By Dr. Kevin Barrett
Part of my job is to read the news so you don’t have to. I spend a fair number of hours each week preparing for my weekly news show “False Flag Weekly News.” (Watch it on the FFWN channel on Rumble.) Part of the preparation involves reading mainstream news stories. Yes, it’s painful—a proverbial dirty job, but somebody’s gotta do it.
Recently, while perusing Yahoo News, I noticed that one of their top headlines was even more idiotic than usual: “Bella Hadid Just Made Exposed Thong Trend Look Chic.” The subhead: “The supermodel supported Ukraine with black pants and a crop top pulled straight from Bezva’s fall/winter runway.” The gist of the story was that Hadid, a supermodel, was somehow supporting Ukraine by wearing her thong underwear exposed.
Will people who use Ukraine flags as their social media icons follow Hadid’s lead and start wearing their underwear on the outside of their pants to publicly display their affection for the Zelensky regime? Will federal, state, and local governments start issuing “underwear mandates” forcing people to expose their undergarments while shopping, socializing, or using public transportation? Will anyone who refuses to go along with the show-your-underwear craze be demonized as a Putin supporter and banned from public life?
It sounds ridiculous. But that’s exactly what happened with face diapers circa mid-2020.
Even Fauci admitted that mask mandates weren’t really about stopping a respiratory virus but were more a way of generating displays of public concern about Covid and support for official policies. By that logic, it would make just as much sense to mandate a policy to show your underwear to support Ukraine. In both cases, the authorities would be deliberately fostering a “mass formation psychosis”—a frenzy of ultra-conformist behavior involving large numbers of people.
Why do people get swept up in the madness of crowds, surrendering their individuality and critical thinking ability, and entering into “mass formation psychosis”? That question is explored in Matthias Desmet’s book The Psychology of Totalitarianism. Desmet, a psychology professor at Belgium’s Ghent University, compares the medical-authoritarianism-driven mass madness of the Covid era to the two major outbreaks of totalitarianism in the 20th century—fascism and communism. He finds that, in all three cases, societies full of people whose lives have been deprived of meaning and purpose can suddenly go crazy when commanded to do so by leaders intoxicated by a totalizing ideology.
According to communist ideology, there is no God or source of transcendent value, so human beings are just random agglomerations of matter that have somehow developed intelligence and social complexity. Fortunately, they say, even though there is no Divine plan, human societies tend to improve through progress. And the engine of progress is class struggle. So, the only valid way to find purpose and meaning is to join the class struggle.
Fascist ideology likewise denied God and transcendence and worshipped progress. But, unlike communists, fascists held that human societies progress through fostering tribal and racial strength and solidarity.
What ideology produced the Covid mass formation? Desmet blames scientism: the over-valuation of science and those who purport to represent it. “Trust the science” was the Covid true believer’s equivalent of “trust the Party” or “trust the Fuehrer.” And, while science as a method is anti-authoritarian, those who purport to speak for its findings can transform themselves into dictators, and their beliefs, whether well- or ill-founded, into dogmas.
Published on the eve of the outbreak of the Ukraine war, The Psychology of Totalitarianism could not have predicted that Covid would suddenly be relegated to old news, and the pandemic deemed all but over, as a new mass formation psychosis swept the Western world. Even Desmet might not have imagined that Russia would become the new Covid, and that supermodels would expose their underwear to stop it.
If communist, fascist, and scientistic ideologies drove the three great outbreaks of mass formation psychosis explored by Desmet, what ideology is driving Ukrainemania and its flip side, Russophobia? The answer is, of course, neoliberalism.
Like communism, neoliberalism holds that neither God nor transcendence exists. Yet somehow progress is both inevitable and desirable. That progress is driven by freedom: primarily, the freedom of capitalists and oligarchs to accumulate more and more money and power—and to do anything they want with that money and power, such as building spaceships, creating artificial intelligence, and flying all over the world raping underage girls with Jeffrey Epstein. Any government that defends its traditional values and the collective well-being of its people, as do the governments of Russia, Iran, and (to a lesser extent) China, is deemed an “enemy of freedom.”
That’s why Ukraine deserved the “freedom” to join NATO, the military wing of the globalist oligarchs’ world conquest project. And that’s why former fans of face diapers are suddenly flying blue-and-yellow flags.
Kevin Barrett, Ph.D., is an Arabist-Islamologist scholar and one of America’s best-known critics of the War on Terror. From 1991 through 2006, Dr. Barrett taught at colleges and universities in San Francisco, Paris, and Wisconsin. In 2006, however, he was attacked by Republican state legislators who called for him to be fired from his job at the University of Wisconsin-Madison due to his political opinions.