Mon 21st December 2009, 4:50pm
QUOTE(Somey @ Thu 26th November 2009, 9:36pm)
QUOTE(wjhonson @ Thu 26th November 2009, 10:09pm)
Would you be interested in explaining a bit about what you mean by this name?
Given that "transference" is the psychological term that usually refers to the projection of one's feelings for an important figure in one's past onto a different figure in one's present-day life, my guess is that this is a kind of "macrosocial" version of that, as it might apply to interactive websites or other online communities... In other words, your favorite Facebook group may be nothing like your favorite Wikipedia sub-cabal, but if you begin to feel comfortable, accepted, or influential within the Facebook group, you might begin to internally ascribe characteristics to that group that are similar to that of the WP sub-cabal, even if the group is completely different in almost every important respect.
Freudian shrinks tend to use the word in a narrower way, for the phenomenon in which the shrink begins benefitting, by being held in the same awe-struck mindless surrender-of-all autonomy that small children feel for their parents. Or, alternately, the feeling that females feel for a male who is anybody BUT their parents, about the time of pubertal-rebellion. The shrink thus becomes a sort of guru, able to give orders to a patient who does not question them, rather like the military does to 19-year-old recruits, or Manson-type figures do to young female followers.
A certain amount of transferece is necessary for psychotherapy even to work, so goes the theory, since if you (as patient) do not "transfer" some ridiculous amount of over-trust to the therapist/teacher, the skepiticism that naturally attends being asked to tell some nerd you don't know about your earliest memories of your mother, or knowledge of your parents having sex
(say), will keep anything from working.
My own feeling is that "transferrence" is just the private Freudian language term for a phenomenon which has been noticed by many people in many social situations, and called by many names. It is the phenomenon behind mass-movements, creation of true believers, and cults. It's even the phenomenon behind hypnosis, in which there must be more-or-less willing surrender of autonomy to another.
It has an interesting relationship to proxy-transference of power in liquid democracies. It's sort of how humans have solved problems in small bands without using an overt voting scheme, for zillions of years. Basically, what happens is that everybody picks out their "heros" and decides to do what the God-King says. This saves on a lot of anxiety about making ones' own decisions.
It must go down in the guts of small-band primate behavior, since it's seen in all cultures. This kind of autonomy-surrender and extreme group-identification (with loss of personal boundaries) has also long been noticed to happen much more effectively and quickly in small groups placed under continuous stress, such as a platoon in battle conditions, or some high-stress military training. Such conditions are therefore deliberately replicated by cults, where the members are suffocated, sweat-lodged, yelled at, or even made to sit in some room and listen to some asshole with a mic, and not allowed to use the bathroom (see Werner Erhard's early EST seminars). If you surrender even the most primitive decisions like when you releave yourself to somebody else, you're activating this particular social circuit.
Of course, there are ironies. In the EST thing (which I resisted and never did) I was told by others who'd done the "training" that the whole message at the end of the training, was some Emersonian message that you didn't have to pick gurus, and that you could make your own decisions, including when to pee. So the irony is that they finally gave you permission to do what I long ago gave myself permission to do, without spending any training money.
N.B. I suppose I'm personally not very susceptable to whatever-this-is. I can't be hypnotized, for example. I've been telling people "representing" organized religions to fuck-off and take their scam elsewhere, since about the age of 20. And for some time I've been aware that the same types of scams operate in just about all groups, from businesses to governments. At some point, you just realize that all emperors have no clothes, and are nude. A lovely parable, that one.