Global Discourse 3 (11):387-403 (2021)

Claudia Leeb
Washington State University
In this article, I draw on Theodor W. Adorno’s 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, utilized castration anxieties in their psychologically oriented tricks to strengthen their base and capture new followers.
Keywords Adorno  COVID-19  Psychoanalytic theory  Extremist right  Castration anxiety  Trump  Hofer
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