There’s a book called “The Third Reich of Dreams: The Nightmares of a Nation, 1933-39”, and it’s a compilation of dreams collected by journalist Charlotte Beradt during the years of Nazi Germany. It documented the fervor and madness that engulfed the German people, and as the regime’s psychopathic pathology consumed their entire being, their dreamscapes descended into relentless paranoia, brutality, and impotence. Even in the privacy of their nocturnal freedom, many did not dare stand up to Hitler, much less entertain revenge fantasies. The persecuted dreamt obsessively of documentation to prove their legitimacy as human beings, and unleashed their paranoia into their most intimate spaces – betrayal and abandonment by neighbors and lifelong friends, or storm troopers (Sturmabteilung) chasing them to the ends of the earth until the end of time. Paradoxically, government officials feared surveillance of thoughts and telepathic eavesdropping. Only resistance fighters had agency, envisioning themselves refusing complicity at all costs, but these dreams always ended in inevitable suffering as well – their torture and deaths. At best, Nazi Germany denizens were imprisoned in an endless loop of paralysis and shame; at worst, the regime owned every single part of them, including their unconscious selves, to the extent that they believed they were forbidden to dream.
If one was to conduct the same census of dreams today in trump’s America 2017, I bet a similar descent into fear, anxiety, and madness can be mapped across this nation’s subliminal continent. It will reveal an American psyche changing on a fundamental level, and eventually permanently reborn by this administration. I know mine is, and I can sense it fracturing microscopically on a daily basis …