Why we will return to ‘normality’ and ‘business as usual’: warnings from the economic psyche

Webinar Tuesday 19th May 2020. Join via the Society of Psychotherapy Meetup site

The international liberal intelligentsia, political activists and artists from many quarters do not want to return to ‘normality’ when the dust has settled after the viral storm. ‘Business as usual’ is ruled out of the question. Andrew Samuels shares many of these aspirations and values. But he is concerned that if certain underlying economic assumptions – they are better referred to as ‘economic fantasies’ – are not challenged, then there will just be a rather pretty and superficial outcome. Nothing will change. What can be done? Maybe depth psychology has not yet exhausted itself when it comes to economics, money and class. Specifically, we need to pay heed to the collective psychological obstacles that lie in the path of a move to greater economic equality. What if humanity is deeply captivated and fascinated by inequality? What if we just love our billionaires? The role of depth psychology and psychoanalysis when it comes to politics is often to look at why we cannot achieve what we desire. The talk will blend theory with an experiential approach, with a special and entertaining focus on what Samuels calls ‘economic sadism’.

Andrew Samuels is a Jungian analyst, university professor, writer and political activist. He consults to political leaders, parties and more progressive groupings in several countries, and to the NHS. He was one of the two founders of Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibility and a former chair of the UK Council for Psychotherapy. His many books are translated into 21 languages and include The Political Psyche (1993), A New Therapy for Politics (2017), and Analysis and Activism (edited, 2016). 

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