chapter
Groups and Fanaticism
ByAndré E. Haynal
Pages 18

The concepts of the instincts, "identification," "ego differentiation," and the "ego ideal" allow to examine the phenomena of social life and also, in particular, that of fanaticism. Attempts to understand fanaticism are thus inseparable from the European culture and civilization of few centuries. Consideration of fanaticism came into its own primarily for the condemnation of religious zealotry. There are fanatics who interrogate us in a fanatic manner: "Sigmund Freud bashing" speaks long lines about them. There may be economic reasons behind such Freud bashing and maybe envy and jealousy, and there also exist personally motivated remittances. The organizational and political consequences can be drawn, and the passionate atmosphere created can be close to the limits of fanaticism. Fortunately this border is seldom trespassed, the paranoid projections and fears being kept under good control. Even so, the "group illusion" invested in the specific branch generates a considerable loss of information, interchange, and finally impoverishment.