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The Need to Have Enemies and Allies: A Developmental Approach

Author(s): Vamik D. Volkan


Source: Political Psychology, Vol. 6, No. 2, Special Issue: A Notebook on the Psychology of the
U.S.-Soviet Relationship (Jun., 1985), pp. 219-247
Published by: International Society of Political Psychology
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3790902
Accessed: 02-05-2015 08:40 UTC
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Political Psychology,Vol. 6, No. 2, 1985

PresidentialAddress

The Need to Have Enemiesand Allies:


A DevelopmentalApproach'
Vamik D. Volkan2

Thispaper describesas an inescapabledevelopmentalphenomenon:man's


needto identify
somepeople as alliesand othersas enemies.Thisneedevolves
fromtheindividual'seffortstoprotecthissenseofself,whichis intertwined
withhis experiencesof ethnicity,
circumnationality,and otheridentifying
stances. Whenthreatenedbypolitical or militaryconflict,man clingsever
morestubbornlyto thesecircumstances
in an effortto maintainand regulate hissense of self.Membersof anygivengrouprevertto childhoodways
theirbonding,developingshibboleths,and investingobjects
of reenforcing
withmysticalvalue. Anyonetryingto deal withinterethnic
or international
conflictmustgrasp thepsychologicalcogencyof man's need to have enewitha
mies as wellas allies, and his stubbornadherenceto identification
when
and
This
need
is
the
basis
group
undergoinghardship
danger.
ofpoliticalpsychology,
thepublicarenaofpoliticalactionwithindividual
connecting
and historical
psychologicaldevelopment.Political,economic,military,
factorsare customarilyweighedin any attemptto solve turbulence,but it is
necessaryto consideralso theprofoundeffectof humanpsychology.
KEY WORDS: nationalism;ethnicity;psychoanalytic
grouppsychology;transitionalobjects
and phenomena; suitable targetsof externalization;identification;the adolescent passage.

at theSeventhAnnualMeetingof theInternational
SBasedon thePresidential
Addresspresented
Societyof Political Psychology,UniversityCollege, Toronto, Canada, June27, 1984.
2The Division of PsychoanalyticStudies of the Departmentof Behavioral Medicine and
Psychiatry,the Universityof VirginiaSchool of Medicine,Charlottesville,
Virginia22908.
219
@ 1985 InternationalSocietyof Political Psychology
0162-895X/85/0600-0219$04.50/1

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220

Volkan

INTRODUCTION
Some may regardpoliticalpsychologyas one of those vague hybrid
frommany
sciencesthatis made up of selected,incompletecontributions
involvessociology
The studyof politicschiefly
moreconventional
authorities.
of man in hissociety,and all thestructakingintoaccountthemachinations
turalinterfacing
of suchmachinations.
Aristotle
calledmana politicalanimal,
that
man's
nature
the
of well-defined
establishment
implying
requires
groups
withfunctional
concerns.Moreover,to be politicalin thewayAristotle
meant
is to ordersuch groupsaccordingto a commonprincipleviewingthe city,
embodiment
of itspriorities.
The Greek
state,or nationas thebeststructural
Athens
of
constituted
an
entire
nation
for
the
Athenians;its refinepolis
mentreflectedthe changingneed of its subjects. It was both a receptacle
of the nationalcharacterAtheniansfelt
forand an architectonic
structure
be
their
own.
Athens
to peculiarly
as much
dependedforitsnationalidentity
on recognitionof itsown characteras upon theunlikecharacterof others.
We maysee thepoliticalgenesisof anylargegroupin theurgeto develop, protect,maintain,or refinewhatit perceivesto be itsnationalor common character.Whilepoliticalscienceaddressesthemanifestations
of that
of economics,hisurgethroughits studyof theintricateinterrelationships
science,and governmental
tory,military
processes,itoftenneglectsthepsyof a group in isolation or in contactwithother
chological determinants
groups.We have manywaysto studygroupsbroughtintocontactwitheach
other,butwhenthatcontactbecomesconflict,we mustrecognizethenature
of thatconflictas an animalphenomenon.Psychoanalysisstressesthe fact
thatconflictis normalin thedynamicsof life;thelifeprocessincludesconflict.Lampl-deGroot (1963) notes that
whichit has to encounter
Everycreatureexperiencesclashes withits environment
in orderto preserveitsown existence.In the highlydifferentiated
and complicated
of thehumanmindconflictsnotonlyoriginatefroman encounterwiththe
structure
environment,
but,to a greatextent,theytakeplace betweeninternalsub-areas.(p. 2)

The studyof humanpsychologyhas broughtus enormousinsightintothe


processesby whichthe individualconfrontsand mastersconflict,both internallyand externally.Conflictswithinthe human psycheconstitutethe
sourceof thatpsyche'sgrowthwhenever
theycan be resolvedwithoutdamaging integrity.
Innatepotentialsand developmentalfactorsinfluencetheabilityof an
individual'sego to synthesize
adaptivelythediversedemandsmade upon his
self.In the"normal"resolutionof a conflict,an individual'sego allows him
sufficient
of thedemandsof hisinnerinstinctual
drivesand emogratification
tionalneeds,as wellas thoseof hisconscienceand hisidealizedconstruction
of himself.Thisprocessoccurswithoutdisturbing
withothers,
hisrelationship

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The Need to Have Enemiesand Allies

221

he entertains,or withhis environment


withthe mentalrepresentations
in
general.Such "normal"processesare enriching,and adaptiveresolutionof
newconflictsas theyarisemakestheindividualbetterequippedpsychologically.Wheneverthe"normal"solutionof a conflictis notachieved,however,
pathologicaloutcomes,whichmay includesymptoms,will emerge.
All humanshavegonethroughdevelopmental
stagesin whichtheywere
forcedto confrontconflict,and our arsenalsof defenseare notonlyspecies
specificbutphase specificas well.Each developmental
stagehas itsown special set of defensesforthemasteringof conflict,so one mustconcludethat
conflictcontainsthe basic elementsof the conintergroupor international
flicteach individualexperiencespsychologically.Political psychologyapconflictfroma positionthatpresupposes
theexistence
proachestheintergroup
of elementsof individualpsychologywithinthepoliticalframework
of the
situation.It also recognizesthatpsychological
forcesoperatingwithingroups
seemto taketheirownspecialdirections
oncethosegroupsare formed.Thus,
the
between
byobserving correspondence
developmentof theindividualself
and thatof thegroupor nation,politicalpsychologyprovidesa usefuland
veryspecificlightwithwhichto illuminatetheseeminglyinexplicable- and
- behaviorof groupsin conflict.
thereforeunpredictable
The aim of thispaper is to studyfroma developmentalpointof view
theneedto have enemiesand allies,and to indicatethatthisneed formsthe
basis of politicalpsychology.It can be said thattherewould be no political
psychologyifindividualsand groupsdid nothave a needforenemiesamong
othergroups,and allies withintheirown or othergroupswhomtheymight
perceiveas extensionsof theirown supportsystems.If itis truethatenemies
are as importantto humannatureas allies, thenwe have no choice but to
includedepthpsychologyin the studyof politicalprocessesand conflicts.
GEORGE ORWELL ON NATIONALISM
Since mypresidentialtermfellin partin 1984,the year about which
GeorgeOrwellmade so manydirepredictions,I thinkit appropriateto beginhereby reviewinghis essayon nationalism,writtenin 1945. By "nationalism" Orwellmeant,"firstof all thehabitof assumingthathumanbeings
can be classifiedlikeinsectsand thatwholeblocksof millionsor tensof millionsof people can be confidently
labeled'good' or 'bad"' (p. 362). Political
would
this
"allies" or "enemies."
psychologists
modify
onlyby substituting
Orwellwenton to explainthatbynationalismhe also meant"thehabit
of identifying
oneselfwitha singlenationor otherunit,placingit beyond
and
evil
and
good
recognisingno otherdutythanthatof advancingits interests"(p. 362). He saw nationalismas whatpsychiatrists
wouldcall a patho-

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222

Volkan

of thementalprocess.Because of this,itis important


logicalcontamination
to notethedistinction
he makesbetweennationalismand patriotism,
toward
whichhe is lesspejorative,almostsympathetic.
He definespatriotism
as "devotionto a particularplace and a particularway of life,whichone believes
to be thebestin theworldbut has no wishto forceupon otherpeople. (It)
is of its naturedefensive,both militarily
and culturally"(p. 362). It would
as patriotism
turnedsour,defining
itas "powappearthathe saw nationalism
er hungertemperedby self-deception"
He
described
the
nationalist
(p. 363).
as one whoseabidingpurposeis "to securemorepowerand moreprestige,
not for himselfbut for the nation or otherunit in whichhe has chosen
to sink his own individuality"
(p. 362).
A keenobserver,he notescertaincharacteristics
to be foundin all instancesof nationalism.First,thereis the obsessionwithallegianceto the
nationalist'sown unit."The smallestslurupon hisown unit,or anyimplied
praise of a rivalorganization,fillshimwithuneasinesswhichhe can only
relieveby makingsome sharp retort"(p. 367). The nationalist'sobsession
withloyaltydoes not keephimfromtransferring
it; Freud(1921) observed,
as Le Bon (1895) had, thesuggestibility,
and changeability
eximpulsivity,
hibitedby groups,whichare readierto investinterestin a leader,cause, or
to a work
purposethanindividualsare to fallin love or to devotethemselves
goal (Rochlin, 1973). The narcissismof a group quicklyattachesitselfto
a choice- and it can also withdrawas quickly.But it is not onlythegroup
thatis fickle;individualsoperatingwithingroupsmanifesta characteristic
ficklenesswhendealingwithgroup-related
issues. Indeed, Orwellcalls inthesecondprincipalcharacteristic
of nationalism.A countryor some
stability
otherwell-defined
social unitidealized foryearsmay suddenlybecomedeinto an enemy,withsome othercountryor unitbetestable,transformed
comingthe object of affection,thetrustworthy
ally. Accordingto Orwell,
"Transferred
nationalism,like the use of scapegoats,is a way of attaining
salvationwithoutalteringone's conduct"(p. 369).
Nationalism'sthirdprincipalcharacteristic
is indifference
to reality.Nationalistsdo not perceiveresemblancesbetweenlike sets of circumstance.
Orwell noted of his own time that a BritishTory would defend selfin Europe but stronglyoppose it for India. JohnE. Mack
determination
in
(1979) describeda phenomenonhe called "theegoismof victimization,"
whichthereis no real empathyforsuffering
experiencedby a group'straditionalenemies,althoughit maybe as severeas thatof thegroupitself-or
evenworse.Orwellponderedthefactthat"thenationalistnotonlydoes not
disapproveof atrocitiescommittedby hisown side buthe has a remarkable
to obcapacityfornotevenhearingabout them"(p. 370). This indifference
dejectivetruthgivesa peculiarlysubjectiveslantto worldnews;everything
pends on the reporter'salignmentwithone side or the other.

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The Need to Have Enemiesand Allies

223

DEFINITIONS OF NATIONALISM AND ETHNICITY


Orwell'scommentson nationalismgive us as usefula definitionforit
as anyofferedby historiansor sociologists.For nationalism,likeethnicity,
is a termthat changesits scope and substanceaccordingto the discipline
in whichit is beingstudied.Historiansexplainnationalismand ethnicity
by
examininghistoricalfactors,whilesociologistsemphasizethe sociological
componentsof thetwo concepts[see, forexample,Shafer(1976), and Berand nalin (1979)]. In eithercase, psychologicalexplanationsforethnicity
tionalismare usuallyoverlooked.Peterson(1980), forinstance,described
a "nation"as "a people linkedbycommondescentfroma putativeancestor
and byitscommonterritory,
history,
language,religion,and/orwayof life"
(p. 235). Shafer's(1976) observationsare more dynamic:He suggeststhat
the nationalismof any one individualin each nationdiffersfromthat of
othersin natureand intensity,
and thatit varieswithtime,place, and circumstance.He adds theconceptof whathe calls the "subnation,"whichis
a unitsmallerthan a nationbut otherwiselike it. Althoughthistermhas
of
not been widelyadopted,it maybe usefullyappliedto an understanding
whichhas limitslikethoseof the"subnation"thatare hardto fix,
ethnicity,
being "seldom directlyassociated with the counterpartof a boundaryprotectingstate"(Peterson,1980, p. 253).
and consideredan "ethnicgroup"are, accordPeople sharingethnicity
to
at
least
aware of commoninterests.It is observable
Peterson,
latently
ing
thatan ethnicgrouphas a senseof itsown distinctidentity
and conveysthis
sense to the followinggeneration.The same is trueof racial groups.Even
at thissuperficiallevel,however,ethnicity
maybe seento presenta paradox
of psychologicaladaptation.Stein(1984) pointsout thatthesenseof ethnicity(and, by extension,of nationality),enhancessurvivaland the cohesion
of thegroup,buton theotherhandendangersthegroup'sfuturebycausing
it to splitofffromothersand to allocate its own group-dystonic
attributes
to those fromwhom it has separated.
The morecomplexpsychologicalimplicationsof nationalityand ethevolvehere,but
nicitywillbecomeevidentas theirpsychologicaldefinitions
it is importantfornow to notethatraw emotions,whetheropen or hidden,
are involvedin the experienceof one's nationalityand ethnicity.That experience,withall itsattendantfeelings,does functionto providepsychological bordersforthe individual.
One wondersifOrwellanticipatedthisdual natureof thephenomenon
of nationalism-thepossibilitythatit mighthave an adaptiveor constructiveside as wellas a maladaptiveor destructive
one. In viewof his separating nationalismfrompatriotism,it seems likelythat he consideredthis
possibility.His essayaddressesa fundamental
questionabout man'snature:

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224

Volkan

how is it thathe can - indeed,must- adherestubbornly


to an alliancewith
a givenunitwhilesimultaneously
makinganotherunithisenemy?And conand identity
cerningthiscapacitywe may ask whenit supportsself-esteem
in a normalway and whenit leads to complicatedpathologicalprocessesin
individualsand in groups.Is theneedto have enemiesas wellas alliesa part
of human nature?Is it inescapable?
ERIKSON AND PINDERHUGHES ON ENEMIES AND ALLIES
MurrayEdelman(1983) presenteda paperentitled"The Need forEnemies" at the sixthannual meetingof the InternationalSocietyof Political
Psychologyat Oxford,of whichSectionI was Chairman.Sincehe is a politthatdirectthe formaical scientist,his interestslie in the powerstructures
tion of statesor groups,but he stressedthe need forpsychologicalinsight
intothenatureof power.He holds thatcategorizationis one way in which
powermaybe maintainedand perpetuated.The powerseatthatseeksto perpetuateitselfaccomplishesthispartlybycreatingdefinitecategoriesof "eneto thelatterall thequalitiesthecultureconsiders
my"and "ally,"attributing
cleanliness,and loyalty.The "enemy"categorybegood: honesty,integrity,
of thesesamevirtues.Edelmanpoints
comesthereceptaclefortheantitheses
and bears no resemis oftenarbitrary
out thattheassignmentof attributes
blance to any demonstrablereality,but the mechanismbehindcategorization is one that draws clear battle lines; the individual'sdevotionto the
protectionof theseat in powerthusarisesfroman appeal to hisown culturally instilledbeliefs.
Edelman'stheoriesdo notconcerntheparticularfeaturesof depthpsychologyper se, but his relianceon observationsof psychologicalbehavior
withinpoliticalconstructsfurther
suggeststhelinkbetweenpoliticalscience
and psychology.And wherepoliticalsciencemakes clear the linkbetween
the politicalneed forenemies,psychoanalysishopes to findthe genesisof
theneedforenemiesand alliesinthedevelopmental
yearsof childhood.Erik
haveturnedto bibothpsychoanalysts,
Eriksonand CharlesPinderhughes,
ology foran explanationof whyculturalgroupscreatethe conceptof an
enemy.In biology,thetermpseudophenomenonis applied to a manifestaof something
tionthatseemsuniquebutis actuallya modification
previously encountered.Erikson(1966) uses thetermpseudospeciesin referenceto
the diversityof mankind,saying,"Man has evolved(by whateverkindof
evolutionor whateveradaptivereasons)in pseudospecies,i.e., tribes,clans,
classes, etc., whichbehave as if theywereseparatespecies,createdat the
beginningof timeby supernaturalintent"(p. 606). He speculatesabout the
ways aggressiveand sexual instinctualdrivescontributedto the establishmentof human beingsin well-defined
groups.
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The Need to Have Enemiesand Allies

225

forhisvulnerablenakedman soughta measureof protection


Primitive
nessbyadoptingthearmorof theloweranimals,wearingtheirskins,feathers,
and claws. Each groupfearedthehumanwho belongedto anothersubspecies of mankind.Erikson notes that not only did each group develop "a
butalso a convictionof harboringthehumanidendistinctsenseof identity,
the
each pseudospeciesby engendering
tity"(p. 606). This attitudefortified
and inimicalto 'genuine'humanenbeliefthattheotherswere"extraspecific
deavor" (p. 606). But he notesthateverynewbornhumanis a "generalist"
whocould fitintoanynumberof pseudospecies,becoming"specialized"only
aftergoing throughchildhoodin a givenculture.
Afterobservingthegroup-related
paranoidprocessamongrepresentaand discussingtheconditionsof thatprocesswiththem,
tivesof 34 countries,
and theparanoidprocess
(1982) concludedthatdiscrimination
Pinderhughes
are apparentlyuniversal.We can go further
and say thateach smallgroup
needsto see anotheras theenemy.Those urbanAmericanethnicantagonisms
thatrun,not along economicor social lines,but along racial and cultural
ones, would seem to bear thisout. In turn,however,the largergroup(the
nation)mayuniteto oppose anothernationseenas a commonenemy.Turnprocess,
ing to biologyforan explanationof aspectsof thisgroup-related
citestheworkof Lorenz(1963), who notedhow animalsoften
Pinderhughes
to another.
simultaneously
displayalienationfromone objectand attraction
Animal bondingis strengthened
by exhibitionsof thisapprovedbehavior;
his bond to his mate.
a matewho bares his teethat an intruderstrengthens
PinderhughesnotesthatLorenz'sfindingsfocusedon onlyone side of
a two-facetedphenomenon:
Lorenz conceptualizedbondingin affiliativetermsbut not in termsof aggression.
process,on atBiologicalresearchrelatedto bondinghas focusedon theimprinting
and to matesand, generally,has notdealt withaggressivebetachmentsto territory
havioras bondingphenomena.(p. 8)

Nonetheless,Pinderhughessuggeststhat,althoughhumansare affiliatively
bondedto certainideas and persons,theyare also aggresand affectionately
sivelyand divisivelybonded to others:
In fact,humanpsychophysiological
identificaprocessesof affiliation,introjection,
builton thebedrock
tionand affection
elaborations,
appearto be psycho-physiological
of physiology.Differentiation,
projection,repudiationand aggressionappear to be
builton the bedrockof avoidance physiology.(p.8)

Pinderhughesdevelopedin a seriesof papers(1970, 1974, 1979, 1982)


what he called the "differential
paired bondingtheory."He postulatesa
universaldriveto dichotomizearisingfrombiological,physiological,social,
and psychologicalcauses. He linksthemechanismof dichotomization
to a
bifoldbondingprocessoccurringin infantdevelopment.In "A-bonding,"
of one object by metheinfantis connectedwiththementalrepresentation
in
ans of affiliative-affectionate
physiology; "D-bonding," the mental
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226

Volkan

of anotherobject are connectedwiththe infantthrough


representations
differentiative-aggressive
physiology.He observesthatthisbifoldbonding
has social ramifications,
thosegroupswhosemembersshareobjectsof "Abonding"beingalso "D-bonded" to "commonrenouncedtargets"(p. 9).
The notionof paireddifferential
withwellbondingis notinconsistent
but
addresses
it witha
supportedpsychoanalytic
concepts,
psychoanalysis
the
interrelated
influences
on
infant
mencomplexapproachrecognizing many
tation. A betterunderstandingof what Pinderhughescalls "common
renouncedtargets"and what I call "suitabletargetsfor externalization"
(Volkan, 1985) may be obtainedthrougha considerationof relevantpsytheories
choanalyticconcepts.I will beginwitha reviewof psychoanalytic
of groups.
PSYCHOANALYTIC

GROUP PSYCHOLOGY

is concernedwithpersonsas membersof a race,naGrouppsychology


tion, caste, profession,or institution;or as a componentpart of a crowd
of personswho have come togetherfora specificpurposeduringa circumscribedperiodof time.In GroupPsychology
and Analysisof theEgo, Freud's
(1921) major work on the subject, he distinguishedbetweenindividual
- thatis, theconcernsof theindividualthatrelateto thegratifipsychology
cationof and defensesagainsthis instinctive
impulses- and grouppsychology. By using knowledgeabout the genesisof the individual,he triedto
understandthedynamicsof thegroup.His findingsseemedto indicatethat
the group is less than the sum of its parts.
He beganbyexaminingLe Bon's (1895) theoriesabout collectivemental life.Le Bon heldthatan individualin a grouploses muchof hisdistinctiveness,and acts insteadin accordancewiththe homogeneousurgesthat
unitethegroup.The effectsof thisconceptare readilyapparent.When we
observeanygroup- evena purelyfunctionalone, whethera marchingband
or a senatein session- whatwe see is a unifiedbody whosegoals or needs
and
is displacedby commonidentity,
determineitsbehavior.Individuality
individualachievements
or acquisitionsare notableonlyinsofaras theirrelaor hindersthe functioning
of the group.
tive successor failurefurthers
FreuddevelopedLe Bon's ideas withan emphasison thepsychological
mechanismthatmakesthisphenomenonpossible. He believedthatthe effacementof dissimilarity
amongindividualsthatoccursunderthedominationof collectiveunitymaybe tracedto theliberationof formerly
repressed
is obliterated,these
racial urgescommonto thegroup. Whenindividuality
instincts
surfacein theindividual,and, sincethey
unconsciousfundamental
all
members
of
the
are sharedby
points
group,being,indeed,thefundamental

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The Need to Have Enemiesand Allies

227

of contactamong them,thatgroup'sidentityis treamlinedand shaped by


the dictatesof those urges.
Freudwas led to contemplatethechangesin theindividualthatoccur
as a resultof thedynamicsof groupidentity.Le Bon had observedthatan
withina groupmay derivefromhis identitywithit
individualfunctioning
nothitherto
his. This suggeststhatcollectiveintellectual
characteristics
funcBon
individual
intellectual
Le
over
expected
tioningsupercedes
functioning.
thattheerosionof therationalfacultiesof theindividualmightlead to more
powerfuland/orirrationalemotions.Otherobserverslaterattributedsuch
increasedaffectivity
to theforceof feelingsof omnipotenceand dangerconsequentupon themoregeneralizedsurgeof thegroup'scollectiveintellectual
on theincreasedsuggestibility
activity.Freud,however,concentrating
among
group members,associatedit withlibido. Since irrationalsurrenderof the
individual'sintellectimpliesequallywillingsuggestibility
to collectiveemotionalimpulses,he reasonedthatthistradeoff
wouldcomeaboutonlythrough
on or
thepowerof thelibido. If, as he held,thegroupmindwas structured
derivedfromrelationships
based on familialpatterns,thenthatsame libidinal foundation
ofuniquereadyeffacement
mightaccountfortheindividual's
in whichone permitsothersto exert
ness withinthe group. Suggestibility,
inordinateinfluenceoverhim,followsthiseffacement
of
as a manifestation
thelibidinalurgeto feelharmoniouswiththegroupratherthanapartfromit.
Freud saw the Churchand the Armyas examples.Both are artificial
around the authorityof a singlebenevolentleader,and
groupsstructured
in whichmembersare seen as equal, withequalitybeingdefinedlibidinally.
To be equal is to be loved equally by Christor the commander-in-chief,
Also, to be equal is to love othermembersof thegroupas one.
respectively.
Hence themutualtiesorderingthegroupreston a balanceof verybasicemotions.Freudsaw thesemutualtiesstemmingfromwhathe called identification; theindividualsees his groupas an importantobject of love as wellas
a manifestation
of commonemotion.Moreover,theindividualperceivesthe
of thesamevitalneedshe himself
wantsto satisgroupas seekingsatisfaction
makeshimidealizethegroup,identify
fy,and thiscongruity
with,and love
it. He suspendshiscriticalfaculties,falselyinflating
thegroup'svalue. Humilityand subjectionreplaceinsight,so themanywho operatewiththesame
object of love are tied libidinallyto it and to one another.This createsa
primarygroup.
Freud further
definedthe characteristics
of the primarygroup by reworkingearliertheoriesabout man's innateherdinstinct.The characterof
man's driveto identifywitha group had been noted; Freud qualifiedthis
byhisobservationthatalthoughgroupmemberswantto enjoyequality,they
wantone man to lead them.In otherwords,man is a hordeanimaldesiring
membershipin a stronggroup led by a strongleader.

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228

Volkan

In discussingthenatureof groups,Freudlimitedhimselfto one typethe "regressively-formed"


(Waelder, 1971); and he limitedhimselfto considerationof one typeof groupimpact- thatof theleaderupon his followers (Stanton,1958). A group'sregressiveattributes
are thosenecessaryfor
the horde'sintegrity-thedisappearanceof individualpersonality,a common emotionalfocus,suspensionof thecriticalfaculty,and immediacyof
response;theserepresenta retreatto a moreprimitive
developmentalstate
of organization.Regressionis a responseto anxiety,whichis a crucialconthepresenceof internalconflict,and
ceptin psychoanalysis.
Anxietyreflects
signalsthe ego to initiatedefensesto ward offany consciousnessof unacof instinctual
drives.Regressionis one of thesedefenses,
ceptablederivatives
providingarchaicpatternsof responsefora situationthatpresentsnewand
In clinicalpracticewe commonlysee regressionin
insuperabledifficulties.
theprocessof resolvingan Oedipus complex;thoseaspectsof thiscomplex
perceivedas dangerousto theneuroticpatient'sego, i.e., unconscioussexual
and aggressiveimpulsesand castrationanxiety,lead to conflictsin which
regressionis used as a defense.
If, as Freudimplies,groupcoherenceis a regressive
responseto danger
or threat,we mightexpectto findderivativesof oedipal influencein group
formationsand functions.Locatingthisinfluencewas a centralconcernof
who firstdetermined
thattheOedipuscomplex
writers,
earlypsychoanalytic
a paradigmformuchof thestructure
represents
upon whichsocietydepends.
In theoedipal phase of humandevelopment,approximately
between3 and
5 yearsof age, the child is faced withthe task of startingto establishhis
own sexualidentity.To thatend he desiresunionwiththeparentof theopposite sex, who is viewedas an object of love and eroticdesire,and longs
forthedeathor disappearanceof thesame-sexparent,whois seenas a rival
forthe loved object.
This phase,withitsconflicting
libidinaland aggressiveurges,activates
the developmentof severalinterrelated
featuresof theevolvingpsyche.In
the firstplace, the child'swish forthe death of the parenthe considersa
rivalevokesa fearof reprisalfromthatparent.The reprisalfantasyis specific
to thenatureof theaggressiveurge;in male children,especially,ittakesthe
formof a fearof castration.At thesame time,theoedipal phase bringsthe
beginningsof the completionof the superego,whichis thataspect of the
psychicapparatuswe normallyregardas conscience.To itis assignedresponsibilityformoraland ethicalattitudes,and it influencestheappearanceof
guiltfeelings.The standardsof one's superegoare usuallyderivedfromthe
withtheattitudesof one's
societyin whichhe lives,and fromidentification
parents.
of valuesand ideals and
Since thesuperegodeals withtheaffirmation
of thoseidealsbyguiltor pangsof conscience,
also punishesthetransgression

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The Need to Have Enemiesand Allies

229

tiedto thenexusof
it is clear thatthecompletionof superegois intricately
conflictinstigatedby the Oedipus complex.Traditionally,Oedipus yielded
to thebasic desiresidentifiedin thisphase bymarrying
his motherand murhis
father.
Since
such
conduct
is
condemned
by societyas involving
dering
incestand patricide,thepsyche,to stayhealthy,mustmediatetheinstinctual drivesof thisphase and theaffirmative
relationshipwithsocietyand parentsthattheindividualis in theprocessof establishing.One healthymethod
of resolutionis forthechildto identify
withthefather-aggressor;
suchidentificationis fueledin the boy by fearof castration.If the powerfulfather
cannotbe beatenas a rival,he can be identifiedwithas a fellowaggressor;
thus,sexual identityis establishedthroughrecognitionof commondesire,
as it were.This identification
has further
formative
implications:It affirms
the values of society,assuages theguiltattendanton aggression,and tempers the source of castrationanxiety.
because of the obOedipal influencesare soughtin social institutions
vious parentalstructures
theyembody;theleaderof a group,be he a president,a pope, or a general,clearlyrepresentsa fatherfigure.The inherent
oedipal rivalrybetweenfatherand son, or betweenthe authorityfigure
headinga groupand itsmembers,mustbe resolvedifthegroupis to remain
intact.Thus any hostilitybetweena memberand the leader mustbe tranformedbythememberintothekindof loyaltyand devotionthatcomesfrom
a successfully
resolvedOedipus complex.Justas theson identifiedwiththe
aggressorfather,so the memberidentifieswiththe leader. To say simply
thatgrouppsychologycan be explainedby theOedipus complex,however,
of theindividualin bothhispreignorestheevolvingpsychologicalstructure
it suggestsonlya tenuous
oedipal and laterstages.Whatis moreimportant,
link betweenearlierindividualevolutionand the beginningof group psychology.If thestronglinksthatdo existare to be made evident,questions
mustbe asked about therelationshipbetweenthepre-oedipallifeof theindividualand thefoundationsof large-group"bonding,"whichgoes beyond
identification
withthe family.
Stanton(1958) refersto a discussionbyFritzRedl, who spoke of "the
of thepsychoanalytic
glaringneed forreconceptualization
theoryof group
behavior"(p. 123). I do not believethatwe mustthrowout the baby with
thebathwater;we shouldexpandthetheoriesof thepsychoanalytic
undernotionsof
standingof groupsinsteadof limitingourselvesto circumscribed
formedgroupsthatfunctiononlyaccordingto theirleaders'exregressively
pectations.
Bion (1961) studiedgroupshavingfromeightto 12 memberswhose
leadersrefusedto givedirectionsor to make any decisions,but merelyobservedtheirgroups.Undertheseconditions,theregressive
processesof each
became
in
evident accordancewiththreebasic emotionalassumptions
group

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230

Volkan

that Bion describedas the "dependency,""pairing,"and "fight-flight"


asThe
from
the
first
its
leader
as
omsumptions.
group operating
perceives
It desperatelytriesto persuadeor coerce
nipotentand itselfas incompetent.
itsleaderintoresponding
to itsdependency
needs,and whentheleader"fails"
to respondto theseneeds,thegroupdevalueshimand looks fora substitute
leaderwho willbe moreeffective.
The membersof the"dependencyassumption" group are unitedby a sharedsense of need and helplessness.This is
theirfocus,and itis withfrustration
thattheyratherdimlyviewtheoutside
worldas a void.
The groupBion categorizesas holdinga "pairingassumption"focuses
on a couple perceivedas leaders.Althoughthiscouple need not necessarily
be heterosexual,thegroupfantasizesthattheirsexual unionwillreproduce
the group,thus ensuringits longevityand survival.
The group withthe "fight-flight
assumption"perceivesits leader as
a fightagainstthegroup'sexternalenemies,butitsoon breaksdown
directing
intosubgroupsthatfightwitheach other.Groups of thiscategoryoperate
froma centerof suspicionand aggressivecontrol,fearingdestructionby
forcesfrombeyondtheirborders.
Bion's observationsare interesting
because theystudythebehaviorof
thatFreud
groupsapart fromthe preceptsof thegroup-leaderinteractions
cited. Bion believedthatall threeemotionalassumptionsexistpotentially
in all groups,and thatvariousfactors,all of whichultimately
bringabout
the breakdownof the group'stask structure,
can triggerthe emergenceof
any one of the three.In otherwords,Bion's work suggeststhatthereare
universaldynamicsinherentin all groups,and, moreover,thattheyare not
directlydependenton the leader'simpacton thegroup. The groupcan instead be seen as an activepartyshapingits own perceptionsof its leader;
undercertaincircumstances,
thefollowersmayperceivetheirleaderaccording to theirbasic emotionalassumptions.Thus it can be said that groups
can have an impactupon leaders.
Kernberg(1980) laterconfirmedBion's findingswhenhe reappliedhis
own observationsto largergroups.Volkan (1980, 1981a) and Volkan and
Itzkowitz(1984) further
describedthe activerole of the groupby pointing
oftheirleader,
out a "fit"betweentheneedsof thefollowers
and thecharacter
especiallywithhis consciousand unconsciousambitions.But the focus in
all of thesestudieshas remainedsolelyon the interactionbetweenleaders
and followers,and the impactof those dynamicson regressionwithinthe
group.
in our understanding
of groupdynamThe problemof beingrestricted
ics by a focus that seemstoo narrow,at least fromthe viewpointof psyof the
choanalytictheory,is also evidentin an examinationof lay treatment
for
have
world
Political
of
affairs.
scientists,
instance,
psychologicalaspects

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The Need to Have Enemiesand Allies

231

forpsychologicalinsightbyusurpingpsythepossibilities
tendedto constrict
in
order
to
pressthemintotheirown specificservice.
choanalyticconcepts
The conceptof thesuperegois widelyused by politicalscientistsbecause it
providesthemwitha readymetaphorforthetypeof behaviortheyobserve
among internationalsuperpowers.It is no more than metaphorto see the
UnitedStatesas a superegowhenit sendsitsSixthFleetintotheMediterranean to preventconflict;the metaphoricalsuperegois a farcryfromthat
portionof theindividualpsychicapparatusthatabsorbsand adoptsthevalue
and idensystemsof parentsand importantothersthroughinternalization
tification.This is thekindof superegoto whichwe mustaccuratelyascribe
groupbehavior.In orderto getbeyondthemetaphorof popularusage, and
to take our studyof grouppsychologybeyondthelimitsof leader-follower
interaction,I will focus here on what is knownas the sense of self.
THE PROTECTION AND REGULATION OF THE SENSE OF SELF BY
TRANSITIONAL OBJECTS AND TARGETS OF EXTERNALIZATION
The senseof self,put simply,is theimpressionone carriesof how his
and physicalcomponentscombinein responseto the
emotional,intellectual,
writers
worldaroundhim.A numberof psychoanalytic
(Kohut,1977;Mack,
1983;Volkan, 1985)haveexploredhow an individual'ssenseof selfis intertwinedwithhis senseof ethnicity
and nationality.We observehow our sense
of selfrisesand fallsaccordingto theriseand fallof our nation'sfortunes.
to a senseof ethMoreover,an individualor groupadheresmorestubbornly
nicityor nationalitywhen stressedby politicalor militarycrises(Volkan,
1979). Accordingto Mack (1983),
forwhichman will killothersor willvoluntarily
Thereare but a fewcommitments
surrendertheirown lives.The defenseof the nation,if it is feltto be threatened,is
showna willingness
one of them.Indeed,nationalisticleadershave notinfrequently
as theydefineit.Thereis no
wholepeoplesin theserviceof nationalinterest
to sacrifice
Butthe
holdsovermen'smindsinthiscentury.
disputeaboutthepowerthatnationalism
psychologicalrootsof thispowerare littlestudiedand poorlyunderstood.(p. 47)

have much
I believethatwhatI call suitabletargetsof externalization
above
and beof
a
be
to
to do withhow the individualbegins
group,
part
Such
"tarvalues.
social
and
yondtheinfluenceof his internalizedparental
other
similar
and
of
nationality,
gets"play a part in the genesis ethnicity,
phenomena,and are the foundationsforbuildingup conceptsof enemies
and allies. I will explain what I mean by thisterm.
(Mahler, 1968; Jacobson, 1964; KernContemporarypsychoanalysts
berg, 1966, 1976; Volkan, 1976) have been interestedin how we develop
in earlylifeour imagesof ourselvesand others.From the studyof infants

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232

Volkan

and greatlyregressedadults we surmisethatthe infantfeelshimselffused


withthelargerrealitylikea drop of waterin thesea. One of theearlytasks
of the infant'sego is to startdifferentiating
himselffromotherpeople, to
of his own. We know thatthe infant
develop a psychologicalintegument
developsmentalimagesof himselfand othersin a bipolarway; the second
task he mustperformis to tryto integratethe opposingimagesand to get
rid of the bipolarityof his imagesof himselfand others.
The bipolarityarisesfromtheearlyego's abilityto distinguish
pleasure
fromdispleasure,and fromtheconcomitantinabilityto integratecontrary
experienceswiththefeelingstatesthataccompanythem.Many pleasurable
as well as unpleasurablestimuliimpingeon the infant,leavingan everincreasingnumberof memorytraces fromwhich the individualmakes
of pleasureor pain.
memoryislands(Mahler,1968)based on therecollection
When he has had greaterexperiencewithneed-satisfying
as well as needand
these
islands
situations,
denyingpeople
memory
develop intogood or
bad images,theformerbecomingsaturatedwithlovingdrives,thelatterwith
aggression.
Considera baby who is hungryand who has a dawningawarenessof
his bad, unpleasantsenseof his needyself.Then considerthesame infant,
comfortableafterfeeding,now witha good mentalimage of himself.He
cannotintegrate
thetwoimages;theunpleasantI continuesdissociatedfrom
the pleasant I. Likewise,the baby cannot put togetherthe image of his
him withthe image of her whenshe deprives
motheringpersonsatisfying
him.To him,she is two separatepersons,one good and one bad. The child
theimagesof himselfand of theotherat around8 months
beginsto integrate
of age, but thisprocessis not completedbeforehe is 36 monthsold, when
he can understandthatsometimes"I" feelsgood and sometimesbad, but
is alwaysthe same person.The same processis accomplishedin respectto
the motheringpersonand others,and it becomespossibleforthe childto
tolerateambivalence-to love and hate thesame personfromtimeto time.
The factthat"theother"sometimespleasesand sometimesangersno longer
indicatesthe presenceof "two people."
This fusionis nevercomplete,however.In normaldevelopment,we
can fuseblackimagesof ourselvesand important
otherswiththecorrespondingwhiteones, and getgray;butin someareas thereremainonlytotalblack
or totalwhite.Psychoanalysts
are curiousas to whatthechilddoes withthe
feeland are saturatedwithprimitive
imagesthatstayabsoluteand primitive
ingstatesof love or hate. I holdthatthechildputssome of theminto"reservoirs"in therealworld,(Volkan, 1979)thusinvesting
factualcurcumstances
witha magicthatrepresents
aspectsofthechildsaturatedwithhisownprimitive feelingstates.Such reservoirsare what I call suitabletargetsof externalization.As thechildgrows,he facessuch questionsas: How manyparts

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The Need to Have Enemiesand Allies

233

do I have? Am I separatefromothers?Who am I? What am I told thatI


am? Am I who I want to be or someone I do not want to be? etc. These
are questions,bynow arisingfromexperiences,thatreferto theindividual's
psychologicalboundaries.Our clinicalobservationsindicatethatwe tryto
hold onto our senseof self-our perceptionof the selfbased on our senses
and experiencesin mindand body-throughoutlife,defendingagainstanythingthatthreatensour identity.We attemptcontinually,bothconsciously
and unconsciously,to protectand regulateour sense of self.
The ways in whichwe do thiscan perhapsbe put on a spectrum,examinationof whichwill enable us to studythe role of the suitabletargets
of externalizationfroma betterperspective.On one side of thisspectrum
are psychobiologicalmethods,and on theother,creative,flexible,adaptive,
and sublimatedego mechanisms.
At the startof life,and duringthe firstfewweeksof life,the child's
selfmaybe considereda psychophysiological
entity(Jacobson,1964),which
he regulateswithpsychophysiological
one of whichis theability
mechanisms,
to filterexternalstimulithroughwhatis knownas thestimulusbarrier.For
example,he maysleep throughloud noisesor excessivemotion.Recentinfancyresearchindicatesthatinfantshavea moreactivecontrolof thestimulus
barrierfromthe beginningof life,and thattheyare not essentiallypassive
organisms.They activelyseek humanstimulation,and titrate,so to speak,
the intensity
of incomingstimulation(Stern, 1983).
The child'spsychophysiological
selfis also protectedand regulatedby
themothering
interaction.He uses his innate
personin herclose regulatory
abilities,autonomousego functions
(Hartmann,1939),hismouthand hands
(Hoffer,1949) as tools to discoverthe outsideworldand to achievewhat
Mahlercalls a "psychologicalbirth"withdifferentiated
imagesof the self.
Throughoutthis process...
...the mothering
partneris called upon to contributea particularly
largeportionof
symbiotichelp towardthe maintenanceof the infant'shomeostasis.Otherwise,the
neurologicalpatterningprocessesare thrownout of kilter.(Mahler, 1968, p. 13)

Also, duringthisprocesswe see theinfant'sfirst,morepurelypsychological


way of protectingand regulatinghis developingsenseof self. He becomes
activelyinvolvedwitha "transitionalobject" (Winnicott,1953),whichmay
take the formof a teddybear, a "securityblanket,"or some otherobject
of infantsolace chosenon thebasis of texture,odor, etc., fromamongthe
The childtreatshis chosenobject
manyitemsavailable in theenvironment.
as more importantto him than his mother;he cannotgo to sleep without
it. Some children,insteadof clingingto a softobject, become "addicted"
to some tune(transitionalphenomena);or themothermayherselffunction
as a transitionalobject. Winnicott(1953), who firstexploredthe meaning

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234

Volkan

of thetransitional
objectand phenomena,suggestedthattheyare identified
bythechildbetweentheages of fourand twelve,purposelyleavinglatitude
for wide variationsin age. Boys and girlsseem to be alike in theiruse of
transitionalobjects or phenomena.Winnicottwrote:
I hope it willbe understoodthatI am not referring
exactlyto thelittlechild'sTeddy
Bear nor to the infant'sfirstuse of the fist(thumb,fingers).I am not specifically
I am concernedwiththe firstposstudyingthe firstobject of object-relationships.
area betweenthesubjectiveand thatwhichis obsession,and withtheintermediate
jectivelyperceived.(p. 90)

His emphasiswas that,in responseto theministrations


of a "good enough"
the
main
function
of
the
transitional
mother,
object (or phenomenon)was
to achievean illusionof therebeingan externalrealitycorresponding
to the
child's capacityto create.
The psychoanalytic
literature
includesmuchabout thetransitional
oband
it,statedthatthe
ject
phenomenon,and Greenacre(1969), in reviewing
transitionalobject is a "construction
to aid theinfantin theearlystagesof
developinga sense of realityand establishinghis own individualidentity"
(p. 334). Thus she saw the transitionalobject as a cushionagainstfrustration at a timewhenrealitytestingis stillinsecure.It is especiallyusefulin
of cuddlingclose
helpingthechildto fallasleepsinceitbridgestheexperience
to the mother'sbody and havingto get along apart fromher. There is an
senseof self.
implicationherethatitsuse protectsand regulatestheprimitive
I (Volkan, 1976)havecharacterized
thismanipulative
maneuverbyusingthe
metaphorof a lanternhavingone opaque and one transparent
side; wishing
to continuehis commercewiththeexternalworld,thechilduses his transitionalobject as thelantern'stransparent
side, whichadmitsthefulllightof
thesurrounding
himself.When
realityfromwhichhe beginsto differentiate
thatfulllightis fraughtwithmorepsychophysiological
tensionor conflict
thanthechildis developmentally
capable of wardingoffor solving,he turns
the opaque aspect of the lanterntowardthe externalworld,and recreates
thepleasantfusionof mother-me
thatprotectshis threatenedsenseof self.
As thechild develops,undernormalconditionsthe magicalqualities
and finally
of thetransitional
objectdiminish
disappear.The teddybearceases
to functionas a transitionalobject, but its memorylingersintoadulthood.
As he matures,theindividualbeginsanothergame of magicplayedwithinanimateobjects; when he is about three,whilehe is engagedin bringing
togetherhis opposingimagesof himselfand theworld,he imposessome of
his unintegrated
aspectsof himselfand perceivedothersonto "suitabletargets." In selectingthesehe is influencedby theviewsof thosearoundhim,
"badness"of his own to thosehis mothercalls "thosepeople (or
attributing
things)",forexample.
Whena childis crestfallen
at takinga tumble,he saysthatit is hisdoll
that has fallendown. Thus he puts his shamefulself into somethingelse,
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The Need to Have Enemiesand Allies

235

(Novickand Kelly,1970). (Projecbymeansof whatwe call externalization


more
is
more
a
tion, process
sophisticated.In it, formedand
widelyknown,
are
and
impulses put onto someoneelse.) In our exunacceptablethoughts
forthe child's fall
the
of
ample externalization, doll had no responsibility
but was simplya handyscapegoat,becominga temporaryreservoirforthe
child'simageof himselfas fallendown. But it is themothering
personwho
how long thedoll willbe a reservoirforherchild'sunintegrated
determines
of self,sinceshe herunpleasant(dystonic)or pleasant(syntonic)fragments
"bad"
and another"good."
one
calls
or
thing
self,consciously unconsciously,
The familiarfood,smells,and soundsof homeare suitabletargetson which
thechildcan externalizeaspectsof himself"forsafekeeping";theyare likely
to be approvedby all the motheringpersonsaround. Thus theyare what
lifein the
thechildrenin thatgroupwillclingto, to somedegree,throughout
or
reaffirmation
of
construction
and
ethnic,cultural,national, religiousidenratherthanpart
tity.And althoughtheyare actuallypartof theenvironment
in
them
of
of thechild,thechildwillinvestsomething himself
accompanied
byraw feelingsof love and hatedirectedby earlyconceptsof "mother-me."
Theyare extensionsof theselfand theimportantother,and thoseinvested
withpleasant,lovingfeelingswillsupportthecohesionof thesenseof self,
whilethoseinvestedwithaggressionwillthreatenit. Paradoxically,however,
theywill enhancethe self'scohesionwhenused forcomparisonwithgood
unitskeptinsideor at a safe distance.
to thesituationin Cyprus,
Let me explainbyapplyingthisformulation
mybirthplace,whereGreeksand Turkshavelivedsidebyside forcenturies.
In Cyprus,a Greek child learnsfromwhat his mothersays and does that
theneighborhoodchurchis a good place; he unconsciouslyinvestsin it for
good aspects,and feelscomfortablebeingin
safekeepinghis unintegrated
or near this building.The same mechanismmakes him shun the Turkish
bad aspects
mosque and minaret,into whichhe depositsthe unintegrated
of himselfand importantothers.He is morehimselfwhenplayingnear his
churchand distancinghimselffromthe mosque.
The transitionalobject's role in protectingand regulatingthe (primitive)selfrelatesuniquelyto thechildwho has selectedit, and who does not
share it withotherchildren.Each infanthas his own versionof the teddy
bear, based on his own choice and not amenable to suggestionsfromhis
elders. Whateverit may be, it is, indeed, perceivedas entirelysui generis
and, shouldit be lost,even an exactreplicais likelyto be rejected.Suitable
on the otherhand, productsof a different
life
targetsforexternalization,
are
shared
the
of
children
a
The
meanphase,
by
givengroup.
psychological
relaingsattachedto themmake themserveas a foundationof intergroup
tionships. Psychologicallyspeaking, the "reservoirs"or group-specific
externalizations
tiechildrentogether;at thispoint in theirdevelopment(the
it
is
these "suitabletargets"thatbridgethe distancebetween
pre-oedipal),
individualand grouppsychology.
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236

Volkan

As he becomesactivelyinvolvedwithsuitabletargetsforexternalizato use Erikson's(1966)


tion,thechildwho had untilnow beena "generalist,"
does
term,becomesa memberof a pseudospecies,althoughthismembership
not actuallycrystallizeuntilhe goes throughtheadolescencepassage. Even
beforereachingadolescence,however,thechildbeginsto be able to abstract
suitabletargetsof externalization,
and to internalize
theaffective
experience
withhiscaretakersleads himto feel
theyproduce.For example,interaction
somethinglike theiremotionat the sightof theirnational flag. Although
throughoutlifethe individualmay have as suitabletargetsof externalization onlysuch inanimateand concreteobjectsas a nationalflag,a mascot,
familiararchitecture,
etc., he graduallycomesto feela surgeof emotionfor
suchabstractionsas nationality
or ethnicity,
althoughwhenstressedhe may
revertto theuse of inanimateor non-humanobjectsin connectionwiththis
to hischildhoodmethodof protecting
hissenseof self.Thus
magic,returning
whenwe see thatPalestinianslivingin the Gaza Stripwear talismanswith
thisto regression
ethnicsymbols,we attribute
understress.Like songsoften
the
shared
are
Arabs,
they
onlywithinthein-group,
repeatedamong
providing
a magical(psychological)networkformaintaininggroupnarcissismunder
to the self-esteem
of individual
adverseconditionsas well as contributing
Arabs. It is notenoughforPalestiniansin theGaza Stripsimplyto be aware
of theirArabic identity;theyneed to exhibitits symbolsin orderto maintain theirself-esteem.
I believethatwhat social scientistsand anthropologists
(Shils, 1957;
Geertz,1973)call primordialalliancesreferto thesharingof thesame suitable targetsof externalization,
whichare in mostcases productsof centuries
of gradualcrystallization.
We can studywhya givenobjectis a suitablereservoir for the receptionof a group's unmendedself-and object aspects by
examiningrelatedhistoricalrealities,the influenceof the group'sleaders,
and theroleof naturaldisastersand economicproblemsand thelike.It should
be remembered
thattheseinfluences
can also invalidatethepotencyof a formFor
erlymagical symbol.
example,it does nothingforthe sense of selfof
to
don
the
traditionalTurkishfez,once a signof Turkish
modern
Turk
the
hiscountry.
manhood,sinceAtaturkoutlawedit in his effortsto westernize

THE PROTECTION AND REGULATION OF THE SENSE


OF SELF THROUGH IDENTIFICATION AND OTHER
SOPHISTICATED MECHANISMS
I refernow to the farside of the spectrum,oppositethatof the psymechanisms.Therewe findsophisticatedwaysof protectchophysiological
ing and regulatingthe sense of self. The more self-and object imagesare

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The Need to Have Enemiesand Allies

237

in ways
mended,and themoreunmendedareas are repressedor externalized
I have discussed,themorecohesivebecomesthecoreof theindividual'sselfThe core self-representation
is ratherunchangeable,withenrepresentation.
are somewhatmoreflexiblein
duringconstancy.Peripheralrepresentations
natureand constancy,but nevertheless
of
supportthecore. Differentiation
the earlyself-imagesfromobject imagesand the synthesisof total self-or
bothgood and bad self-representations
withtheir
objectimagesencompassing
affectdispositionsdependon severalfactors:givenbiologicalfactors(about
whichpsychoanalysts
have littleto say), the intensity
of instinctualdrives
and the pre-oedipal,oedipal, and post-oedipalidentifications
that are influencedbyexperienceand theenvironment.
It is throughidentification,
an
unconsciousmechanismof the ego, thatone assimilatesthe imagesof the
otherintoone's own self,becomingliketheotherin manyways.Although
identification,with disruptiveimages of others,may lead to problems,
one is enrichedand enabledto increasehis
throughadaptiveidentifications
of psychicfunctions,includingthoseusefulin theprotectionand
repertoire
in ethnicity,
naregulationof thesenseof self.Moreover,new investments
tionality,etc., become possible throughidentification.
The natureof the senseof selfdependson the affectivenatureof the
The moresolidifiedits core is, the moreidentifications
self-representation.
withlovingobjects(people) it includes,themorepositiveit willbe. It is not
considerednormalforthe core self-representation
to change fromday to
or
from
to
crisis
crisis.
What
does
the
is
day
change
periphery,whichincludesidentifications
thatare flexible,
thatcan be influenced
bycircumstances
and newidentification,
or thatcan revertintoimagesto be externalizedand
reinternalized.
Internalizedand abstractedsuitabletargetsforexternalizationcan be locatedin boththecore and theperipheralself-representations.
The self-representation
can be conceptualizedas surroundedby object
that
have
beeninternalized
butnotidentified
with.Internalrepresentations
ized representations
can
for suitabletargetsof externalization also be located in thisarea. The good ones providea buffersystemforthe sense of
self; some remainstablein changingexperience,and some are involvedin
relatednessin an attemptto regulatethesenseof self.
introjective/projective
The developmentof the core self-representations
enrichesthe ego and its
functions.
As theego maturesand its functionsenlarge,theindividualcan commanda widerepertoire
in regulationand protection
of thesenseof self.Such
a repertoire
includes"normal"and pathologicalmeans,symptomformation
beingamongthelatter.One cannotlistall theusual waysone's ego performs
thistask in daily life,but among mechanismscommonlyused are represin theserviceof theego
sion,sublimation,regression
sublimation,regression
leads to neworganization),denialin theserviceof pro(sincesuchregression
tectinga psychologicalperceptionthatone's mentalimagesreallyfitcharacThis content downloaded from 14.139.69.220 on Sat, 02 May 2015 08:40:35 UTC
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238

Volkan

tersin the real world,etc. Suitable targetsfor externalization


answerthe
"normal"need forenemiesand allies in theexternalworld,or at leasthave
thepotentialof meetingthisneed. In dailyfunctioning,
theego "normally"
controlsthe psychologicaldistancebetweenthemand the self in orderto
protectand regulatethe sense of self.
THE INFLUENCE OF THE ADOLESCENT PASSAGE
Suitabletargetsof externalization
abstracundergodrasticmodification,
as the individualentersadolescence.My formulation,and crystallization
tionfollowstheideasof Blos (1979),whoholdsthata childhas onlycharacter
traitsbeforecharactercrystallization
takesplace in adolescence,theformaof characterbeingtheend resultof theego's integrationand crystallization
tive workand the searchto eliminateconflictand anxietyarousal.
Blos listsfourpreconditionswithoutwhichadolescentcharacterformationcannottakeitspropercourse.He calls thefirst"thesecondindividuation"in reference
to Anna Freud's(1958) finding
thattheadolescentloosens
his tie to his infantileobject representations(and correspondingselfShe discussedtheregression
of ego and superegoin adolesrepresentations).
which
the
new
that
theformationof
cence,
integration crystallizes
precedes
character.This regressionis obligatory,phase-specific,as Blos puts it, in
infantile
theserviceof development.The looseningof tiesfrominternalized
for
to find
and
the
the
adolescent
objects,images,
representations
opens
way
externaland extrafamiliallove- and hate-objects.Accordingto Blos:
Adolescentregressionin the serviceof developmentbringsthe moreadvanced ego
of adolescenceintocontactwithinfantiledrivepositions,withold conflictualconstellations
and theirsolutions,withearlyobjectrelationsand narcissistic
formations.
We mightsaythatthepersonality
whichwas adequatefortheprotoadolesfunctioning
centchild undergoesa selectiveoverhaul.(1979, p. 180)

This situationbringsabout shiftsin thebalance betweenego and id. "New


identifications
('thefriends,''thegroup,'etc.) take oversuperegofunctions,
episodicallyor lastingly"(Blos, 1979, p. 181).
Blos's second preconditionrefersto conquestof "residualtrauma"residualsof conditionsthatwere"unfavorable,noxious,or drasticallyinjuof theyoungindividual"(Greenacre,1967,p. 277).
riousto thedevelopment
These are assimilatedin thecharacterformationand no longergiveriseto
repetitioussignal anxiety.
measurestakenat adolesThe thirdprecondition
includesthecorrective
of thesenses,to correct"thefamilymyth,"and
cenceto restoretheintegrity
to accomplishthe continuityof the ego.
The fourthprecondition
thatcompletesthesetrelatesto theemergence
of sexual identity.Blos agreeswithmanyothersthatgenderidentityis esThis content downloaded from 14.139.69.220 on Sat, 02 May 2015 08:40:35 UTC
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The Need to Have Enemiesand Allies

239

withdefinite,i.e., irrevertablishedat an earlyage, whereas"sexualidentity


sibleboundariesappearsonlybelatedlyas thecollateralof sexualmaturation
at puberty"(Blos, 1979, p. 186). Once all thesepreconditionsare met
rendersthepsychicorganismlessvulnerablethanit has everbeen
Characterstructure
of thisstructure
is securedagainstanyinterference
from
before,and themaintenance
anyquarter,internalor external.If mustbe, one dies foritbeforelettingitdie. (Blos,
p. 190)

deal withwhathappenswithinthecharacteror ego


These formulations
identity.I turnnow to whathappensto the"suitabletargetsof externalization"thatare outside,thoughstillladen withelementscomingfromwithin
(above and beyondtheindividual'sconsciousawareness).As has alreadybeen
stated,it is myhypothesisthatalthoughthe prepubertalchildis no longer
in thesuitabletargetsremainsflexibleuntilhe
a "generalist,"hisinvestment
After
adolescence.
that,if need be, he willdie forhis "good"
goes through
suitabletargetsbeforelettingthemgo. It seemsthatduringthe second individuationthereis also a reviewof thesuitabletargets;theindividualoverin somewhiledroppinghisinvestment
haulsthem,stregthening
hisinvestment
in others.As noted,althoughthe representations
of some of thesetargets
are internalized
and abstracted,otherscontinueto existin theexternalworld.
This modification
takesplace mostlyoutsideof consciousawareness.In normal adolescencea prototypeof adultmourningoccursas tiesto internalized
self-and object representations
are loosened (Wolfenstein,1966; Volkan,
when
and
this
is
of selfand ob1981b),
accomplishednew representations
ject are soughtto replacewhathas been lost. These maybe at firstidealized
in respnseto the threatof losing representations
that had hithertobeen
externalized
satisfactory-inotherwords,some "bad" ones mustbe further
and psychologically
distancedin orderto protectthenewlyformedidealized
ones.
As the child becomes postadolescent,he will tame his newlycreated
self-and objectrepresentations
Justas the"norbytheprocessof integration.
mal" mendingof opposinggood and bad self-and object representations
is notcomplete,so thefollowingmourningprocessthataccompaniesadolescentoverhauling,
withitsrejectionof unsatisfactory
infantile
representations,
fallsshortof completion.Thus thereis moreidentification
of "suitabletargets,"now no longerundera mother'sdirectionbutin accordancewithpeergroupviews.That is notto say thatearlyparentalinfluencedisappears;undergrouppressurethepostadolescent
is likelyto rediscover
mostof theoriginal mother-directed
targetswhichwerebased on primalsentiments,
although
thesemay now be disguisedor bear new names.
As hishorizonsexpandbeyondhisfamilyand neighborhood,
theadolescentobservestheworldat largefroma newpointof view.The familiarflag,
food,language,skincolor,etc.,continueto providematerialoutsideforexand conternalization,but therenow appear moreabstractinternalizations
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240

Volkan

and nationality.The
ceptualizationsinfusedwithaffect,such as ethnicity
withsuch
ego identity
(Erikson,1956)has an intimateaffective
relationship
suitableabstracttargets;theself-concept
and conceptof thesuitabletargets
are intertwined.
Anyappreciationin thevalue of a good targetwillincrease
theindividual'sself-esteem,
whereasan attackon hisethnicgroupwillreduce
it. Althoughego identitiesdifferfromindividualto individualwithinthe
group,itsmemberssharethesamegood and bad targets,and it is thesethat
"glue" themtogether.Oedipal factorssuch as devotionto the same leader
help accomplishthis and are condensedwiththe pre-oedipalfactors.
I holdthattheabsorptionof residualtraumaintocharacter,
whichBlos
considersa second preconditionof adolescentcharacterformation,is also
not completelyaccomplished.Blos speaks of thislack of completionwhen
pathologyis present:
Those adolescentswho sidestepthetransformation
of residualtraumaintocharacter
formationprojectthedangersituationintotheoutsideworldand thusavoid theinternalconfrontation
withit. By havingfailedto internalizethedangersituation,the
chanceforcomingto termswithit is forfeited;
projectingitat adolescenceonto the
outsideworldresultsin a stateof apprehensionover victimization;indecisionand
bewilderment
ensue. (Blos, 1979, p. 184)

What Blos refersto areprojectionsof dangeroussituationsstemmingfrom


mentalconflicts.But unmendedself-and object representations
are also externalizedat thesametime.If a targetis utilizedbothforprojectionsof drive
derivatives
and defensesagainstthemand fortheexternalization
of unmended
self-and object representations,
it becomespsychologically
indispensable.
Throughtheseprocessesthings"out there"are linkedto ourselves.Although
the stateto whichBlos refersin the above is exaggeratedly
pathological,I
thinkthatsuch projectionsoccur "normally"whentheyare sanctionedby
othergroupmemberswhoalso employthesametargetsfortheirownprojecand projectionsprovidesa contions.The condensationof externalizations
tinuumbetweenunmendedself-and object representations
and pre-oedipal
and oedipal dystonicdriveexpressions.
forcharacterformation
Whatis trueof Blos's secondprecondition
can
be seenalso in histhird.Althoughtheadolescentego triesto establish"historical continuity,"
to a "normal"degreeis established
suchcontinuity
byprojecof suitabletargets.As the adolescentestablishes
tionsand externalizations
a sexual identityhis sharedtargetsforexternalization
remainsexuallyinIn otherwords,the "sexuality"of the targetsis seldomthe
terpenetrated.
fortheirbecomingreservoirs,sinceboth men and womenof
determinant
a givenethnicor racialgroupcan be madethetargetsforthereceiptof "good"
or "bad" unmendedself-and object representation
fromthe membersof
anotherethnicor racialgroup. If you hatetheSoviets,forexample,it does
not matteriftheSovietis a womanor a man. However,thissituationmay
be complicatedby projectionof high-levelwishes, symbols,and other

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The Need to Have Enemies and Allies

241

mentalphenomenaonto the same targets.In those cases, the sexualityof


thetargetmakes it a specificsymbol;forinstance,the black man may unconsciouslyrepresentto a whitewoman the taboo and dangerousphallus
of the oedipal father.

EXPANSION OF THE CONCEPTS OF


ETHNICITY AND NATIONALITY
In viewof thediscussionsabove, we can expandour understanding
of
the conceptsof ethnicity,
nationality,and othergroup-bondingphenomena. Historians,sociologists,and othersreportto us that nationalismand
riseand decline;theyofferus historicaland sociologicalreasons
ethnicity
fortheseevents.However,frompsychoanalytic
we havelearned
investigations
thatthe sharingof primalsentiments
is a universaland developmentalhuand
man phenomenon,and thatitoftenculminatesin ethnicity,
nationality,
and
similarphenomenaknownby othernames. It is possiblethatethnicity
nationalitycoalesce moreemphaticallyafterthegrouphas been facedwith
stressor humiliation.Its membersmay turnto sharedtargetsnot onlyto
patchup theirdisturbedsenseof selfbutalso to establishgroundsuponwhich
to reuniteformutualsupportand strength.
Underunfavorable
circumstances,
and nationality.
we also see an increasein the"pathological"use of ethnicity
From a phenomenologicalpoint of view,then,membersof theethnic
Understress,they"kill"
groupmaybe seento sharesome primalsentiment.
othersor "die" themselvesin orderto solderthemselvesto such sentiments.
The coreof whatis sharedis thesame foreach member;itis onlytheperiphSharedthingsincludeall "culturalamplierywhichis capable of flexibility.
The conceptof theland in which
fiers"(Mack, 1984) thatare affect-laden.
dead membersof an ethnicgroupare buriedis an especiallyimportantlink
amongthegroup'smembers.Inanimateobjectsand symbolsare usuallyidealized. "Devaluation"of idealizedsymbolsis onlypermissibleif thedevaluation occurs by consensusof the membersof the ethnicgroup. And when
thisdevaluationoccursitis oftenan attemptto dismantlesacredobjectsfrom
withinbeforetheyare desecratedfromwithoutbynonmembers
or strangers,
so as to "control"the fate of the culturalamplifiers.
Froma geneticpointof view,then,thebedrockof ethnicity
liesbeneath
a numberof higherlevelsof psychologicalinvestment
made later.Ethnicity
thatare recepis, at bottom,made up of inanimateor non-humanreservoirs
tacles forunmendedself-and object images-including unmendedimages
of the body- and theiraccompanyingraw emotions.Some of thesereservoirs,such as flags,crests,anthems,mascots,remainin inanimateor nonhumanstatethroughout
theindividual'slife;othersare abstractedintocon-

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Volkan

242

backintomembers'
orsharedconceptsandassimilated
self-representations,
within
thegroup.
cepts,whichserveto linktheindividuals
- oftenunder
It is interesting
to notethatwhenthegroupregresses
- thereis a reappearance
oftheritualisic
useofinanimate
or
politicalstress
non-human
of thegroup;thisservesas a linkamong
objectsbymembers
them.I havealreadyspokenofthewayinwhichPalestinians
intheoccupied
Gaza Stripcarrysecrettalismans
and whistleincantational
songs.These
sharedsignifiers
andstrengthen
mutualsupport
self-esteem
helpto maintain
withinthegroup.In 1971I described
of "The Birdsof
thephenomenon
between1963and 1968
history
Cyprus."Thisrelatesto a periodinCypriot
whentheGreekCypriotsforcedtheTurksin Cyprusto livein ghettos.
theTurks,surrounded
bytheirenemies,
Duringtheir5-yearimprisonment
in a
turnedto non-human
survival
objectsto helpbolstertheiremotional
in cages,
timeof incredible
of parakeets
Theyraisedthousands
hardship.
and caredforthemin theirhomesand shops.The birdsbecamea public
emblemfortheTurks,whoexternalized
their"imprisoned
selves"ontoand
intothebirds.As longas theycouldnurture
thebirds,theywereable to
theirindividual
thekindofhopethat
sensesofself,andtomaintain
regulate
kepttheirgroupcohesive.
Thusweseethatsharedsuitable
ofexternalization
evolveineach
targets
theethnicity
and nagroupwitha certainamountof causality.Although
towhichtheyarerelated
arenotbiologically
itdoesseem
inherited,
tionality
thattheforcesin ourpsychobiological
development
requireus to develop
someformof ethnicity
and nationality,
no matter
whatwe maycall these
andthenatureofsuitabletargets
ofexternalization
reflects
ourexisforms;
ofnatenceas historical
creatures.
Thetargets
under
the
influence
develop
tionalleaders,economicfactors,
historical
events,
military
processes,
long
offers
forcesofnature,andthelike.Themaincontribution
psychoanalysis
to thiskindofstudydependson itsobservation
thatthetargets
containeleand
mentsofself-representations
andcorresponding
objectrepresentations
or feeling
statesattachedto them.
therawdrivederivatives
toform
oftheimpetus
Froma developmental
pointofview,thegenesis
in
later
do
more
the
starts
ethnic
sophisticatphase;only
groups
pre-oedipal
beed thinking
processes,
including
oedipalissuesandsymbolformations,
to theconceptof group.Thisoccursprimarily
means
of
comeattached
by
in
which
the
individual
assimithat
unconscious
mechanism
identification,
of anotherwithin
hisownself.In thecase
latestheimagesand functions
isreshaped
his
with
a
ofan individual's
relationship group, self-representation
with
of
and
thegroup
his
with
members
the
identification
other
group
through
he
and
he
had
not
he
attributes
itself; acquires
possessed,
strengthpreviously
tobe integral
elements
whichheperceives
ensthoseattributes
within
himself
in the group'scomposition.This occursbecause he externalizesunmended

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The Need to Have Enemiesand Allies

243

that
self-and objectimagesin thenexusof suitabletargetsof externalization
of thegroup.As his ego developshe abstracts
comprisestheunderpinnings
the symbolicmeaningsof theseimagesand reassimilatesthemin his own
othersmake
withtheinvestments
Moreover,he identifies
self-representation.
in suchphenomenaas religion,ethnicity,
and nationalism;wherehe perceives
in others,he modifieshis own investment
in
investments
strongor shifting
ties. He becomeslikeothermembersof the
accordancewithhis identifying
group,and embodieswhathe perceivesto be theidealisticaimsof thatgroup.
From thepoint of viewof adaptation,the conceptand experienceof
sinceitprovidesemotionalbuffers
is a kindof healingphenomenon,
ethnicity
thatprotectthebruisedselfof theindividual.The senseof ethnicity
patches
his sense of self,and linkshimto his group,whichprovideshimwithsupport and the means of survival.
From thepoint of viewof object relations,we see thepotentialof usin maladaptiveways.In orderto protecttheinnerenvironment
ingethnicity
suitaof thegroup,itsmembersmakean attemptto hold onto ego-syntonic
ble targetsof externalization
and/ortheirabstractedand reinternalized
perones externalizedonto othergroups.
ceptionsand to keep theego-dystonic
Those itemskeptinsideare usuallylibidinallytinged- butthisis not always
true.An ethnicgroupmaylike to hold onto aggressively
tingedsymbolsin
thatwillbind it
sense
of
character
orderto shoreup an aggressively
tinged
fromwithin.In thesecases the enemygroup may thenbe consideredsoft
or cowardly.
THE ENEMY IS LIKE US
and similarabstractions
are creationsof our own
nationality,
Ethnicity,
psycheand thusit is reasonableto regardthe psycheas the creatorof the
conceptof theenemy.We cannotreasonablyassertthattheenemymaynot
be in facta dangerousforce,but itis stilltruethatthe"enemy"is a creation
of thatdevelopmentalprocessin whichperceptionis complicatedbyhigherlevelthought,internalization,
and oedipalissues.As longas theenemygroup
is keptat least at a psychologicaldistance,it givesus aid and comfort,enhancingour cohesion and makingcomparisonswithourselvesgratifying.
it is interesting
to contemplatethe subtlefactthatthe
Furthermore,
enemyoftenresemblesus in obvious ways,whilewhatwe perceiveto be his
offenseconstitutes
Freud(1917) spoke
onlya narrowarea of disagreement.
in reference
of "thenarcissismof minordifferences"
to thewaysmalldifferencesamongpeopleotherwise
alikemakeforhostility
and alienation.In 1930
he applied thisconceptto international
affairs.He was curiousas to why
people livingin contiguouslands so oftencame intoconflict- whythePor-

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244

Volkan

tugeseand the Spanish wereat odds, or the Englishand the Scots, or the
Northernand SouthernGermans,wheneach pairof opponentshad so much
in common.It seemsthatwe oftenseek out as enemies(targets)thoselike
ourselvesor our neighbors- in otherwords,familiarpeople. Whenan "unfamiliar"group becomesour enemy,we become preoccupiedwithit. In a
sense,we "familiarize"ourselveswithitaccordingto thedictatesof our psychic force.Hate and aggressionmake forattachment
to the otheras much
as does love and, sometimes,even more. We use themforthe externalization of our bad self-and object images; thesewe may superimposeupon
(or condensewith)theprojectionsof our unacceptablethoughts.We focus,
in orderto clingto the illuobsessively,whenstressed,on our differences
sion thatthe enemyis quite unlikeus. For example,men in the villagesof
Cyprususedto dressalikesave thatTurksworeredsashesand Greeks,black
ones. In timeof ethnichostility,
each would ratherdie thanadopt thecolor
of the other.This process strengthens
our sense of self and our sense of
solidaritywith"our side." Afterall, themainpointof drawinglinesbetween
"them"and "us," howeverspeciousthejustificationforthoselinesmaybe,
is to clarifyand affirmthe senseof "us" in a way thatstrengthens
positive
The self-portrait
of any groupis relative,dependingin
self-representation.
varyingdegreeson thekindof darkbackgroundthatwillbringitsown light
and strongqualitiesinto relief.
CONCLUSION
I believethattheneedto have enemiesand alliesis thebasis of political
psychologyand thatit connectspolitics,not onlyto thepsychologyapparentin surfacebehaviorand evidentprocesses,butalso withdepthpsychology whichdeals withthe dynamicsof humandevelopment.
This is not to say thatthe complexof politicsis to be regardedas an
objectivecorrelativeof the developmentof the individualhuman psyche;
both psychologyand the studyof politicswould sufferoversimplification
in suchreductionism.
But rather,we mayprofitfroma premisethatidentifiesa groupas beingcomposedof individualswho, as humans,have shared
fundamental
developmentalprocesses.Moreover,we riska greatdeal ifwe
overlooktheconfluenceof individualand groupdevelopment,
and of intraand intergroupdevelopment.Psychoanalysisgivesus a key forappraising
one ubiquitousand fairlyconstantelementin thetangleof historical,economic,and culturalaspectsof what we call politics.Political psychology,
whichilluminatesand anticipatesconsistencyin the behaviorof political
groups,mustalso attemptto locate the seat of thatbehaviorby usingthe
knowledgeof humandevelopmentwe haveacquired.The marriageof depth

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245

psychologyand behavioralsciencein politicalpsychologysecuresits positionas an essentialelementin thestudyof international


conflict.
or interethnic
Orwell
concluded
that
"the
nationalistic
loves
and
hatreds...are
George
a part of the make-upof most of us, whetherwe like it or not" (p. 380).
Our taskthenis to wean suchsentiments
fromtheirmaladaptiveroles,
and to findadaptivewaysto use them.AlthoughI am notenumerating
here
the manyareas in whichthesemethodscan be used, I do hope to suggest
thatit is withinour realmof responsibility
to developan approachto conflictthatcomprehendsthepsychologyof politics.For example,we should
continueto develop ritualsof play among a varietyof nations(in the real
spiritof theOlympicGames) so thatcovertantagonismsmaybe dispersed,
or at leasttemporized,
in a constructive
and affirmative
forum.Furthermore,
we mustbroadenour focusupon international
conflictto includeempathy
forthepain and loss of all partiesinvolved,and recognizethatthoselosses
mayexiston manyunseenlevels.And our broadenedfocusmustbe actively
reflectedin thedevelopmentof new compassionateand insightful
methods
of dealing withinterpolitical
strife.
Orwellsaw the struggleagainst"nationalisticloves and hatred"as essentiallyinvolving"moral effort."
It is a question firstof all discoveringwhat one reallyis, whatone's own feelings
reallyare, and thenof makingallowancesforthe inevitablebias. If you hate and
fear Russia, if you are jealous of the wealthand powerof America,if you despise
of inferiority
towardstheBritishrulingclass, youcanJews,ifyou have a sentiment
notgetridof thosefeelingssimplyby takingthought.But you can at leastrecognise
thatyou have them,and preventthemfromcontaminating
yourmentalprocesses.
The emotionalurgeswhichare inescapable,and are perhapsevennecessaryto political action,shouldbe able to existside byside withan acceptanceof reality.Butthis,
I repeat,needs a moral effort,and contemporary
Englishliterature,so faras it is
alive at all to the major issues of our time,shows how fewof us are preparedto
make it. (p. 380)

Orwell'sinsightis especiallyvaluablein 1984. Now, morethanever,we appreciatehis prescience.


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