“The daemonic … rests entirely on the unconscious forces of negation and destruction and on the reality of evil. The existence of the daemonic is demonstrated by the fact that black magic is not only possible but uncannily successful, so much so that it is tempting to assume that black magicians are possessed by a daemon. Hitler’s magic, for instance, consisted in his always saying what everybody was afraid to say out loud because it was considered too disreputable and inferior (resentment against the Jews). But his daemonism lay in the fact that his methods were uncannily effective and that he himself obviously became the victim of the daemon which had taken total possession of him.
“…when anyone gives free rein to violent emotion and in this state wishes evil, it will have a magical effect. This is the quintessence of primitive magic and of the corresponding mass phenomena like Naziism, Communism, etc.
Dr. Carl G. Jung, September 1, 1952, Letter to Horst Scharschuch, Letters II: 1951-1961, p. 82-83
Many of us know to be afraid of what Donald Trump represents, but we don’t know what it is he represents. The parallels to Adolph Hitler have been made, but why is it happening and what is to be done? Actually, Bernie Sanders represents the mirror image of the same phenomenon.
At Christmas 2015, a conservative friend told me that if he could not vote for Donald Trump, he would vote for Bernie Sanders. At the time my jaw dropped, but as I read Dr. Jung’s work from more than 60 years ago, I do now get it.
In another work, Dr. Jung wrote:
“The claim to authority is naturally not in itself sufficient…. Its authority must also be backed by the equally vehement need of the multitude. As this need always arises from a condition of distress, any attempt at explanation will have to examine the psychic situation of those who allow themselves to be convinced …. It will turn out that the statements of the inspired personality have made conscious just those images and ideas which compensate the general psychic distress.”
Dr. Carl G. Jung, Mysterium Coniunctionis, (1963) ¶785
The distress that the Occupy Wall Street movement manifested is the same distress that is manifesting now in both the Trump and Sanders campaigns, and it is intense. Losing your life savings and your home to foreclosure, which happened to millions upon millions of Americans, is tantamount to castration for men and mastectomy for women. The psychic damage is that intense and damaging not only to the individual, but to the psychic health of the Nation as a whole.
The dogs and tear gas used to suppress the Occupy Wall Street movement did nothing to eliminate the distress. All those methods did was to force the distress underground—into the collective unconscious. At the first opportunity, it is manifesting again among millions of Americans, regardless of whether they think of themselves as Left or Right, Progressive or Regressive.
“There can be no doubt that the unconscious comes to the surface … and with its dynamism destroys the orderliness that is characteristic of consciousness. This process is a phenomenon that can be observed in more or less developed form in all epochs....
“At the present day such things are obviously taking place on the largest scale because the cultural order has suppressed the primitive disorderliness too long and too violently. If one views modern art prospectively, as I think one can, it plainly announces the uprush of the dissolvent forces of disorder. It clears the air by abolishing the constraints of order…. It very evidently lacks order and form. The uprushing chaos seeks new symbolic ideas, which will embrace and express not only the previous order but also the essential contents of the disorder. Such ideas would have a magical effect by holding the destructive forces of disorder spellbound…. In ancient tradition this magic is called white magic; black magic, on the other hand, exalts the destructive forces into the only valid truth in contrast to the previous order, and moreover compels them to serve the individual in contrast to the collective. The means used for this purpose are primitive, fascinating, or awe-inspiring ideas and images, unintelligible incantations, outlandish words and shapes, savage rhythms, drumming and suchlike.”
Dr. Carl G. Jung, September 1, 1952, Letter to Horst Scharschuch, Letters II: 1951-1961, p. 81-82
Read another way, the Masters of the Universe have been too greedy, taking all to themselves and leaving almost nothing for the rest of us. Like the times of the American and French Revolutions, the oligarchs being too greedy does lead to revolution.
As we can clearly see from the 2016 primary election results, something like 70-80% of all Americans feel this distress, and absolutely nothing will stop the ongoing chaos until the Republican party stops its suppressing obstruction, and lets a reasonable amount of gravy through to the rest of us. If the Republicans should win because they have followed Donald Trump off the precipice, and then Conservatives start cutting back on the safety nets upon which most Americans have relied for 80 years, the results will not be pretty. They won’t be able to hide the consequences of their policies from those of us being fooled by Donald Trump’s antics right now.
Dr. Jung clearly shows us that both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are two sides of the same coin. He shows they have opened a vein to the unconscious, when he says,
“But, if they do meet with success, this only proves that the “truth” they utter hits on a consensus of opinion, that they are talking of something that is ‘in the air’ and is ‘spoken from the heart’ for their followers too. This, as we know to our cost, applies to good and evil alike, to the true as well as the untrue.
“The wise man who is not heeded is counted a fool, and the fool who proclaims the general folly first and loudest passes for a prophet or a Führer, and sometimes it is the other way round as well, or else mankind would long since have perished of stupidity.”
Dr. Carl G. Jung, Mysterium Coniunctionis (1963), ¶¶ 782-783
What I know in my heart is that Donald Trump is in Election 2016 for Donald Trump, while Bernie Sanders is campaigning for all Americans. Here is the problem we are facing in Election 2016:
“These melting processes all express a relativization of the dominants of consciousness prevailing in a given age. For those who identify with the dominants or are absolutely dependent on them the melting process appears as a hostile, destructive attack which should be resisted with all one’s powers. Others, for whom the dominants no longer mean what they purport to be, see the melting as a longed-for regeneration and enrichment of a system of ideas that has lost its vitality and freshness and is already obsolete. The melting process is therefore either something very bad or something highly desirable, according to the standpoint of the observer.”
What we are seeing in Election 2016 are the results of the melting processes, where the Republican Party has followed a strategy of dividing and conquering for the past 40 years. In so doing, they have protected the dominants of Wall Street. They have persuaded their little enclaves of support that only through their dominance, will their interests be protected.
But, should Donald Trump be elected and start collaborating with the designs of the dominants to destroy Social Security, Military Retirement, Medicare, and other safety net programs, those who have been duped by Trump’s theatrics will turn on him and the dominants forthwith. Average Americans will still be in distress, even worse in all likelihood, but this time they won’t be fooled by the dominants. In that case the question will be whether today’s aristocracy is far enough away, as George III was after the American Revolution, or too close, as Marie Antoinette and Louise XVI were. In either case, it won’t be a good time to be a member of the 1%.