The Folly of Psychologizing History

by Serban V.C. Enache

In the book For Your Own Good, Hidden cruelty in child-rearing and the roots of violence, Alice Miller writes the following:

“Where does anti-Semitism’s perpetual ability to renew itself come from? The answer is not difficult to find. A Jew is not hated for doing or being something specific. Everything Jews do or the way they are applies to other groups as well. Jews are hated because people harbor a forbidden hatred and are eager to legitimate it. The Jewish people are particularly well-suited objects of this need. Because they have been persecuted for two thousand years by the highest authorities of church and state, no one ever needs to feel ashamed for hating the Jews, not even if one has been raised according to the strictest moral principles and is made to feel ashamed of the most natural emotions of the soul in other regards (cf. pages 92-3). A child who has been required to don the armor of “virtue” at too early an age will seize upon the only permissible discharge; he will seize upon anti-Semitism (i.e., his right to hate), retaining it for the rest of his life. It is possible that Hitler did not have easy access to this discharge, however, because it would have touched upon a family taboo. Later, in Vienna, he was happy to shed this silent prohibition, and when he came to power he needed only to proclaim this one legitimate hatred in the Western tradition as the highest Aryan virtue.”

I disagree with her reductionist take on this subject matter. The historical facts cannot be explained away by invoking ‘bad childhoods.’


What do I mean when I label Miller’s method reductionist? Reductionism is the theory that every complex phenomenon, especially in biology or psychology, can be explained by analyzing the simplest, most basic physical mechanisms that are in operation during the phenomenon. It is also the practice of simplifying a complex idea or condition, especially to the point of minimizing, obscuring, or distorting it.

In short, reductionists think they can explain the macro world by extrapolating from the micro realm. They can attempt to do so, but their theories (alone) will never explain the macro world. Adding up the parts does not make the whole. The whole is bigger than the sum of its parts. You can have a flat board and four legs piled together in the corner of a room, but that does not a table make. What’s missing from the sum of the parts is the principle of organization.

Reductionism is the method employed by Miller in her chapter on Hitler and Anti-Semitism. Hitler’s beliefs were rooted in Blood and Soil doctrine (a narrative from the 19th century), the first world war, and in the sectarian and racial behaviors of Jewish groups that he recognized as such. To narrow it down simply to his abusive father is to ignore all the other elements (which were powerful, mayhaps even more so, in shaping his views).

The German expression ‘Blood and Soil’ was coined in the late 19th century, espousing racialism and national romanticism. This current was widespread prior to Hitler and the rise of the Nazis. German agrarian romanticists like Ernst Moritz Arndt and Wilhelm Heinrich Riehl claimed that the peasantry was the foundation of the German people and of conservatism itself. Nationalists predating the Nazis often championed rural life as being healthier, with the Artaman League sending urban children to the countryside to work with the aim of turning them into ‘soldier peasants.’

In 1930, Richard Walther Darré wrote the book A New Nobility Based On Blood And Soil – which proposed a systematic eugenics program, insisting on selective breeding as a cure for the problems plaguing German society. Prior to that, in 1928, he had written the book Peasantry as the Life Source of the Nordic Race. In it, he presented his theory that the difference between Nordic people and Southeastern Europeans was based on the Nordic people’s connection to superior land.

Before their rise to power, the Nazis called for a return to the countryside. This agrarian sentiment allowed opposition to the bourgeoisie and the aristocracy, and presented the farmer as a superior figure in the societal hierarchy. Blood and Soil doctrine held that German land was bound, perchance mystically, to German blood. The peasants held charge of German racial stock and German history. They understood the natural order and only those who worked the land really possessed it. Urban culture was judged as weakness.

Carl Schmitt argued that a people would develop laws appropriate to its “blood and soil” because authenticity required loyalty to the Volk (the people) over abstract ideas. Neues Volk displayed demographic charts to deplore the destruction of the generous Aryan families’ farmland, claiming the Jews were eradicating the traditional German peasantry. Posters for schools depicted and deplored the flight of people from the countryside to the city. The German National Catechism, German propaganda widely used in schools, also recounted how farmers lost ancestral lands and had to move to the city, with all its demoralizing effects.

Blood and Soil was one of the foundations of the concept of Lebensraum (living space). By expanding eastward and transforming those lands into breadbaskets, another blockade, such as that from World War I, would not cause massive food shortages. Even Alfred Rosenberg, not hostile to the Slavs as such, regarded their removal from this land, where Germans had once lived, as necessary because of the unity of blood and soil. Mein Kampf prescribed the urgent necessity of obtaining land and soil for the German people.

While discussing the question of living space to the east, Hitler envisioned a Ukrainian “breadbasket” and expressed hostility to its “Russian” cities as hotbeds of Russianness and Communism, forbidding Germans to live in them and declaring that they should be destroyed in the war. During the war itself, Hitler decreed that Leningrad was to be razed. The Wehrbauer, or soldier-peasants, who were to settle there were not to marry townswomen, but only peasant women who had not lived in towns. This land held by “tough peasant races” would serve as a defensive line against attacks from Asia.

In the book The Invention of the Jewish People, Israeli historian Shlomo Sand debunks the myth that there was a forced Jewish exile in the first century at the hands of the Romans. He argues that most modern Jews descend from converts, whose native lands were scattered across the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

Equally fallacious is to ignore the bigotry inherent in Judaism. In his book End of Faith, Sam Harris states that the Jewish religion is part of the reason for Jewish persecution.

“Prior to the rise of the church, Jews became the objects of suspicion and occasional persecution for their refusal to assimilate, for the insularity and professed superiority of their religious culture – that is, for the content of their own unreasonable, sectarian beliefs. The dogma of a “chosen people,” while at least implicit in most faiths, achieved a stridence in Judaism that was unknown in the ancient world. Among cultures that worshiped a plurality of Gods, the later monotheism of the Jews proved indigestible. And while their explicit demonization as a people required the mad work of the Christian church, the ideology of Judaism remains a lightning rod for intolerance to this day.”

In the book Esau’s Tears: Modern Anti-Semitism and the Rise of the Jews, Albert Lindemann provides remarkable insight. In Chapter 3: The Appearance of Modern Anti-Semitism (1870-1890) he writes:

Nowhere was the rise of the Jews more notable, and nowhere was it more searchingly debated whether the nature of Jews was unchangeably foreign, undermining those among whom they resided, or adaptable and beneficial to the host people. Similarly, the possible ramifications of the notion of closeness are nowhere more clearly revealed than in the history of modern Germany, for growing numbers of Germans came to believe that they were somehow chosen by history for a special destiny.

[…] Real issues were involved, issues that emerged from the concentration of Jews in certain occupations, from their related extraordinary economic and social success, and from a range of cultural traits that distinguished them from non-Jewish Germans.

German-speaking Jews were the largest and economically most successful population of assimilated Jews in Europe, and because of their important positions in the German economy, they were almost unavoidably identified with the Depression. Germany’s economy, or the economies of the various German states before unification, had been growing with remarkable, even breakneck speed in the 1860s, and it grew even faster in the early 1870s. Jews seemed to benefit disproportionately from that growth, and they were widely and plausibly (which is not to say justifiably) blamed for its sudden collapse.

[…] For much of the 1880s and 1890s the first modern anti-Semitic movement found its most impressive and influential form in Germany. As noted, many Germans were inclined to see world historical significance in the establishment of the German Reich; it represented a turning point in modern history. Even more grandiosely, some German nationalists believed the new Reich was the expression of divine purpose, an affirmation of the mission of the German spirit in the modern world. How unique or “special” such beliefs were is debatable. We will see that the Jews in many countries, not only Germany, were inclined to see the rise of the Jews in modern times as expressing a divine purpose or a Jewish mission. Citizens of the United States, too, with their notions of Manifest Destiny, expressed a belief that they and the new American nation were agents of God’s will.

[…] In 1871 a number of important liberal principles were incorporated into the constitution of the new German Empire, such as the free trade, the rule of law, representative institutions, and guarantees of free speech. Religious freedom and Jewish equality under the law were also a part of the constitution.

[…] With the unification of Germany, Jewish wealth began to expand even more rapidly than before, and Jews began to move into a number of prominent positions in politics. Banks, although less exclusively Jewish in Germany than elsewhere in central and eastern Europe, were still owned and operated by Jews (estimates range from forty to fifty percent, whereas Jews were one percent of the total population). The man reputed to be the richest in Germany was the Jewish banker Gerson Bleichröder. Upwardly mobile Gentiles, or those who hoped for upward mobility in their children, encountered a most unwelcome competition to get into medical school or law school; Jews in those schools became overrepresented, often by ten, twenty, even thirty times their numbers on German society.

[…] The liberal press was overwhelmingly in the hands of the Jews. It was an arena “in which Jewish intellectuals could be active in an unhampered way”.

In literature and many other arts Jews were prominent in modernist trends, not only in Germany but in most other countries. Modernism was characterized by a contempt for traditional aesthetic norms; modern art became ever more divorced from what ordinary people could appreciate, ever more disdainful of popular tastes, ever more “difficult.” Those arguing for an “organic” Aryan art, one that had roots in the traditional peasant communities of Germany, could see modern art as inorganic, market-driven, cosmopolitan–and Semitic.

[…] The image of modernist Jews as “culture destroyers” reflected an undeniable reality; however much exaggerated by anti-Semites. The disproportionate numbers, visibility, and volubility of Jews in modern art roughly corresponded to the disproportionate numbers of Jews in journalism, medicine, law, banking and revolutionary politics.

[…] Those Jewish newly rich in Germany who had recent origins in the eastern European shtetekh, where standards of civility or public manners were markedly different from those of Germany, were widely regarded as especially offensive.

In Germany during the early seventies, the contrasts between rich and poor, successful and unsuccessful, were perhaps even more striking than in the opening stages of England’s industrialization. In the summer of 1873 the stock markets collapsed. Certain anti-Semitic themes took on particularly sharp expression by the late 1870s. Now it was declared that Jews, constituting a mere one percent of the population, were more than “too influential”; they were talking over the new German nation, its economy, its political institutions, its art and music.

[…] The popular (circulation ca. 350,000) and generally liberal magazine Die Gartenlaube published a series of articles in December 1874 by Otto Glagau exposing the role of various shady entrepreneurs in the stock market crash. He maintained that ninety percent of brokers and stock promoters in the capital were Jews.

[…] By no means all Germans agreed with Glagau. He responded that “No longer can we suffer to see the Jews push themselves everywhere to the front… everywhere seize leadership and dominate public opinion.”

[…] Wilhelm Marr has been given credit for coining the term “anti-Semitism.” His pamphlet The Victory of Jewry over the Germans has been described as the first anti-Semitic bestseller. He was married four times, the first three to Jewish women. He had intimate Jewish friends and was attacked for his supposed philo-Semitism.

The complains and laments of Glagau and Marr did not immediately alarm most Jewish observers, since the two could be easily dismissed as lowbrow, demagogic, and lacking respectability. Many influential Jewish observers considered Marr and his following not only beneath contempt but laughable. However, late in the same year and early in the next (1879-1880), Heinrich von Treitschke, the celebrated historian of Germany and popular university professor, published a series of articles critical of the role of Jews in Germany.

[…] That the presence of newly-emancipated Jews in Germany could present a genuine problem, not a fantasy, was freely recognized by a number of thoughtful Jewish observers at this time, as in years past; Jews did indeed have significantly different cultural traditions from the rest of the population. 

[…] Mehring complained that Jewish opponents of Treitschke engaged in “intellectual terrorism,” attempting as they did to smear as anti-Semitic anyone who expressed whatever critical reservations about the actions of the Jews. Treitschke’s consternation about Jewish influence also reflected his rising distaste for modern mass culture. He, like most educated Germans, felt an abhorrence for what he perceived as the Mishckultur (mongrel-culture) that was coming to characterize the United States in these years. They did not believe that the German spirit, in its barely achieved unity, could survive cultural pluralism—a chaotic and debilitating mongrelization in their eyes—that seemed to be growing up in the New World.

Treitschke remarked: “Ours is a young country. Our country still lacks national style.” But the young German nation, divided and still unsure of itself, was being flooded “from the inexhaustible cradle of Poland.” Treitschke argued further that the materialism of the early 1870s, so threatening again to the moral tone of the young German nation, was significantly reinforced by Jews.

[…] Treitschke complained that Jewish journalists had introduced an element of petty quarrelsomeness and intolerance, of a wholly one-sided sort: “About the shortcomings of the Germans or French, everybody could freely say the worst things, but if somebody dared to speak in just and moderate terms about some undeniable weakness of the Jewish character, he was immediately branded as a barbarian and religious persecutor by nearly all of the newspapers.” 

[…] Mehring also recognized a new temper, “a gifted, shrewd, tough-fibred race,” “intoxicated” with its new freedoms. Jews in Berlin had developed into “an expansive and explosive force which is hard to imagine for anyone who has not seen it with his own eyes.” On this point, Mehring found much agreement from German Jews themselves.

In chapter 6: Austria-Hungary, Lindemann writes:

These Jewish successes were less widely shared by members of the Gentile lower and lower-middle classes. Similarly, Jews did not become, or long remain, artisans, factory proletarians, or other kinds of manual laborers. Urban Jews were in general upwardly mobile; non-Jews were more often proletarianized—overwhelmed by the forces of modern urban civilization. Tens of thousands of small shops in Vienna went bankrupt in the latter half of the nineteenth century, and thousands of peasants plots in the surrounding countryside were put up for auction. The benefactors of these Gentile misfortunes were frequently Jews.

[…] Henry Wickham Steed, correspondent for The Times of London in Berlin, Rome, and Vienna from 1896 to 1914, and widely recognized as one of the best informed, most pertaining observers of the day, wrote that “among the peoples of the Austria-Hungary the Jewish people stands first in importance… Economics, politically, and in point of general influence they are… the most significant element in the Monarchy.” Moreover, embracing German language and culture by no means meant merging into German-Gentile society. Time and again assimilated Jews themselves referred to the Jews’ “stubborn emphasis on racial solidarity.”

[…] Friedrich Austerlitz asserted that the Jewish-owned liberal press was concerned to serve Jewish interests, to cover up misdeeds by Jewish capitalists, and to shower with abuse anyone who criticized Jews. Jewish press supremacy, he later observed, “was a conspiracy in favor of the Jews; the legend of the solidarity of all members of the people of Israel was at that time a reality.” Austerlitz granted that in the earlier part of the century, when Jews had been oppressed, criticism of their “eccentricities” was inappropriate, but by the latter half of the nineteenth century, when they dominated so much of public life in Austria and when their activities were so often corrupt, criticism was not only appropriate but the duty of all honest observers, Jews and non-Jews.

[…] The notion of racial purity, of Aryan superiority, gained an even stronger hold on parts of the Austrian German-speaking Gentile population than it did in Germany itself. Similarly, in Austria fears about the “destructive mission” of Jews, their alleged tendencies to take over, dominate, and jewify, were even more pervasive.

For large numbers of Austrian Catholics, Jews became “the enemy,” to be vigorously combated, and large numbers of Jews felt similarly about the church. The sophisticated, cosmopolitan, atomistic, and materialistic life of the modern city symbolized a world of evil and moral anarchy—prostitution, corruption, drunkenness, social and economic irresponsibility—for the Church, whereas for secular Jews the church was a repository of bigotry and unreasoning fear of the modern world.

Vogelsang lamented that Austria had lost its Christian bearing, had lost sight of the basis in Christian morality for social harmony. The country’s indigenous Christian population was being “robbed, dominated, and reduced to pariahs by the Jews.” The problem was not only exploitative Jewish capitalists; the “incredible insolent Jewish press” worked constantly to undermine the moral fabric of a society, as did the atheistic Jews at the head of the revolutionary parties.

In chapter 10: The Ambiguities of “Failure” in the Belle Époque: Germany and Austria, he writes:

Theodore Herzl [1860-1904] wrote a friend that his book had earned him the “greatest of hatreds [from fellow Jews] while the anti-Semites treat me fairly.” That “fair treatment” constituted one of the earliest examples of what would later become fairly common, that is, open agreement, even an occasional, opportunistic kind of cooperation, between Zionists and some anti-Semites, since they both agreed that Jews should get out of Europe. The impact of Zionism on non-Jews was also mixed: While anti-Semites pointed to it as evidence that they had been right all along, other non-Jews saw Zionism as a potentially acceptable solution to the Jewish problem.

As historian Steven Beller has commented, “Jews began to see themselves as the real bearers of the Enlightenment” in Austria and Germany. The matter was stated quite openly in a speech by Solomon Ehrmann to the B’nai B’rith in Vienna in 1902. His vision of the future was not simply one in which Jews were to be an honored part; it was to be in fundamental ways a Jewish future, one in which “not only the B’nai B’rith but all Judaism will have fulfilled its task. All mankind will have been jewified [verjudet, the same term used by the anti-Semites] and joined in union with the B’nai B’rith.” In short, Verjudung meant Aufklaerung, jewfication equaled enlightenment. It was in truth a broad and humane vision, but it cannot come as a surprise that many non-Jews were wary of it.

In Chapter 12: World War I, he writes:

For the anti-Semitic right in German-speaking central Europe, America’s alliance with the French and the English meshed into a by now well-established image of Jewish-controlled powers that were conspiring to destroy Germany. The prewar assertion by men like Treitschke, Langbehn, and Chamberlain that the English and the Americans were shallow, commercial minded and materialistic—Jewish in spirit—was now made even more adamantly. Chamberlain, in a letter to Wilhelm II, wrote that “England has fallen totally into the hands of the Jews and the Americans. This war is in the deepest sense the war of Jewry [Judentum] and its near relative, Americanism, for the control of the world.”

[…] The Paris Peace conference that gathered in early 1919 oversaw the redrawing of the map of most Europe and large parts of the rest of the world. The Jewish Question was on the agenda at Paris, one of a large number of nettlesome issues, seemingly impossible to resolve in a way that would be just to all concerned. The German quickly labeled it a “Jewish peace,” not only because they believed it vindictive, which it unquestionably was, but because they were persuaded that it meant even greater Jewish power in the postwar world.

[…] Again, their fantasy world found much in the real world to nourish it. Even many of those who were not notably anti-Semitic viewed the peace settlement as part of a titanic struggle between German and Anglo-American values. Germans saw themselves as an idealist, disciplined, self-sacrificing people facing peoples devoted to shallow liberalism and egotism. Those Germans who had put faith in Wilson’s points believed themselves cynically betrayed. In their eyes, the final “dictated peace” (Diktat) was an act of unspeakable perfidy. A number of smaller adjustments favoring Germany’s neighbors only added to the sense of impotent outrage in Germany. The worst outrage on the eyes of many Germans was the huge reparation payments with which they were saddled.

[…] Most Germans concluded that these measures were designed not only to punish but to ultimately destroy their country. Enormous debate emerged at the time and for many years afterward about the wisdom and justice of these draconian arrangements. Those Germans leaders who eventually agreed to work within the terms of the treaty did so not because they accepted them as reasonable but because they finally saw no realistic alternative.

In Chapter 13: Jews and Revolution (1917-1934), he writes:

The horrors of the revolution from 1917 to 1921 were in some areas even more devastating than those of the war; the connections of Jews and socialist revolutionaries were more visible than ever before and the anti-Semitic potential greater. The perception that revolutionaries were predominantly Jewish and that Jews were particularly vicious as revolutionaries spread now from minds like those of Nicholas II—limited, paranoiac, almost pitiful—to those of a different cut, such as Woodrow Wilson and Winston Churchill. It was no longer only scandal sheets like La Libre Parole or the Bessarebetz that identified radical revolution with Jews; now that identification was made by newspapers like the London Times, the Chicago Tribune, or the Christian Science Monitor, all of which enjoyed a reputation for sobriety on Jewish issues and at least relative fairness.

[…] Many of those who had been inclined to a hesitant or inconsistent anti-Semitism before the war, such as Wilhelm II, now embraced more extreme opinions. Wilhelm’s attitude to “the threat of international Jewry” was influenced by reports like those of Walther von Kaiserlingk, the German admiralty’s chief of operations, who had visited Petrograd in the winter of 1917-18: He described the new government as run by Jews in the interest of Jews; it was “insanity in power,” and it presented a moral threat not only to Germany but to the civilized world. Wilhelm agreed that the Russian people had been “turned over to the vengeance of the Jews, who are connected with all the Jews of the world.”

[…] We have seen how, in western countries where Jews experienced less oppression, an active and highly visible minority of them, especially young, secularized Jewish intellectuals in the generation before the war, were powerfully attracted to socialist ideas. Jews such as Hess, Marx, Lassalle, Bernstein, Otto Bauer, Luxemburg, Martov, Trotsky, and León Blum played a major role in formulating, refining, and propagating those ideas. Non-Jews (Engels, Kautsky, Bebel, Plekhanov, Lenin, Guesde, Jaurès) were also important, in many regards more important than Jews, but considering that the Jewish population of Europe was approximately 2 percent of the total, the Jewish participation in socialism, revolutionary and democratic, was remarkably large.

[…] Both Jewish and non-Jewish socialists in the late nineteenth century saw great merit in the idealism and radicalism of a moral elite of Jews. Just as the non-Jew, Friedrich Engels, had praised Jews for their contribution to the socialist movement, so V.I. Lenin, in a speech in Zurich in 1905, observed that “the Jews furnished a particularly high percentage of leaders of the revolutionary movement. It should be noted to the credit of the Jews, they furnish a relatively high percentage of internationalists.” On another occasion Lenin, in lamenting the low moral and intellectual level of his compatriots, remarked to Maxim Gorky that “an intelligent Russia is almost always a Jew or somewhere with Jewish blood in his veins.” León Blum, who after his participation of the Dreyfus Affair went on to become a prominent figure in the French socialist movement, “glorified in the messianic role of the Jews as social revolutionaries.”

[…] Recognizing that there were fewer Jews in the Bolshevik faction than in the Menshevik, or even that Bolshevism was not a typically Jewish ideology, does not mean that the issue of the role of Jews in Bolshevism is settled, for there were still many Jewish Bolsheviks, especially at the very top of the party. And there were even more in the dreaded Cheka, or secret police, where the Jewish revolutionary became visible in a terrifying form.

[…] Any effort to compose a list of the most important Bolsheviks must be unavoidable subjective, but it seems beyond serious debate that in the first twenty years of the Bolshevik Party the top ten to twenty leaders included close to a majority of Jews.

[…] To most of the Whites the differences between the various revolutionary factions were of little importance; they all appeared alien, foreign in inspiration, jewified, and destructive. Indeed, for many on the right even the liberal Kadets were viewed as westernized and jewified. Such exaggeration was hardly limited to the White armies. One book published in the West, The Causes of World Unrest, presented a list of fifty members of the Bolshevik government and declared that 95 percent of them were Jews, a common conclusion, as was the notion that the Bolsheviks were murderously destructive.

[…] A revolutionary unrest spread to central Europe in late 1918 and 1919. The party’s first two leaders, Rosa Luxemburg and, after her murder in January 1919 at the hands of a right-wing paramilitary organization, Paul Levi, were of Jewish origin. Even in France and Italy, with their small and overwhelmingly bourgeois populations, the emerging Communist parties counted a number of Jews in hardship positions. “Foreign Jews, taking orders from Moscow” became an issue.

[…] A Communist coup was attempted in Berlin in January 1919 (the Spartacus Uprising, when Rosa Luxemburg was killed), and in the course of that tumultuous year in Germany pro-Bolshevik revolutionaries took over, however briefly and confusedly, in Munich. In France a general strike was launched in the spring of 1920, and in the autumn of that year there were massive factory occupations in the industrial north of Italy. Perhaps most worrisome to the western powers, the Red Army, headed by Trotsky, launched an offensive against Poland in the summer of 1920 that was touted as the beginning of a triumphant advance of the Red Army into western Europe.

[…] In some areas, for example, the Ukraine, the Cheka leadership was overwhelmingly Jewish. By early 1919 Cheka organizations in Kiev were 75 percent Jewish, in a city where less than a decade earlier Jews had been officially forbidden to reside, except under special dispensation, and constituted about 1 percent of the total population.

[…] The pattern of employing non-Slavic ethnic minorities in the Cheka was duplicated in many other areas of Russia. George Leggett, the most recent and authoritative historian of the Russian secret police, speculates that the use of outsiders may have been a conscious policy, since such “detached elements could be better trusted not to sympathize with the repressed local population.”

The number of Jews involved in the terror and counterterror of this period is striking. These many Jewish terrorists helped to nurture, even when they killed Jewish Chekists, the belief that Jews, especially once they had broken from the confines of their traditional faith, turned naturally to fanaticism and anarchistic destructiveness. An even more important institution than the Cheka in defending the revolution was the Red Army, and, again, Jews played a key role in its leadership.

[…] Trotsky fascinated a broad public inside and outside Russia. In Hungary, a Jewish observer who was in fact hostile to the Bolsheviks nonetheless wrote: “The evolutionary flame which has burned beneath the surface of world history is now blazing up for the first time in a Jewish genius: Leo Trotsky!” According to Paul Johnson: It was Trotsky who personally organized and led the armed uprising which actually overthrew the Provisional Government and placed the Bolsheviks in power. It was Trotsky who created the Red Army, and who ensured the physical survival of the new Communist regime during the Civil War.

The (violent) nature of geopolitics (the core of human history at macro level) will never be changed by “discovering the mystery of childhood,” because geopolitics is not about good or evil, it’s about the utility of power, how to get it, maintain it, and expand it. Allice Miller herself admits that humans behave irrationally to a great extent, but I make the point that such irrationality does not always everywhere stem from an abusive childhood.

It is folly to reduce history and politics to psychology, without exploring everything else – the economic context, cultural mediation, and other complex processes. Studies on the causes (etiology) of Anti-Semitism like that of Lindemann’s demonstrate that Miller’s thesis, quoted at the beginning of the article, is ahistorical, reductionist, and betrays her ignorance on this particular issue which she tried to psychologize.

Serban V.C. Enache is a Romanian journalist and indie author. Though interested in history, politics, and economics, his true passion is for medieval fantasy fiction. He can be reached over Twitter.

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