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Loneliness is the Root of Mass Formation
A must-listen episode from the Fat Emperor
I’ve tried to express why I believe it is so important that we follow the commandment to “love one another” during these times. Why we must do all that is in our power to not give in to the forces of division, fear, and anger. Why love is one of the few precious weapons we have against the darkness.
In this interview with Ivor Cummins, Mattias Desmet, author of “The Psychology of Totalitarianism” expresses what I have been trying to say, in very practical terms. He gives us some of the nuts and bolts of how mass formation “works”, how it is able to succeed in - sorry, there’s no other way to say it - controlling the minds of millions. And it is riveting.
In painting this picture for us, Desmet illustrates beautifully why it is so important to cling to, to defend, and to believe in, our human connections.
I’m still listening to the interview, but here are some gems:
"…people start to feel connected again. So it feels as if their loneliness disappeared. They all fight a heroic, collective battle, with a virus, for instance. Or with the Jews, or with the witches. It doesn’t matter. So people start to feel connected again, as if their loneliness has disappeared. And that’s crucial.
“The loneliness didn’t really disappear. A mass, or a crowd, is a group that is formed, not because individuals reconnect with each other. A mass is a group that is formed because all individuals separately connect to the collective.
“So this typical, famous ‘solidarity’ that always emerges when a mass forms is never a solidarity between individuals. It’s a solidarity between every individual with the collective. And the longer the mass formation exists, the more all the solidarity, and all the psychological energy, is sucked away from the social bonds between individuals, and is all …invested in the bond between individual and the collective. Meaning that in the end, the solidarity with the collective is much much stronger than the solidarity with other individuals.
“And that explains, of course…”
OK, I could keep typing until the entire interview is over. Just know that Desmet is brilliant, and this subject is so very important. Please give it a listen.