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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary explanations from psychology, 14 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: The Psychotic Left (Kindle Edition)
This book argues that the best way to understand communism, is to understand the psychological make up of many of its followers. As long ago as the 1800s, psychologists identified a type of person they called a 'mattoid'. This refers to an individual with various fascinating behaviour traits. They are egotistical. They disdain meaningful employment and prefer to sponge off others. They are often sexually licentious, and despise the conventional sexuality encouraged by religion. What is unique about the mattoid is the political action they take based on their proclivities.

Psychologists noted that mattoids are frustrated by the rightful condemnation of their personality by society, so will be drawn to political movements that aim to completely dismantle the society which they see as unfairly oppressing their tendencies. Given that communism promises to completely change society and public morality, people who have 'mattoid' tendencies will be disproportionately found in the ranks of far-left movements that seek to do this. Indeed, in parts of the world where communists did take power, churches and other organisations that condemned mattoid type behaviour were often viciously persecuted and targeted. Furthermore, these parts of the world often saw bizarre personality cults spring up to feed the egos of mattoid leaders, and the establishment of parasitic mattoid ruling bureaucracies that sponged off the labour of the toiling masses in salt mines and collectivised farms. All of this is easily explicable once we view these countries through the lense of mattoid behaviour theory.

The book then looks at the profiles of several far-left figures in history. The letters of Karl Marx reveal he had no interest in meaningful employment, preferring instead to parasite off his wife and other family members. This is completely in line with mattoid behaviour. His ghoulish, gloating letters celebrating the death of elderly family members who had left him an inheritance are also examined in depth as further evidence of this tendency. Other figures in communist history are analysed, all of whom conclusively show signs of mattoid personality traits. This includes various French Revolution and Enlightenment figures. For example, Jean-Jacques Rousseau showed clear signs of egomania, and wrote that the only thing stopping him from committing suicide was he did not wish to deprive the world of his genius. He also once mentioned that he felt God would be so impressed with his work that God might let him into heaven on the basis of its brilliance.

The author notes that, ironically, the fact mattoids are drawn to far-left groups often condemns most far-left groups to failure. Such an unusually high concentration of egotistical, parasitic control freaks in one organisation will inevitably lead to personality clashes and defections. This explains the slap-stick comedy levels of splinter groups on the far-left, who are formed after one mattoid loses patience and sets up his own group; only to then find other mattoids are drawn into this new group, and the cycle begins all over again.

This book is easy to read for someone with no background in psychology. Strongly recommended.
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