Must-Watch Episode 32: The Psychology of Totalitarianism with Mattias Desmet


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Note to readers: this is a must-watch conversation. Don’t miss it!

Hi everyone,

In this conversation, Professor Jay Bhattacharya and Mattias Desmet discuss the psychology of totalitarianism and the Illusion of Consensus. They explore the corruption of science, the modern mechanistic worldview, and the alienation of people from each other. They also delve into the role of measurement and measurability, the impact of digital connections, and the phenomenon of scapegoating. The conversation highlights the role of leaders in mass formation and the emergence of totalitarian states. Together, they provide insights into the psychological factors that contribute to the manipulation of public opinion and the erosion of individual freedoms. The conversation explores the themes of mass formation, totalitarianism, awakening, sincere speech, and rejecting the mechanistic worldview. It highlights the impact of lonely masses and the potential for a technocratic totalitarianism. The power of sincere speech is discussed as a means to inhibit mass formation and create genuine connections. The conversation concludes with a discussion on the importance of remaining open-minded and avoiding fanaticism in ideologies.

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  • The replication crisis in science has revealed the corruption and lack of truthfulness in academic research.

  • The mechanistic worldview and the reliance on rational thinking have led to the alienation of individuals and the deterioration of social bonds.

  • Digital connections and technological communication have replaced meaningful in-person interactions, leading to increased loneliness and disconnection.

  • Mass formation is a psychological phenomenon that arises when individuals connect to a collective ideal, leading to the manipulation of public opinion and the emergence of totalitarian states. Lonely masses can be used as a psychological basis for totalitarian states.

  • Awakening from mass formation can occur when the power of the narrative weakens.

  • Sincere speech inhibits mass formation and creates genuine connections.

  • Rejecting the mechanistic worldview is essential to address mass formation.

  • Remaining open-minded and avoiding fanaticism is crucial in preventing mass formation.

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00:00 Introduction and Background

02:13 The Corruption of Science

05:12 The Mechanistic Worldview and Alienation

08:25 The Alienation of People from Each Other

11:58 The Paradox of Science

14:28 The Role of Measurement and Measurability

19:50 The Role of Digital Connections

22:41 The Phenomenon of Scapegoating

26:35 The Role of Leaders in Mass Formation

32:26 Totalitarianism and Mass Formation

38:59 Leaders and the Population in the COVID Crisis

49:34 Lonely Masses and Totalitarianism

52:20 Awakening from Mass Formation

56:06 The Power of Sincere Speech

01:03:36 Rejecting the Mechanistic Worldview

01:08:44 Guarding Against Mass Formation

The Illusion of Consensus is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support our work, consider becoming a paid subscriber:

The Illusion of Consensus
The Illusion of Consensus
An independent podcast by Dr. Jay Bhattacharya and Rav Arora devoted to dismantling weaponized "consensus" in science. Weekly topics include Covid policy, online censorship, holistic medicine, mental health, and well-being.