The following passage is taken from pages 57-58 of Personality and Evolution, by Stan Gooch:
‘The Ego, ideally, bears its sufferings in silence and without complaint. Again, ideally, it does not break this silence even under torture. It does not request mercy. Nor does it request freedom – it simply takes it, or dies in the attempt. ‘Let my people go’ is the request of the Self. (And one must report, sadly, that those who merely ask for their freedom do not usually get it.)
There is, indeed, a sense in which the Self does not want to be free and in which it enjoys its suffering. This is a statement one must make with caution – for, though it is, i believe, in a certain sense true, it is the kind of statement which is apt to be only too useful as fascist propaganda. Is one saying, for example, that the Jews enjoyed the concentration camps of the last war? Or that Negroes wanted to be shipped as slaves to America and elsewhere, there often to die of starvation and mistreatment? That obviously goes much too far. Yet there is a sort of truth here. There is a joking question which asks : “What does a Jew fear more than persecution?” to which the answer is : “being overlooked.” And something of this is true, i think, also of women. Some women, at any rate, seem willing to accept a good deal of physical violence and other ill-treatment from the men they love. The wanting of punishment or suffering has in fact obtained clear recognition, not only in clinical psychology, but in common parlance, with the term ‘masochism’. A masochist is a person who, in some sense of the terms, enjoys suffering and invites pain.’
A somewhat deeper understanding of Gooch’s work is required to fully comprehend the meaning of this passage, but in short he researched and proposed (in much detail throughout his works) the idea that within the human psyche there is not one but two ‘systems’, which he named the ‘Ego’ and the ‘Self’. The Ego can be roughly equated to a daytime, conscious, linear, masculine brain, located in the cerebrum and the musculature of the body, whilst the Self can be equated to a nocturnal, unconscious, irrational, feminine brain, located in the cerebellum, and the autonomic responses of the body – the reflexes, the senses, the viscera etc. This internal dynamic binary state is the basis of our universal view, that is, the apparent dualities that plague our lives, such as hot and cold, tall and short, dark and light, yin and yang etc.
So, within each of us these two systems – acting as one antagonistic whole – are present in varying, or competing, degrees. Some populations of the world are led more by the Self, and some by the Ego. But every one of us contains both at all times. It’s what makes us all human. Across the world, where cerebellar activities such as ‘soul’ singing, dancing and the use of emotional feelings to describe one’s state are more popular, we can say these people, as a whole, are more driven by the Self. And where we find a greater propensity for cerebral activity, such as technical discussion or time-regulated tasks, as well as a sense of individuality, we will find people who are more Ego-dominant. Incidentally, on average, men are more Ego dominant and women more Self focused.
Americans asking for their independance
Getting back to our point, the notion of freedom, to an Ego dominant individual, is inherent in his personality. The very idea that another individual doesn’t have freedom is incredulous. How can you not have something that you were born with, he will say? How can you let someone (whom you have not contracted with) tell you what to do? For individual freedom is indeed a natural state for the Ego dominant personality. A Self dominant personality, on the other hand, is naturally submissive (lacking a dominant internal Ego), and so practically requires a master to give him the discipline required in an Ego dominant system, such as Capitalism. If we apply Gooch’s theory to our world, then we begin to understand why some people just cant be free.
Take the current situation in America for example (and to some extent across the Western world). Radical, separatist African-Americans, or at least their latest incarnation known as Black Lives Matter, are asking for the American establishment to give them the same privileges and freedoms apparently only allowed by white Americans. The question that no one seems to ask is why don’t they simply walk away from their oppressors and start their own country somewhere else? Isn’t this exactly what the white American people had to do in order to free themselves from their former master England? break off all ties and never speak again, or at least until the dust had settled and they had found their own identity as a cohesive, separate nation. Of course, it wasn’t easy, but the end result was vastly more freedom than they had been previously ‘allowed’ by the English. They never complained during the hardest years, neither did they ask England to save them during events such as the great depression, they suffered their pain in silence rather than buckle under and crawl back in a submissive position.
Black people resisiting
Black Lives Matter (along with many other ‘oppressed’ Self groups) talk about forming resistance (which is at least a step up from ‘assistance’). But resistance is exactly what they don’t need to be doing. Why would someone want to remain a part of a system that supposedly treats them with such abject disrespect, and always has? Resistance is the language of the willing victim, for it is only someone who wants to be accepted by the system who feels they have something to resist in it. They could apply their full force in resistance but eventually they will expend all their energy and the age-old system will still be there. If you wish to make yourself an enemy of the masters, who hold all the power, you will, inevitably, lose. The only way to negate the effect of the system is to totally remove oneself from it, and refuse to interact with it ever again. Of course, this would also mean no more special rights and privileges such as welfare, free schooling, access to jobs etc, but after a few years hard work they would be truly self-reliant, self-sufficient, and free.
The same argument can be applied to Israel, and the Jewish populations of the West. Historically, almost every Jewish population has claimed to have suffered oppression under their host nations. Even as far back as ancient Egypt we find Moses tasked with freeing his people from slavery, which they had apparently been placed under for no clear reason. The question if the West is so anti-semitic towards them, why don’t they simply move to their own country which they fought so hard for (and continue to fight for), and never have contact with the so-called evil Europeans again? Could it really be true that some people relish their place in society as the eternal victim, using it to milk assistance from the countries who are simultaneously accused of abusing them?
Is it the fault of the ‘oppressive’ freedom-loving Europeans, with their Ego-derived societies, or is it the fault of the ‘oppressed’ Self-driven peoples of the world, with their ‘we’re all one’ collectivist mindset? In reality, it is no ones ‘fault’. Applying the solid theory of Stan Gooch it is a fault in our genetics that is responsible for our actions and reactions. Only our recognition of this hard-wired situation can prevent us from repeatedly making the same mistakes in life, and in our species.