Siddharth Chatterjee siddhart at mailbox.syr.edu
Fri Apr 12 17:28:13 MDT 1996

On Fri, 12 Apr 1996, Ken Howard wrote:

> This is 1996 and not 1920. Lenin was not an infallible pope but a human
> being living in a human society. On questions of sexuality he did not have
> either a rounded understanding or the beneiit of development in the
> consciousness of the masses that has occured since. Take your purist
> positions to the next mass meeting of any group of workers and duck as they
> laugh you off the platform.They have neither anything to do with class
> consciousness nor real life class struggle but are the mutterings of a
> bookworm who never actually has to use his substantial knowledge of quotes
> in the treal life daily struggle of survival. Once again another example of
> your priveleged upper class upbringing and lack of any real life experience
> in the hell hole of being a wage slave under capitalism. Most enlightening
> but no thanks, I learn my lessons in practise, mistakes and all.
> Ken howard.

It depends which type of "workers" you mention above. Maybe some labor
aristocrat first-world highly paid workers would laugh as you say. But
what about the millions of other workers on the planet - workers who live
on the edge, and yet sacrifice their "desires" and "gratifications" in
order to support family members and others who depend upon their income.
Imagine a poor family in which only the father earns. If this father
spent most of his income in every type of "self-gratification" what
would be the effect on the family, which could disintegrate - a serious
matter in poor countries. So the fulfulling of the (sexual) gratification
of one person leads to suffering (economic and emotional) on other
members of society. This is not "bourgeois moralism", it is a matter
of sheer survival in the present order. Thus, there are probably countless
people on this planet (some whom are personally known) who have
forgone "sexual" gratification for some or other reason which they
felt to be more important. They are quite well-rounded indviduals which
shows that the sex urge is not a biological necessity.

This point is difficult to get across to western scholars since they are
heavily influenced by Freudian psychology. Somehow individual "wantoness"
is associated with true liberation where in reality it is just the
opposite, that wantoness makes a person a slave (to cigarettes, sex,
alcohol). The adjective "puritan" is hurled by the liberators at such
ideas but it is a false argument. How would you characterize the sexual
behavior say among dogs and cats? What would happen if that behavior
is extrapolated to human society? What can be called as "fugitive" sex.
Would it enhance or retard human freedom?

Regarding psychology, a field that is rent by sharp schisms takes more
of the appearance of religion rather than science. The concepts
"id", "ego", "super ego" are actually mystical entites that have
replaced the goblins, demons, spirits of the ancients. Caudwell wrote
an interesting crtique of Freud.

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