The concept of power
An expanded anthropological version of power is found in the works of the German psychologist A. Adler. This thinker considered the desire for power as an unhealthy human need, caused by the peculiarities of the education of this individual. Adler paid special attention to the inferiority complex. He considered it a universal mechanism, which gives rise to the desire to dominate over other people, to subordinate them to themselves, their field. Here are the main provisions of Adler on this matter.
1. Each person experiences a feeling of inferiority in childhood, when it depends on the parents. This feeling encourages a person to fight for superiority over others, strive for excellence. Such motivations are motivational force in a person's life, starting from the age of three.
2. Development of inferiority complex in childhood is also promoted by the inferiority of physical organs, excessive guardianship or rejection by parents.
3. Excessive sense of inferiority leads to the formation of an inferiority complex in a person, i.e. exaggerated sense of weakness and insolvency.
4. The inferiority complex generates the desire for hypercompensation and as a result causes a complex of superiority (exaggeration of a healthy desire to overcome a constant feeling of inferiority.)
5. The desire for excellence, being a universal feature, can have both constructive (for example, an individual is able to become a public figure) and destructive (this subject can lead a gang).
Adler stressed that someone who studies the power-hungry fantasies of the child, will find their masterful image in F. Dostoyevsky's novel "Teenager". "At one of my patient they showed themselves particularly clearly. His thoughts and dreams always repeated the same desire - let others die so that he had room for life, let others be ill that he would get better opportunities. This manner of behavior is reminiscent of the recklessness and insensitivity of many people who take all their troubles to the fact that too many people live on earth - motivations that undoubtedly in every respect made the idea of a world war more acceptable ... "I want to become a gravedigger, "said one four-year-old boy," I want to be the one who digs in others. "
The child's fantasy-desires, Adler believed, are an expression of a mental impulse, unequivocally dictating the installation and thus the actions of the child. However, the intensity of the pulse varies. In nervous children, compensating for their increased sense of inferiority, it increases to limitless dimensions. During the research, memories of events (infantile experiences, traumas) were discovered, during which the child, as shown in Adler's work Aggressive Desires, collides with the outside world. So a negative emotional experience is born. The thirst for triumph is clearly manifested in dreams and fantasy dreams, and setting the role of a hero is an attempt at compensation.
It is in dreams that a child turns into a man clothed in power. It is known that already in the second half of his life the child grabs all the items and it is not easy with them to part. Soon, under the yoke of the desire for power and a sense of community, he seeks people who are good at it. To this endeavor, everyone, according to Adler's opinion, joins in jealousy as a tendency to self-defense. If the child is further forced to resort to protective measures, this often leads to early maturity and indecisiveness. Adler, thus, came to the conviction that this is how a neurotic trait is born in the child, which leads to the formation of the goal of reaching the "godlike" superiority.
Adler showed that neurotic behavior should not be treated as if it were subordinated to a conscious goal. It is the unconsciousness of a fictitious idea that is a ploy of the psyche, when their awareness threatens the integrity of the individual. Do not forget about the love of power! - that was his warning. So, sooner or later the child realizes his inability to cope alone with the difficulties of everyday existence. The sense of inferiority is the driving force, the starting point of the aspirations of every child. It determines how the child can achieve peace and self-confidence, it determines the purpose of existence. This inferiority complex can, according to Adler, intensify due to some features of our civilization. The child is taught that he is nobody, a powerless creature.
The desire to be the center of universal attention and to demand tenderness from parents appears already in the first days of the child's life. The goal of this desire is to achieve a situation where the individual looks superior to his environment. The degree of development of her social feelings helps determine the character of the desired superiority of the person. Under social feeling, Adler understood the collective spirit, the sense of universal brotherhood and self-identification with all of humanity, which forms positive social relationships. Adler believed that these relationships can be constructive and healthy only when they include equality, interaction and a spirit of cooperation. The social feeling begins with the ability to identify oneself with oneself and leads to the desire to build an ideal society based on cooperation and equality of personalities. This concept is key in the Adler concept of the individual as a social being."When we ask ourselves," Adler wrote, "how best to curb the desire for power and superiority, this is the most notable evil of our civilization, we are confronted with a difficulty, as this desire arises at an age when free communication with the child is impossible . We can start trying to correct and enlighten him only much later. However, living next to a child of this age, we all have the opportunity to develop his social feeling to such an extent that the desire for power over others is a negligible factor. "1
The difficulty lies in the fact that children do not express their desire for power over others explicitly, but hide it under the guise of caring and love and are engaged in their business under a deceitful mask. Thus, they hope to avoid exposure. An undisguised desire for power and self-confidence can damage the child's psychological development and turn courage into insolence, obedience into cowardice, gentleness into a sophisticated strategy whose goal is total domination. In the final analysis, any manifestation of a child's natural feelings carries an element of hypocrisy, whose purpose is to dominate the surrounding reality. "2 Learning influences the child due to a conscious or unconscious goal - to compensate for his insecurity in himself, to teach him the art of living, to form his reason and to encourage in him the development of social sentiment towards his own kind.
All of these measures, whatever their original meaning, are ways to help a child get rid of self-doubt and feelings of inferiority. About what is happening in the child's soul during this process, one can judge by the character traits that develop in him, since they are the mirror of his mental activity. The actual degree of inferiority of the child, although important for his psychology, is not a criterion by which we can determine the severity of his feelings of insecurity and inferiority, because they depend mainly on her interpretation."Studying the pathological desire for power," Adler wrote, "we meet individuals who spare no effort to consolidate their position in life, while acting very impulsively, with exceptional haste, and completely disregard other people . These are the children whose behavior is characterized by an indomitable desire for an exaggeratedly significant goal - the domination of their own kind. By touching on the rights of others, they put their own rights at risk; they are hostile to the world, and therefore the world is hostile to them. "3 This does not have to happen openly. There are children whose desire for power is expressed in such a way that it does not lead to an immediate conflict between them and society, and their ambitious plans may at first seem quite normal. However, with subsequent interpretation, antisociality of their ambition is revealed. First of all, one should include here pride, vanity and the desire to conquer all at any cost. The latter can be accomplished by cunning. The relative elevation of the individual can be achieved by belittling those with whom he enters into contact. In this case, according to Adler, the distance that separates him from others is important. Such a behavioral attitude is detrimental not only for society, but also for the individual who is its carrier, as it constantly forces him to come into contact with the dark forces of reality and does not allow him to receive any pleasure from life. "The exaggerated desire for power, through which some children try to assert their dominance over others," Adler writes, "soon forces them to resist the ordinary deeds and duties of everyday life. If we compare this power-hungry individual with a perfectly socialized person, we can, with the help of some experience, establish his social index, i.e. the degree of self-isolation he achieved by himself. Those who are endowed with the ability to reason sensibly about the nature of man, bearing in mind the importance of physical defects and inferiority, know that such traits of character could not have arisen without the previously existing difficulties of psychological development. "
So, based on the pathological material, Adler develops the concept of not only compensation, but human nature in general. The universal source of personal development is, according to Adler, the primary sense of inferiority experienced by man. This experience gives rise to man's desire for self-affirmation, for positive development, which Adler denotes borrowed from Nietzsche's term - "striving for power" (strength, power). Under the influence of this aspiration, inferiority is compensated or even overcompensated.
The need for power, as shown in Adler's work, can be caused not only by the power of leadership qualities. On the contrary, the desire to gain power is often the result of "incompleteness" person as a person. Researchers emphasize: if Nietzsche were not a weak, weak child, it is unlikely that we would get a theory of superman. Psychoanalysis shows that power is the strongest compensatory mechanism. Following Nietzsche, Adler revealed the true origins of lust for power. At the heart of all human activity, the German psychoanalyst believed, lies the desire for fullness and personal superiority, realized through the ability to compensate for the primary sense of inferiority.
Adler interpreted the life style as the creative reaction of the individual to the experience of the first years of life, which in turn affects the whole picture of his perception of himself and the world, and consequently, his emotions, motives and actions. He considered social relations constructive and healthy only when they include equality, interaction and a spirit of cooperation. The concept of social feeling can be considered a key in the Adler concept of the individual as a social being. Personality in its formation is social.
Adler holds a priority in asserting that the aggression, which he originally called the will to power, has a fundamental significance in human life. People who experience discomfort because of small growth, for example Napoleon, develop a compensatory struggle for power. Adler paid much attention to such human qualities as the will to power, the desire for excellence, and considered them to be priority forces in the activities of the human psyche. Thus, according to Adler, aggression is the result of an inferiority complex action. In the mind the opposite feeling appears: "I am the best of all." The rest of his life is devoted to proving this and very often - at any cost.
The inferiority of a person, as Adler believes, is revealed only in relation to the environment. He believed that the adaptation of man to society is the most important psychological function of the individual. Responsibility, loyalty, frankness, truthfulness, etc. - these are the virtues that arise and are supported by the unshakable principles of social life. Personality, according to Adler, can not be formed unless it instills in her a deep consciousness of unity with humanity and does not teach the art of being a whole man.
Adler believed that we are not able to think, feel, desire, act without a goal. In a world where there is no purpose, every action would remain at the stage of a disorderly feeling, saving the psychic life would be unattainable: without integrity and purposefulness, we would be equal to a living being of the rank of an amoeba. In an inanimate world, apparent causality is evident. In life - more space owes.
This is the conclusion of Adler. Any psychic phenomenon, if it should help us understand a person, can be understood or understood only as a movement towards the goal. The ultimate goal for each person arises consciously or unconsciously, but its meaning is always unknown. The psychoanalyst illustrates this with a remarkable example. It is impossible to wrest mental processes from context. For example, a person has a bad memory. Suppose, Adler argues, that he realized this circumstance, and the test revealed a low ability to memorize meaningless words.
What follows from this? Traditional psychology would state that this patient suffers from a congenital or disease-induced defect, in particular, with difficulty remember words. Individual psychology approaches this problem quite differently. As soon as it is possible to draw a definite conclusion about the violation of organic matter, the question is posed: what is the purpose of memory weakness? What does it matter to her?
Adler is one of the prominent representatives of psychoanalysis.
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