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Gurevich, P. S. Mechanics of Political Mythology

Published in journal "Psychology and Psychotechnics", 2013-7 in rubric "Editor-in-Chief's column", pages 621-626.

Resume: When studying the behavior of American farmers the century before last, a French social scientist Alexis de Tocqueville suddenly discovered that many of the farmers had certain standard patterns established in their minds and those standards looked like the results of propaganda. However, literature usually read by those farmers did not propagate those attitudes (‘illusions’). Where did they come from? How were they established? The author of the article tries to discover the process of these illusions being established. Rationalist suppositions traditionally used for discovering the truth does not help in this case. There is a need in new mechanisms of human spiritual life that would explain this phenomenon. Nietzsche assumed that such misconceptions or spiritual cliches are needed by human, this is in human psychology. At the same time, Nietzsche believed that the ‘recipient’ of propaganda only learnt those ideological standards but did not create them. But in that case ‘illusions’ lived in human mind ‘on their own’ and even replicated (it was not by accident that Tocqueville paid attention at replication of similar beliefs and attitudes). So how are such attitudes and beliefs actually formed?

Keywords: psychology, mythology, propaganda, prejudice, spiritual cliche, manipulation, ideology, rationality, wrong beliefs.

DOI: 10.7256/2070-8955.2013.7.9122

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