22 February 2007

Suppressed drive turns into aggression

As I said recently, children are brought up in such a way that compliance with social demands, and identification with the rewards to be derived from membership of social groups, are seen as good, and any individual drive is bad, since it is likely to lead to social disapproval and punishment.

So the individual represses his individualistic drives and cravings, but this leads to anger and resentment, which is also regarded as bad, and he has to try to pretend he does not have such feelings. But he can sublimate or redirect them into a socially approvable form, by joining with society in its disapproval of those who express their drives in ways considered morally wrong.

E.g. people with high IQs who emerge from their state-funded education as demoralised criminals, and with no way of using their drives to succeed in life, are not angry at the oppressive education which has got them into this position, although they quarrelled with their teachers and committed acts of vandalism on school buildings. Instead they are angry at bank managers and property owners and their minds run on ways of asserting themselves by doing something really painful and damaging to such people, such as putting lighted papers through the letterboxes of those who annoy them in any way, in the hope of burning down their house.

Or they may become agents of the collective, such as teachers, doctors or social workers, and interfere in the lives of other people against their will.

Boys are more likely to suffer from repressed anger and resentment than are girls, who usually cotton on sooner to the possibility of using social position as an aid to oppressing other people, and reconcile themselves from an early age to seeing the restriction of the liberty of other people as the only form of self-assertion to be aimed at.