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

By Harold D. Lasswell | Go to book overview

CHAPTER X
THE POLITICS OF PREVENTION

Political movements derive their vitality from the displacement of private affects upon public objects. The intensive scrutiny of the individual by psychopathological methods discloses the prime importance of hitherto- neglected motives in the determination of political traits and beliefs. The adult who is studied at any given cross. section of his career is the product of a long and gradual development in the course of which many of his motivations fail to modify according to the demands of unfolding reality. The adult is left with an impulse life which is but partially integrated to adulthood. Primitive psychological structures continue in more or less disguised form to control his thought and effort.

The state is a symbol of authority, and as such is the legatee of attitudes which have been organized in the life of the individual within the intimate interpersonal sphere of the home and friendship group. At one phase of childhood development the wisdom and might of the physical symbol of authority, typically the father, is enormously exaggerated by the child. Eder traces the significance of this for the state in the following words:

What occurs as we come more in touch with the external world, when the principle of reality develops, is the finding of surrogates for this ideal father. We discover that the parent is not all-wise, all-powerful, all-good, but we still need to find persons or abstractions upon which we can distribute these and similar attributes. By a process of fission these feelings are displaced on to and may be distributed among a number of surrogates. The

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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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