The radical ideas of Otto Gross

The radical ideas of Otto Gross
The radical ideas of Otto Gross

Otto Gross was an extremely interesting character in Psychoanalysis.

Erratic, extreme in his thoughts and highly capable of persuasion, Otto Gross has stepped in to disruptwithin the psychoanalytic movement, at a time when psychoanalysis itself was already disruptive.


Based on the movie already mentioned above: A Dangerous Method, illustrating the participationof characters who have been invisible to History, but who have deeply moved thevisions of two of the most important exponents of psychoanalysis and psychology as a whole: Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung.

We can meet there in his fleeting appearance the figure of Otto Gross, who was psychiatrist, psychoanalystand lateranarchistAustrian.

His radical position posited the rejection of repression, and sexual liberation. He was a supporter of antipsychiatry, of euthanasia, of feminism and accepted the homosexuality.

Extremely avant-gardefor the time but extreme in his conceptions. For him, freedom prevailed above all else.

I used alcohol and drugs excessively, reaching theaddiction.

He understood sexuality as a form of liberation, questioning the concepts of monogamy established socially.

That's how free he felt that ran awayfrom the Burgölzli Clinicin Switzerland where he was hospitalized for addiction of the. He was analyzed by Jung,and, in that exchange, too, he somehow analyzed him.

His ideas promoted in Jung deepreflections and questioning, as well as influencing H. D Lawrence, Franz Kafka and the initiators of Dadaism.

His thinking led to questioning the bases of the prevailing social codes. His ability to promote the questioning others had an impact so that many of the ideas around him flourish and become rich.

However, his radicality led him intopoverty. Being expelled from the psychoanalytic milieu and isolated socially.

His writings were disdained and despised by Psychoanalysisof the time.

His extreme conduct constantly put in check the order that Psychoanalysis tried to establish.

He co-founded the Utopian Community of Ascona, a kind of hippie community of the moment. These communities were attempts, during the nineteenth century and the first half of theXX, to create small-scale societies, with collective ownership and principles of collaboration and rationalization of work and resources. Thus, the aim was to build fairer interaction spaces, contrary to the norms and the power prevailing in the Society.

But in this case Otto went further, promoting absolute freedom without any kind of restriction and absence of rules,fact that led him to be despised and rejected.

Much of this radicalism was represented in his relationship with hisfather: Hans Gross,with whom he had a complex relationship.

he was in Criminologyand Otto was his only son. He frequently rejected thedeterminismsof his father's theories, and continually ran away from his attempts to constrain him.

Due to his excesses, Otto was accused of malpracticeand wasdeclared mentally insane

Beyond the extremism of his ideas, it is interesting to note that his criticisms and reflections are validto the day of today. The defense of feminism, the debate on euthanasia and the acceptance of homosexuality are issues that are still in struggle today.

A personality of those times that causes these ruptures within the prevailing societies, is the germ of revolutions and future societies.

Otto's IdeasGross are considered referents of the counterculture. They dared to question the establishment, and its incidence caused consequences in the ideas of others.

Knowing your thoughts should be valued beyond the events of your life in particular. The questions that I raised were and always are necessary to allow a society to evolve and progress.

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