CG Jung was indeed a Fascist. Discuss.

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CG Jung was indeed a Fascist. Discuss.

Postby Jikan » Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:19 pm

Here is a remarkable claim from a recent blog dedicated to different kinds of contemporary spirituality:

There is no evidence that Carl Gustav Jung was ever one of those tens of millions of fascists in Europe. Nor is there any evidence that he ever expressed support, admiration or "sympathy" for Nazism or fascism. Nor is there is any evidence that Jung ever "collaborated" in any way with fascism or Nazism.


http://egregores.blogspot.com/2011/10/c ... -nazi.html

I bring it up because "depth psychology," "transpersonal psychology" and the rest, so often celebrated in contemporary Western Buddhist writings (even roped in by Ken Jones in The New Social Face of Buddhism), is rooted in the Jungian trip. So Jung's doctrines and the political work they do is relevant. This is why our author, quoted above, is attempting to stake out a Jung that is not, in fact, a fascist. If Jungianism is a cipher for hard-right wingnuttery, then... well... someone's got some 'splainin' to do.

The trouble is that Jung was in fact a fascist, and his thinking is of a piece with fascist thought. Ernst Bloch was among the first to point this out; take a look at the first volume of The Principle of Hope (you don't have to read past page 64). Richard Wolin's book Seduction of Unreason, University of Princeton Press, dedicates a chapter to describing Jung's fascism and the usefulness of his thought to fascism (see chapter two, brilliantly titled "Prometheus Unhinged" and published earlier in the New Republic).

I think it is long past time for those who take transpersonal psychology seriously as an extension of or necessary supplement to Buddhist practice to consider carefully the historical content of this material. Does it, in fact, correspond to the aspirations one holds in Buddhist practice?

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Re: CG Jung was indeed a Fascist. Discuss.

Postby Simon E. » Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:25 pm

As I have indicated elsewhere on the forum Jikan, I have no problem in asserting that what Jung was about had nothing at all to say to Buddhadharma.
It is quite clear that he thought that 'eastern thought' was a product of peoples who had not yet evolved to individuation.
And that for Caucasians to attempt to practice any form of meditative discipline originating in the Subcontinent was an indication of regression.


Which is one pointer to the general nature of his political stance, I would venture.
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Re: CG Jung was indeed a Fascist. Discuss.

Postby Konchog1 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:37 pm

Should we burn his books too?
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Re: CG Jung was indeed a Fascist. Discuss.

Postby Cloudrider » Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:16 pm

Hmm,

Never heard that before :?: I always thought he was a neo-gnostic not a neo-nazi...

I'be interested in seeing actual quoted citations which demonstrate this proclivity in thought. I think, put in the proper context, that Carl was completely benign. You sure this isn't a marketing ploy to sell book?
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Re: CG Jung was indeed a Fascist. Discuss.

Postby greentara » Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:51 pm

Simon E, "As I have indicated elsewhere on the forum Jikan, I have no problem in asserting that what Jung was about had nothing at all to say to Buddhadharma.
It is quite clear that he thought that 'eastern thought' was a product of peoples who had not yet evolved to individuation.
And that for Caucasians to attempt to practice any form of meditative discipline originating in the Subcontinent was an indication of regression"
I couldn't agree more, Jung was very worried about his scientific reputation and was quite openly apprehensive, even frightened when it came to Eastern religion.
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Re: CG Jung was indeed a Fascist. Discuss.

Postby Nikolay » Fri Apr 26, 2013 4:41 am

I follow the "Who cares?" school of thought on such things. A tendency to accept or discard theories/methods solely due to political views their author may have held during some periods of his life is actually more troubling to me.

Jung, in my opinion, was simply a product of his day and age. His views of Eastern religions shouldn't be taken seriously. In other areas he had some valuable insights.
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Re: CG Jung was indeed a Fascist. Discuss.

Postby Dan74 » Fri Apr 26, 2013 4:51 am

Having read and studied quite a lot of Jung's writings as well as his followers like James Hillman, I don't think he can be dismissed as a fascist, if you care about intellectual honesty. His analytical psychology bears very little resemblance to fascism. What incidental resemblance is there is an unnecessary sign of the times and his personal bias, rather than something central to the system, which is more like a way of exploring really.

There is a great deal to these explorations, IMO, and while the man can of course be criticized for various things, he was not a Nazi and was in fact very critical of the Nazi regime. He also tried to arrange to have old and frail Freud, his one time mentor, smuggled out of Vienna, but Freud refused to be beholden to Jung. Jung had many Jewish students and colleagues and personally helped many Jews during the Nazi era.

On his deathbed he was reading Charles Luk's Chan and Zen Teachings and was profoundly moved by them, apparently.
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Re: CG Jung was indeed a Fascist. Discuss.

Postby Jikan » Sat Feb 07, 2015 5:39 pm

I'm bumping this old thread because I was recently reminded just deeply Jung and those who take inspiration from him (Campbell, Bly, &c) are associated with certain trends in Dharma practice. And because I forgot to rebut the categorical claim made above that there is no evidence for Jung's fascist-ness, which is documented in McLynn's biography, Carl Gustav Jung. Here's a summary from an LA Times review of the book:

Jung was profoundly anti-Semitic. The facts concerning his thorough-going prejudice against Jews has become one of the most contentious issues in Jungian scholarship today. McLynn addresses it clearly and straightforwardly. In explaining how some analysts deal with Jung's collaboration with the Nazis, he writes that others "in a kind of version of 'politics should have nothing to do with sport,' say that it is beyond the competence of a psychotherapist, even one of genius, to decide on what is right and wrong in politics,and that Jung followed the correct therapeutic procedure in trying to remain above the fray. But the issue of the society [Society For Psychotherapy, of which Jung was president] and the journal [Zentralblatt, the journal sympathetic to Nazi policies edited by Jung] will not go away. Many of the post-1934 articles in the Zentralblatt go far beyond routine Swiss bourgeois anti-Semitism and contain virulent attacks on the Jews coupled with eulogies of Hitler [while he was still in power]. . . . Jung knew all about the later articles and did nothing. Since he could not claim ignorance, as these articles were edited in Switzerland, he tried after World War II, to shift the blame onto C.A. Maier [his deputy editor], claiming that he did all the editing."

McLynn paints an even darker picture of Jung's Nazi sympathies when he discovered that "in 1936 Jung threatened resignation as president [of the Society For Psychotherapy] when the Dutch tried to prevent Nazi sympathizers joining the society. As a calculated snub to his critics, in the same year he appointed Hermann Goering as co-editor of the Zentralblatt. . . . "


http://articles.latimes.com/1997/oct/12/books/bk-41812
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Re: CG Jung was indeed a Fascist. Discuss.

Postby Malcolm » Sat Feb 07, 2015 5:43 pm

Jikan wrote:I'm bumping this old thread because I was recently reminded just deeply Jung and those who take inspiration from him (Campbell, Bly, &c) are associated with certain trends in Dharma practice. And because I forgot to rebut the categorical claim made above that there is no evidence for Jung's fascist-ness, which is documented in McLynn's biography, Carl Gustav Jung. Here's a summary from an LA Times review of the book:

Jung was profoundly anti-Semitic. The facts concerning his thorough-going prejudice against Jews has become one of the most contentious issues in Jungian scholarship today. McLynn addresses it clearly and straightforwardly. In explaining how some analysts deal with Jung's collaboration with the Nazis, he writes that others "in a kind of version of 'politics should have nothing to do with sport,' say that it is beyond the competence of a psychotherapist, even one of genius, to decide on what is right and wrong in politics,and that Jung followed the correct therapeutic procedure in trying to remain above the fray. But the issue of the society [Society For Psychotherapy, of which Jung was president] and the journal [Zentralblatt, the journal sympathetic to Nazi policies edited by Jung] will not go away. Many of the post-1934 articles in the Zentralblatt go far beyond routine Swiss bourgeois anti-Semitism and contain virulent attacks on the Jews coupled with eulogies of Hitler [while he was still in power]. . . . Jung knew all about the later articles and did nothing. Since he could not claim ignorance, as these articles were edited in Switzerland, he tried after World War II, to shift the blame onto C.A. Maier [his deputy editor], claiming that he did all the editing."

McLynn paints an even darker picture of Jung's Nazi sympathies when he discovered that "in 1936 Jung threatened resignation as president [of the Society For Psychotherapy] when the Dutch tried to prevent Nazi sympathizers joining the society. As a calculated snub to his critics, in the same year he appointed Hermann Goering as co-editor of the Zentralblatt. . . . "


http://articles.latimes.com/1997/oct/12/books/bk-41812


The movie about Jung made him out to be an absolute ass.
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Re: CG Jung was indeed a Fascist. Discuss.

Postby Jikan » Sat Feb 07, 2015 6:04 pm

That's a shame, really, because Jung was actually a god (according to CG Jung)

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Re: CG Jung was indeed a Fascist. Discuss.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Feb 07, 2015 6:17 pm

... and the journal [Zentralblatt, the journal sympathetic to Nazi policies edited by Jung] will not go away.
What more evidence could one need?
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Re: CG Jung was indeed a Fascist. Discuss.

Postby treehuggingoctopus » Sat Feb 07, 2015 7:26 pm

A bit of context first: I am a lifelong anti-totalitarian leftwinger and, as far as fascism goes, I have always tended to err on the side of caution. I do not have, nor believe anyone should have, any tolerance for fascist ideas (of no matter which particular shade or shape) whatsoever. I am also inclined to strongly disagree with the notion that those who openly express fascist ideas should be let into public space - or even debated with.

When I was a student I managed to read all of Jung's Collected Works. I have never seen the Red Book, nor the notebooks that have been published since it hit the print. I have found nothing whatsoever in his writings that would suggest fascist, let alone Nazi, sympathies - nor have I stumbled upon anything that could easily substantiate the anti-semitism charge.

Judging by his writings: Jung was not a conscious political thinker. His views were clearly conservative, of a naive and sentimental paleo- variety (think Novalis, not Brentano) - and they did inform some of his silliest pronunciamentos very much. He was obviously eurocentric and thus at least occasionally racist (from the perspective of our times, not his) and suffered from a particularly acute form of orientalism. He was also deeply, and quite revoltingly, sexist - again, if we apply our criteria - and homophobic. No fascism, though, and no hard right leanings: actually, in the eyes of his contemporaries, his conservatism mostly seemed mild and very tolerant; it has led many an intellectual to embrace a cultural pluralism simply unthinkable in the 19th century Europe (in some parts of the continent, 'Jungian Christianity' is still almost synonymous with 'liberal Christianity').

Compare with such luminaries of the right as Yeats or Eliot (not to mention Pound - or such acquaintances of Jung as Eliade) and you cannot fail to see the difference.

Jikan wrote:McLynn's biography


I could be more generous towards McLynn if I did not know why and how such biographies are written. But, since I do know more than a bit about the world of biographers and their publishers...

(Btw, Noll's book is pure nonsense.)
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Re: CG Jung was indeed a Fascist. Discuss.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Feb 07, 2015 8:46 pm

I think you will find that during that particular period of history if you were not anti-Nazi then you were basically a tacit supporter of Nazism/Fascism.

Reich's early works, for example, were a clear example of an anti-Nazi psychological philosophy.

Now while many non-Fascist conservatives even openly criticised the Nazi and Fascist regimes, they did not have the same treatment as, let's say: Communists. I am reminded of the conversation from another thread on Perrenialist philosophy, specifically of Evola.

Now the current political/economic situation here in Greece has lead to a rise in neo-Nazism and I tend to see the following situation when I get into discussions with ultra-conservatives, nationalists, Perrenialists and other right wing loons: Although they may criticize Golden Dawn (the neo-Nazi party that pulled 11% at the local elections and 8% at the recent national elections*) and their actions, their basic theories regarding race, anti-"Leftism", women, sexual minorities, etc... are IDENTICAL. Even though they may claim to be against Golden Dawn I am 100% sure that if push-came-to-shove they'd be all donning black shirts at the first opportunity. Actually history has proven time and again that these sort of individuals will always side with Fascists against any sort of progressive movement. ALWAYS.

So back to Jung... Switzerland decided to remain "neutral" during WWII and thus capitalise off both sides of the fray, but had it been overrun by the Nazis do you think people like Jung would have remained apolitical critics? Somehow I think not! I recommend the Bernado Bertolucci movie "Il Conformista" (The Conformist) to get an idea of what I am talking about. Bertolucci made the film during the late 60's, a period when Italian Fascists were jockeying for power, once again.

*They polled 3% lower because their leadership is currently in jail awaiting trial for establishing and running a criminal organisation. The only reason the New Democracy party (establishment conservatives) jailed them was because they were scared of losing even more of their (conservative) voters to Golden Dawn. It was leaked that key members ( parliamentarians) of ND were cohorting and planning events and situations together with high ranking GD members (also parliamentarians). So...
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Re: CG Jung was indeed a Fascist. Discuss.

Postby Dan74 » Sat Feb 07, 2015 11:03 pm

What I find most lamentable about this (and other similar discussions) is this dichotomous politicisation of ideas. So, whatever you say, you are either left or right, and if you're 'on the other side', you are a scumbag. I think this 'politicism' if I can call it that, is a pernicious ideology itself. In political realm, ideas and proposals should be evaluated on their merits, with respect to a clear set of priorities/objectives, either utilitarian or another, rather than slot it into one of the two baskets on ideological grounds and either accept or reject it on the basis of that.

And in other fields, like psychology, philosophy, etc we should be careful how we trace the ideas back to their ideological assumptions and not be sloppy or rash, throwing the baby out with the bath water.
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Re: CG Jung was indeed a Fascist. Discuss.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Feb 08, 2015 1:33 am

Somehow I tend to class anybody that feels that phobic pogroms and holocausts (whether of a left or right variety) are legitimate political acts, as scumbags (as you so nicely put it). I have no problem with the specific classification, in the specific instance. Actually I think it is quite fitting. I think that to take part in actions like the above-mentioned, or to support them, is the peak of scumbaggery.

11,000,000 dead Jews, Gypsies, Gays and Lesbians, Leftists, intellectuals, etc... (Death Camp victims) and another 50,000,000 sundry civilians and military personnel would probably agree with me.

Sitting on a fence (on this issue) only serves to get pickets stuck up your ass.
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Re: CG Jung was indeed a Fascist. Discuss.

Postby Dan74 » Sun Feb 08, 2015 1:46 am

Greg, you must know more about Jung than me, because all I ever read from him were condemnations of these atrocities and the mindset that leads to them.

It's a very broad brush you are working with here, it looks to me...
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Re: CG Jung was indeed a Fascist. Discuss.

Postby steveb1 » Sun Feb 08, 2015 3:03 am

As a Jungian, I think it's just a dead issue. Like millions of Europeans, Jung saw in Hitler more than a mere demagogue, but a real promise and potential - a dynamic force for progress and unity. Later, when Jung found out just how awful the whole thing was turning out to be, he repudiated Nazism. He also wrote a scathing condemnation of Nazi Germany as being a corruption of the Teutonic Siegfried myth, and he offered to help the Jewish Freud to emigrate from Europe (which Freud refused). Some people just hate success and greatness in others, and like to cast stones and sling mud in abortive attempts to sully their betters - and that is, imho, what lies behind most Jung-bashing (while I do, of course, recognize Jung's many egregious human failings).
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Re: CG Jung was indeed a Fascist. Discuss.

Postby Kim O'Hara » Sun Feb 08, 2015 7:15 am

steveb1 wrote:As a Jungian, I think it's just a dead issue. Like millions of Europeans, Jung saw in Hitler more than a mere demagogue, but a real promise and potential - a dynamic force for progress and unity. Later, when Jung found out just how awful the whole thing was turning out to be, he repudiated Nazism. He also wrote a scathing condemnation of Nazi Germany as being a corruption of the Teutonic Siegfried myth, and he offered to help the Jewish Freud to emigrate from Europe (which Freud refused). Some people just hate success and greatness in others, and like to cast stones and sling mud in abortive attempts to sully their betters - and that is, imho, what lies behind most Jung-bashing (while I do, of course, recognize Jung's many egregious human failings).

This fits with my generally positive impression of Jung, but I don't know much about him. Can you provide sources for his repudiation/condemnation of Nazism?

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Re: CG Jung was indeed a Fascist. Discuss.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Feb 08, 2015 10:55 am

Dan74 wrote:Greg, you must know more about Jung than me, because all I ever read from him were condemnations of these atrocities and the mindset that leads to them.

It's a very broad brush you are working with here, it looks to me...
I was talking about scumbaggery in general, not about Jung specifically.
steveb1 wrote:Like millions of Europeans, Jung saw in Hitler more than a mere demagogue, but a real promise and potential - a dynamic force for progress and unity.
What absolute nonsense. Millions of Europeans stood against Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, etc... from day one. Millions of Europeans saw him as a threat from the very beginning. You are just engaging in apologetics.

Back to a modern example: here in Greece millions of people actively stand up against Golden Dawn, the millions that see them as "a real promise and potential - a dynamic force for progress and unity" do so because they support their neo-Nazi ideas. Initially some people were drawn to them as a reaction against the existing political system, just as many were drawn to the opposite end of the political scale too. I, for one, never saw them as "a real promise and potential - a dynamic force for progress and unity", I saw them as a threat to democracy, even before they became the medias darlings.

So, back to Jung, why was he drawn to their ideas and theories? Why wasn't Reich, for example? Because Jung was a latent Nazi (and Fascist sympathiser) and Reich was avidly anti-Fascist. That's why.

You may wish to read Reich's book "The Mass Psychology of Fascism" for a left-wing analysis, or even Hermann Rauschning's "Revolution of Nihilism", if you prefer a right-wing analysis/critique of Nazism.
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Re: CG Jung was indeed a Fascist. Discuss.

Postby mañjughoṣamaṇi » Sun Feb 08, 2015 2:01 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:
steveb1 wrote:Like millions of Europeans, Jung saw in Hitler more than a mere demagogue, but a real promise and potential - a dynamic force for progress and unity.
What absolute nonsense. Millions of Europeans stood against Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, etc... from day one. Millions of Europeans saw him as a threat from the very beginning. You are just engaging in apologetics.

Back to a modern example: here in Greece millions of people actively stand up against Golden Dawn, the millions that see them as "a real promise and potential - a dynamic force for progress and unity" do so because they support their neo-Nazi ideas. Initially some people were drawn to them as a reaction against the existing political system, just as many were drawn to the opposite end of the political scale too. I, for one, never saw them as "a real promise and potential - a dynamic force for progress and unity", I saw them as a threat to democracy, even before they became the medias darlings.

So, back to Jung, why was he drawn to their ideas and theories? Why wasn't Reich, for example? Because Jung was a latent Nazi (and Fascist sympathiser) and Reich was avidly anti-Fascist. That's why.

You may wish to read Reich's book "The Mass Psychology of Fascism" for a left-wing analysis, or even Hermann Rauschning's "Revolution of Nihilism", if you prefer a right-wing analysis/critique of Nazism.


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