Page:Freud - The history of the psychoanalytic movement.djvu/52

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46
HISTORY OF THE PSYCHOANALYTIC MOVEMENT

from its place in the psychic life. The "masculine protest" certainly exists, but in constituting it as the motor of the psychic life, observation has only played the part of the springboard which one leaves in order to uplift one's self. Let us consider one of the most fundamental situations of the infantile desire; namely, the observation of the sexual act between adults by the child. When the life-history of such persons is later subjected to analysis by a physician, it is found that at this moment the minor spectator was seized by two feelings; one, in the case of a boy, to put himself in the place of the active man, and the other, the opposing feeling, to identify himself with the suffering woman. Both strivings conjointly exhaust the pleasure that might have resulted from this situation. Only the first feeling can come under the head of the "masculine protest" if this idea is to retain any meaning at all. The second feeling, whose fate Adler either ignores or does not know, is really the one which assumes greater significance in the later neurosis. Adler has placed himself so entirely into the jealous confinement of the ego, that he only accounts for such emotional feelings as are agreeable to the ego and furthered by it; but the case of the neurosis, which opposes these strivings, lies beyond his horizon.

Adler's most serious deviations from the reality of observation and his deepest confusion of ideas have arisen in his attempt to correlate the basic principle of his theory with the psychic life of the child, an attempt which has become inevitable in psychoanalysis. The biological, social, and physiological meaning of "masculine" and "feminine" have here become mixed into a hopeless composition. It is quite impossible, and it can easily be disproved by observation, that the masculine or feminine child builds its plan of life on any original undervaluation of the feminine sex; nor is it conceivable that a child can take as the guiding line the wish: "I will be a real man." In the beginning no child has even an inkling of the significance of the difference in sex, more likely it starts with the assumption that both sexes possess the same (male) genital. It does not begin its sexual investigation with the problem of sex differentiation and is far from entertaining the social undervaluation