Oxytocin: “Isn’t that a prescription painkiller’?” No, you’re thinking of oxyCONtin.
Do you think just because you manufacture your own supply of a molecule, in the core of your brain, that war can’t be waged on it? It may not be formally declared, but a de facto war is already well underway.
First. a definition: Oxytocin is a peptide hormone produced in the hypothalamus. deep in our limbic system near the brainstem. It is stored in – and released from – our pituitary gland. AKA the “master’ gland.
In clickbait science, it’s called the “cuddle hormone”. More accurately, it’s the hormone of bonding. It underpins many of our strongest and most noble instincts: love. friendship. trust. cooperation, loyalty, generosity, courage. and fidelity. It’s also essential for optimism and healthy self-esteem.
Oxytocin has a half-life of about 3 minutes in the blood, so its effects are very short-lasting, but it initiates a cascade of positive hormonal events that reinforce overall health and pro-social behaviour. Its release is especially affinitive to touch: a hug, a handshake, even a Duchenne smile can evoke it… it’s enmeshed in the intricate nonverbal dance, the largely subconscious symphony of communication linking all humanity.
Released in greatest quantity during childbirth, it relieves pain and forges a lifelong bond between mother and child. It’s also intimately involved in father-child bonding, lactation. wound healing, sexual arousal, and orgasm (when again, its release is copious). Oxytocin injected into the cerebrospinal fluid causes spontaneous erections in male rats. Female rats, administered oxytocin antagonists after giving birth, fail to exhibit typical maternal behaviour; yet virgin female sheep under oxytocin show instinctual maternal behaviour toward foreign lambs. Babies deprived of caring touch can actually die from lack of it; orphans have been shown to display hampered oxytocin function well into adulthood. Clearly this molecule is crucial to life.
Oxytocin release reduces fear and anxiety, quelling the amygdalae (crucial danger/alert neurostructures) and suppressing the stress hormone cortisol. It evokes contentment, enabling feelings of calmness and security by inhibiting overactive brain regions associated with behavioural control. Deprived of it, we are scattered, timid, and paranoid: shut inside ourselves. Trust is increased by oxytocin: it affects social distance and friendship. and plays an essential role in romantic attraction and subsequent monogamous pair-bonding. We find receptors for it in the heart, and in the vomeronasal organ, which is directly wired to both the hypothalamus and the amygdalae. Thus we detect it pheromonally, and when bonding in person, this facilitates mutual positive feedback.
This precious endodrug is fundamental to mechanisms of in-group bonding, reaching from the family unit to friends, tribe, town, and country… it’s even involved in our higher order feelings about nationalism, ethnocentrism, and religiosity. It’s an enigmatic chemical: while fostering togetherness, it’s also involved with xenophobia and in-group evolutionary strategy. In a carefully controlled study exploring the biological roots of immoral behaviour, oxytocin has been shown to promote dishonesty in outcomes favouring the group to which an individual belongs.
Let’s look at some of the ways our modern paradigm deliberately interferes with – and seeks to subsume – our oxytocin expression.
Central is Cultural Marxism, and the concepts stemming from Critical Theory incubated by the Frankfurt School. These ideas of intellectual warfare were assembled to undermine and subvert the social fabric of Western culture, and break down the oxytocin-mediated bonds of trust and community that maintain it, lest they congeal to support the dreaded “Authoritarian Personality”. It’s almost laughable, were it not the cause of such suffering, that the authors of this strategy – based on (((Freud)))’s cocaine-fuelled navelgazing – lacked the self-awareness to reflect on their own propensity for psychological projection (far left ideologies invariably horseshoe towards authoritarianism themselves, and without peer: look no further than the unparalleled body count of Communism in the 20th century). But this discussion is not so much about the dialectic trap of left vs. right; it is about the mechanisms through which the “high-status” have sought to preserve their position and cohesion at the expense of greater humanity. and extend the reach of their power.
Anyway, of (((Freud))) was still pretty brilliant, and he hit close enough to the mark that we can add psychiatry to the list alongside horseshoes and hand grenades. His nephew (((Eddy Bernays))) took the torch and ran with it, taking the science of people’s inner workings and applying it to groups of people: he wrote the book on Propaganda in 1928. launching the sleight-of-hand enterprise known as Public Relations and steering the unfolding of the 20th century, as delineated thoroughly in Adam Curtis’ Century of the Self.
The Western cultural mindset has its feet rooted in the bedrock of Ice Age Europe. Its ethos of openness, cooperation. stoicism, and personal sacrifice towards the future of the community was an adaptation to the harsh environment. It made sense to help strangers and contribute. Since Ice Age Europe had very low population density, inter-group competition was not as significant a cultural stimulus as it was for more temperate and densely populated parts of the world.
Cultural Marxism exploits this deep-rooted template. The psychoanalists of the late 19th and early to mid 20th centuries did not conduct a comprehensive study of all peoples on earth: they studied Europeans, and their insights into the weaknesses and blind spots of our inner workings are insights into the European (and Eurpoean-derived North American) psyche.
It operates chiefly through the manipulation of language and managing mass-perception, and its most effective adherents are indeed uniquely talented in their capacity for the generation of new terms and symbols and the redefinition and recontextualization of old ones, often flipping them into new meanings exactly opposite from original. This is something Orwell foresaw with great prescience. The thinking style it engenders has gained dominance over the channels through which information and opinion are disseminated, principally academia and media, and is now being standardized as the “official” cultural framework of business.
If we accept that Critical Theory’s original positive intent was to undermine ideology as the obstacle to human liberation. it has indeed become what it sought to unseat. It is now the oppressor.
Here’s how the steamroller of Cultural Marxism, and the weaponized concepts it promotes, is tantamount to a war on oxytocin:
Feminism and Sexism:
These encourage women to distrust and resent men, and reactively, men to distrust and resent women. A direct society-wide oxytocin antagonist. Much is yet to be written about feminism and its leading role in the subversion of traditional Western values, especially in academia. Currently, it has achieved such supremacy that open-minded discussion is impossible within institutes for higher learning (where the free exchange of ideas was once exalted), and criticism of it is punishable. At feminism’s core is the sad presupposition that women have been oppressed by men for all of history, which is an ipso facto statement of belief in their inferiority. This is disempowering. The cognitive dissonance of this is too great for most to accept.
Those who contend that men and women have always been equal and complementary, and that we as a species could never have made it this far without the talents of both sexes in equal measure – in other words, those who honour the historical contributions of women and grant that they were intentional agents of free will, seeking their own biological imperative – are excoriated. The aim is to “deconstruct” traditional gender roles, presumably to give everyone choice and freedom to express themselves in how they wish to live their lives; yet, those who prefer traditional roles – genuinely exercising their right to choose – are still criticized. and told they’re only doing so because they don’t know any better: they’ve “internalized” the oppression. This is condescending. So we see that it’s not about freedom. it’s about targeting old modes of conformity – which were undeniably successful – for disassembly. and installing new ones. Broadly speaking, the thrust is towards opening up traditionally male spheres of influence to women – the reverse is of little concern – and hamstringing men from objecting.
Hookup Culture and Slut Pride:
female oxytocin response is permanently impaired by multiple partners, specifically disappointments (bonds repeatedly established and then broken), with impairment increasing with partner count. She becomes both less trusting and less trustworthy, and more likely to practice infidelity. She is less able to form strong bonds, including with her own offspring.
Demonizing Fatherhood (war on Patriarchy) and destruction of the Family Unit:
getting both parents working means not only more consumers and taxpayers, but less contact with children and less oxytocin in their formative years; divorce, ditto. Encouraging single motherhood: boys raised without positive father-bonding are at greater risk for a cluster of avoidable issues. many of which have negative effects on society at large (but not coincidentally give fuel to those who call for increased state intervention).
Mainstreaming of Smut and Profanity:
The West is largely Christian in its morality, and (((Freud)))’s observation of its sexually repressive nature was seized upon by the Critical Theorists. who deemed that this repressed energy (which, for hundreds if not thousands of years, had been sublimated into productive work) should now be allowed direct release. Decades of threshold shift in standards have led us to where we are today, where almost any non-traditional expression of sexuality is publicly encouraged.
Depopulation of the target culture:
a core aim of these criticisms. All of the above lead to lower fertility; delayed onset of child-rearing; more abortions; the glamourization of childless career women; and pets as substitute children. Societies rarely grow without some degree of traditionalism, and the expectations – stifling though some may find it – that come with it. Societies shepherded towards radical individualism invariably decline.