THE PERMISSIVE SOCIETY by

THE PERMISSIVE SOCIETY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Part of this book is devoted to blaming Freud for what Sokoloff calls the permissive syndrome prevalent in this society, part to crime anecdotes, and part to drugs, sex, and leftwing radicalism. There is a biographical section on Freud serving as an ad hominem argument against his ideas which are misrepresented: Freud himself, of course, believed in control and opposed sexual and other liberties, believing repression and sublimation essential to civilization. Sokoloff complains about Freud's image of man as selfish and aggressive; his own is of a creature whose socialization he likens to breaking a dog's will; children are possessed of destructive ""permissiveness tendencies."" This verbal and conceptual barbarism is also imputed to primitives (though it has been long and widely established that they are ridden with inhibitions and taboos) and to ""some races which prefer pleasure gratification to anything else"" and also ""lack inbred creative instinct."" Sokoloff, a biologist, further believes that ""the steady increase of crime by Negroes"" stems from the ""unrestricted and uncontrolled"" domination of ""the permissive syndrome"" in ""the large part of black America."" The exposition relies on calculated slurs, associating sex education with pornography, equating the left with vandalism and terrorism. On the level of its knee-jerk references to flag abuse and Supreme Court laxity it can be dismissed as physical exercise for the predisposed; but its pseudoscientific racialism exploits malice and credulity and nourishes the advocates of programs which Sokoloff himself is too delicate to prescribe.

Pub Date: Feb. 3rd, 1971
Publisher: Arlington House