Warfare as Collective Psychopathology
Presentation by Richard Koenigsberg, Ph. D.
Thursday, April 24, 2008, 1:00 PM
815 Second Avenue (one block West of United Nations near 43rd Street)
Sponsored by: Ignatius University & Syrian Orthodox Church in America
Over two-hundred million people were killed in the Twentieth Century as a
result of political violence generated by nations. It seems as though the
world lived through an epidemic, or malignant disease. Former
Secretary-of-State Zbigniew Brzezinski states that the Twentieth Century was
dominated by the "politics of organized insanity." Yet nowhere does one find
a systematic concept of psychopathology to characterize these monumentally
destructive political events.
An article analyzing Jim Jones and mass-suicide that occurred in Guyana in
1978 is entitled "The Cult Leader as Agent of a Psychotic Fantasy of
Masochistic Group Death." Why do people find it easy to speak the language
of psychopathology in relationship to individuals and "cults," yet so
difficult to apply this language to large scale political and social
movements--however bizarre and destructive they may be?
ATTEND THE SEMINAR
This presentation--sponsored by Ignatius University
and its Dean, who is Special Ambassador to the United Nations--will be
attended by representatives of NGOs at the UN.
A few additional places are available for people who
wish to attend. Permission is required. Please send an email to
oanderson@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx or call 718-393-1081.
In this presentation, Dr. Richard Koenigsberg will introduce and discuss the
concept of collective psychopathology. Focusing on the case study of Nazi
Germany and the Second World War, Koenigsberg will show how Hitler acted to
bring about the destruction of his own nation and self-destruction of his
Wars have occurred frequently throughout history. Heart attacks and cancer
also occur frequently. The fact that events occur frequently does not mean
pathology is absent. Is it possible that psychopathology is contained within
the very structure of human societies? What is the nature and meaning of
this civilizational tendency toward violent self-destruction?
For information on Ignatius University's undergraduate and graduate programs
in Political Psychology, Peace Studies, Conflict Management and Diplomacy,
please click here <http://www.richardkoenigsberg.com/docs/ignatius.html
Richard Koenigsberg is an author, lecturer and teacher focusing on the roots
of collective forms of violence. He received his Ph.D. in Social Psychology
from the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research. He is a
Faculty Member of the Institute for the Study of Violence at the Boston
Graduate School of Psychoanalysis. New editions of his books--Hitler's
Ideology: Embodied Metaphor, Fantasy and History and The Nation: A Study in
Ideology and Fantasy--recently have been released by Information Age