Professor Howard S. Schwartz
Oakland University, USA
Howard S. Schwartz is a professor of organizational behavior at Oakland University. His PhD is from Cornell University. His research addresses the psychodynamics of organizational self-destruction, most recently through the vehicle of political correctness. He was one of the founders of the International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations.

He has published:

Narcissistic Process and Corporate Decay: The Theory of the Organization Ideal. New York University Press.

The Revolt of the Primitive: An Inquiry into the Roots of Political Correctness. Transaction Publishers.

Society Against Itself: Political Correctness and Organizational Self-Destruction. Karnac Publishers

Praise for Society Against Itself

"Society Against Itself is an extraordinary and timely book. It is in the great tradition of psychodynamically-based culture criticism from Sigmund Freud to Weston La Barre and M.D. Faber. With passion, thoughtful analysis, and rich case studies, Professor Schwartz refutes the widely-held ideology of political correctness (PC). At the same time, he explores its appeal. He shows that, far from enriching democracy, PC sabotages it. It fosters lockstep thinking and the inability to learn from experience. At the unconscious level, PC marks the overthrow of Oedipality by preoedipality: the triumph of the mother renders the father impotent and irrelevant. This book deserves the widest possible audience, and Professor Schwartz has done the utmost to write it in an accessible language. One need not be a psychoanalyst or psychoanalytically-oriented organizational researcher to be enriched by it. The future of democratic governance and education depends on books like this to nourish it. Society Against Itself is certain to provoke controversy - a conversation that our society sorely needs to have."
- Howard F. Stein, Ph.D., University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma USA.

"Howard Schwartz's latest book will delight some, infuriate others and should scare the living daylights out of any thinking person. For if his analysis is correct, Western civilization is on a path of self-destruction. This will come not out of external factors such as terrorism or environmental degradation, but, as Freud said a propos of all death, for reasons internal to itself. Having lost faith in objectivity and external reality, we have lapsed into a collective hysteria of wishful thinking and fantasy. Society Against Itself speaks with the voice of a prophet. It demands to be heard. But can we still bring ourselves to listen to such voices?"
- Yiannis Gabriel, Ph.D., Professor of Organizational Theory, University of Bath, author of Storytelling in Organizations.

"Building upon careful case studies of self-destructive behavior in several familiar organizations in the U.S. - including Harvard University, the Ford Motor Company, the United Church of Christ, Antioch College, the New York Times, and the Cincinnati Police Department - Howard Schwartz shows how the anti-Oedipal moral tyranny of political correctness turns organizations against themselves by overvaluing the female and motherly concern for equal love and undervaluing the male and fatherly concern for achievement and rational order. The cumulative effect of Schwartz's incisive analyses of these cases alarms and sickens as the reader watches the slow-motion collapse of these organizations, with erosion of the public confidence and good will on which they depend. Schwartz's argument is powerful, important, and original. His prose is lucid, spirited, and engaging. I strongly recommend this brilliant and lavishly sensible book to all who are interested to know what is really happening to organizations in America today."
- Lloyd Sandelands, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology and Professor of Management and Organization, University of Michigan.

"Howard Schwartz takes us far beyond the commonplace explanations of our economic and organizational crises in this pioneering work, into a deep understanding of the psychological dynamics that underlie our difficulties. In doing so he brings us into contact with profoundly important aspects of our contemporary cultural situation and illuminates many essential contradictions that must be confronted if we are to remain vital in the 21st century. Schwartz has the courage to question some of our most cherished, taken-for-granted, assumptions. In doing so he offers us an opportunity to grapple with essential issues in a fresh and authentic way."
- James Krantz Ph.D., Former President, International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations; Principal, Worklab Consulting.


Culture against Itself: Psychodynamics of the Occupy Wall Street Movement

Among the forces that are shaping our turbulent times are political protest movements, such as Occupy Wall Street. OWS appears to be a protest of capitalism, but their expressions of what they are doing offer little in the way of economic analysis. Their critique is not economic but moral; capitalism is the bad object. The object of the critique is in the mind, but what is it? I analyze Communique #1, their purest self-definition, which reveals that they see us as living in a world of artificial images created by, and serving the interests of, malevolent forces: capitalism is the expression of these forces. I compare this to the movie The Matrix, which sees us as living in a similar world, except that the malevolent forces are not capitalism. I compare these with the Cave allegory in Plato's Republic, which is similar, except the artificial images are not expressions of malevolence. I use psychoanalytic theory to argue that the malevolent object of OWS' critique is the father, who, in fulfillment of the paternal function, forces socialization upon us. The world of artificial images is culture, seen from the standpoint of alienation. I reinforce the claim that the object of their antagonism is the father and the paternal function by analyzing their repudiation of guilt, the psychological foundation of social order.

Keywords: Capitalism, Occupy Wall Street, The Matrix, The Oedipus Complex, Socialization, Debt.

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