“The day after it became public that billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson gave $20 million to a super PAC with close ties to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), three GOP senators introduced legislation that would effectively ban online gambling — a measure Adelson has long pushed for.”
Very good and new brain science tells us that trauma, especially early family trauma, permanently damages the brain – basically setting the person’s brain into a permanent “danger “ mode. Hype-vigilant, hyper-tense and even fear-seeking behaviors are the symptoms of PTSD. There is no fear and remediative treatments are new and unproven. But this is permanent brain damage.
There Is Never Enough
I work with very wealthy people and am often struck by how a childhood experience of acute and sudden poverty is continually recounted and has life-long emotional immediacy. Brain science tells us this makes medical sense. An acute shock to the brain gets imprinted. The brain dynamics are similar to an inherited brain defect causing addictions. The brain is injured and sends the body out to get “more, more, more…” and there is never enough. How many $billions are needed to sooth an brain damaged by a symptomatic father repeatedly and suddenly impoverishing a young boy and his family? There isn’t enough money in the whole wide world.
We can have a great deal of sympathy for Adelson and what he, his family and his father suffered from the inherited medical condition.
Freud Was Pretty Close
Freud had no tools to work with but he still gave humanity it’s first brilliant insights about the brain and behavior. His idea about displacement seems to be proving out, in broad terms, by brain science.
“ In Freudian psychology, displacement (German: Verschiebung, “shift, move”) is an unconscious defense mechanism whereby the mind substitutes either a new aim or a new object for goals felt in their original form to be dangerous or unacceptable.” Source: Wikipedia
Then there is repetition compulsion:
“Repetition compulsion is a psychological phenomenon in which a person repeats a traumatic event or its circumstances over and over again. This includes reenacting the event or putting oneself in situations where the event is likely to happen again”
The problem with displacement, well first it uses up a lot of energy, is that it is still symptomatic and deflects attention from the cause and real problem. So, Adelson, and my very wealthy clients, can make all the money in the world but their “inner child” wounds still fester. You can see the harm of all this self-medicating the most clearly in animals, so damaged in childhood.
Israel Doesn’t Need Any More Ghosts
No ethnic group has been subjected to more trauma and horrors than Jews. The trauma continues. We have to weep – as fellow human beings. We weep for all trauma.
Now we have the phenomena of a handful of very lucky/successful and hyper-wealthy American Jews spending money to buy politicians to be their “mouth pieces.” This is a time-honored use of lots of money. The “Golden Rule” – those that spend the gold set the rules.
But thinking Jews, Israelis and fellow humans might ask – what problems is Adelson’s, and his fellow hyper-rich, money trying to solve? Do Adelson’s instinctive feelings and actions address Israel’s problems or his own – from his family past?
Human behavior is ultimately driven by the needs of each individual – regardless of how it’s packaged.