politics between the legs: the libidinal party

…The link between sexuality and political revolution has always been a tenuous one. Nonetheless, the Lenin era tolerated a limited notion of equating liberation theory with sex as an antidote to repressive bourgeois capitalism and a working class protest- or compensation- against not participating actively in the capitalist project. Post Lenin, this became something of a political liability and liberating sexual theory became intolerable and its leading proponent, Wilhelm Reich was turfed out of the Communist party and his “Mass Psychology of Fascism” denied distribution. Still, Lenin seems to have been a dabbler and private experimenter, either as an advocate or a belief that its more detrimental side could be exported to the West as part of a wider plank in the interests of export ideology. ….

Read More: http://www.gaudiyadiscussions.com/topic_2006.html---But let me give the last word to Lenin's loutish successor, Nikita Khrushchev, who led the Soviet Union 34 years later. On a U.S. trip, he was taken to the Grand Canyon. A translator asked what it made him think of. "It makes me think of sex," said Khrushchev, who had lots to ponder --Cold War, nuclear incineration, his own ouster -- "everything makes me think about sex."

…But new evidence has been uncovered that appears to show Lenin actually succumbed to the sexually transmitted disease, syphilis. The Soviets made huge attempts to cover up the real reasons for Lenin’s erratic behaviour and sudden bouts of rage in the years leading up to his death in 1924. But now British author Helen Rappaport believes she has found evidence that proves Lenin suffered from endartitis luetica – neurosyphilis – a form of the disease that affects the brain.
In papers held at Columbia University in New York, she has found a reference to the true nature of Lenin’s disease made by the eminent Russian scientist Ivan Pavlov. The Nobel winner – famous for his conditioning work with dogs – once stated that the ‘revolution was made by a madman with syphilis of the brain,’ she has discovered. Rappaport, who has written a number of books on Russian history, believes that it is likely that he caught the disease from a prostitute in Paris in about 1902. The Soviets put Lenin’s erratic behaviour down to arteriosclerosis – a disease affecting the brain that syphilis mimics in many of its characteristics. From the end of 1921 he suffered a series of catastrophic physical attacks leading to progressive paralysis. Rappaport states it left him, by the time of his death, a ‘confused and helpless cripple, deprived of the power of speech and with an insane, fixed stare.’ She said: ‘It was the unspoken belief of many top Kremlin doctors and scientists that Lenin died of syphilis, but a decades-long conspiracy of silence was forced on them by the authorities. Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1222209/Lenin-died-syphilis-NOT-stroke-claims-historian.html#ixzz1WufdPUmL

---During my research, I discovered Stalin already had form as a prolific lover and that he had often promised marriage, only to renege at the last minute. Even in these years of penniless obscurity, he was never without at least one girlfriend - and often more. Indeed in exile, he became astonishingly promiscuous: in Vologda, in an earlier exile, he had met a saucy runaway schoolgirl of 16 named Polia who was living with a revolutionary comrade. Stalin and she began an affair: watching secret police codenamed her Glamourpuss. Polia was one of the few people who understood how strange Stalin was and could tease him about it: she always called him Oddball Osip - Osip being a diminutive of Josef. When they parted, he sent her a postcard of a couple passionately embracing and wrote: "I owe you a kiss for your kiss passed onto me. Let me kiss you now! I'm not simply sending you a kiss but am kissssssssing you passionately (it's not worth kissing any other way! - Josef." There was not much else to do in exile except drink, feud and fornicate, but Stalin had perfected all three pursuits. He became engaged to at least three women, all of whom he abandoned. This shameless, caddish rogue seduced several landladies and usually their maids too, as well as a series of noblewomen and liberated revolutionary girls. When he parted from one mistress, he managed to move in with another the next day, suggesting he was carrying on with several simultaneously. His henchman Molotov recalled that, despite his pockmarks and freckles: "Women must have been enamoured by him because he was successful with them. He had honeycoloured eyes. They were beautiful." Indeed, he later stole one of Molotov's girlfriends. He was "attractive", Zhenya Alliluyeva, his future sister-in-law and probable mistress, recalled. Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-454291/Stalin-lover-aged-13.html#ixzz1WulUsCRj

Walter Benjamin was perhaps the first to articulate the Marxist economics with Freudian sexual theory; an unlikely alliance to be sure.  Here, all values are connected to exchange values and as a result the commodity acquires what both Marx and Freud termed a “fetishism”  of the object. The chasing of material goods as an inorganic sexual substitutes where the inorganic retained a sex appeal, a cuteness which is characterized as ingratiating and superficial. Marx himself warned about this contentious gleam of the commodity that blinded the buyer to the individual labor which created and produced it. Did Lenin heed the call of theory or was he Benjamin’s “flaneur” over the Paris boulevards engaging in capitalist exchange?

Rick Salutin:Robert Service, a Lenin biographer, argues, “They turned Lenin into an icon. They made out of him the Jesus Christ of the Soviet Union. They had to show he was pure in thought and in deed in his personal and political life.”If so, it was a foolish choice. The appeal of Jesus lies precisely in the blemishes: that He was born illegitimate (leaving aside the myth of virgin birth); associated with thieves and prostitutes; was scorned by the reputable; and brutally executed in public. What kind of messiah (or icon) does that make? A great one. His resurrection may have been invoked (or invented) to counter scoffers, but the basis for identification was His suffering and failure.

“You can’t have a symbol with syphilis,” says Mr. Service, “it would be seen as if all the theories of socialism and communism were based on a syphilitic.” Yes you can — and all the theories of Christianity are based on a bastard and a loser. This could turn Lenin into an icon. Read More:http://www.gaudiyadiscussions.com/topic_2006.html

Marx claimed that from the sexual relationship “one can…judge man’s whole level of development…the relationship of man to woman is the most natural relation of human being to human being. It therefore reveals the extent to which man’s natural behavior has become human.” The women’s liberation movement has provided ample evidence to show that in our society this relationship is one of inequality, one in which the woman is used as an object, and one which does not bring much satisfaction to either party. As predicted, these same qualities can be observed throughout capitalist life. Inequality, people treating each other as objects, as instances of a kind (not taking another’s unique, personalizing characteristics into account), and the general frustration that results are major features in the alienation described by Marx.

Read More: http://www.lust-for-life.org/Lust-For-Life/MarxismOfReich/MarxismOfReich.htm ---For Reich, "the basic law of sexual process" has to do with the forms taken by human sexuality, the influences under which these forms developed, their "metamorphoses," and their effect upon movements for social change. Marx had meant something very much like this in his discussion of economic laws. The question he set out to answer in Capital is "Why is labor represented by the value of its product and labor-time by the magnitude of that value?" Reich's fundamental question may be paraphrased as follows: "Why is sex represented, on the one hand, as screwing, and on the other, as procreation?" In his answer, Marx sought to explain how capitalist forms of production, distribution, exchange, and consumption arose, and how they are dependent on one another and on the character of human activity and achievement in areas far removed from the economy proper. Though much less systematic, Reich's account of sexual life in capitalism follows the same broad pattern. ---

Yet Marx himself never tried to explain what we may now call “sexual alienation.” Pointing to the fact of exploitation and indicating that this is typical of what goes on throughout capitalist society is clearly insufficient. We also want to know how the capitalist system operates on the sexual lives and attitudes of people, and conversely, what role such practices and thinking plays in promoting the ends of the system. What is missing from this dialectical equation is the psychological dimension which, given the state of knowledge in his time, Marx was ill equipped to provide.Read More:http://www.nyu.edu/projects/ollman/docs/ssr_ch06.php

Read More: http://www.lust-for-life.org/Lust-For-Life/MarxismOfReich/MarxismOfReich.htm --- The greater repression of women that corresponds to this double morality has the effect of removing most women as love partners for men. One result is the creation of a class of prostitutes and a general commercialization of sex outside of marriage. Another is the division that occurs in the sexuality of most men between the sentiments of tenderness and passion. The man gratifies his "brutish" sexuality with "fallen" women, who are often of a lower class, and reserves his tenderness for women of his own class whom he might marry. Reich says, it is no wonder that 90 percent of women and 50 percent of men have serious sexual problems; th

sence of bourgeois morality is "sexual atrophy". 30 Within capitalist society, the fight against extramarital relations, prostitution, venereal disease, and abortion is fought in the name of abstinence. Yet, it is this very abstinence, with its attendant ignorance, that is responsible for these ills. When asked to do what is biologically impossible, people do what they can, with their real living conditions determining the forms this will take. ----


Image: http://briangdillon.wordpress.com/ Read More: http://www.nyu.edu/projects/ollman/docs/ssr_ch06.php ----Not content to debate his ideas, in 1929 Reich organized the Socialist Society of Sexual Advice and Sexual Research. A half dozen clinics were set up in poor sections of Vienna, where working-class people were not only helped with their emotional problems but urged to draw the political lessons which come from recognizing the social roots of these problems. Moving to Berlin in 1930, Reich joined the German Communist Party and persuaded its leadership to unite several sexual-reform movements into a sex-political organization under the aegis of the party. With Reich, the chief spokesperson on sexual questions, lecturing to working-class and student audiences throughout the country, membership in the new organization grew quickly to about forty thousand.----

“Of all the modern economic theories, the economic system of Marxism is founded on moral principles, while capitalism is concerned only with gain and profitability. Marxism is concerned with the distribution of wealth on an equal basis and the equitable utilization of the means of production. for those reasons the system appeals to me, and it seems fair. I just recently read an article in a paper where His Holiness the Pope also pointed out some positive aspects of Marxism. As for the failure of the Marxist regimes, first of all I do not consider the former USSR, or China, or even Vietnam, to have been true Marxist regimes. The failure of the regime in the former Soviet Union was, for me, not the failure of Marxism but the failure of totalitarianism. For this reason I still think of myself as half-Marxist, half-Buddhist.” tenzin gyatso, the dalai lama. ( Hune at Martin Buber Dialogical )


In the middle of the 20th century, the United States became an adoptive home for dozens of expatriated European thinkers, who saw this rich, young country ripe for sexual liberation. One of the most left-field of them was the Viennese psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich, a disciple of Freud’s who had broken with the master. Reich’s own approach was based on his theories of the orgasm and sexual energy, which he dubbed ‘orgone energy’. Instead of the couch, he made use of a tall, slender construction of wood, metal, and steel wool, which he called the orgone box. A highly sexed man himself, Reich thought that a person who sat in the box could elevate their ‘orgastic potential’ ridding the body of repressive forces, improving sexual potency, and enhancing overall health. After World War Two, Reich’s theories caught on among writers and artists, the early adopters of the counter-culture. Norman Mailer and Saul Bellow were amongst those for whom the orgone box represented a yearned-for synthesis of sexual and political liberation, and of physical science and psychology. Meanwhile, Reich himself faced one debacle after another. Albert Einstein heard him out before rebuffing him. The FBI investigated him as a Communist sympathizer: it turned out that they were hunting the wrong man. The federal government banned the orgone box and tagged Reich as a fraud. Read More:http://www.pasunautre.com/2011/08/08/books-adventures-in-the-orgasmatron/

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