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Donald Trump and the Lost Cause | VQR Online

1.4.16

Donald Trump and the Lost Cause | VQR Online: Psychiatrist and founder of the School of Individual Psychology Alfred Adler actually coined the term “inferiority complex,” and it was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who popularized his work during the civil rights movement, citing Adler by name in his 1968 “The Drum Major Instinct” speech at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. “We all want to be important, to surpass others, to achieve distinction, to lead the parade,” proclaimed King, who also noted, “Alfred Adler, the great psychoanalyst, contends that this is the dominant impulse.” At the core of Adler’s theory lie two critical ingredients that when mixed could catalyze an inferiority complex in an individual: (1) what I call an “alarm bell” and (2) the presence of key environmental conditions. The “alarm bell” represents the moment of consciousness in which individuals become aware that they are judged as inferior by some external force. Of course, losing a war is not just an “alarm bell,” but rather a deafening siren. And so is military occupation during Reconstruction.


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