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Don’t take this too seriously; it’s something I dreamed up one rainy Sunday afternoon.

-Sigmund Freud (in communication with Abram Kardiner)

The psychoanalytic theorist, Eugène Enriquez, informs us that “Charles Darwin and evolutionary sociologists of the nineteenth century used a term of Tartar origin, “primitive horde,” to refer to the simplest possible form of social formation in existence during prehistoric times.” The term appears in Darwin’s Descent of Man, yet it engenders a new life in the later works of Sigmund Freud, most notably Totem and Taboo.

For Freud, the primitive horde has its seat in the unconscious, but as a myth, it is “dreamed up” by the collectivity, or culture as such – as myths are much like dreams of the collective unconscious – for us, the structuralists. Let us imagine the dream as follows… An old man, a father – a patriarch, has seized control of all of the women in his clan for his own use and pleasure. The male children of the father – the brothers – decide to band together to kill the father, and thus they forge a pact in the blood of the act, by which no one man will ever again have hold over all of the women. From this mythical and socio-cosmetological event, the Oedipus complex becomes doubly fixed at the root of society and the individual, as well as it functions to bolster the prohibitions that take their concrete form in the incest taboo.Still yet for Freud, this ‘father’ later becomes indistinguishable from the symbolic image of God (in the flesh). The brothers/clan, in an eternally recurring yet periodically marked feast of solemnity, thereby consume their god in the form of the totem animal (ordinarily forbidden from consumption)in order to revivify their common bond and commitment to the redistribution of women. Later, Catholics consume the body and blood of Christ. In many myths and traditions as it follows, the God/Father must be sacrificed ad infinitum in order to perpetuate the cohesion of society.

The structural anthropologist, Claude Lévi-Strauss, follows Freud’s logic in “The Universe of Rules” to suggest that women as well as food are unconsciously linked together under the notion of the “scarce resource.” Lévi-Strauss’ thought proceeds much like a series of questions and tentative answers. Question: What is the phenomenon that most threatens societies? Answer: Extinction. Question: What is the phenomenon that causes societies to become extinct? Answer: Society is not able to reproduce itself. Question: What does society need in order to reproduce itself? Answer: Women (who give birth to children) and food (which feeds people). Therefore, the scarcity of either of these “resources” threatens the perpetuation of society. This explains, for Lévi-Strauss, how kinship or family structures develop alongside incest prohibitions (which often extend beyond consanguinity, or “blood relation”) in a way that provides for the distribution of the food (from the hunting expedition) through the wives of each household. Finally, Lévi-Strauss leaves us with the tragic-comic image of the “starving bachelor” at the edge of the village, who cannot get enough food because he is not married.

All of this “conjectural reasoning” is of course highly problematic from a diverse range of feminist and queer theory perspectives, not to mention the fact that these ideas have been widely discredited across the social scientific ‘fellowships of discourse’ altogether. Prominent feminist philosophers and psychoanalytic theorists from Luce Irigaray to Julia Kristeva have long exposed, deconstructed, and thoroughly dismantled the phallogocentrism implied in all Oedipal theories and traces of this “dogmatic power discourse” and its vestiges in Lacanian thought – not to mention Judith Butler’s direct and poignant critique of Lévi-Strauss’s “Universe of Rules” in Antigone’s Claim.

However, from the perspective of a hegemonic critique of the patriarchal structure of economic neoliberalism, we are still confronted with a nearly forty-year period of inflexibility in the gender wage-gap. Political and legal theorists, such as Carole Pateman, cogently assert that cis-gendered women enter the “marriage/sexual contract” in a status below citizenship in an agreement that presupposes exclusive rights over their bodies and their domestic life. There are “second shifts,” third shifts, and women of color buttressing the neoliberal regime in every form of dehumanizing occupation from positions in retail and food service to maids and babysitters in the informal economy. These positions frequent alongside statements justifying the “housekeeper” role, as one of my college students so eloquently put it… “My mother is the glue that holds my family together.” To which I replied with the question, “Elmer’s or Gorilla, insofar as you clearly view her as an inanimate object?” My point being that women, though perhaps no longer “scarce,” are still “resources” that are “distributed” as objects of labor and sex commodities. Women still function as part of the “household,” from the Latin familia, which first and foremost references property and servants, as Marx, Engels, and Raymond Williams, among others, have reminded us.

Thus if women are no longer scarce, they are still hoarded, as many other resources, by the one-percent. Reproductive rights dwindling on the state levels, the proliferation of Religious Freedom Restoration Acts, rampant discrimination against those who identify as LGBTQIAPNDS2 – your rights to resources and choices surrounding reproduction are limited.

Finally, President Trump – that intransigent interloper never in the Oval Office – and his Republican sycophants: they will further concentrate resources and wealth and curtail redistribution through proposed plans for the reduction of healthcare and the national budget – making resources still more scarce for us: the elderly, the sick, the poor, the undocumented, the disenfranchised, the minority-majority, the Levinasian “Other,” those who cannot speak or be heard, while simultaneously hoarding these resources for themselves.

It is time to take back the resources from the Father and redistribute them. We should consider eating the President at the conclusion of his administration after he has “served” our country. The idea of eating political leaders is not a new one, as Occupy has recently called to our attention.

I often flirt with the idea that we should also eat the eighty richest people in the world,insofar as they have almost more wealth than ours combined. Have you ever had that feeling that we should just eat the rich? My argument here is that there is more to it psychoanalytically, and Bus driver agrees with me.

From healthcare (reduction), to budget (removal), to foreign policy (bombs), President Trump is so thoroughly committed to sacrificing so many of us citizens of the world for our own good(or more likely, the coffers of him and his “friends”), I truly believe that he should make the ultimate sacrifice of himself to us at the end of his term(s). Hence, I hereby propose that we amend the Constitution to cannibalize the President of the United States in a sacrificial ceremony at the end of their presidency.

Ritchie Savage is an unstable Adjunct Assistant Professor of Autonomous Thought, who parasitically subsists off of three academic departments in New York City – like Bartleby the Scrivener.

Butler, Judith. 2000. Antigone’s Claim: Kinship Between Life and Death. New York:Columbia University Press.

Darwin, Charles. 1871. Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex. London: John Murray, Albemarble Street.

Enriquez, Eugène. 1983. De la horde à l’État. Paris: Gallimard.

Freud, Sigmund. 1918/1946. Totem and Taboo. New York: Vintage Books.

Lévi-Strauss, Claude. 1949/1969.  “The Universe of Rules.” Elementary Structures of Kinship. Boston: Beacon Press.

Pateman, Carole. 1988. The Sexual Contract. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press.

“Primitive Horde.” International Dictionary of Psychoanalysis. . Retrieved May 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/psychology/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/primitive-horde

 

 

One Comment

  1. K SHESHU BABU says:

    The policies of Trump are compelling US citizens to have a thorough revision of the Freudian symptoms and their impact. Trump and the rich are eating the core of ‘ libido ‘ of the poor. Time will come when the rich will be paid in their ‘ own coin’ and the wealth redistributed