Panel Presentation (continued):
Antisemitism as Jew-Hatred: A Psychohistorical Enigma – Part 2
•Daniel Burston: Antisemitism and the Authoritarian Personality (60 min)

Abstract: In The Authoritarian Personality, Adorno et al. found very high correlations between antisemitism and Right-wing authoritarian personality traits. In fact, Adorno et al. described authoritarianism as a socially patterned defect that is inherently Right wing, and not found among “progressives” – this despite the ravages of Stalinism in that same time period. He was roundly criticized for this oversight by many of his contemporaries. But sadly, recent research on Left- wing authoritarianism has neglected to explore this issue in depth. Nevertheless, we have plenty of data to draw on to see how these phenomena are connected. This presentation explores the similarities and differences between Right- and Left-wing authoritarianisms, the ways in which the “progressive” Left became increasingly authoritarian, and aligned itself with Islamist movements and causes that are authoritarian and antisemitic to the core. It also addresses the ways in which “progressives” – including many Jews, like Judith Butler, and Lara Sheehi’s many Jewish supporters – disclaim any antisemitic feelings or attitudes, hiding them (from themselves and from others) under the veil of principled anti-Zionism.

Bio: Daniel Burston, PhD, is a historian of the behavioral sciences with a special. interest the ways psychology, psychiatry and psychoanalysis converge and overlap with religion, philosophy and politics. He taught Psychology at Duquesne University for 30 years and chaired the Psychology department there from 2006-2012. He is the author of numerous books and journal articles including Erik Erikson and the American Psyche; Ego Ethics and Evolution (Aronson, 2007) and Antisemitism and Analytical Psychology: Jung, Politics and Culture (Routledge, 2021) More recently, he co-edited Critical Theory and Psychoanalysis: From the Frankfurt School to Contemporary Critique (Routledge, 2022) with Jon Mills.

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