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Freud and the Neocons: The Narrative of a Political Encounter from 1949-2000

ffytche, M (2013) 'Freud and the Neocons: The Narrative of a Political Encounter from 1949-2000.' Psychoanalysis and History, 15 (1). 5 - 44. ISSN 1460-8235

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Abstract

This article examines the impact of Freud on conservative liberal intellectuals in America particularly during the Cold War. It argues that, compared with studies of the ?radical? or left-wing assimilations of psychoanalysis, the Freud of the political Right has been relatively neglected. It concentrates on three figures in particular???Irving Kristol, Norman Podhoretz and Leo Strauss, all of whom were a major influence on the formation of American neoconservatism, and ultimately on the Bush administration at the time of the War on Terror. The article also examines the role of Lionel Trilling in mediating Freudian ideas to Kristol and Podhoretz, who were disaffected with the progressive aspects of liberalism, and shifted their allegiance to the Right by the 1980s. Freud's work, especially Civilization and its Discontents, functions as an ideological landmark at the borderline of their reflections on religion, morality, the failures of democracy and the foundations of social order.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: neoconservatism; America; Lionel Trilling; superego; Sigmund Freud; Irving Kristol; Norman Podhoretz; psychoanalysis; politics; liberal; conservative; culture; society; Leo Strauss; Civilization and its Discontents; religion; Commentary
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0500 Psychoanalysis
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 01 May 2013 11:00
Last Modified: 16 Mar 2018 15:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/6090

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