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When the Projection Strategy Failed....

This is to follow up my previous post titled From a Psychiatric Perspective..... Here I just wanted to elaborate on my point that the projection strategy, which often leads you to a false objectivity, will not work to really solve any problem facing us today and what happens when it failed as it always should.

You can hardly name a war in history that was not ignited by Freudian projection. If you want to make sure that war is the unavoidable consequence of a futile attempt to externalize one's inner problem, TokyoFreePress recommends you read Occidentalism co-authored by Ian Buruma and Avishai Margalit. This is an extraordinarily intriguing book. If there is a flaw, it's the fact that Buruma and Margalit one-sidedly analyze the Occidentalist trait whereas Occidentalism is nothing more than a mirror reflection of Orientalism - and vice versa.

Sigmund Freud died in exile in London, weeks after the breakout of WWII and a little more than one year after the annexation of his home country by Hitler. The Fuehrer hated Freud not only because he was a Jew but also because his theory about projection directly pointed to Hitler's mental illness. No one has ever substantiated it, but many biographers have pointed out that Hitler's paternal grandfather was a Jew. No matter whether the dictator was 25% Jewish, it's for sure he projected his self-hatred to something else.

There's more to it. It's just the kind of joke Charlie Chaplin would have liked to say that the Austrian psychiatrist should have sat the dictator on his couch. Although Freud was unable to explain why the madman could mesmerize so many people so efficiently with the help of his Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels, the effectiveness of hypnotism hinges more on the suggestibility on the part of the general population than on the skills of the mesmerist. And one's inability to internalize things always underlies his susceptibility to a fanatic dogma.

With all this in mind, let's take a brief look at Japan's trail from the workout in its backyard countries such as China to the nuclear apocalypse at the end of the unwinnable war.

The Japanese had harbored strong animosity toward the Americans since Commodore Mathew Perry twisted shogun's arm to coerce him into signing the unequal treaty in the 1850s. This was an unbearable humiliation because it shattered all the myth about the bravery of samurai. (It's a shame that 150 years after the myth went into pieces, Hollywood producers and many other Americans still pretend to believe in it, if only to make the Japanese feel flattered.)

They had been so humiliated that they felt an urge to attribute (i.e. project) their Asiatic backwardness to someone else. That is why before taking on their real enemy in the West, they had to do some bullying to their ethnological kin in their backyard countries such as China. Only after they massacred the wong people in Nanjing and many other Chinese cities, could the Japanese launch the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.

By that time, though, the projection strategy had become unworkable because there is no physical resemblance between the descendants of samurai and keto (hairy Chinks) which actually meant "barbarians with blue eyes." Now they had to be refuelled with something else than self-hatred. What was mobilized to take its place was a burning desire for self-destruction which had remained unsettled. The suicide binge that ensued was the inevitable consequence of the pathological problem they had been suffering en masse since the 8th century.

Today, even in the U.S., empty-headed peaceniks keep saying, "War is not the answer." If you asked them, "Then, what's your answer?" they would say, "Our answer is peace." Put it bluntly, they are all brain-dead.

My own answer would be: "You Obama's disciples should straighten out all the mess inside your own skulls, before talking about foreign peoples." With their sense of values all gone, they can no longer tell allies from foes.

The same applies to rightwing nuts, whose answer to the problem is sometimes "war to defend democracy." But they can't tell where to find this democracy anymore. Democracy is nothing but a worn-out word which means nothing at all these days.

Many countries in history have been destroyed, or have destroyed themselves when they tried to externalize their problems. And some of them have just perished for good. Japan, who couldn't think of redressing its modern history filled with humiliation by parting ways with American stray dogs, is certainly the most recent addition to the list of doomed nations.

Now it's America's turn to follow this trail. The shrewd Chinese and fanatic Arabs have already started messing up America, in the way it has screwed up its foes and allies in the past. There's no reason to believe the United States is an exception to the law of history. ·

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How to properly hate
Authored by: samwidge on Saturday, March 21 2009 @ 10:35 AM JST
Let me tell you a story to illustrate my take on all this:

You said, “The Fuehrer hated Freud not only because he was a Jew but also because his theory about projection directly pointed to Hitler's mental illness.”

I worked for the man who was undoubtedly the most hated person in the American state of Idaho. His name was John Hern and he had become wealthy building an iron foundry and an industrial park.

John surrounded himself with tough, angry men. He was a hard employer who demanded sweat and callouses. There were more than a few injuries. If an employee stepped out of line, that person suddenly had no job, no hope for employment elsewhere.

Mr. Hern was considered by the region's newspapers to be the state's worst polluter because his foundry used millions of watts of energy and released white smoke.

In his home he had a big picture of a WWI German aviator smiling from the seat of a biplane.

Should Americans tolerate any of these things? Well, there is another side to consider.

When he died, I took the foundry over and discovered that the business had not been profitable in years. It was the finest charity I have ever had the joy to see. The employees were recently out of jail and, for most, this was the only job they could be allowed to have. There they learned cooperation, respect and the value of honest work. Those who failed left and made room for others to try rehabilitation.

Energy consumed was commensurate with the firm's productivity. The white smoke from Hern's foundry was innocent steam.

Even the German aviator on Hern's wall was not an evil combatant, eager to kill innocents but a skilled scientist and leader of men whose work benefits every person on the planet.

If we observe that Hitler “hated” someone, we must also observe that those were difficult times for his starving people. He found common causes to unite his land to work together and to hope for better life. Hitler's Autobahn and his “people's car” are ideas now copied throughout the world. His rough, cruel ways are copied in nations we find very frightening.

It was just a war. One side won and the other lost. Some people's values are honored and some people's values are disgraced. We will not fight the next wars with shouts and pillows but, on the other hand, we must win them whatever their causes.

We don't owe justice to Adolph Schicklgruber but we do owe that to ourselves. As we cull the sadness of the past, we hurt only ourselves by hating. Integrity and openness are hard to find but, and this is important, they pay off for all.

I take considerable risk in suggesting these things. I have frequently been a very hated person. Your friendship is precious to me and, of course, I could be wrong. But without saying this, I could not find my own inner peace. Conservative politics, after all, is the concept of building, not destroying.

The world will suffer a while under Obama and then it won't.
How to properly hate
Authored by: Y.Yamamoto on Saturday, March 21 2009 @ 11:50 AM JST

Dear Samwidge:

Thank you for your thought-provoking comments.
Now I think I must clarify some of my points to set the record straight.

1. Your story about Mr. John Hern is very interesting. But as you can see, I neither encourage nor discourage people to hate, let alone hated. I only argue that if you have to hate anyone, you have to direct your hatred or anger to the right person. Aristotle said: "Anyone can become angry -- that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way -- this is not easy." This is my point.

2. I was angry at my colleagues throughout my career. Even now I hate Japanese men. But my reason is quite different from Mr. Hern's. He must have been all smiles all the time if he had been running an iron foundry in Japan. You know very well about Japanese people's unparalleled diligence and discipline.

3. When it comes to Hitler, I don't either hate, or love the Fuehrer. I wish you could read Japanese, but recently I have uploaded dozens of magazine articles onto our "Cyber Museum" that commemorates my father. These articles were contributed by him soon after he came home from Germany and the U.S.A. on the eve of WWII. In Germany, he was invited by Heinkel, BMW, Volkswagen, etc. He always admired the Germans, including Hitler, for producing autobahns and people's cars. I would have added Bach, Beethoven, Brahms and the like. At the same time, he lamented over Japanese rulers' unwillingness and inability to give anything valuable to their subjects. The only thing they left with us were the ruins and rubble, and 3 million corpses.

4. I see no point in playing a Monday morning quarterback with these past figures because the "right time" Aristotle talked about is not yeasterday but today or tomorrow.

5. I was really heartened to know you are sure that Obama won't last long. Yet I'm anxious to know the reason for your optimism.

Please keep your thoughtful comments coming. My audience and I can learn quite a lot from them.

Yu Yamamoto
How to properly hate
Authored by: Y.Yamamoto on Saturday, March 21 2009 @ 03:59 PM JST

Dear samwidge:

This is to add to my reply to your comment.

a) I think it is important to note that the right person for us to hate is sometimes ourselves. That is why the projection strategy is very "useful."

b) I wrote I hate Japanese men. But as you know there are exceptions. The same is true with my liking for Japanese women. I sometimes hate them. Generally speaking women I hate tend to be married.

c) You are living in the state of Montana, I guess, which covers 147,165 sq mi while our land only covers 145,883 sq mi. However, despite our government's absurd claim that Japan is a monoracial nation, there are several different ethnic groups living in this tiny archipelago, especially in the southernmost Okinawa prefecture, which used to be Ryukyu Kingdom. Again in general, I love these people and their unique culture. Maybe their status can be likened to the native Americans'. Do you think in 2012, your countrymen will pick an "Indian" president? If you think that is possible, then I'll convert to optimism about America's future because as Mark Twain observed, they have inherited the virtue of honesty.

d) I wote, "my father admired the Germans, including Hitler." But this should have read, "sometimes including Hitler." In general those he admired were scientists most of the time.

e) I look forward to hearing very specific reasons for your optimism.

Sorry for being so argumentative.

Yu Yamamoto
Authored by: samwidge on Saturday, March 21 2009 @ 10:01 PM JST

There is no need to apologize to me. If any apology is needed it is from both of us to our readers. You and I have grown long legs in discussion. We cover so very many issues that each response can only cover a small part of each previous post. It must confuse those who do not join in!

You did say, “... that the right person for us to hate is sometimes ourselves.” You seem always to be right in all things but, in this case perhaps translation/transliteration is at fault. In the last 30-years we Americans have been taught not to admit to hate of any kind. That, of course is a kind of enforced, institutionalized lie because everyone feels hate of one sort or another. Worse, we are taught to hate Hitler and those who surrounded him. We just are not allowed to say it that way. In Clintonesque Political Correctness some other word is required. (Good Heavens but hate seems right when aimed at the Clintons, Gore et al.)

I can only apologize for the inscrutability of my countrymen in this regard.

You said, “ ... women I hate tend to be married.” That was delightfully funny but, again I wonder how many of our readers will get this marvelous joke. I can only ask that our readers look deeply.

You said, “... our government's absurd claim that Japan is a monoracial nation... ”

I would like to learn more of this. I once lived in a small town near here that was called “Finn Town,” named for its many Finnish residents. These folks said Japan's Ainu people were much like their own in language, ethnicity, skin tone and bone structure. The Ainu were said to be unlike other Japanese. My neighbors said they could understand Ainu speech. Is this possible? Is there also a distinct racial difference in the people of Okinawa from those of central Japan?

You asked, “Do you think in 2012, your countrymen will pick an "Indian" president? If you think that is possible, then I'll convert to optimism about America's future... ”

OOPS! Optimism is not justified but an Indian president is easily possible. And that goes for both Amerate Indians and Asian Indians. We walk a thin line in trying not to notice differences while still honoring heritage. We argue our hearts out in trying to force each other to fairness. I think we succeed (though there will always be other opinions on this).

I once visited Ashland, Montana, headquarters of an important Indian reservation. Most people there are Indian. I found only two restaurants. Of those two, one had a sign, “No Indians allowed.” I was taken aback until I discovered that it was a joke. The owners were Indian. All people there do their best to stand out and they speak well for themselves. If you come to America, seek out the delightful Northern Cheyenne people and learn their amazing heritage.

Many things are happening in all these widely disparate groups. Most of our Indians are of Mongol descent. A few are of Irish decent and some of Viking decent. Their attitudes and possibilities are as hard to pin down as are the names we use in trying to identify each. In the end, it may be said that it is as difficult and as easy as for those of us of German, Irish and Spanish heritage. Kindly take note of the colossal things America has done against the Spanish in the Philippines, Cuba and at sea.

People are very strange animals!

Note also that racial discussion is exactly the thing that allowed Senator Obama to flummox Senator McCain. Nobody would have thought of Obama was a black guy deserving sympathy and support if his team had not made an issue of one particular race, exclusive of all others. Interestingly, his heritage is as much Arabic as Caucasian and Negroid.

Note here that Obama's pals even make it difficult to use scientific terms like Negroid and Caucasian. You may remember how the term, niggardly, was abused to inappropriately unseat a prominent American official.

Perhaps the only thing racial here is confidence artists making cruel racial claims.

In the end, I wish every person could enter into discussions as you and I do. I have learned tremendously in the time we have known each other. You have my deepest thanks, Good Friend.