This book provides in very practical terms a new way of understanding what is happening in Soviet-American relations and where we need to go from here. The author believes that we are entering a new political era as the result of profound psychological changes taking place behind the international scenes, and he identifies the archetypal forces that underlie these changes. Unlike most psychological writings on the subject, this book examines the collective influences that have impelled the superpowers toward conflict and are simultaneously impelling them toward cooperation. It argues that psychology must play a dramatic role in international relations if humanity is to avoid self-annihilation. It is the act of war itself—and not specific conflicts between groups and nations—that is the greatest threat to human survival, and our realization of this fact marks a critical turning point in the evolution of civilization. In documenting this historical evolutionary shift, Jerome Bernstein discusses the role of the hero archetype in the psychology of U.S.-Soviet relations, a redefinition of war and peace in radically new terms, and the dynamic of paranoia as a nonpathological as well as pathological factor in foreign affairs.
"Jerome Bernstein's book is historically significant in more than one way. It addresses itself to a momentous historical problem of our particular time, the problem of collective survival, which never in human history has assumed the threatening importance it has for us now. And secondly, it is the first systematic attempt to apply the insights of Jungian depth psychology to transpersonal collective political dynamics."—Edward C. Whitmont, M.D.
"For too long, both the U.S. and Soviet governments have worked to portray each other as evil incarnate. Policies with life or death implications for billions of people have been formulated in both capitals by policymakers with blinders on. Power and Politics provides useful insights into the universal psychological motivations that have contributed to these patterns and to the seventy years of misunderstandings and hostility."—Representative Claudine Schneider