Sunday, September 1, 2013
More On The Necrophilous Personality
The ultimate necrophilous personality: Adolf Hitler. His "mama's boy" complex made him necrotic.
We continue now to explore more of what Erich Fromm called the "Necrophilous personality" to try to understand what makes it tick. We owe it to Harvey Hornstein in his book 'Cruelty & Kindness: A New Look At Altruism and Aggression' for elaborating the internal dynamics of this personality and also tying it inextricably to conservative and authoritarian tendencies. For example, noting on page 40 that "conservatives have much greater social responsibility to others of their own kind, than to those different from themselves."
This aspect of negative social exclusivity is also why you can immediately recognize the necrotic person by his putdowns of all those he considers inferior or weaker than himself. In most cases he will assert his type is invariably "stronger", "tougher", "more moral", more "law abiding", "more patriotic" than those "hippies", "libtards", "black apes", "homos", "c*nts", "ragheads", "gooks" etc. Look for the model necrotic in Adolf Hitler, who - when Operation Barbarossa began to falter (because the supply lines were over extended during the Russian winter), resorted to insulting the manhood of his generals, ordering them not to retreat under any circumstances. Hitler, as Hornstein noted, was actually a "muttersohnchen" ("mama's boy") though he postured a tough, authoritarian, no nonsense bravado. But he could afford to because it wasn't his life on the line, like those of the Wehrmacht troops starving while on the march in the Soviet Union.
But where does the hatred present in the present day necrotics' blogs and images come from? What sort of interior viper's nest hatches them? Hornstein cites (p. 41) Gordon Allport:
"Hate results from the mishandling of frustration and deprivation that have been allowed to disintegrate the very core of the ego. If this view is correct, the development of mature democratic personalities is largely a matter of building inner security. "
Note what he is getting at here: that there is in this person's life a certain amount of frustration (maybe he's waiting for S.S. disability or something - but hasn't received it) and considers this like a personal deprivation, limiting him maybe to a tight budget and food stamps - when he'd prefer not to go that route. This ongoing deprivation and frustration then triggers an inner rage manifested say in his putdowns and hate scribblings, but which really represents a disintegration of the ego.
In other words, his self-identity, who he thinks he is. In this light - when ego disintegrates- it's also interesting to see that past behaviors become undone and are no longer practiced, while more virulent ones are. Thus, for example, prior to the ego disintegration he may have been a more or less a religious person: quoting the Bible, invoking Jesus, God or whatever, but now no longer does so. Indeed, his sermonizing is now replaced by steady hate and more f-bombs and insults per paragraph than Dennis Leary could deliver in a one night monologue. Most unusual, he isn't aware himself of how his persona has toxically mutated - but on reading Hornstein and Fromm we understand that the "worm" was hidden in the core of the apple, rotting it from the inside, all along. Most of it stemming from an unresolved Oedipus complex.
Hornstein's profile of the necrotic personality (p. 41) is especially chilling:
"(These) intolerant, prejudiced, authoritarian people are ill at ease. The baggage of their youth is filled with inescapable hates and fears. Mistrusting their own impulses, they are wary of others and the impulses they might possess. Their world becomes a jungle which must be carefully scrutinized because it is filled with human beings who harbor the 'evil' that they painfully learned to deny in themselves."
He goes on to note that "socially inclusive people are different". For example, they are more likely to join the Peace Corps for the edification of their fellow man in a constructive social environment, than to join the military, say to learn the black arts of assassination, at Ft. Bragg, NC or the US Army's 'School of the Americas' (assassin) school in Ft. Benning, Georgia.
The hardened necrotics are also more likely to put down the socially inclusive persons as "fairies", "sissies", or some other masculine denigrating epithet when they - more than likely (from the psych profiles Hornstein notes) can't get it up, period, so have to use guns as penis substitutes. As comedian George Carlin once put it, in a 1992 appearance at NYC Beacon Theater: "What's a war anyway other than two nations trying to see who has the bigger dick, by firing dick-shaped objects at each other!"
Why are socially inclusive people more likely to join Peace Corps? Well, as Hornstein puts it (ibid.) they are: "more tolerant of differences, so bonds of WE are more prevalent than barriers of THEY." I mean think of it. The fact the PC volunteer is going to another country - much less developed and with people that likely look much different, including skin color- means one must fit this sort of tolerant profile in order to make it, whether in Barbados, the Phillippines or Africa. Hornstein solidifies this case by observing that:
"A steady stream of evidence has tied persoality traits associated with this behavior (tolerance- open to 'WE' bonds) and social orientation to selfless behavior."
On the other hand, a necrotic, who has to look over his shoulder every ten seconds because he distrusts everyone and isn't secure in his own person - is lost without his substitute penis Glock- would never make it. He'd wash out the first week, or first day. The socially exclusive necrotic is just too aggressive, ready to punch someone out at the slightest provocation, to be of use either in socially constructive volunteering (soup kitchens, Peace Corps, Teach for America, Homeless shelters) or fulfilling the duty of democratically mature citizens, and hence improving the country by making it a more tolerant place.
But this is where the "democratic maturity" of citizens noted by Allport comes in. If we have only necrophilous personalities then we will have immature and aggressive societies and nations. We will also have immature politicians and leaders more inclined to solve difficult problems by military response than mature state craft. We have to be prepared to pull more people into our orbits than the necrotics can get into theirs. Unless we prefer a nation replete with serial killers, war mongers and psychotics.