Psychopathology and Politics; Politics: Who Gets What, When, How; Democratic Character

By Harold D. Lasswell | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IX
POLITICAL CONVICTIONS

Political prejudices, preferences, and creeds are often formulated in highly rational form, but they are grown in highly irrational ways. When they are seen against the developmental history of the person, they take on meanings which are quite different from the phrases in which they are put.

To begin, almost at random, with L. He believes that the United States ought to join the League of Nations and that our government ought to lead the world toward conciliation and peace. He is a Republican in party preference, and possesses well-rationalized judgments on a number of public questions. It is for none of these reasons that his history is of special value to the political scientist. What his intimate history does disclose is an exact parallelism between his political opinions and those of his father and mother, and, besides that, a conscious anxiety on his part to conform to the parental pattern of belief and occupation. He has a strange premonition that if he goes his own way something terrible will happen. Thus L is not only a simple conformer, but a compulsive conformer.

He is the youngest of four children. The next older member was a brother who was killed when L was eight and the brother was seventeen. Since L was so much younger than the other children, he was at first petted and spoiled. He slept around with all the members of the family, but mostly with his mother. A cousin of his own age with whom he visited provided the immediate point

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Psychopathology and Politics; Politics: Who Gets What, When, How; Democratic Character
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Publisher's Foreword iii
  • Contents vii
  • Title Page ix
  • Preface xi
  • Contents xiv
  • Chapter I - Life-Histories and Political Science 1
  • Chapter II - The Psychopathological Approach 15
  • Chapter III - A New Technique of Thinking 28
  • Chapter IV - The Criteria of Political Types 38
  • Chapter V - Theories of Personality Development 65
  • Chapter VI - Political Agitators 78
  • Chapter VII - Political Agitators -- Continued 106
  • Chapter VIII - Political Administrators 127
  • Chapter IX - Political Convictions 153
  • Chapter X - The Politics of Prevention 173
  • Chapter XI - The Prolonged Interview and Its Objectification 204
  • Chapter XII - The Personality System and Its Substitutive Reactions 221
  • Chapter XIII - The State as a Manifold of Events 240
  • Appendix A - Select Bibliography 268
  • Appendix B - Question List on Political Practices 276
  • Title Page 287
  • Preface 289
  • Contents 293
  • Part I -- Elite 295
  • Part II -- Methods 311
  • Chapter III - Violence 326
  • Chapter IV - Goods 342
  • Chapter V - Practices 360
  • Part III -- Results 375
  • Chapter VII - Class 392
  • Chapter VIII - Personality 410
  • Chapter IX - Attitude 427
  • Chapter X - RÉsumÉ 443
  • Bibliographical Notes 455
  • Title Page 463
  • Democratic Character 465
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