Credit Suisse Research Institute “Global Wealth Report” (2018)

Social disparity has reached an extreme level and current statistics indicate that an ultra-rich segment (>1% of the total population) owns ≈50% of the worlds entire wealth, i.e., ≈$140 trillion are owned by a infinitesimal small minority of humanity; but see the Credit Suisse Research Institute “Global Wealth Report” from 2018.

Credit Suisse. (2018). Global Wealth Databook 2018. Credit Suisse

Annie Jacobsen: Inside DARPA – The Pentagon’s Brain

Jacobsen, A.. (2015). The Pentagon’s brain : an uncensored history of DARPA, America’s top secret military research agency. Little, Brown US
Moreno, J. D.. (2012). Mind wars : brain science and the military in the twenty-first century. Bellevue Literary Press
Miranda, R. A., Casebeer, W. D., Hein, A. M., Judy, J. W., Krotkov, E. P., Laabs, T. L., … Ling, G. S. F.. (2014). DARPA-funded efforts in the development of novel brain-computer interface technologies.. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 244, 52–67.

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2014.07.019
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Joseph Goebbels principles of propaganda

„We enter the Reichstag to arm ourselves with democracy’s weapons. If democracy is foolish enough to give us free railway passes and salaries, that is its problem… We are coming neither as friends or neutrals. We come as enemies! As the wolf attacks the sheep, so come we.“ — Joseph Goebbels

„The people’s community must not be a mere phrase, but a revolutionary achievement following from the radical carrying out of the basic life needs of the working class. A ruthless battle against corruption! A war against exploitation, freedom for the workers! The elimination of all economic-capitalist influences on national policy. Maintaining a rotten economic system has nothing to do with nationalism, which is an affirmation of the Fatherland.“ — Joseph Goebbels

A lesser known fact is that Goebbels stratagems were “inspired” by Edward Bernays (who authored the book entitled “Propaganda” in 1928).

Bernays stated the following in his 1965 autobiography:

They were using my books as the basis for a destructive campaign against the Jews of Germany. This shocked me, but I knew any human activity can be used for social purposes or misused for antisocial ones.

Further References

Doob, L. W.. (1950). Goebbels’ Principles of Propaganda. Public Opinion Quarterly

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1086/266211
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Meyer, M., & Welch, D.. (2006). Propaganda and the German Cinema, 1933-1945. The History Teacher

Plain numerical DOI: 10.2307/493610
directSciHub download

Propaganda and mass persuasion: a historical encyclopedia, 1500 to the present. (2013). Choice Reviews Online

Plain numerical DOI: 10.5860/choice.41-2561
directSciHub download

Herf, J.. (2005). The “jewish War”: Goebbels and the antisemitic campaigns of the Nazi propaganda ministry. Holocaust and Genocide Studies

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1093/hgs/dci003
directSciHub download

Welch, D.. (1993). Manufacturing a consensus: Nazi propaganda and the building of a ‘national community’ (volksgemeinschaft). Contemporary European History

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1017/S096077730000028X
directSciHub download

Studies on the financial power élite: Behind the façade of democracy

Davies, W.. (2017). Elite Power under Advanced Neoliberalism. Theory, Culture and Society

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1177/0263276417715072
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Foster, J. B., & Holleman, H.. (2014). The Financial Power Elite. Monthly Review

Plain numerical DOI: 10.14452/mr-062-01-2010-05_1
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Hoskin, K. W., & Macve, R. H.. (1986). Accounting and the examination: A genealogy of disciplinary power. Accounting, Organizations and Society

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1016/0361-3682(86)90027-9
directSciHub download

Froud, J., Johal, S., Moran, M., & Williams, K.. (2017). Outsourcing the State: New Sources of Elite Power. Theory, Culture and Society

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1177/0263276417717791
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Seabrooke, L.. (2009). The Social Sources of Financial Power: Domestic Legitimacy and International Financial Orders. Economic Geography

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1111/j.1944-8287.2008.tb00397.x
directSciHub download

Davis, A.. (2000). Public relations, business news and the reproduction of corporate elite power. Journalism

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1177/146488490000100301
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Boswell, R.. (2005). Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power. Global Studies in Culture and Power

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1080/1070289X.1994.9962492
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Abbink, J., & Salverda, T.. (2012). The anthropology of elites: Power, culture, and the complexities of distinction. The Anthropology of Elites: Power, Culture, and the Complexities of Distinction

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1057/9781137290557
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J. Edgar Hoover on “monstrous conspiracy and morality”

The individual comes face-to-face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists. The American mind has not come to a realisation of the evil which has been introduced into our midst. It rejects even the assumption that human creatures could espouse a philosophy which must ultimately destroy all that is good and decent.


When morals decline and good men do nothing, evil flourishes. A society unwilling to learn from past is doomed. We must never forget our history.

John Edgar Hoover was an American law enforcement administrator and the first Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States. He was appointed as the director of the Bureau of Investigation – the FBI’s predecessor – in 1924 and was instrumental in founding the FBI in 1935, where he remained director until his death in 1972 at the age of 77

The Impact of Science on Society – Bertrand Russell

Take first the question of food and population. At present 
the population of the globe is increasing at the rate of about 
20 millions a year. Most of this increase is in Russia and 
Southeast Asia. The population of Western Europe and 
the United States is nearly stationary. Meanwhile, the food 
supply of the world as a whole threatens to diminish, as a 
result of unwise methods of cultivation and destruction of 
forests. This is an explosive situation. Left to itself, it must 
lead to a food shortage and thence to a world war. Technique, 
however, makes other issues possible. 

Vital statistics in the West are dominated by medicine 
and birth control: the one diminishes the deaths, the other 
the births. The result is that the average age in the West 
increases: there is a smaller percentage of young people and 
a larger percentage of old people. Some people consider that 
this must have unfortunate results, but speaking as an old 
person, I am not sure. 

The danger of a world shortage of food may be averted 
for a time by improvements in the technique of agriculture. 
But, if population continues to increase at the present rate, 
such improvements cannot long suffice. There will then be 
two groups, one poor with an increasing population, the 
other rich with a stationary population. Such a situation can 
hardly fail to lead to world war. If there is not to be an 
endless succession of wars, population will have to become 
stationary throughout the world, and this will probably have 
to be done, in many countries, as a result of governmental 
measures. This will require an extension of scientific tech- 
nique into very intimate matters. There are, however, two 
other possibilities. War may become so destructive that, at 
any rate for a time, there is no danger of overpopulation; or 
the scientific nations may be defeated and anarchy may de- 
stroy scientific technique. 

Biology is likely to affect human life through the study of 
heredity. Without science, men have changed domestic 
animals and food plants enormously in advantageous ways. 
It may be assumed that they will change them much more, 
and much more quickly, by bringing the science of genetics 
to bear. Perhaps, even, it may become possible artificially to 
induce desirable mutations in genes. (Hitherto the only muta- 
tions that can be artificially caused are neutral or harmful.) 
In any case, it is pretty certain that scientific technique will 
very soon effect great improvements in the animals and 
plants that are useful to man. 

When such methods of modifying the congenital character 
of animals and plants have been pursued long enough to make 
their success obvious, it is probable that there will be a 
powerful movement for applying scientific methods to human 
propagation. There would at first be strong religious and 
emotional obstacles to the adoption of such a policy. But sup- 
pose (say) Russia were able to overcome these obstacles 
and to breed a race stronger, more intelligent, and more 
resistant to disease than any race of men that has hitherto 
existed, and suppose the other nations perceived that unless 
they followed suit they would be defeated in war, then either 
the other nations would voluntarily forgo their prejudices, or, 
after defeat, they would be compelled to forgo them. Any 
scientific technique, however beastly, is bound to spread if 
it is useful in war— until such time as men decide that they have 
had enough of war and will henceforth live in peace. As 
that day does not seem to be at hand, scientific breeding of 
human beings must be expected to come about. I shall return 
to this subject in a later chapter. 

Physiology and psychology afford fields for scientific tech- 
nique which still await development. Two great men, Pavlov 
and Freud, have laid the foundation. I do not accept the view 
that they are in any essential conflict, but what structure 
will be built on their foundations is still in doubt. 

I think the subject which will be of most importance polit- 
ically is mass psychology. Mass psychology is, scientifically 
speaking, not a very advanced study, and so far its professors 
have not been in universities: they have been advertisers, 
politicians, and, above all, dictators. This study is immensely 
useful to practical men, whether they wish to become rich 
or to acquire the government. It is, of course, as a science, 
founded upon individual psychology, but hitherto it has 
employed rule-of-thumb methods which were based upon a 
kind of intuitive common sense. Its importance has been 
enormously increased by the growth of modern methods of 
propaganda. Of these the most influential is what is called 
"education." Religion plays a part, though a diminishing one; 
the press, the cinema, and the radio play an increasing part. 

What is essential in mass psychology is the art of per- 
suasion. If you compare a speech of Hitler's with a speech of 
(say) Edmund Burke, you will see what strides have been 
made in the art since the eighteenth century. What went 
wrong formerly was that people had read in books that man 
is a rational animal, and framed their arguments on this 
hypothesis. We now know that limelight and a brass band 
do more to persuade than can be done by the most elegant 
train of syllogisms. It may be hoped that in time anybody will 
be able to persuade anybody of anything if he can catch 
the patient young and is provided by the State with money 
and equipment. 

Encyclopædic hegemony: On the dominance of Wikipedia

Man muß das Wahre immer wiederholen, weil auch der Irrtum um uns her immer wieder gepredigt wird, und zwar nicht von einzelnen, sondern von der Masse. In Zeitungen und Enzyklopädien, auf Schulen und Universitäten, überall ist der Irrtum oben auf, und es ist ihm wohl und behaglich, im Gefühl der Majorität, die auf seiner Seite ist. ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
(Transl.: Truth has to be repeated constantly, because Error also is being preached all the time, and not just by a few, but by the multitude. In the Press and Encyclopaedias, in Schools and Universities, everywhere Error holds sway, feeling happy and comfortable in the knowledge of having Majority on its side.)

The following statistical tools are of great value in this context because they enable researchers to investigate Wikipedia (e.g., “Edit Wars”) in an empirical fashion (see also Aceto & Pescapé, 2015; Darer, Farnan, & Wright, 2018; Gosain, Agarwal, Shekhawat, Acharya, & Chakravarty, 2018; Wright, Darer, & Farnan, 2018):

revision_content(language = NULL, project = NULL, domain = NULL,revisions, properties = c("content", "ids", "flags", "timestamp", "user","userid", "size", "sha1", "contentmodel", "comment", "parsedcomment", "tags"),clean_response = FALSE, ...)

Source: – p.11

Ripberger, Joseph T. (2011): Capturing curiosity: using Internet search trends to measure public attentiveness. Policy Studies Journal 39(2):239-259.



Darer, A., Farnan, O., & Wright, J. (2018). Automated discovery of internet censorship by web crawling. In WebSci 2018 – Proceedings of the 10th ACM Conference on Web Science.

Gosain, D., Agarwal, A., Shekhawat, S., Acharya, H. B., & Chakravarty, S. (2018). Mending wall: On the implementation of censorship in India. In Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social-Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering, LNICST.

Rackley, M. (2009). Internet Archive. In Encylopedia of Library and Information Science, 3rd edition (pp. 2966–2976).

Wright, J., Darer, A., & Farnan, O. (2018). On identifying anomalies in tor usage with applications in detecting internet censorship. In WebSci 2018 – Proceedings of the 10th ACM Conference on Web Science.

The nucleus accumbens, dopamine, and social learning

Key excerpt
The nucleus accumbens has a significant role in the cognitive processing of motivation, aversion, reward (i.e., incentive salience, pleasure, and positive reinforcement), and reinforcement learning (e.g., Pavlovian-instrumental transfer).


Sagittal MRI slice with highlighting (red) indicating the nucleus accumbens.

The nucleus accumbens (NAc or NAcc), also known as the accumbens nucleus, or formerly as the nucleus accumbens septi (Latin for nucleus adjacent to the septum) is a region in the basal forebrain rostral to the preoptic area of the hypothalamus.[1] The nucleus accumbens and the olfactory tubercle collectively form the ventral striatum. The ventral striatum and dorsal striatum collectively form the striatum, which is the main component of the basal ganglia.The dopaminergic neurons of the mesolimbic pathway project onto the GABAergic medium spiny neurons of the nucleus accumbens and olfactory tubercle. Each cerebral hemisphere has its own nucleus accumbens, which can be divided into two structures: the nucleus accumbens core and the nucleus accumbens shell. These substructures have different morphology and functions.

Different NAcc subregions (core vs shell) and neuron subpopulations within each region (D1-type vs D2-type medium spiny neurons) are responsible for different cognitive functions. As a whole, the nucleus accumbens has a significant role in the cognitive processing of motivation, aversion, reward (i.e., incentive salience, pleasure, and positive reinforcement), and reinforcement learning (e.g., Pavlovian-instrumental transfer); hence, it has a significant role in addiction. In addition, part of the nucleus accumbens core is centrally involved in the induction of slow-wave sleep. The nucleus accumbens plays a lesser role in processing fear (a form of aversion), impulsivity, and the placebo effect. It is involved in the encoding of new motor programs as well.

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Further References

Dölen, G., Darvishzadeh, A., Huang, K. W., & Malenka, R. C.. (2013). Social reward requires coordinated activity of nucleus accumbens oxytocin and serotonin. Nature

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1038/nature12518
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Trezza, V., Damsteegt, R., Achterberg, E. J. M., & Vanderschuren, L. J. M. J.. (2011). Nucleus Accumbens -Opioid Receptors Mediate Social Reward. Journal of Neuroscience

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5492-10.2011
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Day, J. J., Roitman, M. F., Wightman, R. M., & Carelli, R. M.. (2007). Associative learning mediates dynamic shifts in dopamine signaling in the nucleus accumbens. Nature Neuroscience

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1038/nn1923
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Wise, R.. (1989). Brain Dopamine And Reward. Annual Review of Psychology

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1146/annurev.psych.40.1.191
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Prof. Rainer Mausfeld – Neoliberal indoctrination: Why do the lambs remain silent?
Mausfeld_Why do the lambs remain silent_2015
Mausfeld focuses on perceptual psychology and also works on the theoretical foundations of experimental psychology and the psychology of understanding. He also deals with the rivalry of cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience in cognitive science. Another area of interest is the history of ideas in the natural sciences. He sees a major problem of the relationship between psychology and biology in neurological neo-reductionism. In contrast to biologistic approaches, he sees the peculiarity of the spiritual, inter alia, in the intrinsic multiperspectivity of the mind.
Mausfeld points out that knowledge of neural circuitry and activity is not enough to explain consciousness and thought processes. Not even the behavior of nematodes can be deduced from the activity of their 302 neurons. According to Mausfeld’s view, the relationship between nature and mind must be below the neural level in the sphere of physics. Evidence is given by the fact that nature is actually more enigmatic to us than our consciousness in itself. In modern physics it has become clear that the physical does not have the properties of matter ascribed to it. Mausfeld sees the special aspect of consciousness in the simplicity and wholeness of the subjective experience, which, however, reveals itself to the psychologist as a complex interaction of unconscious factors. The intrinsic multiperspectivity of thinking, which first opens up the possibilities for thought and action alternatives to humans after mouse field, results from the complex interplay of the most varied of factors.
White torture and responsibility of science
In his work, Mausfeld illustrates the role of psychologists in the development, application and justification of modern white torture methods. These goals are not, as claimed, the extraction of information, but rather breaking the will, disciplining, humiliating and shaming the victims. In his account, an American Psychological Association (APA) working group to investigate the involvement of psychologists acting on behalf of the Defense Secretary. Mausfeld uses the example of torture research to define ethical and legal principles and limits of scientific work. He regards the observance of human rights as fully binding.

Mausfeld, R.. (2009). Psychology , ’ white torture ’ and the responsibility of scientists. Psychologische Rundschau

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1186/s12882-018-0886-5
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Mausfeld, R.. (2009). Psychologie, weiße folter’ und die verantwortlichkeit von wissenschaftlern. Psychologische Rundschau

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1026/0033-3042.60.4.229
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Cognitive techniques

According to Mausfeld, the cognitive ones are more important than the affective techniques, since opinions are more stable than emotions. Here Mausfeld examines the following methods:

  • Representation of facts as opinion
  • Fragmenting coherent facts so that the context, such as the historical context, is lost
  • Decontextualization of facts: The context of the facts is removed, so that the facts become incomprehensible isolated individual cases, which have no general relevance
  • Misleading recontextualization: Information is embedded in a foreign context, so that they take on a different character and, for example, no longer lead to outrage in human rights violations.
  • Repetition supports the “perceived truth”
  • Designing the range of opinions so that the desired seems to be in the middle, which most people strive for, if they are unfamiliar, because they then keep to the middle seein it as “neutral and balanced”
  • Making facts invisible through media selection, distraction and attention control
  • “Meta-propaganda”: It is part of every propaganda to claim that the news of the enemy is wrong because it is propaganda

The development of more efficient manipulation techniques rests on identifying psychological “weak spots” – those intrinsic design aspects of our mind and principles of human information processing that can be exploited for manipulation purposes. Most importantly, such principles are, by the very nature of our cognitive architecture, beyond conscious control. (…) Our mind has many hard-wired weaknesses that can be exploited for manipulative purposes, that facilitate our utilitarian abuse by the political and economic elites for maintaining and expanding their power. However, we also innately dispose of a rich repertoire of ways to use our reasoning capabilities to recognize manipulative contexts and to actively avoid them. This repertoire is akin to a natural cognitive immune system against being manipulated, but we have to take the deliberate decision to actually use it.

neoliberal indoctrination - Copy

Further References

Mausfeld, R.. (2012). On some unwarranted tacit assumptions in cognitive neuroscience. Frontiers in Psychology

Plain numerical DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00067
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Mausfeld, R., & Heyer, D.. (2012). Colour Perception: Mind and the physical world. Colour Perception: Mind and the Physical World

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198505006.001.0001
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Mausfeld, R.. (2005). The Physicalistic Trap in Perception Theory. In Perception and the Physical World

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1002/0470013427.ch4
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Mausfeld, R.. (2012). Der Schein des Realen.. Näher Dran? Zur Phänomenologie Des Wahrnehmens
Mausfeld, R.. (2009). Psychologie, weiße folter’ und die verantwortlichkeit von wissenschaftlern. Psychologische Rundschau

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1026/0033-3042.60.4.229
directSciHub download

Wendt, G., Faul, F., & Mausfeld, R.. (2008). Highlight disparity contributes to the authenticity and strength of perceived glossiness. Journal of Vision

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1167/8.1.14
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Mausfeld, R.. (2010). Psychologie, biologie, kognitive neurowissenschaften zur gegenwärtigen dominanz neuroreduktionistischer positionen zu ihren stillschweigenden grundannahmen. Psychologische Rundschau

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1026/0033-3042/a000045
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Heyer, D., & Mausfeld, R.. (2002). Perception and the physical world: psychological and philosophical issues in perception. Perception
Narens, L., & Mausfeld, R.. (1992). On the Relationship of the Psychological and the Physical in Psychophysics. Psychological Review

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1037/0033-295X.99.3.467
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Mausfeld, R.. (2012). “Colour” As Part of the Format of Different Perceptual Primitives: The Dual Coding of Colour. In Colour Perception: Mind and the Physical World

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198505006.003.0013
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Mausfeld, R.. (2013). The Attribute of Realness and the Internal Organization of Perceptual Reality. In Handbook of Experimental Phenomenology: Visual Perception of Shape, Space and Appearance

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1002/9781118329016.ch3
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Mausfeld, R.. (2001). What’s within? Can the internal structure of perception be derived from regularities of the external world?. Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1017/S0140525X01530083
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Mausfeld, R., & Andres, J.. (2002). Second-order statistics of colour codes modulate transformations that effectuate varying degrees of scene invariance and illumination invariance. Perception

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1068/p07sp
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Mausfeld, R.. (2006). Wahrnehmung: Geschichte und Ansätze. In Handbuch der Allgemeinen Psychologie – Kognition

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2141.2008.07177.x
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Mausfeld, R.. (2010). Intrinsic multiperspectivity: On the architectural foundations of a distinctive mental capacity. In Cognition and Neuropsychology: International Perspectives on Psychological Science

Plain numerical DOI: 10.4324/9780203845820
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Mausfeld, R.. (2013). The Biological Function of Sensory Systems. In Neurosciences – From Molecule to Behavior: a university textbook

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-10769-6_12
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Andres, J., & Mausfeld, R.. (2008). Structural description and qualitative content in perception theory. Consciousness and Cognition

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1016/j.concog.2006.11.005
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Mausfeld, R., Wendt, G., & Golz, J.. (2014). Lustrous material Appearances: Internal and external constraints on triggering conditions for binocular lustre. I-Perception

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1068/i0603
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Erich Fromm – Disobedience: A Moral or Psychological Problem (1962)


Secondary literature

Frie, R.. (2003). Erich Fromm and contemporary psychoanalysis: from modernism to postmodernism.. Psychoanalytic Review

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1521/prev.90.6.855.28785
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McLaughlin, N.. (1998). How to become a forgotten intellectual: Intellectual movements and the rise and fall of Erich Fromm. Sociological Forum

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1023/A:1022189715949
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Fromm, E.. (2004). 1929a-e Erich Fromm Psychoanalysis and Sociology. English

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1063/1.4810294
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Rasmussen, B., & Salhani, D.. (2008). Resurrecting erich fromm. Smith College Studies in Social Work

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1080/00377310802111946
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Brookfield, S.. (2002). Overcoming alienation as the practice of adult education: The contribution of Erich Fromm to a critical theory of adult learning and education. Adult Education Quarterly

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1177/0741713602052002002
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Davis, H. B.. (2003). Erich Fromm and postmodernism.. Psychoanalytic Review

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1521/prev.90.6.839.28790
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