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Wilson, E., Jr. (1987). Psyche. XXXVIII, 1984: Fear of Dying, and Destructiveness. Horst-Eberhard Richter. Pp. 1105-1123.. Psychoanal Q., 56:604.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Psyche. XXXVIII, 1984: Fear of Dying, and Destructiveness. Horst-Eberhard Richter. Pp. 1105-1123.

(1987). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 56:604

Psyche. XXXVIII, 1984: Fear of Dying, and Destructiveness. Horst-Eberhard Richter. Pp. 1105-1123.

Emmett Wilson, Jr.

Adults, in their narcissistic need to deny the reality and inevitability of death, project this narcissism backwards onto children, supposing them to be without an awareness of death. This is not borne out by those who have dealt with dying children. Children come to learn from adults, however, that death is a taboo subject, and they come to participate in a general cultural repression that today has a particular intensity and form. It was not so in the Middle Ages or even in the eighteenth century. Richter connects this narcissistic repression of the recognition of death with the rise of collective destructiveness. He details the operation of this belief in narcissistic omnipotence and the development of nuclear armaments. This "disease" of destructiveness can only be deterred by removing the denial and repression of death.

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Article Citation

Wilson, E., Jr. (1987). Psyche. XXXVIII, 1984. Psychoanal. Q., 56:604

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