While the news media, politicians, both political parties and conspiracy theory groups are destabilizing America, we often lose sight of how we contribute to the hysteria as individuals, albeit unwittingly. In the process, we lose our ability to find optimism, opportunities, and meaning. Fortunately, it is still possible to learn from history and to regain one’s agency, self- empowerment, and life purpose.
Addictive Ideologies, psychologist Dr. Emily Bashah along with Paul Johnson, entrepreneur and the former mayor of Phoenix, Arizona raise the caution. Their belief—that today’s world of runaway identity politics, nationalism, and cancel culture is setting the stage for a loss of individual agency and liberty—keenly shows why we can’t take democracy and civility for granted.
Dr. Bashah tells the harrowing story of the persecution of Jews in Iraq by Saddam Hussein and the Ba’ath Party through her family’s own personal experiences. Building on Dr. Bashah’s powerful historical context, Paul Johnson uses his own mayoral experiences in order to chart a path for the future that can avoid similar atrocities. This book draws upon an understanding of societal divisions, clinical and social psychology, and the real power we have to promote constructive change.
By merging insights from two widely disparate worldviews, Dr. Bashah and Paul Johnson show beyond a doubt that genocide isn’t the result of just a few bad men, and tyranny isn’t only caused by one charismatic leader. Both require hundreds of thousands of people to turn a blind eye, and it’s our responsibility as Americans to stay vigilant so that we can protect our families and loved ones against the myriad dangers of addictive ideology.