THE POLITICS OP MALE 'IMPOTENCE'
the same wretched game. Neither is involved with the other, neither can attempt to concentrate on reaching inside and changing the other; both are too preoccupied with concealing — even from themselves — the fact that it is all a miserable, empty performance.
The child of sadism — the child of that sadistic embrace called "mother-love" — is an object to be petted, fed; and given a persona by the mother. The child is an object to be possessed by the mother, the mother who "alone" is supposed to know the "inner self" of the child. To the extent the child becomes social, learns to love to any degree, this is accomplished by the love of the father, varying to the extent that the father Is able to break through the sadistic possessive-ness of the sexually-impotent mother and communicate to the child a sense of love of the child's "inner self". Ironically, the child reflects its own impotence by believing the mother's lies about the father. The typically sadistic mother communicates to the child the sense that the father failed the mother in some way, that she could have had a better man, etc., and usually adds the lie that it is the father that is impotent — a lie because it is the mother in capitalist society who is by far the most pathetic spectacle of impotence. Clinical discussions in Europe this Summer concentrated on the various German and Italian patterns of male and female impotence (and the connection of this sexual impotence to political impotence.) The summation of the German case and then a description of the Italian suffices to Illustrate the point.
All Germany is a heaving mass of sexual impotence, a fact revealed by the predominance of pornographic literature as the "family magazines" sold in the food markets and elsewhere. (Pornography, that of Wilhelm Reich or Playboy, locates the real inner self in the fetishistic qualities of the "inner self" under the clothing I) Almost the entire young adult generation In Germany is obsessed by impotence of this sort. It is not accidental.
During the period from 1943- to 1948, the typical German father stumbled back from the Walpurgis Nacht of the Russian Front. Emaciated, demoralized, his mind filled with the grey horror of unending death. He came back to cities of rubble. There, grey-faced German women scurried and scuttled like rats amid the rubble, scratching like rata for bare subsistence. To the German father, .the cry of the child was the only human, living thing in all Germany. He was filled with