Lipton’s Journal/January 24, 1955/245

From Project Mailer

Put another way, the sociostatic mechanism in writers allows them each time to express their thought in the least dangerous way for society. So, depending on the kind of personality, the time, and the style and expression of homeodynamic urge and the sociostatic repression (In their philosophical extensions these are very different from id and super-ego—mainly because Freud saw id as generally “bad” and I see it as generally “good”—I am turning Freud on his head just as Marx turned Hegel on his head.)

Let’s repeat: the sociostatic repression always allows the writer the least dangerous (to society) expression of his vision. The homeodynamic demands the most. Given conditions, the compromise, to wit the work, is always the best possible expression, the most efficient compromise. Which is why I say homeostasis is the compromise of homeodynamism and sociostasis.[1]


  1. In a physiological sense, homeostasis is the normal condition of the body regulated by bodily processes that maintain a dynamically controlled equilibrium that counteract external influences. Mailer uses it in a slightly different way as the “most healthy act possible at any moment for the soul” (223) that resists sociostasis, or conformity to the imposed behaviors of the external world. Here, Mailer substitutes homeodynamism as a more accurate word to express the possible movement of the force of creativity, vitality, and rebellion in the individual.