I haven’t wanted to criticize Mattias Desmet and the received theories of mass formation, because I’m just happy that folks are finally beginning to recognize what I’ve been arguing since the start: that the world indeed got swept up into mass hysteria.
But understanding THAT a mass hysteria has occurred is quite a different thing than explaining WHY it occurred and having a general unified theoretical grasp of it.
I don’t believe the received view that Desmet communicates to us is remotely on the right track. It comes across as Freudian-level in sophistication. (That’s bad.)
For example, the four supposed precursor conditions for mass delusion are…
(1) free-floating anxiety
(2) social isolation
(3) crisis of meaning
(4) anger and frustration
No. None of these are necessary, and together they’re not sufficient. Unsure there’s even any correlation.
The scary truth about mass hysteria is that there is no precursor malady among a population needed.
People just being people, along with the properties of social networks, simply lends itself to occasional mass delusions.
Mass delusions come “for free” from the “physics” of social networks.
The illness is at the emergent, or mass, level, not at the individual person level.
Much of my YouTube series since Covid has been about this, and it’s the topic of my new research institute FreeX (http://FreeX.group).
I'd concur. I'd suggest the predisposition to mass formation psychosis is general levels of laziness (which leads to ignorance in the literal sense), low levels of critical thinking, and rapid dissemination of propaganda/narrative. The first two have been building for decades. The third is the official COVID narrative.
A major achievement of both our host and Mattias is a general, or at least growing, recognition that a mass formation/psychosis is a real and present phenomenon. The concept is not new of course, but its revealing to see that we are in the biggest one in history.
It seems clear that totalitarians can either hijack or even found such occurrences; perhaps these ones are a particular subset of the wider social phenomenon that Mark is discussing.
Fascinating to see how this progresses, if I'm not first interred in a camp with no internet or something (Canada)