Third Reich of Dreams-or-Psychodynamic Problem of Democracy

Totalitarian Dreams

Thomas M. French Psychoanalytic Interpretations tell us that; "The success of democracy depends upon a somewhat delicate psychodynamic equilibrium." In Chapter 29 The Psychodynamic Problem of Democracy; French goes on to tell us that "...the greatest danger to a democracy arises when different sections of the people get out of touch with each other, when they seek to outwit each other by clever propaganda and become fascinated with the dishonest art of selling people something which is against their best interest to buy."

The catastrophic history of the 20th century is based on the paranoid attitudes of the likes of Hitler, Stalin and Idi Amin among others. Total control of a society's thoughts and behavior via propaganda and surveillance, is the brain-child of an anxious and authoritarian mind. Such visions of the State, sees the need to cleanse that which they deem to be poisoning the well-springs of community life and undermining their authority. Reportedly even U.S. President Richard Nixon had an "enemies list", who were under surveillance. Another characteristic of the 20th century was its increasing technological perfection of censorship for totalitarian purposes.

Charlotte Beradt, in The Third Reich of Dreams, discusses the dreams of individuals living in Nazi Germany State before the beginning of WWII. Beradt felt that their dreams represented "parables par excellence on how submissive subjects of totalitarian rule were produced." This is one of the dreams reported to Beradt;

"I am sitting in a box at the opera, dressed in a new gown, and with my hair beautifully done. It was a huge opera house with many, many tiers and I was enjoying considerable attention. They were presenting my favorite opera, The Magic Flute. When it came to the line "that is the devil certainly" a squad of policemen came stomping in and marched directly up to me. A machine had registered the fact that I had thought of Hitler on hearing the word "devil". I imploringly searched the festive crowd for some sign of help, but they all just sat there staring straight ahead, silent and expressionless, not one showing even pity. The old gentleman in an adjoining box looked kind and distinguished, but when I tried to catch his eye he spat at me."

The machine metaphor has been used since Plato's simile of the cave which imagines men chained infront of a screen since infancy shaping their cognitive apparatus and sense of reality. In this dream, it is simple to spot the machine that; "registered the fact that I had thought of Hitler on hearing the word ‘devil'". Freedom of thought, closely linked to other human rights and freedoms such as freedom of speech, freedom of expression and freedom of religion become subject to censorship. (More in-depth observations could be made about this dream, especially about the opera The Magic Flute by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart which features Masonic themes, these ideas can be discussed in a future interpretation). Suffice it to say the Mozart's Magic Flute aria of Queen of the Night sings "The vengeance of Hell boils in my heart". This is Hitler's political and lyrical mission, vengence. The dream texts collected by Beradt in Nazi Germany provide testimony to Hitler's totalitarian use of State media and metaphor to manipulate and control the minds of Germans. This media imperialism that manufactures consent mirrors Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, in which the State uses techniques of hypnopaedia (sleep learning) as a means of mass mind control. The IIDR interpretation The Third Reich of Dreams underscores the Nazi's control of the German people and their dreams.

Lewis Mumford in The Myth of the Machine: The Pentagon of Power warns us of technology's power to enslave minds. The metaphor of the megamachine can be traced back to Daniel Defoe's The Consolidator. Mumford's metaphor of the megamachine finds expression in numerous films, such as Dr. Strangelove, The Matrix and Terminator. With the scientific and technological inventions beginning in the 16th century the modern forces of the war machine and militarism began to coalesce in the social unconscious political organization of dreams, which created the "myth of the machine" and provided the foundation for science fiction military narratives of war. These science fiction narratives find their highest expression in the modern instrumental learning of the instruments of mass destruction and total war.

As we move into the 21st century, currently characterized as the Information Age, the danger remains that freedom of thought and expression will be extinguished. The gathering of information by those in power has never been so easy; we may all be connected into one enormous information web. Governments' paranoid surveillance of their citizens will control the entrances and the exits of society, control those who enter and leave. With the end of freedom, there will be nothing left to indulge ourselves in except fictional entertainments.

While some might believe that this is just "science fiction", evidence exists from other modern  dreams received by the IIDR. These dreams are variations on the democracy in danger theme. Sleep Learning -or- Brave New World, Mind Control -or- Deny Everything, and Life the Movie -or- Pursuit of Attention are just some of the dreams that speak about the media manipulation of our dreams.

All material Copyright 2006 International Institute for Dream Research. All rights reserved.