I’m reading this e-book about the authoritarian mindset. Interesting, well written and researched. The author says, and I agree:
I think you’ll find this book “explains a lot.” Many scattered impressions about the enemies of freedom and equality become solidified by science and coherently connected here.
and from the e-book:
… But research reveals that authoritarian followers drive through life under the influence of impaired thinking a lot more than most people do, exhibiting sloppy reasoning, highly compartmentalized beliefs, double standards, hypocrisy, self-blindness, a profound ethnocentrism, and–to top it all off–a ferocious dogmatism that makes it unlikely anyone could ever change their minds with evidence or logic. These seven deadly shortfalls of authoritarian thinking eminently qualify them to follow a would-be dictator. As Hitler is reported to have said,“What good fortune for those in power that people do not think.”
As I said earlier, authoritarians’ ideas are poorly integrated with one another.
It’s as if each idea is stored in a file that can be called up and used when the
authoritarian wishes, even though another of his ideas–stored in a different file–
basically contradicts it. We all have some inconsistencies in our thinking, but
authoritarians can stupify you with the inconsistency of their ideas. Thus they may say they are proud to live in a country that guarantees freedom of speech, but another file holds, “My country, love it or leave it.” The ideas were copied from trusted sources, often as sayings, but the authoritarian has never “merged files” to see how well they all fit together.
I agree that a compartmentalized mind that allows for internal contradictions and does not even respect the need for an integrity of vision is a dangerous disaster. When a “theory of everything”, or an integral view that can hold all one knows with the least possible internal contradiction, is not only not sought, but looked down on as needless fiddle faddle, a weak mind is clinging to what has been established.
The research he quotes is as interesting as his conclusions.
I think the findings shown in the book would get wider context and show more meaningful connections when presented in a developmental framework. For instance the pre-rational rule/role mentality is a developmental stage that would have close correspondence to his right-wing-authoritarian personality type.
And here is a fictitious interview with George Orwell that points out how debates are framed with the language that we use, and that U.S. language is in peril of newspeak. A quick quote from the “interview”:
George – It was Mussolini, the father of fascism himself, who said, “Fascism should rightly be called corporatism, as it is the merger of state and corporate power.” Is that not precisely what you have today? Millions for Kenneth Lay, and nothing for 401K’s? Billions in subsidies for big business, paid for with billions in cutbacks from social services for the nation’s poor and underprivileged?
With the accelleration of technological change, such as the continued reality of Moore’s law of computer speed doubling every two years, and of nano-tech and bio-tech integrating with the increase in computing power, the technology of our future is unknowable to us. Many of the worlds biggest current problems may find techno cures. New power sources, such as solar or geothermal or fusion could fuel automated robots that build carbon sequestering machines, reversing global warming. An injection of DNA laden virus can insure our offspring will be of high genius intelligence, thus eliminating all Republicans. Species loss can be reversed with re-creating lost species and creating new species and ecologies.
So with technology stacking the deck of the future with wild-cards, what political action would a responsible person today advocate?
Ken Wilber frames politics within developmental psychology, and considers that to consider something completely, it must be seen from at least the three viewpoints of I, we, and it, or the subjective, social, and objective. He writings on integral politics suggest to me that the essential political step is personal development, and that promoting such would be of benefit to the community, politically.