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Hanna, W.J. (1963). Splitting the Case of the Soviet Delegates in the United Nations Security Council. Am. Imago, 20(2):175-185.

(1963). American Imago, 20(2):175-185

Splitting the Case of the Soviet Delegates in the United Nations Security Council

William John Hanna, Ph.D.

“The primary aim of [the] application of [psycho]-analysis to politics,” writes Money-Kyrle, “is to discover the nature and extent of whatever unconscious processes may influence our political desires, feelings, and beliefs.” (8) The present investigator has recently completed an analysis of the speeches of Soviet delegates in the United Nations Security Council during the period 1946-1960. (Some writings of Stalin and Lenin were also analyzed to provide context for the speeches.) The coding categories were so designed that the use of the mechanism of personality defense called “splitting,” perhaps a universal phenomenon, could be studied in a specific case. The results are reported in this article.

Theoretical Orientation

Most objects in man's environment are not completely helpful or completely harmful, but a mixture or synthesis of the two. “This merging of the good and bad into one [its] the conflict of ambivalence. (9) The mature and healthy personality is usually able to cope with this situation; inability to cope leads to the use of mechanisms to ward off the resulting anxiety. “Ambivalence…is what all previous defences have tried to avert.” (9) On this subject, Bronfen-brenner writes, “In the face of complex social reality…consistency is typically accomplished by obliterating distinctions and organizing the world in terms of artificially-simplified frames of reference.

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