Jungian analyst Dr. Anthony Stevens has written about the kind of personality that goes with fascism and in doing so, I believe, offers insight about much of the authoritarian personalities and politics strutting across the stage these days. He writes that
the authoritarian character is thus the individual basis of a collective fascism, where the social and political structure is dominated by an order imposed by a single masculine authority. Fascism is the ultimate expression of father-dominance.
The authoritarian character is “essentially sadomasochistic.” Such a person “admires authority and tends to submit to it, but at the same time he wants to be an authority himself and have others submit to him.” These personalities distinguish only two kinds of persons—the strong and the weak. As Stevens puts it,
Such persons become predatory at the first sign of weakness. Yet, just
…as all sadists have a masochistic side, so the authoritarian has a need to respect an authority greater than himself. He not only likes to constrain the freedom of those whom he controls but also enjoys the sense of submitting himself to a leader, God, or Fate. …As a monk he will be dictatorial with the lay brethren but totally submissive to the Abbot and the Rule of the Order.
Sexuality and aggression, Stevens points out, are unresolved conflicts in a domineering and fascist personality. It would seem that “the Fuhrer is always right,”–or the religious superior such as Father Escriva, founder of Opus Dei and those indoctrinated in such cults. And Trump worshippers.
Adapted from Matthew Fox, The Pope’s War: How Ratzinger’s Secret Crusade Has Imperiled the Church and How It Can Be Saved, pp. 92f.
See also: Matthew Fox, Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh: Transforming Evil in Soul and Society, pp. xxxviii, 258-263, 300.
To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.
Banner Image: “U Street NW.” Photo by Mike Maguire on Flickr.
Queries for Contemplation
Are you on the lookout for “Father dominance” ideologies and personas and movements that are ill at ease with democracy and with the equality of women and Earth and creatures on earth? How to offer a more wise model of celebrating the rights of all, not the rights of a few?
The Pope’s War: Why Ratzinger’s Secret Crusade Has Imperiled the Church and How It Can Be Saved
The Pope’s War offers a provocative look at three decades of corruption in the Catholic Church, focusing on Josef Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI. The final section in the book focuses on birthing a truly catholic Christianity.
“This book should be read by everybody, not only for its ferocious courage, but also for its vision for what needs to be saved from the destructive forces that threaten authentic Christianity.” ~ Andrew Harvey, author of The Hope.
“In the gripping The Pope’s War, Matthew Fox takes an unwavering look at the layers of corruption in the Catholic Church, holding moral truth against power.” — Jason Berry, author of Vows of Silence: The Abuse of Power in the Papacy of John Paul II