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 Lucas A. Klein, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist who has been in private practice for 14 years. He has been a criminal and civil forensic psychologist, and now runs Real Clear Podcast  He grew up in upstate NY not far from Jim, moved to the west coast, and now spends an inordinate amount of time trying to understand why humanity is so irrational. You can find his show here: https://www.realclearpodcast.com

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Direct Download: KunstlerCast 385 —America’s Thought Disorders with Clinical Psychologist Lucas Klein

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About James Howard Kunstler

View all posts by James Howard Kunstler
James Howard Kunstler is the author of many books including (non-fiction) The Geography of Nowhere, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, Home from Nowhere, The Long Emergency and the four-book series of World Made By Hand novels, set in a post economic crash American future. His most recent book is Living in the Long Emergency; Global Crisis, the Failure of the Futurists, and the Early Adapters Who Are Showing Us the Way Forward. Jim lives on a homestead in Washington County, New. York, where he tends his garden and communes with his chickens.

24 Responses to “KunstlerCast 385 —America’s Thought Disorders with Clinical Psychologist Lucas Klein”

  1. FGB3 September 1, 2023 at 6:00 pm #

    Jim, anymore I’m not sure I want my gold held by a Canadian entity. When the Canadian prime minister can seize citizens’ bank accounts as punishment for holding “unacceptable” political views or actions, just how safe is the Royal Canadian Mint?

  2. FGB3 September 1, 2023 at 6:29 pm #

    And who the hell is Zack Peter? This fairy sounding guy “who’s got you covered” as your guru for what’s going on in the Pap? Culture? What in the hell is the “Pap” Culture? or whatever word he used? This sort of advertisement on Kuntsler Cast seems to me to be the opposite of what I’ve come to expect here, not frivolity.

  3. Demeter September 1, 2023 at 10:06 pm #

    Hate to disappoint the speaker’s theory, but ever since my great grandparents emigrated from Europe the women have worked. They had no choice. And then they came home and worked for free. There was support from the grandparent to the parent to cover “personality development”.

    It is not women working, it is the culture no longer working.

    • Forced-to-subsist-on-small-game September 14, 2023 at 10:48 am #

      If you look at my family’s trajectory, in the UK and on these shores, the women up to and including my own mother all worked in the home. Up until recent decades a man from the working to professional classes could support a household, typically. Yes, they women worked – at tradtional roles involving child-rearing and the household. Of course there were exceptions to this.

  4. tom clark September 1, 2023 at 11:53 pm #

    Yes, and one reason “the culture is no longer working” is due to the demise of the extended family where those grandparents, aunts and uncles had a part in raising the family, including a role in establishing family discipline, a messy but necessary part of individual growth and maturity.

    On another note, I see the opening plug by Magic Johnson touting the new vaxes on the blog of a renowned vaccine skeptic has apparently been removed…hmmm. Interesting, especially in light of the last 5 or so minutes of the interview re: covid-19.

    • Night Owl September 8, 2023 at 5:35 am #

      That’s true, Tom.

      Even here in Germany (which is more like the US than much of the rest of Europe), it is not uncommon to have several generations under one roof.

      This way of living is also financially advantageous. Our middle/upper-middle-class neighborhood is surrounded on three sides very wealthy neighborhoods with villas costing many millions of euros. I notice that there are often multiple generations living in the same house.

      I wonder why Anglo-American culture has had parents become so keen on tossing the kids out and making them do everything alone? Families are powerful and benefit society, something that the controlling classes are quite aware of.

  5. TravisB September 4, 2023 at 6:07 pm #

    I’m not sure what platform I have to criticize your work from. I’m a Big fan. Huge. No one’s a bigger fan than me. Everyone loves me as a fan. Great fan ?
    But please can we all stop talking like Mattias Desmet discovered a new way of understanding.He’s alright, but there is more than a truck load of classic philosophers, who have already graveled deeper on the subjects of mass hypnosis, mass psychosis, group think, and propaganda, etc…
    Sometimes I think people just like saying “Mattias Desmet mass formation” I get it. It has a nice ring to it.

    I would recommend Arthur Schopenhauer’s “Studies in pessimism” very fine work. Highly readable. Really goes nicely into a lot of the deeper reasons and patterns of human behavior. More broadly with the trauma of existing, but can be extrapolated into the “what’s going on in the world these days?!”

    All this current collective borderline psychotic, and psychotic behavior fits perfectly with the ‘ living in the long emergency’ theory and observation.

    In fact, I would credit Jim Kunstler’s perspective more useful and insightful with regards to our current state of civilization than Desmet.

    Peace ??

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    • TravisB September 4, 2023 at 6:09 pm #

      …got to remember that emojis show up as ?’s, and then stop using them 😉

    • TravisB September 4, 2023 at 10:07 pm #

      Sorry to continue to rattle my saber, but to a thing you guest said; one of my least favorite vapid, empty slogans on history. The one where someone says “women not being part of industry work force…blah blah..”
      Really? Do you really suppose all those men could of mined all the materials, built the buildings, railroads,bridges, dams, everything most of us take for granted every day, yadda yadda, without a supporting cast? Maybe some of the men even took care of wives, daughters, moms, sisters, which some were bound to of had.

      Who do you think was growing and preserving food gardens, mending clothes, rearing children, keeping the house in order, getting the kids to school, feeding everyone? I could go on.

      Suffice to say I stop being able to listen after that bomb.

      I’ll be the ass here. The jerk. But I am just becoming less and less patient with lazy opinions shared publicly.

      • D from OR September 5, 2023 at 11:20 am #

        Thank you, thank you, thank you. My patience was lost too.

    • Steppx September 28, 2023 at 3:31 am #

      yes yes yes. Desmet is a total lightweight, and a rather reactionary one at that.

  6. brosi September 5, 2023 at 3:47 am #

    It is interesting at the end when Mr. Klein says that we are living in a giant Milgram experiment. Here are a few tidbits from Milgram’s wiki:

    “Milgram was influenced by the events of the Holocaust…
    Milgram was born in 1933 in New York City (the Bronx)[7] to Jewish parents…
    After the war, relatives of his who had survived Nazi concentration camps and bore concentration camp tattoos stayed with the Milgram family in New York…
    His Bar Mitzvah speech was on the subject of the plight of the European Jews …

    This wiki “fact” is the most revealing:
    “He shared this as well with Herbert Winer, one of his obedience study subjects, who noted after speaking to Milgram about the experiment that “Milgram was very Jewish. I was Jewish. We talked about this. There was obviously a motive behind neutral research.”

    Milgram’s “experiment” could have come straight out of the Frankfurt School, and is clearly research into methods of Tikkun Olam.

  7. D from OR September 5, 2023 at 11:13 am #

    I can appreciate the interest in trying to figure out the “why” of mass psychosis. This guest unfortunately had very weak answers and clearly hadn’t given it much thought.

    Women have been in the workforce for longer than the past 30 years so why now? I don’t understand. Just a stupid answer.

    The “riots” in Portland were obviously perpetrated by imported “anarchist” who damaged the city and left. Anyone suggesting this was homegrown is clueless and simply helping to sustain the story this was about BLM etc. Portland’s current crime stats will cause the same observation Bill Maher had on Joe Rogan, “Seems like black lives don’t matter to black lives.” Nothing has changed.

    Lastly this guy moves from Portland to San Diego. Enough said.

    • TravisB September 5, 2023 at 3:01 pm #

      You’re right. I’ve lived in Oregon my whole life. I’m 47 now. It definitely seems like a space ship landed in Portland around 2010 and then heavily Reenforced around…hmmm 2016 and released some sort of brain slug.
      Portland has always been weird and edgy, as the saying goes, but know it’s just scary and sad.

  8. lsewell September 5, 2023 at 3:32 pm #

    Great one!! Thank you Jim! You should definitely have him on again!

    • Night Owl September 8, 2023 at 5:26 am #


  9. jim September 6, 2023 at 3:14 pm #

    This was an extremely worthwhile interview.

    I think you and Klein should consider having many more conversations over the next 14 months.

    The Desmet text attempts to lay out the general social/cultural conditions (loneliness, social isolation, absence of social connection, free-floating anxiety, and aggression) of mass formation. He then argues that such general conditions seem to tilt people from a state of alienated individualism into a mass of people acting together because of the yearning for the new type of social bond offered by this irrational collectivism.

    Your discussion with Klein seems to be probing how specific personality traits of differing types of individual pathology may or may not fit into this mass psychology of totalitarianism.

    I hope you guys both keep searching.

  10. Night Owl September 8, 2023 at 5:26 am #

    Great interview. The rehashing of 90s rap culture and the styles of dress, etc., had me chuckling. Nice observation.

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    • diamondlou September 12, 2023 at 2:11 pm #

      Same here. Rapsters dressing as 4 year olds, indeed….

  11. Forced-to-subsist-on-small-game September 14, 2023 at 10:44 am #

    Excellent discussion. It is such a relief to know there are a few sane people out there, somewhere, examining these phenomena with such critical mastery. Speaking of both Jim and his guest, here.

  12. Peter Starr September 18, 2023 at 12:46 pm #

    I see all social and psychologic constructs through a lens of energy (and especially petroleum issues). And so in the case of confused/depressed young men, without meaning or ambition. We humans are caloric transfer entities, as much as social primates. The two components of our personalities and our place in society must be in balance.

    America’s abandonment of it industrial/manufacturing base (base; not just machinery but also its social milieu) has left guys who are not competent in the white-collar/verbose/intellectual world, without a meaningful proud alternative work place to use their bodies and the innate human intelligence. They see no future to join a manly’ community and raise a family.

  13. Theedrich September 23, 2023 at 5:45 pm #

    Ultimately, the reason for the breakdown in the American family and personality in general is the quintessential American, historically inbred affliction of œdipalism: hatred of the father and patriarchy in general. It derives from the Protestant religious wars against the Papa (pope) in Europe, and the fierce propaganda against all things fatherly (men in general, adulthood, civilized restrictions on criminal and childish behavior, etc.). It was the œdipal and fantasy-prone “Pilgrims” and their descendants who formed the fetal stage of the later United States. The collective unconscious of the masses which, under Democrat guidance, is now erupting from the psychic depths.


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