalized subject resolves in consultation with his inner phantoms, his alters, that he or she has had enough, that violence is sometimes necessary if one isn’t to remain a victim one’s whole life and that he or she will now use physical violence for those who unduly provoke or humiliate him or her. These alters are often actual inner voices telling the criminal what to do, so that

their decisions to act violently followed from a dialogue with their phantom communities–the “voices” were their phantom companions coming in exceptionally loud and clear….Lews…corroborated Athens’s finding that the self incorporates phantom companions when she examined Arthur Shawcross, the Rochester, New York, so-called serial killer who murdered prostitutes. “Arthur Shawcross also experienced dissociative states,” Lewis reports. “At these times he would hear his mother in his head, berating him and the women he was seeing. No one was good enough for Arty. They should die.”61

These dissociated social alters, it turns out, are concentrated in only one side of the brain, in one hemisphere, a different one in each of us. Frederic Schiffer explains how his studies of dual-brain psychology led him to ask his psychiatric patients to look through special glasses, one pair of which had only the left side of the left eye uncovered (reaching only the right hemisphere), the other only the right side of the right eye (reaching only the left hemisphere), so that the patient would transmit information only to one half of the brain at a time.62 He found that one hemisphere looked at the world with extreme anxiety and the other saw things more maturely:

One patient, a Vietnam veteran, whom I had diagnosed with a severe posttraumatic stress disorder, looked out of one side and developed an expression of intense apprehension as he looked at a large plant in my office. “It looks like the jungle,” he said with some alarm. I asked him to look out the other side, and he said, “No, it’s a nice-looking plant.”

Schiffer finds he can help patients by having them analyze the emotional attitudes of the traumatized hemisphere, since “the troubled side is often like a traumatized person who hasn’t been able to move beyond the trauma, even when removed from it, because he continues to expect retraumatization.”63 Schiffer and others have done extensive work on dual-brain psychology, including putting one hemisphere to sleep with sodium amytal and finding the patient well-adjusted and pleasant, while putting the other side to sleep made him belligerent.64 He also showed that children who were admitted to hospitals after abuse more often showed abnormalities in brain waves of their left hemisphere and that PTSD patients felt more distress in their left hemispheres. Schiffer concludes:

Traumatic memories are likely closely related to a lower brain center called the amygdala…in each hemisphere which is inhibited by a high-level cortical center, the orbital frontal lobe in that same hemisphere….Both the orbital frontal cortex and the hippocampus tend to try to calm the amygdala…We have too little information to do more than speculate about why the left brain may be more involved in the traumatic experiences of abused patients….Patients who have strong reactions to the glasses apparently have two distinct parts of their mind–one that sees the world as threatening and one that sees it as much less so….frequently I have asked a troubled part of a person to stop attacking the other part of him, and suddenly the person feels remarkable relief.65

These alters which still live in the past, seeing the world as threatening and abusive, constitute, as Schiffer says, two separate minds, one frightened and angry, the other denying the concerns of its partner. When the more grown-up hemisphere moves into new freedom and new behavior, the traumatized hemisphere reexperiences the fear and helplessness it stores from early childhood and produces the “growth panic” I have found lies at the root of war and other violence. This struggle between the hemispheres is not always unconscious; more often it is simply dissociated, with one hemisphere being unaware of the feelings with which the other hemisphere is filled. When Rudolph Höss, SS Kommandant at Auschwitz, says, “I have never personally mistreated a prisoner, or even killed one. I have also never tolerated mistreatment on the part of my subordinates,”66 he is not being disingenuous. The nontraumatized half of his brain sincerely believes he and his subordinates never mistreated a Jew as they were beating and torturing and murdering them by the hundreds of thousands. His social alter in his traumatized hemisphere was fully in control and cut off all meaning of what he was doing, which to his non-traumatized hemisphere appeared as normal. He had two brains which he was forced to keep separate; as he put it, “Many a night as I stood out there on the railroad platforms, at the gas chambers, or at the burnings, I was forced to think of my wife and children without connecting them to what was taking place.”67

This dissociation into traumatized alters occurs more in groups because one feels more helpless and more depersonalized in large groups,68 particularly in the largest groups, nations, and therefore more fearful. When we think of acting in society or even of what it is like to speak in front of a large group, one feels more open to attack, to humiliation, and one can more easily switch into the traumatized hemisphere. Our first line of defense when in a social trance is to cling to a “strong” leader or a “strong” subgroup, merge our alters with them and join in various group activities, often violent ones, to defend ourselves. Thus it makes sense that Freud, Le Bon and others define the inevitable characteristics of a group as invincibility, grandiosity, irresponsibility, impulsiveness, suggestibility and fearfulness,69 all qualities of the neglectful and traumatic figures stored in our social alters. Without the laterality of the brain, neither politics nor religion can exist, as they do not in other animals who do not have divided selves. (In fact, the only other animals who do sometimes go to war and murder each other senselessly are chimps and dolphins, both of which are large-brained, lateralized creatures with the beginnings of the ability for self-recognition.) It is only because humans have radically lateralized hemispheres with larger impulse inhibitors–orbitalfrontal cortexes and hippocampuses–that they are able to go to war with one hemisphere and build Leagues of Nations with the other.

The lower the childrearing mode, the more divided are the hemispheres. New Guinea natives can be warm and friendly while in their more mature hemisphere and suddenly switch into thier social alters in the other hemisphere and kill you because they think you are bewitching them. The lower the childrearing mode, the more traumatic the early experiences, and the more divided the hemispheres. In tribal societies, switching into warrior alters is a simple process: “The man or boy leaves his former self behind and becomes something entirely different, perhaps even taking a new name…the change usually accomplished through ritual drumming, dancing, fasting and sexual abstinence…into a new, warriorlike mode of being, denoted by special body paint, masks and headdresses.”70 In modern societies, with a wide range of childrearing modes, “only 2 per cent of recruits kill easily, so the rest must be brought to do so by careful military training” featuring new traumatic experiences.71

The split mind begins to form with early trauma, even perinatally. Fredrick Leboyer, author of Birth Without Violence,72 once told me that babies born with his non-traumatic techniques not only were far more calm and happy after birth but “less one-handed,” less brain-lateralized. The two halves of the brain are even sometimes recognized in political imagery. Hitler, for instance, often spoke of a strange “kinship” between the Aryan and Jew (the two sides of his brain): “Has it not struck you how the Jew is the exact opposite of the German in every single respect, and yet is as closely akin to him as a blood brother? …so closely allied and yet so utterly dissimilar.”73 This split mind is responsible for what is termed “the banality of evil;” one side is banal (Winnicott’s “False Self”), the other side evil (the “Bad Boy” alter). It accounts for how nations can joyfully choose violent leaders to take them to suicidal wars, and yet one part of their mind can be wholly unaware of what is happening. For example, the following is William L. Shirer’s description of sitting in the Berlin Sportpalast watching Hitler shouting and shrieking that “he will go to war this Saturday. Curious audience, the fifteen thousand party Bonzen packed into the hall. They applauded his words with the usual enthusiasm. Yet there was no war fever. The crowd was good-natured, as if it didn’t realize what his words meant.”74 The dual brain also explains how “ordinary Germans”–extremely traumatized by “ordinary German childrearing” around 1900–could have, during the Holocaust, “humiliated, beat and tortured defenseless people and then shot them in the back of the neck without the slightest hesitation [and then dissociate and] pose before their living or dead victims, laughing into the camera {and] write home that these snapshots and extermination anecdotes would someday be ‘extremely interesting to our children.’”75

The primary sources of violent political behaviors are the concrete mother-child interactions of one generation earlier–how mainly the mother responded to, cared for and conveyed her feelings and fears to her fetus, infant and young child. We have already described in Chapter 3 how going to war is preceded by flashbacks to intrauterine, perinatal traumas and group-fantasies of the need for national rebirth. Here we will begin to examine the sources of human violence in early mother-child interactions.

Videotape recordings of children’s relationships with their mothers in the preverbal period “have been shown to remain essentially the same over time and to be duplicated with other ‘substitute’ mother figures. A child who has a warm, affectionate relationship with the mother will relate to others in a warm, affectionate manner, whereas a child with a guarded, distant relationship will relate to others in a guarded, distant manner.”76 This maternal relationship is eventually restaged in international relations in a concrete manner, being acted out in “the sandbox of history” with nations playing the emotional roles of the mothers and children from early life.

Mothers in history who because of their own life experiences see their children as harmful and aggressive have historically mainly treated them in ways that have made them grow up as violent adults, by routinely inflicting upon them murder, abandonment, neglect, binding, enemas, domination, beatings, sexual assaults and emotional abuses77 that are later restaged in wars and political behavior. Necessity was not the main source of these cruelties toward children–wealthy parents were historically even more overtly rejecting, giving their children to others at birth for years for what they expected would be abusive caretaking. Fathers have until recently usually only worsened this early traumatic upbringing, since historically the father has almost always been mostly absent from the child’s early life –most fathers in history spending their days in the fields or factories and their nights in the taverns (see Chapter 7). When home, fathers have lent little support to mothers in caretaking and emotional nurturance, requiring that his wife “mother” him rather than his children.

Growing up, Mahler found, is built upon basic maternal care, since “differentiation is from the mother, not from the father.”78 Therefore, women not men have until recently for better or worse been the main sources of care, neglect and abuse throughout history. As St. Augustine put it, “Give me other mothers and I will give you another world.” His words have been confirmed by recent clinical studies. What Erikson said about girls has been found to be true of all children: “By the time a girl developmentally turns to the father, she has normally learned the nature of an object relationship once and for all from her mother.”79 In short, mothers are major actors in childhood history–they are perpetrators80 and not just victims, as the theory of patriarchy holds.

Most of the extremely abusive historical childrearing practices which are detailed in the next three chapters of this book are routine reactions to the child’s daily needs and growth process, wherein immature mothers expect their children to give them the love they missed as a child and therefore experience the child’s independence as rejection. As one battering mother said, “I have never felt really loved all my life. When the baby was born, I thought he would love me, but when he cried all the time, it meant he didn’t love me, so I hit him.”81 Surveys show mothers in most cultures report initial feelings of “indifference” toward their newborn.82 In fact, childbirth often triggers post-partum depression and feelings of emptiness83 because it means the mother must give up her own hopes to receive the care she missed from her own mother.84 The moment the infant needs something or turns away from her to explore the world, it triggers her own memories of maternal rejection. When the infant cries, the immature mother hears her mother, her father, her siblings and her spouse screaming at her. She then “accuses the infant of being unaffectionate, unrewarding and selfish…as not interested in me.”85 All growth and individuation by the child is therefore experienced as rejection. This is why social progress, prosperity and new political freedoms are so anxiety-producing. “When the mother cannot tolerate the child’s being a separate person with her own personality and needs, and demands instead that the child mirror her, separation becomes heavily tinged with basic terror for the child.”86 Children first experience “growth panic” anxieties because their mother rejects, humiliates or punishes them for their needs and for their individuation. As adults, they then turn to paranoid and violent political behavior during periods of growth and individuation because society threatens to reproduce this intolerable early maternal rejection, shame or punishment. Because these maternal interactions are so early, they are primarily nonverbal, which means that politics has a dominantly nonverbal quality that can only be studied by research into illustrations rather than words–group-fantasies shown in cartoons, magazine covers and TV images. This is why I often watch the nightly news on TV with the sound off.87

It is likely that the centrality of mothers in bringing up children is even responsible for the fact that men are more violent than women and universally fight wars. Testosterone is not the cause, as is usually imagined, since (1) testosterone levels are actually lower in the most aggressive boys,88 and (2) “testosterone is present in boys and girls in roughly the same amounts before the age of ten” and (3) although “all normal boys experience a huge surge of testosterone in early adolescence, [they] do not all display increased aggression…[so] testosterone does not cause aggression.”89 Evidence is beginning to accumulate that it is differential treatment of boys, especially by mothers, that is responsible for their higher rates of violence in later life. Boys in every culture are physically punished more often and with greater severity than girls;90 boys are more often used sexually by their mothers in their early years than girls;91 boys are given less nurturance, are ignored more often, are spoken to less and are coached to be more violent than girls;92 boys are subject to over control by humiliation and shame more often than girls;93 and boys are more harshly disciplined for the same actions by parents and teachers.94 Mothers also see their boys as “just like his dad,” and take revenge against them for their husband’s actions–after all, Medea killed her sons, not her daughters, to hurt Jason for his infidelity.95 Thus although boys begin life with no more aggression than girls, they grow up to be more violent simply because they are less trusted and more feared by their earliest caretakers.

Although the battlegrounds may change, wars–whether between mother and child or between nations–are inevitably about the basic feelings of infancy: trust, security, approval, domination, envy, rage, threats, shame and independence.96 Since having a child revives in mothers long-dormant wishes for the closeness that they missed from their own mothers, mothers often envy the child each of the needs they are asked to satisfy, thinking, “I never got that; why should my child?” Even today psychologists find many mothers reject their infants in many ways because they “fear bodily damage due to the child’s aggressiveness.”97 But before the nineteenth century mothers throughout history were so immature that they thought their infants were so full of violence that they would “scratch their eyes out, tear their ears off, or break their legs” if they didn’t tie them up in endless bandages, “so as to resemble billets of wood…so the flesh was compressed almost to gangrene.”98 Therefore, through most of history, early mother-child interactions which most “good-enough mothers” today are capable of–centering around mutual gazing, babbling and smiling99 –were all missing, because mothers tightly bound their babies up at birth and stuck them in another room, severely neglected for their first year of their lives.100 International affairs has not throughout history been much negotiated in a secure and peaceful manner because infantile life was not very secure nor peaceful.

Sociologists and historians have avoided looking for the family sources of wars and social violence. Whenever a group produces murderers, the mother-child relationship must be abusive and neglectful. Yet this elementary truth has not even begun to be considered in historical research; just stating that poor mothering lies behind wars seems blasphemous. Instead, the grossest sort of idealizations of historical mothering proliferate. When, for instance, studies of the sources of the extreme violence of the Mafia turn to depictions of Sicilian mother-child relations they inevitably come to resemble the happy, loving families out of “The Godfather.” Yet it is only when an Italian psychoanalyst, Silvia di Lorenzo, writes a book on La Grande Madre Mafia that her descriptions of typical Sicilian mother-child interactions begin to give us an accurate picture of the maternal origins of Mafia violence:

If a boy of theirs commits a slight fault, they do not resort to simple blows, but they pursue him on a public street and bite him on the face, the ears, and the arms until they draw blood. In those moments even a beautiful woman is transformed in physiognomy, she becomes purplish-red, with blood-shot eyes, with gnashing teeth, and trembling convulsions, and only the hastening of others, who with difficulty tear away the victim, put an end to such savage scenes.101

Thus the conditions of early mothering have profound affects on adult human violence. It is not surprising that Ember and Ember found in their cross-cultural studies that where the mother sleeps closer to the baby than to the father and uses the baby as a substitute spouse–usually sexually–there is more homicide and war.102 Every childrearing practice in history is restaged in adult political behavior. Children whose mothers swaddled them and were “not there” emotionally could not as adults maintain object consistency and grew up paranoid, imagining “enemies” everywhere. Children whose mothers regularly did not feed them in a timely fashion experienced the world as malevolently withholding. Children whose mothers rejected them with depressive silence experienced peaceful international periods as threatening. Children whose mothers dominated them and who were engulfing often choose totalitarian political leaders. Children whose mothers were so needy they describe their children as “born selfish and demanding” and or who saw them as “angry since birth” experienced other nations as demanding too much or as angry “bad babies.” Children whose mothers used them as antidepressants chose manic, often violent leaders to counter their own depression. And mothers who ridiculed and humiliated their children whenever their activities didn’t coincide with her own were experienced in the international sphere as poison containers of intolerable ridicule and shame–as in “the shame of Versailles.” It is not surprising, then, that violent, authoritarian political behavior has been statistically correlated with rejecting, punitive parenting.103 As Godwin puts it, society is an “exopsychic structure” where adults restage the “parental purification system” of childhood by “cleansing bad, frustrating and abusive aspects of the parent-child relationship” in the political arena.104 In Chapter 3 I have dealt extensively with the evidence showing that war and social violence are preceded by rebirth group-fantasies of cleansing and purification of “sins.” It is only the elimination of the most abusive and neglectful historical parenting practices in some nations that have allowed them to set up trusting, non-violent rules of political interactions and have permitted them to achieve more or less cooperative democratic societies and to avoid fighting wars with other democracies. Obviously international peace will not prevail until most parents around the world trust rather than fear their children.

War, then, is the act of restaging early traumas for the purpose of maternal revenge and self purification. Wars are clinical emotional disorders, periodic shared psychotic episodes of delusional organized butchery intended–like homicide–to turn a severe “collapse of self esteem” into “a rage to achieve justice.” Wars are both homicidal and suicidal–every German in 1939 who cheered Hitler on as he promised to start an unwinnable world war against overwhelming opposing nations knew deep down they were committing suicide. Like all homicides and suicides, wars are reactions to our failed search for love, magical gestures designed to ensure love through projection into enemies, by “knocking the Terrifying Mommy off her pedestal” and by “killing the Bad Boy self.” As Kernberg puts its, violence occurs only when “the world seems to be split between those who side with the traumatizing object and those who support the patient’s wishes for a revengeful campaign against the traumatizing object.”105 Thus the early crisis in maternal love, which had been internalized during childhood in Terrifying Mommy and Bad Boy alters, is resolved by acting out on the historical stage the revenge against the Terrifying Mommy and by the wiping out of the Bad Boy self.

1. War as Righteous Rape–Revenge Against the Terrifying Mommy: Enemy nations in wars are often pictured as women (see Chapter 3), witches, even placental beasts. When they are seen as women, enemies are there to be pushed around, not eliminated, since even when raging against a bad mommy the hurt child knows he needs her desperately. This is why Hitler kept hoping to manipulate Mother England into being friendly. And it is why he didn’t destroy Paris when he marched into La Belle France. Nations to the west of Germany were mainly seen as mommies to be revenged against, to be “knocked off their pedestals” but not to be eliminated. “France…was not marked for subjugation but rather for a secondary role in the Nazi scheme [and] Hitler was always keen on reaching some settlement with the British…[therefore] the German army fighting in the west was given strict orders to conduct itself according to the rules of war.”106 The same group-fantasy of war as righteous rape was voiced by Germans in 1914, when they imagined that “only if we are able to hurt England badly will she really leave us unmolested, perhaps even become a ‘friend.’”107

2. War as Purification–Killing Off the Bad Boy Self: Enemy nations are also imagined as Bad Boys, disobedient, disgusting, violent, sexual–everything one was accused of as a child by one’s caretakers. If the Bad Boy self can be killed off entirely, “finally mommy will love me.” This is why Hitler vowed to wipe out the “bad” nations to the east and settle “good Germans” in their place. Poles, Russians, Jews, every nation east of Germany were projected with Bad Boy imagery: “Slavs were considered subhumans, to be either murdered…or starved to death.”108 Moscow, Hitler promised, would be leveled and turned into a reservoir, and Jews would be totally eliminated. In addition, WWII would be a suicidal mission for millions of Germans, thus killing off the “Bad Boy” part of themselves, the most vital, growing, independent self. Then the “good German” self that remained would be purified and would finally be loved by mommy, the Motherland.

keep reading this article here: http://www.psychohistory.com/htm/eln06_war.html

the seer of forbidden truth on war

Filed under: politics,seer of forbidden truth — ABRAXAS @ 12:06 am


What is war? According to the dictionary, the primary definition of war is: Strife (especially between countries) involving military or naval or air attacks. This definition is actually not too terribly incorrect, but there is one word in this definition that is totally out of place and blatantly invalid. Can you guess which word this is? The word is countries. Contrary to popular opinions of the brainwashed masses, wars are not battles or fights between countries, but rather battles and fights between individuals who just happen to be leaders of countries. This is not a minor distinction, it is an extremely important starting point on our journey into the depths of Forbidden Truth. Countries are led by individuals. These individuals, known as “leaders”, who carry titles such as president, prime minister, king, etc…, are almost universally mentally deranged and power-crazed, as well as sociopathically evil. The only way a person can attain a position of supreme leadership within a deranged and malevolent society, is for the person to be deranged and malevolent. This Truth is applicable to all types of political systems, democratic, communist, totalitarian, etc… I will be speaking more about this in my Political Systems essay, but the fact is that so-called “democracies”, assuming that they have been built and structured along genocidally immoral lines, such as america has been built, are even more certain to only empower mentally ill and evil people to be their supreme leaders, than is the case with a communist or totalitarian political system.

image copyright trevor brown

Wars are criminal acts of violence, undertaken not by “countries”, but by individual human beings who just happen to also be supreme leaders of either an official government, or a very popular cultural/ideological movement. Lets talk about weapons for a moment. A poor person likely only has a knife, that he can use as a weapon. A wealthier person may have a gun, that he can use as a weapon. The leader of a street gang or an organized crime organization, likely has an even more useful weapon at his disposal, namely, other human beings that he can employ to commit violence on his behalf, upon his command. Now, the supreme leader of a government has the most powerful weapon of all at his disposal. No, not nuclear or biological weapons, not fighter jets or cluster bombs, or the like. He has the entire body of citizen-slaves who live within his society, at his disposal, to use as weapons. Understand that human beings are the most powerful and useful weapon of all. Within the existing dynamic of war, citizens enlisted in the military are not “soldiers”. Soldiers is simply a word that has been created to cover-up the Truth. These citizens are in fact nothing more and nothing less than weapons. They are used as weapons, by the leaders of their society/government, leaders who are homicidally enraged, mentally deranged, and power-crazed, which are the reasons why and how they have sought and attained their supreme leadership positions within the society.


Leaders of societies choose to undertake wars, for either personal or political reasons. Usually for both personal and political reasons, but always for at least one of these two reasons. Personal reasons include homicidal rage, sadism, a need to overcome feelings of personal worthlessness and impotence, a desire for vengeance based upon the suppressed suffering and victimization that they, as individuals, have experienced in their pasts, mentally deranged ideological obsessions, brainwashed addictions to the god myth as well as to false perceptions of justice, and a personal obsession with attaining limitless power and control over as many human beings as they possibly can. Political reasons include a need to appease their citizen-slaves, to satiate the suppressed bloodlust of their citizen-slaves, to divert public attention from domestic problems and complaints, to terrorize their citizen-slaves into feeling as though they must support his existing regime in order to remain secure, or even to remain alive. All of these “reasons” are individual in nature, they represent the will of an individual, the leader of a government or of a major cultural/ideological movement. They are not governmental reasons. They are individual reasons, put forth by individuals who just happen to be the supreme leaders of societies/governments. You must understand this point: The soldier in a war is exactly the same as a gun, in a two-person shoot-out. In the two person shoot-out, the guns used are weapons. In a war, all soldiers are weapons. They are not human beings. They are slaves with no sentient will, being used as weapons by the insane and evil leaders of their societies.

image copyright trevor brown

When an individual person uses a gun to commit a crime, the gun is his weapon. The gun is not alive however, so it cannot suffer any consequences. When the leader of a government uses human beings to commit crimes, those human beings are his weapons. Those human beings are alive, they can and do suffer consequences, and therefore all governmental and ideological leaders who choose to engage in wars, are committing genocide upon their own citizens. The structure of all governments, is exactly the same as the structure of vicious street gangs and organized crime families, only on a much larger scale of malice. Governmental leaders are evil and insane, and they use their citizen-slaves as weapons, to try and cope with their own individual rage, hate, terror, obsessions, and personal need for vengeance through violence. This is a universal Truth, it is not subject to a case by case analysis. Every single leader of a society who chooses to engage in war, regardless of whether or not they claim to have been “attacked first”, or to “only be defending our nation”, is in reality undertaking an individual act of personal rage, simply by choosing to participate in the war. Very often in schools and workplaces, if there are two extremely enraged individuals, they will specifically seek each other out and engage in fights, because they subconsciously recognize that they can help each other to meet their own needs to express their rage and hate upon others, specifically, upon each other. This dynamic applies to national leaders as well. Leaders who are desperately eager to release their personal rage and hate, while maintaining the illusion of moral decency to both themselves and their citizen-slaves, will specifically seek each other out, and goad each other with repeated provocations, for the intentional purpose for attempting to justify declaring war, sometimes on a conscious level, other times on a subconscious level. Very often, a leader of a society will privately and literally fall to his knees in joy, either physically or psychologically, often in both ways, upon learning that another societal leader has declared war upon “his” nation. Why should such an occurrence invoke massive joy? Because it allows the homicidally enraged leader to “declare war” back, while maintaining the illusion of possessing the higher level of moral legitimacy, via a claim of “we are only defending ourselves and our way of life.” It’s like being given both moral and legal permission to mass murder a million human beings, literally the ultimate wet dream for a homicidally enraged human being. So, what we have are the most evil and mentally ill leaders attaining power within the most evil and diseased societies, then seeking each other out for the individual purpose of expressing their homicidal rage through war, within the illusion of moral legitimacy.

keep reading here

the manifesto of forbidden truth

March 4, 2014

warning shots

Filed under: politics,unga dada — ABRAXAS @ 2:36 pm

March 2, 2014

brown control to major tom can you put your helmet on, the shit’s about to hit the fan

Filed under: Andrew White,kagapoems,politics — ABRAXAS @ 12:38 pm

Screen shot 2014-03-02 at 12.32.49 PM

March 1, 2014

no peace o’rama

Filed under: kagapoems,politics — ABRAXAS @ 12:41 am

he got the nobel prize again
for doing nothing again
only better

February 26, 2014

Hlonipha Mokoena on ‘Zuluness on trial’

Filed under: politics — ABRAXAS @ 12:29 am

Hlonipha Mokoena (Columbia University) – Zuluness on Trial: Re-reading John W. Colenso’s
1874 Langalibalele and the Amahlubi Tribe: Being Remarks Upon the Official Record.
Speaking at the annual Cadbury Conference at University of Birmingham.
Recorded 18 May 2012.

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