The rise of American authoritarianism

Such an interesting thesis by Amanda Taub on Vox, and so much more cogent than the explanation for the current political climate as simply “anger”.

This could be just as relevant for Australia (the rise of the ultra-conservative wing of the Liberal Party) and the UK (UKIP).

If you can, read the whole article, but here are some interesting quotes:

“… there is a certain subset of people who hold latent authoritarian tendencies. These tendencies can be triggered or “activated” by the perception of physical threats or by destabilizing social change, leading those individuals to desire policies and leaders that we might more colloquially call authoritarian.

Authoritarians prioritize social order and hierarchies, which bring a sense of control to a chaotic world. Challenges to that order — diversity, influx of outsiders, breakdown of the old order — are experienced as personally threatening because they risk upending the status quo order they equate with basic security.
What these changes have in common is that, to authoritarians, they threaten to take away the status quo as they know it — familiar, orderly, secure — and replace it with something that feels scary because it is different and destabilizing, but also sometimes because it upends their own place in society.

…. when they feel threatened, people who score high in authoritarianism, look for strong leaders who promise to take whatever action necessary to protect them from outsiders and prevent the changes they fear. In case of moral threat, their perspective is to lock down the borders, kick out those who are different, and punish those who are morally deviant.”

This entry was posted in Consumer Behavior, Ethics, Human Behavior, Philosophy, Political Marketing, Tribal and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The rise of American authoritarianism

  1. MargoS. says:

    Thank you so much for posting this — absolutely brilliant analysis. The only thing that did not make sense to me was the bit about this group’s willingness to curtail civil liberties: seems to me that much of what this group wants involves classical libertarian ‘small government’ and demanding the preservation of civil liberties — or at least THEIR civil liberties. Maybe they want their civil liberties protected but are comfortable about ‘big Government’ imposing limitations on others?

  2. i like your article, very inspiring and thank you for your post

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