The Psychology of the Group is different from individual psychology said Freud. Today’s Democrats, the Resisters, the Hate Trumpers, are giving us a lesson in group psychology, what Freud called the Group Mind, what some family therapists call emotional fusion.
Those part of a group – we have seen this in cults, too – can stop thinking, feeling, acting as individuals, become so identified with the group, that they start acting as one, think – CNN, MSNBC, the Corporate Liberal Media. The emotional pressure inside the group is so strong that say the New York Times writes a headline deviating from Group Mind Beliefs, then the emotional pressure from “the Group” makes them immediately snap back when criticized and change the headline. They no longer have the backbone, the mental independence to stand alone and say what they might really believe.
What’s more, said Freud about the Group Mind, “There are certain ideas and feelings which do not come into being, or do not transform themselves into acts except in the case of individuals forming a group.”
Now we need to take heed of this, because shooters can also participate in this group mind via groups on the internet. We need the media to talk more about group psychology and how it is different from individual psychology to explain what is going on in our culture – to save us from what is going on in our culture with insights about it, with information about it from group psychologists who study this sort of thing.
One way we can think of this Group Mind is that what comes up from it can be thought of coming from what Jung called the Collective Unconscious. The Collective Unconscious is the inheritance of our human nature. It is our unconscious primordial heritage from our earliest ancestors. It channels us back into the well-worn paths of our ancient ancestors.
Individuals each possess unique predispositions due to unique genetic endowments. That uniqueness is lost in a group where our common predispositions are most apparent. It’s those common predispositions which we are seeing in the group psychology of the Democrats, in the group psychology of White Nationalist shooters.
The intensity of the emotions of many Democrats, of many White Nationalists, comes from the Group Mind, which we can think of as a togetherness force in which people seek connectedness, respond to other people’s directives, function as part of a group and to do what the group does.
Freud would explain it by saying the Group shows a common character, CNN, MSNBC, the liberal media, many Democrats, many White Nationalists are exhibiting a common character unique to their Group Psychology.
Inside the Group Mind the individual is dominated by emotions. Emotional pressure is exerted to conform to the group’s beliefs. People lose their autonomy, their ability to think for themselves. Thinking no longer operates separate from emotions. We can call this emotional thinking. The group gives the individual a feeling of power which permits him to express instincts he might have been able to restrain had he not become part of a group. “He will be the less disposed to check himself, from the consideration that, a group being anonymous and in consequence irresponsible, the sentiment of responsibility which always controls individuals disappears entirely.” The new character that a group shows that the individual doesn’t is the absence of repression of unconscious instinctual impulses.
So individuals display characteristics as part of a group that they don’t display as individuals. The group acts without conscience, without responsibility, Freud said. “In a group every sentiment and act is contagious”. In groups people do things that is uncharacteristic of them, that is not part of their personal repertoire of habits. A Congressman doxes donors of Trump not admitting this puts them in physical peril. In a group the conscious personality vanishes, individuals lose consciousness of their acts. There is a tendency to immediately transform suggested ideas into acts. “Isolated, he may be a cultivated individual; in a crowd, he is a barbarian – that is, a creature acting by instinct.” - “by the mere fact that he forms part of an organized group, a man descends several rungs in the ladder of civilization”
From Wikipedia: Jung linked the collective unconscious to 'what Freud called "archaic remnants" – mental forms whose presence cannot be explained by anything in the individual's own life and which seem to be aboriginal, innate, and inherited shapes of the human mind'. He credited Freud for developing his "primal horde" theory in Totem and Taboo and continued further with the idea of an archaic ancestor maintaining its influence in the minds of present-day humans. Every human being, he wrote, "however high his conscious development, is still an archaic man at the deeper levels of his psyche." In is this primitive archaic mind, this emotional fusion, this ferocity – which is taking us all aback - that we see in the Group Mind.
See if Freud’s explanation of the group mind doesn’t explain what we are hearing Democrats say – Trump wants to exterminate illegal immigrants; Trump is a White Nationalists sending secret signals to other White Nationalists as cues to how they should act.
From Freud On Individuals In A Group:
“He possesses the spontaneity, the violence, the ferocity, and also the enthusiasm and heroism of primitive beings.”
A group is almost completely unconscious in its behavior.
“The feelings of a group are always very simple and very exaggerated.”
“It goes directly to extremes; if a suspicion is expressed, it is instantly changed into an incontrovertible certainty; a trace of antipathy is turned into furious hatred.”
The only thing a group respects is force.
“groups have never thirsted after truth”
“They demand illusions, and cannot do without them.”
Behavior of groups is based on fantasy, not truth.
Groups are dominated by feeling, not thought.
“A group impresses the individual as being an unlimited power and an insurmountable peril.”
In our increasingly technological culture, in our culture in which the power of government keeps getting bigger and bigger – the individual feels powerless. Being a member of a group changes feelings of powerless into feelings of power. Being a member of a group gives the individual feelings of power, but at the price of his or her (apologies to the politically correct left) individuality.
There is only one treatment for this MOB behavior, to the primitive archaic group behavior that threatens our society and that is Individuation.
Seeing What Jung Has To Say To Our Age of Opposites
I-It relating is totally subjective. The I looks at everything in relation to their self. Their desires and concerns are a barrier to real meeting. There is contrivance and hypocrisy. Imposition characterizes I-It Relating as the I tries to impose their views, their wants on the other.