Global Discourse
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Castration anxiety, COVID-19 and the extremist right

Author: Claudia Leeb1
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  • 1 Washington State University, , USA
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In this article, I draw on Theodor W. Adorno’s psychoanalytically inspired works on (neo-)fascism and psychoanalytic theory to outline the threat of castration in contemporary capitalist societies on economic, interpersonal and bodily levels. I then explain how the COVID-19 pandemic has heightened people’s castration anxieties on all three levels in a class- and gender-specific way. Finally, I expose how the right extremist president of the United States, Donald Trump, and the right extremist leader of the Austrian Freedom Party, Norbert Hofer, utilised castration anxieties in their psychologically oriented tricks to strengthen their base and capture new followers.

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  • 1 Washington State University, , USA

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