Some Highlights and comments From Reich’s “Listen Little Man” following an introduction by an unknown author.
“When Reich wrote Listen, Little Man! In 1945 he did not intend it for general publication. He wrote this pungent essay ‘to win for the researcher and thinker the right to personal reaction ’ and to show the man-in-the-street how he forges his own chains by his unquestioning acceptance of prevailing norms. The author forcefully points out that the price of quiescence is tyranny, war, and a distorted and deprived sexual life, and he exhorts the average man and woman to assume a personal responsibility for themselves and their children.”
A few lines into his essay Reich wrote:
“It seemed necessary for the ‘man in the street’ to learn what goes on in a scientific workshop and also to learn what he looks like to an experienced psychiatrist. He must learn to know reality, which alone can counteract his disastrous craving for authority. He must be told clearly what responsibility he carries, whether he works, loves, hates or gossips. He must learn how he becomes a Fascist…
“The Little Man does not know that he is little, and is afraid of knowing it. He covers up his smallness and narrowness with illusions of strength and greatness, of other’s strength and greatness. He is proud of his great generals but not proud of himself…He believes in all things more thoroughly the less he comprehends them, and he does [not] believe in the correctness of those ideas, which he comprehends most easily.”
This second paragraph describes Donald J. Trump to perfection. Often men, who, to the average man in the street, appears to be a big man in reality is a little man trying to convince himself and the world that he is a big man — “I’m very smart; I know more than the generals.” Tin pot dictators, or would be dictators, are almost invariably of this nature.
And because these pompous frauds like the Donald are at heart little men themselves, there is a kind of a mystic attraction for them by the little man in the street that is beyond all logic. Perhaps it’s because both the little man in the street and the demagogue — as author Eric Hoffer wrote in his book on mass movements, The True Believer — “pray not so much for their daily bread as they do for their daily deception.” This of course would make Trump and his fanatical followers psychological blood brothers. In this alliance it is a disastrous case of the blind leading the blind, with Third Reich results if things get completely out of hand.