Totalitarianism Anyone? ☠️

I saw an interview on TV this week with Masha Gessen, a writer being interviewed about her newest book called, The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia, the winner of the 2017 National Book Award for non-fiction. Now, is that the coolest title, or what? Just think about that for a minute. It has so many implications and directions to it. And she was wearing the coolest jacket I think I’ve ever seen….but I digress……as I do….

Gessen is a staff writer for the New Yorker is originally from Russia and, man, is she fascinating and brilliant!

fear, extremism, loss of direction

Trauma Psychology = Totalitarianism

So, there are many directions I could go off from here but I want to focus on one in particular. Masha mentioned a term called “trauma psychology” which she connected and equaled to Totalitarian thinking, which she said went hand in hand – and a light bulb went off in my head.

My father was a far right Republican who listened to Rush Limbaugh regularly. This scared me back in the day but it’s so, so much worse now (he died two years ago and was pretty out of it for the two before that). My father was also a Holocaust survivor and from as far back as I can remember, I always equated his views with fear from his experiences being hated and hunted. I thought that it must make him feel safe to be on the louder and more aggressive (ie: winning) side that he couldn’t be on when he was a child. Later I learned about Rush Limbaugh’s fear and damage as he fought his pill addiction and figured this idea I had was a thing. Well, it was a huge revelation to me to discover that not only is it a thing but it even has a name.

Numbness, desolation, indifference

Fear ➡️ Lack of Empathy Toward Our Fellow People (courtesy of impending Halloween)

What’s going on now makes so much more sense when you take into consideration the number of people who experience major trauma (survivors of everything from sexual assault, parental abuse of all kinds to severe bullying) and additionally have the predisposition to go negative with a little self hatred mixed in – with no therapy or self help of any kind. This is a certain percentage of the population and the result is a President who mocks a sexual assault survivor in public and has a room full of followers who think it’s acceptable to laugh and taunt at her along with him – because they have no empathy for themselves, why would they have empathy for anyone else (no winners here, unfortunately)?

Luckily, it seems as though there are more of us who may or may not have trauma but don’t live in the trauma psychology world, thank goodness.

My instincts were right, which came from a desire to understand the seemingly illogical behavior of someone I loved and looked up to – that’s where understanding  begins and healing starts….

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