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Mind of State

Mind of State

Author: Mind of State Media, LLC

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Mind of State is a podcast where politics and psychology meet. Each episode features lively commentary on current events, policymakers, and the body politic, and how we have arrived at this moment, as observed through both a political and psychological lens. We explore how "mind" impacts "state" — and vice versa. Tune in, as co-hosts Betty Teng and Jonathan Kopp engage in nuanced conversation with experts from the worlds of politics and psychology as well as others from related fields who have studied the complex dynamics between individual/group psychology and political processes. Mind of State is produced by co-founders Betty Teng, Jonathan Kopp and Thomas Singer, together with Alletta Cooper and Jenny Woodward.

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38 Episodes
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It's a Wrap

It's a Wrap

2021-03-1045:51

In this season finale of Mind of State, hosts Jonathan Kopp and Betty Teng, along with their co-founder, Tom Singer, look back at season 2 as a time of extraordinary intensity, when the country wrestled with its demons and angels. The months leading up to and after the 2020 election were so filled with emotion, rancor, and conflict that digesting this season’s themes, through-lines, and takeaways might be the work of generations. This wrap-up episode begins that process by providing some much needed room to think. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Our Collective Trauma

Our Collective Trauma

2021-02-1738:31

We typically think of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as afflicting an individual who has experienced a terrifying event, such as combat, sexual assault or the death of a child. In this episode, we are joined by Dr. Judith Herman, whose three-stage trauma recovery model has guided therapists for over twenty years. Tune in, as we explore with Dr. Herman the concepts of collective PTSD and intergenerational trauma — be it from a pandemic or the legacy of slavery — and how we can take steps to recover as a society. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
[Replay of Episode 1 (09/02/2020), with new introduction]  What underlying preoccupations – or “cultural complexes” – shape our country’s politics and collective psyche? On this premiere episode of season 2, we welcome Mind of State co-founder, Dr. Thomas Singer, who is also the editor of Cultural Complexes and the Soul of America and one of the authors of the NY Times bestseller, The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump. Tune in, as we learn about cultural complexes and explore some of the key concepts influencing this second season of Mind of State. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Living Unarmed

Living Unarmed

2021-02-0345:06

What’s the lesson plan for first day back in class after a school shooting? Our guest, Megan Doney, is an English professor at New River Community College in Virginia, where she lived through the nightmare scenario students and teachers across America try to prepare for with active shooter drills. In honor of National Gun Violence Survivors Week, Megan shares her personal story from that day and how she has processed the trauma since then. Doing so, she reflects on the personal and political impact of violent events, like the January 6th siege on the US Capitol, which has traumatized an entire branch of government. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
[Replay of Episode 9 (11/25/2020), with new introduction] Long after the news outlets called the election for Biden, Trump still refuses to concede his loss. This reminds us that our democracy relies on not only the rule of law, but also a shared set of beliefs about how we choose to govern ourselves. Eric Liu, CEO of Citizen University, joins Mind of State to discuss his prescription for bolstering our collective faith in the ongoing experiment of the American democracy. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Is the freedom not to wear a mask what America’s Founders had in mind with the phrase, "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?" Is Donald Trump a modern day mad King George III? Join us in a discussion with British psychoanalyst and mythologist Jules Cashford, who discusses the dangers of conflating myth with history and what happens when leaders begin to believe they are bigger than the mere mortals that they actually are. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
[Replay of Episode 5 (10/14/2020), with new introduction] Across America, some people are marching for progress, while others are text- and phone-banking to get others to register and vote. The former seek change from outside the system; the latter work the inside game. Dr. Deva Woodly, New School professor of Politics and author of The Politics of Common Sense: How Social Movements Use Public Discourse to Change Politics and Win Acceptance, tells us that both are core to democracy. She unpacks how social movements, even rebellion, are essential to progress, as they keep our leaders focused on the people they serve, rather than on preserving its own power. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
For too long, the adverse impacts of climate change have disproportionately burdened poor and underserved communities of color in the US. When COVID-19 hit, we were beset with not only a pandemic, but also an economic downturn, an historic uprising against racial injustice, and a series of massive wildfires and hurricanes. Dr. Adrienne Hollis, the Senior Climate Justice and Health Scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, contends these events are interconnected. She joins Mind of State to discuss this syndemic and how it has sparked an unprecedented public reckoning with environmental racism. She also describes the holistic approach it will take to better prepare us for the next perfect storm. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
[Replay of Episode 4 (10/07/2020), with new introduction] A debate rages in the US over protecting our health versus preserving our wealth. Can our faith in the almighty dollar withstand a deadly pandemic and climate change? Join us, as we explore the roots of America’s economic myth, the natural forces challenging our long-held assumptions, and the possibilities for what’s next, with Dr. Betty Sue Flowers, an expert in societal myths. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Alien life? JFK’s murder? The Moon landing? These are classic topics for conspiracy theorists, who gather data, connect dots, and see where the evidence leads. But with more recent controversies, such as Birtherism, Pizzagate, QAnon, evidence is optional. For Trumpists, mere assertion is all that’s needed to draw outrageous conclusions and spread untruths. Dr. Nancy Rosenblum, author of A Lot of People Are Saying: The New Conspiracism and the Assault on Democracy, joins Mind of State to discuss the danger behind this new, loose standard of proof. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
[Replay of Episode 2 (9/16/2020), with new introduction] How can we make sense of the tumult and tragedy of this moment – the loss of lives and jobs from the COVID-19 pandemic, the societal tensions borne of systemic racial injustice, the worsening climate crisis, and the final stretch of a volatile presidential campaign? Join us, as Dr. Pauline Boss applies her groundbreaking concept of “ambiguous loss” to help us process the traumas of America in 2020. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Post election, we are exhausted. Joe Biden won, yet Trump and his Trumpists refuse to concede, and authoritarianism remains a significant threat to democracy. How do we combat the rising tide of fascism and defuse the racism and anti-Semitism that fuels it? Civil Rights leader Eric Ward, of the Western States Center and the Southern Poverty Law Center, shares his vision for how we process the trauma and move forward, constructively and inclusively, in the post-Trump era. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Long after the news outlets called the election for Biden, Trump still refuses to concede his loss. This reminds us that our democracy relies on not only the rule of law, but also a shared set of beliefs about how we choose to govern ourselves. Eric Liu, CEO of Citizen University, joins Mind of State to discuss his prescription for bolstering our collective faith in the ongoing experiment of the American democracy. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Analyzing the Election

Analyzing the Election

2020-11-1146:12

As the dust settles and the votes get sorted in the 2020 presidential election, Mind of State welcomes Boston Globe columnist, Michael A. Cohen, to help us process the results. With Michael, we discuss the politics, the polls, Trump, Trumpism, what it all says about the electorate, and what we might expect in the coming Biden era. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
What if we listened more intently, instead of merely waiting for the chance to state our case? What if we engaged in dialogue, instead of debate, and allowed ourselves to be moved by another person’s expression and context? Dr. Anton Hart joins us to discuss his concept of "radical openness” and how it could help enhance interpersonal understanding between therapists and patients, politicians and constituents, and employers and employees, among others. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Sounding the Alarm

Sounding the Alarm

2020-10-2136:36

At a time when democratic institutions and norms are under siege, authoritarianism and white nationalism are on the rise, the COVID-19 pandemic is killing hundreds of thousands of Americans, and climate change is ravaging our planet, Dr. Robert Jay Lifton sounds the alarm about the dire stakes of the 2020 election. Dr. Lifton is a National Book Award–winning psychiatrist, historian, and public intellectual whose latest book is, Losing Reality: On Cults, Cultism, and the Mindset of Political and Religious Zealotry. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Politics of Care

The Politics of Care

2020-10-1446:41

Across America, some people are marching for progress, while others are text- and phone-banking to get others to register and vote. The former seek change from outside the system; the latter work the inside game. Dr. Deva Woodly, New School professor of Politics and author of The Politics of Common Sense: How Social Movements Use Public Discourse to Change Politics and Win Acceptance, tells us that both are core to democracy. She unpacks how social movements, even rebellion, are essential to progress, as they keep the our leaders focused on the people they serve, rather than on preserving its own power. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
A debate rages in the US over protecting our health versus preserving our wealth. Can our faith in the almighty dollar withstand a deadly pandemic and climate change? Join us, as we explore the roots of America’s economic myth, the natural forces challenging our long-held assumptions, and the possibilities for what’s next, with Dr. Betty Sue Flowers, an expert in societal myths. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
How do we maintain balance during a volatile election season? Does social media foster debate or threaten democracy? Election law expert Nate Persily joins us to discuss the Internet’s impact on democracy, healthy elections during a pandemic, and what keeps him up at night about the 2020 presidential election. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
How can we make sense of the tumult and tragedy of this moment – the loss of lives and jobs from the COVID-19 pandemic, the societal tensions borne of systemic racial injustice, the worsening climate crisis, and the final stretch of a volatile presidential campaign? Join us, as Dr. Pauline Boss applies her groundbreaking concept of “ambiguous loss” to help us process the traumas of America in 2020. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
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