“Four things need to exist or need to be in place if you want a large-scale mass phenomenon to emerge. The first thing is that there needs to be a lot of socially isolated people, people who experience a lack of social bonds. The second one is that there needs to be a lot of people who experience a lack of sense-making in life. And the third and the fourth conditions are that there needs to be a lot of free-floating anxiety and a lot of free-floating psychological discontent. So: meaning, anxiety, and discontent that is not connected to a specific representation.
So, it needs to be in the mind without the people being able to connect it to something. If you have these four things—lack of social bonds, lack of sense-making, free-floating anxiety, and free-floating psychological discontent—then society is highly at risk for the emergence of mass phenomenon.”
– Mattias Desmet – The Psychology of Totalitarianism
“Try to unlearn the obsessive fear of death (and the anxious quest for death avoidance) that pervades linear thinking in nearly every modern society. The ancients knew that, without periodic decay and death, nature cannot complete its full round of biological and social change. Without plant death, weeds would strangle the forest. Without human death, memories would never die, and unbroken habits and customs would strangle civilization. Social institutions require no less. Just as floods replenish soil and fires rejuvenate forests, a Fourth Turning clears out society’s exhausted elements and creates an opportunity.”
– Strauss & Howe – The Fourth Turning
I recently finished reading Mattias Desmet’s fascinating and illuminating book The Psychology of Totalitarianism, where he examines the mass formation psychosis which swept over the world during the time frame of early 2020 until present day. He explores some of the root causes of this psychological phenomena, comparing it to previous episodes in history, and delving into whether it occurred naturally or was purposely generated in order to implement a Great Reset agenda.
This type of spectacle has happened throughout human history, even documented by Charles Mackay in his 1841 book Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. It is clear to me aspects of mass formation psychosis played a part in the previous two Fourth Turnings, as both sides in the U.S. Civil War displayed characteristics of those being hypnotized by a narrative, and the German people falling under the spell of Hitler and his rhetorical skills.
As the potentially historic year 2023 unfolds before us, we are confronted with a world drowning in unpayable debt; a global recession/depression imminent; raging inflation at twice the level reported by our overlords; real unemployment at four times the level reported by the government apparatchiks; a government completely devoid of honesty, integrity or responsibility to its citizens; a society dictated by corruption, materialism, narcissism, and bereft of civic and personal responsibility; globalist billionaires and their captured organizations (WEF, WHO, NATO, CDC, FDA, FBI, CIA, DOJ, IRS) actively trying to rule the world through technological and biological means; and insane politicians, generals, and bureaucrats pushing the world towards WWIII, using Ukraine and Taiwan as their trigger points.
In the midst of this hellish landscape, we still have an enormous percentage of the U.S. and global population trapped in a mass formation psychosis trance and unable or unwilling to regain their common sense and ability to comprehend they have been duped, used, lied to, and sacrificed at the altar of the Great Reset.
I feel like I’m in a Twilight Zone episode, waiting for the surprise ending, as I continue to go through the motions of life, getting up at the same time every morning, driving the same route to work, doing the same job, going grocery shopping, doing laundry, reading, writing, and waiting for the bottom to drop out. I think I know what is going to happen, but I don’t, and neither does anyone else, no matter how sure they appear and how well compensated they are for providing “expert” opinions.
I’ve been waiting since 2010 for a financial/economic collapse, but the “powers that be” have been able to create a Potemkin façade built upon debt, money printing, propaganda, and market manipulation, much like Madoff juggling balls for decades (never making one actual trade), giving the appearance of stability and success, until he could juggle no more. Then it all collapses suddenly, just as many of the vaxxed thought they were safe, then died suddenly. The Hemingway quote regarding going bankrupt captures our current state of affairs:
“How did you go bankrupt?” Bill asked. “Two ways,” Mike said. “Gradually and then suddenly.” – Ernest Hemingway – The Sun Also Rises
US Government Interest Payments 🔥🔥🔥— Wall Street Silver (@WallStreetSilv) January 15, 2023
It is projected to rise to over $1.2 trillion per year in the next two years as more debt rolls over at the new higher rates.
That is about 1/3 of all tax revenue. 😱 pic.twitter.com/KKarvz7LI2
The reason no one is expecting a sudden collapse is because it hardly ever happens. We are trapped in our normalcy bias cocoon. The stock market goes up for a week. The stock market goes down for a week. The “experts” try to interpret the meaning of each word uttered by Powell or one of his Fed cronies. Elections are held to see which group of corrupt politicians will be in control of screwing us. Biden says something stupid. Harris says something stupid. Trump sells NFT trading cards of himself. Twitter files are released. Covidian cultists continue to deny the reality the jabs are killing and maiming millions, while still pushing the toxic injections on our children.
Drag queen shows for children and transgender deviancy are heralded by satanists. We send another $100 billion we don’t have to an actor in Ukraine so more of his people can be slaughtered. Klaus Schwab, Bill Gates, and the rest of the global elite fly in their private jets to Davos to plan their takeover of the world. Climate imbeciles want to ban your gas stove, make you eat bugs, and never venture more than 15 minutes from your hovel. It’s an endless show and we are both the spectators and victims. The daily distractions of life, along with trivialities like social media, sporting events, mass media propaganda, and this government shitshow, keep the masses from seeing the danger dead ahead.
Whenever I’m befuddled by the incontestable idiocy of the willfully ignorant masses, I have to remind myself we are in the midst of a Fourth Turning where reason and critical thinking are far outweighed by emotion and temporary insanity. As a cynical old bastard who hasn’t believed anything a politician, banker or MSM talking head has emitted in decades, it is hard for me to comprehend how the majority are so easily swayed by the web of lies spun by those pulling the strings behind the curtain.
They want to believe “experts” because thinking is hard, and the latest NFL playoff game starts in 30 minutes. We’ve become a nation of unserious, unintelligent, uncurious, unthinking worshippers of technology, entertainment, and infantilism, as described by Neil Postman in his 1985 book comparing Orwell dystopian vision to Huxley’s dystopian vision. It seems we are now caught in a vise between both visualizations of horror.
“When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience, and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; culture-death is a clear possibility.”
“Americans no longer talk to each other, they entertain each other. They do not exchange ideas, they exchange images. They do not argue with propositions; they argue with good looks, celebrities, and commercials.”
Huxley warned us over 90 years ago, before TV. Postman warned us almost 40 years ago, before the internet, 24-hour cable TV, smart phones, or social media. They were prescient in their warnings, but unheeded. Their prophecies tie in perfectly with Desmet’s theories on why the world has been overcome by this mass formation psychosis. Essentially, Desmet argues our society was sick before the onset of covid. The technological “advancement” of our world has led to people leading meaningless lives and working bullshit jobs.
The rise of the administrative state where hard fulfilling jobs (farmers, craftsmen, builders) have been replaced by finance and administrative paper pushing jobs where human interaction is drastically reduced and their worlds revolve around rules, regulations, and impersonal dogma, has created tens of millions of depressed, anxious, neurotic people seeking something to make their pitiful lives worthwhile. The most meaningless administrative jobs steadily increase and are rewarded more generously, while the hardest workers struggle to put food on the table. Industrialization and specialization may be efficient from a corporate profit standpoint, but it has been dehumanizing from a psychological standpoint.
The Enlightenment brought about a transformation of a world built upon religion, superstition, and small communities into a world built on science, reason, and industrialization. The fear and discomfort, once inflicted by the clergy and nobility, with the dread of judgement day, transformed into a false hope of a scientific created nirvana. As the centuries have progressed the social connectedness of humans has deteriorated, with isolation and lack of social relationships leading to anxiety, depression, and loss of purpose.
Humans used to depend on each other and live for each other, but are now relegated to being nameless, faceless automatons among the masses. Half the workers in America find their jobs meaningless. A 2013 Gallup World Poll found that 63% of workers sleepwalk through their jobs, while another 24% are disengaged, actively demoralizing, and demotivating their coworkers. Only 13% love what they do. Most people just feel like a cog in the machine, as Desmet contemplates.
“The worker became, as they say, a cog in the industrial machine, lubricated only by the thought of wages due. Labor changed from a cumbersome but inherently meaningful existential task into a disembodied utilitarian necessity.”
- Mattias Desmet, The Psychology of Totalitarianism
As work became nothing more than a means to earn wages, in order to consume and amuse themselves, the rise of mass media has further contributed to the decline in sincere social connections, as TV and the internet have further isolated millions and allowed those constituting the invisible government to propagandize whatever narrative suits their malevolent purposes.
Those in power don’t want neighbors congregating, mates gathering in pubs, joyous festivals of friends, or anyone sitting around kitchen tables figuring out how they’ve been screwed over by those they elect to represent their interests. Their plans depend on a populace living in constant fear of something, or they might inadvertently turn their attention to their looting and pillaging of the world’s wealth. Fear is the basis for the mass formation psychosis currently consuming the world.
Decades of psychological deterioration of the masses due to their pointless occupations, meaningless lives, mass media and government school indoctrination, and feelings of purposelessness, despair, and anxiety set the foundation for the onset of this covid driven mass formation psychosis. The free-floating anxiety infecting hundreds of millions around the globe was seeking a conduit to channel their fears and fantasizing about becoming part of a crusade for the greater good.
All that was needed was a virus with a scary name, a billion-dollar marketing campaign, a narrative spun by a well-compensated media, corrupt politicians and Deep State actors seeking to depose a president, and a plethora of unethical “experts” willing to sell their souls to Big Pharma. Once the covid narrative was connected to their free-floating anxiety a global swindle was born.
“Free-floating anxiety is the most painful psychological phenomenon someone can experience. It’s extremely painful. It leads up to panic attacks, to all kinds of extremely painful psychological experiences. What people want in this situation is something to connect their anxiety to. They’re looking for an explanation for the anxiety. And now, if this free-floating anxiety is highly present in a population, and the media provide a narrative, which indicates an object of anxiety, and at the same time, describe a strategy to deal with this object of anxiety, then all the anxiety connects to this object and people are willing to follow the strategy to deal with this object, no matter what the cost is. That is what happens in the beginning of mass formation.”
- Mattias Desmet – The Psychology of Totalitarianism
Fear and anxiety are the lifeblood of a mass hysteria event. An already psychologically damaged populace was primed to react insanely to an entirely overblown “crisis”, spurred on by bad actors who sought riches, notoriety, acclaim, and the ability to impose authoritarian measures on the masses as proof of their power and supremacy. This unjustified fear about a flu virus has resulted in far greater problems which should really be feared. The onset of this psychological tsunami of fear has resulted in the rise of a dictatorial state, with presidents, governors, mayors, and lower-level tin pot totalitarians issuing decrees, mandates, and commands with the threat of imprisonment, loss of jobs, fines, or beatings as the immediate consequence for not obeying.
This absurd terrified reaction by the masses has destroyed millions of small businesses; severed the bonds between family, friends, and neighbors; wrecked our economy; handed unlimited power to corrupt malicious politicians; provoked societal chaos; empowered deviants to gain cultural traction; destroyed the health of millions through the collapse of immune systems; and will trigger both civil and global warfare in the immediate future.
The truth is mental health has been declining for decades, as meaningless jobs, government school indoctrination and dumbing down of the populace, technology creating generations of socially awkward shut-ins, cultural decay, corporatism, and the ineptitude and corruption of political leadership, have created an atmosphere of hopelessness and angst. Depression, anxiety, suicides, drug addiction, and a slew of psychological disorders infected the world before this virus ever appeared.
Over 13% of adults take anti-depressants, with almost 25% of women over 60. The results are similar for Europe. A general malaise had settled across the world as we entered 2020. The latent fear and anxiety in society, combined with little knowledge of viruses and inadequate critical thinking skills, created a perfect storm of social panic and a willingness to believe whatever they were told by people who proclaimed to know the answers and pretended to be experts. The covid cause provided the fearful with meaning in their otherwise woeful lives.
The covid narrative gave frightened people purpose to their existence. They became mentally intoxicated they were part of an army, fighting to defeat this evil virus for the greater good of humanity. Once this belief took hold, the central mechanism of mass formation was firmly in control, and they would believe whatever they were instructed to believe. They became myopically focused on their imminent deaths, unless they masked, social distanced, locked down, and obeyed every dictate of their covidian savior – Saint Anthony Fauci, a petty life-long government bureaucrat playing out his totalitarian Napoleon complex fantasies, while reaping Big Pharma riches and Big Media accolades.
Once the covidian cult was formed, it no longer mattered whether the narrative was blatantly wrong. It didn’t matter that masks didn’t work, social distancing was a farce, lockdowns were worthless, ivermectin worked, ventilators and Remdesivir killed people, or the survival rate for anyone under 70 years old was 99.9%. It wasn’t about facts and reason. The covidian cult had a purpose and they didn’t want to go back to their wretched pointless lives. Desmet describes this process of mass formation psychosis.
“This process yields a psychological gain. Firstly, the anxiety that previously roamed through society as a tenebrous fog is now linked to a specific cause and can be mentally controlled via the strategy put forward in the story. Secondly, through a common struggle with “the enemy,” the disintegrating society regains its coherence, energy, and rudimentary meaning. For this reason, the fight against the object of anxiety then becomes a mission, laden with pathos and group heroism. Thirdly, in this fight all latent brewing frustration and aggression is taken out, especially on the group that refuses to go along with the story and the mass formation. This brings an enormous release and satisfaction to the masses, which they will not let go of easily.”
- Mattias Desmet – The Psychology of Totalitarianism
Desmet believes the masses and the leaders they choose to follow are spellbound by the ideologically produced storyline, both under a form of hypnosis which is exceedingly difficult to interrupt. The hypnosis is deepened and fostered by the relentless mass media propaganda spewed across the airwaves and internet by organizations benefiting from the panic and fear.
The Deep State corporatocracy which has replaced our Constitutional Republic takes advantage of every fabricated “crisis” by expanding their wealth, power, and control over a populace which has been indoctrinated to believe the lies, misinformation, and propaganda pronounced by the overlords they are told to worship and obey. I think Desmet accurately assess the percentage of people enthralled by the narrative and completely under the spell of the false plot. Approximately 30% of people are completely hypnotized, with 40% to 60% not hypnotized but choosing to go along with the crowd, and a minority of 10% to 30% who resist the narrative and actively push back.
Considering only 30% of the adult population didn’t let themselves be injected with the untested, experimental, Big Pharma enriching gene therapy, which was guaranteed to keep you from catching covid according to Fauci, Walensky, Biden and numerous other “experts”, it seems like Desmet’s estimates are pretty accurate. Only 10% have been vocal dissenters. These were the people fired from their jobs, censored on social media, and canceled by friends and family. The mass formation A team were the 30% posting selfies of themselves with masks, shields, vaccine cards, and any other virtue signaling BS showing they were part of the cult, saving the world from this evil virus.
They were also the Karens berating the unmasked, screaming at people closer than six feet, turning in neighbors for breaking the rules, and wishing death upon all the unvaxxed. The cowardice of middle 40% has been the most disappointing aspect of this overhyped flu faux pandemic, as they dutifully submitted to the whims of the cultists – wearing their masks, locking down, avoiding human contact, obeying the totalitarian dictates of politicians, believing absurdities spouted by blustering bureaucrats, complying with un-Constitutional mandates, and sheepishly lining up for jabs that didn’t keep them from catching covid, spreading covid, being hospitalized with covid, or dying from covid. These sheepish followers are the pitiful descendants of the German prison guards who claimed they were only following orders during WWII.
In Part 2 of this article I will attempt to relate this mass formation psychosis phenomenon to the waning years of this Fourth Turning, and how they will intertwine and impact the final outcome of this crisis.
* * *
It is Jim's sincere desire to provide readers of The Burning Platform with the best unbiased information available, and a forum where it can be discussed openly, as our Founders intended. But it is not easy nor inexpensive to do so, especially when those who wish to prevent us from making the truth known, attack us without mercy on all fronts on a daily basis. So each time you visit Jim's site, he asks that you consider the value that you receive and have received from The Burning Platform and the community of which you are a vital part. He needs your help and support to keep it alive. Please consider contributing an amount commensurate to the value that you receive from this site and community, or even by becoming a sustaining supporter through periodic contributions.