2021-09-13 Mass hysteria by digby

The video # Mass hysteria Published by [digby] on [September 12, 2021] outlines a way to think about mass psychosis. For me the text excerpts on the web page are better than the video, although I did appreciate the visual art displayed.

In this video we are going to explore the most dangerous of all psychic epidemics the mass psychosis. A mass psychosis is an epidemic of madness and it occurs when a large portion of a society loses touch with reality and descends into delusions. Such a phenomenon is not a thing of fiction. Two examples of mass psychoses are the American and European witch hunts of the 16th and 17th centuries and the rise of totalitarianism in the 20th century. During the witch hunts thousands of individuals, mostly women, were killed not for any crimes they committed but because they became the scapegoats of societies gone mad:

I don’t suggest that we are in that situation. The majority of Americans have not lost their minds. But after January 6th, I am more open to the idea that there is a substantial portion of America that is under the influence of a mass hysteria. And what makes that especially frightening is the fact that there are some very powerful people influencing them and taking advantage of it for their own purposes. I suspect that’s always been part of the equation whether you’re talking about the witch hunts or the Nazis.

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