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View Diary: Authoritarians at the Gate (146 comments)

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  •  There is a difference between being agreeable (5+ / 0-)

    and cooperative and being subject to external direction which is, by definition, contrary to the object's welfare.
    The argument that people want to be controlled is a variant of "blame the victim" logic. It gets the controlling agent off the hook. In sexual abuse, it is manifest as the "she wanted it" excuse.
    It is my contention that "control freaks" are people who become obsessed with controlling other people because they lack the capacity to control themselves. This lack of self-control means that their impulsive behavior often leads them into doing wrong (e.g. McCain crashing four planes) until they arrive at a point where they do nothing (but talk) unless they are told. That the way our political campaigns are now run by a host of managers and consultants makes them an ideal venue for people who have survived to take direction and prefer to do so would seem to be an example of a deficit being turned into an opportunity -- making lemonade out of lemons, so to speak. Movie actors and modern political candidates have much in common. Both professions employ the same skills -- imitation and repetition.

    We organize governments to provide benefits and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 04:35:44 AM PST

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    •  I'm not arguing. I'm ill equipped in this area. (9+ / 0-)

      I've tried to reason out why some dumb-shits I know seem to consistently fall face down in the plate of conservative horse shit and gobble it up as if it was a plate of fresh warm donuts.  I can't.  

      But this diary helped explain it for me.

      That's all I'm saying....  

      The longer I live, the clearer I perceive how unmatchable a compliment one pays when he says of a man "he has the courage to utter his convictions." Mark Twain

      by Persiflage on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 05:21:46 AM PST

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    •  Both can be true: some want to be controlled (ofte (5+ / 0-)

      n bc it absolves them of responsibility and/or work - never underestimate the power of cowardice and laziness :) ), and some want to control.  Often the former become the sheep of the latter’s movements.  

      It is no coincidence that fascism (which is really authoritarianism as a popular political movement, versus royalism or bolshevism which are non-populist/'democratic' examples) becomes a 'majority' when events like the Depression or prolonged civil war make large numbers of non-authoritarian folks feel fundamentally helpless to affect/control/better their lives.  (To push my non-responsibility/laziness pt, it becomes easier to give up when it seems no amount of responsible behavior or hard work matters.  This is imo why Thugs talk so much about responsibility and hard work while fundamentally undermining and disdaining them.)

      •  Agree, at some point some people want Daddy (6+ / 0-)

        or Mommy or God to fix things... people who are inherently dependent on others older or "wiser" or in special positions that must be respected and deferred to too much for solutions or direction or whatever... these are people who were raised to think in absolutes and to look for guidance on what the borders and definitions of those absolutes are from those designated as the grownup version of parents.

        It is not inherently bad or good to respect and defer to authorities and that was the workable norm for most of human history. Traditional societies had respect for elders who were the encyclopedias, the Wikipedias, the wisdom and the advisers in everything... the place they lived in had been stable for a long time and the older people in the clan/village/tribe were reliable and important resources for continuity and stability. And so are many many older people in our own times in our own local environments... family, or valid and trustworthy authority figures are everywhere... but the trust and verify thing only goes so far and especially when the wisdom and experience are rigid, too local and not very transferable to newer things or other places in a fast paced changing world.

        When people outgrow the simpler life of childhood, there is clearly a residual need for many to have "Daddy" and "Mommy" analogues in whatever form; religious leader or political leader who can "Fix" things when there are bigger, wider problems that are just too scary or hard to understand... but in return the more the "fixers" are required to just make things go away without bothering the desperate, uninformed who need them, the more the fixers will become a problem themselves. The US right wing are continually bemoaning the nanny state and the poor becoming dependent on handouts etc... but what is actually happening here is projection; they themselves are the dependent ones... they outsource the basis of their opinions and beliefs, their understanding of what their problems actually are as well as the solutions to their moral and political leaders.

        Too many problems in the world are a mystery to these dependent citizens and they demand quick formulas for understanding causes, assigning blame and enacting remedies.... or else just want to not have to worry about any of it and the anxiety they feel can be stoked and harnessed to give the "Fixers" in authority positions and license to do as they please to further enrich and empower themselves while going through the required motions and stances to achieve the presumed goals but which only exacerbates the problems that they are supposedly meant to be fixing...

        Yes the sheep in a society do want things fixed for them so they won't be bothered by them too much. They are like an underclass version of old style aristocracies who do not want to be disturbed by elements of the real world and will accept anything however extreme if it helps maintain the fictions they want to live with. The power elite in authoritarian dominated societies draw their power from feeding the fears of those below them. And that power is bestowed on their rulers by the sheep ceding as much moral and physical power as their own ignorance and fear allows. And they cannot understand why others are so horrified at their eagerness to follow their designated leaders so blindly.

        Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

        by IreGyre on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 02:34:19 PM PST

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        •  Yep, which is why education and NewDeal/GreatSocie (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          IreGyre, poemworld

          ty type income-stablization and opportunity programs have been so central to Democats for so long - the latter reduces dispair and increases the chance of control over ones own life and reward for one's hard work (it is no coincidence that its called the 'Making Work Pay' tax credit), while the former provides both the perspective to understand that real Progress is possible (warts and all) and the tools for all of those (as well as shattering the hold of tradition and superstition on human minds, which is why Thugs fear and want to destroy public education, i.e., education for all).

          It really is that simple, and has been for millenia.  Ask Socrates. :)

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