Jung's Dangerous Theory

"The Jew who is something of a nomad has never yet created a cultural form of his own and as far as we can see never will, since all his instincts and talents require a more or less civilized nation to act as host for their development. The Jews have this peculiarity with women; being physically weaker, they have to aim at the chinks in the armour of their adversary." - C.G. Jung

I had begun to seriously muse about writing an article on Carl Jung’s anti-Semitism after receiving Jung’s Red Book as a Christmas gift. Although there was an earlier germination of the idea in the instance in which I had rather offhandedly remarked upon the “great divide” between the Gentile Jung and the Jewish Freud in my essay on Robert Casillo’s book on Ezra Pound. As a serendipitous bit of ‘synchronicity’ I had also received Reading the Red Book: An Interpretative Guide to C.G. Jung’s Liber Novus, by Sanford L. Drob which would infuriate me to the point of resolution. While reading Drob’s guide I became increasingly annoyed by his interpretation which superimposed an unnecessary and obfuscating Kabbalistic framework loosely connected to Jung’s experiences as recorded in the Red Book. There was also the persistent pandering to a priori notions of good vs. evil pressed upon historical events that many of us deem opaque. While it seemed that Drob was virtually intending to rewrite Jung as a post-modern existentialist-deconstructionist–in a similar vein to how leftists attempt to salvage and refashion Nietzsche towards their own ideological ends—he focuses on the period in which he wrote the Red Book, which Jung referred to as “the dark night of my soul,” and treats it as a sort of epistemological coming of age in which Jung must accept the godless world around him–devoid of mythos and meaning. Thus, within the same page Drob reads into a passage from the Red Book:

“’Drink your fill of the bloody atrocities of the war, feast upon the killing and destruction, then your eyes will open, you will see that you yourselves are the bearers of such fruit.’” (RB, p. 254a).

Drob’s interpretation:

“Jung will later argue that the dark or barbaric side of the German psyche had been repressed by Christianity, and that the lesson of the First World War was that this ‘blonde beast’ must be acknowledged and affirmed if it is to be brought to a creative rather than a destructive resolution.” (69).

Certainly “the shadow” aspect of the personality was a major construct which Jung had fashioned to deal with the “seething cauldron of excitation” Freud referred to the unconscious. However, the initial problem with this statement is that of a firm dichotomy being drawn between creation and destruction—is not destruction a form of creation and vice versa—the larva feeding upon decomposing matter, the butterfly destroying its chrysalis, and so on? Was not the destruction of the First World War a necessary event to create the liberal democratic states in the countries that had retained their Monarchies and Empires? And was not the Second World War necessary to usher in the globalized usurocracy that now has taken form. Thus, even from the perspective of those democratic adherents of the ‘open society’ a dialectic between creation and destruction is necessary for birthing anew–one must recall the metaphysical similarities between birth and death as the only two human experiences that cannot be duplicated and logically qualified. After this fundamental, propagandistic and willful simplification of the creation/destruction dialectic which serves a narrative purpose for Drob who goes to write that according to one of Jung’s patients:

“Jung made anti-Semitic remarks and encouraged his patients to do the same as a means of staying in touch with one’s ‘shadow.’ The idea here is that by willing evil, rather than projecting it outward onto the other, one is forced to recognize its true source within oneself, and only then will one cease fighting against one’s projections.”

There is a philosophical name for this sort of sophistry that Drob is superimposing on Jung, possibly as a way to save face for Jung, Jungians, and a way to high-jack Jungian psychological and philosophical insight–it is called solipsism. What Drob’s revising and whitewashing is advocating here is the complete denial of the external world of any mediating factors that may cause, in this case, anti-Semitism or any “hateful” reaction. This mode of thinking, of course, absolves Jewish behaviour and all external, historical or objective reasons for any kind of strong emotional volition - but most sacrosanct off all the cardinal sins is anti-Semitism - and regulates them down to “personal projections.” While Jung dealt with the process of “individuation,” of coming into oneself, it was not at the expense or the denial of the external world and their mediating factors, but rather Jung utilized four compass points that intersect equally, as in a western cross, believing that an individual should center oneself between the polarities of inner and outer reality–between thinking and feeling and intuition and knowing.

In a 1934 paper, The State of Psychology Today, in which Jung juxtaposes the Aryan and the Jewish psychology:

“Freud did not understand the Germanic psyche any more than did his Germanic followers. Has the formidable phenomenon of National Socialism, on which the whole world gazes with astonishment, taught them better? Where was that unparalleled tension and energy while as yet no National Socialism existed? Deep in the Germanic psyche, in a pit that is anything but a garbage-bin of unrealizable infantile wishes and unresolved family resentments.”

I think the same statement can be applied to Drob, who does not understand Jung. When you have the eyes to see these intellectual games, you begin to wonder whether every text written by a Jew should be required to undergo a scholastic inquisition. All contemporary Jewish texts seem to rotate around Auschwitz as some transcendent celestial law which verifies their every platitude. As Jung himself believed that the Jewish psyche inherently manifests itself in their works due to the weight of four thousand years, the Jew, even a self-hating, liberal, or reform Jew cannot but carry the hallmarks of their complexes, which impregnate even innocuous venues.

Jung claimed scientific objectivism when dealing with the issue of the “Jewish cultural form”: “The question I broached regarding the peculiarities of Jewish psychology does not presuppose any intention on my part to depreciate Jews, but is merely an attempt to single out and formulate the mental idiosyncrasies that distinguish Jews from other people.” However, Jung would make claims about his finding that lent some credence to anti-Semitism as Andrew Samuels has pointed out:

“The Jews as a group, typified by Freudian psychoanalysis, represent a strain of psychological denationalization, leveling out all national psychological differences. Psychoanalysis therefore occupies a place in Jung’s mind analogous to the place occupied in Hitler’s mind by capitalism and communism. The great fears are, respectively, of ‘leveling’ and of ‘denationalization… the leveling aim of Jewish psychology and the denationalizing aim of Jewish political and economic activity represent a similar threat to each of them.”

At once a moral superiority and a victimization complex which manifests itself as a devious “conspiring” element in a community, if only by virtue of its necessary heterogeneity–which seeks to create in the sense of “denationalization” a homogeneity of heterogeneous parts–i.e. “inclusion,” “diversity,” “liberalism”--the superiority/victimization complex comprises the two major components of what Jung would call the “cultural form” of the race: “There is an uncomfortable echo to Hitler in Jung’s view that each nation has a different and identifiable national psychology of its own that is in some mysterious manner, an innate factor.” (Jung’s psychological approach to culture is similar to Spengler’s notions of weltanschauung–but appearing more fluid by negating Spengler’s notion of the “prime symbol” for archetypical forms, which were universal in their underlying functions but particularized according to the culture.) One can begin to glean a picture of why Jung’s theories are so potentially dangerous that they require this kind of liberal revisionism and obscurantism–partly because they extol the particularism of tribes and also because his concept of archetypes is in some ways fascistic in its eulogizing of the hero, as Jung himself would write:

“The great liberating ideas of world history have sprung from leading personalities and never from the inert mass… The huzzahs of the Italian nation go forth to the personality of the Duce, and the dirges of other nations lament the absence of strong leaders.”

The hero, or leader, archetype would later be popularly explored by Joseph Campbell in his A Hero with a Thousand Faces–Campbell was completely indebted to Jung’s influence and also to Spengler and Frobenius’s “comparable concept that every race has its own paideuma or soul, its own way of feeling and its own spectrum of significant knowledge.”

Jung’s Relationship to Freud

Jung had made the claim that psychology needed rescuing from the Jewish influence and as the president of the International General Medical Society for Psychotherapy, headquartered in Zurich, quotas were put on Jewish membership and attendance to lectures. His defenders point to Jung’s assistance of some Jewish psychologists who fell into trouble during the early rise of the National Socialists. However, these instances seemed to occur well before 1938, when Jewish doctors lost the right to practice in Germany.

We see the Jewish complex inherent in Freud who conflates himself with the historical figure of Hannibal Barca of Carthage–after his father told him of an encounter on the streets with a Christian who knocked his hat off his head--Freud relates that “ever since that time Hannibal had a place in my fantasies.” That he harbored resentment towards Western civilization is hardly surprising:

“Moreover, when I finally came to realize the consequences of belonging to an alien race, and was forced by the anti-Semitic feeling among my classmates to take a definite stand, the figure of the Semitic commander assumed still greater proportions in my imagination. Hannibal and Rome symbolized, in my youthful eyes, the struggle between the tenacity of the Jews and the organization of the Catholic Church. The significance for our emotional life which the anti-Semitic movement has since assumed helped to fix the thoughts and impressions of those earlier days. Thus the desire to go to Rome has in my dream- life become the mask and symbol for a number of warmly cherished wishes, for whose realization one had to work with the tenacity and single-mindedness of the Punic general…”

Jung pointed out, ”As is known, one cannot do anything against stupidity, but in this instance the Aryan people can point out that, with Freud and Adler, specifically Jewish points of view are publicly preached, and as can be proved likewise, points of view that have an essentially corrosive character.” That Jung developed a view of Jewish psychology as “corrosive” should of course have no connection to his personal relationship with Freud–at least according to Drob’s flawed framework. That Freud set out to manipulate and use Jung from the beginning of their acquaintance is not a secret:

The fact that Jung was not Jewish was important to Freud, who placed him in what Sanford Drob calls an ‘unenviable position’ as Gentile guarantor that Freud’s work would not be dismissed as ‘a Jewish national affair.’ Jung was the son of a Protestant pastor. He represented credibility and acceptance for Freud, as he acknowledged in a letter to Karl Abraham as early as 1908: ‘. . . you are closer to my intellectual constitution because of racial kinship,’ Freud wrote, while Jung ‘as a Christian and a pastor’s son finds his way to me against great inner resistances. His association with us is the more valuable for that.’” [Emphasis added]

While Freud provides Jung’s contention of the different psychology of races absolute validation by implying that he and Abraham share a similar “intellectual constitution because of racial kinship”, he also reveals himself as a racially conscious Svengali who set about to deceive, use, and manipulate Jung from the onset. Jung no doubt gradually became aware of the closed tribalism of the Vienna Circle, and the strings which Freud was fastening on the “crown prince” of what he would later dub “Jewish psychology.” Thereafter, Freud ostracized him and ridiculed his theories for his deviation from the rabbinical patriarch–for his wish not be the puppet of Jewish games.

It is beyond a doubt that Jung harbored feelings and opinions of Jews which are less than ambiguous; certainly, there are those like Drob, who try to downplay and legitimize Jung’s anti-Semitism–revise it and pretend that it was a psychological technique. However, Jung’s anti-Semitism was multifaceted--for personal reasons (his relationship with Freud and the Jews of the Vienna Circle), and for supra-personal, theoretical and historical reasons (not unlike Heidegger). The most dangerous aspect of Jung’s views is that they may inevitably garner the question: How come so many notable gentiles are anti-Semitic?