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The mass psychology of fascism Hardcover – 1970

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux (1970)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0285647008
  • ISBN-13: 978-0285647008
  • ASIN: 0374203644
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,657,563 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Text: English, German (translation)

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ned Swing on November 7, 2007
Format: Paperback
First written in German in 1933, the first edition appearing in September of 1933 in Denmark, this remarkable book was written by Marxist and Freudian Wilhelm Reich. Reich, as a longtime practicing psychiatrist in Germany, was in a unique position to understand the "mass psychology of fascism." The world was now dealing with the "irrational in politics" and Marxism, as purely economic dogma, could not comprehend the "cleavage" between the material conditions and the ideology of the German people. The crass Marxists could not understand, as Reich did, that fascism is a tendency latent in all of us! Fascism is not the Nazi Party, fascism is, as he writes:

"...only the organized political expression of the structure of the average man's character. It is the basic emotional attitude of the suppressed man of our authoritarian machine civilization and its mechanistic-mystical conception of life."

Thus, you cannot reason fascism out of existence. It has to be crushed (literally, physical force anti-fascists say). And, just as importantly, the underlying basis of fascism has to be addressed. To Reich, and this is his whole point throughout the book:

"The sexual morality that inhibits the will to freedom, as well as those forces that comply with authoritarian interests, derive their energy from repressed sexuality. [...] sexual inhibitions changes the structure of economically suppressed man in such a way that he acts, feels, and thinks contrary to his own material interests."

Earlier in the same chapter, Reich holds that militarism is a "libidinous mechanism" and that young men are open to recruitment and deployment overseas because "our youth has become sexually starved owing to sexual suppression.
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