The Other as Potential Enemy


  • Luigi Zoja



paranoia, archetypal, collective paranoia, socially contagious, mass media


In this paper Professor Zoja describes the archetypal, universal roots of paranoia, showing how it is a collective problem, with a projective relationship with evil at its core. He highlights paranoia’s socially contagious nature with reference to Hitler’s Mein Kampf and the potential for paranoia across all societies. In expanding on the human need for enemies, Professor Zoja identifies how advances in mass media can affect mass psychology through soft and hard paranoia, allowing collective paranoia to take hold, resulting in racism, nationalism and genocide. The need for enemies is illustrated by contemporary fears relating to Islamic migration and terrorism. His paper ends with an illustration of how self-consciousness can be a defence against paranoid infections.

Author Biography

Luigi Zoja

Professor Luigi Zoja is a Jungian Analyst in Milan. He has been President of the International Assoc. of Analytic Psychology (IAAP) and Centro Italiano de Psicologia Analitica (CIPA) and taught at the Jung Institute and the Universities of Palermo and Insubria. He has degrees in economics and sociology. He is the author of numerous essays and books, his most recent being Paranoia: The Madness that Makes History (2017). Many of his books have been translated into foreign languages. Interviews with Professor Zoja are available on YouTube.
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How to Cite

Zoja, L. (2020). The Other as Potential Enemy. Bioenergetic Analysis, 30(1), 9–24.