The Psychology of Totalitarianism

The Psychology of Totalitarianism
Title The Psychology of Totalitarianism PDF eBook
Author Mattias Desmet
Publisher Chelsea Green Publishing
Pages 240
Release 2022-06-23
Genre Political Science
ISBN 1645021734

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The world is in the grips of mass formation—a dangerous, collective type of hypnosis—as we bear witness to loneliness, free-floating anxiety, and fear giving way to censorship, loss of privacy, and surrendered freedoms. It is all spurred by a singular, focused crisis narrative that forbids dissident views and relies on destructive groupthink. Desmet’s work on mass formation theory was brought to the world’s attention on The Joe Rogan Experience and in major alternative news outlets around the globe. Read this book to get beyond the sound bites! Totalitarianism is not a coincidence and does not form in a vacuum. It arises from a collective psychosis that has followed a predictable script throughout history, its formation gaining strength and speed with each generation—from the Jacobins to the Nazis and Stalinists—as technology advances. Governments, mass media, and other mechanized forces use fear, loneliness, and isolation to demoralize populations and exert control, persuading large groups of people to act against their own interests, always with destructive results. In The Psychology of Totalitarianism, world-renowned Professor of Clinical Psychology Mattias Desmet deconstructs the societal conditions that allow this collective psychosis to take hold. By looking at our current situation and identifying the phenomenon of “mass formation”—a type of collective hypnosis—he clearly illustrates how close we are to surrendering to totalitarian regimes. With detailed analyses, examples, and results from years of research, Desmet lays out the steps that lead toward mass formation, including: An overall sense of loneliness and lack of social connections and bonds A lack of meaning—unsatisfying “bullsh*t jobs” that don’t offer purpose Free-floating anxiety and discontent that arise from loneliness and lack of meaning Manifestation of frustration and aggression from anxiety Emergence of a consistent narrative from government officials, mass media, etc., that exploits and channels frustration and anxiety In addition to clear psychological analysis—and building on Hannah Arendt’s essential work on totalitarianism, The Origins of Totalitarianism—Desmet offers a sharp critique of the cultural “groupthink” that existed prior to the pandemic and advanced during the COVID crisis. He cautions against the dangers of our current societal landscape, media consumption, and reliance on manipulative technologies and then offers simple solutions—both individual and collective—to prevent the willing sacrifice of our freedoms. “We can honor the right to freedom of expression and the right to self-determination without feeling threatened by each other,” Desmet writes. “But there is a point where we must stop losing ourselves in the crowd to experience meaning and connection. That is the point where the winter of totalitarianism gives way to a spring of life.” "Desmet has an . . . important take on everything that’s happening in the world right now."—Aubrey Marcus, podcast host "[Desmet] is waking a lot of people up to the dangerous place we are now with a brilliant distillation of how we ended up here."—Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. "One of the most important books I’ve ever read."—Ivor Cummins, The Fat Emperor Podcast "This is an amazing book . . . [Desmet is] one of the true geniuses I've spoken to . . . This book has really changed my view on a lot."—Tucker Carlson, speaking on The Will Cain Podcast

Hannah Arendt, Totalitarianism, and the Social Sciences

Hannah Arendt, Totalitarianism, and the Social Sciences
Title Hannah Arendt, Totalitarianism, and the Social Sciences PDF eBook
Author Peter Baehr
Publisher Stanford University Press
Pages 248
Release 2010-03-11
Genre Philosophy
ISBN 0804774218

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This book examines the nature of totalitarianism as interpreted by some of the finest minds of the twentieth century. It focuses on Hannah Arendt's claim that totalitarianism was an entirely unprecedented regime and that the social sciences had integrally misconstrued it. A sociologist who is a critical admirer of Arendt, Baehr looks sympathetically at Arendt's objections to social science and shows that her complaints were in many respects justified. Avoiding broad disciplinary endorsements or dismissals, Baehr reconstructs the theoretical and political stakes of Arendt's encounters with prominent social scientists such as David Riesman, Raymond Aron, and Jules Monnerot. In presenting the first systematic appraisal of Arendt's critique of the social sciences, Baehr examines what it means to see an event as unprecedented. Furthermore, he adapts Arendt and Aron's philosophies to shed light on modern Islamist terrorism and to ask whether it should be categorized alongside Stalinism and National Socialism as totalitarian.

Crises of the Republic

Crises of the Republic
Title Crises of the Republic PDF eBook
Author Hannah Arendt
Publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Pages 256
Release 1972
Genre Fiction
ISBN 9780156232005

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In this stimulating collection of studies, Dr. Arendt, from the standpoint of a political philosopher, views the crises of the 1960s and early '70s as challenges to the American form of government. The book begins with "Lying in Politics," a penetrating analysis of the Pentagon Papers that deals with the role of image-making and public relations in politics. "Civil Disobedience" examines the various opposition movements from the Freedom Riders to the war resisters and the segregationists. "Thoughts on Politics and Revolution," cast in the form of an interview, contains a commentary to the author's theses in "On Violence." Through the connected essays, Dr. Arendt examines, defines, and clarifies the concerns of the American citizen of the time.--From publisher description.


Title Totalitarianism PDF eBook
Author Abbott Gleason
Publisher Oxford University Press
Pages 328
Release 1997-03-20
Genre Political Science
ISBN 0190281480

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For more than six decades, the term "totalitarian" was applied to everything from Franco's Spain to Stalin's Soviet Union. One of the most enigmatic and yet compelling ideas of our time, it has been both an almost meaningless political catcall and an indispensable concept for understanding the dictatorships that have marred the history of this century. Now historian Abbott Gleason provides a fascinating account of the life of this idea. Totalitarianism offers a penetrating chronicle of the central concept of our era--an era shaped by our conflict first with fascism and then with communism. Interweaving the story of intellectual debates with the international history of the twentieth century, Gleason traces the birth of the term to Italy in the first years of Mussolini's rule. Created by Mussolini's enemies, the word was appropriated by the Fascists themselves to describe their program in what turned out to be one of the less totalitarian of the European dictatorships. He follows the growth and expansion of the concept as it was picked up in the West and applied to Hitler's Germany and the Soviet Union. Gleason's account takes us through the debates of the early postwar years, as academics in turn adopted the term--notably Hannah Arendt. The idea of totalitarianism came to possess novelists such as Arthur Koestler (Darkness at Noon) and George Orwell (whose Nineteen Eighty-Four was interpreted by conservatives as an attack on socialism in general, and subsequently suffered criticism from left-leaning critics). The concept fully entered the public consciousness with the opening of the Cold War, as Truman used the rhetoric of totalitarianism to sell the Truman Doctrine to Congress. Gleason takes a fascinating look at the notorious brainwashing episodes of the Korean War, which convinced Americans that Communist China too was a totalitarian state. As he takes his account through to the 1990s, he offers an inner history of the Cold War, revealing the political charge the term carried for writers on both the left and right. He also explores the intellectual struggles that swirled around the idea in France, Germany, Italy, Czechoslovakia, and Poland. When the Cold War drew to a close in the late 1980s, Gleason writes, the concept lost much of its importance in the West even as it flourished in Russia, where writers began to describe their own collapsing state as totalitarian--though left-wing Western thinkers had long resisted doing so. Abbott Gleason is a leading scholar of Soviet and Russian history and a contributor to periodicals ranging from The Russian Review to The Atlantic Monthly. In this stimulating intellectual history, he offers a revealing look at one of the central concepts of modern times.

Hannah Arendt and Karl Marx

Hannah Arendt and Karl Marx
Title Hannah Arendt and Karl Marx PDF eBook
Author Tama Weisman
Publisher Lexington Books
Pages 187
Release 2013-11-07
Genre Philosophy
ISBN 0739184059

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Hannah Arendt and Karl Marx: On Totalitarianism and the Tradition of Western Political Thought is the first book to examine Hannah Arendt’s unpublished writings on Marx in their totality and as the unified project Arendt originally intended. In 1952, after the publication of The Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt began work on the project “Totalitarian Elements in Marxism.” First conceived of as a companion to The Origins of Totalitarianism, Arendt neither completed this project, nor its subsequent revision, “Marx and the Tradition of Western Political Thought.” Filling in many of the gaps in our understanding of the trajectory of Arendt’s thought from the time she published Origins in 1948 to the publication of The Human Condition in 1958, Tama Weisman traces and evaluates the development of Arendt’s thought on Marx, how his thought could be used toward totalitarian ends, and his place in the tradition of Western political thought. Although highly critical of much of Arendt’s reading of Marx, Hannah Arendt and Karl Marx advances a persuasive critique of Marx implied but never developed in Arendt’s Marx project. Drawing on several of Arendt’s more persuasive criticisms of Marx in combination with her evaluation of the tradition of Western political thought, Weisman makes a compelling case for the charge that when Marx left philosophy to change the world, he paved the way for the loss of our sense of awe and wonder in philosophical, political, and worldly experience.

Omnipotent Government

Omnipotent Government
Title Omnipotent Government PDF eBook
Author Ludwig Von Mises
Publisher Read Books Ltd
Pages 393
Release 2011-03-23
Genre History
ISBN 1446545598

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Liberty is not, as the German precursors of Nazism asserted, a negative ideal. Whether a concept is presented in an affirmative or in a negative form is merely a question of idiom. Freedom from want is tantamount to the expression striving after a state of affairs under which people are better supplied with necessities. Freedom of speech is tantamount to a state of affairs under which everybody can say what he wants to say. At the bottom of all totalitarian doctrines lies the belief that the rulers are wiser and loftier than their subjects and that they therefore know better what benefits those ruled than they themselves. Werner Sombart, for many years a fanatical champion of Marxism and later a no less fanatical advocate of Nazism, was bold enough to assert frankly that the Führer gets his orders from God, the supreme Führer of the universe, and that Führertum is a permanent revelation.* Whoever admits this, must, of course, stop questioning the expediency of government omnipotence. Those disagreeing with this theocratical justification of dictatorship claim for themselves the right to discuss freely the problems involved. They do not write state with a capital S. They do not shrink from analyzing the metaphysical notions of Hegelianism and Marxism. They reduce all this high-sounding oratory to the simple question: are the means suggested suitable to attain the ends sought? In answering this question, they hope to render a service to the great majority of their fellow men.

Making Sense of Tyranny

Making Sense of Tyranny
Title Making Sense of Tyranny PDF eBook
Author Simon Tormey
Publisher Manchester University Press
Pages 216
Release 1995
Genre Political Science
ISBN 9780719036415

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Totalitarianism remains a central concept in political theory, as relevant today as it was in the time of Hitler and Stalin. This book tries to resolve the long-running debates about what totalitarianism is or was, how the term can be applied, and what the future of the concept might be.