Progressive Commentary Hour – 03.07.18


  The psychology and swerve in the reality and threats of climate change, malignant normality, our resilience to survive, and he legacy of one of America’s great minds.  

I am honored to invite tonight’s guest and one of our Great Minds —   Dr. Robert Jay Lifton. Dr Lifton is a distinguished pioneering psychiatrist and a long time anti-nuclear war scholar activist who has been investigating the psychological impacts of warfare and terrorism, nuclear weapons, political violence and coercive thought reform and brainwashing for 6 decades.  Along with his mentor the famous developmental psychologist Eric Erikson and others, he formed the Wellfleet Psychohistory Group that investigated the motivations for war and genocide. For a time in the early 60s, Dr. Lifton lived in Hiroshima studying the psychological traumas of the survivors of the nuclear bomb and later the violence and trauma perpetuated on Vietnamese from exposure to Agent Orange .  His book on Nazi medical doctors was ground breaking for identifying how normal people can rationalize and support such atrocities and crimes against humanity. Earlier in the 1950s he had studied the impact of thought reform and brainwashing on POWs’ mental health in Chinese prisons. Robert and another colleague successfully lobbied to have  Post Traumatic Stress Disorder recognized as a clinical diagnosis.  He has been a teacher and researcher at the Washington School of Psychiatry, Harvard and John Jay College.  He has written many important books based on his research Robert is the author of “The Climate Swerve: Reflections on Mind, Hope and Survival” and is among the leading psychologists leading the charge to warn Americans of Trump’s abnormal mental condition. His website is RobertJayLifton.com