By Mattias Desmet
In The Psychology of Totalitarianism, world-renowned Professor of Clinical Psychology Mattias Desmet deconstructs the societal conditions that allow collective hypnosis to take hold. By analysing the global pandemic, he identifies the phenomenon of ‘mass formation’ and illustrates how humanity is being forcibly, unconsciously led into a reality of technocratic totalitarianism, which aggressively excludes alternative views and relies on destructive groupthink, vilifying non-conformist thought as ‘dissident.’
Building on Hannah Arendt’s essential work on totalitarianism, The Origins of Totalitarianism, Desmet offers a sharp critique of the cultural ‘groupthink’ that existed pre-pandemic but has steadily and inexorably advanced during the Covid crisis. He cautions against the dangers of our current societal landscape, media consumption, and reliance on manipulative technologies, offering simple solutions – both individual and collective – to prevent the willing sacrifice of our ability to think critically. The Psychology of Totalitarianism serves as an indispensable and fundamental guide to understanding this key moment in history.