Against Collective Integration: Carl Jung

In his review of the book ‘The Undiscovered Self’ by the psychiatrist and philosopher Carl JungCarl Jung, Maxwell Cynn suggests that:

“Dr. Jung noted that whenever individuals are pressed into a group an averaging effect occurs and part of the individual Self is sacrificed in order to fit-in to the norm of the group. We stop thinking in terms of Self and the group becomes our personae. The larger the group the more the individual suffers. He pointed to the Iron Curtain as a physical manifestation and symbol of a psychic schism within mankind.

He also warned that the freedom-loving West was not immune to the psychic infection of the communist Eastern Block, but rather more susceptible because of our free and open-minded societies. The fall of the Iron Curtain in modern times did not symbolize an end to the schism Jung described, but more ominously the acceptance in the West of collective ideals.

Jung’s words ring soundly today in our modern electronic society of larger groups, stronger connections, greater integration, and socio-political correctness. Our nationalism has turned to internationalism and our group has become global. Individualism is under greater assault today than at any point in history–Jung’s words live on in an almost prophetic sense. The Self continues to drown in a sea of collectivism.”

Ive been reading ‘The Undiscovered Self’ on my iPhone via

34 Responses to Against Collective Integration: Carl Jung

  1. Robert November 3, 2013 at 11:06 am #

    Lovin’ it. I’m always up for some collectivist bashing. Let the thousand flowers wilt!

  2. spangled drongo November 3, 2013 at 11:57 am #

    Jung was before the time when nannies rise to the top in western culture whereas it’s the villins under Marxism.

    But in our neo-Marxist age of entitlement it amounts to the same thing.

    Even private nannies aren’t wot they usterbe:

  3. jennifer November 3, 2013 at 12:01 pm #

    SP, How does it amount to the same thing? What are the similarities between the different ‘collectives’?

  4. Debbie November 3, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

    Good one SP! 🙂 🙂
    Clever way to make the point.
    The emerging ‘Nanny State’ . . . as it has been dubbed. . . bears much resemblance to Marxism (and right wing socialism) which sees the exponential growth of the collective’s and/or the corporate’s (or even big environmentalism or big unionism or big agriculture or big oil etc…) ‘authority’ over the individual and/or ‘ the individual entrepreneurial spirit’
    It presents pretty much as Jung explained:
    ” The larger the group the more the individual suffers. ” &
    ” a physical manifestation and symbol of a psychic schism within mankind.”
    As the famous song laments:
    ‘when will we ever learn… when will we eeeeevvver learn’ ?

  5. hunter November 3, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

    Fascinating topic, Jennifer.

  6. Debbie November 3, 2013 at 12:38 pm #

    !!! SD!!!…not SP…my apologies Spangled.

  7. spangled drongo November 3, 2013 at 2:18 pm #

    Jen, today, if you call yourself any sort of collective, you have to fill out a 74 page form before you can take a country stroll. Even the local bird group has to fill out a “death sheet” before you can raise your binoculars.

    I realise that the world is now programmed to reject “survival of the fittest” in favour of the dills having all the kids [even though Abbott wants PPL to get the brightest to bear] but we should still be given the benefit of the doubt.

    When nannies grow clebber
    I hope they won’t nebber
    Make children wear socks.
    There’s paint on my new ones,
    My Sunday-best blue ones
    I left on the rocks.

  8. Luke November 3, 2013 at 3:01 pm #

    On individualism and Jung (LOL)

  9. Beth Cooper November 3, 2013 at 4:11 pm #

    Living (it up) in Mediocristan.

    Go not here without a pass,
    Do not walk upon the grass,
    Do not question, laugh or talk,
    Do not run when you should walk.
    Do not swim outside the flags,
    Do not skim across the waves,
    Do not drive – except electric cars,
    Do not fly among the shining stars.


  10. Johnathan Wilkes November 3, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

    not sure what you wanted to say Luke but I thought you rather proved his point?

    btw the life of Brian is a classic! ta

  11. spangled drongo November 3, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

    “Do not fly among the shining stars.”

    Just so, Beth.

    The Nannies-in-Chief are UNIPCC, Club of Rome, the Greens, EPA etc but it seems to be in catching on more than I think Jung would ever have expected.

    Can’t have individuals, only pliant masses.

    The Daleks are running around everywhere…”Reg-u-late…reg-u-late”.

    But it is interesting that when it comes to outlaw bikie gangs selling drugs to the children, that shouldn’t be prevented because it is encroaching on their freedom.

    I sent Campbell a congrat and said that as a bikie I was more than happy to be quizzed by coppers in the interests of stopping that rubbish.

  12. spangled drongo November 3, 2013 at 5:38 pm #

    And Nanny sez that everyone should give up smoking except prisoners cos they need it to cope with the stress:

  13. Beth Cooper November 3, 2013 at 6:12 pm #

    George Brandis on political correctness ‘speech crimes.’ More barriers ter critical

  14. Nick November 3, 2013 at 6:39 pm #

    That berlin wall kept them we knew the collectivists were. On the other side. Now where are they? everywhere!

  15. spangled drongo November 3, 2013 at 6:41 pm #

    That bloody Reagan!

  16. spangled drongo November 3, 2013 at 6:56 pm #

    Good link Beth, Luke will enjoy it. He has Quadrant in his favourites.

    Kids today aren’t taught the history of our hard-won freedoms whereas we not only had them bashed into us, we re-enacted them in the playground.

  17. Beth Cooper November 3, 2013 at 7:45 pm #

    School yard days Spangle. pre PC. )

  18. spangled drongo November 3, 2013 at 8:37 pm #

    Yep. And pre TV.

    We used to do a great Magna Carta with wicked King John with a bit of bold Robin and Richard the Lionheart thrown in for good measure.

    Oliver Cromwell and the Roundheads v the Cavaliers.

    Not to mention the Wells of Beer Sheba. The weapons we had to make!

    Dangerous stuff!

  19. Luke November 3, 2013 at 9:32 pm #


  20. Peace1939 November 4, 2013 at 4:11 pm #

    We are now mostly in the MORE group in which members of the group are encouraged to want and consume more of everything. No matter how much we have MORE is always better.
    The system is called capitalism and with our rapidly increasing numbers is more rapidly depleting our natural resources.
    Those who not belong to the group are called Greenies and other unflattering names. Any person who points out what we are doing to the planet is classed as a nutcase and that technology will fix everything.

  21. Robert November 4, 2013 at 5:27 pm #

    Oh, rest assured nobody is excluding our Green Betters from the consumption group. In fact, I wouldn’t hope to race a greenie to a prime position at a MORE trough any more than I’d try to beat a seagull to a sick prawn.

  22. spangled drongo November 4, 2013 at 7:30 pm #

    All those of the Green Group persuasion that I associate with [and there are many around here] are either well ahead of the crowd when it comes to consumption or will be when their income allows. It’s work in progress.

    Their Green logic is a never ending source of fascination which allows them to wet the bed excessively when Campbell Newman allows cattle to graze in western national parks that are full of feral predators and bushfire fuel and refuse to admit that this is a win/win/win. These parks were mostly cattle properties until recently anyway.

    However they think it is wonderful to allow feral dingoes to dwell permanently in all our national parks which not only kills most of our ground dwelling [and even tree-climbing] natives but also prevents us from doing anything about all the other feral predators. That is a multi-lose.

  23. jennifer November 4, 2013 at 8:40 pm #

    I think that Peace 1939 does make a worthwhile point that the average Australian citizen is encouraged to consume more of everything. And it doesn’t make us/them happy.

    Of perhaps more concern is that those who aren’t necessarily into consuming more, those who profess and may indeed be more into thinking, tend to attach themselves to collective beliefs like ‘anthropogenic global warming’.

    As much as Neville may want to deny it, the mainstream Australian scientist is intelligent and believes more ardently in AGW than Luke or Bazza.

    I’ve this little extract to share from my continued reading of Jung’s little book…

    “You can take away a man’s gods, but only to give him others in return. The leaders of the mass State could not help being deified, and wherever crudities of this kind have not yet been put over by force, obsessive factors arise in their stead, charged with demonic energy—money, work, political influence, and so forth. When any natural human function gets lost, i.e., is denied conscious and intentional expression, a general disturbance results. Hence, it is quite natural that with the triumph of the Goddess of Reason a general neuroticizing of modern man should set in, a dissociation of personality”…

  24. Robert November 4, 2013 at 10:16 pm #

    I’m the biggest non-consumer I know, by far (for the time being). And I am pro-consumption.

    There are millions of aspirationals out there who live well and harmoniously with their materialism and high consumption. Many don’t, of course.

    There are millions of anti-consumerists, anti-materialists, anti-developmentalists who are obsessed with money, property and privilege – their own or somebody else’s. In fact, I find more of them to be that way than not.

    Some can wear the world like a loose garment, all should. Those who satisfy their material aspirations are just as likely to do so as those who don’t. It’s the presence of envy and absence of gratitude which causes people to attach too much importance to the material. You can give such people the world and they will hate. (A perfect example is the creepy deviant, Alfred Nobel.)

  25. jennifer November 4, 2013 at 10:38 pm #

    “It’s the presence of envy and absence of gratitude which causes people to attach too much importance to the material.” Thanks for that, Robert.

  26. Robert November 4, 2013 at 10:46 pm #

    Hey, Jen, thanks for that Jung quote.

  27. Luke November 4, 2013 at 11:29 pm #

    Time to stop whinging now Spangled – LNP are in charge – Campbell said if things were not getting better by year 2 blame him. We are !

    Latest diversionary stunt is the manufactured bikies crisis. Effective eh? Then “Anonymous” and so on.

    Then there is the Federal approach – say nothing. Here is the Ministerial technique

    But don’t you worry about that – the new Optus is in town – “want to develop something/anything” – Answer is “YES of course YES YES YES !!”

    A raft of self-assessable codes will be the new rules. Am I doing a good job? Of course I am. Gee that’s an efficient process.

  28. spangled drongo November 5, 2013 at 7:33 am #

    “Campbell said if things were not getting better by year 2 blame him.”

    We [us bikies] are !

    Plus the worms coming out of the woodwork.

    But how sweet is the nobbling of durries in jail !!!

    The only neg is they will live longer.

  29. Jennifer Marohasy November 6, 2013 at 7:50 am #

    More from Jung’s book that I’ve now finished reading…

    “Psychology’s insistence on the importance of unconscious processes for religious experience is extremely unpopular, no less with the political Right than with the Left. For the former the deciding factor is the historical revelation that came to man from outside; to the latter this is sheer nonsense, and man has no religious function at all, except belief in the party doctrine, when suddenly the most intense faith is called for.”

  30. Jennifer Marohasy November 6, 2013 at 8:57 pm #

    “As his consciousness has broadened and differentiated, so his moral nature has lagged behind. That is the great problem before us today.Reason alone no longer suffices.”

    And Jung goes on to argue what is missing is self realisation… including an understanding of the irrational within us and also…

    “What is even worse, our lack of insight deprives us of the capacity to deal with evil. Here, of course, we come up against one of the main prejudices of the Christian tradition, and one that is a great stumbling block to our policies. We should, so we are told, eschew evil and, if possible, neither touch nor mention it. For evil is also the thing of ill omen, that which is tabooed and feared. This apotropaic attitude towards evil, and the apparent circumventing of it, flatter the primitive tendency in us to shut our eyes to evil and drive it over some frontier or other, like the Old Testament scapegoat, which was supposed to carry the evil into the wilderness.”

    And so how many of my old girlfriends say that they don’t want “negativity”… they only want to talk about positive things. And they don’t want “conflict”, that also should be avoided. So cults establish easily where they claim to be about positive change and have the endorsement of apparent experts.

    Indeed if as a society we can’t question whether WWF just makes it all up when it comes to the GBR, because that would be a negative thing to do… indeed questioning and critical thinking are not fashionable anymore… so how vulnerable as a society are we to the next crazy idea as the hysteria surrounding AGW perhaps wanes but we have learnt nothing?

  31. hunter November 7, 2013 at 4:47 am #

    You make a very profound point about how a whole people can eschew their critical thinking abilities and accept the ridiculous as part of ‘getting along’.

  32. mc November 9, 2013 at 6:09 pm #

    Thank you Jennifer.
    You have raised what seems to be the most crucial and central issue to this whole cultural war subject, one that has been largely missing in competent and considered form, namely the role of human psychology in the formation of political systems and society.

    Destroy the individual and you destroy the society.
    What is a society if not a collection of related individuals?
    Take away the unique individual spirit of the members of a group and who is left to relate to whom?
    Automaton to automaton?
    Hollow man to hollow man?
    Artifice to artifice?
    What true solidarity can exist between the soulless and the soulless, between a person who is an artificial ideological construct and another person equally artificial? There may be solidarity but it cannot be of a fully developed human kind, it is stilted, brittle, lacking true depth. It comes across as over earnest and ridiculous.
    A human society is a collection of individuals of differing temperament, talent and outlook. In accordance with the diversity of nature we are not naturally a homogenous mass. Uniformity of human personality can only come about by being imposed, either forcefully or subtly or both.
    The clarion call of our times is that we must learn to live in harmony with nature. What is natural about repressing and stifling our inborn impulse to grow and develop to our unique potential in the name of a social cohesion which in fact cannot occur under such conditions of repression and in reality must lead to the wasting and decay of human relatedness? This is of course where the saviours of humanity from the forces of social anarchy and chaos step onto the political stage with their prescriptions and solutions imposed upon us all, and all choice is removed, and the sum total of human evolution becomes humanity’s grotesque and revolting decent into its greatest possible failure, humanity’s failure to live out its humanity.
    We need to find the bridge Jennifer; you seem to be looking in the right direction.
    Cheers. Mc.
    Ps. here’s a joke for you.
    A bloke says to me, “Are you a logos person or an eros person”?
    Me. “Oh yes that is funny, tell me, when you go out for a walk do you use your left leg or your right”?

  33. jennifer November 9, 2013 at 10:20 pm #

    thinking about hunter’s comment about eschewing critical thinking and mc’s that we can’t walk with just one leg

    and noting this comment that:

    Logos is a certain peculiar quality in a man’s being which leads him to discriminate, to reason, to judge, to divide, to understand in a particular way.


  1. Jennifer Marohasy » How Long Before AGW is recognised as a Spectacularly Wrong Scientific Theories by the Academies? - December 31, 2013

    […] and/or her audience? My recent reference to Carl Jung’s writings are perhaps relevant here […]

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