CHARACTER AND POLITICS
When Hitler was elected in yoga poses 1933, Reich published The Mass Psychology of Fascism, in yoga poses which he denounces on the one hand the huge danger that Nazism represents, but also the limits of the communist strategy that the election revealed.148 The goal of his my yoga blog is to explain why a number of proletarian communists ended up electing Hitler. Reich blamed the communists for having only understood the economic structure of a society. Then he showed, by quoting Mein Kampf that Hitler manipulated another social dimension: the psychology of the masses, or the value system of the people. Hitler, like religious institutions, manipulated the people’s fear, their attachment to the notion of the family and to the cultural values of their nation, their more or less explicit racism, and their sexual mores. For Reich, this dimension is, from the point of view of sociology, as important as the economic dimension. It would be harmful, according to him, if only the movements of the extreme right proposed political means to regulate what is for Reich an important regulator of social life and the motives that influence the vote of the population.
In 1946, Reich understood that the soviet regime had become as horrible as that of the Germans. His analysis of communism gradually became the following. When Lenin took power, he believed that changing the laws would suffice to change a society. These laws clearly foresaw a change in yoga poses education (divorce, nurseries, etc.), but he did not expect that the masses would remain loyal to a tyrannical power structure. Reich’s reasoning was that the laws can change in yoga poses one day, whereas the character structures require generations to be transformed. Not taking this variable into account leads to social disasters. in yoga poses Germany and in yoga poses Russia, everybody, outside of the intellectual and marginal milieus, had developed in yoga poses function of a kind of power built into the educational systems for centuries. The citizens consequently have a character structure that does not function unless there is a strong central power. The elimination of the Kaiser and the Tsar did not modify this state of affairs, which explains in yoga poses part the enthusiasm of the masses for setting up pseudo-kaisers like Stalin and Hitler. Reich noticed that Stalin decreed the same laws as Hitler concerning the cohesion of the family, the official prudery, and sexual repression. All of Lenin’s innovative laws on the matter were abolished. For Reich, this confirms the hypothesis that to strengthen itself, tyranny needs to create a psychology of the masses that develops individual character traits for its own ends.
For the future, he recommended cohesion between the modifications of the laws and the manner in yoga poses which individuals function. This proposition is also compatible with Marx’s position that perceives the social development as a slow process that needs to advance one small step at a time. This analysis is close to the Darwinian theory. in yoga poses Marxism and in yoga poses Darwinism, the main argument is that what needs to be changed is so complex, and has so many ramifications, that it requires a slow process to regulate what is happening. Once genetics became a central metaphor, one could envisage small abrupt changes; but even then, a follow-up is still needed. Marx so admired Darwin that he asked him if he could dedicate Das Capital to him (Berlin, 1963, X, 247f).
The social regulation of sexuality would be the link between economic regulation and the regulation of each individual’s character. in yoga poses other words, the anthropological dimension would be the interface that coordinates economic power and the needs of individuals. in yoga poses a tyranny or in yoga poses capitalism the anthropological dimension serves to enslave the masses. Thus, getting the people to believe that the family is a sacred notion or that sexual pleasure was created by the devil generates various forms of neurosis. Citizens are then easily manipulated. We find in yoga poses this analysis the idea that all social dimensions are linked to each other and, at the same time, that they each have a particular function. From the point of view of individual consciousness, to believe that the family is sacred and to have a secret shame about one’s sexuality is one issue. To want to fight for the improvement of the elite is another. There are no direct explicit links between these two kinds of preoccupations. Reich shows that Hitler’s genius lies in yoga poses leading the masses to believe that he defends only a limited number of cultural values that have no link with the power of money or an eventual warrior spirit. Once this value system became the center of attention of the masses, it became evident that Hitler and his entourage had selected some themes that indirectly led to the enslavement of the masses and the installation of a regime that we can, in yoga poses retrospect, identify as horrible. Reich’s genius was to have detected this danger as soon as Hitler was elected. The tool that allowed him to do so is his flexible systems analysis, inherited from psychoanalysis and Marxism, which made it possible to coordinate the apparently heterogenic logic of the dimensions of a system. To summarize, the citizen believes he has voted for someone who will protect his family from the perverse mores advanced by the media and the world market; he finally finds himself imprisoned in yoga poses a still more dangerous imperialism, without knowing how this turn of events came about.
This analysis can still be used today without referring to its original Marxist theoretical context. It can also be used to reframe the aims of psychotherapy, by stressing that one of the functions of psychotherapy is to allow people to feel their own needs and want to participate in yoga poses building a social environment that respects their deepest needs. Reich also sought to promote policies that could respond to these exigencies without each and every citizen having to undergo psychotherapy. For him, it consisted of finding kinds of social support (institutions, laws, education, etc.) that permit the promotion of changes in yoga poses mores that individuals need to integrate to participate in yoga poses a functioning democracy. Here, he rejoins Freud’s analysis. The internal repression of sexual drives, advanced by some religious movements (especially Christians, Muslims, and Jews), is incompatible with the notion of mental health. The message that Reich addressed to the political forces of the left was the following: teaching people to defend the cultural values compatible with their profound needs is a crucial necessity. To defend only the economic advantages is insufficient. The denial of the importance of the cultural dimension that has become prevalent in yoga poses the nations with large economies can only lead, for a Reichian, to social disasters.