The Mass Psychology of Fascism
Wilhelm Reich applied the insights from his work on character structures to social and political life: Why are people unfree and organise their own oppression even though they long for freedom? They are incapable of freedom because of irrational character structures of the average person that are considered "normal".
Fascism is therefore not an ideology or political direction, but an expression of the longing of normal human beings to satisfy their primary biological needs, which has been made impossible for them by thousands of years of authoritarian oppression. As a neurotic structure, this repression is conserved in every individual and transmitted to the children through upbringing. The attempt to forcibly break through the limitations of neurosis leads into a character layer of destructiveness that Reich called the "emotional plague". He called people who reside in this character layer "emotionally plague-sick". The emotional plague is not only constantly active as an endemic disease, but also breaks out epidemically, seizing groups of people (e.g. lynch law), organisations (Inquisition of the Catholic Church) or states (fascism).
The emotional plague is present as a character level in all people. This explains why "completely normal" people murder Jews or Bosnian Muslims in a plague epidemic and consider such behaviour justifiable. The Mass Psychology of Fascism is a work that has lost none of its actuality, because it deals with psychological and social phenomena that are real day by day.
Reich not only analysed social institutions that secure the authoritarian patriarchal system of emotional plague, which he generally called the "political plague". He also examined the conditions under which natural and healthy social relations can exist, which he called "labour democracy". Labour democracy is the web of autonomous social relations on which all societies exist. Political, ideological systems use these healthy structures, which must be protected but cannot be organised.
Enough, finally enough of politics!
Get down to the tasks
of living social life!
W. Reich: "The Mass Psychology of Fascism".