Sunday, February 12, 2017

One Hundred and Fourteen

All animals compete to survive. But they also co-operate

Even animals whose relationship is normally that of predator and prey co-operate when necessary. Only human animals are so conscious of their own weakness, and so fearful that others will take advantage of that weakness, that they will not co-operate, not even with others of their own kind, not even when it's necessary to survive. 

Other social animals submit to the leadership of the strongest member of their society because, in return for the privileges they grant him, the leader protects the other members of the society. Only human animals submit to the leadership of  the most antisocial member of their society because they regard indifference to others as a sign of strength. They need their leader, but he appears not to need them.

This leader is usually male. Most human societies are patriarchal, and divided into masters and slaves; a combination that's rare, if not unique, among social animals. Most animal societies are matriarchal; and although hierarchal, few are divided into masters and slaves. 

Men need women for the same reason masters need slaves: to do for them what they can't or won't do for themselves. Patriarchs pretend to despise women and slaves because admitting they need them would be an admission of weakness. But even men who've persuaded themselves that they despise women and slaves admit they have their uses. 

Every woman is potentially a mother. She can give a man children, particularly sons, which are the only immortality any man can reasonably hope for. By giving him children, she also validates a man’s membership in the patriarchy, the ruling class of fathers.

Possessing a woman also enables a man to become a boy again.

According to Freud, a boy gives up his mother reluctantly, because he fears that his father, to whom she rightfully belongs, will punish him if he doesn’t give her up. But it’s not only fear of his father that persuades a boy to give up his mother. 

He believes that if he accepts his father’s authority and imitates him, becoming a patriarch like him, he will obtain a woman of his own. That woman will be only a substitute for his father’s woman, but a substitute mother is better than no mother.

Boys grow bigger, but seldom wiser. Most merely learn to impersonate their fathers because they want a woman like his, a substitute mother who will enable them to be boys again. But their fear of their fathers causes them to seek virgin brides, girls who have never belonged to any man.

The more a boy, or a man, seeks the approval of his father, and of male authority figures in general, the more misogynist he becomes. Some prove their devotion to the patriarchs by giving women up completely, because it was competition for a woman that turned father and son against each other.

But they fear being too too submissive, because no father wants an effeminate son. It calls his own masculinity into question.

Freud didn't understand homosexuals any more than he understood women because he misread the myth on which he based his theory. Before Œdipus came Laius who, according to the myth, was the first homosexual. We pretend homosexuality is unmanly, but it defined Laius as a patriarch.

Most men, whether they're called heterosexual or homosexual, want to dominate other men for the same reason they want to dominate women - they fear being dominated by them - and it's easier to dominate others by seducing them, inducing them to surrender willingly.

Laius was a patriarch, but he was not a man. He was a frightened boy who saw his own son as his rival for the woman he saw not as a wife, but a substitute mother. He therefore tried to kill his son while Œdipus was still a baby; but he failed, ensuring that Œdipus would take his revenge when he became a man.

Neoteny, social and biological, defines our species. Most boys and girls never mature, never become men and women. They merely learn to impersonate adults, and live in constant fear that their fraud will be discovered. 

What most men, those we call heterosexual as well as those we call homosexual, desire most in another man is the same thing they desire most in a woman. Heterosexual men want virgins, girls who have never belonged to another man. Homosexual men also want virgins, boys who have never belonged to another man. A boy is not a patriarch, and will therefore love them as their father never did. That's why pædophilia has been the norm throughout human history. 

We outlaw pædophilia and pretend to find it abhorrent because, as Freud said, we most hate what we most desire. We hate the power that desire has to make us helpless fools. 

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