Michael J. Diamond, PhD, FIPA
In this two-hour presentation, Dr. Diamond will examine larger social and cultural factors at play during today’s perilous times. He describes destructive populism and group regression as exemplified by malignant cult-like elements. The current political discourse. Using both a psychoanalytic and a cultural lens, he analyzes the development of paranoid, conspiratorial thinking and the dangerous fit between malevolent, proto-fascist leadership and group adherence to dangerous, unconscious phantasies arising in both extreme right-wing as well as passionate leftist enclaves. He concludes by considering approaches that potentially decrease the potency of the nation’s destructive elements while furthering healthier containment that strengthens the body politics’ nonpathological elements through managing its inherent tensions.