The secret of fascism — its siren song of magic thinking

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According to Chuck Anesi

It was the emotional appeal of fascism – the notion that through sheer hope and force of will difficult and long-standing problems could easily be resolved – that set it apart. Triumph of the Will. This idea of course was not new and is still popular. The New Age doctrine of “Manifesting” holds that ideas firmly held will become reality. […] In its weak form it holds merely that positive thinking is more likely to achieve a result than negative thinking. […] In its strong form, it holds that positive thinking will in fact produce the intended result. In this form it is indistinguishable from magic.

and he explains fascism’s intolerance of dissent as

Accepting that ideas firmly held become reality, a dissenter imperiled the collective spell, and dissent was seen as a species of malefic witchcraft.

Magic thinking can summon powerful demons from the psychological deep, but, according to Buddha

Delusions, errors and lies are like huge, gaudy vessels, the rafters of which are rotten and worm-eaten, and those who embark in them are fated to be shipwrecked.

See also “That old poisoner Wagner, and why art matters“.

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