A PSYCHOLOGICAL PORTRAIT OF BARACK OBAMA
By Comandante Chispas
Find out what it means to me.
-- Barack Obama --
The simplest cases of speech blunders are
immediately noticed and spontaneously corrected.
Where one deals with motivation through actually
repressed feelings, the solution requires a painstaking
analysis, which may sometimes strike against difficulties
or turn out unsuccessful.
-- Sigmund Freud* --
Introductory note: I am not a psychoanalyst by training. However, that doesn´t stop me from reading about it and having ideas. It should not stop you either.
I think Barack Obama´s fatal flaw, missing the mark, i.e., his hamartia,** lurks beneath his misspelling of the word respect -- a classic Freudian slip -- during a White House ceremony. You can watch the faux pas on YouTube.
What I am about to say is based entirely on public knowledge. It is also untouched by secondary sources. I have never read a single psychoanalysis -- Freudian, Jungian or otherwise -- of Obama. I deliberately refrained from doing so because I wanted to interact directly with Freud´s book The Psychopathology of Everyday Life with zero outside interference. The same holds for the book itself: I have never read a single commentary by reviewers and critics.
I hope a large part of what you are about to read is creative without being original. We have a different purpose. To wit:
The behavior of Russia -- especially Russia -- , China, Iran, Syria, North Korea and other foreign nations strongly suggests they had in front of them a psychoanalysis of Barack Obama. We ask:
(1) What did that analysis likely say?
(2) How might they have used it – indeed, continue to use it after his administration ended -- to manipulate Obama?
We have a third question, to appear later.
Political considerations in mind, we will not cross certain boundaries and only hint at certain answers.
If successful, we will manage to say simultaneously too little and too much.
I start with two null hypotheses which I know many readers share. Both are different versions of the following argument: all slips of the tongue are simple cases. They are meaningless. Obama´s spelling error reveals nothing about him.
Null Hypothesis 1. Freud observed that speech mistakes are "contagious." (pp. 53, 81). I agree. It would be fascinating to know why they are so quickly and easily transmitted. Unfortunately, Freud did not pursue the subject.
Obama made his speech mistake while talking about Aretha Franklin´s song "Respect." You can listen to her original 1965 recording here.
I will never forget the first time I heard "Respect." My response was...great song but she says "r-e-s-p-c-t." Aretha Franklin misspells "respect"! (If you listen closely, you will notice she does not misspell respect; rather, she combines "p" and "e" to form "pe-eee.") Accordingly, one can write off Obama´s slip as the product of contagion; as such, it has zero explanatory power of his personality in general, of his hamartia in particular.
I don´t buy Null Hypothesis 1.
Read the song´s lyrics. "Respect" is a no-nonsense work. There is enough meat*** in there to write at least one book -- talk about a best-seller waiting to happen -- and several Ph.D. psychology dissertations. Beyond any doubt, many readers of this post are intelligence officers who will now go over the lyrics of "Respect" with a fine tooth comb.
What they will discover:
"Respect" is a power-full song. It stirs up unconscious archetypes and feelings about power, authority, order, legitimacy. "Respect" does what all true cultural artifacts do: call out something from the unconscious and put a name on it.
We come to Null Hypothesis 2. It is simply the direct unmediated argument that all verbal mistakes are psychologically meaningless.
Meaningless? Note what Obama did -- or rather did not do -- immediately after he made the mistake. He continued talking as if no error had occurred. Freud:
"There are many intelligent and honest people who are offended if we tell them that they made a mistake in speaking...But the emotional trace which clings to the demonstration of the mistake, which manifestly belongs to the nature of shame, has its significance...it invariably points to the participation of a motive in the formation of the disturbance." (pp. 96-7)
The crowning blow came the following day. The White House underscored the shame motive in its written transcript of Obama´s speech. R-s-p-e-c-t was hosed down, scrubbed up, corrected. Officially, the mistake never happened.
By covering up, the White House uncovered itself. If Obama´s mistake was meaningless, why was it changed?
The Freudian conclusion is clear. With no immediate or spontaneous correction of the blunder on Obama´s part, coupled with the White House it-never-happened maneuver, we are not looking at a simple verbal stumble but rather a complex case involving repressed feelings.
There is a another reason to believe Obama´s blunder was no simple error:
Aretha Franklin wrote off the mistake by saying Obama was "tired."
Our response: roll the YouTube video. You will hear the audience laugh raucously immediately after Obama slipped. Freud used just such an outburst as a devastating rebuttal of the simple-mistake-nothing-more argument:
"The merriment and derision which are sure to be evoked at the decisive moment through such linguistic mistakes speak conclusively against the generally accepted convention that such a speech-blunder is a lapsus linguœ and psychologically of no importance." (p. 106)
In other words, if the mistake was meaningless, why was it...meaningful?
Aretha Franklin touched on something crucial. To say Obama was tired was to say his guard was down. We agree, but don´t think his momentary inattention can be ascribed to physical tiredness which likely would have been manifested elsewhere that evening.
If not physical tiredness, then, what caused Obama to lower his defenses? And why is it important?
Freud observed that in order for a psychologically-loaded speech mistake to happen, normal inhibitions must be relaxed:
"With the relaxation, or, more unequivocally expressed, through this relaxation, of the inhibiting attention, the uninhibited stream of associations becomes active...The disturbing element is either a single unconscious thought, which comes to light through the speech blunder, and can only be brought to consciousness by a searching analysis, or it is a more general psychic motive, which directs itself against the entire speech." (p. 80)
There had to be something in the air that caused Obama to loosen up, to let his guard down, in order for the interfering unconscious element to well up, seize control.
The title of the occasion tells the tale: "In Performance at The White House -- Women of Soul."
Obama must have felt extremely relaxed because he was playing the role he preferred: not the nation´s top decision-maker on Syria or fiscal policy, much less the boss of 4 million federal employees, but master of ceremonies. He was doing what he loves and does best: performing as an after-dinner motivational speaker. (Ultimately, of course, the truth of our observation is in the pudding. If it is correct, we will see more of Obama in that role now that he has left the White House.)
Having countered the major objections to Freud´s thesis, we move on to the subject at hand.
Why is Obama´s spelling error singularly revelatory?
We start by refining our question.
Why and how did "Respect" do what it did: trip Obama up? Sock it to him?
A brief explanation is in order. Why do Freudian slips occur? What purpose -- if any -- do they serve?
The answer is simple, at least initially. Freud said of slips, lapses, etc.: "To avoid the awakening of pain through memory is one of the objects among the motives of these disturbances." (p. 52) Later, Freud discounted the plurality of objects and motives, and became adamant about pain: "The forgetting in all cases is proved to be founded on a motive of displeasure." (p. 138)
Freud frequently used himself as a case study of speech-mistakes. To elucidate the lapsus/pain connection, he said of a name he could not remember:
"That is, I wanted to forget something [painful], I repressed something. To be sure, I wanted to forget something other than the name...[That desire] brought about an associative connection between itself and [the] name, so that my act of volition [to remember the name] missed the aim... " (p. 8)
Obama left out the letter e -- missed the aim – that is to say, missed the mark (hamartia), because it invoked something painful he had repressed.
What was that something?
The most obvious explanation is that e looks and sounds like he.
Is there a he somewhere, the memory of whom is painful for Obama and whom he unconsciously wants to forget?
For intelligence officers trying to figure out what makes Obama "tick" -- curious expression -- that question is likely to be at the top of the list. Indeed, Obama´s autobiographical book Dreams From My Father, which the officers have no doubt read and reread, can be interpreted as a 173-page overcompensation by consciousness for a suppressed unconscious desire to forget that he, i.e., to get it out of his system.
Sidebar: the book was published in 1995, before Obama began his political career and too early to be spayed and neutered by political advisors.
I am sure Russian, Chinese and other intelligence services detected that he and concluded that Obama has a father complex. Simply put, it is impossible to read Dreams From My Father and conclude otherwise. Obama was up front about it: "...what has found its way onto these pages is a record of a personal, interior journey -- a boy’s search for his father..." (p. 4)
Found its way implies an unconscious rather than conscious process, as if an inner muse dictated the book. I think one indeed did a lot of the writing; we will see who -- or what -- in a moment.****
A father complex means Obama is riddled with ambivalent feelings about authority; he swings back and forth between fear/distrusting and admiration/seeking. I think Putin (among other political figures) was deliberately behaving and speaking in a manner so as to activate Obama´s father complex, thereby triggering unconscious emotions that created "static," i.e., that interfered with, blocked -- if not subverted -- rational and realistic decision-making on Obama´s part.
We saw the upshot in Obama´s Syria and Ukraine policies: clumsy, naive...missing the mark.
An unconscious disturbing element does not step out of the dark randomly. For it to move to the foreground, there must not only be a suitable outer environment, which we identified in Obama´s r-s-p-e-c-t case, but also something particular in it that serves as a trigger or catching device for projections of the unconscious.
Freud said of sound/visual associations such as e/he:
"...it is some similarity between a certain word in the intended sentence and some other word not intended, which allows the latter to assert itself in consciousness by causing a disfigurement, a composition, or a compromise formation (contamination)." (p. 72)
Obama´s r-s-p-e-c-t is a textbook case of a disfigurement -- a condensation which Freud said is "the most active part in the construction of a dream." (p. 77) The truncated style of Obama´s error suggests that what we are seeing in the YouTube video is nothing less than a full-blown unconscious process at work. A quasi-dream state.
If a picture is worth a 1,000 words, one gesture can be worth a 1,000 pictures. If you observe Obama´s facial expression when he blunders, something analogous to an electrical brown-out occurs. Whatever it is, it is not conscious.
But e/he is not the only verbal association that seems to have triggered Obama´s mistake.
Freud commented on his own inability to remember a name:
"The forgetting of the name could not be explained until I had recalled the theme discussed immediately before [it]. This forgetting then made itself known as a disturbance of the newly emerging theme caused by the theme preceding it." (pp. 4-5)
In the YouTube video, two preceding themes appear:
(i) Immediately prior to the forgotten letter e is the letter r. "R" sounds like our. Does Obama have an unconscious complex regarding other people, viz., society? His trademark emphasis on unity (watch his speech to the 2004 Democrat Party Convention), the sine qua non of his march to the presidency, suggests yet another conscious overcompensation for an unresolved, unconscious dilemma. In that regard, we will present later a quote from his book that is highly probative.
As with the father complex, Intelligence agencies could not have failed to notice Obama´s society complex. His formalistic, bureaucratic, half-hearted effort to consolidate international cooperation in the Syrian crisis (the Geneva peace talks went nowhere); his inclination to go it alone without the U.N. or Britain and attack Syria; his failure to fire Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland after her "Fuck the E.U." outburst (was she simply voicing the unvoiced sentiment of Obama?): all suggest a lack of confidence in others, a lack that was manipulated by foreign powers.
Here, history speaks for itself. The most recent example: at the end of the U.S.-Russia contest for influence in the Syrian crisis, to date Syria is a solid victory for Putin. He wanted to ward off an imminent massive U.S. attack and keep Bashar al-Assad in power; he succeeded in both.
(ii) In addition to the letter r as a preceding disturbing element, we also need to look at Obama´s phrase, "When Aretha first told us what". It immediately precedes his misspelling. First told us: one implication is that nobody ever told us before what respect means. We didn´t know; we were ignorant until the song "Respect" came along.
The implication is huge. During the White House event, the jacket that Jim Crow hung on Blacks -- they are stupid, lazy, dishonest, incompetent, uneducated, liars -- lingers on a hook in the background as something over-understood. That is to say:
Does Obama unconsciously (not consciously) accept the jacket, at least in part -- and "proved" its correctness by misspelling the word respect, thereby self-sabotaging the purpose of his White House event? Viewed this way, r-s-p-e-c-t strongly indicates the presence of a profound inner contradiction. Freud:
"The impulse which manifests itself in the disturbances of the action is frequently a counter-impulse...The cases in which the disturbance is the result of an inner contradiction are the most significant ones, and also deal with the more important activities." (pp. 332-3).
The absent-but-present jacket is the direct contradiction of Obama´s conscious purpose that evening. He verbalized that purpose immediately after his spelling mistake, viz., the song "became a rallying cry for African Americans and women, and then everyone who felt marginalized because of what they looked like or who they loved. They wanted some respect." Given that inner contradiction, Freud´s outer important activity – nothing less than a White House event with a message dear to Obama´s heart -- created the ideal setting for him to make a truly diabolical spelling error.
What is the Jim Crow jacket functionally and substantively? One of Freud´s observations cited above needs to be reiterated. He said the disturbing element is "either a single unconscious thought" -- e.g., e/he, r/our -- "or it is a more general psychic motive, which directs itself against the entire speech." The Jim Crow jacket, which is a collection of the white man´s negative traits which he cannot consciously admit and therefore projects onto Blacks, is a textbook example of a general psychic motive that was directed against Obama´s White House speech in its entirety. We are not looking at an elephant in the room; we are looking at a mammoth.
Let´s come down hard on the matter at hand:
Does Obama feel unconsciously that the Jim Crow jacket fits? Deep down, does he believe he was unworthy of the presidency? A trespasser? An imposter?
Putin lifted the jacket off the hook now and then, dusted it off. For example, he remarked of the West´s policy in the Ukrainian crisis, "They must have really lacked political instinct and common sense..." Stupid.
Putin´s comment was no gratuitous dig. On some level, his remark must be meaningful -- otherwise I wouldn´t be writing about it and you wouldn´t be reading it. Words can only acquire meaning within a context. Could that context for Obama be the jacket complex? If that is the case, the r-s-p-e-c-t incident demonstrates that a single phrase -- indeed, a single letter or word -- sufficed to give wings to a general psychic motive of inferiority, stupidity, incompetence. If the ensuing flight did not shoot down sound decision-making by Obama in America´s best interest, what would?
Intelligence services seemed to be aware of that dynamic. I could write a book citing specific instances. More on this awareness below.
Unconscious father and societal complexes with two letter associations, r and e, in rapid succession to activate both complexes; a relaxed atmosphere during an important event; the mammoth jacket hanging in the background: r-s-p-e-c-t was a bad idea whose time had come.
But ambiguity is richness.*****
-- Jorge Luis Borges --
How can manipulation of Obama be stopped? That is our third question.
I decided to include it because of its paramount importance. A solution would render useless the subliminal tools which others are using -- blatantly so, in my opinion -- to seduce, disorient and mislead Obama. True, he is no longer in the White House. Equally, true, he is still a major political player.
Our concern is of course diametrically opposed to that of intelligence agencies.
Russian and Chinese intelligence spent vast amounts of resources trying to figure out Obama. Again, I venture to say they concentrated first and foremost on Obama´s father complex. It is the most obvious, as well as most conventional, lead. And in fact an understanding of that complex may have sufficed for them to achieve their goal: at least get Obama to occasionally knock himself off balance; at most cause him to defeat himself.
In our search for the solution, unlike foreign intelligence agencies we go on to ask another question:
Why is the father complex there? What caused Obama to make an absolute out of his father? Did the father complex create ambivalent impulses, a love/hate relationship with authority, or did ambivalent impulses create the father complex? If the latter is true, Obama´s hamartia or basic frailty is not what it appears to be at first glance, an excessive love of father -- a father hunger -- but something else, deeper...
True, there is an answer to the why of Obama´s father complex on a strictly personal level. His father abandoned the family when Obama was two years old. However, a father complex per se cannot be explained entirely on a personal basis. For one thing, not everybody who lost their father has a father complex. For another, millions of people around the world make an absolute out of an absent father as well as of other things, e.g., their religion, country, football team, a singer, the girl next door, their mother. Why?
With that question, we enter a land far from Newton and Descartes. It is the land of the most complex and important logic of all: the logic of emotions.
Here is our alternative psychological portrait of Obama. Alternative because you won´t be seeing it on CNN or the BBC anytime soon; it is taboo.
Obama is a quintessential middle class man. That statement, simple, consummatory, calls for an explanation:
Middle class has a dual meaning:
(1) the conventional one we all know and use. The middle class is the socio-economic class between rich and poor.
(2) The unconventional meaning which is broader. Middle class is any status or condition that is marginal, intermediary and/or transitional.
The two meanings are related. The socio-economic middle class is to the broader meaning what a class is to its phylum. For analyzing societies, the socio-economic middle class is probably the most important representation or case of the marginal/intermediate/-transitional phylum; however, it is by no means the only case. Everybody has been middle class countless times and in countless ways. If you went someplace, you were in the middle until you arrived.
The broader meaning of middle class has been thoroughly analyzed in anthropology. Mary Douglas presented the heart of the question in her discussion of Arnold Van Gennep, who
"saw society as a house with rooms and corridors in which passage from one to another is dangerous. Danger lies in transitional states, simply because transition is neither one state nor the next, it is indefinable. The person who must pass from one to another is himself in danger and emanates danger to others. The danger is controlled by ritual which precisely separates him from his old status, segregates him for a time and then publicly declares his entry to his new status. Not only is transition itself dangerous, but also the rituals of segregation are the most dangerous phase of the rites.…The whole repertoire of ideas concerning pollution and purification are used to mark the gravity of the event and the power of ritual to remake a man -- this is straightforward."******
The view that danger and impurity are inherent to the middle class phylum directly contradicts the prevailing Aristotelian viewpoint of the socio-economic middle class as the center of moderation and compromise, of reason and responsibility, of fairness, of peaceful reconciliation of rich and poor. That contradiction is why our explanation is taboo; it simply cannot be publicly recognized that the socio-economic middle class has a dark side -- that it is a source of irrationality, of extremism, of terrorism.
Both the Aristotelian and anthropological viewpoints have truth. That reality leads to the bottom line.
"Our picture of the middle class is now ambiguous. If there is a key to understanding the socio-economic middle class, it is ambiguity and the ambivalent attitudes accompanying it...[O]ur definition of the socio-economic middle class is the zone where moderation + danger = ambiguity."*******
With the above perspective in mind, the first few pages of Dreams From My Father confirm the conclusion that Obama is middle class in both meanings of the term.
(i) He comes from the socio-economic middle class. “´After all, you don’t come from an underprivileged background,´ a Manhattan publisher helpfully points out to me." (p. 4)
(ii) With a white mother and black father, Obama is middle class in terms of race.
A consummate intermediate/transitional/marginal man, then, if there ever was one.
The ambiguous status and milieu of an intermediate/marginal/transitional condition create and maintain ambivalent feelings. "On the one hand, on the other;" "There is the good side and the bad side."
Understandably, the middle class man tires of being tossed to and fro. That displeasure (Freud´s word) can give rise to a search for relief in an absolute -- because an absolute is the opposite of ambivalence.
As previously indicated, the father-as-absolute is only one of innumerable absolutes which present themselves as solutions. Innumerable because the middle class psyche, given its fundamental ambivalence, can convert anything into an absolute. A straight line will do.
Obama made a resounding statement of his own ambivalence/absolute connection: "At the time of his death, my father remained a myth to me, both more and less than a man." (p. 6). Any extreme******** always testifies to the presence of its opposite nearby, usually in a latent condition. That presence and its tension is what gives the first extreme its energy, i.e., makes it an extreme, in the first place.
In Obama´s case: my father was a myth, more than a man. Of course, as a real live guy, my father could not but occasionally fall short of a mythological status; therefore...my father was less than a man. Inferior. A violent drunk. A womanizer.
In the extremist-dynamics of middle class psychology, it is all or nothing. Life is not heaven; therefore, it must be hell. The Child of the Good can become -- and instantly so -- the Child of the Bad.
The telltale heart of the consummate middle class man -- the man of extreme moderation -- is something that is not there: no moderating intermediate points to fall back on.
The way out of entanglement in ambivalent feelings begins with a simple recognition and hard acknowledgement of them, i.e., holding ambiguity and the ambivalent emotions surrounding it in consciousness -- not repressing, denying, explaining away, or otherwise minimizing them.
The opposite course of continued unconsciousness only serves to preserve the autonomy of unconscious ambivalence -- the source of displeasure and the plethora of problems noted here. Which course did Obama take? We will see in a moment.
What difference does awareness make? Everything.
Start with a cue from the singular success of Alcoholics Anonymous. The group will not work with an alcoholic unless he openly and unconditionally acknowledges what he is.
When a middle class man becomes conscious of and admits without reservation his ambivalent emotions, he can begin to control them -- instead of being controlled by them; he can cease to be possessed by an unconscious archetype. In that process, he ceases to be available for manipulation by others who recognize and understand the archetype of ambivalence.
Where does Obama stand?
Does he fully acknowledge his racial intermediate/marginal/transitional status and consciously deal with it, or is he doing something else? Who or what is in control?
His book provides the answer:
"They know too much, we have all seen too much, to take my parents’ brief union -- a black man and white woman, an African and an American -- at face value. As a result, some people have a hard time taking me at face value. When people who don’t know me well, black or white, discover my background (and it is usually a discovery, for I ceased to advertise my mother’s race at the age of twelve or thirteen, when I began to suspect that by doing so I was ingratiating myself to whites), I see the split-second adjustments they have to make, the searching of my eyes for some telltale sign. They no longer know who I am. Privately, they guess at my troubled heart, I suppose -- the mixed blood, the divided soul, the ghostly image of the tragic mulatto trapped between two worlds." (p. 4)
Mixed blood, divided soul, trapped between two worlds: Obama found the door to a full conscious recognition and acknowledgement of his ambiguous black and white, intermediate/marginal/transitional -- middle class -- status. Did he turn the nob, enter? Confront the truth?
This is what happened next:
"And if I were to explain that no, the tragedy is not mine, or at least not mine alone, it is yours, sons and daughters of Plymouth Rock and Ellis Island, it is yours, children of Africa, it is the tragedy of both my wife’s six-year-old cousin and his white first grade classmates [who would not play with him], so that you need not guess at what troubles me, it’s on the nightly news for all to see, and that if we could acknowledge at least that much then the tragic cycle begins to break down..."
The tragedy is not mine alone, it is yours; Plymouth Rock; first grade; nightly news; six-year-old cousin: Obama blew off the encounter. He turned, walked away from the very acknowledgement he rightly intuited is the key. A momentous discovery went undiscovered. Read his words again: he explained away; he minimized. He repressed. He copped out.
To this day, Obama attempts to solve his middle class racial status by denying it exists. He says he is Black, period. Slam-dunk; case closed, over and out. No contradiction there. In r-s-p-e-c-t and elsewhere, however, his unconscious is telling him something else. Until he listens, it will continue to speak and always in the same way: self-sabotage.
After his words break down, where did Obama go?
He did the only thing he knows how to do. He said what it is: hide from himself. He forged ahead in a discordant, hypomaniacal -- almost logorreheic -- torrent of words:
"[W]ell, I suspect that I sound incurably naive, wedded to lost hopes, like those Communists who peddle their newspapers on the fringes of various college towns. Or worse, I sound like I’m trying to hide from myself. I don’t fault people their suspicions. I learned long ago to distrust my childhood and the stories that shaped it. It was only many years later, after I had sat at my father’s grave and spoken to him through Africa’s red soil, that I could circle back and evaluate these early stories for myself. Or, more accurately, it was only then that I understood that I had spent much of my life trying to rewrite these stories, plugging up holes in the narrative, accommodating unwelcome details, projecting individual choices against the blind sweep of history, all in the hope of extracting some granite slab of truth upon which my unborn children can firmly stand. At some point, then, in spite of a stubborn desire to protect myself from scrutiny, in spite of the periodic impulse to abandon the entire project, what has found its way onto these pages is a record of a personal, interior journey-a boy’s search for his father, and through that search a workable meaning for his life as a black American."
Lost hopes, fringes, hiding, fault, distrust, circle back, re-write, plugging up, accommodating, projecting, blind, stubborn, protect, scrutiny, periodic impulse to abandon. The granite slab of truth -- the absolute -- Obama was searching for as a lifeboat is simultaneously hidden and revealed in those words -- his words -- nowhere else.
What it comes down to:
Until Obama acknowledges his ambivalence and strips it of its sovereignty, we will only see more of the same pattern: error, frailty, miscalculation, trespass...missing the mark. How can it be otherwise when there is on-going reinforcement and manipulation of his ambivalence by others, notably intelligence agencies domestic and foreign?
A textbook case of ambivalence manipulation by Putin appeared in the Ukraine crisis. He had 40,000 invasion-ready troops parked on the Ukraine border. He said he would not invade Ukraine; however, he also reserved the right to protect fellow Russians.
On the one hand; on the other. There´s the good side and the bad side. Putin found a tool that worked: the tired-but-true whipsaw. What is amazing is that apparently nobody in Washington knows what is behind it or how to counter it.
I will go ahead and say it. Obama´s hamartia is Hamlet´s. Indecisiveness created by ambivalent emotions he does not acknowledge, much less control.
For the time being, his hamartia is bigger than he is.
In April 2014, a singularly revealing statement was issued by the Russian Government:
"President Barack Obama said Thursday's deal in Geneva between Russia, Ukraine and Western powers to reduce tensions in the Russian-speaking east of Ukraine was promising but that Washington and its allies were prepared to impose more sanctions on Russia if the situation fails to improve.
´Statements like those made at a high level in Washington that the United States will follow in detail how Russia fulfils its obligations ... are unlikely to help dialogue,´ President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said.
´You can't treat Russia like a guilty schoolboy who has to put a cross on a piece of paper to show he has done his homework,´ Peskov said in an interview with Russia's First Channel. ´That kind of language is unacceptable.´"
Guilty schoolboy, homework, cross, unacceptable. Tsk-tsk: Peskov went out of his way to define -- blatantly so -- the Ukraine issue in terms designed to set in motion Obama´s father complex.
Actually, in reducing the Ukraine crisis to a little boy pissing contest, Peskov inadvertently created a magnificent opportunity for Obama to counter. However, he could not see it, much less use it. On top of everything else, Obama could not count on the CIA or FBI to help him; they had a vested interest in maintaining and manipulating his father complex for their own purposes. That may explain why Peskov figured he could make the statement and get away with it.
For those who think the Russians´ manipulation of Obama´s father complex was not intentional, that circumstances conspired to make them look more subtle, more analytical, more intelligent than they really are:
For the Russian government´s view of the world, click here. You will see an article by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov published in December 2008, only weeks before Obama took office. The levers pulled and buttons pushed, the bells rung and wires wired up to trigger Obama´s father complex, leap out between the lines. Today, nine years later, I continue to be astonished by the obviousness of what Lavrov wrote.
*Sigmund Freud, The Psychopathology of Everyday Life, p. 335.
**The Greek word hamartia (ἁμαρτία) has been alternatively translated as fatal flaw, frailty, sin, trespass, mistake, miscalculation, error of judgment. The problem is, the more the meaning of hamartia is investigated, the more its meaning slips away. That is always the case when a word refers to a phenomenon deeply rooted in the unconscious. Scholars agree, however, that the most basic sense of hamartia is missing the mark.
For more on hamartia, see our Ello post, "The Fatal Flaw of Donald Trump."
***A major indicator of the song´s substance is detectable in a derivative:
The libidinally-loaded expression sock it to me did not originate in Aretha Franklin´s song; however, her recording was probably the source of the phrase´s subsequent use in "Rowen & Martin´s Laugh-In" TV show (1968-73), which propelled the expression nationwide.
****Reports continue to circulate that Dreams From My Father was ghost-written by Obama´s friend, Bill Ayers. For one of the more responsible discussions, click here.
Even if the book were 100% written by Ayers, it would not discount our analysis. (i) Obviously, Ayers had input from Obama. (ii) In the end, Obama signed off on the book, owned it, claimed it. (iii) Most importantly, not all the reasons why Obama would have picked Ayers in the first place could have been conscious ones.
***** "...pero la ambiguëdad es una riqueza." Jorge Luis Borges, "Pierre Menard, autor del Quijote," p. 449.
******Mary Douglas, Purity and Danger, Routledge, London, England, 1996, p. 97.
For more on the meaning of middle class, see our Ello post “A New Perspective on Terrorism.”
*******Thomas Belvedere, The Source of Terrorism: Middle Class Rebellion, pp. 61, 66.
Stated in dramaturgical terms: "The possessed of Dostoevsky have stronger ties to the Babbitts of Sinclair Lewis than normally meets the eye." (Ibid., p. 252)
********Carl Jung defined the tendency of extremes to change into their opposites as enantiodromia or “the emergence of the unconscious opposite in the course of time. This characteristic phenomenon practically always occurs when an extreme, one-sided tendency dominates conscious life; in time an equally powerful counterposition is built up, which first inhibits the conscious performance and subsequently breaks through the conscious control.” C. G. Jung, “Psychological Types,” in C. G. Jung, The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Volume 6, H. G. Baynes, translator, 1990, p. 426. (Paragraph 709).
@ello @ellowrites @ellopolitics @barack @obama #psychoanalysisofobama @ellorussia @arethafranklin @respect #ArethaFranklin #respect #fathercomplex