Psychology of Fascists

by | Nov 21, 2023 | Human Thinking and Behavior | 0 comments

Fascism “is a political philosophy…that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.”

People become fascists because they strongly fear and dislike two things: change and others who are different from them.

Fascists want a leader they perceive as (1) strong and powerful, (2) similar to them in important ways, and (3) acting to prevent change and to suppress others who are different. By identifying with a leader of this sort, fascists reduce their fear and raise their self-esteem — they feel strong and powerful themselves and increase their feelings of superiority relative to others who are different. 

Joining a group of fascists also helps boost a person’s self-esteem, while satisfying a need for connectedness. 

Reducing fascist inclinations may require helping individuals reduce their fear of change and of others. Specifically, help them accept change as inevitable and having potential good elements and help them see the common humanity in others who are different. It may also require helping them accept themselves and feel safe in general.   


Photo by Klaus Wright on Unsplash


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