February 23: priority magic

In Totem and Taboo Freud has a notion later termed priority magic to designate the sense of permission that a powerful person can give you when he or she does something that maybe is not normally permissable. The initial powerful actor takes all the guilt onto themselves and makes that act available for others. Once the unspeakable is spoken it is no longer unspeakable. In general, we do not allow ourselves this role. We wait for another and then we follow. I suppose you would call the initial adumbrator of the act a creative perso; he goes into the unknown. People are loathe to go there. They and society prefer trends. In other words, well worn paths. There are commecial reasons for this, of course. The actor of priority magic is not necessarily engaged in a moral act. Indeed, most of the charismatic evil leaders of recent history have sprinkled priority magic and made acceptable to their followers fascism, brutality, racism. You would not want to follow someone because of charisma.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s