The Point of the Ego
I believe that consciousness itself derives in part from
the interplay of different levels of cooperation. However,
in patriarchy we not only become conscious but we also form
the masculated ego-consciousness as follows:
When we (or others) attribute a sample character
to ourselves, making ourselves the point, just as we would
to something in the external world, we also become our own
topic, the thing 'pointing back.' This self-referentiality ties the
knot, shuts the door, blocks the view of its antecedents, reflects. It
takes the place of the other, interrupting the other-oriented flow.
We give credence to this shut mirror-door (it seems to be a mirror
not only because we seem to see our selves but also because others
are engaging in self-referentiality too). We believe in our
own presence to ourselves, as if it were the source of ourselves.
We create from it a dominating ego, as a sample against which we
can compare the various moments of ourselves (our internal
many) and others more or less like us externally. We nurture
this moment of internal equivalence which is self-similar with
the other internal and external enactments of the
The result of finding a gender identity through
becoming relative to the father as equivalent is reinforced by replaying
the over-taking equation back into the individual
self-referentiality.1 Then instead of nurturing others,
we value equivalence over nurturing even internally. This
eventually develops into valuing being over giving, abstract over
concrete, general over particular--though of course these are not
all concomitant. Instead, the true continuing source of our selves
is interactive and comes from our other-orientation--the
presence of others to us, our presence to them. We mistake our
common projections of our self-referential self-reflections for the center
of our creativity. However, the source of our ability to see
those projections and to give and receive lies concealed deep within
our other-orientation, like the fire that casts the shadows in
People with masculated egos verbalize, like everyone
else, creating their linguistically mediated consciousnesses. The
self-referential ego mirror becomes the over-taking speaking
subject, but this is not a social or psychological necessity. We can
have linguistic mediation, interaction with others, development of
the self without the dominating ego mirror--which is 1 = 1 =
1, repeating the content of the hall-of-mirrors of the equation.
In fact, many women feel ill at ease in our individualistic
capitalistic society because we usually do not have this kind of
ego.2 Many men are also uncomfortable because, in spite of the pressures
of masculation, they have maintained a connection with
the mothering model.
Free (Masculated) Will
The self-similarity of every 'one' with the index occurs
also because we can actively implement the indication,
moving towards the sample, like the finger. From the moment in
which we focus ourselves in a self-similar way, backgrounding some
parts of ourselves, making ourselves internally one-many, we
can initiate action towards a goal, a topic, a destination which
we have singled out. We often call this 'will.' However, at that
point we are usually not taking into account the giftgiving
or communicative impulse on the other side of the ego
mirror-door. The giftgiving motivation appears to be part of the many--part
of all the rest of the contents of our consciousness we are
not attending to. We may or may not let our e-motions, our
other-oriented impulses, get through the door to cause us to ignore
the mirror and to satisfy others' needs. Our 'right' motivation,
the point of our actions, appears to come from the
We calculate, "What is best for me?" The need for this
filter has been created by the competitive context of
patriarchy. We also need to know 'who we are' for the purposes of
survival.3 We have to be able to say what gender, class, race, religion,
sexuality we are so, knowing our definition, we know our place in
the hierarchy and the rules that apply to us--how to survive in
the system, be less vulnerable. The self-similarity that occurs
at different levels allows us to say, "This is like me; this is not
like me," making ourselves again according to the masculated
images in different areas of life. The ego in relation to the subconscious
is also a kind of concept sample with the resonances this has on
the external, from family to government, which are also made in
that image. Women's experience is usually somewhat different
from men's because we are defined by men and when the
man-word takes our place in marriage, we become the sample 'thing'
whose place is taken by the 'word.' We 'know' our place in the system
is not to be on top.
We could look at the ego with its will as another icon of
the index, literally moving the body towards its object or
destination (with other aspects of the self held back). But when we do
caring, need-satisfying work, our behavior re-aligns with our
motivation 'behind the mirror-door.' When we engage in over-taking,
ego-enhancing, other-denying (exchange) behavior, we expand
only the self-similar moment, the mirror, recalling the moment
of comparison in the concept. The values of the masculated
ego filter out giftgiving behavior.
There are of course variations on this
self-replicating situation. Some women find that it is possible to have
an other-oriented ego which can create self-preservation. It is
also possible to do post-masculated giftgiving, as men and
women do who support their families with the salaries they earn.
In post-masculated giving, as in consciousness, there is a
filter, the budget, which depends on prioritizing needs. It is
not need-driven, as it would be in abundance, but
In the couple, men traditionally take on the role of the
ego, women the role of the nurturer, the many, the subconscious.
The person who has been discredited, even abandoned, as
not-like (not similarly self-similar) returns as the nurturer of the
self-similar (male) standard. Her giftgiving way is filtered out of
the public arena and focused in the family. Her energy nurtures
and upholds the filter, the public arena and those who succeed in it.
The Salary and the Ego
Ego consciousness itself is a kind of
exchange-and-masculation-based filter mediating between the ways of
giftgiving and of exchange. Property ownership also filters out
giftgiving, but women's consciousness is usually socialized to
continue giftgiving. Participation in the labor market allows
a reconciliation of the two modes after the fact. The
worker supports a family by giving to it from the 'property' of
his/her monetary definition--the salary. The market is based
upon masculation, and its process is therefore more attuned to
those who have experienced that process as boy children.
For women, the market is an external context in which
they can of course succeed, but it does not resonate with their
original categorization. Earning a salary and supporting a family
resolve psychological conflicts which a woman does not originally
have, so it does not have the same effect for her. The advantage for
her is that participating in the market can resolve the
practical problem of the 'have-not' status, and it allows some women
access to privileged categories constructed by patriarchy.
The salary, a portion of the general equivalent,
determines what category a man in the traditional family is in, what he
is 'worth.' Then by giving part of his 'money name' to his wife
he can 'heal' his masculation. Money is a temporary replacement
for the gender term 'male.' He could not share 'male' with
his mother, give her all or part of his gender name, but he can
share his money name with his mother's successor, his giftgiving
wife. The salary determines what he can receive and what he can
give and, therefore, is a filter, like the ego. Judgment about
one's identity seems to determine what a person can have, since
s/he becomes adequate to it, treating it as a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The houses a person helps to build as a construction
worker take the place of the gifts of nature and become the property
of someone. However, the worker's monetary 'name' often does
not give him/her enough money to buy them. His/her 'giving' to
the community (as exchange) takes the place of individual
other-oriented giving and creating community with his/her family.
The 'money-word,' $, takes the place of that act of substitution.
Males or females who give their salary to the family are
like the person who gives the name 'male,' the name that
privileges the boy and makes others give to him. But the boy receives
the 'name' because he has the 'mark,' like the price tag. When a
man supports his wife and family with his salary, he is giving her
the 'name' even though she doesn't have the 'mark.' When
she produces a son, however, her lack is resolved. She seems to
merit her husband's sharing of his money name by bearing a son.
The relation between women's free labor in the home and
the husbands' salary is influenced by this transposition of the
gender definition and is not identical to exchange. He gives her part of
his money-name, while she continues to give free caring labor which
is not defined by money or quantitatively assessed. His salary is
the re-incarnated word with which in scarcity she can buy the
means of nurturing, so that she can continue to do free giving with all
its qualitative variations. (It is almost as if she were made
dependent upon his masculation, his gender term, for the means
of nurturing--her own breasts being the prime example of
By sharing the money name with her, the husband
names or categorizes (and corners) her caring labor as 'for him.'
All of this has now been reworked by the entry of
women into the labor force and single parenting. Women
themselves work for the money name and supply the means of nurturing
for their children. Thus it is clear that money is only a 'word,'
a trans-lated gender term, which anyone can potentially
acquire. Like the gender term, it is not biologically but socially
based. Earning a living empowers some women by making their
survival less tentative and dependent on a male's earning power.
However, the whole exchange economy is a product of masculation
and necessarily makes most people into 'have-nots.' The
economic masculation of some women will not solve the general
problems caused by psychological and economic masculation of the society.
(Hetero) Sexuality and Killing
Gender and its result, male
(dominance)-based-heterosexual sexuality, over-take nurturing as the model for both
sexes--fitting in with language which takes the place of material
co-munication. Just mentioning the gender of the child seems to
tell us that gender (i.e., difference from or similarity to the
mother), and eventually sexuality, is more important than nurturing.
The boy's physio-cultural difference from her is more important
than her nurturing way. Similarly, killing with a phallic index
symbol, which can be seen as transposed (hetero) sexuality, is
more important than nurturing. The animal or person submits
and becomes passive to the will of the shooter.
However, the animal that is killed by the
over-taking phallic index can then be used for nurturing: like the
woman who is dominated, over-taken, upon whom her dominator
can become parasitic. Hunting itself is like exchange because
the object, the receiver of the 'indication,' is transformed and
re-categorized. It becomes the property of the hunter,
separated from its will, like the product which is separated from its
owner in exchange (or the child from the mother by his
Then the shooter kills other men (his
competitors) for protection of his property or his nurturer or his nature or
his masculation mechanisms--or for the safety of all of the
self-similar masculation mechanisms collected together in
Post-masculated nurturing usually requires
re-cognition (another look-alike of exchange). Women (and less
powerful men) nurture the dominator, and he works through the
very mechanism of masculation to nurturing of a sort, over-taking
and/or 'contributing' in that strange way. Male consciousness
allows post-masculated giftgiving instead of non-masculated giving.
The 'mark' is like a case ending in language, which shows this is
his role. He has that 'case marker' (or 'tag'), and so can
traditionally only give in specific socially determined de-personalized
ways, which involve alienating the product, giving to the
community, to others in general, in exchange for the 'money name' by
which he can become a privileged receiver. It is this strange model
the boy has to imitate.
Money, too, can be seen as a collection of quantitative
case tags. As legal 'tend-er,' the tags say 'pay to bearer.' Like
a transformation from active to passive, the price tag and the
male 'mark' also indicate that their bearers must be treated as
the receivers of specific gifts. Then the more possessions or
money, the more case tags a man 'owns,' the more he controls and
the more he 'deserves' to receive.
The dominated woman gives up giving sexually to
anyone other than her husband, and materially to anyone other than
him and her children. The shift of modes from gift to exchange,
from maternal to post-masculated giving, becomes identified with
the mark of the male. The icon of the sample shifts to
and implements over-taking. And the penis itself changes,
becoming erect. It does not have a self-similarity like the hand, a
repetition of the relation of the sample to relative items in itself, so it has
to find its identity as 'one-to-many' outside in a relation
of competition with other males' penises for superiority. Then
all men are considered 'ones' with relation to women (who do
Figure 32. The gun is a mechanism constructed out
of phallically invested indexes of different sizes.
have the 'mark') as many, and they practice domination
upon them to prove their superiority.
The index precedes the penis as an instrument of both
sexual and non-sexual knowledge and, in fact, the penis is not
necessary for identifying anything. The (false after all) identification
of penis and index has perhaps been turned around so that the
index appears to be a detached penis, which then may be transposed
to become the bullet or the arrow. Also, saying it makes it so
in masculation and in shooting. "It's a boy" and "Bang, bang,
you're dead" have similarly alienating effects. By identifying
something as one of a kind, you may exclude its other possibilities as
an individual constant object. Shooting is made in the image
Pointing at the boy, naming him as 'male'--that
explosive noise--takes him away from giftgiving life. The index is
the trigger finger and the shift in levels is like the trigger
mechanism, which is also a shift in levels, as the finger moves back to
shoot the gun. The word is the sound of the bullet, which names
We point the finger, picking out or indicating a
sample object; then we speak the word, naming it, moving from
non-verbal to verbal. The explosion accompanies the contiguity of
the transposed index with the object which it penetrates. We
move from the index concept icon (plus the concept-action of
singling out) to the word. (See Figure 32.) The penetration of the
other by the bullet-'gift' is really a service to the ego of the
'giver'-shooter. Shooting reinforces the exchange logic while the
violent penetration of the body (and heart) of the other recalls
and reinforces rape. The gun and the penis both function as 'ones'
to allow their bearer to achieve privileged 'one' status.
Figure 33. The arrow is an over-taking 'one' pointing at
a sample, one out of the many (E pluribus
unum). This indication is not of some product to exchange but of
a living being to kill.
The bow and arrow are made to function by holding back
the string, then releasing it, so that the attention-energy is
transferred onto the arrow. Like co-operating fingers held back to let
the index point, the fingers pull back the bowstring. (See Figure
33.) The same thing happens with the index pulling the
trigger, releasing the hammer which has been cocked, onto the
pointing bullet. Like holding back, then releasing the word and/or
the pointing finger, the strength of the many supporting the
one comes forth explosively. The energy of what is withheld is
focused onto the index. Perhaps an analogy may be drawn with the
many actions involved in hunting--going to the forest, looking for
the prey--the many co-operating actions which feed into the
kill, over-determining it.
When we point at animals or people with a gun to kill,
we must hold back our giftgiving impulses towards them,
making them samples which will become dead objects--the
animal useful as food or the person as elimination of danger
or competition. We steel our will internally against
other-orientation or giftgiving (poor rabbit) then single them
out externally, taking life's gifts away from them, making
them passive things. The internal mechanism of singling out, at
the same time setting aside giftgiving, is like the mechanism
inside the gun. With our index finger, we pull back the
trigger-index; the hammer-index falls upon the bullet-index, making its
charge explode and go forward through the phallic-index-gun
barrel. The bullet-index hits the animal's or person's heart,
stopping his/her internal giftgiving, transforming him/her into an
object in our possession.
The explosion in the chamber of the gun matches
the explosion in the chamber of the heart of the one who is
killed, and also in the heart and mind of the killer, or perhaps in
his penis, where the pointing and the over-taking analogously
make something come explosively from the sample pointer.
Masculated will = penis = gun, and there are economic analogies as well.
It takes an internal exclusion of giftgiving to create an
external exclusion of giftgiving in the body of another, through
the internal mechanisms of the gun, which are
The spear or gun or bow and arrow point out and kill.
The sharper focus backgrounds the life of the animal, giving value
not to it but to the life of the pointer and the concurrent death of
the animal. Then the prey becomes a gift of food. So hunting is
a close analogy to pointing for communication because the
killed animal becomes shareable, a gift, like the item that is pointed
out. Similarly, the death of the enemy killed by pointing
knives, spears, guns and missiles becomes a shareable gift for
individuals, gangs, the army and the Patria.
This blood-soaked gift, our common ground, is divided
into our properties which we again defend from one another
with guns and knives. Whole armies point at one another,
their technology made in the image of the reified pointers
which show that they are in the superior category, abolishing
the 'other.' In years of international tension, missile silos dot
the landscape and missile-bearing trucks circulate, ready to
raise their pointers and shoot their warheads at the enemy. From
the knife to the gun to the nuclear missile, from the
armed individual to the armed forces, the reiteration of the
definition and the mark of 'male' transform our civilization into
an immense fractal pattern consisting of self-similar images
of masculation at different scales. The pattern self-validates
and drains the energy of everyone and the planet into its
agendas, sacrificing millions of human lives. However we may color
and disguise the pattern, it is an ugly picture.
In ancient days the hunter only transformed the animal
into food, property, a gift. A common attention circle, a circle
of hunters, a council fire, a cook fire, a stove, a stage, accepted
the gift. The topic--the fire, the food, the nurturing
gift--became the common focus and the 'thing' related to a word,
the repeatable sample. The gatherers and farmers also
brought together their harvests. The topic was gathered using gifts of
the past, past topics, past gatherings and council fires,
individual points of view together. We are the others who the gifts of
past hunts and harvests are also for, and who make them exist
again for the people of the past, letting them still exist, even if
they didn't know it as they conversed and ate. We also leave gifts
for the people of the future.
Generations are like water flowing down a cliff,
making pools, then overflowing and going on and making more
pools. The common focus is a gift. In other words, an 'extra' that
comes to us in the present and the future is that other people from
the past can do it too, sit in the circle with us as we can with those
of the future. 'One-many' dominance does not contribute a topic
or a gift for others in the future because the goods it provides are
not shareable, since they are monopolized by the one or used
for constraint. The 'many' all give to the 'one,' not to each other.
Giftgiving Versus the Hall-of-Mirrors
Giftgiving is often discredited as crazy because it threatens
to interrupt the fractal hall-of-mirrors. Common attention to
others makes the self-similarity of the ego unnecessary, irrelevant.
In fact, giftgiving is enhanced by the diversity of the others to
whom one gives (among other things because their needs are
different from the giver's and thus occasion growth and variety,
not competition). Because giftgiving threatens the
economic exchange paradigm and its ego structure, we exclude it
from consciousness and force its female practicers into
isolation, though they are legion, in the family.
There, they can be counted on to ensure the maintenance
of most of the children in spite of numerous and
overwhelming difficulties caused by scarcity. As isolated givers, mothers
often endanger their own survival by giving too much in a localized
way without being able to change the social structures. The
'catch-22' here is that they cannot change the social structures
because giftgiving is not recognized as a viable alternative, and
they cannot recognize its real viability until they change the
Being committed to something against all odds is one
strategy people can employ to demonstrate its importance.
However, doing giftgiving to self-destruction seems to prove it does
not work because it annihilates the giver. Instead, the context
of scarcity itself and the separation of givers from each other
cause the destruction and extenuation of the givers. Others would
have to begin to follow the model of giving in time for its practicers
to receive from others, as well as give (even if this might have
the appearance of exchange.)4 For these and many other
reasons, giftgivers have to recognize what they are doing, name it
and practice it consciously. It can really be viable only when
it involves many and creates a context, as a general, not
an individual, solution.
Nevertheless, because giftgiving threatens exchange,
other seemingly benign obstacles are put in its path. For
example, 'humility' is its necessary virtue (don't brag about it)--a
fact which keeps giftgivers from asserting themselves as models.
A man setting boundaries, protecting 'his' woman, is
really protecting his giftgiver, for himself, against her giving to
other males. The internal structure of the ego-oriented masculated
male is the interpersonal structure in the traditional couple.
Patriarchal family values assert the right of dominating parasites to
their giftgiving hosts. The phallus as the index invests the
masculated male (or his ego consciousness or will) as index, so that he
tends towards over-taking and domination of giftgiving, including
the domination of his own internal gift motivations. If
another external sample male 'points back' at him, the two of them
must obviously compete for dominance.
The ego is one-many regarding other elements of the
self, other people's egos, and all the samples that can be picked out
in the world. It becomes relative to some larger samples as
its equivalents, like the little boy to the father. From ancient
Egypt to the modern US, large phallic symbols of the state,
embodying the father of the country, Washington monument style, impose
a relative status on many otherwise privileged samples. All
the citizens of a country can patriotically unite with each
other relative to their country as one (with regard to the many
other countries), with its ruler as their national sample human.
The personality cults of recent leaders, whose
mammoth images dominate public spaces, are examples of this.
Until recently, in communist countries enormous pictures of the
heads of the movement looked down on the meeting places of
the masses. When Kim Il Sung recently died in North Korea,
the television showed the crowds beating their breasts and
weeping before the immense statue of their leader. The preservation
of Lenin's body in his mausoleum in the Kremlin gave the
Soviet Union an image of the constancy of the masculated
ego-will, while the toppling of his huge statue with pointing
finger outstretched is another case in point.
The difference between many of the self-similar levels is
the time it takes to carry them out. The time it takes to say
a sentence is briefer than the time it takes to exchange, so you
can also do more of them together. Masculation itself takes years.
We are indexes ourselves; our movements towards a goal
are indication gestures. We can indicate the goal or actually go to
it, to touch it. We have future orientation, a goal or
destination transposed onto time from space. We can also point back
at where we have come from spatially, and back in time.
Pointing may take as little time as lifting a finger, or as
much as it takes to travel to a destination. We act like the index
when we go along a path from a point of decision at which we
single out our goal. We choose a location to which to go, which is
one among many. We can look at this metaphorically--also as
the ends which 'justify' (or over-take) the means.
A goal which is identified as the destination or point may
be something other than the satisfaction of a need. Is our
motivation for travel ego or other-oriented? Exchange seems to allow us to
do both or neither, only increasing the (money) sample.
Caravans traveled to distant destinations to trade. Travel is like the
phallus is in sex, going to a destination. The pioneers' journey to
the West, conquering nature, pointed out 'virgin' territory where
the men with index-guns killed the men with
index-bows-and-arrows and then embedded themselves parasitically, homesteading
on 'free' land.
Horses, with their large energy, can appear as phallic
indexes as they gallop towards a destination. Cars are similar, but we
can actually travel in them together, indicating a destination,
and pointing out points of interest as we go. The road and the
scenery are foregrounded and backgrounded in a constant flow; the
road at which the car points and the common destination are
topics held in common. The mechanism here is a foregrounding
and backgrounding one. We pay attention to the foreground and
self-consistently do not look at the background, which flows into
the past. But it is the mechanism as a whole that overcomes the
non-mechanism processes--which we do not see. (Is the index's
shift of modes an original proto technology?)
Then we point our rockets at the moon to conquer
it--and put our little flag pole on it when we get there. Our scientists
rush to the goal of making a bigger bomb, winning the
war, and produce a nuclear mushroom which points out its
own unmistakable phallic character, murdering hundreds of
thousands in the short term, and millions or billions long term,
through (invisible, unindicated) radioactivity. We can kill with the
index, but creating requires the whole hand.
The other side of foregrounding is the backgrounding we
do not pay attention to, but which is just as much an activity.
In pointing, the drawing back of the many fingers is as
intentional and energy-consuming as extending the index; yet we
hardly consider it, perhaps because we focus on the repetition of
the one-many pattern between the pointer and the pointed-at.
But the other fingers are helping the index by drawing back.
Drawing back some fingers is part of the intention of extending one
finger. The same thing happens interpersonally, when some people
step back or give-way to let the other one step forward. It can be
part of the same intention of the group. However, since our focus
goes onto the one (or sample) it does not go onto the many. Then it
is easy to forget them (as masculated 'samples' forget those who
are giving and giving-way to them).
There are two 'manys'--the many fingers which are part
of the hand--perhaps also re-presenting the other internal items
or considerations the indicator is not attending to--and the
many on the external, the other things which are not being pointed
at. If the fingers actually help the index, by analogy the things on
the external 'help' the one in focus to come forward by giving-way
or giving up being the focus. In the family, women have
traditionally been the excluded fingers; outside the family, they have been
the excluded items. In the OBN, male pointers vie for the position
of the one in focus, as well as pointing at their superiors all the
way up their hierarchies.
Perhaps this is supported by the fact that the penis does
not have other 'fingers' to exclude. The other fingers have
just disappeared in the transposition and psycho-social 'evolution'
of the sign from index to genitals. If the penis is the 'finger,'
the male body is analogous to the hand.
I would like to propose that 'man' comes from manus (Latin for 'hand'), as the body-hand with the penis-index.
Wo-man would thus be the womb-hand, the whole hand which creates
Taking the others' point of view is part of giftgiving.
Males (and females) usually stop doing it when they give up
giving. Meanwhile, many women give up pointing, or being the
point, and they take the point of view of men's pointer, which needs
to point and to become a 'sample.' We help men. We look at
what they need and at what they point at because our point of view
has been excluded. It has been held back, excluded for and by
them and, therefore, we do it to ourselves as well in order to
make theirs work as a focus and to support them in being a
sample, over-taking us. Sometimes there comes a point at which
we cannot take it any more, a point of departure. Then we take
a stand from the point of view of giftgiving, which can see itself.
Giving and nurturing are typically done with the hands,
to which having or lacking the penis are irrelevant. Even the
baby's pointing can be seen as a request for a gesture of giving by
the mother, an attempt to elicit her wo-man's womb-hand.
As nurturing men who take care of their children have
recently shown, the pointing hand can transform into a giving one. I
am pointing this out in order to elicit the gift of that
transformation not only at an individual but a social, systemic level.
1In fact, the result is the focus, the 'sample' self, the one. Once we begin to count,
we require a context of 'ones.' Saying one 'one,' two 'ones,' etc. and one times
'one' equals 'one,' probably requires a knowledge of other 'ones,' from some other context.
2Perhaps intuiting the role the definition has for the male identity, we hang on
men's words, hoping they will tell us we are 'beautiful,' 'intelligent,' 'a good wife.' In
this way, we almost create a self-referential ego in their image.
3The patriarchal investment of the sample position invests the ego sample with
over-taking when it wouldn't be doing it on its own. Also, males see themselves as
'ones' because they are giving up giftgiving and other-orientation, for self-referentiality.
I think the experience of the ego is 'anchored' in the body much as
Neuro-Linguistic Programming theorists say other types of experiences are anchored.
4Co-dependence therapy interprets the givers and the people with un-met needs
as excessive. It focuses on healing individual dis-ease, not on the diseased system, which
is creating a context of scarcity and thus generating enormous numbers of un-met and
un-meetable needs (which are actually used as economic motivators).
Altruism is creative and life-enhancing, except when it is captured and drained by a dominator or
rendered impossible by a context of scarcity. It was once estimated that 98% of the people in
the US were co-dependent. That percentage seems to me to be clearly the red flag of
a misinterpretation. It is normal to be altruistic. We are not being allowed to freely
practice our normal nurturing behavior, because our means of nurturing are being robbed by
the system, as well as by privileged 'ones' inside and outside our families.
Co-dependence theory and therapy, by validating not giving, allow us to solve individual problems
and live in the exchange system without challenging it.