Typos p. 77: Issac [= Isaac]; p. 77: Issac [= Isaac]; p. 80: was was [= was]; p. 80: circumstansces [= circumstances]; p. 80: mutul [= mutual]; p. 81: esestablished [= established]; p. 84: breathelessly [= breathlessly]; p. 84: thouget [= thought]; p. 84: dieEifersucht [= die Eifersucht]; p. 84: seimem [= seinem]; p. 84: Lesser [= Leser]; p. 156: jeaousy [= jealousy]; p. 157: frugual [= frugal]; p. 157: snsuality [= sensuality]; p. 158: contry [= country]; p. 158: developes [= develops]; p. 158: couscious [= conscious]; p. 161: agés [= âgés]; p. 161: celà parait [= cela paraît]; p. 161: iles [= îles]; p. 161: auxilliary [= auxiliary]; p. 161: mechanims [= mechanism]; p. 162: and Civilisation [= und Civilisation]; p. 162: Gese llschaft [= Gesellschaft]
Sexual jealousy and civilization
Anthony M. Ludovici
(with summaries in French and German)
The International Journal of Sexology 3, 194950, pp. 7684, 154162
- p. 76 -
On one occasion, in a train travelling to London early in 1917, when the appalling and largely futile losses of the Somme battles were fully known, I had the uncomfortable feeling that there was more than mere fortitude in the boasts of one of these war-bereaved fathers, and, when he finished recounting his acts of vicarious sacrifice, I quickly interposed: "Yes! I shall never cease to deplore that my father is too old for combatant service. I should so willingly have sacrificed him to win the war." An awkward silence followed. Then one or two of my more alert subaltern friends burst out laughing and I saw the bereaved stranger stare at me with an expression of mortal loathing.
Evidently he had not pondered, as I had done, the highly venerable tradition to which he had unwittingly shown himself loyal and true the tradition of the blithe sacrifice of sons by their fathers. That this tradition argues a quite unconscious hoary and deeply repressed jealousy of the young male in the hearts of his seniors throughout human history and pre-history, is a fact which to this day is neither widely recognized nor, if recognized, readily admitted. Sign-posts in plenty, however, point unmistakably to it.
We have but to recall certain Greek myths, not excluding even that of Ouranos-Chronos, in order to appreciate how old must be the blind recognition (blind, because leading to no pregnant inferences) of the deep hostility of the old towards the young male among the various races of mankind. (For we may be sure Ouranos had had terrible provocation for his terrible deed.) One hardly needs, for instance, to be reminded of Abraham's exceedingly suspicious fortitude in acquiescing in God's monstrous command to sacrifice Issac. The Bible texts make no concealment of it and show that, at the moment of meekly fulfilling God's command, Abraham did not know or even guess that the old Jehovah was not really in earnest. Nor can we help wondering whether, in the original source of this fantastic legend, a profound wish thought may not have found expression.
Misha, the Moabite king, who sacrificed his eldest son to the Lord by burning him alive, perpetrated this deed apparently on his own initiative. But, as for Hiel, the Bethelite, who built Jericho, we are told that he was directed by the Lord, through the agency of Joshua, to lay the foundations of the city on the body of his first-born, Abiram, and to set up its gates on the body of his youngest son, Segub. So that in this case it is probable that we have, not a legend, but a historical fact, and one which seems to show that the sacrifice of a son or two by a father was a more or less familiar feature of the traditions of the people concerned. The idea of the Deity's instigation in such cases was in all likelihood merely a rationalization. Thus, although in Abraham's case the Lord appears not to have been in earnest, the author of the myth would have had no reason to suppose the demanded sacrifice a monstrous exception even if the Lord had seriously intended it to be consummated. The Lord's subsequent behaviour in the history of his people certainly seems to indicate that, in their eyes, he was capable of making such a demand in dead earnest.
The very process of rationalizing such sacrifices as divine commands, however, argues a wish-thought of no slight potency, and it may be that the probably historical case of the building of Jericho constitutes the most solid evidence we have that this wish-thought was the root-cause of such immolations and of the legends relating to them.
As for the willing sacrifice of his "Only begotten Son" by the New Testament God, in order to save mankind, it has always struck me that it showed not only exceedingly suspicious but also cynical fortitude. For, whereas Abraham, in elaborately preparing for his son's death by fire, at least acted at the bidding of a higher power to whom he felt he owed obedience (the same argument applies to Hiel); whereas the proposed sacrifice of Issac was in no sense his idea, no matter
Indeed, if we closely scrutinize this myth of an omnipotent deity choosing the cruel death of his only son in order to effect an end susceptible of achievement by any number of other means, it is hardly possible not to infer that there must be high probability for any theory which postulates the existence, from the very dawn of human history and even before that, of a deep and shamefully repressed jealousy of the young, on the part of the older male, and that its root is sexual.
It is certainly noticeable in the animal world, among the herbivorous mammals in particular; whilst among monkeys it has also been observed that the senior males who lead the hordes resist to their last breath all attempts of the younger males to approach the females. Some biologists report that older male monkeys have actually been seen hurling their juniors headlong down precipices and steep rocks to their death.
In certain primitive cultures this jealousy appears blatantly and shamelessly as a feature of the sexual life of the people. We are told, for instance, that in some Australian tribes the senior males are so powerful and sexually acquisitive that young men, quite unable to obtain females of their own generation, are compelled to consort with their seniors' rejected hags. We are also reliably informed that the Fuegians "are exceedingly jealous of their women, and will not allow any one, if they can help it, to enter their huts, particularly boys." Examples could, in fact, be multiplied almost indefinitely.
The fact is that this feature of human communities is at once so marked and so universal that it has probably played if not a leading certainly a most important role in the genesis of social patterns and, above all, in the canalization of human energy in a direction away from sexual expression. Dr. Westermarck recognized at least the first of these consequences; for he observed: "That jealousy is a powerful agent in the social life of civilised nations is a fact which it is unnecessary to dwell upon." (History of Human Marriage, Chapter VI); whilst first Freud and then Unwin have sufficiently emphasized one aspect of the second consequence to make it almost a commonplace in modern thought. Thus Freud declares: "it is impossible to ignore the extent to which civilization is built up on renunciation of instinctual gratifications, the degree to which the existence of civilization pre-supposes the non-gratification (suppression, repression, or something else?) of powerful instinctual tendencies." Later on in the same book, he says of culture: "it obtains a great part of the mental energy it needs by subtracting it from sexuality." (Civilization and its Discontents, Chapters III and IV). Unwin also claims that, "When the sexual opportunity is reduced almost to a minimum, the resulting social energy produces 'great accomplishments in human endeavour' and 'civilization'." (Sex and Culture, Chapter IV, Para. 155.)
Neither Freud nor Unwin, however, relates these restrictions on sexual opportunity to jealousy, or gives any hint regarding the probable major role this passion, especially in the older male, has played, in initiating the curtailment of sexual expression in the young and, in
But when we examine the so-called "advanced" cultures which have culminated in the production of present-day civilization, one fact, of great importance, strikes us, and that is not only the universal traditional restrictions placed upon the sexual opportunities of both sexes during adolescence and early adulthood but also, and above all, the traditional belief (or superstition if you will) prevailing in civilised countries that adolescent and young males and females "are not ready for sex-expression" ("ready" being understood here in its psycho-physical and not in its economic sense); or that they are not in prime condition for sex-expression; or (even more benighted!) that they do not need sex-expression.
The way this is taken for granted, the complacency with which the mature of every generation, especially in Anglo-Saxon countries, have regarded it as so much a commonplace as never to question it, and have come to look on all phenomena which conflict with it as aberrant or morbid, has in these countries lent so much force and weight to the convention of total adolescent sex-abstinence, that the adolescents themselves, despite the compelling evidence of their own impulses, accept it as a natural fact, and therefore tend individually to interpret their nonconformity vis-à-vis of the convention as peculiar to themselves and consequently as something both abnormal and shameful.
What can be the explanation of this convention? For it is quite inconsistent with the biological facts.
In a book recently published in America, entitled Sexual Behaviour in the Male, the authors, Drs. Alfred C. Kinsey, Wardell B. Pomeroy and Clyde E. Martin, have, to the astonishment of the whole civilized world of adults, shown that, in the male, "the maximum sexual frequencies (total outlets) occur in the teens. Frequencies then drop gradually but steadily to old age." (Chapter VII). And they add: "in our society as it is, the highest point of sexual performance is, in actuality, somewhere around 16 or 17 years of age. It is not later . . . the peak capacity occurs in the fast growing years prior to adolescence: but the peak of actual performance is in the middle or later teens." (Ibid.)
They point out that these facts will cause surprise as "general opinion would probably have placed it [the peak of sexual performance] in the middle twenties or later." Included among those who hold this erroneous view, they mention "even physicians and biologists". (Ibid.)
Thus, they conclude quite truly, society, (i.e., modern Western society) "fails to recognize that the teen-age boys are potentially more capable and often more active (sexually) than their 35 year old fathers". (Ibid.)
Why does society fail in this respect? It cannot be due to ignorance, for every mature male has been an adolescent and knows the facts. Probably every normal mature male in our society, moreover, has some bitter memory, either of conscience alone, or else of a more public nature connected with his school or family life, in which his elders' tacit but arbitrary denial of his sexual appetite when it was at it peak, figures as the cause of some shameful or deplorable incident.
I submit that the whole tradition of sexual restrictions affecting adolescents, the whole of the present tacit assumption alleging the lack of any adolescent need of sexual expression, and the whole of the absence of any regular or regularized provision for a sexual outlet among adolescents in our society, is now little more than a quite unconscious but deeply approving acquiescence, on the part of mature moderns, in an attitude, probably in its more intensified form about three centuries old now, which has its roots in the jealousy with which senior males, and to some extent senior females also regard their most formidable competitors in the field of carnal pastimes.
We know that this jealousy has always existed, and that it has probably acted, throughout the centuries of historical times, as a means of steadily postponing sexual expression in young people, or otherwise limiting it. In fact we can hardly account for the neurosis which is civilization unless we assume that some form of curtailment of sexual opportunity
For, if all civilization is a neurosis and this can hardly be seriously contested now it was always prone, in the twinkling of an eye, to become a psychosis. Increase the pressure on the lid and the boiling liquor will seek an outlet in the maddest ways, even to the point of bursting the sides of its container. And in this connection we should not forget the steadily increasing number of investigators, from Freud and Unwin to Dr. Trigant Burrow, who have for many years now been alleging a universal neurosis of modern mankind.
Turning now to the so-called "Industrial Revolution," from which we of the West derive nearly all our most important technological complications of life, and after which the face of the civilized world suffered more changes, and more rapid changes, than it had ever experienced between the dawn of civilization and say, the year 1760; turning, now, I say, to this momentous and large scale convulsion, and bearing in mind that its origins lay in England, we have, on the basis of Freud's and Unwin's thesis, to discover some equally violent innovation in the sphere of sexual repression that would adequately account for the sudden spurt in inventiveness, research, material production, adventure and restlessness of all kinds, which characterized the period from about 1760 onwards. And, according to Unwin, we have to look for this new force in the sphere of sexual expression some hundred years before its effects began to be noticeable.
A hundred years from 1760, however, takes us back to within only ten years of the Puritan Rebellion, one of the most grandiose displays of unconscious sexual jealousy that was was ever staged subsequently to that of the early Christians in the first centuries of our era. Admittedly it was more localized than the earlier manifestation of jealousy-inspired sex-phobia; but, on that account, it was probably all the more concentrated and determined. For what the English and Scotch Puritans aimed at was nothing short of reducing sexual performance to the absolute minimum. Not only did they try to stamp out those pastimes which brought the sexes together in circumstansces favourable to mutul stimulation dancing, theatrical entertainments, open-air sports, gatherings round the Maypole, etc., but they also passed special Acts which made "fornication" a penal offence. On May 10th, 1650, any sexual intercourse outside marriage was made punishable by three months imprisonment for both parties involved. Three months later, on August 9th, 1650, a further Act made it a penal offence, subject to six months imprisonment, to condone fornication, or to think it right and proper. And this same Act ordained that anyone who, having once been convicted of the crime of merely thinking fornication right and proper, was convicted a second time, should be banished and, failing his appearance at the port of embarkation, put to death. To this day worshippers at a Church of England service still chant in the Litany: "From fornication and all other deadly sin, Good Lord deliver us."
There were numerous other enactments and regulations in harmony with the spirit animating the above mentioned Acts (see my Defence of Aristocracy, Chapter V.); but these need not be gone into here. Enough has been said about this matter to give the reader of the present article some idea of the ferocity with which the object sexual repression was pursued by these men of the middle of the 17th century, seething with sexual jealousy.
True, there was a reaction. But it affected the masses much less than the ruling classes; for even the Merry Monarch himself was unable to revive for his
Thus, for one hundred years, exactly the interval Unwin held to be necessary for the effects of repressed sexuality to bear fruit, the people of this country and Scotland suffered a degree of opportunity curtailment in the sphere of sex which probably exceeded anything of the kind ever experienced before in any nation. Because although, as G. G. Coulton has taken infinite pains to prove, Puritanical views and practices were by no means unknown prior to the Reformation, it was not until 1649 that a political Party, obsessed by sexual jealousy, ever succeeded in attaining to complete power in any European country, and was therefore in a position to give legislative expression to their obscene passion.
The Puritan Movement did not, of course, affect boys in particular. It spread its blight over all males and females within the reproductive span of life with equal impartiality. It is, however, only reasonable to suppose, in view of the spirit that actuated it, that what was not to be tolerated among adults was likely to be even less permitted among their juniors. We should, therefore, be justified in assuming, even in the absence of the relevant evidence, that adolescents, because of the very prevalence of sexual jealousy among senior human beings in any case, but above all, because of the high religious respectability the power of the English and Scottish Puritans had recently imparted to repressive measures inspired by sexual jealousy, however unconscious, had the principles of sex-phobia more ruthlessly inculcated upon them than upon any other age-group in the two nations.
In this connection, at all events, the compilers, of the Kinsey Report make a very interesting remark which bears out my surmise. They say, "the high capacity of the young male was recognized and rather widely accepted until near the Victorian day in England." Now 1760 is sufficiently near the "Victorian day" to be able to stand as the probable date when the worst consequences of the Puritan triumph came to bo felt. That its influence had operated long before is obvious. But the enormous spurt of energy, directed away from sex, which began to gather momentum in 1700 as the outcome of what had happened a century earlier, naturally increased in tempo as the eighteenth century drew to a close, and this acceleration not only continued right through the ensuing hundred years, but has also been maintained to this day.
When, however, we bear in mind what had happened; when, in the light shed on the matter by the Kinsey Report, we appreciate that, at least in the male sex (and, I believe contrary to the view taken by the compilers of this Report, in the female sex too), there was a repression of the sexual energy, not merely during its waning period, not merely after it had begun to decline, (i.e., from the early twenties onwards) but at its peak, at the zenith of its capacity, we can hardly wonder that the repercussions of this repression manifested themselves in such a tropical luxuriance of cultural complications as the period of the Industrial Revolution reveals. Indeed, we begin to understand how it came about that everywhere, in every sphere of human life science, industry, commerce, engineering, discovery and research an activity so feverish began to be displayed, and restlessness and mobility became so much the order of the day, that even gratuitous and aggressive interference with communities hitherto neglected if not unknown was both attempted and officially encouraged in regions as remote as the antipodes.
To look on the world of the present day with its thousands of intricate gadgets, mechanical contrivances and labour-saving devices of all kinds, and to remember that only two centuries ago the horse-vehicle was our only means of transport on land, and the wind-jammer our only means of sailing the seas, and that both the horse and the sailing vessel had already served us thus without any change for well over three millenniums before the Industrial Revolution to look, I say, on this complex congeries of accessories which we call Western Civilization and
Nor is this all. For, if we accept Freud's conclusions in Chapters V, VI and VII of his Civilization and its Discontents, we should feel no surprise even when, in surveying our present world, we note, at least in Europe, the vast areas that have been scarred by recent wars. These, too, would then appear to us as no more than the inevitable partial outcome of the sex-repressive values which, although prevalent ever since the first century of our era, suffered unprecedented intensification in the proximate past. For Freud points out that "a powerful measure of desire for aggression has to be reckoned as part of the instinctual endowment," and he sees this lust of aggression in the normal sexual instinct. To reduce the opportunities for sexual expression, therefore, is to leave unused, not only a store of energy to be directed into channels away from sex, but also a store of aggressiveness and combativeness which seizes the first opportunity for expression that circumstances offer. "Sadism", says Freud, "plainly belonged to sexual life the game of cruelty could take the place of the game of love." And, regarding the condition of unstable equilibrium thus created, he says: "Civilized society is perpetually menaced with disintegration through this primary hostility of men towards one another." We now know that this is probably only too true. But the whole of the three chapters in question should be carefully read by anyone who wishes to understand the inevitability of the war-scars which now disfigure large areas of Europe.
And what was this gigantic and irrepressible power which was pent up and suddenly let loose at the inception of our epoch?
We may now confidently assume that it was the accumulated sexual energy of generations of adolescents which had been bottled up when it was at its peak not at its peak qua adolescent sexual capacity, but at its peak qua the male's lifelong sexual capacity. We may now also confidently assert that this bottled up energy was suddenly let loose in England and Scotland, and could hardly have been expected to be so bond-bursting anywhere else, for the reasons examined above. Furthermore, we are now able, on the basis of the existing evidence, to conclude that the original cause of the whole of the neurosis which we call civilization, and which we have fought two World Wars to save, was sexual jealousy. Finally, we may be satisfied that this sexual jealousy manifested itself in an acute form in England and Scotland during the 17th century, and was perpetuated thereafter in these same countries in a manner far more determined and ruthless than was even the sex-phobic crusade which suddenly burst on the Graeco-Roman world at the dawn of our era.
Why the sexual jealousy of seniors should happen to have manifested itself in England and Scotland with far greater violence and far more world-shattering effects than anywhere else cannot be gone into here. It is a subject of immense interest, with which I shall try to deal in a further article. For the present, however, owing to the limitations of space, I must conclude with a few brief comments on the response given by three publicists to the principal hair-raising findings of the Kinsey Report. I refer to Dr. Alex Comfort's Barbarism and Sexual Freedom (1948) and Morris L. Ernst and David Loth's Sexual Behaviour and the Kinsey Report (1949).
In the former book, Dr. Comfort makes it quite evident that he accepts the Kinsey findings in toto, and in his concern about their implications, especially in regard to adolescents, sets out a whole programme of reforms which he thinks would go some way towards providing the age-group which at present is most consistently deprived of socially approved outlets for its sexual energy, adequate measures of relief. Seeing, however, that this age-group is, as he probably rightly asserts, too unprepared and uninstructed to enter permanent marriage, what he proposes is that the members of this group should be
And what does he mean by the term "sexual equivalents"? Practically all those forms of mutual manual or oral stimulation, or "clothed intercourse" which may lead to orgasm being achieved without any accompanying sense of guilt.
"The risks of clothed intercourse," he says, "and of mutual manual stimulation, carried out in such a way as to secure full orgasm, are small, and both parties receive a large measure of satisfaction."
It is perhaps hardly fair to give only these few extracts from the thoughtful section of Dr. Comfort's book devoted to this problem, and to proceed to a criticism of his attitude. The reader would, therefore, be well advised to read his whole book in order to correct any misapprehensions to which my all too brief summary of one of its major recommendations may give rise. I merely selected this major recommendation because it has a direct bearing on the subject of the present article. At all events, even on the basis of my inadequate summary, we may infer from Dr. Comfort's reaction to the findings about adolescents in the Kinsey Report that he wishes to mend the state of affairs in our civilization which, at present at least, provides no socially approved outlet for the male at the time of his utmost sexual capacity; that is to say, while wholly accepting Professor Kinsey's data in his Report, he sets out to provide for the male adolescent what hitherto our society has consistently denied him.
Morris L. Ernst and David Loth do not go as far as this. But one hardly requires to read between the lines in order to obtain the impression that they also, like Dr. Comfort, would welcome reforms which give the adolescent greater freedom and, above all, a cleaner conscience in the full exercise of his sexual powers at the time in life when they are at their peak. For instance, they say: "Whether or not American customs ought to be revised in the light of that fact [the fact of the male's peak capacity and activity in sex being reached in adolescence], whether some socially acceptable outlet would be desirable or whether the tradition of suppression should be maintained, the data revealed in the Kinsey report must result in some enlightened changes in methods dealing with adolescents." (The italics are mine. A.M.L.) Later on in the same chapter they add: "Certainly the social taboos which have been set up and which take no account of the sexual capacity of the adolescent boy need to be reconsidered." (Chapter V). In Chapter X of their book they return to this subject and again express only thinly veiled objections to the restrictions still imposed on adolescent sex-expression. True, they set forth no detailed programme of reforms after the style of Dr. Comfort, and even state explicitly that "it would be well to study the implications before rushing into rash recommendations." But I hope it is not unfair to infer from their general attitude in the matter that they would probably have concurred with Dr. Comfort's proposals had they been aware of them.
Now all this sounds natural and rational enough. It is no more than we might have expected from the first clash of advanced sociological theorists with the facts revealed by Professor Kinsey. In the light of what I have attempted to establish in the body of this article, however, one is inclined to ask Dr. Comfort and Messrs Ernst and Loth, whether they have sufficiently pondered the relation of our Western Culture, both material and spiritual, to the phenomenon of sex-repression. In other words, it seems to me that the question the reader of the Kinsey Report, who is also a student of social problems, should first ask himself, is not "What shall we do to lift the sexual taboos, especially those now restricting the sex-expression of adolescents?" but "Do we really wish to preserve what is called 'Western Civilization'?"
For, if this civilization, with all its admittedly desirable amenities, aesthetic feats, conquests over Nature, and immense productivity, coupled with its equally undesirable and bewildering complications, disharmonies, conflicts, wars and other cruelties, may be regarded as
Without in any way wishing to pose as a defender or lover even of the least ignoble aspects of our civilization, I nevertheless submit that where this monstrous creation of his repressions is concerned, Man cannot hope to have it both ways. He cannot eat his cake and have it. He has fought two World Wars to preserve this alleged precious product of his genius, and he has thought the sacrifice worth while or at least a majority in the Western world have thouget it so. Because it is now strongly suspected that "civilization" is a neurosis, does this majority now think that the sacrifice was a mistake? Do they now repent of having stirred a finger to save the outcome of their ancestors' and their own sexual jealousy?
That seems to me to be the first question to be answered. Then if we decide that, after all, the thing we threw in our last ounce to save was not worth preserving, let us by all means start dismantling its very foundations by introducing reforms which will cure the neurosis of millenniums. Let us abolish every conceivable consequence of sex-jealousy embodied in our customs, our values and our laws, and provide socially approved outlets for the whole of the sexual energy of all our people, including above all our male adolescents.
But to implement the findings of the Kinsey Report along these lines and at the same time to wish to preserve our "Civilization," seems, to me at least, the most romantic folly.
Before moving in any direction, therefore, it would be well to ponder Professor Clyde Kluckhohn's statement that "a Polynesian adolescent who was not promiscuous would be distinctly abnormal" (Mirror to Man, Chapter I), and bear in mind the relative extreme simplicity of the Polynesian culture, For even if we have to make allowances for differences in the endowment for civilization, we still have to reckon with the fact that human energy in the individual is probably a unit, and it cannot be completely used up in one way and yet leave something over for another way.
If, then, our civilization, even when recognized as a neurosis, still strikes us as desirable and worth preserving, we must be prepared, Kinsey Report or no Kinsey Report, to continue to uphold the restrictive measures to which it owes its existence.
Qui n'a pas été frappé par la facilité relative avec laquelle les pères sacrifient la vie de leur fils sur l'autel de la patrie ou pour toute autre cause, religieuse ou magique? Partant de cette constatation, l'auteur étudie, à la lumière des découvertes présentées par le récent Rapport Kinsey, sur le comportement sexuel du mâle, le problème de la jalousie sexuelle des anciens à l'égard des jeunes et celui non moins important de la vie sexuelle des adolescents. Cet article remarquable mérite la peine d'en tenter la lecture dans le texte original. Ses échappées sur les tendances historiques du puritanisme britannique étonneront maint lecteur.
Eine interessante Arbeit über das gegenseitige Verhalten der männlichen Mitglieder einander folgender Generationen bei homo und im Tierreich und eine Betrachtung der Folgen, welche dieEifersucht zwischen Vater und Sohn zeitigt. Mit besonderem Hinweis auf einige der Resultate Kinsey's in seimem kürzlich erschienen Buch, das so viel Aufsehen erregt hat. Es sei dem deutschen Lesser, der genugend englisch beherrscht, empfohlen, diesen amüsanten Artikel im Original zu lesen.
- p. 154 -
The historical facts inculpating the Anglo-Saxons as the principal promoters of our mechanized and acquisitive civilization are well established and nowhere contested. But, although general agreement appears to have been reached on this matter, there has been, so far as I am aware, no scrutiny of the reasons why precisely the English people should ever have been moved to inaugurate and champion the momentous changes which ultimately brought Western Civilization into being. It is not enough to point to England's insular position, her extensive seaboard and seafaring population, her iron and coal, her shipping and the enterprise of her seamen, explorers, traders and adventurers. If we are to know why, in this island, human interests in the mass suddenly became diverted from pastimes, pleasures, pursuits, and emotional and aesthetic concerns, primarily inclined towards humanity, in order to become concentrated chiefly on trade, money-making, mechanized industry, and the exploitation of the earth and its more primitive peoples for the purposes of enrichment and Empire; if we are to know why these relatively negative pre-occupations supplanted warmer, more positive, and less barbarous interests; if, in short, we are to know why, for instance, as early as the third decade of the 18th century, a very sensitive poet, Alexander Pope, warned his countrymen that their proper study was Man *; we have to delve much more deeply and must not be too ready to accept merely economic explanations. We have, in fact, not only to discover the influence which dammed up the original outlets of energy and forced them into other channels, but also to explain why the English in particular were the original generators of this influence and became the centre from which it radiated. As I suggested in my first article, the influence was Puritanism, and Puritanism has its origins in sexual or, better still, sensual jealousy; for the neighbour's enjoyment of good food is also a source of distress to the Puritan.
Now Dr. Robert Briffault derives Puritanism and its habit of regarding "pleasurable indulgence as an evil in itself," from the primitive and savage fear of exciting the envy and jealousy of supernatural beings, and he is doubtless right. Thus, he says: "when it is asked,
* True, Pope was differentiating the study of Man from studies of a more transcendental and metaphysical kind. But it is well to bear in mind that the religious temper of the period, which was inherited from the Puritans, was a force promoting negative interests at the cost of man as a sentient, aesthetic, pleasure-loving and above all love-making being.
This is all very reasonable and, from the standpoint of religious evolution, probably quite accurate. It is, however, strange that Briffault did not go one step further and draw the logical inference from this sketch of the origins of Puritan sex-phobia. And yet this inference is surely palpable. For, since the savage and primitive Man in general can have only the data of his own mental processes to draw upon, when he depicts the nature of his gods or God, we can hardly avoid the conclusion that, if, as a rule, he assumes that pleasurable indulgence excites the envy and jealousy of supernatural beings, it is because he knows that he himself and his fellows are prone to react in this way. If then, among the pleasures of life, sexual indulgence stands high, if not highest, we may safely conclude that, on this very account, it is likely to excite the most envy. Envy in whom? In the gods ! Yes; but, as we have seen, in reality, in men themselves.
To say, then, as Briffault does, that Puritanism has its origin in the belief that the gods are envious of pleasurable indulgence (including, above all, sexual indulgence) amounts to admitting that Puritanism is in part sexual jealousy on the part of Man himself. When, therefore, I state without qualifications of any sort, that Puritanism originates in sexual, or sensual, jealousy, I merely cut a long story short; for, at bottom, Briffault and the anthropologists and ethnologists on whom he relies, say the same thing only less briefly.
The problem is, therefore, why are the English, who, as the exponents and champions of Puritanism outstripped the promoters of the first sex-phobic wave in Europe, peculiarly prone to sexual jealousy and sensual jealousy in general?
On a priori grounds, and on the basis of the derivation of Puritanism from sexual and sensual jealousy, we would be led to assume, first, that the English are of all civilized people most enamoured of the pleasures of venery (on the principle that he is most likely to feel jealousy who is most keenly aware of the pleasures of a certain indulgence), and secondly, as a consequence of the first assumption, that the English are peculiarly sensual. For, to argue that the English are a peculiarly jealous people would involve us in the necessity of proving that they are more jealous than other folk in every respect; which would land us in many absurdities. For instance, there is little evidence to show that the English are inordinately jealous of the French love and cultivation of form, or of German thoroughness, or of Italian high quality in certain engineering work, from the making of bicycle pedals to the designing of battleships, or of the Hindu's mastery in the realm of family relations, or of the Chinese mastery of kitchen gardening. Within England itself, we do not find the people more prone to jealousy of intellectual gifts, or of health, or of industry, in their neighbours, than are the French, the Germans or the Italians of these qualities in their own neighbours.
But, when it comes to venery and other sensual regalements, we are entitled, on the score of England's historical role in Puritanism, to suspect the English of greater jealousy than any other civilized people. Consequently, the conclusion that they are more sensual is at least indicated by the process of reasoning hitherto followed.
Apart from the weight such reasoning may of itself possess, what other indications have we that this conclusion is probably correct?
There is certainly some evidence which shows that the remote ancestors of the Anglo-Saxons, at any rate, manifested the kind of jealousy we are looking for; because in the last century before our era, Cæsar, referring to the ancient Teutons, tells us that "those who remain longest in chastity win greatest praise
When we bear in mind the relative savagery of the people concerned and recall the ruthless and restless energy with which some sections of them raided and devastated Roman Britain, we cannot fail to be struck by the severe repression that such customs must have imposed on their male adolescents, and with the inevitability of its consequences in the form of indefatigable interference with the world outside their native boundaries.
It is doubtful whether Cæsar and Tacitus are to be taken au pied de la lettre in this matter. For both Geoffrey May in recent times (Social Control of Sex Expression, Chap. IV) and Karl Weinhold in 1882 (Die Deutsche Frau In Dem Mittelalter, Vol. II, Chap. 7) question whether the ancient Germans insisted with rigid consistency on premarital chastity. But even if what Cæsar and Tacitus report represented only an ideal, not uniformly realised, it argues a higher degree of adult jealousy of the young in their sexual prime than was noticeable among the Romans, for instance; and the fact that both these writers recorded it as an important feature of the people in question seems to show that they were particularly struck by it.
Again, in a people akin to the ancestors of the Anglo-Saxons the ancient Franks we see, at least in one of their greatest leaders another aspect of this probably quite unconscious adult jealousy of the young, for we are told that Charlemagne (742814) displayed a form of this sexual jealousy which has survived among all classes in England to this very day, and to which I have repeatedly called attention both in my treatises on women and in a novel (The Goddess That Grew Up, 1922) * I refer to that jeaousy of youth which leads the typically adoring father to leave no stone unturned in order to keep his daughter or daughters with him as long as possible, if not until long after they can hope to marry. This kind of paternal aspiration may appear sporadically abroad, but in England it is endemic, although, of course, not always realizable.
Now the learned Einhard informs us that Charlemagne's daughters were exceptionally beautiful (Ungemein schön), and that he loved them tenderly. Quite ingenuously, this scholar of the period then adds: "It is all the more surprising, therefore, that he refused to give any one of them in marriage to one of the men of his suite or his friends. But he said he could not live without their company, and to the end of his days he kept them beside him under his roof." (Johannes Scherr: Geschichte Der Deutschen Frauen, Chap. I.)
The fact that, as history relates, these spinster daughters contrived nevertheless to lead a wild life, is, in view of the pristine stamina of their stock, not surprising. But it is significant that, like thousands of modern English fathers, Charlemagne rationalized his deep reluctance to take any active steps to get them wed and was probably never quite conscious of any other motive than fatherly devotion for keeping them single. The unconscious incest motive may have been operative here, as it is in similar cases in modern English fathers. But it should be remembered that this incest motive itself fortifies even if it does not inspire in mature men a deep jealousy of the young man and the adolescent.
As to the nature of the Anglo-Saxons themselves, when once they had established their supremacy in England, history certainly gives a picture of a people who, up to the very eve of the Norman invasion, in their licentiousness and depravity, leave us in no doubt concerning their sensuality. In both their sexual and gastronomical indulgence, the powerful in the community appear to have been quite reckless of the welfare and happiness of their weaker neighbours, and, above all, of their servant class. Most historians agree on this point; but, to
* Rudolf Besier also made it the main feature of his play The Barrets of Wimpole Street.
Indirect and independent confirmation of William of Malmesbury's gloomy picture of Anglo-Saxon sensuality in the 11th century, on which Coulton's account is based, may perhaps be gathered from the fact that "the Anglo-Saxon Penitentials placed upon matters of sex more emphasis, both in quantity of regulation and in minuteness of detail, than has, probably, any other general code of conduct." (May: Op. cit., Chap. IV). Speaking of the five English Penitentials those of Theodore, Bede, Egbert, Ecgbriht and Edgar compiled over a period of three centuries, from 690 to 963 inclusive, May says of the three first that "in so far as they concern sex, they are unprintable in. English" (Ibid), and he implies that this was owing to the variety of wild perversions they were designed to curb.
If from the existence of these penitentials with their exceptional emphasis on matters of sex, we may infer that they met a need, then they certainly confirm William of Malmesbury's description of the times. Thus, so far, there is nothing in history to conflict with the a priori conclusion that sex-jealousy is an accompaniment of sensuality and is likely to increase pari passu with any increase of the latter. Unfortunately space does not allow of much illustrative documentation of this thesis. Nor are the above details mentioned as adequate proof that the English were a people predestined to launch the historic Puritan movement. They are given merely as indications favouring the claim that the psycho-physical foundations for such a destiny were present in the early founders of this nation. How much these psycho-physical foundations were modified or augmented by subsequent race-mixture, would still require to be investigated before much weight could attach to the evidence of inordinate snsuality in the remote ancestors of the 17th century Puritans. But, as many, including Stubbs and Ripley, have shown, the successive invasions of Britain were conducted by nations of "common extraction," and with the exception of the relatively small influx of foreigners, through immigration, before the 17th century, the psycho-physical characters of the English up to that century can hardly be said to have been much altered by miscegenation. At all events, in the rural areas of England, certainly up to the time of the first World War, no knowledgeable observer could fail to notice the uniformity and prevalence of the Anglo-Saxon type this was above all true of East Anglia and Essex a uniformity and prevalence by the side of which the populations of the larger towns looked nondescript, infinitely differentiated and atypical. So that the strength of any evidence that might be advanced to claim a modification of the English character through race-mixture before the 17th century is hardly of a kind to invalidate altogether a line of argument based on the original nature of the Anglo-Saxons.
If, therefore, this nature was as history depicts it, it is not surprising that it was capable of deep sexual jealousy and consequently of staging the second great European sex-phobic movement, known as Puritanism. For it is significant that
It is also significant, though less generally appreciated, that in the ancient Hebrews themselves, among whom, as I showed in my first article, the cheerful paternal sacrifice of sons was a more or less accepted tradition, there were also marked Puritanical traits. The Old Testament certainly starts off with a story of the first man and woman which would not have discredited Calvin. The shock Adam and Eve received at the spectacle of each other's nakedness after eating of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, is a situation typically Puritanical. For, after all, Eden was not a public park, nor was Adam a park-keeper suddenly confronted by an ardent nudist or exhibitionist. The two were man and wife in the most primitive state imaginable, living in a tropical or sub-tropical climate and naturally dispensed with clothes as millions of savages did only a few generations back and as many do still. To make them rush in confusion to the nearest bushes to deck themselves with foliage was, therefore, a piece of gratuitous pruriency, strangely prophetic of the Puritanical attitude.
Perhaps sidelights on the nature of the Anglo-Saxons might be obtained from a scrutiny of their typical psychology. For although this method of inquiry does not recommend itself to believers, like the present writer, in the oneness of Man as a psycho-physical organism, unamenable to arbitrarily selective analysis, it may reinforce, as by a side-wind, the theory here advanced. It may, therefore, be not unfruitful to examine some of the aspects of Anglo-Saxon psychology, to see how far it harmonizes with the historical part Anglo-Saxons have played in sex-phobia. Now, very few people so far none indeed that the present writer has come across have ever accused the English of being a passionate people. Even Professor Salvador de Madariaga who, in his Englishmen, Frenchmen and Spaniards, ransacks his erudition and exhausts his ingenuity in making bouquets for the people of England, draws the line at granting them passion. On the other hand, the popular fiction and drama of the contry, in order to create the atmosphere of tension essential for suspense, has to pretend that the English are passionate. The plot interest in Hardy, for instance, depends chiefly on this falsification, whereas anyone who is familiar with the population of these islands, especially in rural districts where, as I have already suggested, Anglo-Saxon blood is probably at its purest, inevitably discovers, with genuine astonishment in my own case, that the very situations which, among a passionate people lead to drama and often to tragedy, are precisely of the kind which, in the English countryside, tend to peter out into flat, unexciting incidents of pure sensuality, which provoke no more than gossip and are quickly forgotten. Many arresting examples of this could be given. True, Hardy ultimately confessed that if he had described English village life in its true colours, "no one would have stood it." But not everybody knows this.
The fact is that the English are sensual but not passionate. And this important distinction has a profound influence on their attitude to sensual pleasure in others. For the passionate person forgets himself and his position of hedonistic advantage or disadvantage vis-à-vis of the neighbour, through the intensity of his preoccupation with the object of his passion. Hence the possibility of tragedy owing to the fanaticism of single-mindedness. But the merely sensual person, because he is obsessed by the sensual experience and cannot help regarding the object of his attachment to some extent as a means, tends less to forget the self. He developes a love for love, which is more couscious than his love for the loved one. Indeed, it is not unlikely that it is precisely his keen appreciation of sensual pleasure that
* See, for instance, Dr. Hans Licht (Sexual Life in Ancient Greece, Introduction): "The inmost nature of the Greeks is naked sensuality . . . The whole life of the Greeks (not only their private life) represents solely an exultant creed of sensuality." Dr. Iwan Bloch (Die Prostitution Vol. I, pp. 22930) confirms this.
As an example of the tendency in the non-passionate man or woman to be less concerned about the personal relationship and about the existence of a particular person as an essential condition of happiness, attention might be called to the suspicious fortitude of English women in the face of losses among their menfolk during wars. This is a phenomenon which I noticed in my Woman: A Vindication (Chap. IX) and in my Enemies of Women (Chap. IV). Proust also noticed it among northern French women. (Le Temps Retrouvé, Vol. I), How often do we hear of a young bereaved English wife dying as General Franceschi's did, of sheer grief after her husband's death at the front? Again, where do we see English women behaving as those Spanish women did at Tarifa during the Peninsular War that is to say, rushing out into the streets like furies and dragging their brothers and husbands back by main force to their homes when the British called out a Spanish corps of Volunteers to fight? Where do we see them behaving as those Russian women did in the late war when, just as the Germans were nearing Smolensk, a procession of new recruits was on its way to the station to entrain for the front? As the men climbed into the cattle-trucks, Tanya Matthews tells us, "women clutched on to them, screaming heart-rending words of farewell." And, as the train moved, "women ran after it, stumbling and throwing themselves on the rails, beating their heads against them in despair." (Russian Child and Russian Wife, Chap, IX). Such behaviour is not seen in the non-passionate of England, and this fact lends colour to the suspicion that the English are, in their sexual relationships, more sensual than passionate.
For this reason, other emotional states such as vanity and theatricality, can intrude upon their state of mind even while they are in the condition of being enamoured of some love-object; whereas no consideration of vanity or of what the onlooker may think, can ever disturb the passionate person in his or her relationship to the lover.
The difference is explained in my Woman: A Vindication, (Chap. VIII, 2) where it is pointed out that whilst single-mindedness induced by passion, in a woman for instance, enables her to overlook even being made to appear ridiculous in public, because her concentration on the object of her passion is too absorbing to allow thoughts of other matters, the vain woman, so far from forgiving a scene in which she incurs public ridicule, will measure the precise degree of mortification her vanity has incurred, and will not forgive him who caused the incident, even if he is her lover. But only a merely sensual woman would behave in this way.
Stendhal makes this very clear and therefore regards passion as incompatible with vanity. It is significant, from the standpoint of this essay, however, that he stigmatizes the northern French and the English as vain (Chart. De Parme, Chap. XV and L'Amour, Chap XXVI), and regards the Italian and Spaniard as passionate. Madariaga confines passion to the Spaniard. Bernard Shaw, who perceived another facet of the same psychological character, declared the English to be theatrical. (John Bull's Other Island, Preface). And since the man or woman who, in everyday life behaves theatrically, is obviously concerned about the neighbour's opinion and the impression he or she is making; if this concern extends into the relationship of so-called "love," it argues a lack of passion.
The connexion between both vanity and theatricality and sensuality thus arises out of the fact that the sensual person, through a tendency to lay the chief emphasis on sensual indulgence, and therefore, through his defective concentration on the personal factor in the achievement of the end is free to attend to himself and to the reactions of others to himself. He allows, in fact, other factors to weigh with him. Hence, possibly, the much vaunted and monoto-
It may be that this greater subjectivity of the sensual man or woman, as compared with the passionate, also accounts for the dislike and suppression of gesticulation among English people. The Englishman, never sufficiently concentrated and absorbed in his thoughts to lose his overpowering self-consciousness, cannot forget how his body tries to participate in the expression of his views. And yet, as Schopenhauer correctly pointed out, gesticulation "is a matter of speech and a form of speech which Nature implants in all of us (welche die Natur Jedem eingiebt) and which everyone understands." (Works, Vol. V, Chap. XXVI). He ascribes the English ban on gesticulation to Anglo-Saxon prudery. But, truth to tell, it is the outcome and proof of the Englishman's perpetual self-consciousness, a state of being the very opposite of passion. For it compels the orating Englishman, in mid-torrent, so to speak, to look at himself, see his hands in the air, his arms outstretched, feel his knees perhaps bent, his head on one side and his shoulders shrugged, and suddenly to conclude that, in the observer's eyes, he must look an ass.
But although these psychological traits are at least compatible with the view of the modern Englishman as probably more sensual than passionate, it would be rash to assume that, in the matter of sensuality, those of the present inhabitants of England who are of more or less genuine Anglo-Saxon stock possess the vigour of their forebears of the 17th century, not to mention those of pre-Norman times. For there are many facts recorded by the present writer elsewhere (Choice of a Mate, Part I, Chap. I, and Part II, Chap. III) which point to the conclusion that the age long repression of sex in Anglo-Saxon countries is at last beginning to show its effects in the degeneration of what Corrado Gini calls "the genetic instincts" of both men and women. That these instincts were, however, still robust enough in the 17th century, there is ample evidence to show, and they would sufficiently account for that excessive outbreak of sexual jealousy which led to the Puritan Movement.
At all events, it is to the repressions which this Movement rapidly imposed, especially among the masses of the nation, that the restless energy was due which ultimately changed the face of the civilized and uncivilized world. For, as Briffault declares, "Puritan tradition, combined with the Christian management of adolescence, has converted the sexual life of civilized men and women into a neurosis" (Op. cit. Chap. VIII), and when Freud showed that this neurosis was in fact modern civilization itself, he merely stated what many people had already instinctively felt. Keyserling, in his Travel Diary of a Philosopher, certainly agrees in so far as he says: "It is madness, almost a crime against the Holy Ghost, to ban eroticism from life as the puritanism of all countries has done," (III, xxi) whilst, in view of the exorbitant barbarities that have marked the whole of the so-called "Progress" of the last two hundred years, it is appropriate to remember John Cowper Powys's cry in A Glastonbury Romance, that "the horrible cruelty in the world doesn't come from the pleasures of Eros, but from the puritanism and fanaticism of misguided bigots."
Nor do modern Indian sages appear to need Freud's help in order to guess the solution of the enigma represented by England's past Imperial expansion and colossal wealth; for it will be remembered that the Superintendent of the Shrine of Jaganath at Puri, addressing Yeats-Brown, said: "Your whole material prosperity is based on sex-control which drives you to conquer new worlds." (Bengal Lancer, Chap. XVIII).
One last word: unconscious sexual symbolism is one of the mysteries and constant manifestations of a national culture. It is, therefore, all the more difficult to understand why, so far, so little has been said concerning the sexual symbolism of our mechanized civilization; and this, despite the fact that the Industrial Revolution was, as we have seen, built on sexual repression. If, however, we attempt a narrow scrutiny of our civilization's typical equipment, which is essentially mechanical and if, with the same readiness we display in examining other cultures, we are prepared to recognize sexual symbolism when we see it, what cannot fail to strike us is the fact that the basic mechanical device, the key contrivance, of all our whirling machinery, whether for locomotion or stationary use, is probably one of the most obscene sexual symbols ever unwittingly designed by the wit of man.
When it is remembered that no engine, no ship that ploughs the seas, no plane that sails the skies, can function without it, and that it is the heart, the primum mobile of all our alleged mechanical progress, it seems odd that it should have attracted so little attention. And yet, regarded as a symbol, it is, as I say, probably the most obscene hitherto contrived; for not only is it compound, but it is also a working travesty of the joint sexual function. Taken alone, apart from its associated and auxilliary mechanims and used as a toy, it would be instantly banned. Can this be merely a coincidence? The fact that it is ubiquitous and that it is to be found functioning wherever a crank-shaft converts reciprocating into rotary motion is surely striking. It is as if in every engine, car, plane, or ocean vessel, in every factory or power-station this frightful object, by trying hourly, daily, year in year out, with infinite repetitions and frenzied speed to ape a human function, were supplying a gigantic and extravagant substitute, a prodigious compensation for the countless billions of sexual embraces Puritanism has caused Western humanity for ever to lose. It is as if everywhere on earth, wherever Man moves on wheels, on wings, or on floating keels, wherever he works amid factory machines, somewhere, hidden from sight, but essentially and indispensably, this obscene device indefatigably performs its disgraceful mimicry as a reminder of the erotic sacrifice on which modern Progress has been built.
But is this strange? Should it not have been expected? Or is it really only a coincidence? Even the guru, Bagawan Shri, who did not peer so indiscreetly into the sexual symbolism of Western mechanized civilization, exclaimed to Yeats-Brown, with reference to our factory chimneys: "England is full of monstrous phallic symbols." (Bengal Lancer, Chap. IX). This, too, may seem a pure coincidence. The question is, may not all symbolism perhaps be interpreted as coincidental?
Dans cette deuxième partie, M. Ludovici continue son exposé par une étude des facteurs qui out conduit la societé actuelle et plus particulièrement la societé anglaise, au sentiment de propriétarisme. L'apparition du puritanisme d'une part, et la disparition de l'humanisme an profit de la poursuite de l'argent et de la mise en exploitation des populations primitives d'autre part, sent des phénomènes qui ne se laissent pas aisément éclaircir et qui exigent de nombreux commentaires. Si l'on veut comprendre l'évolution des moeurs sexuelles dans la Grande-Bretagne d'aujourd'hui, il est nécessaire de faire une étude pénétrante et détaillée des moeurs et de la culture en général. L'auteur s'y
Herr Ludovici fährt fort mit einer Untersuchung der Faktoren, welche zu den Eigentümlichkeiten der heutigen Gese llschaft und insbesondere denen der heutigen Englischen Gesellschaft beigetragen haben. Die Erscheinung des Puritanismus einerseits und die Leidenschaftslosigkeit unserer englischen Zeitgenossen andererseits sind nicht leicht widerspruchslos zu erklären. Ein genaues Studium der Kulturgeschichte Englands fördert indes viele Punkte zutage, die bei den bisherigcn Versuchen, die Sexualgeschichte Englands zu schreiben, übersehen wurden.