Professor Mattias Desmet talks about his work that connects past historical episodes of what is called “Mass Formation” (aka Mass Psychosis) and current events. The risks are as grave as they come. Unless a few brave and courageous people are willing to stand up and say “I don’t agree!” history suggests that we will end up with a fully totalitarian outcome.
That is a dark path. It inevitably leads to mass casualties and atrocities. Eventually all totalitarian systems end in their own destruction.
My position is “it doesn’t have to be this way.” We can do better. Let’s avoid a future of atrocities and the complete destruction of our way of life. Unfortunately, those caught up in the Mass Formation event cannot see the larger or wider implications of their actions. They are very much like a hypnotized person with their field of view narrowed down to a singular threat or risk they have been told is the one-and-only threat they must conquer.
So all of their attention goes there. It focusses down. Nothing else matters. Eventually they transfer their anger and rage at that enemy – which is Covid today – upon a more relatable a nearby object. Perhaps their neighbor. Perhaps the unvaccinated. Perhaps immigrants who are stealing their jobs, or those who aren’t taking Climate Change seriously enough.
With that transference, the path has been laid to re-trod some of the most awful and inhumane periods of history. We’re there again and our own integrity demands that we do what we can to avoid going any further down that path.
In this episode Mattias tells us what can be done. We must never resort to violence. We must be courageous and speak up. We must hold everyone with compassion. But most of all, we must speak up.