The motivated self-deceit, the self-hatred and hatred of other: Freudian repression in communism and post-communism

The study explores the causes and consequences of “Freudian repression”, as analyzed by Billig (1999), in communism and post‐communism. The repression of unacceptable, shameful, evil, painful thoughts from the conscious mind is considered in psychoanalysis a central process in the dynamic of personality. The focus is on the Freudian repression that might be generated by ideological restrictions and filters, which are imposed through the brutal terror systemically enacted by the specialized institutions of the communist regimes. The study advances the idea that in communism the motivated self‐deceit has become a mass‐phenomenon through repressing and hiding in the unconscious mind of all the individual’s authentic feelings, thoughts, experiences and expressions that were different and especially opposed to the official representations, narratives, discourse, ideological principles and political authority.   

Due to the duration, depth, and relational expansion of the ideologically based repression of the authentic thoughts, feelings, experiences and expressions of individuals and communities, a schizogenic social context was generated in time. Such a context was favorable to the erosion of self‐love and of the love of the other and to the replacement of these emotional bonds with mistrust, disdain and hatred toward oneself and others. The ideological principles and the political algorithm restrained systematically the individual autonomy  and enhanced the de‐individuation process.  

Based on the fundamental role of language in the Freudian repression (Billig, 1999) the study attempts to identify the major types of motivated self‐deceit practiced in communism and the main types of motivated self‐deceit that emerged in post‐communism. These types are discussed in relationship with the long‐term Freudian repression of the authentic thoughts, feelings, expression and experiences of the individuals and communities. Th e ideological roots of Freudian repression in communism was strongly associated with the drastic limitation of the free dialogue between self and other, and of the interdiction of the free expression in public places.  

The motivated self‐deceit that involves the cover up of the censorship actions and traces and is ideologically rooted differs thought its content and mechanisms from the motivated self‐deceit that is nurtured mainly by sexual and interpersonal tensions. The ideologically rooted self‐deceit threatens the social and cultural identity of the individual, one’s own cardinal moral, religious and political values. The answering process to the essential questions such as “Who am I?” and “Who are We?” is disturbed. Once the individual becomes a tool of an ideology of terror supported by specialized institutions the chances of self‐hatred are increased and the hatred of others increases too. The ideologically motivated self‐deceit that emerged during communism has long term‐consequences that continued in post‐communism. The fragmented existential identity, the distorted existential identity, and the pressure to protect evil secrets are considered to be associated with these consequences.