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Eisenbud, J. (1952). Psychoanalysis and Politics. A Contribution to the Psychology of Politics and Morals. By R. E. Money-Kyrle. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., Inc., 1951. 183 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 21:547-548.

(1952). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 21:547-548

Psychoanalysis and Politics. A Contribution to the Psychology of Politics and Morals. By R. E. Money-Kyrle. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., Inc., 1951. 183 pp.

Review by:
Jule Eisenbud

It has been said that nobody really understands politics, and the least that can be said of this book is that it shows why. In touching upon some of the complexities of the interactions between the unconscious psychological processes of individuals and the character of groups, institutions, and political bodies such as states, Money-Kyrle attempts to show that the psychoanalytic approach to politics, while not the ultimate key, is nevertheless an indispensable prerequisite to its understanding.

A Theoretical Basis for a Psychological Approach to Politics is divided into chapters on Ethical Relativism and the Application of Psychology to Politics, Some General Principles of Cognitive Development, Early Stages of the Development and the Origin of Conscience, The Development of Moral Character and Some Varieties of Character Formation. This section is an excellent summary of the ideas of Melanie Klein and her school, with its chief emphasis on the distortions of perception and behavior produced by the incorporation of 'good objects' and 'bad objects' and the development of and defenses against two main types of anxiety: early persecutory and depressive. Some Aspects of the Psychology of Politics is the more or less strict application of these ideas to such topics as The Group in Its Relation to Other Groups, The Group in Its Relation to the Individual, The State as an Influence Favorable or Unfavorable to the Development of Normal Personality, and The Analysis of Political Motives.

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