In his major socio-political works, The Mass Psychology of Fascism, The Sexual Revolution, The Break-in of Sexual Morals, etc., Reich described the effects on the development of political ideologies from the living conditions of young adults forced into un-natural abstinence because they could not afford to leave their parent's home and establish their own, or were for other reasons limited in their power to choose their own life-styles. He finds this abstinence the underlying cause of religious and nationalistic ideologies that agitate against sexuality, and substitute gratifications such as nationalistic chauvinism, team sports, Hollywood movie fantasies, and fantasies about famous celebrities, all of which prevent development of the independent character that folows initiation of an adult sexual role.
In the article included in Character Analysis in which Reich first presented the concept of the Emotional Plague Character as a specific diagnosis, he goes into great detail in describing the syndrome, but says nothing about what causes it. In fact, what he does say implicates the currently existing sex-starvation of the plague character as the motivation for the plague behavior, not long-ago childhood experiences.
Reich says little or nothing in his socio-political writings of the personal armor formed in early childhood as a factor in determining adult political positions. He seems to expect that an adolescent who is able to find both a suitable mate and an environment that allows their relationship to develop will grow out of any earlier armoring and develop into an independent-minded adult.
It was only much later, in 1944, after the birth of his son, Peter, that Reich devoted much attention to infancy and early childhood development. But he does not ever say, anywhere, that an individual, whatever his early childhood experiences, cannot reach adult character development if the proper conditions exist in adolescence.
There has been a strong tendency in orgonomy, especially in America, to forget about the window of oportunity presented by adolescence and concentrate on armor formed in childhood as the most important cause of adult neurosis, including political irrationalities. There may be a basis for this in treating individual patients in a medical setting, but when it comes to "treating" a whole society, any possibility of affecting widespread cultural childrearing practices must somehow convince the adults first, and since they are already firmly established in their armored patterns and the rationaizations for retaining them, that remains unlikely to happen.
On the other hand, teen-agers are able to fight for their own rights and establish their own life-styles if given a minimal amount of help and encouragement by a few concerned adults. This opens a way to practical action to change the age-old culture which cannot be done if already damaged adults must first be convinced to change how they act toward children. An orgonomic attempt to reach adolescents is long overdue.
The United States Government currently spends $176,000,000 a year on a Federal program to get teenagers to sign a Contract With God not to have sex until they are married. Both parties support this boondogle because it buys votes in the Bible Belt. While it is not working very well, it is undoubtedly adding to the anxieties of many young people and harming their chances of ever becoming rational adults. An orgonomic intervention of some sort, probably in the form of an educational website aimed at teenagers, could go a long way towards countering such malign influences.