Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The Authoritarian Personality

As set out by Theodor Adorno:
Conventionalism: Rigid adherence to conventional, middle-class values. Authoritarian Submission: Submissive, uncritical attitude toward idealised moral authorities of the ingroup. Anti-intraception: Opposition to the subjective, the imaginative, the tender-minded. Authoritarian Aggression: Tendency to be on the lookout for, and to condemn, reject,and punish people who violate conventional values. Superstition and Stereotypy: The belief in mystical determinants of the individual's fate; the disposition to think in rigid categories. Power and 'Toughness': Preoccupation with the dominance-submission, strong-weak, leader-follower dimension; identification with power figures; overemphasis upon the conventionalised attributes of the ego; exaggerated assertion of toughness and strength. Destructiveness and Cynicism: Generalised hostility, vilification of the human. Projectivity: The disposition to believe that wild and dangerous things go on in the world; the projection outwards of unconscious emotional impulses. Sex: Exaggerated concern with sexual 'goings-on.' (753) 
- Obedience and respect for authority are the most important virtues children should learn.
- What this country needs most, more than laws and political programs, is a few courageous, tireless, devoted leaders in whom the people can put their faith.
- What the youth need most is strict discipline, rugged determination, and the will to work and fight for family and country.
- There is hardly anything lower than a person who does not feel a great love, gratitude, and respect for his parents.
- Sex crimes, such as rape and attacks on children, deserve more than mere imprisonment; such criminals ought to be publicly whipped, or worse.
- The true American way of life is disappearing so fast that force may be necessary to preserve it. (254) 
Adorno, Theodor W. The Authoritarian Personality. Wiley, 1964.
This outline of the Authoritarian Personality is over a half-century old - what could we add to it now?

Ross, Alex. "The Frankfurt School Knew Trump Was Coming." The New Yorker (December 5, 2016)

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