Totalitarianism: What comes next?

It’s getting increasingly difficult to discern truth from fiction as public opinion is tipping dangerously close to totalitarianism.

Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung spent much time studying this dangerous disease of the human psyche prior to World War II.

Jung vividly warned of the looming catastrophe and Adolf Hitler’s potential for evil and destruction after coming to power in a democratic election with many political leaders at the time believing he could be appeased by making political concessions.

In the mid-1930s, Jung observed a dangerous „collective psychosis“ taking hold in Germany, a society-wide state of psychic possession that seemed to affect normal decent citizens

When moral judgment becomes clouded

Moral judgment had become clouded by martial rituals and subconscious „religious“ worship of the Germanic war god Wotan, triggering irrational and primitive behavior.

Totalitarianism flourishes, according to Jung, when people lose their ability to discern fact from fiction and minds become captured in a bubble of an alternate reality.

Jung‘s teachings appear more relevant than ever as we observe Vladimir Putin‘s escalation of the war in Ukraine. Russian nationalism and imperialist thinking are in many ways comparable to Hitler‘s national socialism. It exploits a culture of grievance and perceived humiliation, embedded in the mysticism of the Russian Orthodox religion.

Manipulation of the grievance culture

Dictators and extremist political demagogues do not exist by themselves. They relate to a mass psyche of people coerced into lying to themselves. They have become disconnected from their soul purpose by a grievance culture. Their minds have been usurped by the totalitarian leader telling them what to believe and how to behave.

Photo by Mathias Reding on

Human beings cannot look “above” for what is right and wrong, good and evil; we must struggle with these questions and recognize that, while there are no clear answers, it is still crucial to continue probing further and refining our judgments and inner thought process.

Humanity faces a constant challenge of moral reflection. Jung considered this to be central to the exploration of the human mind. The price for getting it wrong can be catastrophic as we learn when Hitler calls for total war or Putin threatens with a nuclear option.

What we would describe as well-intentioned individuals within the Third Reich ended up serving evil with their sense of loyalty and obedience.

How do we discern reality from perception and belief? How do we become more aware and immune to manipulation?

According to Jung, the first step is in training your awareness about your own shadow. Where are your toxic emotions triggered? Can you step back and reflect before reacting? If you cling rigidly to certain thoughts and beliefs you can also be easily manipulated.

Connecting to your inner BEING and authenticity is connecting to your soul purpose. It is best done in a space of quiet solitude. Connecting to your BEING is connecting to your Creator, your God. And, your Creator is unconditional Love and becoming a servant for the well-being of all living things.

What is the language of reconciliation, truth, and love as opposed to a confrontational language that divides and separates us and them, fanning the flames of venom and hate?

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

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Filed under mental health, mental-health

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