[WSMDiscuss] Lecture on 'Mass Psychology of Neofascism : The rationale underlying political ‘irrationality’ by Dr Abhay Shukla - 21 st Feb 6 PM (IST)

Devendra Oza oza.devendra at gmail.com
Fri Feb 19 02:01:16 CET 2021

Thanks for the invite to dr shuklas talk.my best wishes to your work.oza
chennai india

On Fri, 19 Feb 2021, 04:52 Subhash Gatade via WSM-Discuss, <
wsm-discuss at lists.openspaceforum.net> wrote:

> *New Socialist Initiative* invites you to the *8 th lecture* in the*
> Democracy Dialogues Lecture Series*.
> *Dr Abhay Shukla*, public health physician and health activist will be
> delivering a lecture on 'Mass Psychology of Neofascism : The rationale
> underlying political ‘irrationality’   Feel free to spread the word.
> In solidarity
> subhash gatade
> *Democracy Dialogues Lecture Series - 8*
> *Topic*
> *Mass Psychology of Neofascism: *
> *The rationale underlying political ‘irrationality’*
> *Speaker : *
> Dr Abhay Shukla
> *Public health physician and Health activist, with interest in
> socio-political issues.*
> Sunday, 21 st February 2021
> 6 PM (IST)
> Zoom Meeting ID: 818 0527 7972
> Passcode: 632276
> https://www.facebook.com/newsocialistinitiative.nsi
> Abstract :
> Since nearly a century, progressive organisers across the world have
> grappled with a striking paradox. Fascist rulers in the 20th century, and
> now Neofascist forces in the early 21st century have managed to attract
> large-scale mass support from major sections of working people, despite the
> fact that this reactionary project attacks the material interests of many
> of its own followers. Existing political economy analyses of Neofascism,
> combined with understanding of its social and cultural-religious
> dimensions, appear necessary but not sufficient to fully understand the
> cycle of causation of this deeply contradictory phenomenon.
> It will be argued that an in-depth grasp of *mass psychology* *of
> Neofascism*, integrated with analysis of other levels of social
> causation, is absolutely essential to both understand and effectively
> counter this political derangement. This is especially important since progressives
> tend to neglect mass psychology, while reactionaries thrive on it. Drawing
> upon writings by Fromm, Reich and Adorno as well as contemporary
> observations in the Indian context, key concepts such as ‘Pathological
> normalcy’, ‘Collectivised hypnotic spell’, features of the ‘Authoritarian
> personality’, fascist ‘rational use of irrationality’, basis for charisma
> of the ‘Authoritarian leader’, and key fault lines of Neofascism keeping in
> view the contradicted personalities of many of its hard core followers,
> will be discussed. The need to transcend binaries such as Facts vs.
> Narratives, Rational vs. Emotional, Socio-economic structure vs. Culture,
> Material demands vs. Symbols – where progressives have often prioritized
> the first element in each pair, while giving less importance to the second
> – will be emphasised. Based on this, possible directions for
> strengthening multi-level, integrated range of strategies which encompass
> an understanding of mass psychology of Neofascism in the Indian social and
>  cultural setting will be explored. Complementing ongoing progressive
> political and social movements, such an approach could help to win over
> large masses of people presently under the sway of Neofascism, to a popular
> counter-hegemonic process which is grounded in Indian reality, and can turn
> the tide in favour of widening mobilisations for socio-economic justice and
> real democracy.
> Attachments area
> ________________________________________
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