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Blau, A. (1947). The Mass Psychology of Fascism: By Wilhelm Reich. Trans. by Theodore P. Wolfe. (Orgone Institute Press, New York, 1946. Pp. 344. Price $4.50.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 28:52-53.

(1947). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 28:52-53

The Mass Psychology of Fascism: By Wilhelm Reich. Trans. by Theodore P. Wolfe. (Orgone Institute Press, New York, 1946. Pp. 344. Price $4.50.)

Review by:
Abram Blau

Man has ever searched for a philosophy of life, the final philosophical truth, the ideal Weltanschauung. This book is another contribution of this type. It attempts to find the answer in an application of Reich's special theories of sexeconomy to Marxist sociology. The product of this union is foreseen as the ideal democratic state, a 'Work Democracy' in which there is a 'natural functional interlacing of work'.

The contents of the book is far more comprehensive than is suggested by the dated and limited quality of the title; this is similar to that of the original German edition in 1933. The work is more a treatise on group and social psychology, but it merits the attention of analysts for its broad social and political orientation.

The author's style is pedantic, verbose and repetitious, and there is much detailed political history which is not too pertinent. Too, the book is pervaded with Reich's esoteric 'orgone' concepts which seem far-stretched and not clear to the reviewer.

The basic thesis of the book is that the 'founders of socialism' lacked the knowledge of biological factors, particularly the 'character structure of the masses' and the anti-social element in man's character. The defective anti-social element is identified with the 'irrational' tendency toward mysticism, which Reich associates with the need of most people for authoritarian leadership. He demonstrates how irresponsible political leaders were able to exploit these tendencies for Fascist and anti-democratic ends.

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