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The Psychology of Totalitarianism

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola


Professor Mattias Desmet, a Belgian psychologist with a master’s degree in statistics,
gained worldwide recognition toward the end of 2021, when he presented the concept of
“mass formation” as an explanation for the absurd and irrational behavior we were
seeing with regard to the COVID pandemic and its countermeasures.

Mass formation is a form of mass hypnosis that emerges when specific conditions are
met, and almost always precede the rise of totalitarian systems

Four central conditions that need to exist in order for mass formation to arise are
widespread loneliness and lack of social bonding, which leads to experiencing life as
meaningless, which leads to widespread free-floating anxiety and discontent, which
leads to widespread free-floating frustration and aggression, which results in feeling out
of control

Under mass formation, a population enters a hypnotic-type trance that makes them
willing to sacrifice anything, including their lives and their freedom

Key strategies to disrupt the mass formation process are to speak out against it and to
practice nonviolent resistance. Dissenting voices keep totalitarian systems from
deteriorating into abject inhumanity where people are willing to commit heinous

Ultimately, “totalitarianism” refers to the ambition of the system. It wants to eliminate the
ability of individual choice, and in so doing, it destroys the core of what it is to be human.
The quicker a system destroys the individual, the sooner the system collapses

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