If the McCarthy era had examined the psychological message of America’s beloved superheroes, the concept should have become a focal point in the anti-American behaviour witch-hunts designed to eradicate socialist tendencies from the arts and media. Not that the superheroes were communists, but their enemies were definitely representations of capitalist neikosphilia.[1]

Nevertheless, the fact that McCarthy and his cronies did not attack the comic book artists and editorials is probably more indicative of the use the capitalist hierarchy were able to find in this mythological struggle against the neikosphilia embedded so deeply in their own ideologies. In the arch-villains and the super-Mafiosi of the DC and Marvel fantasylands we find personifications of the bad-father myth[2].

In order for the liberal-democracy, capitalist system to work it must seem like a good father, but in order for the demos to appreciate what a good father is we must be made shown its antithesis, the bad-father. In capitalism both the good father and the bad are neikosphiliacs, for it is through their love of strife that their lust for power and accumulation is allowed to be fulfilled. But a neikosphiliac can only seem good if he or she is presented as being different to the bad-neikosphiliac. The good-neikosphiliac brings us freedom, the bad one operates within the strife in order to terrorise us. The good protects us, while the evil threatens.

            The good face of freedom loses its happy pallor when that very freedom becomes a threat; when the freedom to become the wealthiest guy on earth is taken literally and it is realised that the easiest way to make money is to sell evil. The good father sells protection and so does the bad father, but we don’t want to be taxed by the government and the Mafia. The good father makes his money through the arm’s race and militarism, the bad father by selling vice. The good father earns his status through legality, the bad father has none. The good father stands before his nemesis and says: “This is why I am good, because I stand in opposition to the bad.” The bad father says, when he is given a voice: “We are the same.” But how can the bad be the same as the good? Quite simple, through the use of masks.

[1] For a definition of neikosphilia see my blog entry dated 8th October, 2012, entitled Neikosphilia.


[1] NOTE: there was an anti-comicbook crusade in the US during the 1950s, motivated by a moralist called Frederic Wertham and championed by religious groups that even organised burnings of comic books. Interesting that Werther was aware of the immorality of its heroes, but insensitive to the specular relationship between the villains and the systemic values of neikosphilia inherent in the capitalist system itself.

[2] For a more general elaboration of the bad-parent myth see Erich Neumann’s The Origin and History of Consciousness.



  1. This is such a great cerebral look deeper into the mind of humans. I, too, am compelled too look deeper and understand why. I guess we are lost philosophers.

    • What we are does not depend on who is listening. We are philosophers because our minds are created as such. Alone in a room I ponder existence. And isn’t that truly what philosophy is, the understanding of self: “I think therefore I am”

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