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

Big Brother (improperly inspired not by Stalin but by Hitler) created by and owned by Frederic Guimont. Wikimedia Commons.

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,

he worships the former; for the latter he has nothing but contempt. Power fascinates him with all the luminosity of a naked archetype.

This might explain the admiration of Putin and North Korean dictators by a certain recent president.

Such persons become predatory at the first sign of weakness. Yet, just

The late Senator John McCain comments on the behavior of the former White House occupant with Russian president Vladimir Putin at the 2018 Helsinki summit: “(he) abased himself before a tyrant.” Report by CNN.

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?

Recommended Reading

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

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9 thoughts on “Father Dominance and Collective Fascism”

  1. Avatar

    Unfortunately Father dominance and masculine authoratism has played itself out from the very beginning of Christianity, evidenced in the apostles relationship to Mary Magdalene, whom some define as the first apostle to the apostles. The biblical creation story of Adam and Eve, has been falsley interpreted through this veil of fatherly dominance and masculine authoratism… ignoring the Holy Spirit as the Cosmic Mother whom was present and whom participated in the creation of the all and the everything, as co-creatrix.

    However, if you listen to the Original Prayer of Jesus in his Aramaic language made known to us through Neil Douglas Klotz research, teachings and meditations on these words spoken by Jesus, you will begin to discover the rich layers of meaningful eternal truths enfolded within this prayer that Jesus taught; which is all about an all inclusive cosmology, one in which there is a sacred unity between the masculine and feminine within humanity, creation and the Divine.

    Encountering Klotz’s creative gift, Original Prayer I found to be a blessing in not only healing the oppression and suppression of the Holy Spirit of the Cosmic Mother, but also I found this experience of engaging with the teachings and meditations on the Aramaic words of Jesus in his Original Prayer given, to be transformative and liberating, a lifting of the veil of fatherly dominance and masculine authoratism.

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Jeanette, Thank you for your comment and the reminder of the work of Neil Douglas Klotz on the Aramaic of Jesus. At Matthew’s school, we were all very familiar with his “Prayers for the Cosmos.”

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Patrick, You are right “Only surrender to Divine LOVE can cure this ill and eradicate its evil,” but consider the following quote in view of what Matthew does: “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil, to one who is striking at the roots.” (Henry David Thoreau). Matthew does just that. He strikes at the roots and that is what is “radical” about his ministry, that is why he titled his book on prayer, PRAYER: A RAIDCAL REPOSNSE TO LIFE…

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Tony, If you are referring to the poem Matthew referred to in his video message, it is a poem by Leonardo Boff, but I couldn’t make out the title… sorry 🙁

  2. Avatar

    I have a question to ask of you Richard, which relates to my understanding of the Via Negativa, and what Mathew has been trying to reveal and make known to us, throughout this past series of DM. Please correct me if I am misunderstanding.

    Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite was the first to introduce what we call the Via Negitiva; which states that God cannot be known or spoken of literally, only analogically, which is known as apophatic mystical knowledge. In the Via Negativa, we learn to know what God is not, rather than what God is. Is this then what prophets like Mathew Fox are pointing out for us to see within ourselves? Through the Via Negativa are we not then, really being shown the many ways humanity is not being the image and likeness of God, whom we are created to become and be? It seems to me, that Mathew, within the past series of DM has been revealing and making known the many ways in which humanity is not reflecting the true image of ourselves, as one’s created in God’s image and likeness.

    My understanding of the Via Negativa, is that through this process, what is being revealed and made known is the state and condition of ones heart, mind and soul of some, within the collective of humanity, whom are not in alignment, balance and harmony with the sacredness of whom we are, our true nature, created in the image and likeness of God, whom is Divine Love and all that this is, was and ever shall be.

    I think I am beginning to understand in a deeper way, the importance of the Via Negativa and the intention of looking at, really seeing and observing this dark shadow, in a way that is less frightening than it used to be.

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Jeanette, You are absolutely right. Originally the term Via Negativa had to do with what is referred to as the apophatic understanding of God; the way of negation, or what we can say that God is not, such as God is evil. Then what we can say of God is the Via Positiva–what can be said positively about God, such as God is love. Matthew however uses these two terms in another way, along with the other two ways of the Four Paths. For him, the Via Negativa , instead of being a way to talk about God as such is more like another way of referring to what is usually called the experience of “the dark night of the soul.” And the Via Positiva then is the experience of awe and wonder–positive experience verses negative (though not necessarily bad) experience. I hope this helped some…

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