Wilhelm Reich

Doug Henwood dhenwood at panix.com
Fri Oct 14 08:18:32 MDT 1994

One extremely valuable thing about Reich (though it's been years since I
read the Mass Psychology of Fascism) is his argument that the left cannot
fight fascism (to use modern language) technocratically, or with reason
alone. It must be a bloody and lusty fight, since fascism is an
eros-tinged doctrine. In these days of rampant neofascism and bloodless
frightened lefties, it's somthing to learn from.

Reich did revise the Mass Psychology late in life, after he'd decided
that Ike had "good orgones," right?


Doug Henwood [dhenwood at panix.com]
Left Business Observer
212-874-4020 (voice)
212-874-3137 (fax)

On Thu, 13 Oct 1994, Alex Trotter wrote:

> I know that many people on this list are fond of the academic theories
> deriving from structuralism, Althusser, Lacan, etc. These figures
> attempted a synthesis on some level of Marxism and psychoanalysis. But as
> far as that goes, there is another figure who worked very intensely on
> that task but whose name is not often mentioned anymore, it seems. That
> figure is Wilhelm Reich. The situationists were fond of him, and so are
> some anarchists, but he seems, like Fourier in some ways, to be
> generally regarded in the 'crackpot' category when he is talked about at
> all. I recently read his work entitled _The Sexual Revolution_, much of
> which is concerned with issues about the family, etc. raised by Engels
> but explored in much greater depth. It also discusses the way abortion,
> homosexuality, contraception, adolescent sexuality, and so on were dealt
> with in the early years of the Soviet Union and under Stalinism.
> Fascinating. Another book of his of particular interest to students of
> Marxism--_The Mass Psychology of Fascism_. What do other people on this
> list think about Reich? Was he another hopeless utopian? And just what is
> it about the turgid writing of a Lacan that supposedly comes out ahead?
> --Alex Trotter


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