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Kamiat, A.H. (1926). Further Remarks on the Believer's Delusion of Infallibility. Psychoanal. Rev., 13(3):304-311.

(1926). Psychoanalytic Review, 13(3):304-311

Further Remarks on the Believer's Delusion of Infallibility

Arnold Herman Kamiat

One of the favorite devices by means of which an individual bolsters up his delusion of infallibility consists of an immersion of the self in the life of a group, sect, class, sex, nation, or party, whose power is conceived as approaching omnipotence. Indeed, the consciousness of the presence of hundreds, thousands, perhaps millions of persons whose creed is the same as one's own, who never express a doubt concerning any of its tenets, and who, upon the slightest provocation, proclaim it the best, the greatest, the wisest creed, the divinely—revealed creed, composed of truths that are self—evident, eternal, indestructible, immutable, providing the key to the mystery of life, and furnishing men with a panacea for all social ills, constitutes a powerful reinforcement of the believer's delusive trend. (In this, as in the preceding article, the writer has all kinds of creeds— theological, philosophical, political, economic, and what not—in mind.) The nation, party, class, denomination, and sex cults are therefore psychic expedients that have a definite egoistic aim in view. The self—immersion and the self—sacrifice of the individual in and to the group are consciously invested with intense altruistic feelings; but the very intensity of these feelings serves to hide from the partisan the egoistic basis of his mental processes.

Power and infallibility are terms that are closely associated. In order that the delusion of the latter may thrive, it is found convenient to conceive the group with which the believer has identified himself as not only the wisest but as one that is, or some day will be, the greatest, the most commanding, the most powerful of its kind in the world. The prôletariat produces all the wealth; it will some day rule the world, and social problems will not be solved until it does. The capitalists are the great men of the nation; they have made it what it is. The middle class is the backbone of society; upon it depend law, order, and peaceful progress.


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