is Professor of Analytical Psychology at the University of Essex, Visiting Professor of Psychoanalytic Studies at Goldsmith's College, University of London and a Training Analyst of the Society of Analytical Psychology.
On Writing the Book
RW: You say this is the last book in a trilogy. Is it necessary to read the other two volumes in sequence, or can this be read as a stand alone volume?
AS: I wish I had said that I now see it as a trilogy. It was not conceived as a trilogy so it is in fact perfectly possible to get all the juice out of this book without having opened the other two. Why did I want to claim that it is a trilogy? I think it is something to do with the narcissism of a writer. I wanted to establish an oeuvre, and to point out to those people who might get interested in my work more academically that there are real connections between these books. If I can give one simple example: in The Plural Psyche I talk about the need for diversity and competition between different viewpoints in psychotherapy. That is a political point. In The Political Psyche I took that whole approach (called pluralism) and applied it to diversity in society. And in Politics on the Couch I go in much more detail and in a much more accessible way into some of the issues around unity and diversity in society as these are lived out by individual citizens. So there is a direct line between these three books and the feedback so far is that this third one is much more easy to read than the other two.
RW: That's exactly what I was just going to say. Your writing has developed over the course of the three and I found this one much easier to read. I was not sure if it was because I am used to your style of writing, or whether you think it has actually changed in some way.
AS: As time passes, you distil things. You go on the road with your ideas. I have been lucky that the psychotherapy world, the academic world and the general world of culture and politics have given me so many invitations to speak that I've been able to test things out and see what works. The risk of it's being an easier book to read is that there are some slogans in it, some preachiness in it, there are some arguments that really needed more footnotes and so forth.
RW: So, is that a deliberate attempt to reach a more general audience?
AS: Yes. I want to make my work as popular as necessary, but not as popular as possible, if I can coin a phrase. I haven't tried to write a 'How to do psychological politics' book.
RW: I kept on thinking of the book in terms of reaching to a wide audience. And yet there was quite a lot of psychotherapeutic language which I realised would not be accessible. So it was almost as if it fell between two stools.
AS: I think it probably does fall between two stools and I cannot see any way out of it. There is very little technical language in it. But every now and again you get a major burst of jargon that only a therapist would easily understand, like the passage about the primal scene and how that connects with people's political patterns and energies and attitudes and strengths and weaknesses.
RW: You seem to approach politics from such a fresh perspective. I was wondering about where your ideas came from. What or who are your influences?
AS: Although Jung's own politics are a matter of dismay to many contemporary Jungians, he did pave the way for a cultural psychology and he left a whole bunch of ideas, for example about energy and about transformation and about how opposites, while not exactly uniting, interplay in a way that's much more creative than just staying as polar opposites. Things like that helped me and other Jungian analysts to think about politics in a way that's different from psychoanalysts. That's one source. The other source is scanning the texts, the manifestos, the brochures and leaflets of activist groups that I admire, whether it's Amnesty or environmental groups, or people for example who are interested in inner city issues, poverty and ethno-politics. I began to see how redolent of psychology their aims and goals are. So that's a second source. Thirdly, I practice what I preach. I observe my own bodily and fantasy reactions to politics; I observe how I'm silenced when I don't know things. In the world of therapists, I probably know more than the average about politics – know in the sense of factual knowledge. When I go out amongst journalists or academics, as a typical therapist, I know less. And I've often found that it's very hard – I become, if you like, the silent suppressed 'woman' figure in a group of factually switched on high energy dominant sort of men. I've learnt how difficult it is to get your own bodily and soul reactions to political things into conversations with such people.
RW: Tell me about some life experiences that led you to this work.
AS: To make sense of what I'll tell you, you need to know that I dropped out of university, so I'm a Professor without a degree!
RW: How do you manage that?
AS: Well, there was a 'second chance' course at the London School of Economics where I got a diploma in Social Administration. And, if you got a distinction in that diploma, you could get on to a Post Graduate Social Work course. So I'm a post-graduate social worker. Then, with a very good social work qualification, I was able to use that to get into the analytical training. But my background – why I dropped out – was drama. I was a theatre director and ran a commune-style radical theatre company in the late 60's and early 70's in and around Oxford. Then I got seduced into applying for a job at the RSC [Royal Shakespeare Company]. Got the job.
RW: Doing what?
AS: To be an Assistant Director. I was only 22. Then I just had a change of heart and went off and started a drama and youth counselling project in South Wales. Then I realised I needed to get much more knowledge about the psychological side of things, working with these very difficult deprived kids. That's when I came and did the social work. Then I went into analytical training. The academic thing came along later, as a kind of a bonus when my Society (The Society of Analytical Psychology) decided to fund a Professorship. I applied for it and got it. I share it with Renos Papadopoulos, as you know.
After school I spent a year in South Africa – actually in Swaziland in Southern Africa. Officially I was working for the Colonial Office but in fact I had been recruited by the ANC. I got into terrible trouble, got discovered, got expelled from Swaziland, got imprisoned in South Africa, got expelled from South Africa. It was a fairly exciting year! I was only 17 or 18 at the time. That was pretty grim – prison wasn't very nice.
On Gender and Sexuality
RW: You talk a lot about gender and sexuality. You make the powerful statement that: "Homophobia is a political defence of the family as capitalism has defined it". Perhaps you could elaborate on that:
AS: In terms of being perceived as a group in society (and they're not really a group, of course), homosexuals are a terrific threat. Although of course they are men or women themselves, they represent a symbolic threat to that clear-cut definition of the two sexes. The cultural association is that they don't have families and that puts them outside the family structures which are still very central to capitalism. And lastly the fear of being effeminate or "homosexual" is very much used to stop men becoming more involved, active, hands-on fathers.
RW: In your chapter on a "new deal for men and women", you bring in the idea of ambivalence (in the psychological sense) and "the capacity to have simultaneous hating and loving feelings towards the same person" which I think is really helpful.
AS: If you take something like equal opportunities legislation (which is 25 years old this month), the statistics show that, while some things have changed, it has not achieved as much in 25 years as something so centrally positioned in society and backed by government should have achieved. And I'm wondering if that is because the psychological dimensions have been overlooked. It's a male dominated society. And, are men going to give up their power that easily? Are men going to give it to women who I think they have on the whole rather negative feelings about, as well as positive feelings? (And that means they are ambivalent.) The point is that government is terribly unhappy with thinking about citizens being sexed citizens. It is getting better - with the Women's Unit. But there's no Men's Unit – although I understand men's issues are going to be dealt with by the Women's Unit! The point is though that politicians – especially male politicians – are very reluctant to get into this way of talking and I have developed a whole idea about what I call sibling politics which is a sort of brother-sister model used to suggest ways in which male and female citizens might work together in spite of their ambivalent feelings about the other.
RW: Now I want to play devil's advocate for a moment. I want to pick up on your reference to gay couples and families, in particular gay people bringing up children outside of a heterosexual relationship - the traditional model - which could be thought of as the natural order.
AS: I think therapists are a very strange group when it comes to issues about different – or what I call transgressive - family styles because they above all know that growing up in the conventional nuclear family is no guarantee of happiness and mental health, so that they might be a bit more tolerant of these sorts of new style families that are emerging. However, what interests me about the therapists is how conventional they are! They are happier with straight people. They are happier with nuclear families. It is a very odd thing that we deal so much with the unconscious; we deal with the kinky – and yet we are a very conventional group of people. And I don't know what that is all about. It worries me that, even those therapists who are rather radical in many ways, stop being radical when it comes to sexual and family matters. And there's something I want to say here that is also very naughty and provocative – the personal lives of therapists do not reflect this professional conventionality at all. They are always having marital breakdowns and multiple affairs, and they know from their analyses that their sexuality is not as clear cut as it seems to be on the surface and so on. Why are they so conventional – many of them if not the majority – when it comes to public pronouncements?
When we set up PCSR (Psychotherapists & Counsellors for Social Responsibility) we were a group of therapists who thought were able to make public pronouncements of a more radical kind; we had lived lives that were not conventional and were prepared to valorise and support other people whose lives were not conventional. Otherwise you get situations where you'll find a middle aged female psychotherapist who has not had a relationship with a man for 25-30 years, who has not had sex for maybe longer, who will, when she talks about her clients, discuss them in terms that are really quite moralistic and judgemental as if her own life were somehow irrelevant to this discussion. (I'm not attacking such therapists, just pointing out the contradiction - they are aware that they, too, are "weird" clients.)
RW: Where do you stand on the question of same-sex couples having children?
AS: The issue of same sex couples having children, whether the children are adopted, from test-tubes or come from previous unions with other people …
RW: Well, those are all very different categories.
AS: They are very different. But that issue of same sex people looking after children is something there should be a national debate about. And lots of viewpoints will come in, and the context will vary in what will be said. I've noticed that, when you get a "conventional" therapist talking about same sex couples having children, and you then introduce into the discussion a religious objection to it, then the therapist starts to become more radical!
RW: I have no objection to same sex couples bringing up their own children – that goes without saying. Adopting is also another category that is less contentious. But producing babies in a test tube could be seen as going against nature, as in cases like Diane Blood (whose husband died and she wanted to produce a baby from her dead husband's sperm). These are deeply psychological problems.
AS: I am more libertarian about this than you. But I know you're not prejudiced against gay people. In a way you're saying gay couples can't decide not to have their cake, and then eat it.
After the big campaign to get the major psychotherapy trainings to abandon discrimination against gay and lesbian candidates, we had a big conference and the audience was by definition highly liberal. And yet it was the question of gay parenting that produced the steam. At that conference there were therapists who were gay men or lesbians who had children in all kinds of different ways, and not one of them departed from the objective way of arguing. Not one of them said "Look, I'm doing it. It's fine". I thought that was bizarre. I could understand why they didn't, but I thought "what a chance missed".
The first longitudinal study of lesbian couples' children has been done and I am happy to learn that the results are completely uninteresting. They didn't show anything. They're just normal kids.
RW: I probably sound very conservative, but never mind. I probably am!
AS: You are. Absolutely typical therapist! You're dead radical when it comes to politics, but when it comes to family stuff you remember you're a therapist and not a socialist! I remember a psychoanalyst disagreeing with me once saying "Look, I'm a left winger too, but, as a professional analyst I have a different set of values"!
RW: You talk about turning to siblings "as an image of an alliance between female and male citizens" and that to me is a very novel idea which I think is really helpful.
AS: It's in the zeitgeist. Juliet Mitchell's book on hysteria talks about sibling relationships. Of course neither of us had any idea what the other was up to. Hers came out before mine but was delivered before hers came out and, rather lazily, I did not go and check what she had done. Sibling politics resurrects the notion of a horizontal politics not a vertical politics. It is a model of politics in which a person's sex is very important and ambivalence is acknowledged.
RW: It is very challenging to think in terms of politics along horizontal lines of power, but – and I don't know whether this is just my personal experience – sibling relationships are lethally rivalrous. I'm not sure that it would be an advance.
AS: Of course the ambivalent alliance at the heart of sibling politics will break down. But all radical political organisations break down. We know it, sadly. In my book, what I say is that I am interested in the way siblings relate before adolescence. Because there you get often quite a playful rather nice relationship which does involve a joint alliance against the parents. It's only when puberty hits – and when the siblings become very powerful threats to the parents – that you find the really vicious aspects of their relationship coming up. You start to get the notorious stand off where brothers and sisters literally walk past each other in the corridors and rooms of the house without saying a word. Now of course the conventional psychodynamic explanation is that they are so hormonally charged, being adolescents, that they'd better ignore each other or they'd end up going to bed. But I think it's also got something to do with the politics of the family. If they did not ignore each other and got together in an alliance against the parents, they'd be a real threat.
The things that therapists know about brothers and sisters are very relevant to the question of what I call the sexed citizen. And the big discovery of the multicultural debate is that it matters whether you are a man or a woman, it matters whether you're black or white, whether you're gay or straight, Christian or not Christian, it matters whether you live in the north or the south. There is no citizen – there is only a citizen with specifics.
RW: That's what you mean by the sexed citizen?
AS: Well, the sexed one is the most interesting one for me because I'm a therapist and that's my background; that's what I'm interested in: sex and gender. Other people will be very concerned with the "race" and ethnicity aspects of all of this. Still others – government policy people – will be very concerned with north-south. And believe you me that is a big divisive thing. I come from Liverpool. The heart of Liverpool and the heart of London could not feel more different. It's devastated still. There are still bomb sites from the war. It is a very jagged under-nourished urban environment in spite of trendy bits like the Tate Gallery at the Albert Dock. And, since you've been asking me about the autobiographical aspects of all this, although I had a middle class background and I went to boarding schools, I was terribly aware of the poverty in Liverpool. My grandfather on my mother's side of the family was essentially a slum doctor – a wonderfully dedicated GP. I was just aware of the gap between the haves and the have nots and the social problems. My mother started to do voluntary work and had a very productive and successful career in the voluntary social services and eventually became Vice Chair of the Area Health Authority, a Mental Health Commissioner for England and Wales, Chair of the Juvenile Bench and High Sheriff of Merseyside. I think she was shocked by what she saw when she began this work. She would come home and I would listen to her telling us about the cases she had at the Citizens Advice Bureau. And I think, looking back now (as people are always asking me "why are you into this?"), I think this stuff played a part.
Being Jewish makes you radical and sensitive to oppression, even if somewhat blind to the fact that you're contributing to it - my family are business people.
On the Father
RW: You've coined the phrase "the good-enough father of whatever sex". Is a substitute father a second best thing?
AS: When I talk about women parenting without men as good-enough fathers of whatever sex, I am always confronted by people saying "Yes, but surely it's better to have a father around than not to have one". This is a bit of a trick question because it avoids having to look at ways in which there being no male parent need not be a disaster. I am not saying anything about which kind of family is best, only arguing that this particular kind of family - lone parent families headed by a woman - are not necessarily psychologically disastrous. I write about how the situation can not only be rectified but even enhanced and improved when a lone parent is a woman. In some cases, it is definitely the case that the father has been an appalling influence as a presence.
RW: Well, we also know from transference and from countertransference that each sex can represent the other sex to the client.
AS: That's a very shrewd point which strengthens my argument.
RW: The usual expectation that therapists will want to treat society as a sort of client has been completely turned on its head in your book. You want us to think in terms of citizens being the therapists. This is a profoundly empowering reversal.
AS: It is one of the key things in my thinking. You're right, I've turned the traditional formulation around. The traditional formulation is that the citizen is a baby and society is the mother or father or parents. I thought that citizens have a potential to be therapists to the society that has spawned them. In particular I thought that citizens can do what therapists do which is to use their private, emotional, subjective, responses to politics to help them sharpen their attitudes and ideas and make decisions, choices, commitments about politics. So, just as you as a therapist scan your mind and body for countertransference responses to the client, I want the citizen to scan her mind and body for countertransference responses to society and its political and social problems. I do workshops putting this kind of thing into practice that I call "political clinics".
RW: You say "We can heal the split [between spiritual values and social theory] by positioning psychology and psychotherapy somewhere between spiritual values, such as equality in God's eyes, … and social theories of equality ". This is ambitious stuff.
AS: It is the tripartite links between spirituality, psychotherapy and politics that I am making that is ambitious and I think is something I want to spend more time on in the future. What I say about spirituality is that it has got a lot of contemporary variants: there is social spirituality which I think is very important right now in Britain.
RW: What does that mean?
AS: Social spirituality is when people come together to do something in society to stop a bypass or something like that, or to stop veal exports or whatever it happens to be. Then, as they work together, a certain kind of spiritual feeling permeates their joint activities. Then there is craft spirituality which is problematic because there is less and less of it, although some people's relationships to their computers and their computer chums on the Internet comes into this area. (You get into a slightly elevated state which is in a way spiritual.) But broadly speaking craft spirituality is about whether or not we really respect work. And on the whole we don't.
RW: You mean "work" work?
AS: Yes. Making things. In the book I talk quite a lot about how spirituality is itself "made" and seems to need our help in the construction of temples of various descriptions. Even hermits have to trek up the hill to the cave. It needs a degree of artificiality, a degree of un-spontaneity. So I thought craft spirituality was quite important. Then there's profane spirituality which is roughly speaking sex, drugs and rock & roll. Jung had that wonderful correspondence with Bill W, the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. Without Jung there would be no AA though. I don't think he would have been too keen on how much 'God stuff' has now got into 12 step programmes. Anyway, Jung wrote to Bill W that spirits involved spirit, i.e. there is a kind of absolutely off the rails, perverse and doomed to fail spiritual quest in alcoholism, and indeed in other addictions. And there are many, many features of quasi-religion in some of these things: the way the drug addict has his own private language only other drug addicts understand; the whole ritual of shooting up. Everything in that has a religious feel to it. So there is a lot of profane spirituality in our society. And even, in very truncated form, you can see the spiritual quest in consumerism. In shopping people are looking for something beyond themselves. They ain't gonna find it, but they're looking.
RW: And shopping mall as cathedral …
AS: Absolutely. Yes, I hadn't thought of that. That's the kind of nuggetty point one really needed before the book, not afterwards!
Then the last form of spirituality I can see is democratic spirituality: spiritual equality. This is very old-fashioned. In the eyes of God (whatever that means) we are equal. It is the bedrock of political equality. So, these are my ideas about spirituality. What may be original here is the depiction of how all of those different sorts of spirituality play into the political dimension.
RW: What about your personal spirituality?
AS: I am extremely invested now in a spiritual quest which only looks as if it is for social and political ends – or rather I have come to see how they are the same thing. Some would say that is a mystical position. Charles Peguy said "Everything starts in mysticism and ends in politics" and I made that the epigraph to Politics on the Couch.
RW: What do you mean by that aphorism?
AS: Well, that the transformation of society in the direction of greater equality and justice for me is a spiritual matter and I look at what is traditionally the spiritual in myself – in my own life – and I see that it is social, and what is social is full of, and redolent of, the spiritual. So, in a way, that's my place. But I am by no means the only person in this position. My background is Jewish. There is no doubt in my mind that my book is full of Jewish consciousness but, of course, that doesn't make it a book only for Jews! But, as I say, the connection between the social and the spiritual is certainly well developed in the Jewish tradition, as you know.
I was in Japan in October and I got talking to some Zen monks in a very free and easy and equal way. We played with the relationship in our different traditions, between the social and the spiritual and this is what we came up with. Basically, what you do under Buddhism is you spend your lifetime honing your spirituality and then at the end of your life you might make a social commitment. In the Jewish approach, it's the other way around: you become committed to society and thereby enter the spiritual realm. So it was very, very interesting. My favourite anecdote concerns one of the people I got to know who was one of the leading exponents of the Japanese tea ceremony. We went to see him (my connection and I). We sat down - knelt on the floor – and he had an electric vacuum flask of some kind. He put the tea in the teapot and stuck it under the spout and so on, and, as he was filling the teapot he spilt some water; and when he was pouring the tea he spilt it. He made a complete mess of it! (It wasn't a tea ceremony – he was just giving us some tea.) And he made fun of himself saying "I'm teaching people the tea ceremony and look at the mess I've made"! So I then told him the story of the wounded healer. We roared with laughter. He also said something very interesting. He's one of the very few celibate Zen monks left in Japan. Before the war, partly to depotentiate and conform the Buddhist religion, the government actively encouraged (I don't quite know how) Buddhist monks to take wives and families which of course makes them much more part of this system. And this guy - he said the only mistake he made in his life is that he decided to be a celibate!
On World Politics
RW: I was interested that you said in the book that you had worked with the Arab and Jewish Israelis and I wondered if you would say a bit about what sort of work you did.
AS: I did this in 1993. At the time there was a great deal less tension within Israel between the Israeli Arabs (as they were then called) and the Israeli Jews. It was much less tense than it's become. And now of course people talk about the Israeli Palestinians, the Palestinians within Israel – so things have moved on. At the semi-governmental institute where I did this, there was a general sense in which the Israeli Arabs might be a third party in the politics of the Middle East and that they were being left out of all the discussions. So this institute began to do a lot of work in the area of Israeli Arabs and their experience. That was the background. And as part of that they set up a series of workshop encounters between young educated Israeli Arabs, and young educated Israeli Jews. Of course the hostility was enormous as they saw everything completely differently.
RW: Were these therapy workshops?
AS: No, just discussion groups. But with me as one of the facilitators. And what I did there was to use my concept of political type, political style, because I could see that it was not only a question of these people having different approaches to politics, there was also very much a question of them actually having a different way of talking and conceiving of politics altogether and I got the idea that this was a question of type – not necessarily constitutionally in-born but developed over time. The participants "did" their politics very differently. Now what I noticed was the differences in political type within the Jewish group and within the Arab group were equally massive. It was not that the Jews all did their politics one way and the Arabs all did their politics the other. There were some Jews who did their politics the same way as some Arabs. And I started to work on that. Now this has got me into a lot of trouble – or I've been misunderstood – because I don't want to be heard saying that the content of what you say about politics or believe about politics is irrelevant. It isn't, obviously. At the same time, it ain't only what you say, it's also the way that you say it! And, when I re-structured the room along my evolving perception of the types involved, it changed the discussion massively.
Then in 1996 I used the idea in a more refined form in helping a community organisation to settle a community dispute in a town not very far from Rio De Janeiro, and I've used it subsequently as a consultant to a number of voluntary organisations. I've basically found that, once you've understood the range of types involved (in the book there's a list - warrior, terrorist, mystic) you can do some very interesting work to unblock situations. I actually think that some of this 'type' stuff could take me in a more organisational development way in the future.
RW: Do you see a way of making the various things you do more mainstream, rather than as a kind of exercise or experimental situation?
AS: Yes. I think that ideas really change how society is run. It takes a very long time. The notion of what a citizen is has evolved massively over the last 3,000 years. And the idea of a citizen as an entity with an interior life (with an internal life to use the title of the book) is I think coming on stream.
People are fed up with today's political leaders, political systems and political language and it's not that they've done nothing. People have really tried: economists, sociologists, environmentalists, religious leaders have all desperately tried to change things. I'm saying that psychotherapy, as a way of thinking and, as a bundle of attitudes and indeed techniques, can make a collective contribution as well as the individual contribution.
RW: We're coming up to a General Election and I know I'm full of foreboding about it. I wondered what thoughts you have about it.
AS: I share the general disappointment in the Labour Government and I expect nothing better, though I hope it will be otherwise. I really think that an opportunity of historic importance has been missed and we will rue the day. Because eventually of course (in the next 10-15 years or so) the Tories or some other new political alliance will get power. No party holds on to power in Britain forever. What I think would have been lovely, would have been for society to have changed so radically that they couldn't unscramble it, but I think that's not going to happen. It has not been possible to build a political vision based on all we know about people's willingness to make sacrifices if they approve of the cause. There has been a failure of political vision and integrity on the part of the government. All the opinion polls say people will pay higher taxes if it is to go on things they approve of. They usually don't mean nuclear submarines; they usually do mean primary school facilities and less people waiting on trolleys in casualty departments for beds.
RW: I know you do some political consultancy work. Do you have any dealings with the leaders in this country?
AS: Yes. I have had. Before the Election I had connections with many different elements in the Labour Party going up to very senior level. And I've had a long term relationship with a senior American politician as well. I have made small contributions to solutions of social and political problems in Ireland, Brazil, South Africa and Japan and I'm building up a practice in this.
RW: When you talk, you sound less optimistic than you sound in the book.
AS: Well, I suppose the only way I can answer that is to tell you the extent to which I feel optimistic. I feel that, if you take a very long term viewpoint, the chances of some of the things I am saying being adopted are reasonably good because I've noticed how political language, political imagery, changes. As I said earlier, our conception of the citizen in particular has changed rapidly. So, although it might take 20, 30, 40 years, I think that some of the insights psychotherapy can bring to politics, will become much more accepted. In terms of actually changing what is done in daily life in a reasonably short period of time, my efforts will contribute very little. But then frankly so will the efforts of so many people who are not thereby pilloried. It's fantastic how the unconscious idealisation of the therapist is maintained in the attack on him or her for being ineffective. The economists are ineffective, the politicians are ineffective, the church leaders are ineffective, the journalists are ineffective. Nobody really minds that. They've just got used to it. Along comes a psychotherapist and he gets clobbered for being ineffective. Not fair!
RW: In Chapter 10 you say that "racists actually want to eliminate themselves". I didn't understand that. What do you mean by that?
AS: This came out of one of those political clinics. I have developed a method of finding out people's private reactions to political issues by encouraging them to imagine themselves as if they were therapists and to regard the political issue - racism in this case - as a client. The images that came up – which were spontaneous although there was a group associative process of course – were very much of completely empty landscapes, as if the racist does not want anyone to exist at all. So there was a great deal of what you might call self-loathing and self-annihilation involved in racism which I had not expected to find. And the audience – people from groups concerned with ethnic minorities (I was very daunted because of course I'm not a specialist in anything) - they joined in on this and were quite shocked because their way of thinking was that the racist wants his country back, or he wants to own the land, repopulate it with his own type, not being able to cope with difference. So it was very revealing to see that the racist was actually totally self-annihilating as well.
RW: I don't quite understand that.
AS: I don't really understand it either.
RW: I can understand the empty landscape with no one but the person of "pure race".
AS: That's what I would have expected. That's what I thought we might find. But no. No one at all. Polar. Tundra. Nobody. Nobody. I can't explain it. We couldn't. But what it lead to was a very deep and fascinating discussion about racism that felt a bit new (and the participants said it felt new).
The Plural Psyche: Personality, Morality and the Father, London and New York: Routledge, 1989.
The Political Psyche, London and New York: Routledge, 1993.
Politics on the Couch: Citizenship and the Internal Life is published by Profile Books. For special mail order price of £9.99 in UK, £10.99 in the rest of Europe and £11.99 outside Europe (all inc. p&p) write with full credit card details to Profile Books Ltd, 58a Hatton Garden, London EC1N 8LX or call 44 0207 404 3001, or fax 44 0207 404 3003 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org ).