How can people in totalitarian societies seem so happy?
October 10, 2010 9:55 PM Subscribe
Help me understand the psyche of people living under totalitarian regimes.
posted by dcrocha to human relations (40 answers total) 51 users marked this as a favorite
Having watched tens of documentaries about totalitarian regimes (I have a special interest on the subject), it always strikes me how many people in those countries defend the regime and cheer the dictators.
It's one thing when people are being interviewed by foreign journalists and closely watched by government thugs; that situation I understand. But what I don't get is those people who voluntarily attend military parades and cry on the sight of their tormentors, like in this article about North Korea's succession.
I understand that many people at those parades are also part of the regime, but if you take Fidel Castro's speeches in Cuba or Kim Il Sung's funeral in DPRK, you see that many people are genuinely happy or suffering, respectively. What goes on in their minds? Is it any sort of psychological disorder? If so, does it have a name? How can people in the DPRK cheer the government when most of the country is dying of hunger?