[lit-ideas] Conference on Political Extremism and Psychopathology

  • From: "Orion Anderson" <libraryofsocialscience@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 24 Apr 2008 13:29:26 -0400

        



20th ANNUAL MEETING OF THE ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF PHILOSOPHY &
PSYCHIATRY, 
May 3 & 4, 2008, Washington, DC

"Political Extremism and Psychopathology"

LOCATION:
THE FAIRMONT WASHINGTON
Executive Forum, Ballroom Level
2401 M. Street, NW, Washington, DC.  Phone: 202-429-2400

THERE IS NO FEE FOR ATTENDANCE.
NO REGISTRATION REQUIRED.

Click Here For Complete Program
<http://www3.utsouthwestern.edu/aapp/Political%20Extremism2008.pdf> 

Presentation by Richard Koenigsberg,

"Political Violence and the Concept of Collective Psychopathology"

        


PSYCHOPATHOLOGY OF MASS-SLAUGHTER IN THE 20TH CENTURY


Because of radical Islam and suicide bombings, people have begun to look at
the relationship between psychopathology and politics. However, the
monumental episodes of mass-slaughter that occurred in the West during the
Twentieth Century dwarf what terrorism has generated. In this presentation,
I examine the psychopathology of collective forms of political destruction
and self-destruction given names like as war, genocide, democide and murder
by government.

Paul Berman writes that it is very odd to think that millions or
tens-of-millions of people might end up joining a pathological political
movement. Individual madmen might step forward, but surely, "Millions of
people are not going to choose death, and the Jonestowns of this world are
not going to take over entire societies." 

Looking at the historical record, one is compelled to conclude that indeed
millions of people have chosen death, and on many occasions Jonestowns have
taken over entire societies. Over two-hundred million people died in the
Twentieth Century as a result of political violence initiated by nations and
ideological movements. Where are clinical studies of these enormous cultural
events that brought death and injury to millions of human beings?

For additional information please send an email to
oanderson@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx or call 718-393-1081.

 

  _____  

 

THE SACRED REALM OF COMPETING NATIONS AND IDEOLOGIES


Within the sacred political domain, human beings shoot one another, blow
each other up, torture one another, drop bombs on cities and murder
tens-of-thousands of people. We're dealing with something extraordinary,
these recurring episodes of collective violence. But the historical craft
does not allow for a concept of psychopathology.

Wars, revolution, acts of genocide and acts of terror seek to glorify,
promote and propagate nations, ideologies, and religion. Within the domain
of struggles between sacred ideologies, anything and everything is
permitted. Sacred ideologies release human beings from moral structures and
strictures that govern other dimensions of societal existence.

Within this sacred realm--where struggles between competing nations,
ideologies and Gods occur--no space is allowed for the language of
psychopathology. This domain is imagined to be "beyond good and evil."
Because this sphere is imagined to contain something that transcends
ordinary human life, standards used to judge other domains of existence are
not applied.

Read the online publication:
 <http://www.ideologiesofwar.com/docs/rk_collective.htm> "Political Violence
and the Concept of Collective Psychopathology"

 


WE ARE IN THE PATHOLOGY AND THE PATHOLOGY IS WITHIN US


The pathology that infuses the historical process is pathology that we are
unwilling to recognize as pathology. What is happening stares us in the
face--we can't help noticing what is always goes on--but we hesitate to say
that we know. A mechanism of denial is contained within the very concept of
history, which depicts monumental, extreme episodes of destruction and
self-destruction as if normal.

A concept of collective psychopathology emerges at the moment we begin to
disengage from the fantasy or shared nightmare with which we all have become
identified. Once we perceive or recognize that we are living within a
pathological domain--that we are in the pathology and the pathology is
within us--then we begin to separate from it. At the moment of separation,
diagnosis begins.

  _____  


Richard Koenigsberg is an author, lecturer and teacher focusing on the roots
of collective forms of violence. He received his Ph.D. in Social Psychology
from the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research. He is a
Faculty Member of the Institute for the Study of Violence at the Boston
Graduate School of Psychoanalysis. New editions of his books--Hitler's
Ideology: Embodied Metaphor, Fantasy and History and The Nation: A Study in
Ideology and Fantasy--recently have been released by Information Age
Publishing.

        


 

 

        

 

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