Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), the famous Viennese Jewish psychologist, father of the “couch,” or “confessional” talk therapy, introduced a profound sexual theory in which libido explained what was formerly called mayhem and cannibalism. In The Future of an Illusion (1927), Freud suggests cannibalism, along with incest, was an instinct. Cannibalism, always involving mayhem, is directly linked tolibido. In Totem and Taboo (1918), Freud describes various cases of incest, and suggests that sexual taboos develop precisely around the most powerful but self-destructive desires. (Civilization simply harnesses or re-channels these dreadful desires.)
But Islam glories in removing sexual taboos. The brutality of Islam, so unprecedented in modern times, is the studied absence of civilized inhibition.
What inspires such horrid Islamic acts of bodily dismemberment—the beheadings, the chopping off of body parts, the compulsive delight in blowing to pieces the human body, and the ghastly acts of cannibalism?
Barbarity we thought characterized more primitive man, in more primitive times. Tribal people have always relished the grotesque. Indulgent violence is part of what it means to be “heathen.”
But, according to Freud, barbarity is man, at any time, primordial, bizarre, and even mystical.
Cannibalism, as sexual desire, is the ultimate union of two separate entities. Union, the coming together of separate entities, is the object of all sexual desire. By cannibalism, two entities become one in the most literal way. (This union accounts for the thinly sublimated cannibalism of the vampire legend, and the everlasting popularity of the Dracula story.)
Mayhem is only the foreplay of cannibalism. Murderers who have eaten the bodies (or body parts) of their victims always dismember the body first.
Islam, world famous for mayhem, is also famous for cannibalism. The “religion” of Islam honors this very worst human denigration. (And Muslims accuse Jews of blood eating? This is simply projection, with an odd twist of impotence.)
Islamic abuse of women, the brutal beatings, killings, and dismemberings, are normative in Islam. On the other hand, the reward of the faithful is a harem of seventy virgins. Islamic reality and fantasy clearly exhibit psycho-pathological conflict and perversion.
Islam’s notorious terrorism—a suicidal pervert’s mass-murdering slaughter—is mayhem on steroids. Mayhem en mass. Delight in this practice is a clarion declaration of sexual perversion in the Freudian sense. The “lust for killing” (mentioned in The Future of an Illusion) is clearly sexual in nature—demonstrated by the nature of its exhibition: mayhem, or dismemberment. Islamic cannibalism is but the climax of the psychological perversion.
Islam may also involve supernatural influence. Normally, sexual desire is sublimated by religious energy and its cultural accoutrements. But, what today is called “radicalization” of a Muslim simply means the person is given to the libido unleashed, through the supernatural—expressed through long-established cultural modes.
But Freud warned the young Swiss psychologist Carl Jung (1875-1961) to keep sexual theory separate from the supernatural. Jung recalls a conversation with Freud in 1907 (in Vienna):
“My dear Jung, promise me never to abandon the sexual theory. That is the most essential thing of all. You see, we must make a dogma of it, an unshakable bulwark against the black tide of mud—of occultism.” See, C. G. Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, ed. Aniela Jaffé, trans. Richard Winston (1961; rpt. New York: Vintage, 1989), p.150. Sex is more manageable than the supernatural.So, the power of Islam is libido unleashed by the impetus of the supernatural. It is precisely belief in the supernatural, which unleashes the libido. It may be that all religion is liable for some degree of amalgamation with unleashed libido. Indeed, Freud says as much in Civilization and its Discontents (1929).
Yet, Judeo-Christian westerners understand religion as a restraint. Ancient Hebrew religion involved animal slaughter (sacrifice) for food, but modern Judaism no longer has such a ritual. Christianity, on the other hand, aggrandizes the historical slaughter of one human being, for forgiveness, thus psychologically turning the libido on its head, and does finally allow religion to function as a restraint.
But Islam shows us how lethal libido is unleashed through belief in magic, in the context of barbarous cultural identity with historical, collective support.