Transformational Marxism.

Dean Gotcher

"As the Frankfurt School wrestled with how to 'reinvigorate Marx', they 'found the missing link in Freud.'" (Martin Jay, The Dialectical Imagination: A History of the Frankfurt School and the Institute of Social Research, 1923-1950)

"Third-Force psychology is also epi-Marxian in these senses, i.e., including the most basic scheme as true-good social conditions [an environment void of the father's/Father's authority where children can "actualize" their "self" without fear of judgment or condemnation] are necessary for personal growth, bad social conditions [where children have to humble, deny, die to, control, discipline their "self" in order to do the father's/Father's aka their parents will] stunt human nature,... This is to say, one could reinterpret Marx into a self-actualization-fostering Third- and Fourth-Force psychology-philosophy. And my impression is anyway that this is the direction in which they are going now." "The whole discussion becomes species-wide, One World." "This is a realistic combination of the Marxian version & the Humanistic. (Better add to definition of "humanistic" that it also means one species, One World.)" (Abraham Maslow, The Journals of Abraham Maslow)

Unlike Traditional Marxists, i.e., hard line Communists, who kill(ed) the father figure, i.e., the King (and those who supported him in society) outright, Transformational Marxists (who merge Marxism, i.e., society or "the people" or the "the group" and Psychology, i.e., the individual) use "group psychotherapy" to 'change' not only "the group," i.e., society (replacing the father figure with the facilitator of 'change' as the leader of the group) but 'change' the individuals in "the group" as well (doing it at the same time). Through the dialoguing of everyone's opinion to a consensus, something the father figure would not (and could not) allow when it comes to everyone obeying his commands, rules, facts, and truth and accepting his authority, the father's/Father's authority is negating in everyone's feelings, thoughts, and actions, as well as in their relationship with one other and the world. In this way, through the group consensus process, what Marxists saw happening in Communist movements around the world, i.e., Communist leaders reverting back to Nationalism aka Fascism—with dictators, as father figures, dictating their commands, rules, facts and truth to be accepted and obeyed as given—could be averted, and globalism (Communism-capitalism) could be achieved.

By 'changing' how policy (the learning and decision making environment) is initiated and sustained, not only can the individual be 'change,' society can be 'changed' as well. "[Kurt] Lewin emphasized that the child takes on the characteristic behavior of the group in which he is placed. . . . he reflects the behavior patterns which are set by the adult leader of the group." (Wilbur Brookover, A Sociology of Education) What applies to children, applies to adults as well.

Approval is an important part of anyone's life. Rejection is one of the most painful experiences of life. Affirmation, therefore is not only intoxicating, it is addictive and possessive as well. It is that part of "group dynamics" (Kurt Lewin) that pressures a child (and adult) to abandon 'loyalty' to the one, i.e., to the father/Father and 'change' his or her 'loyalty' to "the group," i.e., to the many. "It is usually easier to change individuals formed into a group than to change any one of them separately." "The individual accepts the new system of values and beliefs by accepting belongingness to the group." (Kurt Lewin in Kenneth Bennie, Human Relations in Curriculum Change)

Karl Marx understood the importance of 'change,' i.e., 'changing' a person's 'loyalty' from the one (rigidity) to the many (compromise), i.e., from 'loyalty' to the father/Father to 'loyalty' to "the people," i.e., to the facilitator of 'change' and the consensus process of 'change.' "It is not individualism [under God's and/or parent's, bosses, etc., authority] that fulfills the individual, on the contrary it destroys him. Society is the necessary framework through which freedom [from the father's/Father's authority and the guilty conscience for doing wrong, disobeying, sinning] and individuality [to be one's "self," i.e., "of and for self," i.e., carnal, i.e., of the world only without having a guilty conscience] are made realities." (Karl Marx, in John Lewis, The Life and Teachings of Karl Marx) "To enjoy the present reconciles us to the actual." (Karl Marx, Critique of Hegel's 'Philosophy of Right') If 'change' was to become a reality in society, where man no longer looks to a higher authority for direction but to himself only, Marx understood that the father's authority over the family had to be negated, 'liberating' the children, and therefore society from the father's/Father's authority, preventing "dictatorship" from taking over again. "Once the earthly family [where the wife submits her "self" to her husband's authority and the children submit their "self" to their parent's, i.e., their father's authority, doing his will] is discovered to be the secret of the holy family [where the Son, and those who follow Him submit their "self" to His Father's authority, doing His will], the former [the traditional family, submitting their "self" to the father's authority] must itself be annihilated [vernichtet] theoretically and practically [in the children's private thoughts and social actions, i.e., in their relationship with their "self," one another, and the world]." (Karl Marx, Theses On Feuerbach #4) "The life [authority] which he [the child] has given to the object [to the father/Father by obeying him/Him] sets itself against him as an alien and hostile force."  (Karl Marx, MEGA I/3) "Laws must not fetter human life; but yield to it; they must change as the needs [carnal desires] and capacities [ability] of the people change." (Karl Marx, Critique of Hegel's 'Philosophy of Right') Just know this, Marx's 'reasoning,' "self" 'justification,' lead to the soviet system, i.e., the consensus process, producing a "jurisprudence of terror" over "the people," keeping any resister to 'change' in line. "Jurisprudence of terror takes two forms; loosely defined rules which produces unpredictable law, and spontaneous changes in rules to best suit the state." (R. W. Makepeace and Croom Helm, Marxist Ideology and Soviet Criminal Law) Vladimir Lenin 'loosed' the spirit of Marx on the Russian people, in the name of "the people."

The role of the facilitator of 'change,' i.e., the "group psychotherapist" is to create an environment (they call it "environment" or "climate" control) in which all present can participate in the consensus process of 'change,' as explained by Irvin Yalom in his book Theory and Practice and Group Psychotherapy. "Without exception, patients enter group therapy with the history of a highly unsatisfactory experience in their first and most important group—their primary family [the traditional home]." "What better way to help the patient [the child/the student] recapture the past than to allow him to re-experience and reenact ancient feelings toward parents in his current relationship to the therapist [to the facilitator]? The therapist [the facilitator] is the living personification of all parental images [takes the place of the parent].  Group therapists [facilitators] refuse to fill the traditional authority role: they do not lead in the ordinary manner, they do not provide answers and solutions, they urge the group [the children/the students] to explore and to employ its own resources. The group [the children/the students] [must] feel free to confront the therapist [the facilitator], who must not only permit, but encourage, such confrontation. He [the child/the student] reenacts early family scripts in the group and, if therapy is successful, is able to experiment with new behavior, to break free from the locked family role he once occupied. … the patient [the child/the student] changes the past by reconstituting it." "In the group not only must the individual strive for autonomy but the leader must be willing to allow him to do so. … an individual's behavior cannot be fully understood without an appreciation of his environmental press.  …one member's behavior is not understandable out of context of the entire group. …there is no more important issue than the interrelationship of the group members.  … few individuals, as Asch has shown, can maintain their objectivity in the face of apparent group unanimity; and the individual rejects critical feelings toward the group at this time to avoid a state of cognitive dissonance.  To question the value or activities of the group, would be to thrust himself into a state of dissonance.  Long cherished but self-defeating beliefs and attitudes may waver and decompose in the face of a dissenting majority. One of the most difficult patients for me to work with in groups is the individual who employs fundamentalist religious views in the service of denial. The ‘third force' in psychology … which emphasized a holistic, humanistic concept of the person, provided impetus and form to the encounter group … The therapist assists the patient to clarify the nature of the imagined danger and then … to detoxify, to disconfirm the reality of this danger. By shifting the group's attention from 'then-and-there' to 'here-and-now' material, he performs a service to the group … focusing the group upon itself.  Members must develop a feeling of mutual trust and respect and must come to value the group as an important means of meeting their personal needs. Once a member realizes that others accept him and are trying to understand him, then he finds it less necessary to hold rigidly to his own beliefs; and he may be willing to explore previously denied aspects of himself.  Patients should be encouraged to take risks in the group; such behavior change results in positive feedback and reinforcement and encourages further risk-taking.  Members learn about the impact of their behavior on the feelings of other members. …a patient might, with further change, outgrow … his spouse … unless concomitant changes occur in the spouse."  (Irvin Yalom,  Theory and Practice and Group Psychotherapy)

In this way, through "group psychotherapy," i.e., the consensus process, the problems Lenin saw in society could be overcome in a more non-violent peaceful way. It is being played out in your local schools today, preparing the next generation, i.e., your children to be your "grave diggers." As the Transformational Marxist György Lukács explained it: "the Communist Manifesto makes the point that the bourgeoisie [those initiating and sustaining the father's/Father's authority] produces its own grave-diggers [their children, i.e., the "proletariat"].'" Everyone thinks the Berlin Wall came down because Communism was defeated—it was in its Traditional form. In truth it came down because Communism had succeeded—in its Transformational form ("group psychotherapy," i.e., the dialoguing of opinions to a consensus, facilitated meeting). It is how education, work, government, "church,"is being done today, i.e., "building relationships" upon "self interest," i.e., upon what we all have in common (common-ism), 'liberating' the world from the father's/Father's authority, which restrains, i.e., which divides.

© Institution for Authority Research, Dean Gotcher 2017, 2018, 2020