Events and Seminars

Event:Paradise Lost? The Climate Crisis and the Human Condition
Duration:8.15pm - 9.45pm BST
Extra Info:The Political Mind Series:
Paradise Lost? The Climate Crisis and the Human Condition
Prof Paul Hoggett
Chaired by John Keene

The past ten years have witnessed a dramatic increase in the number of psychoanalytic publications, conferences and organizations with an activist orientation. A striking feature of this trend is the paucity of reflection and analysis devoted to addressing the motives that prompt people to take up activist causes or join social justice movements. This paper begins by contrasting Freud’s attitude toward activismwith those of Reich and Fromm, and describes five motives that prompt people to become activists, namely, 1) humanistic conscience, 2) superego guilt (authoritarian conscience), 3) ressentiment, 4) the desire to affiliate, belong, find meaning and direction (a “framework of orientation and devotion”) and 5) the desire to displace or counteract fears of global catastrophe. It then addresses several scenarios where more than one motive is in play and the conflicts or contradictions these may engender, especially when humanistic conscience is not the primary motive that drives the activist’s activity. Finally, it addresses the problem of authoritarianism in activist organizations and movements.
Organised By:Institute of Psychoanalysis
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