1933: The Very Ideology to which it Owes its Origin

ReichWilhelm Reich on the connections among repression, sexual guilt (indoctrinated into children and adolescents through the family), patriarchy, capitalism, fascism, violent religious fanaticism, the construction of the other, and imperialism:

The patriarchal authoritarian sexual order…becomes the primary basis of authoritarian ideology by depriving [people] of their sexual freedom, making a commodity of sex and placing sexual interests in the service of economic subjugation….Sexuality is…distorted; it becomes diabolical and demonic and has to be curbed….The Dionysian becomes “sinful yearning,” which patriarchal culture can conceive of only as something chaotic and “dirty.” …Patriarchal man is shackled…in an ideology in which sexual and dirty, sexual and vulgar or demonic, become inseparable associations.

Secondarily….extramarital sexual intercourse…becomes involved in a conflict with official morality and is forced to lead a clandestine existence. The change in the social attitude toward sexual intercourse also effects a change in the inner experience of sexuality. The conflict that is now created between the natural and “sublime morality” disturbs the individual’s ability to gratify his needs. The feeling of guilt now associated with sexuality cleaves the natural, orgiastic crease of sexual coalescence and produces a damming up of sexual energy, which later breaks out in various ways. Neuroses, sexual aberrations, and antisocial sexuality become permanent social phenomena. Childhood and adolescent sexuality, which were given a positive role in the original matriarchal work-democracy, fall prey to systematic suppression, which differs only in form. As time goes on, this sexuality, which is an distorted, distorted, brutalized, and prostituted, advocates the very ideology to which it owes its origin. Those who negate sexuality can now justifiably point to it as something brutal and dirty. That this dirty sexuality is not natural sexuality but merely patriarchal sexuality is simply overlooked. And the sexology of latter-day capitalistic patriarchy is no less affected by this evaluation than the vulgar views. This condemns it to complete sterility.

…Religious mysticism becomes the organized center of those evaluations and ideologies. [It] denies the sex-economic principle altogether and condemns sexuality as a sinful phenomenon of humanity, from which only the Hereafter can deliver us. Nationalistic fascism, on the other hand, transfers sexual sensuality to the “alien race,” which is relegated to an inferior status in this way. From now on, the depreciation of the “alien race” coincides organically with latter-day patriarchal imperialism.

The Mass Psychology of Fascism (1933)

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