Think This Election Is About the Economy? Interview With Analyst Murray Stein

Think This Election Is About the Economy? Interview With Analyst Murray Stein

An Interview with Jungian psychoanalyst Murray Stein by . Originally published in Huffington Post. Part of an ongoing series on the American Psyche.

In search of insight into the deeper forces shaping the presidential election, I turned to American Jungian psychoanalyst Murray Stein, Ph.D. Currently president of the International School of Analytical Psychology in Zurich, Stein lectures on analytical psychology and its applications in the contemporary world. He is the author of many books, including most recently The Principle of Individuation. The following is an edited version of our conversation, and the first of a two-part interview.

Pythia: In 2003 you left Chicago to live abroad in Switzerland. This vantage point must give you an interesting perspective on the upcoming presidential election.

Stein: Yes, I was just thinking about that. The Swiss Constitution was modeled on the American constitution. But they made some changes that, in light of the polarized American electorate, seem significant. Instead of a single president, the Swiss system has a council of seven leaders elected from their congress every four years. The presidency rotates among this council each year. They also have four strong parties — two are extreme and two are in the middle — as opposed to the two-party system in the United States. Everyone has to compromise; nobody gets everything they want.

Psychologically, this has a moderating effect that disperses the power, rather than focusing it on one leader. This also prevents the severe splitting effect that we see in the states, where the parties are set so strongly against each other. Whenever you have two of anything running against each other you’re going to have a splitting process: It’s a psychological phenomenon. People side with one against the other, and then those differences become pushed to an extreme.

Read the whole interview on Huffington Post.


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