Fascism and Democracy in the Human Mind: A Bridge between Mind and Society

Fascism and Democracy in the Human Mind: A Bridge between Mind and Society

Fascism and Democracy in the Human Mind: A Bridge between Mind and Society

Fascism and Democracy in the Human Mind: A Bridge between Mind and Society


What might you have done if you had been caught up in the Holocaust? In My Lai? In Rwanda? Confronted with acts of violence and evil on scales grand and small, we ask ourselves, baffled, how such horrors can happen- how human beings seemingly like ourselves can commit such atrocities. The answer, I. W. Charny suggests in this important new work, may be found in each one of us, in the different and distinct ways in which we organize our minds.

An internationally recognized scholar of the psychology of violence, Charny defines two paradigms of mental organization, the democratic and the fascist, and shows how these systems can determine behavior in intimate relationships, social situations, and events of global significance. With its novel conception of mental health and illness, this book develops new directions for diagnosis and treatment of emotional disorders that are played out in everyday acts of violence against ourselves and others. Fascism and Democracy in the Human Mind also offers much-needed insight into the sources and workings of terrorism and genocide. A sane, radical statement about the guiding principles underlying acts of violence and evil, this book sounds a passionate call for the democratic way of thinking, which recognizes complexity, embraces responsibility, and affirms life.


The values we are seeking to define and perpetuate are values of democ
racy, freedom, and respect for the law and human life.—New York's
Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, speaking after the terrorist destruction of
New York's World Trade Center Twin Towers and part of the Pentagon,
on September 11, 2001

This book is a statement of hope for a democratic way of life, beginning in our minds and extending to our relationships and to our societies.

It is also a sane radical statement about how people get crazy and upset and lose relationships in everyday life, and how people destroy life in societies, in both cases deriving from similar faulty fascist-type thinking.

This fresh message of a bridge between mind and society renews an earlier century's excitement and hope for understanding the human mind more than ever before and also for gaining some greater mastery over fascism and totalitarianism in the traditions of earlier works such as by Erich Fromm, Hannah Arendt, and Rollo May.

For people from all walks of life who care about democracy, and for mental health professionals and others who continue to have high hopes for psychotherapy, it introduces a novel conception of mental illness – and health – and a new direction for treatment. a fuller detailed technical presentation of diagnosis and therapy will be presented in a forthcoming book, Fascist mind versus democratic mind in treatment of emotional disorders, breakdowns in relationships, and disorders of evil.

For sociology, political science, and international relations audiences, the book offers a probing of the nature and manifestations of societal evil through the prism of the mind of the perpetrators – and the widespread potential for evil in so many of us in our human species.

For religious, spiritual, and philosophy audiences, it builds a renewed call to the sacredness of life, which is coupled with practical techniques . . .

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