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The Emotional Life of Nations
by Lloyd deMause

Chapter 6: War as Righteous Rape and Purification

"War! It meant a purification, a liberation...and an extraordinary sense of hope"

-Thomas Mann

Happy people don't start wars. They don't need "purifying" or "liberation," and their everyday lives are already full of hope and meaning, so they don't need a war to save them from anything.

What sort of strange emotional disorder is it that war cleanses, liberates and saves people from? And how can killing, raping and torturing people be acts that purify and restore hope in life? Obviously war is a serious psychopathological condition, a recurring human behavior pattern whose motives and causes have yet to be examined on any but the most superficial levels of analysis.

All standard theories of war deny that it is an emotional disorder at all.1 War, unlike individual violence, is usually seen solely as a response to events outside the individual. Nations that start wars are not considered emotionally disturbed--they are either considered as rational or they are "evil," a religious category. Although homicide and suicide are now studied as clinical disorders,2 war, unfortunately, is not.

Most historians of war have given up in advance any attempt to understand its causes, claiming "it is simply not the historian's business to give explanations."3 Genocide, in particular, appears outside the universe of research into motivations, since if one tries to understand Holocaust perpetrators, one is said to "give up one's right to blame them." At best, historians avoid the psychodynamics of the perpetrators of wars entirely, saying, "Leave motivation to the psychologists."4

The standard explanations given for war by political scientists and anthropologists equally avoid clinical understanding. Instead, they break down war causes into three general categories:

1.Instincts and Other Tautologies: The most popular cause of war is that it is a result of a human instinct for destruction. From Clausewitz's "instinctive hostility"5 and Freud's "instinct for hatred and aggression"6 down to biologists' statements that war is "macho male sexual selection" that "accelerates cultural evolution,"7 none of them notice that simply assuming an instinct for war without any neurobiological, genetic evidence at all is wholly tautological, saying no more than "the group's desire for war is caused by the individual's desire for war." Since tribes and states spend more of their time at peace than at war, one must also then posit an "instinct for peace," which, through group cooperation, should favor survival even more. One can proliferate tautological instincts at will, but only evidence counts. Unfortunately, all tests for the heritability for violence have failed completely.8 The best study of instinct theories concludes: "Human warfare, and indeed killing, are too rare to be the product of a drive that needs to be satisfied. There is no drive or instinct that builds up, gives rise to aggression, is satiated upon release, and then builds up again...Furthermore, humans also have a genetic inheritance shared with fellow primates for peacemaking, and that propensity must also be factored into the equation."9

Tautological explanations proliferate in the field of war studies. Historians are particularly prone to claiming that the reason a lot of people do something is because they all are just following each other, a perfect tautology. War is often said, for instance, to be caused by "ideology" or by "the culture of militarism" of this or that state10 or by "a marked tendency for the military to prepare offensive military plans."11 But saying war is caused by an arms race is about as meaningful as saying homicide is caused by someone buying a gun. What one expects when asking for the motivation for homicide is not how the perpetrator got the weapon but the internal development of his psyche plus the events leading up to the violent act. Besides, empirically most states start wars without an arms buildup. Germany in 1913-1914, for instance, spent less on her military than France and Russia,12 yet began WWI because she felt insecure with a smaller army than other countries and felt paranoid about being attacked.

Yet another common tautological reason for wars is that they are "preventive." Bismarck put that reason in its place when he was urged to start a preventive war by saying it was "as irrational as committing suicide because one was afraid to die."13 America even today continues to have a "first strike nuclear deterrence" preventive war policy that is based on the causing of 600 million deaths as "acceptable."14 Just as meaningless are all the theories of war being caused by "lack of collective security," or "the anarchic nature of the state system" or similar systems theories. The lack of instruments to prevent wars is a symptom not a cause; presumably if one could discover the underlying causes of war and reduce their power, states would then set up international systems of settling differences and of providing collective security. As Holsti puts it, "To argue that we have war because of systems structures is analogous to an argument that we have automobile accidents because we have highways."15 One must not reify groups; only individuals have motives.

2. Greed as a Motive for War: War is usually claimed to be purely plunder by social scientists: "War is defined as stealing en masse what other men own."16 Yet we would never accept greed as a real motive from a man who murders his family after taking out life insurance on them, nor would we accept the excuse of greed from a man who raped and murdered women and then took some of their jewelry. Even thieves turn out to have deeper motives than greed. As James Gilligan, a prison psychiatrist who has spent his life analyzing the lives of criminals, puts it, "Some people think armed robbers commit their crimes in order to get money. But when you sit down and talk with people who repeatedly commit such crimes, what you hear is, 'I never got so much respect before in my life as I did when I first pointed a gun at somebody.'"17

That anyone should imagine that hundreds of millions of people can enthusiastically engage in mutual mass butchery over minor pieces of territory is so patently ludicrous that it is a wonder anyone could ever have taken it seriously; yet this what historians and political scientists still ask us to believe. The entire "rational decisions" school of war theorists, all of whom claim utility as the ultimate motive for war, run up against the extensive empirical research done on hundreds of wars in recent years that consistently shows that wars are destructive not rational, that wars cost even winners more than they gain, that those who begin wars usually lose them and that leaders who go to war historically never actually calculate before they do so whether the gains will exceed the costs.18 Zinnes summarizes the results of all this testing of war as a rational activity motivated by materialistic gain as follows: "After thirty years of empirical research, in which we have devoted an enormous amount of time to collecting, measuring and summarizing observations about nation-state behavior, we cannot find any patterns" that show any relationship at all between war frequency and economics, population density or any other material condition of states.19 Otterbein even shows that cross-culturally there is "no influence on war of economic or ecological factors;" even tribal warfare destroys far more than it gains, and tribes rarely even pretend they are going to war to gain territory.20 Rummel concurs, finding from his huge historical database that a country's propensity to go to war is unrelated to its economic development, its technological abilities or even its military capabilities.21

The costs of wars have repeatedly been demonstrated to be far in excess of any gains that could be hoped for.22 In Vietnam, it cost America hundreds of thousands of dollars to kill each enemy soldier; the world even today spends trillions of dollars a year to fight wars and maintain military forces, far in excess of anything that could be gained by war. In fact, wars are so self-destructive that when a nation goes to war the people must at some level realize that they are engaging on a truly suicidal venture. Often, a careful examination of the actual historical decision process reveals explicitly suicidal imagery. As just one example from many, when Tojo called together the Japanese leadership to decide whether or not to attack Pearl Harbor, he went around the table and asked each minister to tell what he thought would happen if they attacked the U.S. Each one forecast decisive defeat. It was so obvious that an attack would be suicidal for Japan that Tojo ended up saying, "There are times when we must have the courage to do extraordinary things--like jumping, with eyes closed, off the veranda of the Kiyomizu Temple."23 The Kiyomizu Temple was well known to all present as the place in Kyoto where people committed suicide.

3. Stress Theories of War: Even those theories of war that allow that it is wholly irrational end up blaming economic stress as the cause of the irrationality. "Hard times make people feel threatened and frustrated," so they go to war from the emotional stress of economic downturns. Most leaders who try to promote peace cite the stress theory: "By eliminating the economic dissatisfaction that breeds war we might have a chance for lasting peace" (Sumner Hull) or "Freedom from fear is eternally linked with freedom from want" (Franklin Roosevelt).24 Marxist theorists in particular believe wars break out because of capitalist economic downturns. In particular, most theorists believe WWII was caused by stresses of the economic Depression.

The problem with these stress theories is that empirically wars usually occur during economic upswings, not during depressions. Wars not only occur far more frequently after prosperous periods, but are longer and bigger after prosperity, "six to twenty times bigger as indicated by battle fatalities."25 Macfie finds "the outbreak of wars has avoided years of heaviest unemployment...excessive expansions are required to germinate the seeds of war."26 In Europe since 1815, no great-power wars have been started during a depression.27 WWI broke out after 40 years of growth of real incomes for workers (80 percent higher for Germans),28 and even WWII broke out several years after Germany had regained and surpassed pre-Depression levels of production--the supposed cause, economic distress, having disappeared by 1939. Wars are in fact prosperity-reducing rituals. They are responses to what we have earlier termed growth panic--responses to progress and prosperity, not to depletion. What is depleted when nations decide to go to war is their emotional not their economic resources.

By examining only the sociogenic and not the psychogenic sources of war, major theorists to date have been disappointed by the total lack of results of their research. David Singer concludes that the study of war has failed to "achieve any significant theoretical breakthrough" and is saddened by the fact that no one has found any "compelling explanation" for war.29 Bruce Bueno de Mesquita admits that "we know little more about the general sources of international conflict today than was known to Thucydides...[perhaps] scientific explanations of such conflicts are not possible."30 Such extreme pessimism is understandable. Clausewitz's dicta that war is an extension of political policy has been fully discredited, and all the usual reasons for wars --for territory, for revenge, to obtain sacrificial prisoners, to obtain coups, as God's will, to stop dominoes from falling--turn out to be only rationalizations.31 But the failure to find valid motives for wars only applies to sociogenic theories, ones that carefully avoid the psychological model of human violence that has proved so fruitful in the study of the causes of homicide and suicide. We will first turn to the results of the recent clinical studies of individual violence before we propose our psychogenic theory of war.

Because those societies which have the harshest child-rearing practices have been shown to produce low-esteem adults who have the highest incidence of murder, suicide and war,32 the study of human violence can most fruitfully begin with examining the findings of clinicians who have closely interviewed murderers and determined their motives.

Most of what we usually believe about interpersonal violence is unconfirmed by statistics. Homicide is not regularly higher in big cities; cross-cultural studies find there is "no significant associations between community size and homicide or assault."33 Nor do men assault their spouses more often than women do; studies in various countries show "wives hit their husbands at least as often as husbands hit their wives,"34 although men do more damage with their assaults.35 When war is counted as violence, men constitute at least 75 percent of the victims of lethal physical violence in the United States, and die from two to five times as often from personal violence as women do world-wide.36 Mothers are not more often gentle while fathers mainly do the hitting of children; in fact, American mothers today abuse their children nearly twice as much as fathers.37

Both statistically and clinically, researchers have found violent adults have only one thing in common: poor childrearing.38 Studies of homicidal youths, for instance, found 90 percent could be documented as coming from severely emotional, physical or sexually abusive families.39 James Gilligan summarizes his decades of interviewing murderers:

In the course of my work with the most violent men in maximum-security settings, not a day goes by that I do not hear reports--often confirmed by independent sources--of how these men were victimized during childhood. Physical violence, neglect, abandonment, rejection, sexual exploitation and violation occurred on a scale so extreme, so bizarre, and so frequent that one cannot fail to see that the men who occupy the extreme end of the continuum of violent behavior in adulthood occupied an extreme end of the continuum of violent child abuse earlier in life....As children, these men were shot, axed, scalded, beaten, strangled, tortured, drugged, starved, suffocated, set on fire, thrown out of windows, raped, or prostituted by mothers who were their "pimps"...

The cause of adult violence, says Gilligan, is a "collapse of self-esteem" triggered by an incident in which the murderer imagines himself or herself to be humiliated and shamed, resorting in what he calls a "logic of shame, a form of magical thinking that says, ‘If I kill this person in this way, I will kill shame--I will be able to protect myself from being exposed and vulnerable to and potentially overwhelmed by the feeling of shame.'"41 Gilligan points out that shame is at the root of mass violence too, pointing out that "Hitler came to power on the campaign promise to undo ‘the shame of Versailles'--and clearly that promise, and the sensitivity to shame from which it derived its power, struck a responsive chord in the German people as a whole."42 Though criminologists report that in homicides "the most common altercation was of relatively trivial origin: insult, curse, jostling, etc.,"43 these shaming events turn childhood traumas into current rage, what Katz terms "righteously enraged slaughter,"44 producing a "tremendous rush [that is] almost orgasmic" for the murderer45 as they avenge all their past hurts and humiliations. "All violence," says Gilligan, "is an attempt to achieve justice."46 As we shall shortly see, this includes mass violence as well, which also involves imagining one achieves justice through violent, righteous vengeance for earlier wrongs.

People start wars when something changes in their brains, neurotransmitters, hormones and cellular neuropeptide systems.47 This "something" is the result of a developmental process that begins before birth and is turned into a capacity for violence during childhood. Contrary to the views of Freud and Piaget, children are actually quite empathic toward others from birth if treated well. Neonates cry in response to the crying of another baby; "even 6-month-olds...responded to distressed peers with actions such as leaning toward, gesturing toward, touching or otherwise contacting the peer."48 Babies who are treated well can be quite generous with their love, gently touching and patting other babies and even their mothers when they notice they look sad.

But the majority of children throughout history--particularly boys, who are physically and emotionally abused more than girls--feel so helpless and afraid that they grow up in what has been called a "culture of cruelty,"49 where they graduated from violent families to form gangs and try to dominate and hurt each other in order to be perpetrators rather than victims, thereby preparing themselves for cooperating in the violence of war. In one study, for instance, Lewis and Pincus report "a significantly greater proportion of very violent children demonstrated...paranoid symptomology [and] believed that someone was going to hurt them...constantly feeling the need to carry weapons such as guns and metal pipes for their own protection..."50 The more violent children, Lewis reports, "had been physically abused by mothers, fathers, stepparents, other relatives and ‘friends' of the family. The degree of abuse to which they were subjected was often extraordinary. One parent broke her son's legs with a broom; another broke his fingers and his sister's arm; another chained and burned his son; and yet another threw his son downstairs...Several children witnessed their fathers, stepfathers, or mothers' boyfriends slash their mothers with knives. They saw their siblings tortured with cigarette butts, chained to beds, and thrown into walls."51 Severe neglect and emotional abuse have been shown to be equivalent to and often worse than physical abuse in producing lasting traumatic effects upon children.52

The neurobiological affects of trauma upon children have been extensively studied. As we have discussed earlier, serotonin levels are reduced by trauma, and are found in reduced levels in adult antisocial personalities, because the lower level of their inhibiting ability allows less control over impulsivity and therefore higher rates of violence.53 External stress also increases corticosterone production, decreasing the effectiveness of the hippocampal system which evaluates the emotional meaning of incoming stimuli.54 Psychopathic personalities have been found to be "actually slower to respond emotionally than the rest of us...Even when they're just sitting around, antisocial individuals are more low-key than the average person" because their noradrenergic behavioral inhibition systems were crippled due to excessive early neglect, traumas and over control by caretakers.55 Very early maternal neglect in particular produces an undersized orbitofrontal cortex--the brain region behind the eyes that allows one to reflect on one's emotions and to empathize with the feelings of others--resulting in such a diminished self and such a low capacity for empathy that the baby grows up literally unable to feel guilt about hurting others.56 Thus swaddled babies abandoned to cribs in dark rooms--as most children were in history--who totally miss the mother's gaze and loving interaction in their early years are programmed for later impulse disorders, psychopathic personalities and the need for killing in war, simply because they never have developed what today we consider "normal-sized" orbitofrontal cortexes through sustained eye contact and mutual play with the mother. As Shore puts it:

The orbitofrontal cortex functionally mediates the capacity to empathize with the feelings of others and to reflect on internal emotional states, one's own and others'....The socioaffective stimulation produced by the mother's face facilitates the experience-dependent growth...children deprived of early visual sensory stimulation...frequently show impairments in representational and affective functions that are responsible for severe emotional problems.57

Lesions of the orbitofrontal cortex produce unregulated aggression and dramatic mood state alterations in both humans and other animals because "unmodulated rage represents a hyperactivation of the...dopaminergic system [and] impulsive acting out episodes ]of] narcissistic rage."58 Children neglected and abused in early months "manifest pathological self-importance, or narcissism, displayed as...grandiosity, recklessness...insecurity and emotional shallowness [plus] the inability to feel ordinary human empathy and affection for others and the perpetrating of repeated antisocial acts."59 Thus the slow evolution of childrearing results in a slow historical increase in size in the average orbitofrontal cortex and more balanced serotonin, dopamine and other hormonal levels, resulting in a steady reduction of grandiosity, paranoia and uncontrolled rage and a diminishing historical rates of infanticide, homicide, suicide and war deaths.

One of the most important findings of Athens from his lifetime of interviewing of violent criminals is that before they kill they consult "phantom communities" who approve of their violent acts as revenges for past humiliations.60 These phantom communities are, of course, identical to the "social alters" I have discussed previously, where dissociated violent selves and internalized harmful caretakers are kept and engaged in dialogues that influence our deepest emotions and approve of our most violent behavior. Athens determined that violence didn't just follow trauma; it required a further "belligerency stage of violentization" during which the brutalized subject resolves in consultation with his inner phantoms, his alters, that he or she has had enough, that violence is sometimes necessary if one isn't to remain a victim one's whole life and that he or she will now use physical violence for those who unduly provoke or humiliate him or her. These alters are often actual inner voices telling the criminal what to do, so that

their decisions to act violently followed from a dialogue with their phantom communities--the "voices" were their phantom companions coming in exceptionally loud and clear....Lews...corroborated Athens's finding that the self incorporates phantom companions when she examined Arthur Shawcross, the Rochester, New York, so-called serial killer who murdered prostitutes. "Arthur Shawcross also experienced dissociative states," Lewis reports. "At these times he would hear his mother in his head, berating him and the women he was seeing. No one was good enough for Arty. They should die."61

These dissociated social alters, it turns out, are concentrated in only one side of the brain, in one hemisphere, a different one in each of us. Frederic Schiffer explains how his studies of dual-brain psychology led him to ask his psychiatric patients to look through special glasses, one pair of which had only the left side of the left eye uncovered (reaching only the right hemisphere), the other only the right side of the right eye (reaching only the left hemisphere), so that the patient would transmit information only to one half of the brain at a time.62 He found that one hemisphere looked at the world with extreme anxiety and the other saw things more maturely:

One patient, a Vietnam veteran, whom I had diagnosed with a severe posttraumatic stress disorder, looked out of one side and developed an expression of intense apprehension as he looked at a large plant in my office. "It looks like the jungle," he said with some alarm. I asked him to look out the other side, and he said, "No, it's a nice-looking plant."

Schiffer finds he can help patients by having them analyze the emotional attitudes of the traumatized hemisphere, since "the troubled side is often like a traumatized person who hasn't been able to move beyond the trauma, even when removed from it, because he continues to expect retraumatization."63 Schiffer and others have done extensive work on dual-brain psychology, including putting one hemisphere to sleep with sodium amytal and finding the patient well-adjusted and pleasant, while putting the other side to sleep made him belligerent.64 He also showed that children who were admitted to hospitals after abuse more often showed abnormalities in brain waves of their left hemisphere and that PTSD patients felt more distress in their left hemispheres. Schiffer concludes:

Traumatic memories are likely closely related to a lower brain center called the each hemisphere which is inhibited by a high-level cortical center, the orbital frontal lobe in that same hemisphere....Both the orbital frontal cortex and the hippocampus tend to try to calm the amygdala...We have too little information to do more than speculate about why the left brain may be more involved in the traumatic experiences of abused patients....Patients who have strong reactions to the glasses apparently have two distinct parts of their mind--one that sees the world as threatening and one that sees it as much less so....frequently I have asked a troubled part of a person to stop attacking the other part of him, and suddenly the person feels remarkable relief.65

These alters which still live in the past, seeing the world as threatening and abusive, constitute, as Schiffer says, two separate minds, one frightened and angry, the other denying the concerns of its partner. When the more grown-up hemisphere moves into new freedom and new behavior, the traumatized hemisphere reexperiences the fear and helplessness it stores from early childhood and produces the "growth panic" I have found lies at the root of war and other violence. This struggle between the hemispheres is not always unconscious; more often it is simply dissociated, with one hemisphere being unaware of the feelings with which the other hemisphere is filled. When Rudolph Höss, SS Kommandant at Auschwitz, says, "I have never personally mistreated a prisoner, or even killed one. I have also never tolerated mistreatment on the part of my subordinates,"66 he is not being disingenuous. The nontraumatized half of his brain sincerely believes he and his subordinates never mistreated a Jew as they were beating and torturing and murdering them by the hundreds of thousands. His social alter in his traumatized hemisphere was fully in control and cut off all meaning of what he was doing, which to his non-traumatized hemisphere appeared as normal. He had two brains which he was forced to keep separate; as he put it, "Many a night as I stood out there on the railroad platforms, at the gas chambers, or at the burnings, I was forced to think of my wife and children without connecting them to what was taking place."67

This dissociation into traumatized alters occurs more in groups because one feels more helpless and more depersonalized in large groups,68 particularly in the largest groups, nations, and therefore more fearful. When we think of acting in society or even of what it is like to speak in front of a large group, one feels more open to attack, to humiliation, and one can more easily switch into the traumatized hemisphere. Our first line of defense when in a social trance is to cling to a "strong" leader or a "strong" subgroup, merge our alters with them and join in various group activities, often violent ones, to defend ourselves. Thus it makes sense that Freud, Le Bon and others define the inevitable characteristics of a group as invincibility, grandiosity, irresponsibility, impulsiveness, suggestibility and fearfulness,69 all qualities of the neglectful and traumatic figures stored in our social alters. Without the laterality of the brain, neither politics nor religion can exist, as they do not in other animals who do not have divided selves. (In fact, the only other animals who do sometimes go to war and murder each other senselessly are chimps and dolphins, both of which are large-brained, lateralized creatures with the beginnings of the ability for self-recognition.) It is only because humans have radically lateralized hemispheres with larger impulse inhibitors--orbitalfrontal cortexes and hippocampuses--that they are able to go to war with one hemisphere and build Leagues of Nations with the other.

The lower the childrearing mode, the more divided are the hemispheres. New Guinea natives can be warm and friendly while in their more mature hemisphere and suddenly switch into thier social alters in the other hemisphere and kill you because they think you are bewitching them. The lower the childrearing mode, the more traumatic the early experiences, and the more divided the hemispheres. In tribal societies, switching into warrior alters is a simple process: "The man or boy leaves his former self behind and becomes something entirely different, perhaps even taking a new name...the change usually accomplished through ritual drumming, dancing, fasting and sexual abstinence...into a new, warriorlike mode of being, denoted by special body paint, masks and headdresses."70 In modern societies, with a wide range of childrearing modes, "only 2 per cent of recruits kill easily, so the rest must be brought to do so by careful military training" featuring new traumatic experiences.71

The split mind begins to form with early trauma, even perinatally. Fredrick Leboyer, author of Birth Without Violence,72 once told me that babies born with his non-traumatic techniques not only were far more calm and happy after birth but "less one-handed," less brain-lateralized. The two halves of the brain are even sometimes recognized in political imagery. Hitler, for instance, often spoke of a strange "kinship" between the Aryan and Jew (the two sides of his brain): "Has it not struck you how the Jew is the exact opposite of the German in every single respect, and yet is as closely akin to him as a blood brother? closely allied and yet so utterly dissimilar."73 This split mind is responsible for what is termed "the banality of evil;" one side is banal (Winnicott's "False Self"), the other side evil (the "Bad Boy" alter). It accounts for how nations can joyfully choose violent leaders to take them to suicidal wars, and yet one part of their mind can be wholly unaware of what is happening. For example, the following is William L. Shirer's description of sitting in the Berlin Sportpalast watching Hitler shouting and shrieking that "he will go to war this Saturday. Curious audience, the fifteen thousand party Bonzen packed into the hall. They applauded his words with the usual enthusiasm. Yet there was no war fever. The crowd was good-natured, as if it didn't realize what his words meant."74 The dual brain also explains how "ordinary Germans"--extremely traumatized by "ordinary German childrearing" around 1900--could have, during the Holocaust, "humiliated, beat and tortured defenseless people and then shot them in the back of the neck without the slightest hesitation [and then dissociate and] pose before their living or dead victims, laughing into the camera {and] write home that these snapshots and extermination anecdotes would someday be ‘extremely interesting to our children.'"75

The primary sources of violent political behaviors are the concrete mother-child interactions of one generation earlier--how mainly the mother responded to, cared for and conveyed her feelings and fears to her fetus, infant and young child. We have already described in Chapter 3 how going to war is preceded by flashbacks to intrauterine, perinatal traumas and group-fantasies of the need for national rebirth. Here we will begin to examine the sources of human violence in early mother-child interactions.

Videotape recordings of children's relationships with their mothers in the preverbal period "have been shown to remain essentially the same over time and to be duplicated with other ‘substitute' mother figures. A child who has a warm, affectionate relationship with the mother will relate to others in a warm, affectionate manner, whereas a child with a guarded, distant relationship will relate to others in a guarded, distant manner."76 This maternal relationship is eventually restaged in international relations in a concrete manner, being acted out in "the sandbox of history" with nations playing the emotional roles of the mothers and children from early life.

Mothers in history who because of their own life experiences see their children as harmful and aggressive have historically mainly treated them in ways that have made them grow up as violent adults, by routinely inflicting upon them murder, abandonment, neglect, binding, enemas, domination, beatings, sexual assaults and emotional abuses77 that are later restaged in wars and political behavior. Necessity was not the main source of these cruelties toward children--wealthy parents were historically even more overtly rejecting, giving their children to others at birth for years for what they expected would be abusive caretaking. Fathers have until recently usually only worsened this early traumatic upbringing, since historically the father has almost always been mostly absent from the child's early life --most fathers in history spending their days in the fields or factories and their nights in the taverns (see Chapter 7). When home, fathers have lent little support to mothers in caretaking and emotional nurturance, requiring that his wife "mother" him rather than his children.

Growing up, Mahler found, is built upon basic maternal care, since "differentiation is from the mother, not from the father."78 Therefore, women not men have until recently for better or worse been the main sources of care, neglect and abuse throughout history. As St. Augustine put it, "Give me other mothers and I will give you another world." His words have been confirmed by recent clinical studies. What Erikson said about girls has been found to be true of all children: "By the time a girl developmentally turns to the father, she has normally learned the nature of an object relationship once and for all from her mother."79 In short, mothers are major actors in childhood history--they are perpetrators80 and not just victims, as the theory of patriarchy holds.

Most of the extremely abusive historical childrearing practices which are detailed in the next three chapters of this book are routine reactions to the child's daily needs and growth process, wherein immature mothers expect their children to give them the love they missed as a child and therefore experience the child's independence as rejection. As one battering mother said, "I have never felt really loved all my life. When the baby was born, I thought he would love me, but when he cried all the time, it meant he didn't love me, so I hit him."81 Surveys show mothers in most cultures report initial feelings of "indifference" toward their newborn.82 In fact, childbirth often triggers post-partum depression and feelings of emptiness83 because it means the mother must give up her own hopes to receive the care she missed from her own mother.84 The moment the infant needs something or turns away from her to explore the world, it triggers her own memories of maternal rejection. When the infant cries, the immature mother hears her mother, her father, her siblings and her spouse screaming at her. She then "accuses the infant of being unaffectionate, unrewarding and not interested in me."85 All growth and individuation by the child is therefore experienced as rejection. This is why social progress, prosperity and new political freedoms are so anxiety-producing. "When the mother cannot tolerate the child's being a separate person with her own personality and needs, and demands instead that the child mirror her, separation becomes heavily tinged with basic terror for the child."86 Children first experience "growth panic" anxieties because their mother rejects, humiliates or punishes them for their needs and for their individuation. As adults, they then turn to paranoid and violent political behavior during periods of growth and individuation because society threatens to reproduce this intolerable early maternal rejection, shame or punishment. Because these maternal interactions are so early, they are primarily nonverbal, which means that politics has a dominantly nonverbal quality that can only be studied by research into illustrations rather than words--group-fantasies shown in cartoons, magazine covers and TV images. This is why I often watch the nightly news on TV with the sound off.87

It is likely that the centrality of mothers in bringing up children is even responsible for the fact that men are more violent than women and universally fight wars. Testosterone is not the cause, as is usually imagined, since (1) testosterone levels are actually lower in the most aggressive boys,88 and (2) "testosterone is present in boys and girls in roughly the same amounts before the age of ten" and (3) although "all normal boys experience a huge surge of testosterone in early adolescence, [they] do not all display increased aggression...[so] testosterone does not cause aggression."89 Evidence is beginning to accumulate that it is differential treatment of boys, especially by mothers, that is responsible for their higher rates of violence in later life. Boys in every culture are physically punished more often and with greater severity than girls;90 boys are more often used sexually by their mothers in their early years than girls;91 boys are given less nurturance, are ignored more often, are spoken to less and are coached to be more violent than girls;92 boys are subject to over control by humiliation and shame more often than girls;93 and boys are more harshly disciplined for the same actions by parents and teachers.94 Mothers also see their boys as "just like his dad," and take revenge against them for their husband's actions--after all, Medea killed her sons, not her daughters, to hurt Jason for his infidelity.95 Thus although boys begin life with no more aggression than girls, they grow up to be more violent simply because they are less trusted and more feared by their earliest caretakers.

Although the battlegrounds may change, wars--whether between mother and child or between nations--are inevitably about the basic feelings of infancy: trust, security, approval, domination, envy, rage, threats, shame and independence.96 Since having a child revives in mothers long-dormant wishes for the closeness that they missed from their own mothers, mothers often envy the child each of the needs they are asked to satisfy, thinking, "I never got that; why should my child?" Even today psychologists find many mothers reject their infants in many ways because they "fear bodily damage due to the child's aggressiveness."97 But before the nineteenth century mothers throughout history were so immature that they thought their infants were so full of violence that they would "scratch their eyes out, tear their ears off, or break their legs" if they didn't tie them up in endless bandages, "so as to resemble billets of the flesh was compressed almost to gangrene."98 Therefore, through most of history, early mother-child interactions which most "good-enough mothers" today are capable of--centering around mutual gazing, babbling and smiling99 --were all missing, because mothers tightly bound their babies up at birth and stuck them in another room, severely neglected for their first year of their lives.100 International affairs has not throughout history been much negotiated in a secure and peaceful manner because infantile life was not very secure nor peaceful.

Sociologists and historians have avoided looking for the family sources of wars and social violence. Whenever a group produces murderers, the mother-child relationship must be abusive and neglectful. Yet this elementary truth has not even begun to be considered in historical research; just stating that poor mothering lies behind wars seems blasphemous. Instead, the grossest sort of idealizations of historical mothering proliferate. When, for instance, studies of the sources of the extreme violence of the Mafia turn to depictions of Sicilian mother-child relations they inevitably come to resemble the happy, loving families out of "The Godfather." Yet it is only when an Italian psychoanalyst, Silvia di Lorenzo, writes a book on La Grande Madre Mafia that her descriptions of typical Sicilian mother-child interactions begin to give us an accurate picture of the maternal origins of Mafia violence:

If a boy of theirs commits a slight fault, they do not resort to simple blows, but they pursue him on a public street and bite him on the face, the ears, and the arms until they draw blood. In those moments even a beautiful woman is transformed in physiognomy, she becomes purplish-red, with blood-shot eyes, with gnashing teeth, and trembling convulsions, and only the hastening of others, who with difficulty tear away the victim, put an end to such savage scenes.101

Thus the conditions of early mothering have profound affects on adult human violence. It is not surprising that Ember and Ember found in their cross-cultural studies that where the mother sleeps closer to the baby than to the father and uses the baby as a substitute spouse--usually sexually--there is more homicide and war.102 Every childrearing practice in history is restaged in adult political behavior. Children whose mothers swaddled them and were "not there" emotionally could not as adults maintain object consistency and grew up paranoid, imagining "enemies" everywhere. Children whose mothers regularly did not feed them in a timely fashion experienced the world as malevolently withholding. Children whose mothers rejected them with depressive silence experienced peaceful international periods as threatening. Children whose mothers dominated them and who were engulfing often choose totalitarian political leaders. Children whose mothers were so needy they describe their children as "born selfish and demanding" and or who saw them as "angry since birth" experienced other nations as demanding too much or as angry "bad babies." Children whose mothers used them as antidepressants chose manic, often violent leaders to counter their own depression. And mothers who ridiculed and humiliated their children whenever their activities didn't coincide with her own were experienced in the international sphere as poison containers of intolerable ridicule and shame--as in "the shame of Versailles." It is not surprising, then, that violent, authoritarian political behavior has been statistically correlated with rejecting, punitive parenting.103 As Godwin puts it, society is an "exopsychic structure" where adults restage the "parental purification system" of childhood by "cleansing bad, frustrating and abusive aspects of the parent-child relationship" in the political arena.104 In Chapter 3 I have dealt extensively with the evidence showing that war and social violence are preceded by rebirth group-fantasies of cleansing and purification of "sins." It is only the elimination of the most abusive and neglectful historical parenting practices in some nations that have allowed them to set up trusting, non-violent rules of political interactions and have permitted them to achieve more or less cooperative democratic societies and to avoid fighting wars with other democracies. Obviously international peace will not prevail until most parents around the world trust rather than fear their children.

War, then, is the act of restaging early traumas for the purpose of maternal revenge and self purification. Wars are clinical emotional disorders, periodic shared psychotic episodes of delusional organized butchery intended--like homicide--to turn a severe "collapse of self esteem" into "a rage to achieve justice." Wars are both homicidal and suicidal--every German in 1939 who cheered Hitler on as he promised to start an unwinnable world war against overwhelming opposing nations knew deep down they were committing suicide. Like all homicides and suicides, wars are reactions to our failed search for love, magical gestures designed to ensure love through projection into enemies, by "knocking the Terrifying Mommy off her pedestal" and by "killing the Bad Boy self." As Kernberg puts its, violence occurs only when "the world seems to be split between those who side with the traumatizing object and those who support the patient's wishes for a revengeful campaign against the traumatizing object."105 Thus the early crisis in maternal love, which had been internalized during childhood in Terrifying Mommy and Bad Boy alters, is resolved by acting out on the historical stage the revenge against the Terrifying Mommy and by the wiping out of the Bad Boy self.

1. War as Righteous Rape--Revenge Against the Terrifying Mommy: Enemy nations in wars are often pictured as women (see Chapter 3), witches, even placental beasts. When they are seen as women, enemies are there to be pushed around, not eliminated, since even when raging against a bad mommy the hurt child knows he needs her desperately. This is why Hitler kept hoping to manipulate Mother England into being friendly. And it is why he didn't destroy Paris when he marched into La Belle France. Nations to the west of Germany were mainly seen as mommies to be revenged against, to be "knocked off their pedestals" but not to be eliminated. "France...was not marked for subjugation but rather for a secondary role in the Nazi scheme [and] Hitler was always keen on reaching some settlement with the British...[therefore] the German army fighting in the west was given strict orders to conduct itself according to the rules of war."106 The same group-fantasy of war as righteous rape was voiced by Germans in 1914, when they imagined that "only if we are able to hurt England badly will she really leave us unmolested, perhaps even become a ‘friend.'"107

2. War as Purification--Killing Off the Bad Boy Self: Enemy nations are also imagined as Bad Boys, disobedient, disgusting, violent, sexual--everything one was accused of as a child by one's caretakers. If the Bad Boy self can be killed off entirely, "finally mommy will love me." This is why Hitler vowed to wipe out the "bad" nations to the east and settle "good Germans" in their place. Poles, Russians, Jews, every nation east of Germany were projected with Bad Boy imagery: "Slavs were considered subhumans, to be either murdered...or starved to death."108 Moscow, Hitler promised, would be leveled and turned into a reservoir, and Jews would be totally eliminated. In addition, WWII would be a suicidal mission for millions of Germans, thus killing off the "Bad Boy" part of themselves, the most vital, growing, independent self. Then the "good German" self that remained would be purified and would finally be loved by mommy, the Motherland.

It is not surprising that in early societies bloodthirsty War Goddesses ruled over battlefields, since wars are all about resolving the crisis between Terrifying Mommies and Bad Boys. Leaders are delegated the task of being sacrificial priests. Even simple societies go to war to win the love of mommy; in the Yanomamo war ritual myth, the culture hero Child of Water goes to war and slays enemies to "end chaos" and "do what his mother desires and thereby win her approval."109 The role of the father in war is quite different: it is to provide the violence needed to rape and revenge the Terrifying Mommy and to punish and wipe out the Bad Baby. Hitler carried a dog whip everywhere he went, the same whip he and millions of German children were beaten with by their fathers.110 Oddly enough, nations don't go to war as revenge against bad fathers--the drama is earlier than that. Even though children are terribly frightened by their father's violence in the family, the goal in starting wars isn't finally to take revenge against the father, but to "kill the shame," to purify the self and to force mother to love you--to organize men into Fatherlands so they can conquer Motherlands.

Nations switch into their dissociated traumatized hemispheres after periods of peace and prosperity because the individuation challenges of social progress means separating from mommy, a dangerous act in adulthood if it was not allowed by the mother in childhood. Ralph Waldo Emerson, among others, noticed the growth panic that went along with prosperity and progress when he wondered in his journal why Americans felt such a "strange melancholy in the midst of abundance."111 Increases in freedom and prosperity for people who have been abused as children lead first to fears of separation and then to a clinging to the early abusive mommy, even to merging with her. But to merge with a mommy means losing one's masculinity--it means becoming a woman--therefore long periods of peace mean castration. Thus Kant's dicta that wars are necessary because "prolonged peace favors...effeminacy" parallels Machiavelli's claim that war exists to purge nations of effeminato, the "daily accretion of poisonous matter [caused by women's] conspiracy to ‘poison'...manhood" and John Adams' query to Jefferson, "Will you tell me how to prevent luxury from producing effeminacy, intoxication, extravagance, vice and folly?"112 In fact, in groups where they do not have effective war rituals available when people experience severe ego disintegration, people often go amok--a dissociative state where people suddenly kill people in wild, uncontrolled sprees, as often occurs in the otherwise placid Balinese.113 Even chimpanzees "go amok" when given food supplies by humans and "engage in episodes of apparently unprovoked though they had entered an ASC [Alternate State of Consciousness] discharge an inner state of tension...similar to human dissociative behaviours..."114 Prosperity appears to be anxiety-producing even in non-human primates, switching them into their more violent, dissociated hemispheres. Chimpanzees who are not artificially fed by anthropologists live in "peaceful, open groups without signs of any dominance hierarchy, enforced territoriality or single leaders."115

Prosperity leads to starting wars most often in societies where the economic advances of a minority, a more advanced psychoclass, outrun the childrearing evolution of the majority, producing in the less advanced psychoclasses extreme anxieties about changes that require individuation. Thus the most destructive wars have occurred in the twentieth century when there is a rapid "leap into modernity" by nations whose average childrearing lagged badly behind their social and economic progress--so that they tried to run modern capitalist systems with crippled human capital--while the most peaceful periods (for instance, Europe's "century of peace" from 1815 to 1914)116 occurred while the childrearing of most Western European nations was most rapidly evolving and could keep up with the individuation challenges of modernity.117

In Chapter 4 evidence was presented that wars most often occur after leaders have been in office for some time and are seen as weakening in their ability to be in control of national group-fantasies. Thus, the longer the leader is in office, the more likely he will be to take the nation to war. This is confirmed in the case of the United States, where no president has gone to war during his first year, his "strong" phase; where smaller wars sometimes begin in the second and third year of office, as the president weakens; and where its three most destructive wars--the Civil War and the two World Wars, with their hundreds of thousands of American battle fatalities--occurred at the end of 45, 48 and 103 months of the terms of Buchanan, Wilson and FDR, after their group-fantasy strength had collapsed.

Much empirical work has been done on the historical study of war cycles.118 A cycle of about 25 years in the level of violence for most nations in recent centuries has been determined,119 as though each new generation must be thrown into the mouth of Moloch as a purification sacrifice. There has also been considerable work done on economic cycles and their close relationship to war cycles,120 with the finding that "wars between great powers occur during periods of economic expansion, while stagnation hinders their outbreak [so that] after 1815 no wars have been started during a depression."121 Furthermore, "fatalities follow the pattern of [economic] upswings and downswings perfectly...the average annual fatality rate was...21 times higher on upswings than downswings."122 Thus, although wars have been confirmed to be the results of prosperity, it is because no psychological analysis has ever been attempted that scholars have had to admit, "We do not understand the causal dynamics of the long wave...encompassing political and economic elements."123 In the remainder of this chapter we will present a psychogenic theory of group-fantasy cycles that will explain this periodic alternation between economic depressions and wars.

In the chart below, four American group-fantasy cycles have been drawn for the past two centuries of American history, each consisting of four phases: (1) Innovative, (2) Depressed, (3) Manic and (4) War. At the bottom of the chart are listed the major depressions and wars, which coincide with the second and fourth phases of group-fantasy. In the middle of the chart is drawn Klingberg's extrovert-introvert Foreign Policy Mood Curve, which he compiled by counting such foreign policy indices

6:1 American Group-Fantasy Cycles

as the proportion of presidential speeches given over to positive action needed in world affairs.124 As can be seen, there is a close correlation between Klingberg's mood index stages and my independently-derived group-fantasy phases.

An outline of the four group-fantasy phases is shown below. Empirical verification follows on each point in the outline, stressing American and other national group-fantasies and its resulting political and economic behavior. Then the four phases are followed in detail at the end of the chapter for German childrearing around 1900 and its restaging in the four phases of group-fantasy from the Weimar Republic to World War II and the Holocaust.

Group-Fantasy Phases

1. Innovative Phase:

A new psychoclass comes of age after the previous war, a minority of the cohort born two to three decades earlier and raised with more evolved childrearing modes. This new psychoclass introduces new inventions, new social and economic arrangements and new freedoms for women and minorities, producing an "Era of Good Feelings," a "Gilded Age" that for a few years is tolerated even by the earlier psychoclasses. By the end of the Innovative Phase, however, the challenges produced by progress and individuation begin to make everything seem to be "getting out of control" as wishes surface into consciousness that threaten to revive early maternal rejection and punishment. In addition, as women, children and minorities get new freedoms, older psychoclasses find they cannot be used as much as they previously had been as poison containers who can be punished for one's sins. Purity Crusades begin, anti-modernity movements demanding that new sexual and other freedoms be ended to reduce the anxieties of the nation's growth panic and "turn back the clock" to more controlled times and social arrangements.

2. Depressed Phase:

The older psychoclasses become depressed because of their new individuation challenges, expecting punishment for them, and produce an economic depression by withdrawing money from circulation, by raising interest rates, by reducing consumption, by limiting trade and by making all the other surplus-reducing motivated "mistakes" in fiscal policies that are so familiar in economic history. Economic depressions are motivated internal sacrifices which often kill more people than wars do.125 Cartoons prior to and during depressions often show sinful, greedy people being sacrificed on altars,126 and the depressed nation becomes paralyzed politically, unable to take action to reverse the economic downturn. Just as depressed individuals experience little conscious anger--feeling they "deserve to be punished"--so too nations in depressions are characterized by "introverted" foreign policy moods, start fewer military expeditions and are less concerned with foreign affairs. The feeling during depressions is "I should be killed" for my wishes rather than "I want to kill others." Depressions are economic anorexias, where people starve themselves to avoid being eaten up by the Dragon Mother, the maternal vulture of infancy. The nation begins to look for a Phallic Leader with whom they can merge and regain their failed potency and who can protect them against their growing delusional fears of a persecutory mommy.

3. Manic Phase:

As eventual economic recovery threatens fresh anxiety, manic economic, social and military activity builds up as a defense against depressive anxieties, as the nation engages in speculative investment, credit explosions, foreign belligerence, military buildups and other grandiose, hypergenital attempts to demonstrate omnipotent control of symbolic love supplies. Apocalyptic group-fantasies of a world full of evil and a God who is furious and about to end it all proliferate, producing severe growth panics such as the American "Great Awakenings" that occurred in manic periods prior to wars. Continued prosperity leads to a search for poison containers, both internal (minorities, criminals, children) and external (foreign enemies), who can be punished in national Purity Crusades as Bad Boys who embody the nation's sinful greed. Maternal engulfment fears increase as grandiose defenses and memories of being a helpless baby return, so people imagine their nations as "pitiful, helpless giants," with gigantic needs, but helpless to satisfy them. As paranoid delusional enemies seem to surround the nation, sacrificial rebirth group-fantasies appear, complete with devouring placental sea monsters, picturing violence as the only antidote to growing fears of disintegration of self.127

4. War Phase:

When another nation is found that agrees to provide the humiliation episode needed as a casus belli, a tremendous relief is felt of "Aha! I knew the enemy was real and not just in my head." The group-psychotic insight that diabolical enemies are strangling and poisoning one's nation forces a final complete switch into the social trance wherein group-fantasy becomes reality, goals disappear and violent action becomes irresistible as early traumas are restaged.128 The neurotransmitters, hormones and neuropeptides of the nation change dramatically, in the same manner as the neurochemistry of individuals changes as they move toward violence.129 War provides the opportunity for both righteous rape and purification. The righteous rape can be described as both maternal (Mother England) and homosexual (the soldiers)--in fact, war is overwhelmingly a homosexual perversion, since men leave their female partners and go abroad and stick things into other men's bodies. The purification accomplishes the sacrifice of the Bad Boy self, both through the suicidal part of war, killing the nation's own youth as sacrifice of soldiers, and the homicidal part, killing the enemy, each representing Bad Boy selves that must be wiped out so the mommy-nation can finally love the "real" self.

Thus wars and depressions can be seen as classically occurring in cycles similar to individual manic-depressive cycles of violence, only stretched out into periods of approximately one full generation in length. Each of the first three American group-fantasy cycles in the chart above is approximately 50 years long and ends with two wars, first usually a "nice little war" as a sort of trial balloon and then a full-fledged war that produces the rebirth of national virility. This pattern was partially broken after WWII--when improving childrearing reduced the size of both economic downturns and wars--and since when there has been a shorter cycle of group-fantasies, wars and recessions (see discussion at the end of this chapter). Although most Western nations in the past three centuries have had the same "four wars a century" pattern as the United States, whether they also have followed the same four-stage group-fantasy cycle has yet to be investigated.130

The central force for change in economic life is the result of earlier changes in childrearing among a minority of the society. The usual causal chain of modernization theory--that more prosperity means more money for improving childrearing--is simply backward, both because empirically childrearing change always precedes economic change131 and because the richest families traditionally have not given more to their children, they have routinely sent them out at birth to abusive caretakers. Those children whose parents actually bring them up themselves and try to surpass traditional childcare practices grow up as a new, innovative psychoclass that tries the new social and economic ventures which soon appear dangerous to the earlier psychoclasses.

The innovative phases in the chart of American group-fantasies above are familiar to every student of American history as periods of unparalleled growth and technological invention. They contain the early growth of steamboats, railroads and telegraphs; the two phases of the nineteenth-century Industrial Revolution with its rapid industrialization and immigration; the Second Industrial Revolution after World War I; and even the computer revolution produced by the Spock generation.132 These were times when not only was national income soaring and work hours dropping, but "there was a tacit or explicit consensus between employers and labour organizations to keep labour demands within limits that did not eat into the profits, and the future prospects of profits high enough to justify the huge investments without which the spectacular growth of Golden Age labour productivity could not have taken place."133 Thus investment in children paid off in investment in productivity.

During these innovative phases, governments manage to work out various formal and informal rules to settle international disagreements. Since peace is not just an absence of war and involves establishing intergovernmental organizations and conferences to resolve disputes, nations that are not in an emotional state of collapsed self-esteem have regularly found ways even without an overarching international government to break stalemates and settle their disagreements without violence.134 Whether by bilateral agreement or through the restraints of peace conferences, innovative psychoclasses have demonstrated that there are many ways--such as buffer states, compensation and concerts of power--whereby issues can be resolved outside of power politics that lead to wars.

Each of these innovative phases also were periods of women's rights, the best-known of which in America were the early nineteenth-century groups pressing for women's education, jobs, new divorce laws and property rights; the post-Civil War Woman's Sufferage Movement; the post-WWI women's rights movement; and the post-Vietnam War feminist movement. The earlier psychoclasses--both men and women--reacted to these freedoms for "the new women" with extreme horror.135 Just as the economic advances of early modern Europe resulted in a million women killed as witches, the progress of the modern innovative periods engendered fears of the femme fatale phallic females136 --a restaging of the early Terrifying Mothers--who were "strongly passionate and...endowed with strong animal natures"137 --who produced "sexual anarchy" where "men became women [and] women became men."138 Ever since Cato wailed in 195 B.C., after a few Roman women sought to repeal a law that forbade them from wearing multicolored dresses, that "women have become so powerful that our independence has been lost in our own homes and is now being trampled and stamped underfoot in public,"139 innovative periods in history have produced anti-women Purity Crusades designed to reverse social progress and return to more familiar repressive times.140

Purity Crusades have, of course, centered on sexual morality, whether they combated Noyes' "free love" debates before the Civil War or Margaret Sanger's birth control ideas in the 1920s.141 They include "moral reform" crusades against prostitution, against pornography, against alcohol--against everything that represented unfulfilled wishes, including even bicycle seats, that "might cause women's moral downfall."142 Even the reduction of the work week--the Saturday Half-Holiday Act of 1887-- was opposed as likely to cause the masses to turn to "dancing, carousing, low behavior, rioting, shooting, and murder."143 Children's rights were opposed because any relaxation of punitive childrearing would inevitably lead to "running wild, blatant disobedience...masturbation and insanity"144 and since children are "made monsters in life by indulgence in infancy" if given the slightest independence wouth would go "directly to the grog shop, the gambling house or the brothel."145 Cars for women were opposed because they could be turned into "houses of prostitution on wheels."146 And whenever the Purity Crusade began, it usually continued right into the next war, which borrowed its language and moral fervor, so that it seemed the war itself was a purification of the nation. Thus purity reformers of the 1850s, reacting to the feminism of the time, began a crusade against sex between Southern white men and black women, objecting to slavery not so much on behalf of the rights of the slaves but in order "to protect the sexual purity of America." In the words of purity crusaders, "The Southern states are one Great Sodom...a vast brothel" which only a war between the North and the South could clean up.147 Thus, too, World War I was said to have been needed to be fought "to save men from moral decay [from homosexuality]"148 and the Vietnam War was accompanied by a fantasy that, according to Time's special issue on "SEX IN THE U.S.," found a dangerous "demise of Puritanism" in America due to "Freudian psychology" that had made "America one big Orgone Box [of] pornography."149 Eventually, all Purity Crusades move abroad and punish our desires in living enemies.

The task of controlling growth panic by depressions is given during the modern period mainly to central banks, which first flood the nation with low interest liquidity to encourage overinvestment, excess borrowing, inflation and stock market bubbles, and then, when the expansion becomes too sinful for the national psyche, reverse the monetary expansion by increasing interest rates and reducing liquidity ("Taking away the punch bowl when the party gets going.")150 Depressions come because really people become depressed, reducing their spending and investment, and feel hopeless. Depressions are, as Keynes said, "a crises of sentiment...a collapse of confidence."151 The task of government, according to Keynes, was to recognize that demand (desire) is subject to irrational contractions which had to be offset through fiscal and monetary manipulations--rather like a psychiatrist prescribing medications to change serotonin levels. Yet neither Keynes nor any other economist asked why people periodically become depressed and reduce their activities.

In fact, nations enter into depressions because they feel persecuted for their prosperity and individuation by what Jungians have termed the "Dragon Mother"--the needy, "devouring mother of infancy...who cannot let her children go because she needs them for her own psychic survival."152 Weston has found anorexics in particular are dominated by fantasies of persecution by the Dragon Mother, who "gives her child the impossible task of filling her ‘limitless void''' so the child fears being "eaten alive."153 To prevent this, when these children grow up and try to individuate, they refuse to eat so they won't have any flesh on them for the Dragon Mother to devour. Economic depressions evidence similar group-fantasies of devouring mommies; they are "economic anorexias" where nations inflict economic wounds upon themselves to limit consumption, become "all bones" and not tempt the devouring Dragon Mother. Banks, in particular, are often pictured as greedy dragons. For instance, President Jackson imagined the Bank of the United States was what he called the "Mother Bank" that by issuing paper money was a "bad mother dominating her children" who had to be stopped before the nation was eaten up, and so conducted a "kill the Great Monster" campaign that would "strangle the many-headed hydra" and kill it.154 Needless to say, his success in "crushing the Mother Bank dragon" led to an economic downturn.

That depressions purposefully punish families is rarely acknowledged. In the depression beginning in 1873, for instance, produced by "a decade of speculative excess and overinvestment,"155 there was "20 percent unemployed, 40 percent worked for only six or seven months a year, and only 20 percent worked regularly."156 Depressions have killed hundreds of thousands of women and children, a sacrifice of Bad Children greater than many wars. Yet depressions are still seen as "beneficial purges" of the economic bloodstream; as the Treasury Secretary said in 1929 as the Federal Reserve helped push the world into depression, "It will purge the rottenness out of the system."157 Depressions are indeed blood purges, only sacrificial, similar to the practice of the Aztecs sacrificing humans and regularly drawing blood from their thighs and genitals to "feed" the goddess to prevent her from becoming angry with them for their sinful prosperity.158 Thus William K. Joseph's study of cartoons and ads during 1929 found they were "full of strong, wealthy women, but the men were pictured as puny, neurotic, and insignificant."159

That depressions--like anorexia and like all blood sacrifices--are self-inflicted wounds and not just the results of "mysteriously wrongheaded monetary policies"160 is still not admitted by most economists. The end of prosperity comes "with a sense of relief."161 Even the "mistakes" by authorities that lead to a downturn are unconsciously motivated: for instance, the "mistake" of the Federal Reserve in 1925 in lowering interest rates and igniting the stock market bubble, followed by the "mistake" of their overly restrictive monetary policy after 1929 that reduced the stock of money by a third and turned the downturn into a severe depression, plus the "mistaken" higher tariffs of the Hoover administration and the "mistaken" budget-balancing of the Roosevelt administration,162 all were determined by the nation's sacrificial group-fantasy of a devouring Dragon Mother who needed to be placated.

One of the best defenses against fears of maternal engulfment is merging with a Phallic Leader to restore potency. Anzieu found small groups regularly searched for a narcissistic, aggressive leader when they felt that "everything is crumbling" in the group.163 Parin found the Anyi tribe he studied, where the mothering was neglectful and incestuous, produced men who feared being "poisoned, devoured and castrated by women" and who chose exceptionally violent leaders because they felt that "the preoedipal mother is more dangerous than the oedipal father," and merging with a "strong and severe father" saved them from feeling castrated.164 And Blum found that when nations choose "hypnotic-like surrender to the leader," they overcome "infantile helplessness and weakness, childhood traumata, child abuse and neglect and feelings of being unloved [through] an escalation to war [whereby] the sacrifice of the sons in battle by their oedipal fathers and a ‘macho' defense against femininity are powerful dynamics."165

The initial task of the Phallic Leader is to "make real" the growing paranoia of the nation:

It is as if a therapist said to the paranoid-schizoid patient, "You really are being persecuted. Let me help you by naming your and your true friends can fight the persecutors and praise each other's righteousness, which will help you realize that the source of aggression and evil is out there, in the real world. And you thought it was all in your head!"166

The most effective Phallic Leaders have been found to be "narcissistic personalities who are characterized by intense self-involvement [whose] interpersonal relations are frequently marked by a lack of empathy, [who] oscillate between feelings of grandiosity and omnipotence...and feelings of inferiority and low self-esteem [and who] are particularly susceptible to feelings of shame and humiliation."167 Only narcissistic leaders who from early childhood have felt shamed and humiliated could, like Richard Nixon, lead wars that had no other purpose than to avoid accepting "a national humiliation [that would] destroy our country's confidence in itself."168 The deep well of loneliness created in them by the emotional distancing of their mothers is usually worsened by the absence of their fathers, which has been found by Broude to result in hypermasculinity and violence.169 The loneliness leads them to volunteer as delegates to lead large masses of people out of their depression through "macho" politics. Conquering women and conquering nations are one for the Phallic Leader.170 It is no coincidence that virtually all of America's wartime presidents were adulterers or compulsive womanizers.171 Conquest is the political function of the Phallic Leader. As Hitler put it, "The crowd is a woman...after a speech I feel as if I had a sexual release."172 Dominance and violence restores and purifies the self. As Hitler said after the Röhm massacre, "So! Now I have taken a bath, and feel clean as a new-born babe again."173

Thus a Phallic Leader wards off the humiliations of maternal abuse and neglect by political violence. Lyndon Johnson, for instance, remembers his engulfing mother's withdrawal of affection whenever he failed to do as she wished, "walking around the house pretending I was dead [and] refusing to speak or even look at [me]."174 As a result, he had a recurring dream that a stampede of cattle--a symbol of maternal engulfment175 --was coming toward him while he was paralyzed in a chair, and that he cried out for his mother, but no one came.176 His fear of helplessness and humiliation returned just before Vietnam, when, he said, "I felt that I was being chased on all sides by a giant stampede coming at me...the American people were stampeding me to do something about Vietnam...I deserved something more than being left alone in the middle of the plain, chased by stampedes on every side."177 According to his biographer, he "avoided at all costs the threat to his self-esteem that...public humiliation might entail"178 and started the war. The war restored his and the nation's masculinity: "unzipping his fly, [Johnson] pulled out his penis and asked the reporters (according to one who was there), ‘Has Ho Chi Minh got anything to match that?'"179 The war castrated the "enemy," not Johnson: "I didn't just screw Ho Chi Minh. I cut his pecker off."180 Those who opposed the war were women: "[They have] to squat to piss."181 Going to war meant not being a woman, not being overwhelmed by mommy.

Merging with a Phallic Leader involves switching into the dissociated hemisphere and entering into the social trance. Atlas has shown that political trances derive their power not from any magical "charismatic" qualities of the leader but from the correlation between adult hypnotizability and abusive childrearing.182 The Phallic Leader, like a shaman, is adept at entering into trance states himself--Hitler often called himself "a sleepwalker." Political meetings are easily seen as altered states of consciousness. A journalist reports getting "caught in a mob of ten thousand hysterics who jammed the moat in front of Hitler's hotel shouting, ‘We want our Führer!' I was a little shocked at the faces, especially those of the women...They reminded me of the crazed expressions I saw once in the back country of Louisiana on the faces of some Holy Rollers...They looked up at him as if he were a Messiah, their faces transformed."183 Switching into their social alter gave them a shot of dopaminergic power, exactly the same as taking amphetamines, that made them feel merged with both the Phallic Leader and the group, the nation, the Volk. Fichte described this merging as he felt it take hold of him:

When I thought of the Volk and saw it, and when the great feeling of it gripped me, ...when a great crowd moves before me, when a band of warriors passes before me with flowing banners...I feel the indestructible life, the eternal spirit, and the eternal God...I am immediately freed from all sins. I am no longer a single suffering man, I am one with the Volk...184

Because nations continue to live in both their hemispheres as they go to war, they must both prepare for war by maneuvering an enemy into a pose where they can be righteously attacked, and at the same time provide deniability that their nation is really responsible for the war. Leaders might recognize, as Theodore Roosevelt wrote to a friend in 1897, that "In strict confidence...I should welcome almost any war, for I think this country needs one."185 But Phallic Leaders usually find ways to invent "unprovoked attacks," from Wilson's lies about the sinking of the Lusitania and LBJ's lies about the attack in the Gulf of Tonkin to Hitler's lies about an attack by Polish forces. One of the most complex lies that carefully provoked an attack that was then pretended to be a surprise was that of President Franklin Roosevelt's year-long actions to get Japan to attack Pearl Harbor. Stinnett's voluminously-documented book, Day of Deceit, demonstrates that in October of 1940 FDR secretly began to carry out a series of eight actions that forced the hawks among the Japanese government to go to war with the U.S., embargoing trade, "tightening the noose" on their economy and deploying American warships on "pop-up" cruises within the territorial waters of Japan, then purposely leaving the U.S. fleet unprotected at Hawaii and hiding the fact that Japanese codes had been broken so that the attack would be a "surprise."186 If FDR hadn't provoked his unnecesary war with Japan, American military strength would have been fully available for fighting Germany years earlier, and the Holocaust may not have been as disasterous.

A typical case of provoking an enemy can be shown for the actions of John F. Kennedy in the Cuban Missile Crisis, which we earlier187 examined briefly. JFK's childhood was typically abusive, dominated by his mother's emotional distancing of him--"She was never there when we really needed her...[She] never really held me and hugged me. Never."--and her brutality, battering John with "hairbrushes, coat hangers, belts and shoes [and] once slapping young Bobby's face so viciously that she punctured his eardrum and split his lip."188 The result in JFK was a phallic-narcissistic personality focused on conquering women in "daily assignations and a lifetime of venereal disease [and] a steady diet of mood-altering drugs."189 Claiming a mythical "missile gap" with the Russians, Kennedy was elected President to "get America moving again" after the peaceful Eisenhower Fifties, and soon authorized the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba over the objections of most experts who said it would fail, telling his aides he "wasn't going to be ‘chicken.'"190 The resulting failure was taken by him as a personal humiliation, for which he needed revenge. He authorized Operation Mongoose, various assassination attempts against Castro, including using the Mafia, but success evaded him.191

By 1962, Kennedy decided to regain his potency by invading Cuba with U.S. forces. He told the military to prepare for a U.S. invasion of the island and asked his staff to formulate a pretext that would give an appearance of a Cuban attack on a U.S. airline that would justify it.192 But war with a small neighbor would not be enough; Kennedy moved to make certain the Russians would be involved in the war. On January 31, 1962, he asked Khrushchev's son-in-law, Aleksei Adzhubei, to meet with him and, in order to humiliate the Russians as he felt humiliated, told him he was preparing to attack Cuba like Russia attacked Hungary: "If I run for re-election and the Cuban question remains as it is," he said, "we will have to do something" about Cuba. Kennedy told a startled Adzhubei, "I called Allen Dulles into my office [after the Bay of Pigs] and dressed him down. I told him: ‘You should learn a lesson from the Russians. When they had difficulties in Hungary, they liquidated the conflict in three days [by sending in troops.]'" Adzhubei repeated this to Khrushchev, who told Soviet diplomats: "An attack on Cuba is being prepared. And the only way to save Cuba is to put missiles there."

In April 1962, 40,000 American troops began practicing invading Cuba in North Carolina,193 and by October 6, 1962, thousands of American troops were positioned for invasion, along with plans and equipment, prepared to invade on October 20, 1962, using the Bahamas as an invasion base camp. But on October 16, 1962, the CIA took clear U-2 photos that told them Russian nuclear missiles were in Cuba. Kennedy told no one of his own bellicose actions and threats, instead declaring the Russian move wholly unprovoked. Despite the fact that 100 million Americans lay in the range of the Russian missiles--and despite the opinion of his staff that they made no military difference at all because nuclear missiles on Russian submarines had long been stationed a few miles off Cuba--Kennedy instituted a naval embargo and prepared for a full-scale attack on Cuba, risking a nuclear World War III. Saying "If Khrushchev wants to rub my nose in the dirt, it's all over"194 and "we must not look to the world as if we were backing down,"195 Kennedy fully expected war. When his staff told him there were diplomatic means which could be used to remove the missiles, he replied, "The object is not to stop offensive weapons, because the offensive weapons are already there, as much as it is to have a showdown with the Russians of one kind or another."196 Since Kennedy had already publicly declared the U.S. was "prepared to use nuclear weapons at the start" of any war,197 Kennedy's embargo and invasion would mean nuclear war if the Russians didn't accept the humiliation and back down, "one hell of a gamble," as Kennedy put it.198 Luckily for mankind, Khrushchev backed down, was removed from office because of the humiliation and America was rescued from its self-inflicted humiliations. For his role in hiding the real cause of the near-apocalyptic actions, President Kennedy remains universally seen as one of America's greatest Presidents...because he "kept his head" during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Nations engage in manic economic and political projects for the same reasons newly successful rock stars go to all-night parties and take drugs--to get a "dopamine rush" that counters the depression and guilt about their success. Political paranoia and slow ego disintegration are now seen in conspiratorial group-fantasies, fears of femininity and imaginary humiliations by other nations. These are countered in the economic sphere by manic overinvestment, risky ventures, excess money supply growth, soaring debt and stock market speculations, and in the political sphere by jingoistic nationalism, expansionist ventures, military buildups and belligerent, insulting foreign affair behavior. As in drug addiction, each dopamine rush leaves a dopamine hangover that requires an even larger manic activity to overcome the resulting depression. Purity Crusades multiply as anti-modern and anti-child (Bad Boy) movements. Fears of "becoming feminine" (desires to merge with mommy) are countered by persecution of homosexuals. A search for external enemies results from the growing ego disintegration, as grandiosity fails and Poison Alerts and sacrificial group-fantasies proliferate.

In America, these paranoid fears of apocalyptic punishment for success have taken the form of revivalist Great Awakenings, which occurred at the end of long period of peace: the First after 24 years of peace (1714-38) under the Georges, the Second after 30 years of peace (1815-45) under Madison and Monroe, and the Third after 31 years of peace (1866-97) following the Civil War. These apocalyptic fantasies of fears of how furious God (Mommy) was because of mankind's sinfulness merge into the war movements that follow. The American Revolution has been said to have been "caused by a pandemic of persecutory delusions" featuring "a fear of effeminacy"199 and a fantasy of "Mother England persecuting her children."200 Similarly, beginning with the Annus Mirabilis of 1858, daily gatherings of thousands of people in spontaneous prayer meetings took place, where people fell down, saw visions and went out and destroyed their goods in preparation for the end of the world.201 This apocalyptic mood lasted and merged with the "cleansing in the fires of war" that would "purge the virus" of the nation in Civil War bloodshed that was "sacramental, erotic, mystical, and strangely gratifying."202 All these apocalyptic group-fantasies were caused by the growth panic of a period of prosperity--exactly the opposite cause from Barkun's theory of millenarian movements being produced by "deprivation" and "natural catastrophes."203

Perhaps the classic era of paranoid fears leading to apocalyptic group-fantasies as punishment for prosperity is the period before World War I--when the world growth rate jumped to over five percent, and when Europe appeared to be going clinically paranoid from "the decadence of the times [when] no more rank, titles, or race [meant] all is mixed, confused, and blurred [and] the end of the world seemed nigh."204 Prosperity and the beginnings of liberal reforms produced widespread growth panic that decried "the decline of religiosity, the disintegration of the patriarchal family, and the decline of respect for authority."205 Fears of "becoming feminine" proliferated, along with campaigns against homosexuals. Goethe's Werther (Goethe: "Anything in the world can be endured, except a series of wonderful days")206 was revived during the late nineteenth century as thousands of Germans committed suicide during their rising prosperity, climaxed eventually by all of Europe going to war and committing suicide. At the end of the nineteenth century, books like The World's End Soon pictured the degeneration and apocalyptic demise of Europe and feminine blood-sucking vampires derived from representations of the New Woman as an "oversexed wife who threatened her husband's life with her insatiable erotic demands"207 flooded the popular literature. Artists featured vampires devouring helpless men,208 and invented modern art as "a pervasive vision of Fragmentation" showing "everything disintegrated into parts...whirlpools [that] led into the void."209 H. G. Wells wrote a book in 1913, The World Set Free, that predicted an apocalyptic war using radioactive "atomic bombs" that would nearly destroy the world and lead to the eternal peace.210 Objective journalists wondered if "Europe was about to become a gigantic madhouse."211 Nations felt they had to defend themselves against their growing paranoid delusions. "That the English are merely waiting for a chance to fall upon us is clear," declared the German Chancellor.212 Only starting a "preventive war" could save the nation.213 "I believe a war to be unavoidable and the sooner the better," said the German Chief of Staff.214 Europe was swept up in "a terrible readiness, indeed a thirst, for what Yeats was to call the ‘blood-dimmed tide'...fascinated by the prospect of a purging fire."215 Going to war would prevent engulfment by the Terrifying Mommy, would avoid effeminacy and restore potency, and would purge the national arteries with a good bloodletting that would purge the polluting prosperity,216 teach the Terrifying Mommy enemy a lesson and sacrifice the sinful Bad Boy so mommy would finally love the Good Boy self who remained.

WAR PHASE: RIGHTEOUS RAPE OF MOTHER SUBSTITUTES Even though wars are supposed to be fought between men, they have equally affected women and children. In most wars, more civilians are killed than soldiers, and, according to UNICEF, "in the wars fought since World War II 90 percent of all victims are found in the civilian population, a large share of them women and children."217 In our imaginations, however, wars are mainly about women and children. Divine wars were always fought for a goddess of war, from Ishtar to Teshub, almost always mothers of the war heroes,218 "crying to be fed...human blood."219 Even the Hebrew Lord counsels Moses to "kill every male among the little ones and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the virgin girls keep alive for yourselves [to rape]."220 Yanomamo war raids might kill a few men in raids, but would abduct all enemy women and rape them.221 Child murder and rape were the center of ancient war. The Greeks often used to rape all virgin girls and boys in wars and often trod all children of a city to death under the feet of oxen or covered them with pitch and burned them alive.222 As van Creveld puts it, "During most of history, the opportunity to engage in wholesale rape was not just among the rewards of successful war but, from the soldier's point of view, one of the cardinal objectives for which he fought."223

Socarides describes the function of sexual sadism as

Forces and extracts love; destroys the threatening body of the mother rather than be destroyed by her discharges, aggressive impulses that threaten annihilation of the self even to the point of sexual murder; achieves temporary freedom from fear of the engulfing mother...reassures against and lessens castration fear; cancels out separation anxiety.224

Clinical studies of rapists find it a result of extreme childhood neglect and abuse, continuous shaming and humiliation--and often even of actual sexual abuse as a child.225 The rapist's fantasies center around control and dominance, and the actual rape is often triggered by "flashbacks" to earlier humiliations that had to be restaged in sexual violence, where "my life would flash in front of my I went out looking for a victim."226 Rape is a "pseudosexual act," first done for violence and revenge, then sexualized: "I wanted to knock the woman off her pedestal, and I felt rape was the worst thing I could do to her," said one serial rapist.227 Much of the time the rapist cannot even orgasm, but this doesn't matter because he has defiled, degraded and humiliated the woman: "After the assault I felt relieved. I felt I had gotten even. There was no sexual satisfaction; in fact, I felt a little disgusted."228 Sex may be the weapon, but revenge is the motive.

Rape fantasies are extremely widespread; in America, a third of all men regularly fantasize about raping women during masturbation or intercourse,229 while in a country like Yugoslavia--where earlier historical childrearing practices are still prevalent in the zadruga so that the rape of children is routine--adult male rape fantasies are so strong that rape is a common, everyday part of life even in peacetime.230 Before wars, humiliation group-fantasies proliferate, as nations spend more and more time trading gratuitous insults, complaining about being humiliated and pushed around by others, and worrying about not receiving the recognition due them,231 all flashbacks to early shame and neglect. The unrequited love for the mother is reexperienced in "rejected overtures" with other nations. Hitler, for instance, clearly explained his reasons for starting WWII as arising out of rejected maternal love:

I have repeatedly offered England our friendship, and if necessary closest co-operation. Love, however, is not a one-sided affair, but must be responded to by the other side....I do not want to conquer her. I want to come to terms with her. I want to force her to accept my friendship...232

The war that began as rape to win love ended as rape to win love. When the war was nearly over, sitting in his bunker in 1945, Hitler justified his rape of Europe as necessary because, he said,

It could not be conquered by charm and persuasiveness. I had to rape it in order to have it.233

In a world full of humiliating, rejecting, provocative motherlands, neighboring countries seem to be "just asking to be raped." Group-fantasies of wanting to "explode into her" to "penetrate her life" and avenge her for "turning down our overtures" in order to "knock her off her throne" and "teach her a lesson she won't forget" begin to be expressed in diplomacy, political cartoons and in the media.234 Hypermasculinity begins to infect the nation's mood with the need for "standing tall" and "displaying our firmness" with a "stiffening of the national will." Newspapers headline rape fantasies to goad leaders into war; as the British tabloids screamed out before the Falkland invasion, "STICK IT UP YOUR JUNTA." Cartoons begin showing barbarian men in neighboring nations about to rape men's wives.236 Leaders begin to express projections of rape in meetings, as when Lyndon Johnson excitedly asked before expanding the war in Vietnam, "how many times do I let a fiend rape my wife?"237

Finally, when the group-fantasies peak and action to "get some respect" is irresistible, war begins as "righteous rape" against any enemy that can be imagined to be a convenient humiliating mommy. War, gang rape and degradation of women merge into one. For instance, the Serbian attacks on its neighbors that followed the overt rape cartoons like the one above had "the degradation and molestation of women central to the conquest...women of sixty and girls under twelve being gang-raped, often in front of their relatives [while men] pushed bottle necks into our sex, even shattered, broken bottles...guns too...[as men screamed] ‘I'll fuck your mother, all your mothers.'"238 Wars usually begin as group-fantasies of mother-rape, revenges for earlier neglect and domination, righteous violence that will "teach her a lesson."

But while war is seen as an way to avenge maternal mistreatment, it is also a merging with the Terrifying Mommy to wipe out the Bad Boy self whose fault it must be that mommy wasn't loving. The purification of mankind through the sacrifice of children to an avenging goddess was, of course, the practice of ancient societies like Carthage, where tens of thousands of jars have been found with charred bones of sacrificed children along with inscriptions saying they had been killed by their parents to cleanse their sinfulness.239 The symbol of the warrior in Aztec society was a bleeding fetal war-god standing at the placental center of the city whose blood streamed out into the four quarters of the universe, feeding every citizens of the state.240 In every war, young men march off essentially to commit suicide as heroic acts of sacrifice, "losing ourselves [in] ecstasy because we are conscious of a power outside us with which we can merge."241 As one soldiers wrote during WWI, "Sacrificing oneself is a joy, the greatest joy...Never before has such a powerful desire for death and passion for sacrifice seized mankind."242 The Bad Boy self must die for the Good Boy self to be loved; therefore, blood must flow to renew the sinful nation: "The souls of nations are drinking renewal from the
blood of the fallen soldiers."243 Soldiers may sent back to their mothers dead, but they are wrapped in "living flags," maternal symbols, as though they had been reborn into new swaddling-clothes with a new chance to be loved.244 A soldier "dies peacefully. He who has a Motherland dies in her, like a baby falling asleep..."245

The ecstatic relief once war begins is felt because it is the revanche supréme for early abuse and because it promises to cleanse the self of sinfulness. However convinced people are as they begin wars that the "enemy" is outside themselves, they are in fact fighting alters inside themselves--raping Terrifying Mommies and killing Bad Boy selves. Nations "descend into visions of purgations and redemption" in a "holy war [to] cleanse our souls of the dross of selfish pettiness."246 War is "the highest happiness that ordinary men can find,"247 a "purifying thunderstorm"248 that provides a chance to be "born again"249 a "triumph of righteousness"250 and a "magical restoration of potency."251 "It is a joy to be alive," rejoiced a German paper in 1914.252 "The heather is on fire. I never before knew what a popular excitement can be," wrote an American as the Civil War began, describing jubilant crowds "with flushed faces, wild eyes, screaming mouths."253 At last, one could take revenge against the Terrifying Mommy, kill the Bad Boy self, be reborn and finally become pure and lovable, all in one splendid act of mass butchery.

Historians and political scientists have proposed any number of causes for WWII and the Holocaust.254 Unfortunately, detailed research has disproved every one of them. Goldhagen's claim that ordinary Germans had long held "exterminationist" antisemitic views255 has been disproved by careful historical studies that showed Germany was "a safe haven in late-nineteenth-century Europe [where] when German Jews looked toward France, they saw the startling antisemitism unleashed by the Dreyfus Affair and when they looked eastward, they saw pogroms and thousands of Jews fleeing toward Germany's safer political climate."256 The reason "why so many Jews failed to leave Germany [was] they really couldn't believe that this Germany, which they loved [and] felt gratitude toward" would ever harm them.257 In fact, earlier antisemitic movements in Germany were tiny, and "most historians believe that the Nazis had no deep roots in German history and that antisemitism in Germany was not essentially different from that of some other nations..."258 Careful studies of Nazi party members have even found that most were not antisemitic when they joined; "most people were drawn to antisemitism because they were drawn to Nazism, not the other way around."259 Kershaw's recent careful studies conclude "that antisemitism was not a major factor in attracting support for Hitler..."260 As we shall shortly detail, what made Germans antisemitic was the anxieties of the manic period after the Great Depression had ended, later in the 1930s after Hitler gained power, and were not due some mysterious German gene for eliminationist politics.

All the other explanations for WWII and the Holocaust have been similarly disproved by recent historical research. Klaus Fischer's "no Hitler, no Holocaust,"261 along with all the other studies blaming German violence on "obedience" to Hitler's "hypnotic eyes"262 have been thrown out by the dozens of studies of the spontaneous, gratuitous violence engaged in by average Germans even when they could have easily opted out. "Only following orders" is simply a no longer considered a serious motivation for the war and genocide. What is, however, most widely accepted is that Germans were "under stress," voted Nazi and then turned to violence because of the Great Depression.

Numerous detailed studies of Nazi membership all disprove this "economic stress" argument. The "model Nazi party member" joined before the Depression, "his economic status was secure, for not once did he have to change his occupation, job, or residence, nor was he ever unemployed."263 "The only group affected [by the Depression] were the workers...Yet paradoxically the workers remained steadfast in support of the [democratic] status quo while the middle class, only marginally hurt by the economic constriction, turned to revolution."264 Most workers did not vote for the Nazis and of those who did, who "believed in Hitler the magician," most soon felt disappointed.265 Hitler, in fact, admitted "economics was not very important to him [and] very few Germans had any information about what his economic program actually was."266 Germans who became violent Nazis came primarily from authoritarian middle-class backgrounds, not from poverty; indeed, "those who grew up in poverty showed the least prejudice" in Merkl's study of Nazi stormtroopers.267 The "stress" that triggered the war and genocide may have been related to economics, but it in fact came from renewed prosperity in the late 1930s, not to the economic collapse of 1929.

There is one psychological study based upon a developmental event in the early lives of Germans that is given some credulity by historians: the "Nazi Youth Cohort" thesis of Peter Loewenberg. This study claims that "the rapid political ascendance of the Nazi party (NSDAP) in the period from 1928 to 1933 was marked by a particularly strong support from youth" who were deprived of food during the 1917-1919 Allied embargo.268 Citing low German birth weights and excess infant mortality during the period, Loewenberg feels this "single traumatic event" accounts for "the influx of German youth to the ranks of National Socialism, the political decline of the Weimar Republic, and the Nazi seizure of power."269 The problem with this thesis is the figures don't add up. While Loewenberg cites the census of 1933 as showing 31 percent of Germans were "youthful," these figures in fact were for those 18 to 30 years of age.270 Children born in 1917-18 were actually only 11-12 years of age in 1929 when the Nazis received their most uncoerced votes. Even those up to 5 years of age during the embargo years would still be from 12-17 in 1929, too young to join the Nazi party. And in fact most German youth didn't join the Hitler Youth, which managed to attract only one percent of the young people belonging to religious and political youth organizations in 1932.271 Therefore, the WWI famine, however severe, cannot be a main cause of the Nazi takeover,272 since the average age of membership of the Nazi party was in fact over 31 years.273

If German childrearing practices are not considered as the cause of German mass violence, there is no way to avoid Goldhagen's conclusion that the war and the Holocaust must be due to "something monstrously bottom unexplainable [and not] a product of human decisions."274 But if German childhood around 1900 is recognized as a totalitarian nightmare of murder, neglect, battering and torture of innocent, helpless human beings, then the restaging of this nightmare four decades later in the Holocaust and war can be understood as explanatory.

Historians have avoided researching German childrearing at the end of the nineteenth century. The few that have begun to do the research have found German childhood uniformly more brutal than French and British childhood. A comparison by Maynes of 90 German and French autobiographies of late nineteenth-century working class childhoods found German far more brutal and unloving, with the typical memory of home being that "No bright moment, no sunbeam, no hint of a comfortable home where motherly love and care could shape my childhood was ever known to me."275 In contrast, "French workers' autobiographies tell somewhat different childhood tales. To be sure, there are a few French accounts of childhoods marked by cruelty, neglect, and exploitation."276 Yet "much more common are stories of surprisingly sentimental home loves and warm relationships with mothers (and often fathers), even in the face of material deprivation."277 Maynes found unrelenting child labor, sexual molestation and beatings at home and at school were consistently worse in the German accounts.

Most of the research into primary sources on the history of German childrearing has been done by psychohistorians connected with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für psychohistorische Forschung, the German branch of The Institute for Psychohistory.278 The two main studies covering nineteenth-century German childrearing were those published in The Journal of Psychohistory by Aurel Ende and Raffael Scheck; both found uniform cruelty and neglect in their detailed review of 154 German autobiographies studied. Child battering was so common in German families that Scheck concludes, "There is virtually no autobiography which doesn't tell something about violence against children and almost no author who has not been beaten as a child."279 And Ende's massive study concludes that "nowhere in Western Europe are the needs of children so fatally neglected as in Germany," where "infant mortality, corporal punishment, cruelties against children, the exploitation of working children and the teacher-pupil relationship" were so brutal that he feels he has to apologize "for not dealing with the ‘brighter side' of German childhood because it turns out that there is no ‘bright side.'"280

Visitors to German homes at the end of the nineteenth century also found that in general "one feels sorry for these little German children; they must work so hard and seem to lack that exuberance of life, spirits, and childish glee that make American children harder to train but leave them the memory of a happy childhood."281 In particular, visitors noted the German preference for boys and their maltreatment of girls. Whereas in France and England beginning in the eighteenth century there was "an increasing appreciation of girl children," with parents often openly expressing their preference of having a girl,282 in Germany even at the end of the nineteenth century girls were resented and uniformly neglected: "From childhood on, the lives these women led were exceedingly harsh...dominated by memories of paternal brutality or negligence...drunkenness and violence was a routine part of life [including] a father's incestuous advances...[and] abuse with sexual overtones at the hands of her mother...beatings and other forms of violent punishment."283 Germany in general was historically far behind the rest of Western Europe in the education of girls and in woman's rights, so that innovative mothers and hopeful daughters were found far less than in other countries.284

German family maxims described the lack of love of mothers toward their children, saying tenderness was "generally not part of the mother's character...Just as she kept her children...short on food and clothing, she also was short on fondling and tenderness...[feeling] the children should...regard themselves as useless weeds and be grateful that they were tolerated."285 Children were expected to give love to their parents, not the parents to their children: "We always appeared trembling before our parents, hoping that our official kiss of their hands would be accepted..."286 One boy reported his mother once dropped a word of praise, saying to someone that "He is good and well-liked," so that the boy remembered it all his life "because the words were totally new sounds to my ear."287 But kind words were rare in German homes, so most Germans remembered "no tender word, no caresses, only fear"288 and childhood was "joyless," "so immeasurably sad that you could not fathom it."289 Yet this hatred of children in German families was not something that they felt guilty about. German parents endlessly impressed upon the children their pride in their family atmosphere of hatred. "I don't want to be loved," said one typical father, "I want to be feared!"290 Another father summed up his feelings about family discipline as follows:

It is good to hate. To hate is strong, manly. It makes the blood flow. It makes one alert. It is necessary for keeping up the fighting instincts. To love is feebleness. It enervates. You see all the nations that talk of love as the keynote of life are weak, degenerate. Germany is the most powerful nation in the world because she hates. When you hate, you eat well, sleep well, work well, fight well.291

Since German fathers at the end of the nineteenth century spent little time at home, childrearing was overwhelmingly the job of the mother: "The care and training of the children are almost entirely in her hands for the first five years."292 The mother especially ruled the nursery and kitchen, where the children spent their time, and "she may actually exclude men from these restricted areas"293 when they were at home. Thus, although most studies of the treatment of infants and young children in Germany stress the admitted brutality and authoritarianism of fathers, the real lives of young German children in the past centered more on their murder, rejection, neglect, tying up and beating by their mothers and other women.

Infanticide and infant mortality rates at the end of the nineteenth century were much higher in Germany and Austria than in England, France, Italy and Scandinavia.294 Newborn were not considered in most areas as fully human since they not thought to have a soul until they were six weeks old, and so could be "killed in a kind of late abortion."295 Women giving birth often "had their babies in the privy, and treated the birth as an evacuation, an everyday event, and...carried on with their work."296 Births which were "experienced as a bowel movement made it possible for the women [to] kill their children in a very crude way, by smashing their heads [like] poultry and small animals..."297 Mothers who killed their newborn babies were observed by others as being without remorse, "full of indifference, coldness and callousness [and gave] the impression of a general impoverishment of feeling" toward her child.298 Even if the infant was allowed to live, it could easily be neglected and not fed enough, and it would be made to "go straight to heaven." Infant mortality rates in Germany ranged from 21 percent in Prussia to an astonishing 58 percent in Bavaria during the latter part of the nineteenth century,299 the figures in the south--the highest in Europe--being due to their practice of not breastfeeding,300 since hand-fed babies died at a rate three times that of breast-fed babies.301 The best figures for overall German infanticide at the end of the century were 20 percent, half again higher than France and England.302

Nineteenth-century doctors condemned the practice of German mothers refusing to breastfeed their babies, saying the pap made of flour and water or milk was "usually so thick that it has to be forced into the child and only becomes digestible when mixed with saliva and stomach fluids. At its worst it is curdled and sour."303 Infants were so commonly hungry that "those poor worms get their mouths stuffed with a dirty rag containing chewed bread so that they cannot scream."304 Ende reports that for centuries "One rarely encounters a German infant who is fully breastfed...Everywhere they got their mouths stuffed with Zulp, a small linen bag filled with bread...Swaddled babies could hardly get rid of these often dirty rags."305 Mothers who could afford it sent their newborn to wetnurses--commonly called Engelmacherin, "angelmakers," because they were so negligent toward the children. The mothers complained, "Do you think I am a farmer's daughter, that I should bother myself with little children? That a woman of my age and standing should allow her very strength to be sucked dry by children?"306 While English gentry began to nurse their infants themselves during the seventeenth century, the mothering revolution had not yet really reached Germany by the end of the nineteenth century.307 Visitors who wrote books on German home life reported, "It is extremely rare for a German lady to nourish her own child,"308 and "It would have been very astonishing indeed if a well-to-do mother had suggested suckling her own baby."309 Almost all mothers who refused to breast-feed could have done so if they "seriously wanted to," according to a 1905 German medical conference.310 Those who did not gave "completely trivial reasons," such as "because it is messy," because they "didn't want to ruin their figures" or because breastfeeding was "inconvenient.311 Even after their children returned from wetnurse, "noble ladies showed not the slightest interest in their offspring"312 and turned them over to nursemaids, governesses and tutors. The result was that parents were often strangers to their children. When one German father asked his child whom he loves the most and the child replied, "Hanne [his nurse]," the father objected, "No! You must love your parents more." "But it is not true!" the child replied. The father promptly beat him.313

Mothers and other caretakers of newborn German babies were so frightened of them that they tied them up tightly for from six to nine months and strapped them into a crib in a room with curtains drawn to keep out the lurking evils.314 Two centuries after swaddling had disappeared in England and America, two British visitors described it as routine throughout Germany:

A German baby is a piteous object; it is pinioned and bound up like a mummy in yards of is never bathed...Its head is never touched with soap and water until it is eight or ten months old, when the fine skull cap of encrusted dirt which it has by that time obtained is removed...315

In Germany, babies are loathsome, foetid things...offensive to the last degree with the excreta that are kept bound up within their swaddling clothes...the heads of the poor things are never washed, and are like the rind of Stilton cheese...316

When the children were finally removed from their swaddling bands after six to twelve months, other restraint devices such as corsets with steel stays and backboards continued their tied-up condition to assure the parents they were still in complete control.317 The result of all this early restraint was the same production of later violence in children as that obtained by experimenters physically restraining rats and monkeys--marked by depletions of serotonin, increases in norepinephrine levels and massive increases in terror, rage and eventually actual violence.318

The fear of one's own children was so widespread in German families that for centuries autobiographies told of a tradition of abandonment of children by their parents to anyone who would take them, using the most flimsy of excuses.319 Children were given away and even sometimes sold320 to relatives, neighbors, courts, priests, foundling homes, schools, friends, strangers, "traveling scholars" (to be used as beggars)--anyone who would take them--so that for much of history only a minority of German children lived their entire childhoods under their family roof. Children were reported to be sent away to others as servants or as apprentices, "for disciplinary reasons," "to be drilled for hard work," "to keep them from idleness," because of a "domestic quarrel," "because it cried as a baby," "because his uncle was childless," etc.321 Scheck notes from his study of autobiographies, "When their parents came to take them home, their children usually didn't recognize them any more."322 Peasants gave away their children so regularly that the only ones who were guaranteed to be kept were the first-born boys--to get the inheritance--and one of the daughters--who was sometimes crippled in order to prevent her from marrying and force her to stay permanently as a cheap helper in the parental household.323 After two children, it was said that "the parental attitude to later offspring noticeably deteriorated [so that] a farmer would rather lose a young child than a calf."324

Those children who were kept by their parents were considered, in Luther's words, "obnoxious with their crapping, eating, and screaming,"325 beings who "don't know anything, they aren't capable of doing anything, they don't perform anything...[and are] inferior to adults"326 and are therefore are only useless eaters327 until they began to work. "When little children die, it's not often that you have a lot of grief [but] if an older child dies, who would soon be able to go off to work...everybody is upset--it's already cost so much work and trouble, now it's all been for nothing."328 As "useless eaters" children were mainly resented: "...rarely could we eat a piece of bread without hearing father's comment that we did not merit it."329 The children grew up feeling that "my mother was fond of society and did not trouble much about me" (Bismarck) or "[my mother] did not conduce to evolve that tender sweetness and solicitude which are usually associated with motherhood. I hardly ever recollect her having fondled me. Indeed, demonstrations of affection were not common in our family" (Wagner).330 It is not surprising, therefore, with such a drastic lack of maternal love that historically outsiders complained that German mothers routinely abandoned their children, "paid less attention to their children than cows,"331 and observed that "mothers leave their small children or babies at home alone and go off shopping; or parents go visiting in the evening, leaving the small children at home by themselves..."332

BEATING, TERRORIZING AND SEXUALLY MOLESTING GERMAN CHILDREN Although little children can be made less threatening by being given away, tied up or ignored, as they grow older they must be forced to conform to parental images of them as poison containers by beating and terrorizing them. German parents throughout history have been known as the most violent batterers in Europe,333 particularly toward their boys,334 seconding Luther's opinion that "I would rather have a dead son than a disobedient one."335 Since mothers continued to be the main caretakers of the young children, the mother was far more often the main beater than the father.336 Scheck and Ende found brutal beating in virtually all autobiographies at the end of the nineteenth century; Hävernick found that 89 percent were beaten at the beginning of the twentieth century, over half of these with canes, whips or sticks.337 More recent surveys of report 75 percent of German adults say they had suffered from violence from their parents during their childhood, although hitting with instruments was falling from earlier periods.338

Battering babies sometimes begins in the womb. Violence against pregnant women has always been prevalent throughout human history, and since even today pregnant women are assaulted between 21 percent to 30 percent by their partners,339 this suggests that many fetuses were probably physically abused at the end of the nineteenth century, even without considering the effects of widespread maternal alcoholism in Germany. The physical assaults resumed as soon as the little child was out of swaddling bands, whenever they cry for anything. The widely-followed Dr. Schreber says the earlier one begins beatings the better: "One must look at the moods of the little ones which are announced by screaming without reason and crying...[inflicting] bodily admonishments consistently repeated until the child calms down or falls asleep. Such a procedure is necessary only once or at most twice and--one is master of the child forever. From now on a glance, a word, a single threatening gesture, is sufficient to rule the child."340 Schreber was overly optimistic and, like other German parents, continued to be threatened by imagined disobedience from his children, and so the beatings continued. Every independent move of children was seen as done, says Krüger, "with the intent of defying you;" it is "a declaration of war against you" which you must "whip him well till he cries so: Oh no, Papa, oh no!"341 These are not just spankings; they are whippings, like Hitler's daily whippings of sometimes over 200 strokes with a cane or a hippopotamus whip, which sometimes put him into a coma.342 Parents were often described as being in a "righteous rage" during the beatings343 and the children often lost consciousness.344 "At school we were beaten until our skin smoked. At home, the instrument for punishment was a dog-whip...My father, while beating, more and more worked himself into a rage. I lost consciousness from his beatings several times."345

Klöden writes that the motto of German parents at the end of the nineteenth century was simple: "Children can never get enough beatings."346 Although few German parents from the past would today escape being thrown in jail for their batterings, children at the end of the nineteenth century found little protection from society, since their own word and even physical evidence of severe abuse counted for nothing. Ende's survey describes typical court cases where a neighbor would alert police to "a three-year-old girl [whose] body was covered with welts. Lips, nose and gums were open wounds. The body showed numerous festering sores. The child had been placed on a red-hot, iron stove--two wounds on the buttocks were festering," but the court let the parent go free.347 Ende describes routine beating, kicking, strangling, making children eat excrement, etc., saying, "The cases I have presented are not the most extreme; they are typical of the vast literature on German families."348 The result was that German childhood suicides were three to five times higher than in other Western European countries at the end of the nineteenth century,349 fear of beatings by parents being the reason most often cited by the children for their suicide attempts.350 Few people cared about the reason for the suicides, since "suicidal children were thought to be spineless creatures, spoiled by indulgent parents...Newspapers wrote: ‘A boy who commits suicide because of a box on the ears has earned his fate; he deserved to be ruined.'351" There simply was no one around to sympathize with battered children in Germany. Even the small feminist movement in Germany failed to speak out for the rights of children, declaring motherhood "oppressive,"352 even though feminists in misogynous Germany in any case soon became "a symbol of disorder, decadence and physical and psychological disease."353

Although these constant beatings quickly produced compliant, obedient children, parental projections into them made continuous overcontrol appear necessary. German children were "often locked in a dark room or a closet or fastened to a table leg,"354 were "hardened" by washing them with ice-cold water before breakfast,355 and were tightly tied up in various corsets, steel collars and torturous back-support devices with steel stays and tight laces to hold them in controlled positions all day long.356 Children were not only controlled by being frightened by endless ghost stories where they were threatened with being carried away by horrible figures.357 The parents actually "dressed up in terrifying costumes [as] the so-called Knecht Ruprecht, made their faces black and pretended to be a messenger of God who would punish children for their sins."358 At Christmas they dressed as Pelznickel, "armed with a rod and a large chain...If they have been bad children, he will use his rod; if good, he will bring them nuts..."359 Petschauer remembers being threatened by a "hairy monster [that] chased me under the living room table, chains clanking, hoofs stomping, appearing it wanted to drag me off in its carrying basket, the Korb."360 Scheck sums up the effects of these terrifying devices: "Most children had been so deeply frightened that their ‘demons of childhood' persecuted them at night and in feverish dreams for their whole lives."361

Toilet training was an early, violent battle-ground for parental control over the infant. Since "babies and young children won't obey, don't want to do what grownups want them to do but instead test them, resist them, and tyrannize them [and since] they are impure, unclean and messy,"362 toilet training begins at around six months of age, long before the infant has sphincter control. The training is done by regular use of enemas and by hitting the infant: "The baby cannot walk yet [Nana] spanks the baby. Hard. ‘ He is a dirty, dirty Hansi-baby,' she says, as she spanks. ‘He made pooh-pooh last night! Dirty Hansi!' Nana slaps the little red buttocks." Traditional German obsession with children's feces is well known; both Dundes and von Zglinicki have written entire books on the subject.363 The enema in particular was used as a frightening domination device, a fetish-object often wielded by the mother or nurse in daily rituals that resembled sexual assaults on the anus, sometimes including tying the child up in leather straps as though the mother were a dominatrix, inserting the two-foot-long enema tube over and over again as punishment for "accidents."364 There were special enema stores that German children would be taken to in order to be "fitted" for their proper size of enemas. The ritual "stab in the back" was a central fear of German children well into the twentieth century, and they learned "never to speak of it, but always to think about it."365

The punitive atmosphere of the German home was so total that one can convincingly say that totalitarianism in the family led directly to totalitarianism in politics. Children were personal slaves of their parents, catering to their every need, waiting on them, tying to fulfill their every whim, even if only to be poison containers for their moods. Many accounts of the time describe a similar tense home atmosphere:

When the father came in from work, the children were expected to be at home. Neighbours...would warn...'[Your father's] coming! We ran like a flash, opened up and were inside in time!' The children would bring him his slippers, help him off with his coat, lay the table or just retreat in silence to a corner of the room...Right away we got punished, whack, a clip round the ear or something...'You take off my shoes; you go and get water; you fill my pipe for me and you fetch my books!' And we had to jump to it, he wouldn't have stood for it if we hadn't all done just as we were told...we had to kneel, one by the one window, another by the other...we would kneel with our heads against the wall...we had to stay there for two hours..."366

German children were also used by parents and servants as sexual objects from an early age.367 German doctors often said "nursemaids and other servants carry out all sorts of sexual acts on the children entrusted to their care, sometimes merely in order to quiet the children, sometimes ‘for fun.'"368 Even Freud said he was seduced by his nurse and by his father,369 and said "nursemaids, governesses and domestic servants [were often] guilty of [grave sexual] abuses" and that "nurses put crying children to sleep by stroking their genitals."370 Children were used like a comfort blanket: "If the father goes away on a journey, the little son can come to sleep in mother's bed. As soon as father returns, the boy is banished to his cot" next to the parents' bed, where he will continue to observe their intercourse.371 These incestuous assaults were regular enough to be remembered rather than repressed in the autobiographies of the period.372 In poorer families, of course, "it was unheard of for children to have their own beds,"373 but even in wealthy families parents bring their children to bed with them. After using them sexually, they then would threaten to punish the child for their sexuality. "Little Hans," for instance, reported he regularly was masturbated by his mother, "coaxed [Freud's footnote: ‘caressed'] with his Mummy [Freud's footnote: ‘meaning his penis.']," but then told she would "send for Dr. A. to cut off your widdler" if he touched his penis.374 It is no wonder that Freud reported that his patients "regularly charge their mothers with seducing them,"375 but not because "they had been cleansed by their mothers" as he claimed but because they had in fact been used sexually by them. They then impose various punishments and anti-masturbation devices such as penis-rings, metal cages with spikes and plaster casts to prevent erections while sleeping in order to punish the child for the incestuous acts of the parent.376

As children left their families in pedophile-prone nineteenth-century Germany, they were again raped at school, as servants, on the streets and at work. The majority of prostitutes were minors, often starting their careers as young as age seven, with parents often living off the prostitution of their daughters.377 Virgins were particularly valuable, since "a superstition prevails...that venereal diseases may be cured by means of sexual intercourse with a virgin."378 Bloch thought seducing children was "very widespread" because "timidity and impotence on the part of adult men, rendering intercourse with adult women difficult" led to their commonly raping children.379 Rape by employers of servants was widespread, but since no one wanted illegitimate children, the servant girl was expected to kill any offspring.380 Girls leaving school at thirteen regularly told tales of sexual assault at the hands of factory employers and managers or by bosses in the office.381 And both boys and girls were open to rape in schools, by teachers as well as older students--there were even "free schools" known for pederastic use of young boys that espoused "pedagogical Eros" concepts that were popular in the period.382

Even the daily beatings so commonly reported at schools had overtones of sexual assault--after all, the German schoolmaster who boasted he had given "911,527 strokes with the stick, 124,000 lashes with the whip, 136,715 slaps with the hand and 1,115,800 boxes on the ear"383 was engaged in a severe sexual compulsion, not a disciplinary act. One can easily sense the sexual excitement behind the claim that teachers must "know how to love with the cane,"384 in schools that werereal torture-chambers for children and young people. All day long the hazel-rod, the ruler...and the cowhide reign, or they fly around in the class-room to warn the sluggish ones and the chatter-boxes or to call them to step out. Then, they were given a sound thrashing. How inventive were some school tyrants concerning their punishments...There is rarely a morning on which we do not see servants or even parents in the streets, dragging violently to school boys who cry at the top of their voices.385

A small minority of Germans at the turn of the century, however, had more modern, less brutal childrearing, and it was these who in every economic class managed to provide the new psychoclass that supported the democratic and economic reforms of the Weimar Republic. During the Weimar period, these advanced Germans were able to borrow more advanced social and economic models from other more democratic nations nearby, creating even larger a gap between the majority of Germans brought up in medieval childrearing ways and the needs of modern capitalism and democratic forms of government. This advanced minority did not mainly come from the wealthier economic classes; wealthy mothers regularly sent their newborn out to peasants who had reputations as being totally without feeling for the infants for whom they were supposed to care. The new psychoclass German children can be found in the historical record in exceptional autobiographies and diaries, more in the north than the south--where as we have seen the mothers didn't even breastfeed--more in the middle classes than in the wealthy, more urban than rural, and more in certain ethnic groups, particularly the Jews.

That German Jewish families "constituted one of the most spectacular social leaps in European history [and] produced some of the most fiercely independent minds" in Germany386 is a little-understood cause of their persecution during the Holocaust, since a nation afraid of independence naturally chooses the most independent people in their population as scapegoats for their fear of freedom. Jews in Germany were far more literate (even the women) than others since medieval times, when most populations were nearly totally illiterate. Jewish families, smaller and more urban than other German families and far less authoritarian,387 almost always nursed their own children, so that in 1907, for instance, in the south "44 percent of the children of Christian families died, but only 8 percent of the Jewish children."388 Two major studies of German Jewish family life confirm that it was quite different from most of the other families around them, so much more loving and compassionate that even after the end of WWII, after experiencing during the Holocaust the most "severe abuse and unimaginable stress, there were no suicides [in survivors]...the people are neither living a greedy, me-first style of life, nor are they seeking gain at the expense of others...389most of their lives are marked by an active compassion for others..." As was stressed earlier, what produces violent restaging of early trauma isn't merely the severity of the trauma, but whether or not the child blames himself.390

Two similar retrospective studies--one by Dicks of Nazis and another by the Oliners of rescuers of Jews--clearly reveal the different family backgrounds of the more advanced psychoclass represented by rescuers. Just as Dicks found brutal, domineering parents of Nazis who had "particularly destructive mother images,"391 the Oliners interviewed over 406 rescuers of Jews, and compared them with 126 nonrescuers, and found that their economic class, their religion, their education, jobs and other social characteristics were all similar, only their childrearing was different.392 Altruistic personalities, they found, had families that showed them more respect, more concern for fairness, more love and had less emphasis on obedience and more on individuality. They were almost never sent out to others to be cared for, and if they were sometimes hit by their parents, the parents often apologized.393 Obviously, a new childrearing mode had penetrated to a minority of Germans at the beginning of the twentieth century, in time to produce a new innovative phase and an attempted "leap to modernity" during the Weimar Republic.

During this decade of prosperity, "many Germans enjoyed a temporary triumph of eros over thanatos, experiencing a sense of liberation hitherto unknown in a land where strong discipline and public conformity had held sway for generations."394 Universal suffrage allowed women to vote, a minority of parties were even fairly democratic in intent, economic freedoms multiplied and produced unaccustomed prosperity, women's rights over their children were promoted and sexual material and even contraception became widely available, reducing for the first time the number of children per family to two.395 But all this political, economic and social liberation produced terror in the average German, terror of maternal engulfment. Democracy was seen as "a beast of a thousand heads [that] crushes anything it cannot swallow or engulf."396 Weimar Purity Crusades began to call for "emancipation from emancipation" and "a restoration of authoritarian rule."397 Anti-pornography laws "to protect youth against literary rubbish and dirt" began to be passed as early as 1926.398 Even women delegates in the Reichstag opposed "the masculinization of women" that they said was the result of women's rights, which were deemed "un-German."399 Germany felt it needed a Phallic Leader who would give them a national enema, a purging, a purifying of "foreign" liberalism to "unify and cleanse"400 the body politic as their mothers and nurses had forcefully purged them of feces and cleansed them of their desires for independence. The myth about "the stab in the back" (the enema) being the underlying cause of Germany's problems had deeper meaning than the political. It was agreed that "The stab in the back [is] a crime...the cause of our general paralysis and joylessness..."401 What was needed, it was said, was something to "remove the Verstopfung [constipation]" that was obstructing German culture.402 Germans complained throughout the Weimar period about "the stab in the back" they had received at the end of WWI, and said about the Versailles Treaty "always think about it, never speak of it," both phrases really referring to their enema assaults as children. The more prosperous Weimar became, the more growth panic Germans experienced--as shown in the increase in murder and manslaughter rates during the later Weimar years.403 Thus it was that Germany--the nation that during the 1920s enjoyed higher standards of living than any other in Europe --404began its search for a violent, purging dictator long before the Depression began, the supposed cause of the dictatorship.

Careful studies of the rise of Nazism conclude that the Depression came after, not before, the death of Weimar democracy and that "the decay of parliamentary government preceded the Nazi rise."405 Nor did the Versailles Treaty and Allied demands for reparations cause them, since "German borrowing from abroad always far exceeded her reparation payments."406 Nor, as we have documented, was antisemitism the cause of the rise of the Nazis. Not only was earlier German antisemitism milder than many other European nations,407 "in the decisive electoral campaigns of 1930 and 1932...anti-Semitic agitation proved, if anything, more of a hindrance, so...leadership consciously played it down."408 Most Germans were "relatively indifferent towards the Jewish Question,"409 and "the vast majority of the general population did not clamor or press for anti-Semitic measures [even by] the Kristallnacht pogrom of November 1938..."410

The call for a dictatorship, in fact, came before it began to center on Hitler, first in films and other cultural material (Kracauer calls Weimar culture "a procession of tyrants")411 and then in the Reichstag. The middle classes--"hardly touched by the depression"412 --and the wealthy--"the richer the precinct the higher the Nazi vote"413 --were the main sources of the over two-thirds of all delegates who voted Hitler dictator. Women in fact voted for Hitler in even greater proporations than men.414 The ecstatic enthusiasm of the jubilant masses of people who celebrated their Phallic Leader came directly from his promises of a violent Purity Crusade that would end what Hitler called the "poisoning hothouse of sexual conceptions and stimulants [and the] suffocating perfume of our modern eroticism [which is] the personification of incest"415 --all three images suggesting flashbacks to the sexually engulfing mommy of the family bed. Even during the Depression, Germans said, "We are somebody again!"416 only because of their delusional merger with their Phallic Leader. Economics, political forms, antisemitism--all played second fiddle in the Nazi propaganda to Hitler's "ranting about prostitution and moral decadence."417 What made Germans say about Hitler's dictatorship, "The Joy inside me was impossible to describe,"418 was his violent Purity Crusade, a dopamine rush that warded off engulfment by the Terrifying Mother--using his hatred of his own mother that can be glimpsed in his saying about a frightening painting of Medusa he kept on his walls: "Those eyes! They are the eyes of my mother!"419

The Depression was relatively short in Germany. Since economic downturns are caused by motivated "mistakes" in restricting liquidity, Hitler performed what was called an "economic miracle" simply by reversing the "mistakes" of late Weimar economic policies, so that by the end of 1936 Germany surpassed the highest levels of GNP achieved during the 1920s.420 It was only as the manic phase was well under way that Germany really felt their growth panic and completed their merger with the Fatherland and the promised violence of the Phallic Leader. Protected against growing body disintegration anxieties by fetishistic Nazi leather boots and uniforms, Germans could accomplish the "purification" of their nation by "stopping the creeping poison" exuded by Terrifying Mommies and Bad Boy selves, at home and abroad. One must say "Halt!" to freedom to be loved by mommy: after all, the "Heil Hitler!" salute, with arm stiffly outstretched and palm out, is a universal symbol of "Halt." Germans who as children were made to kneel silently against the wall for hours encountered American swing music as adults, wanted to dance, but still were under their internal parents' injunction to "Halt!" So Nazi soldiers halted all swing dancing in Germany and sent those who danced to swing music to concentration camps.421 Only if Germans could stop being individuals living in freedom could they go back and live as "one family" in the "joyful rapture" of one Volk, cleansed of sinfulness. Only if they were slaves to totalitarian Nazi whims could they restage their slavery to their parents in the totalitarian family of their childhoods; thus, even the chains of swaddling bands were embedded in the Nazi dicta: "He who can do what he wants is not free...He who feels himself without chains is not free."422 Only those who could worship the Motherland (the swastika is an ancient symbol of Mother Goddess worship) could feel reborn and be loved as they always felt they deserved to be since birth. Since group-fantasies of merging with mommy proliferated, men feared they would become feminine, so homosexuals began to be persecuted with a vengeance.

Indeed, all of post-Depression Europe, America and even Asia were in their manic phase in the late Thirties and felt the need for a cleansing world war and sacrifice of scapegoats. American antisemitism, for instance, was on the rise, a steady minority feeling that Jews were a menace to America423 and two-thirds indicating Jewish refugees should be kept out of the country.424 In the summer of 1939 when over a thousand German Jews arrived in the New World, they were sent back.425 The bill to accept 20,000 Jewish children into the U.S. was received with massive opposition because "20,000 children will soon turn into 20,000 ugly adults."426 Thirty-two nations assembled at a conference on Jewish emigration and voted they "regretted" they could not take in more Jews.427 When the British were approached to save Jews in exchange for goods, they replied, "What on earth are you thinking off...What shall I do with those million Jews? Where shall I put them?"428 Nor was Hitler without his admirers in other countries before the invasion. Churchill called him "an indomitable champion [who could] restore our courage,"429 Anthony Eden said of him "without doubt the man has charm...I rather liked him."430 Indeed, Beisel's research into the group-fantasies of Western nations before the war concludes that Germany was "the bad boy" of Europe who was delegated the starting of the war by others in "the family of nations," just as many "bad boys" are delegated the acting out of violence felt by others in individual families.431

Before the war broke out, however, the killing of "bad boy" alters had begun in earnest. The earliest death camps, in fact, were set up to kill children who were useless eaters, the same term applied to the Germans themselves by their parents when they were children at the turn of the century. Long before the Holocaust of Jews began, medical officers sent questionnaires to parents and guardians of children in mental hospitals and homes for delinquent children, asking them if they would give their consent to killing them. So powerful was the unconscious group-fantasy at that time that "bad" children were polluting the German nation that most parents and guardians agreed to the killing of their "useless children."432 The doctors, including pediatricians, spontaneously set up a Reich Committee "to exterminate ‘undesirable' children, which drew up standards that read exactly like the child care manuals at the end of the nineteenth century, asking whether the child had been "late in being toilet trained" or had used "dirty words" or were "slow learners;" if they were, they were exterminated in gas chambers and crematorium ovens.433 Over 70,000 of these "useless eaters" were murdered by doctors to "cleanse the German national body"434 before the war began.435 So proud were these doctors of their murder of "bad children" that they actually made a popular film of the killings, which was shown in theaters.436 At the same time, throughout Germany, "midwives and nurses were instructed to report births of defective infants...including ‘racially undesirable' ones...Thousands were killed by injection or deliberate starvation."437 The wiping out of Bad Boy alters "out there" in the real world to remove them from "inside here," in the traumatized hemisphere of the brain, had begun. Killing millions more "Bad Boys" in the Holocaust and World War II soon followed.

Killing mommies and children was the two tasks of Germans in starting WWII. Hitler made this clear in the speech he gave before his generals ordering the invasion of Poland. Note the exact words he used:

Genghis Khan has sent millions of women and children into death knowingly and with a light heart...I have put my death's head formations in place with the command relentlessly and without compassion to send into death many women and children of Polish origin...438

After quoting these sentences, Fischer says "Hitler had exclaimed that he would kill without pity all men, women and children."439 But men were not in fact mentioned in his quote. Hitler said women and children must die--women as symbolic Terrifying Mothers, and children as symbolic Bad Boys. Even all the soldiers who must die--including the German soldiers who must die--were "youth," symbolic Bad Boy alters, vital, growing inner selves sacrificed to Moloch.

The path to war, however, did not begin with the killing of Bad Boy "useless eaters" to the East. Indeed, Hitler temporarily made a Nonaggression Pact with Russia and attempted to extend it to Poland. Germany's first task was righteous rape, the knocking of Mother England off her pedestal and, while still wooing her, teaching her a lesson of how she must stop humiliating Germans by rejecting their courtship. Nazi diplomatic language dripped of maternal imagery for the two Western nations, as when Goering asked, "Why should France continue to tie herself to a decayed old nation like England--a rouged old maid trying to pretend that she is still young and vigorous."440 Hitler believed that war would teach England a lesson and make her respect Germany, predicting that "the end of the war will mark the beginning of a durable friendship with England. But first we must give her the K.O.--for only so can we live at peace with her, and the Englishman can only respect someone who has first knocked him out."441 Mother England, after all, was a "purely Germanic nation" who, like a good German mother, ruled over her children (colonies) with an iron fist.442 Germany had to rape her to dominate and really have her, but, Hitler said, "This doesn't prevent me from admiring [the English]. They have a lot to teach us."443

Historians agree that during the 1936-38 period "Hitler assumed that Britain could be wooed or forced into an alliance."444 When England finally said they would defend Poland, Hitler responded by "abandoning his courtship of England, which had rejected him"445 and proceeded with what was called "the rape of Austria," what Hitler called "the return of German-Austria to the great German motherland."446 All Germans had long blamed England and France for the ineffective "Treaty of Shame" (Versailles)--a flashback to all their childhood memories of shame and humiliation by their caretakers--and promised to fight the West to "restore to each individual German his self-respect ...We are not inferior; on the contrary, we are the complete equals of every other nation."447 Even those Germans who were turned over to nurses by their mothers knew what Hitler meant when he declared that "Germany would not suffer under the tutelage of governesses,"448 i.e., England.

Nazi Blitzkreig and dive-bomber tactics were particularly loaded with righteous rape fantasies featuring powerful thrusts and penetration of enemy bodies, wreaking vengeance for earlier wrongs. The war began in the East, restaging German childhood traumas against Bad Boys in Poland, and it involved from the start suicidal intent and the killing off of sinful Germans. Historians admit that fighting "an unlimited war of conquest [against] a worldwide coalition of states...was in itself an insane undertaking"449 that was suicidal and sacrificial from the beginning. As Hitler promised nothing but death to what he called the "thousands and thousands of young Germans who have come forward with the self-sacrificial resolve freely and joyfully to make a sacrifice of their young lives,"450 German mothers marched through the streets chanting "We have donated a child to the Führer," Nazi soldiers felt "politically reborn [when] filled with a pure joy I realized that what my mother had once said was true after all--that it was a hallowed act to give up one's life for Germany," and Hitler Youth sang, "We are born to die for Germany."451 At no point was mere conquest of land the goal of Germany's invasions. Hitler hated Chamberlain for making concessions and avoiding war at Munich, telling his soldiers later, "We want war," and saying "I am only afraid that some Schweinehund will make a proposal for mediation" like at Munich.452 "I did not organize the armed forces in order not to strike...The idea of getting out cheaply is dangerous...We must burn our boats."453 He instructed his diplomats always to demand "so much that we can never be satisfied."454 When asked about Poland, "What is it that you want? Danzig? The Corridor?" the answer was, "We want war."455 The goal was to "Act Brutally! Be harsh and remorseless!"456 While Germans marched West with visions of raping French women and climbing the Eiffel Tower, they marched East with visions of smashing Jewish babies heads against walls457 and turning Moscow into "an artificial lake."458 All Bad Boy alters to the East must be eliminated. The orders were: "Complete destruction of Poland is the military aim. Pursue until complete annihilation"459 and "Moscow must be destroyed and completely wiped from the earth."460

Jewish annihilation plans only came later, actually during the summer months of 1941 when, "convinced that the military campaign was nearly over and victory was at hand, an elated Hitler gave the signal to carry out [the] racial ‘cleansing' [of the Jews.]"461 Initially, for many years, Jews were to be resettled, part of Hitler's "grandiose program of population transfers"462 --90 percent of which were ethnic Germans and others and only 10 percent were Jews--a "massive upheaval of humanity"463 that restaged upon five million people464 the experiences of having to leave home endured during childhood by most Germans as their parents endlessly moved them around to wetnurses, relatives, schools and work sites. In 1940 Hitler and Himmler had rejected the "physical extermination of a people out of inner conviction as un-German and impossible."465 It was only by the summer of 1941, in victory and afraid of running out of Bad Boys to kill in the East, that Hitler would approve of "the mass murder of all European the form of deportation to death camps equipped with poison gas facilities"466 like those used for murdering the 70,000 German children killed earlier. Christopher Browning correctly points to mania and success as the source of the Holocaust when he concludes, "Hitler [only] opted for the Final Solution in the ‘euphoria of victory' of midsummer 1941."467 Jews were the ultimate Bad Boys, symbols of liberalism, freedom and prosperity in the stock market, and so finally must be totally eliminated for Germans to return to the "pure" authoritarian family atmosphere of 1900 where only Good Boys survived.

Even the notion that Germany had to kill Poles and Jews for the acquisition of Lebensraum, or living space, completely misses the motive for the Holocaust. Lebensraum was a completely phony concept. It was actually a code word for the desire to break free, to have room to live and grow, to throw off swaddling bands and corsets, to get up from crouching against the wall as children and to have some space to live. Conquering foreign lands or annihilating Jews and others to expand the actual amount of soil Germany could farm made no sense at all, because Germany already had so much unused land that they had to import a steady stream of foreign workers to farm it.468 Germans ate well under Hitler. The only reality behind the popular Lebensraum notion that the "Germanic mother could not feed her children adequately"469 was the inability of German mothers and wetnurses four decades earlier to empathize with and adequately feed their infants and children.

Jews, then, were the main poison containers for the restaging of traumatic German childrearing practices four decades earlier. Every one of the things done to Jews in the Holocaust can be found to have been perpetrated by parents and others to German children at the turn of the century. The precise details of earlier events that were reinflicted upon Jews later are astonishingly minute and literal. Jews were, of course, murdered by the millions, just as German children had watched their siblings murdered in infanticidal acts earlier, using the exact same phrase for the genocide of Jews--"elimination of useless eaters"--as parents had used earlier for their infants and children as they murdered them at birth.470 Because infanticide rates were so high, the majority of German children would have witnessed the murder of newborn siblings by their mothers, would have heard the murdered baby being called a "useless eater," and would themselves have been called a "useless eater" as children and so could have wondered if they might also be murdered. One can hardly read a single Holocaust book without having to wade through endless accounts of children buried alive by Nazis, "children having their heads beaten in like poultry and thrown into a smoking pit," "babies thrown from the fourth floor and crushed on the pavements," "children's bodies lay around, torn in half with the heads smashed in," "'little Jews' caught on bayonets after being thrown from upper story windows," etc.471 Even the specific methods German mothers had used for killing their newborn--especially smashing the baby against a wall or throwing it into a latrine--were "a regular occurrence"472 against Jews in concentration camps:

When mothers succeeded in keeping their babies with them...a German guard took the baby by its legs and smashed it against the wall of the barracks until only a bloody mass remained in his hands. The unfortunate mother had to take this mass with her to the ‘bath.' Only those who saw these things with their own eyes will believe with what delight the Germans performed these operations. [Also] SS men used to amuse themselves by swinging Jewish children by their legs and then flinging them to their deaths. He who threw a Jewish child farthest won.473

Jews were also regularly tied up and made to live in their own filth exactly as swaddled German infants were earlier. Rarely washed, Germans had spent their early lives covered with their own excreta, addressed by their parents simply as "little shitter."474 In the concentration camps, Jews were subject to what Des Pres calls a constant "excremental assault," in which they were forced to defecate and urinate upon each other, were often thrown into the cesspool if they were too slow, lived in barracks "awash with urine and feces," walked about "knee-deep in excrement," were forced to eat their own feces, and finally died in gas chambers "covered all over with excrement."475 In one camp, 30,000 women not only had to use a single latrine, but in addition, "we were permitted to use it only at certain hours of the day. We stood in line to get into this tiny building, knee-deep in human excrement."476 Holocaust scholars, missing the childhood origins of all these gratuitous excremental cruelties, have been puzzled by how much of the concentration camp routine was devoted to the endless humiliations: "Why, if they were going to kill them anyway, what was the point of all the humiliation, why the cruelty?" Gitta Sereny asked of Franz Stangl.477 But of course the humiliation was the point, restaging early German childhood exactly. Hitler--himself swaddled and left alone in his feces by his mother--had told Germans in Mein Kampf , "If the Jews were alone in this world, they would suffocate in dirt and filth."478 In the Holocaust the Jews--"so much like us" (Hitler)--would suffocate in dirt and filth, as all little, helpless German babies did all day long at the hands of their mothers. And since the "little shitter" German babies were also covered with lice, vermin and rodents as they lay swaddled in their cradles, unable to move, Jews too were called "lice, vermin and rats" as they were locked into the concentration camps, told "This is a death camp...You'll be eaten by lice; you'll rot in your own shit, you filthy shitface..."479 Some guards even restaged the rodent attacks "by inserting a tube into the victim's anus, or into a woman's vagina, then letting a rat into the tube. The rodent would try to get out by gnawing at the victim's internal organs."480 Later toilet training of German children was also restaged, often in precise detail, as by having the ghetto-latrine supervised by a "guard with a big clock, whom the Germans dressed comically as a rabbi and called the ‘shit-master.'"481

Every extermination camp reproduced elements of a typical German home. Jews were not said to be there to be murdered, they were there to be "housecleaned."482 Mommy hated her children's "dirtiness," wanted them "clean," so "dirty Jews" were killed so only "clean Germans" would be left. Jews were Untermenschen (with overtones of "little people") who were forced to crawl on the floor naked like babies,483 and who were tied up, starved, made to kneel for hours, doused with ice water, terrorized and beaten just like most German children.484 The battering of Jews in camps followed the hallowed German child-beating pattern of "being strong" (not making the perpetrator feel guilty by crying out):

I dropped to my knees without uttering a sound. I knew what was expected of me. I looked at the commandant from my knees as he smiled back at me with approval. He swung the chair at me again, striking me on the shoulder. I sprawled on the ground, bruised and dizzy, but I still made no sound. He raised the chair and brought it down on my head, shattering it...I bit my tongue to stop myself making a sound...I knew that if I made another sound, nothing could save me. ‘Very good, for being strong. You shall be rewarded. Get some food. Tell them I sent you...'485

The beatings and tortures were, as is so often the case with sadism, often sexualized:

The SS camp commander stood close to the whipping post throughout the flogging...his whole face was already red with lascivious excitement. His hands were plunged deep in his trouser pockets, and it was quite clear that he was masturbating throughout...On more than thirty occasions, I myself have witnessed SS camp commanders masturbating during floggings...486

Sexual tortures of prisoners were legion, including pushing sticks up into boys' penises and breaking them off, brutally massaging prostates with pieces of wood inserted into the rectum, castrating men and removing the ovaries of women, training dogs to attack their genitals, etc.487 Victims were all Bad Boys and Bad Girls, needing to be punished for their sexuality, as the German guards' parents had punished them. The Holocaust was one gigantic, bizarre "cautionary tale," teaching everyone the same lessons taught to German children as they were assaulted, so when local civilians during the Holocaust saw Jews being clubbed to death in the street, they cheered, "with mothers holding up their children to enjoy the spectacle and soldiers milling around to watch the fun like a football match."488

As the next three chapters will document, childrearing has steadily improved historically, even if very unevenly, so if the psychogenic theory is correct then human violence should have decreased steadily over the past millennia. Yet the twentieth century has been widely touted as the most violent in history and has often been compared by anthropologists to some so-called peaceful tribes they have claimed represent our oldest ancestors. How can childhood be the source of human violence if violence has vastly increased while childrearing has improved?

That twentieth century wars have been more violent seems to be an obvious fact. Technology alone allows us to be far more lethal than in earlier centuries, when wars causing 250,000 or more deaths were rare,489 while World War II alone killed 15 million people in battle, and total battlefield deaths for the twentieth century have exceeded 100 million.490 What's more, if one expands the definition of war deaths to what Rummel terms "democide"--so that the 40 million Russian deaths ordered by Stalin, for instance, are included--the number of "deaths by government" in the twentieth century jumps past 170 million.491 Surely Nordstrom is right in saying, "This past century was the bloodiest century in human existence,"492 thus disproving the psychogenic theory of decreasing violence resulting from improving childrearing.

Yet Nordstrom's pessimistic conclusion is reversed if one measures the rate of violence by the likelihood of one's dying by war and democide. With several billion people on earth during the twentieth century, the rate of death by wars is in fact less than two percent of the population.493 Although individual wars in the past have killed less in numbers, they could easily wipe out many times this percentage of the population, particularly if--as is rarely done--the battlefield deaths are increased to include the democides of the past, when massacring civilians in entire cities was a common practice.494 Further, what is more relevant to the childrearing comparison is that lumping all nations in the twentieth century together regardless of their childhood evolution masks the fact that advanced democratic nations like the United States, England and France have lost only a fraction of a percentage of their populations in wars during the century. The United States, for instance, lost 120,000 soldiers in WWI, only .12 percent of the population, and 400,000 soldiers in WWII, only .34 percent of the population.495 The Korean War only lost .04 percent, the Vietnam War only .03 percent, and the Gulf War .0003 percent of Americans. The facts are that the more advanced the childrearing, the more democratic the society and the less percentage lost in wars. This is why no democratic nation has ever gone to war with another democratic nation in history.496

Anthropologists have promulgated what Keeley calls "the myth of the peaceful savage" so effectively that when actual deaths by war are tabulated for pre-state simple societies one is astonished by how such a notion can continue to be taught to students.497 Keeley documents 22 prestate tribes with war deaths five to ten times that of contemporary democratic nations, concluding that "what transpired before the evolution of civilized states was often unpleasantly bellicose."498 Death rates in areas like New Guinea and South America, where there has been less Western policing of war than in Africa and Asia, range from an astonishing 25 to 35 percent of all adult deaths.499 The most warlike society ever described is the Waorani of the Amazon, which produced 60 percent of all adult deaths from war raids.500 It is likely that prestate societies 10,000 years ago had similar astronomical death rates from wars, if the number of human bones with stone axes and arrowheads embedded in them are counted.501 The 30 percent average of adult deaths in prestate societies is even higher than the figures of below 10 percent that early modern wars tended to average out,502 although admittedly little has been done to date to measure non-battlefield deaths in state wars prior to the twentieth century. The overall historical decline from 30 percent of adult population to under one percent for war/democide adult deaths for democratic nations has therefore been plotted in the graph below as a clear downward trend through history, as childrearing improves through the ages and gradually reduces the inner need to kill others.

6:7 The Decline of Human Violence

Besides war and democide, the graph also shows the decline of the two other outlets for human violence: infanticide and homicide/suicide. Infanticide is usually not counted as murder by demographers, since they do not consider newborn as human. But most human murders in history were in fact committed by mothers killing their newborn. The rates of infanticide in contemporary pre-state tribes are enormous: Australian Aborigine mothers, for instance, killed about 50 percent of all newborn, and the first missionaries in Polynesia estimated the two-thirds of the children were murdered by their parents.503 Birdsell hypothesized infanticide rates as high as 50 percent for prehistoric tribal societies, based on high fertility rates and slow growth of populations.504 My own cross-historical study, On the Demography of Filicide,505 is based on a large number of boy-girl ratios that ran as high as 135 to 100, which showed that girls until modern times were killed in sufficiently higher numbers than boys to have affected census figures for children. Tribal societies also often infanticide enough of their newborn girls at a higher rate than boys to produce childhood sex ratios of from 140 to 100 (Yanomamö) to 159 to 100 (Polynesian),506 meaning that virtually all families killed at least one child and most killed several, averaging perhaps half of all children born, especially if "late infanticide" (such as letting an infant starve to death) are counted. Since 50 percent infanticide rates seems to be the norm around which all these studies of simple tribes center, it is what is shown at the left of the chart.

The third outlet for human violence is homicide/suicide--lumped together because when homicide rates initially go down in modern times suicide rates tend for a while to climb, suicide being somewhat more "advanced" (less impulsive) method of personal violence than homicide. Many simple tribes had homicide rates of up to 50 or 60 percent, causing one anthropologist to conclude about one group, "There was not a single grown man who had not been involved in a killing in some way or another."507 Even so-called "peaceful" tribes like the famous !Kung of Africa actually have "twenty to fifty times" current modern homicide rates.508 Knauft's careful study found the Gebusi homicide rate to be sixty times the current U.S. rate,509 with 60 percent of all males admitting to having committed one or more homicides,510 while Steadman found the Hewa--who specialize in killing witches--had a homicide rate of one percent of the population per year, a thousand times the current U.S. rate.511 Most tribal homicide rates run around ten percent of the adult population over a lifetime. Suicide in small societies is usually higher among the women, since they live lives of despair, often reaching 10 to 25 percent of adult women's deaths, staying high in antiquity but declining under Christianity, when suicide was declared to be self-murder.512 Homicide rates in medieval and early modern history, when almost everyone carried a knife or sword and often used them, ran about ten times higher than today's rates of about a quarter of one percent--although they should be adjusted upward for the number of unrecorded homicides in the past--while suicide rates today run about a half of one percent of adult population over a lifetime.513 Thus homicide/suicide rates, like those of war and infanticide, have decreased steadily, to less than one percent for most democratic nations today. Added together, then, the rate of human violence has dropped from around a 75 percent chance of being murdered by your fellow human beings to around 2 percent for advanced democratic nations today, as a result of the slow and steady improvement in childrearing over the centuries, with the reduction of early trauma, the growth of the hippocampal-orbitofrontal cortex network and more balanced neurotransmitters in the human population.

Even just two percent of six billion people is a hundred twenty million people. Should we still expect violence to kill this many people each generation during the next century? What's more, only a part of the world today is democratic. Most of the world is still "leaping into modernity," just becoming more free, democratic and prosperous, but with their childrearing not yet modern, thus going through the same growth panic process that Germany went through in the middle of the twentieth century. We can therefore expect higher rates of democide in the coming decades in the developing countries. Yugoslavia, as an example, became democratic only recently, and only then began expressing their growth panic through mass murdering and raping their neighbors--much like the Nazis did--since their childrearing was still thoroughly medieval.514 Especially with nuclear and biological weapons proliferating, might we expect major wars in the next century to again kill hundreds of millions of people, despite slowly improving childrearing?

Advanced democracies today have sufficient proportions of good parents now to be satisfied with working off their growth panics by small wars and recessions rather than world wars and depressions.515 Since the end of WWII, wars have been far smaller in fatalities--at least for the democracies, if not for their opponents--so that the sacrificial needs of nations seem to be satisfied with only thousands or even hundreds of deaths rather than millions, what has been termed "low-intensity wars."516 Military spending in democratic nations has dropped from around 75 percent of government spending in the late eighteenth century to somewhere between 10 and 20 percent today.517 These smaller wars have been more frequent and have alternated more frequently with small recessions, so the classic 50-year manic/depressive cycle of the previous centuries that we graphed above has been drastically shortened, and recessions and small wars seem to substitute for each other as sacrificial rituals rather than alternating as in past centuries. But all this has happened mainly in developed, democratic nations with better childrearing, so the answer to the question about war in the next century has to be ambivalent. I am confident that I can trust my children and their friends on the West Side of Manhattan--who have loving, helping mode parents who come from every ethnic and economic strata--to make a non-violent world in the next century. But the average Chinese or African or Russian child has still so often been brought up in an atmosphere of infanticide, battering, sexual molestation and severe domination that they can be forecast to need to repeat their parental holocaust on the historical stage in the future as they experience their new freedoms, repeating the democides of the twentieth century but with even greater destructive weapons. Just allowing the usual slow historical evolution of childrearing may not be enough to outweigh the escalating destructiveness of our weapons. Therefore, the more advanced psychoclasses will have to actually intervene in the world's families to help change parenting and thus childhood for everyone on earth. Unless this can be done during the twenty-first century, it seems likely that the proliferating power of our weaponry could outrun the evolution of our childrearing and make the coming decades even more violent than the twentieth century has been.

A new way to change parenting, community parenting centers, has in fact begun to be developed in a few American communities, and their surprising success provides hope that they can decrease human violence around the world at affordable costs. Parenting centers not only have free classes in parenting; they also have a staff that visits the homes of every child born in the community weekly during their first two years of life and helps the parents parent, teaching them what no school has ever thought it worthwhile to teach--that you need not be afraid of your child, that you need not hit them or use them for your needs, that you can love and trust them to grow up and turn out better than you did by not repeating on them the abusive parenting you once endured. Exactly how these parenting centers work will be described in detail in the final chapter of this book. They promise to be able to eliminate child abuse and drastically reduce human violence around the globe, with costs only a fraction of the $8 trillion the world has spent on warfare since WWII.518

As an example of how global parenting centers could work to reduce world-wide violence, consider NATO, which was built up to "counter the Communist threat" at the cost of over a half trillion dollars. NATO has been actually so far used only to kill a few thousand Yugoslavs. Suppose around fifty million dollars of the half trillion had been spent on helping Eastern European nations have better families--sort of an Eastern European Marshall Plan, only including helping parents directly with parenting centers that reached into every home, showing parents that they need not swaddle, beat and torture their children as has been common in the Yugoslav zadruga.519 Yugoslav children would then not have grown up to be violent youth raping and killing others as they are doing today, but would instead be "new Yugoslavia youth" building their nation. This new principle of actively changing childhood can in fact be repeated around the world—again, at a fraction of the cost of the destructive arsenal the world today maintains.

Removing the causes of violence only takes empathy, foresight and will, not huge resources. We are today like a group of people standing on the banks of a river trying desperately to save people we see drowning, but refusing to go upstream and stop them from being thrown in. The reduction of human violence involves prevention first of all—the removal of the source of the illness—just like the prevention of any other human clinical disorder. That enough of us can summon the empathy and understanding needed to change what has long been called "our violent human nature" is our only hope for the future of our precious world.


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