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Awakening from the Nightmare
What do I mean when I speak of "awakening?" I mean—very simply—becoming aware of the sacrificial fantasy or mechanism that lies at the heart of the historical process.

We pretend that war and genocide come from a place outside ourselves—that we human beings are not the agents or the cause.

Awakening means beginning to recognize how we generate death and destruction in the domain of politics—in order to create "history." We produce history by killing and dying in the name of abstract concepts such as "nations"—that come to seem more significant than human existence.
Richard Koenigsberg received his Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research. He is Director of the Library of Social Science.

OF HISTORY: Psychological Interpretation
of War and Genocide

by Richard A. Koenigberg

Read the complete paper here.

Table of Contents
I. The Psychological Interpretation of Culture
II. Hitler's Ideology
III. War and Genocide
IV. The First World War
V. War as Sacrifice
VI. Training Soldiers to Die
VII. Like Sheep to Slaughter
VIII. The Psychopathology of War
  Works Cited

I. The Psychological Interpretation of Culture

A psychological approach to the study of society seeks to identify the sources and meanings of its cultural formations. For any ideology or institution, I pose the question: “Why does it exist?” To understand an element of culture requires uncovering the psychic function that it provides or performs. An ideology or institution comes into being, is embraced and perpetuated insofar as it does something (psychologically) for individuals within that society.

Nations Have the Right to Kill: Hitler, the Holocaust and War

Nations Have the Right to Kill is now available at a special discount rate. For information on purchasing through Amazon, click here.

“Koenigsberg’s ideas cut trenchantly through conventional, rationalized notions about culture, the nation, and war, and enable us to see through the psychic machinations of human institutions in utterly new ways.”
  —Ruth Stein, New York University, author of For Love of the Father