Panel Presentation:
Psychohistorical Aspects of the Global Rise of the Radical Right and Authoritarian Populism
Panelists: Brigitte Demeure, Ken Fuchsman, Karyne Messina, Peter Petschauer, Kenneth Rasmussen (60 min)

Brigitte Demeure: Psychohistorical aspects of the rise of the far right in Germany and in France (30 min)

Abstract: The rise of the far right and authoritarianism is the subject of different analyses in Germany and France. I will focus here on the research of the “Leipziger Autoritarismus Studien” who have been studying these phenomena for years, referring to the work of the Frankfurt School (T. W. Adorno, E. Fromm, others) and the work of French sociologists, including that of Jérôme Fourquet. The differences in approaches and their conclusions will be presented in this communication.

Bio: Brigitte Demeure, PhD, M2, has worked for many years in international trade, but also as a member of the board of various international solidarity NGO’s. She holds a master’s degree in intercultural negotiation, a PhD in history, is a qualified translator and author of the book “La figure maternelle dans la vie politique française, 1789-1914” (Editions Universitaires d’Avignon, 2023), and of many psychohistorical articles published in peer-reviewed journals in France, Germany, and the USA. She has received two awards by the ACOPSA (American College of Psychoanalysts) in the USA.

Karyne E. Messina Shattering the Mirror: Understanding Trump’s Behavior and Policies Through His Family History (30 min)

Abstract: Donald Trump has a very real chance of winning the presidency in 2024, and Americans must understand that this man shows no remorse or regret for his actions that led to an insurrection on the Capitol on January 6, 2021. It appears Trump is willing to take his policies to an even darker place, particularly if we examine his rhetoric concerning immigrants, which has grown increasingly hostile, dehumanizing, and fascist. Rather than asking how we got to this point—that many Republicans are happy to potentially elect such a morally corrupt man to the presidency—I will consider why Donald Trump might be committed to continuing these practices. Why, for example, would he pursue policies that traumatize thousands of children fleeing poverty and dangerous living conditions in their home countries? The answer may lie in his own upbringing or, more specifically, in the backstory concerning his mother, Mary Ann Macleod, an immigrant who came to the United States in 1930 at the age of eighteen. This presentation will examine splitting and projective identification as these mechanisms relate to Donald Trump, which I wrote about in Aftermath: Healing from the Trump Presidency in 2020, https://www.freepsychotherapybooks.org/ebook/aftermath-healing-from-the-trump-presidency/

Bio: Karyne E. Messina, EdD, FABP, is the author of numerous books on projective identification, a podcast host, a licensed psychologist, and a certified psychoanalyst. She is also the Chair of the Scholarship and Writing section of the Department of Psychoanalytic Education (DPE) which is part of the American Psychoanalytic Association.

After completing her undergraduate studies at Florida Atlantic University, Dr. Messina earned a master’s and a doctoral degree from George Washington University. She completed her post-doctoral training at the Washington School of Psychiatry and the Washington Psychoanalytic Institute. Dr. Messina is currently on the medical staff of Suburban Hospital, which is part of Johns Hopkins Medicine.

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