- Counter-Currents - https://counter-currents.com -

Leftist Personality Types

Goya1 [1]

Francisco Goya, “Saturn Devouring his Son,” c. 1819–1823

4,030 words

Editor’s Note:

The following essay was later incorporated into Kerry Bolton’s The Psychotic Left: From Jacobin France to the Occupy Movement [2], available from Black House Publishing [3]

In order to understand how such outbreaks of mass psychosis [as the French and Bolshevik Revolutions] manifest with the intent of bringing about the overthrow of civilisation and the resurgence of the atavistic, it is necessary to examine the personality types of some of the revolutionary leaders and theorists. These are the individuals who feel civilisation to be a burden; a social and cultural prison. Their urge to destruction is rationalised by ideology and implemented by the agitation of mobs; their bloodlust is rationalised with slogans about justice and liberty. They enact on a mass scale what Jeffrey Dahmer and Edward Gein enact on limited scales, for similar reasons, but behind a façade of ideology. They are thereby generally called by history ‘revolutionary leaders’ rather than ‘psychotic murderers’. We can still often see the same dregs on the streets in Western societies, rioting and looting, calling themselves ‘anarchists’, cultivating a filthy appearance, sneering, bitter, humourless, with the proverbial ‘chip’-on-the shoulder’, ‘brave’, when in a mob, but cowardly when confronted.

Carl Jung, founder of Analytical Psychology, recognised the atavistic character of such doctrines, stating: ‘Communistic or Socialistic democracy is an upheaval of the unfit against attempts at order…’[1]

Psychological profiles of those attracted to Leftist doctrines would be instructive as to forming a theory on Leftist personality types to predict the likely emergence of atavistic tendencies during cyclical crises in history. Such studies are unlikely to take place because Leftist doctrines, whether in their liberal-democratic or more extreme forms, are the dominant paradigm of the Western world. In an inversion of values and morals, the traditionally normative is now regarded as abnormal, and the abnormal is regarded as normal, or to put it succinctly: the inmates are running the asylum.

However, something of the Leftist personality types might be deducted from case studies on the characters of seminal Leftists.

Nesta Webster was an early profiler of the revolutionary personality. In 1922 Webster wrote a series on French Revolutionary leaders for the Duke of Northumberland’s journal, The Patriot. She sought to explain the nature of the revolutionary, ‘whose sole vocation is to drive his fellowmen to acts of violence’. Like Nordau and Stoddard, she sought explanations for periodical revolutionary outbreaks in a degeneration of character, which should be studied as one studies microbes to understand diseases. The revolutionists of our era, which we might trace back to the French Revolution,[2] are not reformers of the nature of Lord Shaftsbury, but are ‘the most savage’ reactionaries.[3]

Sadism and De Sade

It is therefore apt that the man who gave his name to Sadism, Donatien Alphonse François Marquis de Sade, was a paragon of French Revolutionary virtue.

‘Sadistic Personality Disorder’ includes use of cruelty or violence to establish dominance; humiliation of others; amusement at the suffering of others, use of lies for inflicting pain on others; use of intimidation or terror as a control mechanism; restriction on the liberties of others, fascination with violence, torture or injury.[4] As indicated above, the character of the violence committed during the Bolshevik and Jacobin revolutions are certainly manifestations of sadism, and the ideologues and perpetrators of the ‘Terrors’ appear to possess the traits of ‘Sadistic Personality Disorder’.

While de Sade was imprisoned under both the Old Regime and that of Napoleon Bonaparte, the Jacobin interregnum granted him not only freedom but also recognition as a Revolutionary philosopher and as a state functionary. At the time of the Revolution he had been jailed for physical and sexual abuse of numerous victims, but was released from a lunatic asylum at Charenton, near Paris, in 1790. That year he was elected to the National Assembly, where he represented the far Left, identified with the Marat faction.  In 1793 he wrote a eulogy to Marat, but fell afoul of Robespierre who had the upper hand for several years, and was imprisoned for a year during 1793-1794, while many other revolutionists were not that fortunate as the revolution devoured its own. In 1803, under Napoleon, he was again declared insane for his continuing publication of depraved novels, and returned to Charenton asylum. His identity with the far Left included an early communistic or Illuminatist advocacy of the abolition of private property, and explicated a class struggle doctrine of the ‘proletariat’ contra all others.[5]

De Sade was a precursor of the Fankfurt School and the New Left gurus who combined sex and revolt; the synthesis of Freud and Marx.[6] His is the communistic doctrine of atavistic resurgence in the name of ‘liberty’. He pleaded for the overthrow of all morality in the name of ‘Nature’, where civilisational restraint would be overthrown so that predators such as himself could stalk the earth in liberty, just as he had brutalised poor girls and justified himself by having paid them, while claiming to be the champion of the ‘people’ in the name of ‘liberty, equality, fraternity’.

In The Philosophy of the Bedroom, De Sade declaimed against ‘insipid moralists’ in the name of ‘Nature’. He called maidenly virtue ‘absurd’ and the product of ‘dangerous bonds’ imposed by a ‘disgusting religion’, and ‘imbecile parents’.[7] Here there are themes that were to arise again – in the name of scholarship and with a facade of science – in the studies of Adorno et al. In the name of ‘nature’s laws’ destruction and murder are justified: ‘Destruction being one of the chief laws of nature, nothing that destroys can be criminal . . . murder is no destruction; he who commits it does but alter forms’.[8]

Child-bearing is a burden and by no means a law of nature. From the viewpoint of nature’s laws, avoidance of breeding is preferable.[9] Even infanticide is a mother’s right in nature’s laws.[10]. De Sade in 1795 was employing the arguments of the present-day feminists and abortionists: ridiculing the notion that ‘immediately an embryo begins to mature, a little soul, emanation of God, comes straightaway to animate it’. According to de Sade such a child is of no consequence, and nobody should be obliged into motherhood or fatherhood.[11]

Anticipating Marx de Sade relates religion to royalism and calls for the destruction of both.[12] De Sade’s claim that religion sustains kingship is merely echoed by Marx the following century in calling religion ‘the opiate of the people’. Under the ‘free, republican state’ there will be few actions left that will be regarded as punishable crimes: ‘there are very few criminal actions in a society whose foundations are liberty and equality’.[13] Population growth should be limited, and children destroyed at birth to assure population limits.[14] Depopulation became an important policy of Jacobin regime, as did ‘amputating the gangrene’ of certain undesirable elements. De Sade ended his liberal-communist treatise with: ‘I never dine so heartily, I never sleep so soundly, as when I have, during the day, sufficiently befouled myself with what our fools call crimes’.[15]


This was the ideological atmosphere among the intelligentsia of Europe that laid the foundations of the French Revolution. As Webster shows, the luminaries of this were what Nordau had described as mattoids. Among the most prominent of these was Jean Paul Marat, with whom de Sade shared a particular affinity. After Marat was assassinated de Sade wrote his eulogy.

Marat was elevated to sainthood during the Jacobin regime, immortalised by the painter Jacques-Louis David in the painting ‘The Death of Marat’, and his heart was embalmed. Aptly, his legacy was honoured by the Bolsheviks who renamed a Soviet ship The Marat in 1921, and a street in the centre of Sevastopol was named after him (Улица Марата). Drawing on contemporary accounts, Webster describes Marat as being a ‘malignant dwarf’, with a monstrous head and misshapen nose, and sickly-yellow skin. Harmand de la Meuse, a member of the National Convention, observed that Marat had the burning and haggard eyes’ of a hyena, furtive, his movements jerky. He had a persecution complex and was in a state of perpetual excitement. Others observed that he would become enraged at the slightest disagreement, and would descend into foaming at the mouth.

Marat, more than any of the other Jacobin mattoids, was the most avid advocate of the Terror, upping the number of those he desired killed from only 600 in 1790 to 1792 when he suggested that 260,000 be killed in a day, although occasionally extending the figure to 300,000. However, those Marat wished to see ‘hanging at their doors’ first were ‘the bakers, the grocers and all the tradesmen’.[16]  Although Marat died before the ‘Reign of Terror’ started, he had inspired the system.[17] Even Robespierre had recoiled at first at Marat’s bloodlust.[18] Marat, who would be promoted in revolutionary idolatry as ‘the friend of the people’, while of ‘filthy and neglected appearance, lived in great comfort and was never known to make any personal sacrifices for the poor of Paris’. His public persona was one of frugality, and of eating only bread and water, a myth maintained by the Russian anarchist Kropotkin, but in reality his daily fare comprised eight dishes’.[19] Space does not allow an examination of Marat’s compatriots such as Robespierre and Danton, other than to direct the reader to Nesta Webster’s characterisations.

Karl Marx

These were the mattoid revolutionists who inspired all subsequent socialist and communist movements. Of Karl Marx, much the same can be said in regard to his personality. David McCalden seems to have been one of the few to have attempted a psychohistorical study of Marx, albeit as part of a study of three seminal Jewish thinkers: Marx, Trotsky and Freud.[20] McCalden, although an amateur historian and ‘holocaust revisionist’, pointed out in his ‘introduction’ that despite his own amateur status, ‘qualified academics’ had failed in their ‘duty to examine all areas of history and society’, so it is up to the layman.[21]

McCalden describes Marx’s mother as a ‘possessive, manipulative, stereotypical Jewish mother’, who had a ‘profound impression on Marx’.[22] Marx’s love-hate relationship with his mother is typical of Jewish Leftist youths. Feuer states that Marx was in revolt from his youth in a search of self-confidence, ‘always anticipating rejection’. ‘His world was always to be one of struggle because he was never secure in love’. Likewise, his early animosity towards Jewishness was a rejection of the Jewish identity that his mother maintained even after the father had converted to Christianity.[23] Feuer states that revolt was Marx’s ‘life plan’. Rothman and Lichter noted that many of the Jewish radicals they studied ‘found themselves unable to develop a commitment to a life plan. Yet they were fearful of their mother’s criticism because of this lack of direction’.[24]

Marx’s mother was devoted to him in a stereotypically Jewish manner, addressing him in correspondence as ‘greatly beloved dear Karl’ or ‘dear darling Karl’, and signed ‘your eternally loving mother’. Marx in return called her his ‘Angel Mother’. As a university student his mother would write to remind him to have his ‘weekly scrub with soap and water’, advice he seems to have rejected throughout his life.[25] Upon his father’s death when Karl was 23, his mother urged him to take up a job to fend for his family; a plea that he indignantly rejected. While she continued to make investments that increased her fortune, despite her lack of education, Marx kept his family in poverty, apart from subsidies from Engels, dreaming of the day his mother would die and he would inherit her wealth. Considering the amounts he received form Engels and elsewhere, his perpetual poverty seems likely to have been the result of his expensive tastes and indebtedness. When his mother died in 1863 the large inheritances made little difference, as most went to pay loans from his banker uncle, while he soon squandered the rest.[26]

Marx’s clothes and body were typically of a dirty appearance.[27] According to his colleague in the Internationale, the anarchist Bakunin, Marx was ‘nervous . . . to the point of cowardice’. Indeed, unlike Bakunin, he never manned a barricade. ‘Extraordinarily ambitious and vain, quarrelsome, intolerant and absolute . . . vengeful to the point of madness. There is no lie or calumny that he is not capable of inventing against anyone who has had the misfortune of arousing his jealousy . . . or his hatred’.[28]

The son he had to his servant Lenchen Demuth, Freddy Demuth, whose fatherhood was imputed to Engels in order to maintain Marx’s marriage, was tossed aside to dwell in the London slums. However, Marx’s acknowledged children did not fare well either. Three of six died in infancy. Jenny, the eldest daughter, suffered from psychosomatic ailments, and died at 39. Laura had three children to Paul Lafargue, a French Creole, whom Marx detested because of his Negroid heritage, a detestation briefly restrained when there was a possibility of inheritance from Lafargue’s wealthy parents. The couple had three children all dying in infancy. They committed suicide in 1911. Laura also suffered from a lifetime of psychosomatic ailments, and committed suicide after a failed ‘marriage’ with the bigamist Edward Aveling, translator of Marx’s Das Kapital into English.

Yet, despite the miserable existence to which he subjected his family, it was the father to whom the daughters were attached, and his refusal to seek employment did not prevent him from living beyond his means and leeching off Engels. He recounted to Engels how he lived too expensively for his circumstances, but it was the only way his daughters could ‘make connections and enter into relations that will ensure their future. You yourself will be of the opinion that merely from the business point of view a purely proletarian arrangement would be unfitting’.[29] To pay for his daughters’ piano lessons, he had pawned the long-suffering Lechen Dumuth’s shoes.[30] There was money to be found for the most expensive wines, however, a taste which his daughters had inherited.[31] His doting old mother, whom he had not seen for twenty years, remained a source of money. When his mother died in 1863 Marx’s reaction to Engels was entirely in regard to the inheritance.[32] When in 1855 the death agonies of an uncle provided Marx with the hope of a large inheritance, he wrote to Engels, ‘If the dog dies I will be out of mischief’, to which Engels congratulated him and hoped that the uncle would be soon dead.[33]

Marx’s personal life diverges from the socialist ideals he expounded for humanity. Much of the condemnation of ‘bourgeois morality’ seems to be a projection of Marx’s own personality traits. His generalised condemnation of marriage as a bourgeois institution based on the prostituting of women and the infidelity of the capitalist classes in taking mistresses, expressed in The Communist Manifesto as the rationale for abolishing marriage is a classic case of projection of his own traits onto others:

Our bourgeois not content with having the wives and daughters of their proletarians at their disposal, not to speak of common prostitutes, take the greatest pleasure in seducing each other’s wives.[34]

 The personal life of Marx shows an individual without the ability to form normative human bonds or empathies. His core doctrines seem to be projections of his own personality in his hatred of the petty-bourgeois who expected their bills to be paid, and relatives who only existed for him in terms of what money they could provide.

From an early age he had exhibited symptoms of ‘Necrophilous Personality Disorder’. Among the traits of the disorder are: inability to relate to living people, language that includes numerous death-related or scatological words, the belief that resolving conflict necessitates force or violence, insensitivity to tragedy involving loss of life. Apart from the traits already mentioned from Marx’s life, he had frequent recourse to ‘scatological words’ in his correspondence with Engels. Dr Nathaniel Weyl, American economist and ex-Communist, writing of Marx states that ‘his favourite expression in his correspondence with Engels is “shit”’; one of the symptoms of Necrophilous Personality Disorder. His typical description of those he disliked was ‘that shit’.[35] His youthful poetry is characterised by death, decay and destruction:

I shall build my throne high overhead,
Cold, tremendous shall its summit be.
For its bulwark — superstitious dread,
For its Marshall — blackest agony.[36]

Till heart’s bewitched, till senses reel:
With Satan I have struck my deal.
He chalks the signs, beats time for me,
I play the death march fast and free.[37]

The hellish vapours rise and fill the brain,
Till I go mad and my heart is utterly changed.
See this sword?
The prince of darkness
Sold it to me.
For me he beats the time and gives the signs.
Ever more boldly I play the dance of death.[38]

To clench and crush you [humanity] with tempestuous force,
While for us both the abyss yawns in darkness.
You will sink down and I will follow laughing.[39]

Leon Trotsky

Marx’s Necrophilic drama was enacted in Russia in 1917, one of the seminal leaders and theorists being Leon Trotsky, whose enthusiasm for terror makes him the Marat of Bolshevism, despite the blame generally being accorded to his nemesis, Stalin. It was Trotsky, like Marat, who laid the ideological groundwork for the Red Terror, and like Marat (who was designated ‘friend of the people’) Trotsky is generally looked upon as a grandfatherly figure who would have avoided the excesses for which Stalin is held accountable.

Of his character, ‘coldness’ was a trait remarked upon by his early Marxist comrades, ‘the cold glint of his eye . . . the cold timbre of his voice; the cold correctness and sharpness of his voice’. He spoke not in a conversational manner but as if giving pronouncements. His manner was alienating; he gave ‘the pathos of distance’.[40] His arrogance did not allow room for introspection or admission of personal error. ‘He was intensely self-righteous. And he calmly dispensed with people once they had ceased to be of use to him or his cause.[41] He was without sentimentality or empathy, commenting when a comrade was imprisoned that he could never feel distress. Grisha Ziv, an early comrade, observed that Trotsky’s love for his friends could not go beyond a peasant’s loved for his horse. He can love his horse and care for it, but as soon as it can no longer work, ‘he will unhesitantly and without a shred of conscience send it to the knacker’s yard’.[42]

With the news of his daughter Zina’s deteriorating mental condition, and a diagnosis of schizophrenia, he threatened her with ‘a complete and final break’, while she was receiving treatment in Germany. Zina worshipped her father and longed to be his comrade in the struggle. When she gassed herself in 1933 Trotsky blamed everything on Stalin and attempted to politicise her death.[43] Zina had written to her mother, Trotsky’s first wife Alexandra, whom he had abandoned in Siberia in 1902, blaming her mental ills on estrangement from her father, whom she ‘adored’. To Alexandra, Trotsky had written attempting to detract attention from his own guilt.[44] Such a man would have no compunction in dispatching to death anyone who got in the way of his cause.

Trotsky’s psychological traits seem to be associated with ‘Narcissistic Personality Disorder’. These traits include: arrogance, conceit, haughtiness, a belief that criticism is a personal attack, exploiting others for personal gain, a self-image of superiority.


Leftism did not become passé; it became mainstream, the ideology is the basis of the Western states, and is spreading throughout the world in the name of ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights’. Trotsky’s ‘world revolution’ metamorphosed into American foreign policy.[45] Ideas that were once regarded as deranged have become normative, and those that were normative are psychoanalysed as symptoms of mental illness.

This normalisation of the aberrant explains why Jim Jones of the People’s Temple, who epitomised liberal ideology, was feted by the liberal political establishment as the paragon of egalitarian virtues; a 20th century Marat.

The Mayor of San Francisco, George Moscone, appointed Jones to the City’s Housing Commission. In 1976 Senator Walter Mondale, later elected as US Vice President, invited Jones to meet with him on his campaign plane, and wrote to Jones: ‘Knowing of your congregation’s deep involvement in the major social and constitutional issues of our country is a great inspiration to me’. Alaska Senator Mike Gravel, stated that Jones’ ‘People’s Temple’ was ‘almost too good to be true’. Joseph Califano, Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare in the Carter Administration, having also served in the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations, wrote to Jones: ‘Knowing your commitment and compassion, your interest in protecting individual liberty and freedom have made an outstanding contribution to furthering the cause of human dignity’. Former Vice President Hubert Humphrey said that Jones’ work ‘is testimony to the positive and truly Christian approach to dealing with the myriad problems confronting our society today’.[46]

The ‘values’, ‘morality’ and ‘ideals’ of Jim Jones do indeed exemplify today’s liberal-democratic ideology, and Jones acted in a manner historically consistent with the liberal-egalitarian doctrine: he was a sociopath whose ‘socialist utopia’ in the jungle of British Guyana ended with the deaths of 912 followers two years after the luminaries of the Democratic Party had sung his praises.

The ‘revolt of the underman’ is not a bygone phenomenon. Mattoids have been elevated into positions of prominence not only in academia but also sit in the boardrooms of global corporations, instigating, funding and directing mobs. Where the Duc d’Orléans relied on a network of rumour-mongers and plied the mobs of France with alcohol to maintain their blood frenzy, today his heirs have the latest in communications technology to impart their mattoid doctrines in an instant to every corner of the world, and narcotics to destroy whatever rational faculties remain among their target audiences. The mobs spilling out onto the streets of Athens, ‘occupying Wall Street’, and frenziedly looting and burning in English streets, attest to the continuing ‘menace of the underman’, poised to emerge and wreak death and destruction when the opportunities arise.


[1] Cited by Jay Sherry, ‘Carl Gustav Jung: Avant-garde Conservative’, Ph.D. thesis, Freie Universitiat Berlin, 2008, p. 142. C G Jung speaking 99. p.

[2] Nesta H Webster, ‘Revolutionary portraits – I’, The Patriot, London, Vol. II, no. 15, p. 3.

[3] Nesta H Webster, ibid., pp. 1-2.

[4] The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Third Edition, Revised (American Psychiatric Association, 1987), Sadistic Personality Disorder, p. 37.

[5] Marquis de Sade, Aline et Alcour, 1795.

[6] K R Bolton, ‘Sex Pol Idiology, op. cit.

[7] De Sade, The Philosophy of the Bedroom, 1795, ‘To Libertines’, p. 3; http://supervert.com/elibrary/marquis_de_sade/ [4]

[8] Ibid., p. 43.

[9] Ibid., p. 52.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Ibid., p. 53.

[12] Ibid., p. 94.

[13] Ibid., p. 99.

[14] Ibid., p. 120.

[15] Ibid., p. 144.

[16] Netsa H Webster, The French Revolution, op. cit. p. 359.

[17] Ibid., pp. 293-295.

[18] Ibid., p. 296.

[19] Ibid., p. 359.

[20] D McCalden (1981) Exiles from History: A Psychohistorical Study of Jewish Self-Hate (Paraparaumu Beach, New Zealand: Renaissance Press, 2003).

[21] Ibid., p. 3.

[22] Ibid., p. 6.

[23] Lewis S Feuer, Karl Marx and the Promethean Complex, Encounter, December 1968, cited by McCalden, ibid., p. 6.

[24] S Rothman and S R Lichter, op. cit., pp. 286-287.

[25] McCalden, op, cit., pp. 6-7.

[26] Ibid., p. 7.

[27] Ibid., p. 10.

[28] Cited by McCalden, ibid., pp. 11-12.

[29] The Marx-Engels Correspondence, Der Briefwechsel zwischen Freidrich Engelsn und Karl Marx, ed. Agustus Bebel and Eduard Bernstein (Suttgart: Dietz, 1921); cited by N H Webster, World Revolution (Britons, 1971), p. 168.  It should be noted that Bebel and Bernstein, the editors of the Marx-Engels correspondence, were Marxists.

[30] Webster, Ibid., p. 169.

[31] Ibid.

[32] Marx to Engels, 2 December 1863. Karl Marx und Friedrich Engels Werks (Berlin: Bietz-Verlag, 1974), Vol. 3, p. 378.

[33] Marx to Engels, 8 March 1855, ibid., Vol. 28, p. 488.

[34] K Marx and F Engels (1848), The Communist Manifesto (Moscow : Progress Publishers, 1975), p. 71.

[35] D McCalden, op. cit., p. 12.

[36] K Marx, ‘Invocation of One in Despair’, 1837.

[37] K Marx, ‘The Fiddler’, 1837.

[38] K Marx, ‘The Player’, 1841.

[39] K Marx, ‘Oulanem’, an obscure play first published in R Payne, The Unknown Marx (New York: New York University Press, 1971), p. 63.

[40] Robert Service, Trotsky: A Biography (London: Pan Books, 2010), pp. 78-79; citing Pëtr Garvi.

[41] Ibid., p. 336.

[42] Ibid., p. 46.

[43] Ibid., p. 386.

[44] Ibid., pp. 386-387.

[45] K R Bolton, Revolution from Above, op. cit., pp. 213-221.

[46] M Bates, ‘CNN’s “Escape form Jonestown” downplays Democratic connections’, News Busters, 14 November 2008, http://newsbusters.org/blogs/michael-m-bates/2008/11/14/cnns-escape-jonestown-downplays-democratic-connection [5]s

Source: Ab Aeterno, no. 10, January-March 2010.