The Psychological Cold War, Part Six
Author: Ian Dunbar
Article Published: 2012/11/20
When you stop and think about it, the ultimate sedative in all societies is the innate maternal warmth,
kindness and compassion of mothers. Friendly smiles, kind words and gentle gestures can be dramatically
calming and reassuring for those around them adult and child alike. The effect is more powerful and lasting than
any drug. This calming ability of mothers is an attribute of nature not a notion. It resembles the ‘contact high’
familiar to drug users and is probably facilitated by the opiate-like effect of the female hormones described
earlier in the biochemical analysis. Any obstacle to a mother’s freedom to mother is subversive of the welfare
not only of her children but also her wider family and community.
As previously observed, we all face three problems of existence: surviving, finding food and
reproducing. In humans, both genders can look after themselves and find food but only women can conceive,
gestate and reproduce. Neither is childbirth a risk-free activity. Every time a woman gets pregnant she puts her
life on the line like a soldier on a battlefield. Moreover, children are more difficult to grow than vegetables. They
demand years, not weeks or months, of painstaking and thoughtful commitment. Women must therefore be
regarded as the superior gender. This fact is universally and democratically acknowledged by the call ‘women
and children first’ in an emergency.
To talk of gender equality and legislate for it has therefore diminished the status of women rather than
enhanced it. While women have been led to believe that their liberty has been increased, their freedom to fulfill
the role that nature wrought for them has been diminished. There are only twenty-four hours in a day. The
raising of a family is more challenging than a ‘career’. To attempt both is to divide loyalties and cause stress. It
undermines the ability to do both conscientiously thereby limiting the expression of maternal warmth and
reducing business efficiency. Unrealised by everyone gender politics have been deployed in the psychological
Cold War to undermine the smooth running of society.
Many women are now resentful of the dictates of gender. For several decades, they have been
encouraged to treat child rearing and the housekeeping that that entails, as tedious chores beneath their dignity.
While women can opt out if they wish and become ‘secular nuns’ free to put their minds to a career beyond the
home, growing people is the ultimate challenge. While stressed ‘working mums’ were inevitable in the confused
early days of the industrial revolution and in fraught times of war, increased prosperity and the welfare state, put
an end to the necessity. Restoring the superior status of mothers holds the key to resolving the problems of
To understand more precisely how, it is necessary to revisit some facts of feminine life that are dictated
by nature, not men. Those facts have dominated all cultures regardless of politics or religion since the beginning
of time. To return to an earlier metaphor, it is necessary to eliminate ‘bugs’ that have corrupted the algorithms
of the human cerebral computer.
The female role does not end with childbirth. Human beings differ from all other animals in that they
are born at a helpless stage in their development. Most animals can find the mammary teat themselves. Human
offspring take six months simply to sit without support. Survival depends on being physically lifted to the breast
to feed by the mother and only the mother can perform this task. Breasts are a vital life support system not ‘sex
objects’ as decades of Hollywood propaganda have encouraged so many to believe. Moreover, babies are born
without teeth so that since the beginning of time until the modern industrial era it has been necessary for
mothers weaning their children to chew food for them first and then transfer it to the child’s mouth by kissing
Human beings are not only born helpless they are also born ignorant. This enables them to learn how
to survive, find food and reproduce in the diversity of habitats into which they can be born. The first and most
influential teacher for everyone is their mother. The first and most important lesson a mother can teach is what
it is like to feel secure. A baby at the breast is a baby in heaven. If it is swaddled in motherly love and affection
while it feeds, then the knowledge of what it is like to feel safe and secure will be its first and most enduring
memory. In later life, whenever its back is to the wall, it will have the emotional ballast of this early
subconscious recollection to fall back on, support it and give it strength. Moreover, the sedative effect of drink
or drugs will be unable to match its neonatal experience so that it is less likely to become addicted to anything.
Lacking mammary glands, no man can teach this fundamental and vital lesson.
On the other hand, failure to build this psychological bedrock of security by casual, ignorant or
resentful mothering results in insecure, nervous and anxious personalities prone to neurosis and over-indulgence
in food, drink, drugs and ‘sex’. As any psychiatrist should be able to confirm, people who have suffered serious
maternal neglect are mentally handicapped by psychological problems and the more serious the neglect the more
intractable those problems can be. This ultimately makes men poor fathers and women poor mothers creating a
vicious circle of dysfunctional families and fostering a society ripe for takeover by ‘Big Brother’.
There are other fundamental lessons a mother teaches as her children grow. It is she who lays the
foundation of personality. It is she who teaches the protocols of peaceful co-existence such as cleanliness, order,
self-discipline and good manners that are valid for all social classes in all cultures.
Another important lesson that mothers have to teach arises from the fact that babies cannot speak.
They can only express themselves by gestures such as smiling when content and wailing when insecure.
Empathy is required to understand a child’s needs. Mothers must imagine themselves in a fretting child’s place,
ask themselves what they would want and then satisfy the need be it more food, clean nappies, more clothes,
less clothes or whatever. Everyone, not only mothers, must learn to empathise. For example it is essential for a
hunter to understand his prey in order to catch it or what Don Juan in his conversations with Carlos Castaneda,
refers to as ‘the quirks of quails’.  A farmer must empathise with the needs of livestock and crops to
maximize yield. The gardener must empathise with the individual needs of plants to grow flowers. Moreover,
the need to empathise extends beyond living things. Craftsmen must understand the nature of the materials with
which they are working. A carpenter must be considerate of the grain of the wood for example. In fact, empathy
is required for everyone to understand and live in harmony with everyone and everything else. It will be
fundamental for resolving the ecological crisis for example. Again, the first and most important teacher is the
Before the industrial revolution, everyone had to master the art of empathy to survive. However, the
industrial revolution completely changed the human habitat from largely rural to largely urban so that many of
our daily needs became handed to us on a plate. In fact, humanity is still struggling to come to terms with living
in this new human habitat and empathy is one of the things that still has to be incorporated in the industrial
lifestyle. Imagine what would happen to world food production if all housewives knew how to grow fruit and
vegetables among the flowers in their gardens or keep chickens or rabbits for food rather than as pets as was
common during the last war for example.
While babies are born helpless and ignorant, a very powerful instinct to learn soon emerges. By the age
of eighteen months, children are fearless and intrepid explorers crawling about their surroundings seeing,
touching, tasting, feeling, and listening to absolutely everything. It is then that they start bonding with their
fathers, relations, friends and strangers. They require constant maternal supervision to prevent them coming to
harm in a world about which they know nothing. At the same time, it is still to the mother that the child first
turns for reassurance if it is frightened.
Mothers say they like to know where their children are, but children like to know where their mothers
are. They can then turn to her for reassurance, guidance or advice if they are alarmed or hurt themselves, day or
night. If a child knows where to find its mother, then it feels more secure than when it does not. The more of
the time a child does not know were to find mother if necessary, as when in ‘day care’ for example, the greater
the degree of insecurity that comes to envelop it and the more isolated it feels. Each episode of insecurity that
passes without maternal reassurance produces unshed tears of anxiety which trickle into the bilges of the psyche
slowly affecting the balance of the mind and its ability to manoeuvre in difficult situations like a sailing boat in a
rough sea. The younger and more vulnerable the child, as in institutionalised pre-school childcare for example,
the greater the effect deprivation of maternal reassurance is likely to have. The more insecure a child feels, the
more easily frightened it will be, the less confident it will be, the more withdrawn, timid and shy it will be, the
lower its self-esteem will be, the less adventurous it will be, the less able to concentrate it will be, and the less
well it will do at school. Diagnoses such as Asperger’s syndrome and autism spring to mind. In effect a child's
freedom and individual liberty will be as impaired as if it had been raised under a ruthless totalitarian regime that
relies on fear to maintain discipline. Some become anti-social rebels. The majority become compliant zombies
moulded to play a part in an Orwellian state instead of developing individual talents for the broader benefit of a
By the age of three or four children become aware that darkness prevents sight of dangers that can lurk
there. They become aware of metaphysical fear, frightened of the dark, scared of the unknown. Learning
becomes more cautious and depends on defying fear. The more they defy their fear the more they learn.
Ultimately they discover that some of the unknown is unknowable and fill the gap with a superior being that in
Britain has for centuries been viewed as nature, others call God, others Allah and yet others something else. The
courage with which metaphysical fear is defied separates the leaders from the led as individuals mature and order
themselves into a natural primate hierarchy.
Then there is food. Mothers who take their maternal responsibilities seriously have observed that their
children become bad-tempered and irritable when they are hungry. In fact hunger has effects on the chemistry
of the body and particularly the mind that are as strong as any drug. This is because the longer the time since the
15 Carlos Castaneda, Journey to Ixtlan, (London: Bodley Head), 1973, 83.
previous meal, the harder the body has to work to release stored sugar to maintain an adequate level in the
blood. The substance responsible for this is adrenaline. As has been observed, adrenaline not only affects the
body, it also affects the mind causing irritability and anxiety. That is why people who are hungry become badtempered.
They are also likely to be fidgety and hyperactive with difficulty concentrating at school sometimes
associated with tantrums and rages resulting in accidental or criminal damage. As was discovered on an
anthropological expedition to a problem housing estate in 1997, maternal neglect lies at the root of anti-social
behaviour.  Less well recognised is that another effect of adrenaline is to suppress appetite; if people go too
long between meals they become hungry with no appetite. They can only eat snacks or 'munch' as teenagers
sometimes call it. Within hours they get caught in a vicious circle of hunger and anxiety and it is this cycle that
has to be broken into if anti-social behaviour and eating disorders are to be prevented. Regular meals are
therefore another motherly responsibility, not too much and not too little, regularly day after day, year after year.
Healthy and intelligent offspring in modern industrialised society can need such maternal support for a couple
of decades. The more secure a mother can make her family, her home and her community by putting her mind
to understanding the needs of her children the greater the success they are likely to make of their lives and the
better able the community will be to support her in her old age when her time comes.
The extreme vulnerability of newborn children makes the gestation, nurturing and bringing up of
children a fulltime, demanding, complex and sophisticated activity. It cannot be picked up and put down like
knitting. This becomes more apparent if one looks more closely at maternal, as distinct from paternal,
responsibility. There are only twenty-four hours in a day. Time a mother has to spend finding food and keeping
a roof over her head by going out to work, perhaps even wrestling with parliamentary or boardroom problems,
is time that is not available for putting her mind to the care of her children with empathy, regular meals and
adequate sleep. Traditionally this difficulty has been overcome by the legal and spiritual formality of marriage to
create a reliable division of child-rearing labour. Fathers then support mothers by providing food and shelter
enabling her to put her mind to childcare. Fathers also take responsibility for security not only by maintaining
the shelter of a home but also protecting women from rape and pillage in times of war as was ruthlessly
demonstrated in Europe in the last century. This division of labour makes life easier for mothers regardless of
the prevailing habitat be it wilderness, forest or urban jungle. The greater physical strength of men facilitates this
Girls and boys become aware that their destinies are different and determined by their gender by the age
of four when they first become aware of metaphysical fear. Girls know from childhood that their destiny is
motherhood and that their schooling must be focused on the management of homely as distinct from worldly
safety and security. Like sovereigns or aristocrats they can start preparing themselves as children for their adult
responsibilities just as heirs apparent to thrones or estates are able to prepare themselves for the responsibilities
they will one day inherit. Many do so intuitively by playing with dolls for example. Girls can learn to understand
child psychology and the needs and foibles of children, from their own childhood. They can learn essential
domestic skills and their economical application not only from their mothers but also other older women in the
community. Should it be necessary in later life they can then raise their own children at minimum cost and
maximum skill. This makes girls appear more responsible and intelligent individuals than boys. They realise that
motherhood, the growing of people, is a sophisticated occupation like the practice of medicine, teaching or law.
It is not a daily eight-hour routine but a twenty-four hour responsibility. When not actually caring for a child it is
essential for a mother to reflect on the problems associated with childcare just as doctors, teachers and lawyers
reflect on the problems of patients, pupils and clients. Motherhood is a profession not a job.
Boys on the other hand live in one of two different worlds, one homely and the otherworldly, illustrated
“Home-keeping youth hath ever homely wits.”
“I rather would entreat they company
To see the wonders of the world abroad
Than, living sluggaridis’d at home,
Wear out thy youth with shapeless idleness.”
At the back of the minds of all boys is what they will do when they grow up - become an astronaut
perhaps. They may have an ambition for their future but have no idea whether they will achieve it or how they
will one day support a wife and family. They are beset by the anxieties associated with learning to be men,
acquiring a skill, obtaining a job, getting a wife, finding a house, raising a family and generally making their way
16 Ian Dunbar, More than a Puff of Smoke, (Lulu, 2009), 177 et seq.
17 William Shakespeare, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act 1, Scene 1.
in the world. The precise nature of their future is less focused and dependent on chance. This forces them to
explore and develop their talents in the world beyond the home. They have to learn to defy fear and face danger
by such activities as climbing trees, throwing stones, even playing chicken on the railway! The bottom line is
supporting a wife and family and defending them in times of war if necessary. They realise that they play a
subservient role by providing shelter, security and nourishment so that mothers can put their mind to growing
people. To help them do this they need the support of their fathers and companionship of older men who can
teach them the ‘tricks of the trade’ for surviving and finding food. For everyone there is more to mating than an
Earning a living and providing food and shelter keep fathers preoccupied by the drudgery of
occupational routine, the same journey to work, the same repetitive tasks, the same faces to work with, and the
same journey home, day in day out, week in week out, year in year out. Nowadays women make much of the
‘drudgery’ of domestic chores selfishly ignoring the drudgery of their menfolk. In times past, before the Cultural
Revolution of the 1960s, wives realised it was in their best interest to look after their husbands as they looked
after the children. They prepared breakfast for him before he went to work, a midday meal, and another meal
when he got home. Recognising that he needed proper rest in order to do his job reliably, she never dreamed of
asking him to wash dishes, change nappies or attend a crying child in the dead of night. This made it easier for
the husband to put his mind to his work, discharge his occupational responsibilities and provide for his family as
reliably as possible. But subversive ideology has allowed husbands no rest. Nowadays a ruthless pseudoegalitarian
agenda expects them to wash dishes, change nappies, get up in the night and generally share childrearing
responsibilities thus undermining their occupational efficiency. There is no time left for them to play
with their children and teach them about the wider world beyond the home. Nowadays that is left to ‘Big
Brother’ hiding behind a television screen and aliens in computer games shooting from the hip.
The better supported she is by the man who made her pregnant, the more safe, secure and relaxed the
mother will feel and the more safe and secure will be the domestic environment in which she brings up her
children. Children are then better able to go out into the community, explore it and learn from the world around
them as an explorer explores a remote region, but always with a safe ‘base camp’ to which to return. Moreover,
the better educated the mother the better able she will be to guide her offspring. The more diverse the child’s
interests the more knowledge it is likely to acquire and the brighter and more intelligent it will be. The better
able it will be to parent its own children in its turn thus creating a virtuous circle promoting the evolution of
While parents seek to discipline their children, it is in fact children who discipline their parents by
demanding attention twenty-four hours a day. Conscientious and painstaking motherhood can be a fraught and
exhausting experience. At times the child as it grows will infuriate and disappoint its mother perhaps reducing
her to tears of frustration and despair. At others, it will delight her and be a joy to behold. There is an agony and
ecstasy to child rearing so that one can talk of the martyrdom of motherhood. Accepting that martyrdom as a
fact of life and carrying on without complaint to produce healthy offspring is the ultimate reward. It is only
when she has raised a family to maturity that a woman has discharged the destiny that nature wrought for her. It
is only then that women can feel truly liberated and free to devote themselves to an alternative lifestyle if they
wish. The sense of fulfilment radiating from mature mothers and grandmothers makes them the most welcome,
loveable, respected and reassuring members of any community.
But maternal responsibility extends beyond the home into the communities in which they dwell. With
only twenty-four hours in a day, women who go out to work have no option but to neglect their
neighbourhoods. But it is mothers who are ultimately responsible for caring for those about them, perhaps
helping each other and sharing childcare for periods of rest and recreation. There is also the care of the aged, the
infirm, the neglected and the homeless to consider. They could save the taxpayer billions. It is they who are best
placed to raise money for charity, organise men to put up Christmas decorations, lay on street parties for special
occasions, or perhaps organise an annual carnival where everyone can dress up and pretend to be someone else.
Mothers are at the epicentre of the human universe. The art of growing people extends far beyond dirty dishes
and darning. When mothers spread their influence and authority into the community beyond the home, morale
is enhanced so that people live and work together better as a team. Fewer demands are made on government
thereby limiting its power and minimising expense and the need for taxpayer revenue.
Such then was the order that prevailed in society until the second half of the twentieth century. Women
took great pride in their domestic skills and were universally respected. Since the beginning of time good
housekeeping has been the bedrock on which civilisation had rested and evolved.
Then in the 1960s the contraceptive pill became widely available on prescription from family doctors.
Its purpose was to relieve mothers of the stress of multiple pregnancies. Since the full range of its side effects
was and still is, unknown it was advised that it was not prescribed to women with less than two children.
However the Cold War warriors brushed aside such clinical reservations and encouraged the use of oral
contraception to promote ‘sexual equality’ and the ‘liberation’ of women. Like taking drugs, it also permitted
quick and easy sedative orgasmic ‘fixes’ replacing the rituals of love and courtship. Separation and divorce
depriving children of paternal leadership and guidance have become increasingly common together with
domestic violence. It is as if the contraceptive pill had an androgynous or masculinising side effect. The balance
of the feminine mind was altered so that women started behaving as if they were men. They increasingly
neglected their maternal responsibilities. Several generations have since grown up to believe that such conduct is
normal and natural. Their chances of finding fulfulment and happiness from their gender now eludes them.
They feel cheated and angry without realising the reason why. It is as if the contraceptive pill has been abused as
yet another chemical weapon in the psychological Cold War to undermine the morale of society.
But the home is a microcosm of the state. Women enjoy similar powers over their own homes as
mediaeval heads of state had over nations making laws and setting protocols. For example they balance the
budget, manage diplomatic relations with neighbours, and oversee health, education and justice in the family.
While motherhood places women in a position of great psychological power, nature places checks and balances
on abuse of that power by making men physically superior. The ultimate restraint is domestic violence.
However, ‘male chauvinism’ is the time-honoured moderating influence for checking any untoward feminine
excesses and arrogance verbally rather than physically. However, when ‘equality’ became enshrined in law,
chauvinism became disparaged and the abuse of feminine power began to run unchecked. This situation was
exacerbated by the masculinising side effect of the contraceptive pill mentioned above. Women now strive to
become cabinet ministers, captains of industry, officers in the army, doctors, lawyers and professors while at the
same time trying to care for children. However, the professions like motherhood demand a commitment.
Completely overlooked has been the fact that there are only twenty-four hours in a day. Time spent wrestling
with what were traditionally masculine responsibilities is time that ceases to be available for cultivating and
practicing the arts of motherhood. Consequently, maternal neglect has become the unrecognised social curse of