Fanaticism, identity and thought

Fundamentalism, fanaticism, dogmatism, sectarianism are different manifestations of a radical intolerance faced with any new vertex acting in the name of the defence of any idea which it is hoped would be considered eternal. The defenders of fixed ideas develop as much from mental functions based on primitive mechanisms as from intolerant groups governed by binary logic: what is ours and what is alien. Conflict facing complexity imposes a coagulated vision of reality. In this paper, I analyse the context in which the development of fanaticism takes place, the function of the group in the creation and support of the fanatic, the limitation of the capacity of the subject to imagine and to create abstractions, and how this limitation influences the construction of a rigid personality. Fanaticism is a complex mental phenomenon from which nobody is exempt because resistance to change exists in everybody — although to different degrees.

Key words:
fanaticism, group, imagination, abstraction, identity, change, dogmatism

Carlos Tabbia
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