Jump to navigation
Robert Altemeyer at [url=http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/%7Ealtemey/]this site[/url] has a book summarizing his research on authoritarian personalities. He makes a very convincing argument for the significance of the types.
The book is designed to be very accessable and is leavened with much humour, however, the message is pretty scary right now.
Speaking of authoritarian personalities. Psychiatrists have identified one disorder and have listed it's characteristics:
Talk about a perfect description.
I agree that fascist authoritarianism is frighteningly on the upswing.
Here's a test you can take to see where you fall in this "New World Order":
[url=http://www.anesi.com/fscale.htm]The F Scale[/url]
Altemeyer points out that it's not too useful to use these tests on individuals. Also, he devised a new test (which starts his book) to deal with some of the problems of the Adorno test. So, if you really want to, you should use his test.
Thanks jrootham I'll check it out.
The F test gave me a score of 1.63 and labelled me a 'whining rotter.' That's so cute!The test does not allow for answers like 'I don't know', 'what do you mean?' or 'maybe'.It is ironic that this test is supposed to be based on psychiatric 'science', an ideology that claims authority while providing no evidence of helping troubled people.
2.6 I'm a liberal airhead.
It would seem that at 1.8 I am also a whining rotter. I tried answering every question with a 1, which still left me as a whining rotter. The tester needs more epithets. I wonder if "wooly headed socialist" is in there. Oh well, at least I'm not a liberal airhead.
1.533333 etc. A whining rotter.
Originally posted by oldgoat:[b]It would seem that at 1.8 I am also a whining rotter. I tried answering every question with a 1, which still left me as a whining rotter. The tester needs more epithets. I wonder if "wooly headed socialist" is in there. Oh well, at least I'm not a liberal airhead.[/b]
I may not share your exalted position in the progressive food chain but liberal airhead is a large improvement over right wing colonialist warmongering neocon.
I should have known better. Let me summarize what he says a bit more to try to head off playing with irrelevant toys.
In Altemeyer's terminology Rigth Wing Authoritarians (RWAs) Are heavily focussed on keeping fear at bay by having everyone follow rules and conform to the norm. However, almost all of them are fairly timid aobut actually doing anything themselves. They are followers. The other thing that is significant about RWAs is that, to put it bluntly, they don't think very well. In particular, they compartmentalize so that they do not see when they are being contradictory. If they agree with a leader they will believe him long past any logical contradiction.
However, there is another category which Altemeyer calls Social Dominators (SDs). These are people who are aggressive about gaining power and wealth and don't care much about how they do it. Their dominant philosophy is "don't get caught". The two groups are not disjoint, in fact there is a small positive correlation between them.
The SDs are the dangerous politicians, the RWA SD politicians are more dangerous because they have an easier connection to unthinking followers.
He also cites the Milgram experiments to point out that just about everyone is willing to follow orders.
I'm bumping this because it is relevant to the US political debate. I linked to the site on the Obama thread.
To reiterate, Altemeyer has created a questionnaire to identify what he calls Right Wing Authoritarians (RWAs). These are people who think norms (social, political, and religious) should be enforced with punishment. He also identifies Social Dominators (SDs) and points out the dangers involved with politicians that are both RWA's and SD's.
He figures we dodged a bullet in the 2006 elections. The 2008 elections are coming up. Another bullet is on its way.
I think Americans are beginning to suspect that something is wrong with their two party plutocracy when one of the two parties has to resort to stealing elections to seize power.