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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The Unconscious Is More than That

Freud was interested in the ego/id/superego trinity of the unconscious to the exclusion of anything else that might have been happening in the mind that the mind was unaware of. With great verbal dexterity he made sure that all facts could be hung on this increasingly articulated model. Girard does the same thing with his model of mimesis. Both systems are brilliant, and certainly contain some important correspondence to reality. But they are also cautionary tales about trying too hard to make a single insight conquer the whole territory.

Being animals human beings are always attempting to organize themselves into the “proper” social structure for human beings. Mapped in the genes (as it were) of all animals is the way that those animals are supposed to be organized. This is why middle school students are so notoriously hard to teach. Their bodies are telling them to form themselves into a nation. The kings are trying to emerge. Everyone is trying to align themselves with power, not the foreign invasive power of the teacher-class, but the real structure of the student-class. Rivalries emerge. School is contrary to nature.

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