More On Man’s Proclivity of Evil: Greed’s Alchemy Under Utilitarian Principles

Karen Barna
6 min readApr 15, 2024


The Depravities of the Non-human Self

Freud’s analysis of the case of 'Little Hans' gives us the little boy’s castration complex. Stranded on the psycho-social shores of his sexual development, his desire for his mother of which he cannot possess, the boy-child is isolated and alone, apart and separated from the union with his mother. His desire to possess his mother must seem like the vastness of a great sea that separates the two on separate shores of which there is no passage. Incest is taboo. This Oedipal arrangement sets up a form of surrogacy of which the boy-child will act on in his adulthood. He will repeatedly be in search of a heterosexual object to replace his mother. Although this is considered normal romantic heterosexual development, it is the same psychic arrangement that explains the psychosis of serial rape and serial murder. It is the same psychic arrangement that sets up the destruction of life for humanitarian and utilitarian purposes like Elon Musk’s monkeys and other forms of scientific experimentation on the backs of the marginalized and the vulnerable (See link below: “Modern Day Medicine” a re-counting of when doctors kill). For this reason, Freud’s castration complex has been called by some feminist “the psychotic text of Western culture” because psychology and psychoanalysis lack a unifying theory. We can also explain other forms of perverse human relationships such as slavery and the financial greed of sex trafficking, and the history of inhumane medical experimentation and torture. Most notable today, is the use of wireless electromagnetic frequency torture (Havana Syndrome) and advanced interrogation techniques at CIA black sites (see First Do No Harm, 2010 and the link “Havana Syndrome Link to Russia”).

Greed’s Alchemy: Annihilation and Thing-Possession

Like serial rape and serial murder, greed surpasses all moral parameters. “In search of a meal in the midst of a banquet (Barton, 1993), mankind seems impelled toward infinite aggression and perversity. Unsated and insatiable, craven in his acquisitive desire, mankind eradicates all human impediments to possession. Money, land, material power: for these, wars are fought, slaves are taken, individuals and entire cultures are exploited, annihilated, and oppressed. In evil’s deformation of ethics, the human and the non-human seemed linked in a reversal: that which is human is reduced to an “it,” and that which is it is rendered sacred. Greed’s victim is filled with every dimension of human suffering. And yet he is it-defined: envisioned by the perpetrator as devoid of all the enlightened shadows of human subjectivity. This is the contradictory status of greed’s victim: to be seen as a shallow thing, emptied of all subjectivity, and yet to be used as a full container for human suffering. To define the victim as an “it” while using the victim as pain’s container: this is the “magical remedy” that permits the perpetrator to injure and deny the victim’s injury (see also Ogden, 1989). It allows him to “expunge from history the harm that was done. History is rewritten and the need for guilt is thereby obviated” (Ogden, 1989, p.23). Even in death, greed’s victim is defined by the “thingness of corpses.” What was living interior is now inert; thing-discarded. A corpse functions as the repository for all that reviled filth that exists at the margins of human existence: the fecal, the decay of creatures. And through this most magical of remedies, that filth, that thing disappears into a grave. And the coveted object of greed remains suffused with that golden light which should inhere in human life (Grand, 2000, pg.119–120).”

To paraphrase Unsworth (1992), it is this lunatic exchange between greed’s victim and the depravities of a non-human self. Greed’s victim is plundered for pedestrian implements, for the glint of gold and silver and glass, for the glitter of beads and sequence, and the plumage of the latest fashions. A soul is kidnapped, perhaps sold into the sex trade by traffickers. Dehumanized by rape, severed from love, forbidden speech, craving for freedom greed’s victims are owned by men who threaten with intimidation, violence, and fear. A human victim becomes a thing, her body, and the bodies of her beloved, become mere planks in the church of her abductor. They become utilitarian objects, the mere implements and facilitators for perverse human wealth. And sometimes this perverse facilitation parades itself under the guise of “utilitarianism” which spells out for the facilitators of the orchestration greater financial wealth.

During the institution of slavery, white slave owners controlled their slaves and took vengeance on them through an extraordinary inventory of bodily tortures (see Genovese, 1976; Fox-Genovese, 1988). In the strange alchemy of greed, greed exchanges the sacred for the profane. It is mankind’s “sacred hunger” impelling him to reduce human life to base metal, while conferring life’s numinosity into the base metal of things. Sue Grand theorizes it is the paranoid — schizoid desire for immortality that drives greed’s violence. It’s the political leader’s, the scientist’s, the doctor’s, the inventor’s drive and desire for accolades and rewards, to be remembered in perpetuity of his greatest achievements. In this way, he eludes death. Through the continual renewal of violence, acquisitors deny that, “The grave is their eternal home, the dwelling place for all generations of those once famous on the earth” (Psalms 49:6–11).

The greatest observer of human behavior, William Shakespeare, proposed such a link in Macbeth. This Shakespeare tragedy is to be read as a testimonial to mankind’s archaic imaginings that “thing-possession" will release him from his own mortality and render him an immortal god. What’s more, is the history of humankind attests to the primordial connection between violence and greed. In Macbeth, the Macbeths plan the killing of the king in usurpation of power, land, and wealth. Bejeweled, glowing with rare gold and infinite power, the crown seems to signify ownership of that massive transcendent creation of which human eyes never have enough of seeing nor human ears have enough of hearing. Through immoral acts the crown thief will attain nature’s immortal powers, and find release from mortal form, severing the tie that binds him to death his ultimate demise and the cessation of life itself. Thus, the final equation proposed by Shakespeare:

Immortality = Violence + Thing-Possession

History is replete with examples of the tyrant, the man most capable of indulging his desires and wishes, as the man most afflicted with lunatic desire.


Barna, Karen. “Modern Day Medicine and the New Era of Electronic Slavery in America. Published February 3, 2021. Retrieved April 15, 2024.

Barna, Karen. “Havana Syndrome Linked To Russian Foreign Nationals.” Published April 1, 2024. Retrieved April 15, 2024.

Barton, C.A. (1993). “The Sorrow of the Ancient Romans: The Gladiator and The Monster.” Princeton, NJ. Princeton University Press.

Chasseguet-Smirgel, Janine (1985). “Creativity and Perversion.” London. Free Association Books.

“First Do No Harm: The paradoxical encounters with psychoanalysis, warmaking, and resistance.” (2010). Adrienne Harris and Steven Botticelli (editors). New York. Routledge. Relational Perspective Book Series. Volume 45.

Freud, Sigmund (1909). “Analysis of a Phobia in a Five-year-old Boy” (Little Hans), in S.E., 10: 5–149.

Fox-Genovese, E. (1988). “Within the Plantation Household: Black and White Women of the Old South.” Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press

Genovese, E.D. (1972). “Roll, Jordan, Roll: The world the slaves made.” New York. Vintage Books.

Grand, Sue (2000). “The Reproduction of Evil: A clinical and cultural perspective.” Hillsdale, NJ. The Analytic Press. Chapter 6, “The Depravities of the Non-human Self: Greed, Murder, Persecution (pg.115–134).

Ogden, T. (1989). “The Primitive Edge of Experience.” Northvale, NJ. Aronson.

Shakespeare, William. (1632/1992) “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare.” Stamford, CT. Longmeadow Press (pg. 1045–1070).

Unsworth, B. (1992). “Sacred Hunger.” New York. Norton.



Karen Barna

I am a Targeted Individual suffering electronic harassment. I write about gender difference and object relations and feminism. I am Gen. X