From a Psychiatric Perspective....
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
Sigmund Freud theorized that projection is one of the self-defense mechanisms man turns to especially in the face of a crisis. Some Freudian psychoanalysts explain: People, more or less, have the tendency to project their own thought or emotion to someone or something else to avoid facing up to the real problem. The Freudian self-protection theory fell short of clearly distinguishing a pathological projection from a "normal" one. But that doesn't really matter because anything produced by projection is more or less delusional.
Basically you can substitute the word externalization for projection in the Freudian sense. But in this "information age," what you project is, more often than not something you have received from someone else. This is especially true of those who process information on an ear-to-mouth, or eye-to-fingertip basis. So I think that it will be more precise and relevant today to reword Freud's projection as the refusal of internalization.
We are facing one serious problem that the Austrian psychiatrist did not know. He died in September 1939 in exile in London. In those days, there were no more than millions of pundits all over the world, I guess. But today, everyone is acting like a pundit. Aside from innumerable people who make their living by writing and speaking, hundreds of millions, or even billions, of self-styled pundits are discussing political, economic and cultural issues. I always ask myself: "They are as talkative as myself, but are they internalizing these issues before they talk about them?" Most of the time, I can tell they aren't.
That is evident from the way these know-it-all surface-scratchers are constantly relativizing values. They don't seem to have their own absolute values anymore. (By the adjective "absolute" I mean "internalized.") Islamic fundamentalists are no exception to this climate. In the absence of absolute values to uphold even at the cost of their own lives, these cowardly fanatics are constantly driving their children to martyrdom. Likewise, in more industrialized countries, professional and nonprofessional commentators alike, are passing around superfluous (i.e. non-value-adding) information about this value and that value under the guise of objectivity. Isn't this more than enough?
Up until yesterday, TokyoFreePress was running an online poll on the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan just to know your take on the 49-year-old treaty and hopefully boost your awareness about the disastrous situation it has brought about in Japan and the heavy toll it has started taking on America as well. No more than several people bothered to vote as I had expected. But in the meantime, someone alerted me to this website in response to the questionnaire.
It tells you that on February 2, a group of independent journalists filed a class action lawsuit with the Tokyo District Court. The plaintiffs complain that the Treaty was unlawful from the beginning because the signer, Nobusuke Kishi, then prime minister of Japan and former Class A war crimes "suspect," was a CIA agent according to Legacy of Ashes: The Story of the CIA (Penguin Books, 2007) authored by Tim Weiner, a Pulitzer Prize-wining NYT reporter, who in turn revealed the facts about Kishi's covert relationship with the agency based on recently declassified documents.
The first hearing was held on March 4 but it lasted only three minutes because the presiding judge did not want to inquire into the case seriously. Because of plaintiffs' insistence, he had to promise to resume the hearing on April 22 but he hinted he would close the case on that day anyhow.
I'm already halfway through Weiner's voluminous book. But by now I have realized, all anew, that I can't expect my fellow countrymen, let alone Americans, to internalize all the ugly things that have undermined both countries to the marrow. That is why I retracted the poll and dropped my plan to write a review piece on Legacy of Ashes. By the way there's nothing new in this book because we have known what all these bastards from the CIA, the LDP and the yakuza syndicates were up to despite media's hushup.
When the entire nation was in tumult in 1958 and 1959, I was a senior at Keio University looking for a decent job. One female student was crushed to death in a scuffle with the heavily-armed antiriot police, but by and large the protests did not go beyond Japan-particular symbolic acts of gebaruto (Japanese transliteration of the German word Gewalt.) Some of my close friends were arrested and injured by the cops. But I wasn't active that much in the streets in part because I was too busy in job hunting and in part because the main instigator of the anti-Treaty movement was the Soviet Union. (50 years later, still these people who filed the lawsuit are living in the Cold War era without noticing the "pacifist" Constitution was also a product of the conspiracy by the CIA.)
These campus activists transformed themselves into corporate warriors of Japan, Inc. as soon as the Tokyo round of the proxy war between the East and the West subsided. Not only that, some of them climbed the corporate ladder to the top. Seiji Tsutsumi, the de facto owner of the former Seibu Group, was just one of those converts.
Small wonder that its effects dragged on throughout my career in business. If there is something I find regretful about my 46-year career, it's these difficulties I always faced dealing with colleagues and bosses, who stubbornly resisted change. Every time I attempted to revolutionize the workplace, they ganged up against me to desperately defend dead values such as lifetime employment and pay-for-seniority system, which all came down to harmony advocated by Shotoku Taishi, a 8th century prince who promulgated the famous 17-Article Constitution. It seemed to me that they had been seriously disabled to think using their own brains. This is the most tragic consequence of the servility this nation has shown to America in the last half century.
Call me a Don Quixote, but at the same time, don't fail to call the likes of Allen Dulles stray dogs who have torn up the pea patch here to the extent that Japan has become a devastated land only inhabited by hordes of zombies.
This is not to say America should take the blame for all this. I've never dreamed of projecting Japan's problem to America. There are no perpetrators where there are no nations that volunteer to fall victim to them. Basically I think Dwight D. Eisenhower, the other signer of the Treaty, was right when he said, "Intelligence is a distasteful but vital necessity." But it's a different story if the current U.S. president is still poised to order the CIA to keep subverting other supposedly sovereign nations, with or without Clinton's "smart power." That way, his country is also destined for failure. Even internally, if Obama thinks he can manipulate people's hearts and minds like he has been doing since January, he will certainly sink under the water together with his own people.
Being a humble blogger who has been haunted by the Grim Reaper lately, all I can say when that happens is, "Who cares?" I can no longer internalize their headache and heartache on their behalf.
Tim Weiner warns: "No republic in history has lasted longer than three hundred years, and this nation may not long endure as a great power unless it finds the eyes to see things as they are in the world." (Emphasis mine.)
This is how I have internalized the issues with the corrupt relationship between the two allies.
THIS ARTICLE IS FOLLOWED UP BY When Projection Strategy Failed..... ·