Psychohistory is now a real subject, "The study of historical motivations",it is slightly on the fringe, but the body of work is growing. It attempts to take the insights learned from the psychiatrist's couch and apply them to an understanding of history and politics. Essays by proponents including Lloyd De Mause talk about things like war as purification, or rape and bad mother/good mother splits. There is a whole vocabulary to pick up. Some of the practitioners also look for ways to see into the unconscious collective life of nations and a good claimed technique for this is to analyse political cartoons, which often depict violent or perverse images that certainly seem to have a whole rulebook of their own and may indicate savage and dark motivations behind current political events. The analysis of war and its causes is a useful alternative to the kind of history more commonly taught.
One of the key ideas of psychohistory is that child rearing practices evolve through time. As parenting becomes more humane and centered around nurturing and allowing the child rights, then generations of more stable individuals appear (so called new psychoclasses) who drive social and political progress. Warlike cultures are often said to be ones with more brutal childrearing practices, where individuals will need to defend themselves from retrigerring bad memories, or transfer their poison pain onto others by cruelty and domination.
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