The Mass Psychology of Fascism

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The Mass Psychology of Fascism

Postby terryintacoma » Sun Oct 08, 2006 7:35 am

Wilhelm Reich<br>The Mass Psychology of Fascism<br>written in 1933<br><br>Preface to the 3rd ed. pg xi<br><br>"Extensive and painstaking therapeutic work on the human character has led me to the conclusion that, as a rule, we are dealing with three different layers of the biopsychic structure in the evaluation of human reactions. As I demonstrated in my book "Character-Analysis", these layers of the character structure are deposits of social development, which function autonomously. On the surface layer of his personality the average man is reserved, polite, compassionate, responsible, conscientious. There would be no social tragedy of the human animal if this surface layer of the personality were in direct contact with the deep natural core. This, unfortunately, is not the case. The surface layer of social cooperation is not in contact with the deep biologic core of one's selfhood; it is borne by a second, an intermediate character layer, which consists exclusively of cruel, sadistic, lascivious, rapacious, and envious impulses. It represents the Freudian "unconscious" or "what is repressed"; to put it in the language of sex-economy, it represents the sum total of all so-called "secondary drives."<br><br>"Orgone biophysics made it possible to comprehend the Freudian unconscious, that which is antisocial in man, as a secondary result of the repression of primary biologic urges. If one penetrates through this second layer of perversion, deeper into the biologic substratum of the human animal, one always discovers the third, deepest, layer, which we call the biologic core. In this core, under favorable social conditions, man is an essentially honest, industrious, cooperative, loving, and if motivated, rationally hating animal. Yet is is not at all possible to bring about a loosening of the character structure of present-day man by penetrating to this deepest and so promising layer without first eliminating the nongenuine, spuriously social surface. Drop the mask of cultivation, and it is not natural sociality that prevails at first, but only the perverse, sadistic character layer."<br><br>"It is this unfortunate structuralization that is responsible for the fact that every natural, social, or libidinous impulse that wants to spring into action from the biologic core has to pass through the layer of secondary perverse drives and is thereby distorted. This distortion transforms the original social nature of the natural impulses and makes it perverse, thus inhibiting every genuine expression of life."<br><br>Then we skip a bit and he continues:<br><br>"In the ethical and social ideals of liberalism we recognize the advocacy of the characteristics of the surface layer of the character, which is intent upon self-control and tolerance. This liberalism lays stress upon its ethics for the purpose of holding in suppression the "monster in man," our layer of "secondary drives," the Freudian "unconscious." The natural sociability of the deepest third layer, the core layer, is foreign to the liberal. He deplores the perversion of the human character and seeks to overcome it by means of ethical norms, but the social catastrophes of the twentieth century show that he did not get very far with this approach."<br><br>"The case of fascism, in contrast to liberalism and genuine revolution, is quite different. Its essence embodies neither the surface nor the depth, but by and large the second, intermediate character layer of secondary drives."<br><br>"When this book was first written fascism was generally regarded as a "political party," which, as other "social groups," advocated an organized "political idea." According to this appraisal "the fascist party was instituting fascism by means of force or through 'political maneuver.'"<br><br>"Contrary to this, my medical experiences with men and women of various classes, races, nations, religious beliefs, etc., taught me that "fascism" is only the organized political expression of the structure of the average man's character, a structure that is confined neither to certain races or nations nor to certain parties, but is general and international. Viewed with respect to man's character, "fascism" is the basic emotional attitude of the suppressed man of our authoritarian machine civilization and its mechanistic-mystical conception of life."<br><br>"It is the mechanistic-mystical character of modern man that produces fascist parties, and not vice versa."<br><br><br> <p></p><i></i>
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Re: The Mass Psychology of Fascism

Postby 4911 » Sun Oct 08, 2006 8:31 am

I think hes great - one of the only authors in the US to get his books burned. That book is particularly great, I have it in german. (Though he goes on to decipher the swastika as a symbol of sexuality - i.e. he says its a pictogram representing two people having a romp, which is a bit far fetched in my opinion but whatever, its a theory that makes sense when hooked up to his orgone model...still a strech for me tho) <br><br>Could you post the link where you got this please? <p></p><i></i>
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Re: The Mass Psychology of Fascism

Postby Joe Hillshoist » Sun Oct 08, 2006 8:46 am

Its a good read that.<br><br>I think Reich's reference to the that second repressed layer is interesting in terms of the state.<br><br>Just thinking about 2 awesome philosophers, Neitzche, and Randolph Bourne.<br><br>Both talked about the dangers posed by an entity called the state (Mystic mechanistic matrix of control, thats what the state is.)<br><br>Neitzche, in "on the new idol" in his book Thus Spake Zoroastor. Bourne in an essay you can probably find online. called "war is the health of the state".<br><br>There is probably a link between the enforced repression that comes from a cold impersonal entity in a large human society.<br><br>In a small group where everyone knows everone else, actions that affect other people are not hidden. If you steal your naighbours stuff, you have to live with the consequences of their loss every day.<br><br>Not in a city tho. It seems the personal empathy kit we all have that helps us not act like a jerk all the time is not designed for emathy with people we don't know, well not when they make up the majority of people around us. Seems to have some flaw, perhaps alienation occurs because everyone we know and care about make up such a small percentage of everyone we know is around.<br><br>IE If we evolved in small roving bands of primate then tribal humans, then the people we come across will probably be known to us. We will matter to them and they to us. The functioning unit of culture is small enough for everyone to matter.<br><br>In a big city we are always seeing people we don't matter to. we mean nothing to them cos they are no one we know and vice versa. I think humans are expect to know each other. IE you should know everyone you come across well or at least be able to place them via a geneology relationship thang.<br><br>Not knowing other people when, by all evolutionary rights we should is probably a deep psychic insult, and probably does us all damage.<br><br>Heinlein probably had a point when he observed that a society is in severe decline when strangers are no longer polite or acknowledge each other on the street.<br><br>This is skewing a bit from where it was meant to go.<br><br>The state. that coldest of sold monsters. <br><br>(That was a typo meant to be of cold monsters, but it seems to fit<!--EZCODE EMOTICON START :D --><img src=http://www.ezboard.com/images/emoticons/happy.gif ALT=":D"><!--EZCODE EMOTICON END--> )<br><br>The state enforces an unnatural consideration that probably stems from the empathy kit i was referring to earlier, and the natural empathy that we would develop for our fellow tribe memebers. makes us extend this consideration to strangers, but in the process acts without the politeness and consideration that our personal empathy kits provide us with.<br><br>In the process it takes our natural powers away, power for violence, for freedom of movement, consumption, production and the like. A tribe does this too, but doesn't need to take, those limitations are voluntarily accepted, because they are worth it.<br><br>The returns are greater than the state can provide, more than security and regularity.<br><br>No state loves its citizens. With a passion, cares for them, wants to see them thrive the way a parent does.<br><br>Yet it acts like a parent.<br><br>Its a metaphorical orphanage for its citizens, and we all know orphanages run and the massive potential for abuse that exists within them. <p></p><i></i>
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Re: The Mass Psychology of Fascism

Postby Seamus OBlimey » Sun Oct 08, 2006 11:48 am

Are we seeing something similar here?<br><br>----quote-----<br><br>Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott has defended the right of Muslim women to wear veils which cover their faces. <br><br>It comes after House of Commons leader Jack Straw sparked a row by saying he asked Muslim women to take off their veils at his constituency surgery. <br><br>Mr Prescott told the BBC he would not ask a woman to remove her veil, adding: "If a woman wants to wear a veil, why shouldn't she? It's her choice." <br><br>But he said he welcomed the "proper debate" caused by Mr Straw's remarks. <br><br>Mr Straw said on Friday he did not want to be "prescriptive" but he believed that covering people's faces could make community relations more difficult.<br><br><!--EZCODE LINK START--><a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4801801.stm">BBC</a><!--EZCODE LINK END--><br>----endquote-----<!--EZCODE LINK START--><a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4801801.stm">BBC</a><!--EZCODE LINK END--><br><br>A debate between two NeoLab MPs about whether muslim women should wear veils. <p></p><i></i>
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Re: The Mass Psychology of Fascism

Postby terryintacoma » Mon Oct 09, 2006 8:42 am

"Could you post the link where you got that?"<br><br>No, because I copied it out of my book. <br><br>Computers are still a mystery to me. Don't know how to do much of what you folks are able to do, otherwise I would have brought up that Molly Ivins article about Kissinger yesterday, or the Garrison Keller editorial I just read. <br><br>I can't watch any of the videos cited here either because my dial-up connection is too slow. <br><br><br>I'm curious to know what Reich thought of Jung's work.<br><br>I had alot of respect for Jung until I happened across Richard Noll's books "The Jung Cult" and "The Aryan Christ".<br><br>I had this revelation the other day, but I can't articulate it as well as so many of you. It had to do with Jung's archetypes being the pagan worship of many gods and tieing that concept to mulitiple personalities.<br><br>Then we have Reich's core or deepest layer of our being, like the one true god trying to shine through the second layer of the subconscious.<br><br>Oh heck...I'm tired and I'm going to bed. Someone please explain to me what I'm trying to say.<br><br>Peace, Terry<br><br> <p></p><i></i>
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Re: The Mass Psychology of Fascism

Postby AlicetheCurious » Mon Oct 09, 2006 9:24 am

<!--EZCODE QUOTE START--><blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>No state loves its citizens. With a passion, cares for them, wants to see them thrive the way a parent does.<br><br>Yet it acts like a parent.<br><br>Its a metaphorical orphanage for its citizens, and we all know orphanages run and the massive potential for abuse that exists within them.<hr></blockquote><!--EZCODE QUOTE END--> <br><br>I love that, Joe! I also see elements of the Stockholm Syndrome in much of what passes for patriotism. <br><br>Rather than being artificial constructs built and controlled by communities/nations to serve their interests and protect them from exploitation and attack, states are becoming bloated parasites, run by corrupt messianic sociopaths increasingly drunk with power and accountable to no one. <br><br>The more their relationship with the people they supposedly represent is hostile and predatory, the louder become the popular expressions of patriotism and loyalty. It's a mystery, unless you take into account the accompanying fear-mongering and war hysteria that go with fascism like a flower needs the rain. <p></p><i></i>
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Re: The Mass Psychology of Fascism

Postby Joe Hillshoist » Mon Oct 09, 2006 11:05 am

Cheers alice.<br><br>Stockholm Syndrome as patriotism.<br><br>Yeah that makes a lot of sense. The more I think about it ... there are times when it makes so much sense, judging by people's behaviour. But then again why does stockholm syndrome happen? - people transfer the dependance they have on parents as kids, a dependance on someone else for their survival. Thats the hostage's world in a nutshell, and its intensified.<br><br>The state seems to take on the nature of an entity. A possessive creature, and it possesses people when they do its bidding. IMO its very occult and from the darkside. Most citizens are dependant on the state for something or other, usually vital to their survival (how would you get food without roads?). Hence the potential for Stockholm Syndrome. Or something similar. Nuremburg syndrome perhaps.<br><br>Sometimes when musing on the weirder aspects of stuff, especially the stuff of this place, I wonder if the entities that people like Parsons and Hubbard invoked inhabit the state, as an institution.<br><br>Its a far out concept, but state is as you said, is an essentially vampiric or parasitic thing.<br><br>Thought forms feed by providing some energy via a conditioned habit, this conditioned habit creates the thought in the mind of the thought forms prey. This generates energy from the victim which then feeds the thought form.<br><br>Do you think that could apply to this:<br><br><!--EZCODE QUOTE START--><blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>The more their relationship with the people they supposedly represent is hostile and predatory, the louder become the popular expressions of patriotism and loyalty. It's a mystery, unless you take into account the accompanying fear-mongering and war hysteria that go with fascism like a flower needs the rain.<hr></blockquote><!--EZCODE QUOTE END--> <p></p><i></i>
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Re: The Mass Psychology of Fascism

Postby 4911 » Mon Oct 09, 2006 11:21 am

Borderline Syndrome. <br><br><br><br><br><br>There, I said it again. <p></p><i></i>
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Re: The Mass Psychology of Fascism

Postby Joe Hillshoist » Mon Oct 09, 2006 11:33 am

tez, I get the feeling that you are kind of on the right track.<br><br>tho i dunno about relating jungs archetypes directly to repressed negative things.<br><br>I think Reich could have added another layer to his description or split that second layer into 2 seperate layers.<br><br>I really haven't read jung in depth so this is mostly off the top of my head and could be innaccurate.<br><br>there seem to be a relationship between the state of mind of the observer/experiencer and the archetype. It kind of feeds back through that persons worldview and that drives the final form of its manifestation.<br><br>If you view pagan worship as a form of specificity, that core esssence Reich refers to, well its almost indescribable. The archetypes allow access to aspects of the whole, in a form that makes communication with that other deeper impossible to define thing, God is as good a word as any tho ...<br><br>Anyway that inner core is inexpressible. But archetypes are a way of approaching specific aspects of that inner core. same with pagan worship or pantheism. It provides a metaphor to access some aspects of the psyche or soul. i think he meant that if there was a religious or external divine aspect of the human soul, then archetypes provided communication channels to that other. If not they were expressions of pre programmed biological drives.<br><br>I dunno what that Richard Noll book says, never come across it. But I don't think Jung's concept can be written off as pagan worship either, (not that paganism is a bad thing, it probably isn't), because there is far more to it than what i would associate with simple worship. It seems to be a structure of relationships that is more like a car manual than a bible.<br><br>but, re multiple personalities...<br><br>I think archetypes can be invoked as alters for MC purposes, and that the manipulation of a persons view of self to create controls over that persons dissassociative states can possibly be done using archetypes that seem to be in conflict or mutually exclusive. i dunno if I'll ever find out whether thats the case, but I can see a potential for it. <p></p><i></i>
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bad meat in sandwich

Postby blanc » Mon Oct 09, 2006 3:37 pm

can't relate to this idea of an intermediate rotten layer as universal in humans. can't see how it explains fundamental diff. btwn fascist/criminal types and average man. the former seem to me to lack a connection with the reality of their own condition - dependence and mortality. sensing (I suppose) their isolation which derives from their lack of recognition/acceptance of this status, they seek to pull over the rest of mankind into their thrall or to destroy them, using fear and violence. always fails in the long term - as it must because of the interdependent nature of the human condition, how can you possibly know who is your enemy and who your friend once you decide to become a manipulator and destroyer?. <br>it strikes me as a a sort of expulsion from Eden idea, luvvly original nature, spoiled by munching on the wormyapple, and forever after condemned to stumble along lugging one's original sin.<br>is that too simplistic? <p></p><i></i>
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Linx

Postby Ouish » Mon Oct 09, 2006 6:49 pm

<!--EZCODE LINK START--><a href="http://users.compaqnet.be/cn127103/Nietzsche_thus_spake_zarathustra/index.htm" target="top">Thus Spake Zarathustra</a><!--EZCODE LINK END--><br><br><!--EZCODE LINK START--><a href="http://antiwar.com/bourne.php" target="top">"War Is the Health of the State"</a><!--EZCODE LINK END--><br><br><!--EZCODE LINK START--><a href="http://nickcooper.com/mass.htm" target="top">Excerpts from The Mass Psychology of Fascism</a><!--EZCODE LINK END--> <p></p><i></i>
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kjnb

Postby orz » Mon Oct 09, 2006 7:29 pm

<!--EZCODE QUOTE START--><blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr><br>But he said he welcomed the "proper debate" caused by Mr Straw's remarks. <hr></blockquote><!--EZCODE QUOTE END--><br>Now THAT's what I call a real Straw Man argument! <!--EZCODE EMOTICON START :rollin --><img src=http://www.ezboard.com/images/emoticons/roll.gif ALT=":rollin"><!--EZCODE EMOTICON END--> <br><br>This nonsense has been annoying me so much this week... typical propaganda, so easy... obviously get the already anti-muslim tabloid folks riled up over these muslims not obeying the rules of our country, but also get all those left-leaning anti-war types upset about how terrible it is that women have no rights in muslim society etc etc... 'Right' and 'left' alike jump inline to express their rote "opinions" <!--EZCODE EMOTICON START :rolleyes --><img src=http://www.ezboard.com/images/emoticons/eyes.gif ALT=":rolleyes"><!--EZCODE EMOTICON END--> and then have a "debate" <!--EZCODE EMOTICON START :rolleyes --><img src=http://www.ezboard.com/images/emoticons/eyes.gif ALT=":rolleyes"><!--EZCODE EMOTICON END--> about it. <!--EZCODE EMOTICON START :( --><img src=http://www.ezboard.com/images/emoticons/frown.gif ALT=":("><!--EZCODE EMOTICON END--> <br><br>Also the same day some nonsense story about a Muslim taxi driver not allowing a guide dog in his taxi... :-D they're really turning up the heat at the moment, it's scary stuff. <p></p><i></i>
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Re: bad meat in sandwich

Postby Joe Hillshoist » Mon Oct 09, 2006 7:43 pm

Ouish thanks for the linkx.<br><br>Good one.<br><br>Blanc I think the difference between the average man, and woman, and fascist types, is simply a matter of degrees.<br><br>People bahave like fascists if they suddenly get the opportunity. Unless something has hapened along the way to make them aware of their connection to reality.<br><br>Reich's layer of repressed ugliness is probably something that exists in potential form in everyone.<br><br>eg Abuse, a generational thing in many cases. the pain and damage that abuse causes in children seems to be part of the process of disconnection you referred to. Something that is taken advantage of in MC situatiuons of all kinds. <p></p><i></i>
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Re: bad meat in sandwich

Postby dugoboy » Mon Oct 09, 2006 8:30 pm

fascism finds root best in unreality and dysfunction. <p>___________________________________________<br>"BushCo aren't incompetent...they are Complicit!" -Me<br><br>"Speaking the Truth in times of universal deceit is a revolutionary act" -George Orwell<br><br>"When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it - always." -Mahatma Gandhi</p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://p216.ezboard.com/brigorousintuition.showUserPublicProfile?gid=dugoboy@rigorousintuition>dugoboy</A>  <IMG HEIGHT=10 WIDTH=10 SRC="http://www.geocities.com/orcthrasher/files/images/Qn38113.gif" BORDER=0> at: 10/9/06 6:50 pm<br></i>
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As a dog will show it's belly in submission

Postby Chiaroscuro » Tue Oct 10, 2006 1:16 am

so will followers/victims seek to appease the abusive power figures.<br><br>The more they bluster and abuse the more will the follower/victims cringe and try to appease the more the abuser is intoxicated by power and escelates.<br><br>some hold forth their hope of heaven. others push the fear of hell. all exploit the fear response and seek to keep the amigaylas of the followers in a constant state of fear. it is easer to send a panicd heard off a cliff if they are too scared to looke where they are being lead.<br><br><br><br><!--EZCODE QUOTE START--><blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>The more their relationship with the people they supposedly represent is hostile and predatory, the louder become the popular expressions of patriotism and loyalty. It's a mystery, unless you take into account the accompanying fear-mongering and war hysteria that go with fascism like a flower needs the rain.<hr></blockquote><!--EZCODE QUOTE END--> <p></p><i></i>
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