At a lecture in Vienna, the Israeli-American psychoanalyst Era Loewenstein warned of the burgeoning right-wing extremism in Europe and the USA, but at the same time added that there is no escaping these tendencies. The ugly face of fascism is a constant by-product of modern democracies, the only effective remedy is constant work to remember and active engagement against any restriction of democratic achievements.

Fascist movements are mobilizing the masses under the spell of a charismatic leader for a better world, but the goal is not improving living conditions, but unlimited power over the same people, Loewenstein said last Friday in the packed hall of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Association. “When the delusional bubble reaches the limits of reality, the followers often become victims of the regime and its leader themselves.”

Many historians would have pointed out the fascination of death and the boundless destructiveness of fascist regimes. It begins with the invention of an enemy defined by meaningless characteristics such as physical or mental health, race, color, creed, ethnicity, political affiliation, or sexual orientation. These target groups are first maliciously defamed and then gradually stripped of their rights. Once the invented enemy has been wiped out, a new one must be found to keep the destruction machinery running. More on pressetext.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email