Wilhelm Reich's classic study is a unique contribution to the understanding of one of the crucial phenomena of our times – fascism. Reich firmly repudiates the concept that fascism is the ideology or action of a single individual or nationality, or of any ethnic or political group. He also denies a purely socio-economic explanation as advanced by Marxian ideologists. He understands fascism as the expression of irrational character structure of the average human being whose primary biological needs and impulses have been suppressed for thousands of years.
The social function of this suppression and the crucial role played in it by the authoritarian family and the church are carefully analysed. Reich shows how every form of organised mysticism, including fascism, relies on the unsatisfied orgastic longing of the masses.