The Psychology of Genocide and Violent Oppression

A Study of Mass Cruelty from Nazi Germany to Rwanda


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About the Book

The twentieth century was one of the most violent in all of human history, with more than 100 million people killed in acts of war and persecution ranging from the Herero and Namaqua genocide in present-day Namibia during the early 1900s to the ongoing conflict in Darfur. This book explores the root causes of genocide, looking into the underlying psychology of violence and oppression. Genocide does not simply occur at the hands of tyrannical despots, but rather at the hands of ordinary citizens whose unresolved pain and oppression forces them to follow a leader whose demagogy best expresses their own long-developed prejudices and fears. The book explains how birth trauma, childhood trauma, and authoritarian education can be seen as the true causes of genocidal periods in recent history.

About the Author(s)

Richard Morrock has served as vice president of the International Psychohistorical Association, and currently edits their quarterly newsletter. He has written for The Journal of Psychohistory, The Journal of Human Relations, Social Theory and Practice, and Science, and Science & Society, among others.

Bibliographic Details

Richard Morrock
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 268
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2010
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4776-3
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5628-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi

Preface      1

1. A Psychohistorical Perspective on a Violent Century      5

2. Germany: The Complex Roots of National Socialism      19

3. Northern Ireland: The Politics of Fear      35

4. Yugoslavia: Prisoners of Myth and History      47

5. Rwanda: Rage, Anxiety and Genocide      62

6. Sri Lanka: Emotional Repression, Social Stratification, and Ethnic Violence      75

7. Cambodia: Displaced Anger and Auto-Genocide      87

8. China: Mao’s Cultural Revolution as Reaction Formation      102

9. Sudan: Entitlement Fantasies and Occidentophobia      116

10. The Muslim World: The Psycho-Geography of Hate      125

11. Iran: Khomeini’s Islamic Revolution: Shadow and Substance      137

12. Italy: Birth Trauma, Expansionism, and Fascism      153

13. Argentina: Fear of Abandonment, Caudilloism, and the Dirty War      171

14. Haiti: A Nation of Origin-Folk      187

15. South Africa: The Psychology of Apartheid      205

16. Conclusion: Psychohistory Looks Ahead      220

Chapter Notes      225

Bibliography      241

Index      249

Book Reviews & Awards

“Analyzes events that have resulted in violent oppression and genocide in this century”—Reference & Research Book News.