|DeMause, Lloyd. Reagan's America. New York: Creative Roots, 1984.
I always suspected that we were crazy. I could have sighted numerous examples to try and prove it, but there would have been just as many to say that this state was natural. Lloyd DeMause has I think provided the final pronouncement in this work.
We are not crazy we just want to be given our birth right of a compassionate birth and unconditional love in our lives. The unfortunate thing is that we try to get these things in the most convoluted forms. We try to crawl back into the womb and then use our repressed anger to tear our way out again through global wars that promise to give us more room to breathe and stretch our wings.
DeMause uses Reagan to illustrate this endless cycle. He shows us how we declare ourselves in the middle of a depression while economically we are in the midst of plenty. Why we are so consumed by our own guilt that we can't build upon our prosperity to bring an end to poverty. Why did Reagan slashed poverty programs sacrificing poor children while spending like a madman on arms?
| DeMause likens the world's politics to the Aztec sacrificial rituals to give us some
perspective. We reach a level of prosperity and then must sacrifice to absolve our guilt of
having too much. The fault of the book is that it does not give reasons for or solutions from this
insane whirl-pool of twisted logic. Although he does make many references to Reagan's
childhood and his alcoholic abusive father this premiss is not taken far enough. Maybe it is
because I have read other books by DeMause like Foundations of Psychohistory that I had
hoped for more. Even the end of the book leaves me hanging. I am saved from disappointment
by two things: time and prior reading. I know that DeMause's work revolves around the
supposition that we relive the four matrices of birth: in the womb, change of environment
before birth, in the birth canal, and emergence into the world. I would have felt very frustrated if
I had finished the book in 1985, now I can see how the sequel has developed and devolved
into the gulf war. Again we have thrown away our chance to change history, and slap each
other on the back while we pin medals on our chests.
I know from reading DeMause's other books that things are getting better, but why in hell is it taking so long and so slow. I am almost tempted to lose my patience and throw something.