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Direttore scientifico: Prof. Nicola Peluffo | Direttore editoriale: Dott. Quirino Zangrilli 
Scienza e Psicoanalisi



Articolo di Iakov Levi  


7 febbraio 2003

the strong are as naturally inclined to separate
as the weak are to congregate (Nietzsche) 1

Freud has shown that the number three is the symbol of the male genital, and that as such it became a sacred number:

What seems certain is that a number of tripartite things that occur in nature - the cloverleaf, for instance – owe their use for coats of arms and emblems to this symbolic meaning. Similarly, the tripartite lily – the so-called fleur-de-lis – and the remarkable heraldic device of two islands so far apart as Sicily and the Isle of Man – the triskeles (three bent legs radiating from a center) seem to be stylized versions of the male genital. Likenesses of the male organ were regarded in antiquity as the most powerful apotropaic (means of defense) against evil influences, and, in conformity with this, the lucky charms of our day can all be recognized as genital or sexual symbols  2.

Therefore, the French tripartite lily, the triskeles, and other tripartite stylizations of the male genital are a phallic symbol equivalent to the Roman eagle, which is a male genital symbol, and to the Byzantine, Absburgic and Russian eagles.
The number three symbolizes completeness and perfection. As such, it became a sacred number. Castration, the undoing of such completeness, becomes a sacrilege act. The number three appears in heraldic devices and on flags because it symbolizes sovereignty and untouchableness.
Therefore, it functions as instrument of warning and admonition: “Beware, our phallic symbol is complete, untouched, and as such it is sacred”.

When the French tripartite lily and other monarchic phallic symbols were substituted by the three-colored flags of the European nations, which during the 19th century had just liberated themselves from their absolute rulers, they substituted one phallic symbol with another, but not exactly the same.
The 3 of the three-colored flag has indeed a further meaning. Through the process of abstraction, it became more general and it unconsciously assumed the sense of liberty, fraternity, and equality.
The stylized male genital symbol of absolute monarchies had a significance of threat by a tyrannical Father, who shows off his own menacing phallic symbol before the Horde of the Brothers, the sons, in order to induce them into blind obedience. A tripartite genital symbol, as the Empires’eagle, had an apotropaic (means of defense), not only against the enemy, but also versus the people themselves.
Those were the phallic symbols of the absolute rulers, Father imagines for their subjects.
When the United Brothers rebelled, and declared “liberté, égalité, fraternité”, they dethroned their own monarchs, castrated from their flags their phallic symbols, and substituted them with their own: a Three-color in which the number 3 condensed the significance of sovereignty vis a vis other nations with the meaning of freedom from the rule of the Father and that of equality between the Brothers, who had came into a coalition against him.
Therefore, we should not be surprised if, after the revolutionary movements of the 19th century, European nations adopted Three-color flags as their own phallic symbol, which represent also the symbol of democracy.
Constitutional monarchies abstained, indeed, from putting on their flags stylizations of the male genital, and those remained the symbol of absolute monarchies, like the Austrian Absburgs and the Russian Romanovs.
The English chose to show, as national symbol, colored stripes combined in a triple intermingling pattern, as a declaration of collaboration between the different social classes, a supposed harmony between the regime of the Father and that of the Sons.
The Italian Savoia acted accordingly, when they adopted the Three-color, and overlaid on it their own phallic symbol.
The national liberation movements, and the institution of Republics of the last two hundreds years, are to be interpreted non only in their limited scope, but also as the expression of a general movement of rebellion against the authority of the Primeval Father, which sucks its energy and has its roots in the rebellion of the Primeval Horde. It is a historical development that has its precedent in the prehistory of mankind.
The French Revolution was the spark that activated the fire of the prehistoric rebellion, after a secular sense of guilt had induced the peoples into accepting again the sovereignty of the Father’s imago. A historical regression that began with the renunciation of Greek democracy, was implemented with the Roman emperors, and accellerated after the crisis that took hold of the ancient world.
The trial tempted at the beginning of the second millennium by the Free Comuni, first steps to regain ancient lost freedoms, was aborted.
The first step in a large wave is always aborted, and followed by a retrenchment.
Only the following trials are successful, and only in numerous waves and counter-waves. The wave is never linear. Every upsurge in the main direction is followed by a counter-wave, induced by a sense of guilt.
In a schematic way, we can say that two steps of retrenchment follow every three steps, until the wave is completed, and it is aborted under the burden of its own success and the accumulated sense of guilt. At this point, the civilization is aborted and there is a return to the starting point, as it happened to the civilizations of the ancient Middle East: Sumerians, Egyptians, Babylonians, Persians etc.

In the West, the last upsurge began with the French Revolution.
After the first orgiastic acting out of liberation, which was a repetition of the prehistoric orgy that came after the primeval murder of the Father, and was characterized by total instinct gratification, came the repression, induced by the terror of retaliation and of the return of the dethroned father and his vengeance.
After the orgiastic explosion of the first stage of the French revolution, came the terror of Robespierre.
Freedom and repression alternate in waves and counter-waves, and a self-conscience is acquired in the process, which in sociology is called “civil and human rights”.
The Ego of the peoples is acquired in the same way as the Ego of the single: in a long process of trials and errors, through the mutual interaction between the needs of the Id and the requirement of the Ego, in a tormented dialogue with the paternal imago.
Like for the single human being, a collectivity reaches self-conscience through identity, and comprehension of its own capabilities and limitations.

Henceforth, with the gradual and struggled acquisition of civil and human rights,
took hold the perception of the existence of borders.
Borders encircle the temenos, the sacred area in which identity, rights, and duties are implemented. As in the Greek polis, prototype of the freedom acquired by the liberated Horde of the Brothers after a long trial towards maturity, decisions are taken in situ, namely, in the same place where they are to be implemented.
The Law is discussed, accepted, and enforced by the same citizens who have decided to submit to it, in force of the sacredness of the Covenant between the brothers, with the aim of preserving social order by right and not by force, as, instead, it had been by the tyranny of the primeval father in prehistoric times.
On the contrary, a horde, which, under the burden of the sense of guilt, renounces its rights and its freedom, and delegates the formulation of the Law to a superior instance, does not need borders. Furthermore, they become superfluous and are perceived as intruding, damaging, and demanding, because they put a pressure on the group to take responsibility for its own fate.
Such a horde, like a single without identity, becomes borderline, beyond borders and border-less.
A group, which is exhausted, oppressed by a sense of guilt, and which is eager to get rid of its own liberties, rationalizes its symptom with the most absurd arguments.

The main rationalizations of the fans of the European Union are as follows:

1) Borders between nations are the cause for mutual hostility and aggression. In a borderless society, there will be no conflict of interests, no motivation for mutual aggression and, therefore, wars will be avoided.
2) One sole currency, namely, the same economic policy, will result in a more efficient economy, to the benefit of all.
3) Decisions taken at the macro level and in a centralized way are more like to be the right ones.

The first argument is equivalent to saying: “If we outlaw endogenous aggression, it will no more exist”. As a matter of fact, the intention of the architects of the European Union is not to abolish aggression, but to channel it to their own aims, at the expense of national interests. Eventually it will be directed towards the external world, namely, the United States of America.
It may take a couple of decades, but the final outcome might be only that.

The second rationalization is equivalent to preventing the single communities from deciding their own social priorities. The decision on how distributing the national product among the different social classes is no more taken close to where the income is generated, but by somebody, far away, who is not invested of the collective vicariate.
The fate of the orphans and the widows of Sicily, Northern Spain and Greece will be decided in Brusselles and in Berlin.

The third is equivalent to saying: “You have proved of being irresponsible and stupid children, who cannot take on themselves the managing of their own affairs. Therefore, from now on, somebody else, who knows better, will take the decisions. Somebody who has the natural gift of exercising power, whose face you are not entitled to know, and whose decisions you are not capable of criticizing.
The Law will be the one which best serves the interests of a class of bureaucrats who are beyond the reach of an effective criticism, and who do not have to account for their actions to anyone, because they are faceless and ubiquitous.

At first glance, this omnipotent imago seems to be a paternal one, with its omnipresence and unlimited wisdom. However, if we take a closer look, we shall see that more than a paternal instance, by the severe and repressive connotation, this new phallic monster has all the peculiarities of the maternal intrauterine imago, which mercifully absorbs all her floating helpless sons.
In these very days (December 2002), she has declared that is going to accept, and to include into her enormous womb, ten more whole nations, all together, without any pettiness in her loving attitude. Without any ugly consideration for nationality, cultural background, or embedded differences: everyone will be accepted, nurtured, and equally loved. The Turkish guy, the only ugly duck, will have to keep waiting for a little longer, until he, too, becomes a beautiful swan. After all, not being a Christian, he must first prove of being fit to be included among the civilized nations.
United Europe is, therefore, an enormous placenta, Mater Matuta, Nutrix (nurturing) and Polymastos (by the many breasts, like Artemis the Ephesine), who can breastfeed and digest in the same condensation everyone who is eager to take refuge into the shadow of her mercy.
At difference from the Old Empires, which annexed other peoples and territories by force, and wore the connotation of more or less brutal tyrannical Fathers, Mother Europe succeeded in making them begging for annexation. Her tentacles look like benevolent breasts, and lucky the ones who can be called her sons.
After all, what are freedom and independence, when in exchange love and maternal milk are offered without restrain?

John Laughland, commentator of European affairs, in his important book TheTainted Source, says:

An independent nation-state is the political expression of a people taking up the challenge of running its own affairs, and throwing off the torpor of empire. An independent nation – state is one in which decisions are taken politically, in virtue of public debate and opposition. Being a political form of human association – that is, one in which conflict is recognized and even institutionalized as a healthy constituent of the body politic – it is one, which generates law, not directives. To believe that constitutional independence or sovereignty are irrelevant as concepts is to believe that political liberties and the rule of law can exist without the state...[omissis]...Laced with the soporific language of inevitability and determinism, this administrative approach to government evacuates the notion of political choice and leadership. It thereby makes government anonymous, and befogs the lines of responsibility, which are the very sinews of democracy. It leaves no room for the notion which is at the heart of the doctrine of “the rule of law”: that citizens interact intelligently with one another within the framework of the law, on the basis of their understanding of the situation in which they find themselves. By ignoring or downplaying this, the basic fabric of a free society – by failing to see that the very inpredictability of individual economic behaviour is strength – this plannificatory vision also risks destroying the source of prosperity.
The belief that parlamentary rule is anarchic, that the market is disorganized, and that the free interaction between nations leads to war is an old one...   3

The author analyzes in depth the historical background of the planning of the European Union, and exposes the lies and the real political motivations, which brought to its implementation.
What interest us are the collective psychological latent needs that made it possible. It is the final outcome of a long process, which began with the rebellion of the Horde and ends with the sense of guilt for its own success, a retrenchment, and a collective psychosexual evolutional regression.
It is the symptom of a collective psychic process, at the apex of which the group which succeeded in liberating itself from the authority of the Father, and from the straightjacket of its limitations, chooses to renounce the acquired liberties, and to delegate them to an authority, perceived as a parental imago, which will take on the responsibility. Then, the group regresses to an amorphous condition of lack of identity, which in psychoanalysis is called Borderline Disorder.
Freud, in Totem and Taboo (IV, 5), explains the sequence of events, which took place after the Primeval Patricide.
The sense of guilt induced the Horde into renunciation of the fruit of the sin, namely, the women. In our instance, the women are equivalent to the identity, which is always achieved only at the Oedipal – genital level, and to liberties and borders, because those were the achievements of the peoples of Europe during the 19th century, as consequence of the rebellion against their absolute oppressing monarchs.
According to Freud, the institution of matriarchy was the consequence of the sense of guilt.
What Freud has defined as matriarchy is equivalent to a regression from the genital level, and from the identity acquired at that stage, to the oral and intrauterine (fetal) level  4.
It seems that the first prehistoric societies, which emerged from the Horde, at the first stage had regressed to what Melanie Klein calls “the schizoid position”, namely, to the stage at which is the newborn baby, who cannot distinguish between himself and the maternal breast  5.
There are still tribes in the Pacific Ocean islands, which have not yet emerged from this stage, while the rest of mankind, by steps and counter-steps, managed to regain higher levels of psychosexual evolution.
The long way towards civilization was an endless struggle to regain the genital level. Each culture at its own way and pace. Each culture through waves, that are not concomitant, and through different stages of regression.
It seems that Western culture has been the more successful of all in this trial, so far.
It had managed to regain almost all of the achievements reached at the peak of democracy and independence at the times of ancient Greece.
Then there had been a regression, and with the beginning of the second millennium another quite successful trial.
Now, we are witnessing a powerful wave of regression to the fetal level. The schizoid position is not very far. Since this stage of psychosexual evolution is characterized by massive splitting and projective identification, we can now better understand why anti-Semitism is on the rise in Europe today. During the history of Western civilization, the Jews have always been targeted as the object of the splitting and projection mechanism.

The European flag is no more, therefore, a Three-color, symbol of the successful Horde of the Brothers, and what is worse, even not an Imperial Eagle, a tripartite lily or a triskeles, phallic symbols of the tyrannical Father, but a circle, symbol of the placenta and of a regression through all the previous stages of evolution, achieved in the course of such a long and hard struggle
A circle, to which are added more and more new little stars  6. A circle, which is endlessly expanding, like the imago of a hungry placenta which devours her sons, to protect and to nurture, and eventually to destroy them.

The rule of the Father

The liberated sons

All the way back into the placenta

© Iakov Levi

1 Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals, Third Essay, section 18.
2 Sigmund Freud, “Symbolism in Dreams"; "Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis" (1915-1917) in The Standard Edition of the Complete Works of Sigmund Freud, Ed. and Trans. J. Strachey, Hogarth Press, London 1964, Vol.XV, pp.163-4.
3 The Tainted  Source. The Undemocratic Origins of the European Idea,  Little, Brown and Company, London 1997, pp.6-8.
4 Lloyd deMause has summed up the description of the fantasies of Paleolithic hunters as they emerge from paintings and artifacts, in “Fetal Origins of History”, in Foundations of Psychohistory, Creative Roots, New York 1982, pp. 272-282.
5 The characterizations of that stage of psychosexual evolution are: Primary-process thinking, symbiotic omnipotence, gender/zonal confusion, splitting and projective identification, sado-masochistic disorders.
The coin of 1 Euro is always a human imago encircled by stars, symbol of the fetus in the womb, which floats in the amniotic liquid.

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