“Ancient psychological disposition” exploited during pandemics by “fascists and totalitarians”: author Charles Eisenstein

Charles Eisenstein is the author of “The coronation», a collection of essays that explore the paradigms, dynamics, ideologies and mythologies that predispose people to accept narratives of security and social control, especially in times of crisis. He argues that governments around the world have been able to tap into the need to fit in and feel safe during the pandemic.

“Human beings are perfectly attuned to reading the mood of the crowd. It’s a survival mechanism. In order to fit in, we instinctively adopt the correct opinions and profess those opinions, we point out the appropriate virtues, we respect the appropriate taboos that mark us as part of the ingroup and not part of the sacrificial underclass,” Eisenstein said on EpochTV’s American Thought Leaders.

“It is an ancient and powerful psychological disposition that fascists and totalitarians exploit to control society.”

The conditions of “COVID hysteria” didn’t just begin in 2020, Eisenstein noted that those conditions were well established in 2017 when the Zika virus emerged, even if it wasn’t deadly enough to implement. radical public health policies, the “ideological machinery was already in place” for a transition to a “fully medicalized society”.

This approach places control and safety above all else, Eisenstein said, and places medical authority above all other authority.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, testify before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, on Capitol Hill in Washington on July 20, 2021. ( J. Scott Applewhite/Pool/Getty Images)

The paradox

“This mania for safety, this obsession with minimizing risk and this cult of control never succeeds; it always brings the opposite of what it wants, it brings less security, it brings less security, it brings less health.

Eisenstein said it’s a misnomer that government can “save lives” and stop death with policies, and it would be more accurate to say “delay death” and focus more on quality of life instead of trying to control the inevitable.

“If you hold this [stopping death] as of paramount importance, then you can use it to justify anything, and that’s exactly what we’ve seen. This was the justification for the suspension of civil liberties.

Control breeds more control, Eisenstein said.

Eisenstein said the prevailing belief that human progress and advancement “means an increasing ability to dominate and control the world outside of ourselves”, is false and brings more suffering, and is based on the idea that only humans have intelligence and consciousness.

But Eisenstein’s view, which is rooted in ancient cultures and spiritual teachings, is that all things have intelligence and consciousness and do not need an order imposed by humans.

“It’s about participating in the unfolding of life and beauty in the cosmos, not dominating and imposing it. The pathology that has expressed itself in the COVID madness, in the hysteria… It’s not like a passing phenomenon, but it points to a very profound revolution that we are on the verge of,” he said.

Unify around COVID for a sense of control

Mask-wearing, social distancing and vaccination mandates were all part of this control ideology to fight the external enemy of the virus, he said. Those who did not comply were targeted and scapegoated as anti-vax, indifferent or ignorant.

“Whenever you invoke an external enemy to unify you, it is always reflected with an internal enemy, which is traitors, heretics, mavericks, taboo breakers,” Eisenstein said, “So there is always some kind of purge, or some kind of authoritarian, police state environment in these times of existential crisis.

We can see this need for control, to find an outside enemy, play out at other times in history, where a group has been scapegoated like during the Salem witch hunts and Nazi Germany, Eisenstein said. .

Health-wise, the harder you try to eliminate all viruses and germs, the weaker your immune response becomes.

“But the more you isolate yourself from germs, the more vulnerable you become to any germs that can get through your bubble, because your immune system gets weaker and weaker. [and] not to mention that your body ecology deteriorates.

Humans need a sense of belonging

Another factor that contributes to the ideology of control is our diminished connection to our extended family, our larger communities and nature, Eisenstein said. In past societies, people lived in small villages for generations and knew the people and the land around them well.

“We are very vulnerable to substitutes for a real groundedness, a sense of belonging. These surrogates could include belonging to an opinion tribe, the internet, a political ideology or subscribing to any story,” he said.

In order to get that sense of belonging, people create groups and make one group good and the other bad.

“And then the path to a better world is for you to conquer, destroy, and humiliate the bad guys, kind of the same attitude as getting health, getting health by conquering a virus,” Eisenstein said.

There are viruses that make people sick, but when we let this ideology of control take over, it leads to bigger problems and more destruction, he said. “Then we end up waging endless war and justifying everything that war justifies, including totalitarian control of society.”

A woman walks in the snow near the entrance to the former Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau with the inscription
A woman walks in the snow near the entrance to the former Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau with the inscription “Arbeit macht frei” (“Work sets you free”) in Oswiecim, Poland on January 25 2015. (Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images)

Join against “the enemy” or be targeted

The unvaccinated were scapegoats, but not to the same degree as the Jews of Nazi Germany who were exterminated, Eisenstein said. Nonetheless, in this COVID hysteria, many have lost their jobs, been banned from social media, and excluded from family and social events.

As in his own situation, Eisenstein said, it took courage to resist this kind of pressure and the ideology of control, especially amid the pandemic hysteria. He said he was attacked for “fomenting counter-narrative ideas about COVID-19”.

Fear and self-doubt kept him quiet for a short time and during this time, “I started to question everything, and I didn’t want to speak insistently until I had some clarity and coherence in me.”

Eisenstein said, more than wanting to hold a bunch of government bureaucrats accountable for destructive COVID policies and mandates, “I really want to examine the dynamics, ideologies, and social habits that have made [government control] everything possible to start,” he said.

Part of his conclusion is that the dehumanization of the other created the current environment.

“Any time you dehumanize someone, you’re not in the truth,” he said. “The truth about every human being is that he is a divine soul, a child of God, however you want to articulate it; like a sacred mindfulness, looking with different eyes. It’s the truth.”

We have a choice to make

“We had insight like surveillance, censorship, lockdowns, warrants. It is a glimpse of a future where we continue to subscribe to the history of control, of progress equal to control. We were shown it so that we could choose clearly and intentionally, consciously.

In order to change the direction of society and the division of our world, people must embrace non-judgment and compassion and stop trying to control everything; instead, people need to understand other beings and contribute to the betterment of the world.

“We’re supposed to make creation even more beautiful, and be agents of creation and make the world more alive, which is kind of the opposite of what we’ve been doing. But we have all the technology and all the skills to be gifts to the planet and not a burden on the planet,” he said.

A person standing in the Grove of the Titans
Grove of Titans in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park in Crescent City, California is home to ancient redwood trees known for their size and age. (Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

In order to have this positive impact on the world, “we must understand that our well-being is not separate from the well-being of the rest of life”.

Masooma Haq


Masooma Haq began reporting for The Epoch Times from Pakistan in 2008. She currently covers a variety of topics, including US government, culture, and entertainment.

Jan Jekielek


Jan Jekielek is an editor for the Epoch Times and host of “American Thought Leaders.” Jan’s career has spanned academia, the media and international human rights work. In 2009, he joined The Epoch Times full-time and held various positions, including editor-in-chief of the website. He is the producer of the award-winning Holocaust documentary film “Finding Manny”.

Lola R. McClure