[Marxism] Freud and brain research

Rakesh Bhandari bhandari at berkeley.edu
Thu Dec 21 22:54:29 MST 2006

I recommend with some skepticism Bruce E Wexler's Brain and Culture: 
Neurobiology, Ideology and Social Change (MIT 2006). Not much to do 
with Freud but a fine study of the dynamics or dialectics of 
organism-environment interaction. But I am skeptical of how reduced 
in adulthood Wexler thinks our neuroplasticity is. I think (hope!) we 
are a kind of  organism better able to hand if not desire change even 
in our internal structures throughout our lives. He also gives a 
mentalist theory of cultural conflict, based on the need to eliminate 
the mental dissonance different cultures can create. Also skeptical 
of this idealism, but it is a very accessible book which was also a 
joy to read. Should prove very interesting for those of raising 
children with the greatest of neuroplasticity and for those of us in 
the throes of cultural conflicts. For me the former was the 
inducement to read the book.

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