NCLC Internal Discussion
THE POLITICS OP MALE 'IMPOTENCE'
By L. Marcus
Aug. 16, 1973
During my recent trip to Europe. I took certain steps on the premise that our growing importance in the world would close borders to me very soon in the coming months. In consideration of this fact it was imperative that I create the germ of a selfsubsisting leadership in Europe. To that end, proceeding far beyond the scope of the mere prolegomena presented in "Beyond Psychoanalysis, I did such things as have not been seen undertaken in so brief a time in the history of psychology to date. The European Executive, despite a certain new-born rawness to its qualities, is the best leadership yet or heretofore existing in the world socialist movement.
They know such things about themselves and about nan as, most obviously,- most members of the NCLC do not. Throughout the organisation, there are scores of members here seized with fear and self-pity. Obviously, few of our members wish to remain in such a pathetic state, and yet they imagine themselves helpless to be other than the frightened, impotent individuals they now see themselves to be. The case is not hopeless; to the extent that my physical' powers do not prevent me, I am now confident and. capable of ending your political and sexual impotence; the two are interconnected aspects of the same problem.
The George brainwashing case should forewarn you to some degree. I, with the assistance of three other members who had gone part-way through my program, were able to begin freeing George from KGB brainwashing control within twenty-four hours of his exit from-the GDR. This is absolutely unprecedented in "psychological science", and thus partially, suitably reflects the quality of the principles and methods about to be generally applied to our organization and its mass work.
The new program will become evident to you by degrees. (It is unfortunate that X can not deal with each of you in small groups directly.) First, I am taking steps to eliminate the major personal inadequacies of the leadership here. During this period, I shall deliver a general report to the NYC membership, in which I shall include some feeling as well as sense of the oncoming project to the largest single unit of our membership. Secondly,I shall write an attack on the Puerto Rican Socialist Party, a single article which as you shall soon see, will utterly destroy that organization in both the U.S.A. and in the island. Thirdly, I shall collaborate with others in another public document exposing "Trotskyism" as the political philosophy of male impotence. In all these initial efforts, I shall be making clearer to you both what you have to do with yourselves to become effective organizers, and how this knowledge is to be used as a terrifying new political weapon ensuring our victory.
In all, I am going to make you organizers - by tasking your bedrooms away from you until you make the step to being effective organizers. What I shall do is to expose to you the cruel fact of your sexual impotence, male and female, in such terms that you can not deny this to yourselves. I shall show you that your pathetic impotence in your sexual life is a mere aspect of the same impotence you experience in political work such that you will know that you can not cure the one without solving the other. I will take away from you all hope that you can flee the terrors of politics to the safety of "personal life". I shall do this by showing to you that your frightened personal sexual life contains for you such terrors as the outside world could never offer you. I will thus destroy your rabbit-holes, mental as well as physical. I shall destroy your sense of safety in the place to which you ordinarily imagine you can flee. I shall not pull you back from fleeing, but rather destroy the place to which you would attempt to flee.
The principal source of impotence, both male and female, is the mother. In bourgeois society, the mother possesses the infant and child, usually against the intrusion of the father into the mother-child relationship. Typically, the child learns to hate .the mother because of her sadistic possessiveness, but is nonetheless dependent upon the quality of sadism called "mother-love." Thus, the child learns to associate infantile hatred with the name of love.
This is exemplified in the bedroom. There, the male attempts to conceal his infantile impotence by putting on what he pathetically imagines to be a convincing performance of male potency. The female is engaged in 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 death; his wife was death scuttling in rubble. The child, whose very existence was a tragic, unwanted burden in those awful years of hunger, was at the same time the only breath of life and hope in the country. The German father reached out his hands to the child, but dared not touch the child his hands were filled with death. It was such terrified, aborted love from the hands and eyes of brutalized German fathers that gave some of the present generation of young Germans the fragile hope of humanity upon which their present contribution to a new human race is premised.
Shall we then hate the German mothers? Or, shall we pity them? Shall we discover in them the desire to love their children, a desire aborted by female impotence? How is it possible to love such pathetic impotent parents? There is only one way: to make their having lived meaningful, by realizing the necessity embodied in their children's potential to create a new human race. The German youth who is not a revolutionary socialist not only destroys himself but also destroys the single, fragile hope of giving meaning i&a to the lives of his or har own parents. It is loving one's parents in that way, by using one's knowledge of their agony to drive one ruthlessly to create humanity, that is the real, human key, the only possible inner motivation to make such youth effective revolutionary leaders.
In Italy, the possessive sadistically "loving" mother causes the male to so fiercely doubt his male identity, creates such a terrifying fear of homosexuality, that he must maintain the most hysterical performance of outer "masculinity." In the Latin-American case, It is much the same: "Machismo" is nothing but the fear of homosexuality, of male impotence in the extreme. And, on the other side, the womans enslavement to her mother's impotence, combined with a secret hatred of her mother, results in the inevitable outbreak of homosexual forms of pathological "women's liberation."
What is the sickness inside so many of our members which causes them to awfully admire the image of the Black Ghetto mother? Can we imagine anything much more viciously sadistic than the Black ghetto mother? Can we feel, properly, anything but the deeplst human compassion for the impotence of the Black Ghetto male, can we properly desire any human thing more devoutly than to free that victim from the terrifying impotence he experiences in both his sexual and social life. What is it, then, to admire the brutalization of these young men and women by their sadistic mothers? What is the nature of the family relationship in which the self-sacrificing "mother" protects the young ones from the control or intervention of a father, in which the father is degraded to an object or contempt as the "mother" protects her young ones from the control or intervention of a father, in which the father is degraded to an object of contempt in the household, in which a father ia a mere stud? What is the effect of such bestial "mother love" upon the child?
Look inside yourselves. How many of you imagine that it is your father's failure to love you as a child which is your problem? If you believe that your father is the cause of your problem, then you are sexually impotent, you are capable only of infantile sexual relations, of mere objects bumping one another in the night.
This sexual impotence is of special significance because the close paired relationship is that which is most directly connected to the individual's sense of social identity the fact which makes sexual relationships of such importance. If you are sexually impotent -- as most of our members inevitably are -- then you are impotent as political organizers. If you are afraid to reveal yourself in a sexual relationship, afraid to reach inside and change, respond to the inner self of another, you are unable to do this in any aspect of life. Impotence generally is the social practice of responding to people as they are, to their prejudices, their rejections, etc. The fear many of our members experience is not really fear of the FBI, the CIA, etc., but is fear of psychological death, fear of discovering the fact of their own impotence, since to be impotent is to be a mere object for other objects and is to deny the existence of inner life within one's self. To admit one's own sexual impotence is to admit that one is dead; that unconscious belief is the real terror.
The concept on which my work concentrated in Europe this summer was the concept of the "organizing process". This will he reflected in the international draft resolution on the "Constantinople Theses," now being completed for publication. By showing our European members that their sexual impotence was essentially curable, I was able to demonstrate two related points. Firstly, the direct connection between sexual and political impotence, and the direct connection between the cure of the one and the other. Secondly, the direct connection of this to the actual contents of Hegel's , Feuerbach's , and Marx's "Theses on Feuerbach. Finally, the direct connection between this and the means by which we are to be assured of the successful seizure of world power within the decade.
Heretofore, these principles have succeeded because I embodied their understanding. The effect has been that the deployment of our organization reflected these principles usually despite the ignorance of such implications in the members, even leading members. To succeed, it is necessary that the organizations unique dependency upon me in this way be superseded, by the proliferation of a similar competency among leading strata, radiating downwards through the ranks into the membership and peripheries generally. This is the process now afoot among us. The time is approaching for each of you to break with your mother's love and become real human beings.
These same principles, employing clinical knowledge of the images in unconscious process, will be used generally, and increasingly in our propaganda and tactical work. By application of such clinical knowledge and techniques to mass work, we shall systematically evoke from our audiences precisely that sense of inner terror which must be evoked to absolutely compel them to become revolutionaries.
In technical language, this technique works as follows. In clinical work, one begins by establishing recognition of an image. This recognition works as follows: the identification of the image calls forth an experience of such an image from the unconscious processes. That is the beginning; now, the next, deeper image is to be similarly evoked. Proceeding in this way, one can reach almost any possible depth of unconscious processes in a direct and deliberate fashion provided that one has only the circumstances and the knowledge and skill to effect such a result. Henceforth, increasingly, all of our tactics and propaganda will be based on the employment of such principles. This has already begun in Europe; it will begin here with our psychological terror methods for completely destroying both the PSP and the "Trotskyist" groups with mere propaganda !
In general, I warn you of this fact. In respect of the mental processes, absolutely nothing is secret; there is merely blindness. What you may imagine to be only your private insight into yourself is accessible to empirical demonstration for general knowledge. Not only that, but such things within you as you nay for a brief remaining time, merely Imagine do not exist within you. Blindness will be ended; all the secrets will rapidly appear to become general public knowledge. In Germany, I am Der Abscheulicher; I shall soon be regarded similarly here.