chapter  12
18 Pages

Old Man of the Horde

WithHelen Walker Puner, Erich Fromm, Paul Roazen, S. P. Puner

For Thomas Mann, Totem and Taboo opened up “for the reader interested in the questions confronting mankind, a boundless perspective and threw light into the spiritual past, the early historical and prehistorical moral, social and mystical depths of human development.” The ideas he set forth in Totem and Taboo had been simmering in Freud’s mind for many years. It may simply have been coincidence that Freud himself in his situation acted in a manner resembling the old man of the horde. Or it may have been one of those bits of psychic irony which characterized his life. But it is more likely that these assumptions of Freud’s, like all his assumptions, arose out of the spiritual climate of his own life. The old man of the horde as he emerged from the pages of Totem and Taboo was an all-powerful, jealous, domineering, wilful father who imposed his dictates on his sons, ruled the roost with a will of iron.