Available At: Amazon Bookstore
Man’s Greatest Fear states that man’s brain has not changed in over 45,000 years; moreover, his level of testosterone (the hormone of aggression) has not diminished either. Man’s biological purpose has been to conquer his environment; to make it safer for his mate and their offspring. However, this obsession has driven man to the brink of World War III and, simultaneously, fuels his relentless destruction of his environment. Albert Einstein warned, “We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive.” Only woman, whose biological purpose is the creation of life, is capable of that “new manner of thinking.” Instinctively, man fears this “final phase of human evolution” which is why he has always dominated woman. Subconsciously, man understands the wisdom of Socrates: “Woman, once made equal to man, becomes his superior.”
Author: Thomas M. Lister
Category: Psychology/Gender Studies
Available At: Amazon Bookstore
Biography: Before retiring in 2010, Thomas M. Lister has worked as a hospital psychologist, a community college counselor and a psychology instructor. He earned his BA degree in psychology and physical education at CSU Sacramento, an MS degree from Wright-State University, Dayton, Ohio, and his Ed.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of South Dakota. While serving four years in the USAF as a medic during the Vietnam War, he was introduced to the theories of Sigmund Freud by his mentor, psychiatrist William H. Egan, M.D., upon which much of his book is based. In addition to Man’s Greatest Fear, he also wrote the fiction novel Massacre at Pilgrim’s Pass, the crisis intervention training manual To Care Is Not Enough, and the management skills manual I’d Understand You If You’d Just Make Sense. He has also written two screenplays: Massacre at Pilgrims’ Pass and The Commitment. He is presently developing a non-profit organization called GLOW, or God Loves Old Women, that will serve the homeless in the Ukraine.
Man’s Greatest Fear: The Final Phase of Human Evolution (Second Edition)
What does man fear most? What insecurities lead him to pursue, conquer, and destroy other men, new territories, and even his own environment? Thomas M. Lister believes that one force lies beneath many of man’s most destructive activities: fear of women. In Man’s Greatest Fear, Lister uses Freudian psychoanalytic theory to explain how men react to the natural life-giving power of women and what that means for the world.
Sigmund Freud has been criticized for disparaging women, minimizing their complaints with labels like “hysteria” and “penis envy.” Lister, a student of psychoanalytic theory since his years serving as a medic in the Vietnam War, turns Freud’s characterization inside out. In Lister’s estimation, it is instead men who suffer from a form of womb envy, borne of the knowledge that “Woman, with very little input from man (one sperm) is the personification of God on earth.”
Faced with women’s awe-inspiring ability to create life, Lister suggests, men feel insignificant. Men also find themselves overpowered by their sexual attraction to women. The combination, posits Lister, induces men to subjugate women and live lives of glory on the battlefield, or in the boardroom, to prove their own worth.
Lister’s historical knowledge is vast, and he supplies examples from a variety of eras and cultures to support his argument. He speaks with authority on everything from early man’s biological imperative to control and conquer his environment to modern man’s global territorial battles, our world wars. This second edition of Man’s Greatest Fear brings the examples up-to-date, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as man’s apparent war against the environment.
In some chapters, Lister’s ticker tape of man’s mistakes steals the spotlight, momentarily losing the thread of his Freudian analysis and taking on the tone of a political opinion piece. For instance, in the chapter on leadership, Lister expounds upon the growing income disparity in the United States, the “PAC-rigged” political system, and the “hypocrisy of the Republican elite.” He offers his observations as proof of corruption in a male-dominated leadership structure, but they might be more effective if less politically biased.
Addressing the changes needed in the future, Lister repeatedly quotes Albert Einstein’s statement that it “will take a whole new manner of thinking for mankind to survive.” To that end, he offers a 28-point plan aimed at changing the political landscape from a male to a female perspective. This includes scenarios like electing a female president, protecting women’s reproductive rights, and shifting to sustainable energy sources.
Well-documented, thorough, and provocative, Man’s Greatest Fear suggests that we look carefully at the way our society treats men and women. Much like an individual might uncover repressed memories on the psychologist’s couch, society can become aware of its essential conflicts. By making the subconscious conscious, on a global scale, Lister suggests we can heal the world.
Sheila M. Trask
August 21, 2012