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Authoritarianism and American politics
#1
Political values include general attitudes toward humanity -- whether and whom to trust, and whether to obey or rebel.

from 538.com

Note -- originally posted in 2009, but it still seems relevant.

Quote:by Tom Schaller @ 12:35 PM


I'm reading a compelling new book, Authoritarianism & Polarization in American Politics, co-written by Marc Hetherington and Jonathan Weiler. (Disclosure: Jon is a longtime friend; we were in grad school together at Univ. of North Carolina.) The book is an examination of how authoritarian tendencies among American citizens inform and explain attitudes toward government, public policies and their fellow citizens. It is impossible to summarize the book properly in a blog post, but I wanted to hit on some of the points that struck me, many of which were unsurprising and yet startling to see demonstrated empirically.

The first point Hetherington and Weiler make is that authoritarianism is really about order--achieving it, maintaining it, and affirming it--and especially when citizens are uncertain or fearful. This, they say, is why authoritarians seek out and elevate, well, authorities--because authorities impose order on an otherwise disordered world. They provide a useful review the existing literature on authoritarian traits, which have been connected to negative racist stereotyping, a belief in biblical inerrancy, a preference for simple rather than complex problem-solving, and low levels of political information.

Hetherington and Weiler expand and update the authoritarian literature by applying it to contemporary controversies. For example, what they measure and define as "maximum authoritarian" types show much lower support for gay marriage and gay adoption (19 percent, 28 percent) than do "minimum authoritarians" (71 percent, 89 percent). Maximums are three times more likely than minimums to support the government use of wiretaps without a warrant in the war on terror (60 percent to 19 percent), and four times more likely to say it is unacceptable to criticize the president about fighting terrorism (33 percent to 8 percent).

And what do authoritarians look like? The table above--which I have reproduced from Table 3.2 (p. 39) of their book--shows average levels of authoritarianism by descriptive characteristics that, taken together, produce a composite image: rural, southern, under-educated, evangelical Protestant churchgoers. Is it any wonder that when George W. Bush was down to his bottom 30 percent of public support during his second term so much of that support derived from people fitting this profile? And although there is a strong connection between authoritarianism and conservatism (and thus Republicanism), as Hetherington and Weiler caution, authoritarianism is not bounded by party: Among 2008 Democratic primary voters there were significant splits on issues of race and immigration, smacking of authoritarian impulses, that played a role in support for either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. "There is strong suggestive evidence that authoritarianism was a core reason for the voting behavior of nonblacks" in the Democratic primary, they conclude.

As for the current debate over health care, some of the same cleavages exist. In a recent piece for the Huffington Post, Weiler talks about race and authoritarianism in the context of the health reform debate: "In sum, there is reason to think that beneath the arguments about government intrusion into the health care market, death panels, and such, a much more visceral dynamic is at work. To be perfectly clear, it is far from the case that every opponent or skeptic of significant health-care reform is a racist or racially motivated in her or his thinking. But there is, at the least, very strong circumstantial evidence that views of race and beliefs about health care reform are linked significantly among many Americans, which probably explains why the debate on health care reform has caused a much stronger uproar in 2009 than it did in 1994."

Reading the book, I kept hearing echoes of Glenn Greenwalds's book, A Tragic Legacy. Greenwald's book is a character study of Bush43 and the Bush White House, its Manichean worldview, and what that meant for public policy. But an us-v-them, good-v-evil governing mentality is only possible in a democracy where authoritarian currents run deep enough to sustain (and re-elect) such leadership. The governing atmosphere Greenwald describes makes even more sense after reading Hetherington and Weiler.

Average Authoritarianism by groups:

Religion

Evangelical Protestant .709
Catholic .571
Mainline Protestant .530
Secular .481
Jewish .383

Church attendance

Weekly or more .689
Less than weekly .549

Region

South .657
Non-South .457

Population area

Rural .603
Small town .584
Suburb .524
Large city .502
Inner city .549

Education

Less than HS diploma .749
HS diploma .590
College degree .510
Graduate degree .370

It's not for any of us to decide "which" authoritarianism is good and which is bad. Nobody is choosing between Stalinism and Nazism or the Klan.

One cornerstone of authoritarianism is an adherence to a supposedly-superior culture and its traditions. Some traditions and cultures are less hostile in their attitudes toward outsiders: such peoples as Orthodox Jews and Old-Order Amish well recognize that their ways of life aren't for everyone and that outsiders must be judged on universal principles instead of similarities to themselves. They would tell outsiders to live according to the highest ethical standards of their groups and when we meet we will get along. Fundamentalist and evangelical Christians would see anyone not like themselves not as quaint, but instead as "sinful'.

Some of the divides beg explanation. I suspect that authoritarianism implies insularity -- less likelihood of meeting people of dissimilar backgrounds under conditions that preclude judgment of others. People in insular environments may be in such places by choice -- out of fear of meeting people dissimilar to themselves or likely to show hostility toward "exotic" types. Outsiders, one learns early, are the untrustworthy people who do things to one instead of collaborating with one.

Education is obvious: people with little formal education are less likely to show social mobility and are likely to be stuck in rural areas and inner cities. Their interactions with outsiders is likely to be unpleasant because of the economic realities among the undereducated, and they are likely to think inside some rigid box because anything else is not accepted. Behavioral standards are rigid, and punishments for violations of the norms are severe. Undereducated people often have poor impulse control, learning disabilities, and proclivity toward violence, none of which fits well into bureaucratic environments (including schools). At the other end, graduate students are likely to meet people of widely-diverse cultural heritages even at the undergraduate schools that feed graduate and professional schools. First-rate schools attract international students who don't have the same ethnicity, ideology, or culture. You can only imagine what attitudes form among graduate students toward homosexuality, interfaith and interracial relationships, and big government (one likely depends upon government grants at the least for research). Rational, flexible thought is a necessity, and part of it entails the ability to deny impulses when appropriate.

A college degree is not enough to shatter authoritarian tendencies; lots of mediocrities now get college degrees (blatant example in politics:the former Governor of Alaska). Someone who attends a second-rate or worse college is likely to be around cultural peers and see little diversity, and if there is any, likely to separate from it. Many college graduates have seen college entirely as a backdoor to Corporate America, a way of having a chance to go into management training in a box store after six months as a store clerk instead of twenty if at all. Big Business is extremely hierarchical, and authoritarian types might fit in far better than might more open-minded people. The drop-off between "college degree" and "high school diploma" isn't so sharp as the one between "college degree" and "graduate degree" or between "high school diploma" and "less than high-school diploma".

The political consequences of authoritarianism include the inability to see political solutions outside a "comfortable" list of "normal" politicians. People who had difficulty voting for Barack Obama would have had difficulty voting for not only a half-African product of miscegenation, but also an Asian, Jewish, Latino, or LGBT candidate for the Presidency.

Some people need rigid direction. It's obvious enough with scoundrels; they need it imposed from above (as in a prison) because they merit no trust from others or from a bigger and more powerful scoundrel (like a higher-ranking Crime Boss like Al Capone or Adolf Hitler). Some impose it because such allows them to get what they want from people whom they have few incentives to offer. Those are the sorts who must make others feel so insecure about themselves that they would never abandon an exploitative environment for something better. Fear remains one of the most powerful tools of control. Maybe you have had some boss who warns you frequently that if you quit that organization you would fail anywhere else.

Poorly-educated people often find themselves under the harshest conditions of employment. Some carry the sorts of educational pathologies -- poor impulse control, inability to defer gratification, a low threshold of frustration, laziness, and rebelliousness. People with those traits need intense supervision just to achieve even the barest of objectives, They might get accustomed to it and accept it as the norm of human existence. People without such traits can get along quite well without such supervision and thus reject authoritarianism.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#2
Well, aren’t most people likely to trust someone who seems to agree with them? Probably, but people differ enormously in gullibility. (People showing few right-wing authoritarian tendencies) are downright suspicious of someone who agrees with them when they can see ulterior motives might be at work. They pay attention to the circumstances in which the other fellow is operating. But (people with strong tendencies toward authoritarianism) do not, when they like the message.

So suppose you are a completely unethical, dishonest, power-hungry, dirt-bag, scum-bucket politician who will say whatever he has to say to get elected. ... Whom are you going to try to lead, people with strong tendencies toward authoritarianism or people who have few authoritarian tendencies? Isn’t it obvious? The (gullible right-wing authoritarians) will open up their arms and wallets to you if you just sing their song, however poor your credibility. Those crabby non-authoritarian types, on the other hand, will eye you warily when your credibility is suspect because you sing their song?

So the scum-bucket politicians will usually head for the right-wing authoritarians, because the (right-wing authoritarians) hunger for social endorsement of their beliefs so much they’re apt to trust anyone who tells them they’re right. Heck, Adolf Hitler was elected Chancellor of Germany running on a law-and-order platform just a few years after he tried to overthrow the government through an armed insurrection.

You sometimes hear that paranoia runs at a gallop in “right-wingers”. But maybe you can see how that’s an oversimplification. Authoritarian followers are highly suspicious of their many out-groups; but they are credulous to the point of self-delusion when it comes to their in-groups. So (in another experiment the author ran) subjects were told a Christian Crusade was coming to town led by a TV evangelist. The evangelist (the subjects were further told), knowing that people would give more money at the end of the evening if he gave them the kind of service they liked, asked around to see what that might be.

Finding out that folks in your city liked a “personal testimonial” crusade, he gave them one featuring his own emotional testimonial to Jesus’ saving grace. How sincere do you think he was? Most subjects had their doubts, given the circumstances. But (right-wing authoritarians) almost always trusted him.

http://members.shaw.ca/jeanaltemeyer...oritarians.pdf

Blog from the Washington Post:

... I blogged about a striking figure created by evolutionary biologist Josh Rosenau of the National Center for Science Education, plotting U.S. based faiths and denominations based on 1) their members’ views about the reality of human evolution and 2) those members’ support for tough environmental laws.

The figure (below) has created much discussion, both because of what it seems to suggest about the unending debate over the relationship between science and religion, but also because of how it appears to confirm that more conservative leaning denominations harbor a form of science resistance that extends well beyond evolution rejection and into the climate change arena.

[Image: rosenau-graphic.jpg&w=1484]

Can anyone explain the anomaly of the Jehovah's Witnesses? Otherwise this looks like a strong correlation.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energ...ness_pop_b

Fundamentalist religion is inherently authoritarian. Where one would draw the line on this chart is a matter of choice. Rejection of evolution would seem consistent with authoritarianism due to the rejection of rational thought and objective science when such runs afoul of a world view that one holds precious.

People who reject evolution can apparently also reject the scientific evidence behind the concept of climatic change.

We may be seeing a cultural war within the schools, with the public schools being used as means of pushing some political agenda. State governments are becoming as centralized authorities on the curriculum as authoritarian national governments, past and present.

Parts of the Right have a desire for a Cultural Revolution as pervasive as that in China in the 1960s, but with fundamentalist Protestantism and pure plutocracy taking the role of Maoism in China. The ideal is a Bible-believing populace that recognizes responsibilities to economic elites who owe the common man nothing except promises of economic growth. Where the Right has even temporary power it is to take the opportunity to entrench its values permanently in institutions. Schools are to be tools of ideological brainwashing.

In earlier times the Right was content to win local contests through local school boards. Now it seeks to use statewide authority to establish one politically-loaded curriculum as uniform content statewide. Finding the values of rural backwaters more amenable to its agenda, the Right seeks to impose its authoritarian agenda where such is contrary to the local values, such as giant cities where the ethnic identity and religious heritage have very different values. African-American communities have much cause to distrust right-wing authoritarianism at the least on economics ("Know your place, boy!")
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#3
Quote:Among 2008 Democratic primary voters there were significant splits on issues of race and immigration, smacking of authoritarian impulses, that played a role in support for either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.

In the 2016 primaries, too. A lot of the super-enthusiatic Hillary Clinton supporters strike me as quite authoritarian in their language and in the reasons they give for supporting her in a way that reminds me of Trump supporters.
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#4
(05-08-2016, 10:53 PM)pbrower2a Wrote: Well, aren’t most people likely to trust someone who seems to agree with them? Probably, but people differ enormously in gullibility. (People showing few right-wing authoritarian tendencies) are downright suspicious of someone who agrees with them when they can see ulterior motives might be at work. They pay attention to the circumstances in which the other fellow is operating. But (people with strong tendencies toward authoritarianism) do not, when they like the message.

So suppose you are a completely unethical, dishonest, power-hungry, dirt-bag, scum-bucket politician who will say whatever he has to say to get elected. ... Whom are you going to try to lead, people with strong tendencies toward authoritarianism or people who have few authoritarian tendencies? Isn’t it obvious? The (gullible right-wing authoritarians) will open up their arms and wallets to you if you just sing their song, however poor your credibility. Those crabby non-authoritarian types, on the other hand, will eye you warily when your credibility is suspect because you sing their song?

So the scum-bucket politicians will usually head for the right-wing authoritarians, because the (right-wing authoritarians) hunger for social endorsement of their beliefs so much they’re apt to trust anyone who tells them they’re right. Heck, Adolf Hitler was elected Chancellor of Germany running on a law-and-order platform just a few years after he tried to overthrow the government through an armed insurrection.

You sometimes hear that paranoia runs at a gallop in “right-wingers”. But maybe you can see how that’s an oversimplification. Authoritarian followers are highly suspicious of their many out-groups; but they are credulous to the point of self-delusion when it comes to their in-groups. So (in another experiment the author ran) subjects were told a Christian Crusade was coming to town led by a TV evangelist. The evangelist (the subjects were further told), knowing that people would give more money at the end of the evening if he gave them the kind of service they liked, asked around to see what that might be.

Finding out that folks in your city liked a “personal testimonial” crusade, he gave them one featuring his own emotional testimonial to Jesus’ saving grace. How sincere do you think he was? Most subjects had their doubts, given the circumstances. But (right-wing authoritarians) almost always trusted him.

http://members.shaw.ca/jeanaltemeyer...oritarians.pdf

Blog from the Washington Post:

... I blogged about a striking figure created by evolutionary biologist Josh Rosenau of the National Center for Science Education, plotting U.S. based faiths and denominations based on 1) their members’ views about the reality of human evolution and 2) those members’ support for tough environmental laws.

The figure (below) has created much discussion, both because of what it seems to suggest about the unending debate over the relationship between science and religion, but also because of how it appears to confirm that more conservative leaning denominations harbor a form of science resistance that extends well beyond evolution rejection and into the climate change arena.

[Image: rosenau-graphic.jpg&w=1484]

Can anyone explain the anomaly of the Jehovah's Witnesses? Otherwise this looks like a strong correlation.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energ...ness_pop_b

Fundamentalist religion is inherently authoritarian. Where one would draw the line on this chart is a matter of choice. Rejection of evolution would seem consistent with authoritarianism due to the rejection of rational thought and objective science when such runs afoul of a world view that one holds precious.

People who reject evolution can apparently also reject the scientific evidence behind the concept of climatic change.

We may be seeing a cultural war within the schools, with the public schools being used as means of pushing some political agenda. State governments are becoming as centralized authorities on the curriculum as authoritarian national governments, past and present.

Parts of the Right have a desire for a Cultural Revolution as pervasive as that in China in the 1960s, but with fundamentalist Protestantism and pure plutocracy taking the role of Maoism in China. The ideal is a Bible-believing populace that recognizes responsibilities to economic elites who owe the common man nothing except promises of economic growth. Where the Right has even temporary power it is to take the opportunity to entrench its values permanently in institutions. Schools are to be tools of ideological brainwashing.

In earlier times the Right was content to win local contests through local school boards. Now it seeks to use statewide authority to establish one politically-loaded curriculum as uniform content statewide. Finding the values of rural backwaters more amenable to its agenda, the Right seeks to impose its authoritarian agenda where such is contrary to the local values, such as giant cities where the ethnic identity and religious heritage have very different values. African-American communities have much cause to distrust right-wing authoritarianism at the least on economics ("Know your place, boy!")


There may be some correlation of the Washington Post chart ( support for  evolution) with this chart  showing The Political preference of US religious groups.

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/201...-leanings/

The political preferences of U.S. religious groups



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» The political preferences of U.S. religious groups.pdf (Size: 106.52 KB / Downloads: 2)
[url=http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/02/23/u-s-religious-groups-and-their-political-leanings/ft_16-02-22_religionpoliticalaffiliation_640px-2/]
 … whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Phil 4:8 (ESV)
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#5
(05-09-2016, 08:20 PM)radind Wrote: There may be some correlation of the Washington Post chart ( support for  evolution) with this chart  showing The Political preference of US religious groups.

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/201...-leanings/

The political preferences of U.S. religious groups

Chart here:

[Image: FT_16.02.22_religionPoliticalAffiliation_640px1.png]
The seven most Republican-leaning  religious groups are Mormons and six evangelical Christian groups. Then come Anglicans and United Methodists, two mainline Protestant groups. Then comes the originally-southern Church of Christ. These groups are all 11% or more Republican than Democratic. After that comes a big drop-off. I would guess that the evangelical churches in this group have little ethnic diversity.

Of course, authoritarians need not be white Protestants. Even if they are staunchly authoritarian, black authoritarians are likely still strongly Democratic in their leanings. They simply do not trust non-blacks.... maybe for good reason. As a white person I have seen white people do nasty things to blacks and say nasty things about blacks when black people are not around. If I were black and knew what I know about white people I would be extremely wary of white people.

Denial of global warming and denial of evolution are hustles. What Altmeyer says of authoritarians hold: they have the lowest expectations of human goodness and are least trusting of institutions of any kind. But one can keep the guard up only so long. Confidence artists find that by personalizing an appeal to a mark, they can most easily exploit the mark. After being taken, the mark often says "But he seemed like such a nice young man!" But the same people often believe that science involves a secretive and devious cabal (a belief devoid of foundation).

If I am not particularly distrusting, it may because I know how to deny trust when I hear something absurd. I well recognize that nobody is in business to lose money, that there is no such thing as a free lunch, that the personable quality of a dealer matters not at all, and that the only really good deal is one that works for both parties. If something is too good to be true, then it is likely neither good nor true. I will find some other deal.

I suspect that hustles are most successful when offered in an intimate setting with the alleged Authority of the Almighty somehow connected.

Now what of the least gullible? The people with the most formal education and most likely to meet people from very different backgrounds (especially ethnic or religious) need to be receptive to ideas  even if they can sift them out as necessary. That does not mean that they consider overt nonsense worthy of attention.



[/url]
[url=http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/02/23/u-s-religious-groups-and-their-political-leanings/ft_16-02-22_religionpoliticalaffiliation_640px-2/]
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#6
Would Turkey be justified in drone-killing a Pennsylvania man on their terrorist list?

https://theintercept.com/2016/07/18/woul...nsylvania/
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#7
No new agers, neo-pagans or new thought christians in that survey.

"And what do authoritarians look like?...a composite image: rural, southern, under-educated, evangelical Protestant churchgoers."

Quite so.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#8
Least authoritarian? I'd guess either Reform Jewish or Unitarian-Universalists.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#9
We are about to get the most authoritarian President in the living memory of any American under the age of 90. (Coolidge might have been rather authoritarian, but one would have to be past 90 to remember him.

Donald Trump clearly fits the authoritarian model...and he is well to the Right of center. Britt's warnings of fascist character of a government apply strongly to him on just about everything. We all know the list.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


Reply
#10
(01-19-2017, 02:02 AM)pbrower2a Wrote: We are about to get the most authoritarian President in the living memory of any American under the age of 90. (Coolidge might have been rather authoritarian, but one would have to be past 90 to remember him.  

Donald Trump clearly fits the authoritarian model...and he is well to the Right of center. Britt's warnings of fascist character of a government apply strongly to him on just about everything. We all know the list.

"Keep cool with Coolidge" Coolidge?  He was about as hands off and the opposite of authoritarian as possible.

FDR was pretty authoritarian, though, what with packing of the Supreme Court and all that.
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#11
(01-19-2017, 03:36 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(01-19-2017, 02:02 AM)pbrower2a Wrote: We are about to get the most authoritarian President in the living memory of any American under the age of 90. (Coolidge might have been rather authoritarian, but one would have to be past 90 to remember him.  

Donald Trump clearly fits the authoritarian model...and he is well to the Right of center. Britt's warnings of fascist character of a government apply strongly to him on just about everything. We all know the list.

"Keep cool with Coolidge" Coolidge?  He was about as hands off and the opposite of authoritarian as possible.

FDR was pretty authoritarian, though, what with packing of the Supreme Court and all that.

Pretty much.  The packing scheme did have the effect on the court that FDR desired and is probably why the Lost didn't waste any time term limiting Presidents after FDR died.
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. -- H.L. Mencken

If one rejects laissez faire on account of man's fallibility and moral weakness, one must for the same reason also reject every kind of government action.   -- Ludwig von Mises
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#12
(01-19-2017, 03:36 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(01-19-2017, 02:02 AM)pbrower2a Wrote: We are about to get the most authoritarian President in the living memory of any American under the age of 90. (Coolidge might have been rather authoritarian, but one would have to be past 90 to remember him.  

Donald Trump clearly fits the authoritarian model...and he is well to the Right of center. Britt's warnings of fascist character of a government apply strongly to him on just about everything. We all know the list.

"Keep cool with Coolidge" Coolidge?  He was about as hands off and the opposite of authoritarian as possible.

FDR was pretty authoritarian, though, what with packing of the Supreme Court and all that.

The usual libertarian economics deception, is what you posted. Authority is needed, since humans aren't perfect. More crimes occur without authority. Especially, the bosses need authority over them. That's why the bosses hated FDR, and why you knock him and applaud Coolidge. It takes just a little use of the brain. Coolidge was the most authoritarian, because he allowed the bosses to rule over us without restraint, resulting in poverty and depression. FDR liberated us from the bosses, so he was less authoritarian. Like I said, people need to see beyond the smoke of "freedom" laissez faire slogans and discern the truth.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#13
(01-19-2017, 06:33 PM)X_4AD_84 Wrote:
(01-19-2017, 02:02 AM)pbrower2a Wrote: We are about to get the most authoritarian President in the living memory of any American under the age of 90. (Coolidge might have been rather authoritarian, but one would have to be past 90 to remember him.  

Donald Trump clearly fits the authoritarian model...and he is well to the Right of center. Britt's warnings of fascist character of a government apply strongly to him on just about everything. We all know the list.

The Orange Menace says he wants to emulate China and Russia by having lots of military parades.

Worm

-- the Orange Menace... has a ring to it  Thumbupright
Heart  Bernie/Tulsi 2020    Heart
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#14
How long will the Armed Forces want to serve as a tool of partisan politics?

Utterly inappropriate for a Chicken-hawk.



The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#15
Ultimately libertarianism has a huge possible fault: one man's free exercise of expectations is another man's subjection.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#16
(01-19-2017, 06:53 PM)Eric the Green Wrote:
(01-19-2017, 03:36 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(01-19-2017, 02:02 AM)pbrower2a Wrote: We are about to get the most authoritarian President in the living memory of any American under the age of 90. (Coolidge might have been rather authoritarian, but one would have to be past 90 to remember him.  

Donald Trump clearly fits the authoritarian model...and he is well to the Right of center. Britt's warnings of fascist character of a government apply strongly to him on just about everything. We all know the list.

"Keep cool with Coolidge" Coolidge?  He was about as hands off and the opposite of authoritarian as possible.

FDR was pretty authoritarian, though, what with packing of the Supreme Court and all that.

The usual libertarian economics deception, is what you posted. Authority is needed, since humans aren't perfect. More crimes occur without authority. Especially, the bosses need authority over them. That's why the bosses hated FDR, and why you knock him and applaud Coolidge. It takes just a little use of the brain. Coolidge was the most authoritarian, because he allowed the bosses to rule over us without restraint, resulting in poverty and depression. FDR liberated us from the bosses, so he was less authoritarian. Like I said, people need to see beyond the smoke of "freedom" laissez faire slogans and discern the truth.

You like authoritarians when they think like you which is very revealing because saddling everyone with a huge bureaucracy is so liberating.
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. -- H.L. Mencken

If one rejects laissez faire on account of man's fallibility and moral weakness, one must for the same reason also reject every kind of government action.   -- Ludwig von Mises
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#17
Bureaucracy? You deal with bureaucratic organizations all the time -- like insurance companies.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#18
(01-20-2017, 04:49 AM)pbrower2a Wrote: Bureaucracy?  You deal with bureaucratic organizations all the time -- like insurance companies.

Most of the time its because some idiot passes a law to make me do it.
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. -- H.L. Mencken

If one rejects laissez faire on account of man's fallibility and moral weakness, one must for the same reason also reject every kind of government action.   -- Ludwig von Mises
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#19
Bureaucracy is a necessary evil of civilization, you can't have one without the other. Anyone with any historical knowledge knows that the first bureaucracies emerged with the first civilizations. The oldest bits of writing we have from Sumeria are bureaucratic documents.
#MakeTheDemocratsGreatAgain
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#20
(01-20-2017, 09:00 AM)Odin Wrote: Bureaucracy is a necessary evil of civilization, you can't have one without the other. Anyone with any historical knowledge knows that the first bureaucracies emerged with the first civilizations. The oldest bits of writing we have from Sumeria are bureaucratic documents.

There were civilizations before Sumeria.  They just didn't write things down.  Possibly they weren't bureaucratic and didn't need to write things down.

Bronze age civilizations like Sumeria were particularly bureaucratic, because bronze technology promoted bureaucratic empires.  The level of bureaucracy actually fell during the iron age.
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