A1 Journal article (refereed)
The Phantasmatic Core of Fascism : Psychoanalytic Theories of Antisemitism and Group Aggression Amongst the ‘Political Freudians’ (2022)


Zolkos, M. (2022). The Phantasmatic Core of Fascism : Psychoanalytic Theories of Antisemitism and Group Aggression Amongst the ‘Political Freudians’. Redescriptions, 25(1), 49-64. https://doi.org/10.33134/rds.367


JYU authors or editors


Publication details

All authors or editorsZolkos, Magdalena

Journal or seriesRedescriptions

ISSN2308-0906

eISSN2308-0914

Publication year2022

Volume25

Issue number1

Pages range49-64

PublisherHelsinki University Press

Publication countryFinland

Publication languageEnglish

DOIhttps://doi.org/10.33134/rds.367

Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open access

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/82564


Abstract

The period predating and overlapping with World War II saw psychoanalytic authors respond to the authoritarian and fascist developments in Europe through scholarly and analytical writings. These authors, sometimes referenced as ‘political Freudians’, were interested in bringing psychoanalysis in a dialogue with progressive social and pedagogical movements of their times, focusing their critique on the persecutory, eliminatory and purificatory fantasies, which they saw as animating the fascistic movements in Europe. This article analyses selected texts by Otto Fenichel, Ernst Simmel and Rudolf Loewenstein and argues that these authors asked about the political and ethical stakes of the fascist constructions of its ideal subject; one that was armoured against the threats of dispossession perpetuated by racialized minorities. In different ways, these thinkers showed that projection, paranoia, scapegoating and ego-regression became operative as group phenomena at that historical moment. By engaging with these texts, it becomes possible to not only understand better the history of how the critical psychoanalytic theorising developed at the backdrop of war-time European history, but also to consider the contribution that concepts of desire, irrationality, fantasy and affect make to the studies of fascism, historically, and perhaps today.


Keywordsanti-Semitismfascismwartimepsychoanalytic theoriespsychoanalytic literary criticismpsychoanalysisbecoming awareunconscious mindpolitical thoughtviolence (activity)literatureliterary research

Free keywordspsychoanalytic theory of fascism; German fascism; antisemitism; the social unconscious; Fenichel, Otto; Simmel, Ernst; Loewenstein, Rudolf ; Freud, Sigmund


Contributing organizations


Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2022

JUFO rating1


Last updated on 2024-03-04 at 19:17