The Mass Psychology of Fascism
Original Publication: Sexpol Verlag (1933 & 1934) and Orgone Institute Press (1946)
Banned from circulation by U.S. Federal Court order – 1954
Burned under FDA supervision – 1956 and 1960
Re-published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux – 1969
"The Mass Psychology of Fascism was thought out during the German crisis years, 1930-33. It was written in 1933; the first edition appeared in September of 1933; and the second edition in April of 1934 in Denmark....In 1942 an English source suggested that the book be translated into English. Thus I was confronted with the task of examining the validity of the book ten years after it was written."
Wilhelm Reich, M.D.
(from the Preface)
Wilhelm Reich's classic study, written during the years of the German crisis, is a unique contribution to the understanding of one of the crucial phenomena of our times--fascism. Reich firmly repudiates the concept that fascism is the ideology or action of a single individual or nationality, or any ethnic or political group. He also denies a purely socio-economic explanation as advanced by Marxist ideologists. He understands fascism as the expression of the irrational character structure of the average human being whose primary, biological needs and impulses have been suppressed for thousands of years.
The social function of this suppression and the crucial role played in it by the authoritarian family and the church are carefully analyzed. Reich shows how every form of organized mysticism, including fascism, relies on the unsatisfied orgastic longing of the masses.
The importance of this work today cannot be underestimated. The human character structure that created organized fascist movements still exists, dominating our present social conflicts. If the chaotic agony of our times is ever to be eliminated, we must turn our attention to the character structure that creates it; we must understand the mass psychology of fascism.
Read an excerpt [PDF]