Adorno, T. W. (). Freudian theory and the pattern of fascist propaganda. Psyche: Zeitschrift für Psychoanalyse und ihre Anwendungen, 24(7), Written in , this essay systematizes Theodore Adorno’s extensive work in the s, informed by psychoanalysis, on the mass psychological base of. Adorno begins by approaching the Freudian descriptions and the .. Adorno’s “ Freudian Theory and the Pattern of Fascist Propaganda”.

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But how, Adorno asks, can a group give up the idea of a loving father for a feared authority? Fascist leaders tried to build on this relation. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. He developed a destructive authoritarianism, producing paradoxes like scapegoating as an expression of love. Social justice appears as abandoning all individuality, including individual pleasures and rights.

The Feminism of Uncertainty. This helps tap a primal jealousy of each other, and leads to the notion of a control on all to prevent anyone getting an advantage, a diversion of contempt for each other into hatred of an out group.

To ask other readers questions about Freudian Theory and the Pattern of Fascist Propagandaplease sign up. In fact, there was often implicit despair at the prospect of real social change, and a realization that actual manipulation was needed to do that, prompted by economic and material interests.

Freudian Theory and the Pattern of Fascist Propaganda

The masses project on to the leader who is then loved as an ego ideal, a real man, or real achiever. Rhetoric like this can be overdone, inviting parody, but even patter can backfire: Leaders have to combine these qualities with a dreadful averageness as well: The masses believe they are loved by their leader, and have no other loves or dependencies, making them strong, masterly and independent.

It is the same dynamic in primal hordes where the leader is dreadful and dangerous and this leads to a thirst for authoritarian government. Are these patterns peculiar to fascism or are they found in other mass movements?

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The essay further demonstrates the interrelationship of the Frank Written inthis essay systematizes Theodore Adorno’s extensive work in the s, informed by psychoanalysis, on the mass psychological base of fascism.


They act as if it is tthe you can just show up to the dinner table and have your freuian share of. The process is facilitated by particular group structures, such as a fascist community which represents the perfect substitution of individual egos for one ego ideal [the fascist community is seen as a regression to a primal horde, a deeper process than mere nostalgia].

Freudian Theory and The Pattern of Fascist Propaganda

Leaders have to be ordinary in order to enable realistic identification with them and to permit narcissistic projections. Andrew Poe teaches political theory at Amherst College, where he is an assistant professor of political science and a member of the coordinating committee of the Amherst Program in Critical Theory.

It is fazcist site of our deepest melancholia… and there is so much work to be done, it is overwhelming. Routledge, It helps if leaders pose as ordinary people who are still able to overcome problems and become superstars, the ‘great little man’.

Expressions of a Fascist Imaginary | South Atlantic Quarterly | Duke University Press

Benigno Aguirre marked it as to-read Sep 26, Freud noticed the collapse of the individual, and this led to an interest in the vulnerability of the ego to outside pressures.

Freud propxganda clearly more appropriate for the modern masses who are not primitive groups, but the children of the liberal era, living in an enlightened civilization. The masses want to develop such a relation because they have strong egos but blocked attainments [echoes of an anomie theory in here? Citing articles via Google Scholar. Sexual difference prooaganda always primary in psychoanalysis.

Freudian Theory and the Pattern of Fascist Propaganda by Theodor W. Adorno

It is more a matter of ordinariness, having an ability to guess the wants of the masses. This is the structural unit of the fascists. Trivia About Freudian Theory a Focusing attention on out groups acts as a safety valve preventing self criticism. Narcissism and idealization are also important themes, allowing a collective projection on to leaders: Fascism is not just a simple release of the energies of the id, since other psychological agencies are at work too.

There are links with critiques of culture: There is no release of some primitive instinctual biological or presocial factors—these are effects rather than causes. Fascists realized that they needed to be masterful and independent if they wanted to be loved by crowds.


Jacques Lacan, Thwtrans. Unreliable translations hampered the initial reception of Adorno’s published work in English speaking countries. It turns critique into rage, characteristic of all prejudiced persons. Alicia Villegas marked it as to-read Feb 21, Although less well known among anglophone philosophers than his contemporary Hans-Georg GadamerAdorno had even greater influence on scholars and intellectuals in postwar Germany. He does this by turning propagsnda unconscious outwards; noting that in this there is no quality of intrinsic superiority in and of itself.

Return to Book Page. However, Freud displays no contempt for the masses and wants nothing to do with the herd instinct or any other kind of biologism. Patients are embarrassed by it, as I said they are all good liberal New Yorkers. Andrew Poe; Expressions of a Fascist Imaginary: Scapegoating like this provides a negative definition of the group, as a compensation for the lack of positive ones. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Common devices are used in a rigid and repetitive manner hoping to develop a common structural unit of perception rather than a set of individual contents, a psychological system rather than specific elements.

Massification can release a female kind of passivity: This pantomime also permits authoritarian personalities to develop both their sets of obligations to those above and to those below.

The process is based on a conflict of the psychological level.

Fascism did not spontaneously release psychological forces, but it did involve deliberate manipulation, and, despite all the themes of revitalization, it promoted an artificial regression, through psychological manipulation of a specific kind—externalizing the unconscious and projecting it adkrno to leaders instead of individuals, the opposite aim of psychotherapy which attempts to develop individual rational control of the id and so on.

A Free Association for Psychoanalysis.