The Mass Psychology of Fascism
The only authorised edition, newly translated from the original German.
Wilhelm Reich’s classic study is a unique contribution to the understanding of one of the crucial phenomena of our times – fascism. Reich firmly repudiates the concept that fascism is the ideology or action of a single individual or nationality, or of any ethnic or political group. He also denies a purely socio-economic explanation as advanced by Marxian ideologists. He understands fascism as the expression of irrational character structure of the average human being whose primary biological needs and impulses have been suppressed for thousands of years.
The social function of this suppression and the crucial role played in it by the authoritarian family and the church are carefully analysed. Reich shows how every form of organised mysticism, including fascism, relies on the unsatisfied orgastic longing of the masses.
Wilhelm Reich was one of the great psychoanalysts of the twentieth-century. He worked as a psychoanalyst in Vienna and became deputy director of Freud’s Psychoanalytic Polyclinic. He moved to Berlin in 1930 but left Germany in 1933 when Hitler came to power and in 1939 he moved to the USA. Wilhelm Reich died in 1957.
“Written in 1942 with the terrible reality of Nazism all around, Reich’s book is as relevant now as it was then.”
“Reich really strikes to the core of fascism’s mass appeal. His analysis of the twentieth century’s dangerous inhibition of sexual instincts, and his reasons why… people attach such significance to the concepts of ‘law and order’ and ‘the family’ have become important contributions to the study of crowd control and manipulation. It is very easy to see why this book was banned by the Nazis.”
‘Gongster’, The University of Nottingham