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NCJ Number: 67445 Find in a Library
Title: REVOLUTIONARY PERSONALITY - LENIN, TROTSKY, GANDHI
Author(s): E V WOLFENSTEIN
Corporate Author: Princeton University Press
United States of America
Date Published: 1967
Page Count: 340
Sponsoring Agency: Princeton University Press
Princeton, NJ 08540
Sale Source: Princeton University Press
41 William Street
Princeton, NJ 08540
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE PSYCHOANALYTIC THEORY OF HUMAN NATURE IS USED TO DESCRIBE THE PERSONALITY CHARACTERISTICS OF THREE REVOLUTIONARIES--LENIN, TROTSKY, AND GANDHI.
Abstract: THE FOCUS OF THE BOOK IS ON THE MOTIVATIONS OF THE SUBJECTS AND CERTAIN EMOTIONAL CAPABLITIES RELATED TO THESE. THE THEORIES OF FREUD, ERIKSON, AND FENICHEL ARE USED TO EXAMINE THE LIVES OF THE THREE MEN FROM EARLIEST CHILDHOOD TO THEIR EMERGENCE AS REVOLUTIONARY LEADERS. USING ERIKSON'S FORMULATION OF THE STAGES OF PSYCHOSEXUAL DEVELOPMENT AS A GUIDE, A PICTURE OF EACH MAN EMERGES. FOR THE ORAL PHASE, WHEN TRUST AND MISTRUST ARE AT ISSUE, NO CONSISTENT PATTERN FOR THE REVOLUTIONISTS CAN BE IDENTIFIED. LENIN WAS VERY MISTRUSTFUL FROM AN EARLY AGE, WHILE TROTSKY AND GANDHI HAD CONSIDERABLE FAITH IN THE UNDERLYING BENEVOLENCE OF THEIR ENVIRONMENTS. FOR THE ANAL PHASE, CONSIDERABLE VARIABILITY ALSO EXISTS. LENIN DEVELOPED A FIRM SENSE OF AUTONOMY AND OF HIS OWN WORTH, WHILE TROTSKY AND GANDHI HAD SEVERE PROBLEMS WITH THESE. IN ADOLESCENCE, EACH MAN HAD AN UNUSUALLY AMBIVALENT RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS FATHER. THIS OEDIPAL INFLUENCE WAS MOST EVIDENT IN LATE ADOLESCENCE. WHEN THE NATURE OF THE YOUTH'S RELATION TO PATERNAL AUTHORITY IS AT ISSUE, IT IS EXTREMELY LIKELY THAT THE INDIVIDUAL WILL BE RESPONSIVE TO OCCUPATIONS (OF WHICH REVOLUTIONARY ACTIVITY IS ONE) WHICH ALLOW HIM TO WORK THROUGH HIS CONFLICTS. THE REVOLUTIONIST ESCAPES FROM THE BURDENS OF OEDIPAL GUILT AND AMBIVALENCE BY CARRYING HIS CONFLICT WITH AUTHORITY INTO THE POLITICAL REALM. THE BASIC ATTRIBUTE OF THE REVOLUTIONARY PERSONALITY IS ITS BASE IN OPPOSITION TO GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORITY. THIS PERSONALITY IS THE RESULT OF THE INDIVIDUAL'S CONTINUING NEED TO EXPRESS HIS AGGRESSIVE IMPULSES VIS-A-VIS HIS FATHER AND THE REPRESSIVE ACTION OF GOVERNMENTAL OFFICIALS. THUS THE REVOLUTIONIST DICHOTOMIZES HIS WORLD AND WITH IT THE EMOTIONAL COMPLEX OF HIS AMBIVALENT FEELINGS TOWARD HIS FATHER. BOTH LENIN AND GANDHI IDENTIFIED WITH A SPECIFIC PARENT AND WERE ABLE TO PLAY A LEADERSHIP ROLE EFFECTIVELY AND ALSO CAST OFF ALL SUPERIORS AND PEERS. BOTH CONSTRUCTED AN ORGANIZATION USING VIOLENT MEANS AS PROTECTION FROM ENEMIES. BOTH TROTSKY AND LENIN WERE THUS MEN OF VIOLENT MEANS, WHEREAS GANDHI WAS, BY CONTRAST, A NONVIOLENT REVOLUTIONIST. THIS STUDY DOES NOT PROVIDE DEFINITIVE SOLUTIONS, BUT RATHER AN INDEPTH PSYCHOLOGICAL PORTRAIT OF THREE POLITICAL MEN WHO MADE REVOLUTIONS IN OUR TIME. A BIBLIOGRAPHY IS APPENDED. (MJW)
Index Term(s): Leadership; Personality assessment; Political offenders; Politically motivated violent crimes; Psychological evaluation; Psychological theories; Terrorist profiles
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=67445

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