Re: Ideology and Fantasy

I think there would be some debate about the psychiatric diagnosis of
Hitler - ranging from psychotic manic-depressive to other conditions of
psychosis. His cronies didn't have to be psychotic to buy into it. It
only takes one leader with delusional thinking to sway the crowd, thus
the power of cult leaders, parents, and politicians. Whether literal or
figurative, collective psychosis was the result of Hitler's thinking,
psychotic meaning a split between myth and reality, or as Richard said,
between ideology and fantasy. Indeed, it's more than fantasy when it is
acted upon. The myth that Hitler created about the body, contamination
and the Jewish virus was a means of justifying the eradication of Jews
(expanding it to include gays and mentally handicapped/physically
handicapped individuals and others). The reality was that Hitler "swan
in a sea of anti-Semitism" in the culture he lived in. His thinking may
have been metaphoric to others, but it's doubtful they recognized it as
such in that they acted upon it. Rene Girard argues that myths are
sometimes used to rationalize victimization. If, as Foucault wrote, the
world is language, this is a prime of example of the power of language
to sculpt the beliefs of others.

Kevin Kirkland, PhD Candidate

Partial thread listing: