Alchemists of Human Nature - Psychological Utopianism in by Petteri Pietikainen

By Petteri Pietikainen

This is often the 1st book-length examine of Modernist utopias of the brain. Pietikainen examines the psychodynamic writings of Otto Gross, C G Jung, Wilhelm Reich and Erich Fromm. when they broke from Freud and orthodox psychoanalysis, Pietikainen argues, utopianism turned more and more very important to the elemental targets of all 4 thinkers. He indicates how Gross' "Matriarchal Communism", Jung's "Archetypal Cosmos", Reich's "Orgonomic Functionalism" and Fromm's "Socialist Humanism" have been makes an attempt to reshape social constructions and human kinfolk by means of conquering the subconscious. Pietikainen locations the 'utopian impulse' with the historic context of the big, violent socio-political narratives of the early 20th century. This cutting edge interdisciplinary booklet contributes to ongoing scholarly discussions concerning the historicity as opposed to the universality of human nature.

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Extra info for Alchemists of Human Nature - Psychological Utopianism in Gross, Jung, Reich and Fromm

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38 Zalkind’s descriptions of specific clinical cases in his pre-pedological phase illustrate the confluence of ideological and psychodynamic categories in the Soviet version of Marxist psychoanalysis. One medical protocol tells the story of a young woman who was a zealous member of the Russian Communist Party. During the Civil War, she had been captured near the front-line by a group of anti-Bolshevik Kazakhs, who had raped her. Now she suffered from mental disturbances, such as constant anguish, desperation, feelings of emptiness, nervous excitability, disturbed sleep, shivering, trembling and so forth.

During the 1930s, there were even some conciliatory articles on psychoanalysis in official publications, such as the entry on ‘Psychoanalysis’ in volume 47 of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia. 33 Pedology was an interdisciplinary science of the child, which was founded by the American psychologist G. Stanley Hall in the early twentieth century. Pedology and psychoanalysis shared an interest in childhood, and, in the Soviet Union, the founders of pedology had gone through training in psychoanalysis.

So he knew about psychoanalysis when the psychoanalytic movement in post-revolutionary Soviet Russia was established. Trotsky was a leader of a huge nation, but his ambition to transform Russians and the whole of humankind with the help of applied psychoanalysis was not at all peculiar to him; many leftist intellectuals, including sociologist Karl Mannheim and Freudo-Marxists such as Wilhelm Reich and Siegfried Bernfeld, toyed with the utopian idea of using psychoanalysis to change the mental structure of people.

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