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Levy, N.J. (1966). Discussion. Am. J. Psychoanal., 26(2):166-168.

(1966). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 26(2):166-168


Norman J. Levy, M.D.

In 1946, on the occasion of the 5th anniversary of the Association,

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we had the privilege of hearing Dr. Harold Lasswell express his views on psychoanalysis and politics.1 Then, as now, he was interested in changing the image of man. In fact he wrote, “I therefore suggest that in the long run we who are devoted to human dignity and human politics will use psychoanalysis for the great purpose of creating a society capable of molding people fit for the exercise of power; further, we will be aided by psychoanalysis in remolding the institutions of our society, not only to create and select persons, but to make it possible for them to live up to their highest potential in the concrete situation of every day life.”

The following year he presented his views on “The Data of Psychoanalysis and the Social Sciences”2 at one of our Academy of Medicine meetings. In that scholarly paper he indicated that psychoanalysis can contribute to general enlightenment by making available for public use authentic examples of how tension-insecurity-producing tendencies can be discovered and ameliorated by free association and that they “can serve in an expert jury to report their best judgment concerning the impact of institutions on personality,” using case summaries as supporting data. In this way they can stimulate and guide social scientific research.

His paper today still reflects that spirit of optimism. He believes that man not only should change but

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