Monday, May 29, 2017
Psychoanalyzing Trump’s Parisian Climate Retreat
In prior posts, I have proposed the word integration as the best way to think of mature, well functioning persons. They are capable of integrating their internal and external worlds. They balance love of self with love of other. They view themselves as existing within a context — involving others, their environment, the world, the planet.
In other words, a well-integrated person realizes she or he consumes air, water, and food. These are limited resources. He or she acknowledges a mature dependency on other people and elements. Such a person has a broad vision. He would not dump trash in front of his apartment; she would not let her wild pit bull run through her neighborhood.
Known formally as the Accord de Paris, the Paris Agreement sets standards for reducing carbon emissions and otherwise reducing the negative effect of humanity on planet earth. It was signed during April 2016 but representatives from 195 nations. Essentially every nation in the world signed the agreement.
Trump is about to announce his intention to withdraw from the treaty.
He would rather give international oil firms, and other well-established destroyers of the environment, free reign.
He will invite them to rape, pillage, invade, destroy, and otherwise harm whatever natural resources they can find.
I consider the move unconscionable.
I view it as evil.
I feel enraged about it.
Humor provides a vehicle for reducing painful emotions.
Attempting to control my reactions, I have been imagining humorous analogies from psychoanalytic practice.
They do not seem so funny.
Trump’s pulling out of the Paris Agreement would be akin to psychoanalytic psychotherapists:
- Telling their alcoholic patients to continue drinking, because their brain is not closely connected to their liver.
- Encouraging a physically abusive husband to continue beating his wife, because she is, after all, only one member of the family.
- Suggesting a battered wife to stay with her abusive husband because of course she would never want to be alone.
- Discharging a violently psychotic patient from a psychiatric hospital because she cannot harm that many people with only one AK47.
- Advising a self-injurious adolescent to continue cutting, because plenty of skin is still available.
- Allowing a demented patient to drive a car, because the number of neighbors he might kill would be limited.
- Discouraging a patient with blinding headaches from consulting a physician, because death represents the worse case scenario.
- Recommending a seven-year-old patient to run away from home because he seems independent.
Notice how these examples all involve encouragement of dissociation. They invite dissociation, precisely the opposite of integration.
However, and thankfully, depth psychotherapists have a limited number of patients. They cannot harm that many people.
The degree of harm Trump can create has no bounds.
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