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The psychology of totalitarianism  Cover Image Book Book

The psychology of totalitarianism / Mattias Desmet ; translated by Els Vanbrabant.


"Occasionally, there are books that try to make sense of a key moment in history - and become an indispensable guide to the times we live in. This book is one of them. In The Psychology of Totalitarianism, world-renowned Professor of Clinical Psychology Mattias Desmet deconstructs the societal conditions that allow collective psychosis to take hold. By analysing our current global situation and identifying the phenomenon of 'mass formation' - a type of collective hypnosis - he illustrates how close we are to repeating totalitarian behaviours within democratic structures. Totalitarianism is not a coincidence and does not form in a vacuum. Desmet explains how it arises from a collective psychosis that has followed a predictable script throughout history, its formation gaining strength and speed with each generation - from the Jacobins to the Nazis and Stalinists - in lockstep with technological advances. He demonstrates how governments, mass media and other large, 'mechanised' forces use fear, loneliness and isolation to demoralise populations to exert control, persuading large groups of people to act against their own interests, always with destructive results. 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 and then offers simple solutions - both individual and collective - to prevent the willing sacrifice of our freedoms. The Psychology of Totalitarianism describes exactly how, during this extraordinary time of loneliness, free-floating anxiety and fear, we are surrendering our freedoms and giving way to censorship and loss of privacy - driven by a dominant crisis narrative that excludes dissident views and relies on destructive groupthink" -- Provided by publisher.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9781645021728
  • Physical Description: 231 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
  • Publisher: White River Junction, Vermont : Chelsea Green Publishing, 2022.

Content descriptions

Formatted Contents Note:
Subject: Totalitarianism > Psychological aspects.
Social psychology > Political aspects.

Available copies

  • 1 of 1 copy available at Consortium of Ohio Libraries. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at Community Library (Sunbury).


  • 0 current holds with 1 total copy.
Show Only Available Copies
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Community Library (Sunbury) 320.53 Des (Text) 30210313163338 New Books Available -

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