Authoritarianism: Why? | INFJ Forum

Authoritarianism: Why?

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by eidelweiss, Jul 30, 2010.

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  1. eidelweiss

    eidelweiss Regular Poster

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    Authoritarian Personalities, do you know any and what do you think about them/ why are they that way/ comments, etc...



    Some very good research in this free ebook here: http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/

    It's a long read but I finished it in two nights.
     
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  2. Gaze

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    I get it and understand it and realize the need for it. We can't all be laissez-faire, i doubt we'd get much done if we all took a "chill pill." So, as much as i'm not a fan of authorian personalities, everything has its pros even if it seems to have more of the opposite.
     
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  3. Quinlan

    Quinlan Right the First Time!

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    Getting stuff done is overrated anyway.
     
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  4. TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

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    definitely not sustainable over a long period of time; it would create too much dissent. would temporary mobilize people and resources quickly enough though to do things like take over new territories. of course, i'm talking authoritarian governments here, not individuals. individuals with this bent of mind would have a similar ability to get things done, but i imagine they wouldn't be tolerated except at the highest tiers of some sort of social hierarchy, like as the ceo of a big company. any lower and they'd get into conflicts. all of this is ignoring the fact that it is probably highly immoral to impose your will on others using authoritarian tactics; you'd be completely subjugating your fellow human beings and disregarding their own abilities to decide and live their own lives, free of interference. authoritarian personalities generally undervalue others' right to autonomy and choice, and overvalue their own (or rather, they overvalue the philosophy of "the end justifies the means", which throughout history has been used to commit heinous acts).
     
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  5. OP
    eidelweiss

    eidelweiss Regular Poster

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    @ Res:
    One thing the Italians say about Mussolini: "When he [Mussolini] was here, at least the trains ran on time."

    I agree it's immoral, even downright cruel. I see more of this problem in fundamental religions where their interpretation of god or the word of god is used to keep abused family members silent, limit free and independent thinking, hunt 'witches,' etc. Authoritarian personalities love this kind of environment because it allows them to not have to consider possibility (i.e. just have to think in black and white), and makes them feel better than those who do not 'follow the law.' But I object to the same government mindset as well.
     
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  6. Gaze

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    Agree. This aspect of authoritarianism is unacceptable.
     
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  7. Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
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    Egoism. When you convince yourself that what you perceive is in your best interest is in the best interest of everyone else, then the next logical step is to force everyone else to comply with your interest for the "greater good". It exists to some degree in every group.
     
  8. sassafras

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    Yes, it certainly does, doesn't it?

    My father is a perfect example of this in our family unit.
     
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  9. magister343

    magister343 Permanent Fixture

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    They say that, but it is not a true statement. I recall reading some records that show that train schedules were actually less reliable under his fascist regime than the governments preceding or following it.
    I'm afraid the current pastor at my family's (dying) church seem to be this sort, and that he seems to have influenced my father. (I've influenced my mother enough than she is far more libertarian.)

    Authoritarians who insist that we all need to 'follow the law' really need to be reminded that second greatest commandment in the law is 'Love your neighbor as yourself,' that neighbor is defined as anyone with whom you make any sort of contact, and that scripture declares that it is impossible to keep the greatest commandment ('love the Lord your God with your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength') without first keeping the second.

    There are of course many other passages they need reminding of as well, such as Romans 14.
     
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  10. Skoffin

    Skoffin <font color=#00EE99>She Whose Name We Do Not Speak

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    I've heard such words used to describe me, however I am not entirely sure what it is. A bit too zombiefied this morning to wade through articles to find out at the moment.
     
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  11. Flavus Aquila

    Flavus Aquila Finding My Place in the Sun
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    I have a couple of very good aquaintances who are the most intensely authoritarian people I've ever met. It's kind of cool the way they latch on to whatever they see as an objective and draw everyone else into acheiveing it.

    They are the perfect personal assistant/private secretary type. However, as superiors they run everyone else ragged.

    Oddly, when they are recreating, my buddies are also the most easy-going and cordial people I know. They are just exceptionally good workers/organisers/motivators.
     
  12. Gaze

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    Yes. This is why i think we need to distinguish between authorian personalities and authoritarianism as a leadership style or strategy to get things done. Some may take an authoritarian approach to how they achieve a goal or get a job done, or when managing people but then change personas when they're no longer engaged in those activities.

    Authoritarianism is not necessarily the most effective method, and sometimes it can be overbearing/overdone. But I don't think authoritarianism is entirely negative.

    For example, my dad was very authoritarian growing up, and although i hated it, at the same time i probably wouldn't have accomplished over the years some of the things I did, if he wasn't. Again, i'm not saying the style is great or wonderful. But it has benefits although it has quite a few weaknesses.

    Thing with authoritarianism which people don't get, is that it's not about being liked or loved. It's about getting things done. Feelings are less important than efficiency.
     
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    #12 Gaze, Jul 30, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2010
  13. Norton

    Norton XXXX

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    Authoritarianism is driven by fear. Fear of ambiguity, complexity, differences and diversity (the "other"), instability, insecurity and, simply, the unknown and unpredictable. An authoritarian is motivated to deny his fear by forcing his simplistic conception of the world on everyone else. Religiously, authoritarians often believe in rigid adherence to dogma, absolutism, and rules instead of principles. The bible is the law and not an exquisite allegory of love, struggle, and triumph. It is absolute and to be taken literally. This is illogical, when one considers that the bible has been translated thousands of times, and the products of those translations are all, to varying degrees, different. Similarly, in the U.S., authoritarians also believe that the Constitution should be taken literally (i.e., originalism), a position that is contradicted by the philosophies and writings of the founders but propounded by the current slim majority of justices. It's almost as if they believe the Constitution is an edict that can successfully dictate to the infinite future the rules and conditions formulated at a more primitive time. It's not as if progress and change haven't occurred in the past 235 years. But, progress and change are difficult for authoritarians.

    Thus, the "tea party" movement in the U.S. has its roots in the current bad times, the bad economy, the wars, and political uncertainty. People are afraid for themselves and their families, their friends, and also for the potential loss of the illusions they struggle to maintain in the face of continual and overt contradiction. Such populism is really a form of rigid authoritarianism, which is funny when one realizes that "tea party-ers" profess to be against "big government," "big spending," and taxes. Indeed, these rigid, frightened souls are the last ones who'd agree to give up the entitlements they believe are due them and which they "deserve." At the same time, they deny the rights of the truly needy. It is these entitlements that are largely the cause of "big government" in the first place.

    People who are not authoritarian (i.e., more tolerant) often delight in complexity and ambiguity because, after all, this is where one finds the exciting opportunities for advances in art, science and technology, and a rich life well-lived.


    (I use the word in the sense of believing in complete obedience or subjection to authority as opposed to individual freedom)
     
  14. Faye

    Faye ^_^
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    Maybe they are disposed to be that way?

    I find them obnoxious. I'm about as far away from being an authoritarian as you can be.
     
  15. magister343

    magister343 Permanent Fixture

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    In my psychology class it was taught that what we think of as fear is learned behavior. The only instincual reaction to fear, the only thing infants do when afraid, is to spread their arms and try to tightly grab on to their nearest caretaker. I can see how RWA behavior fits this pattern though, if authorities fill the role of the parent figures to which a fearful child tries to cling.




    I've come to realize that my (ISFJ?) sister seems like quite the RWA follower, even more so than my INTJ dad. She does not share his strong condemnation of homosexuality, but that does not mean a lot as her views instead align with what she hear is the popular opinion today, supporting the end of DADT and providing for gay civil unions but not marriages. She is not very political, but goes with either what my dad or I say, often based on who spoke most recently. In the last debate we watched on TV it seemed that all she got out of it was that one candidate proclaimed himself an evangelical christian, and that she would vote for him if she could only remember his name.


    I'm pretty sure my INFP mom is not an RWA, but is closer to one than I am. Her mother and one of her brothers though strike me as perhaps the most authoritarian people I know. Her recently deceased father was a pretty extremely evangelical (who personally won over 45,000 converts through his prison ministry), sounded rather authoritarian in stories mom told of her childhood (she is one of those who consciously chose to adopt the opposite parenting style as her parents), and most of the people I met when visiting his church seemed highly RWA, but he seems to have mellowed quite a bit in his old age.



    Whem I met my first (unrequited) love (an INFJ) for lunch (just as friends) on Wednesday our conversation make it clear that she is also low on the RWA scale, but to my dismay she seemed high enough on Social Dominance to make me rather uncomfortable. That did not at all seem to be the case in our last meeting, but it came this time especially when discussions turned to a debate between my Geo-Libertarianism and her Anarcho-Capitalism. She claimed to oppose all force, but defined force and the right to claim and defend property in such a way that seemed to boil down to might makes right. She acknowledged that equality was good in theory but seemed to think it too unrealistic an idea to really value, seemed quite pleased at how rich her career path would likely make her after she graduates, and I got the sense that I was being judged for lack of ambition. She was also way too extroverted for me that day, although her rhetorical skills seemed too good for her to be an ENFJ with inferior Ti (I'm usually a good debater, but she clearly argued better than me that day, perhaps because she had years of practice from doing debate in high school and I rarely have had a chance to discuss such issues in person/real time). She instead seemed almost ENTJ some of the time. She did test rather borderline on both I/E and T/F, but from our phone calls seems a clear Introverted at least 2/3 of the time. When in Introvert mode she typically seems like one of the most genuine and empathetic people I've ever met and seems to be all about helping those in need, but in extrovert mode she speaks of charity just as a way to pad a resume and further career goals. I don't think I like her extrovert mode very much.




    What correlations do you think exist between MBTI types and RWA or social dominant types? I would not be surprised by a strong correlation with the Judging and Extroverted preferences for both, with Sensors being the norm in RWAs and intuitives more common in Social Dominators.
     
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  16. enfp can be shy

    enfp can be shy people vs the bad people?
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    The book and the usual research concentrate more on followers, because the huge masses of followers make it possible. I'm interested to see how deep is the status quo on the subject. It's often still too simplistic, summarizing with: those people are to blame, you should try not to be one of them. Instead of investigating what other options those people have, how to make use of their qualities for something else. If a critical majority of people end up gullible to following authoritarians, it's because they can't find a better social application for their abilities.

    I think the issue is very serious and goes beyond the individual psychology, into group psychology, sociology, and politics/economics. Unless major organization changes are made, followers will exist, and telling them that they are wrong won't help them.

    Another interesting side of the equation is that the principle of non-following is becoming authoritarianism of its own. People start being afraid of joining together in support of the same thing, which they happen to like spontaneously, because they get accused of being mindless followers. In reality, not all instances of large masses liking the same thing are manufactured and manipulated. Sometimes people just like the same thing. Uniqueness should not be forced, just like sameness should not be forced. Developing an anti-popular bias is as biased as developing a popular bias. I usually like things, just because; if they are popular fine, if they are unpopular fine. In each case you get some gratification - either from thinking you are unique in this aspect, or that there're so many out there who share your vision.
     
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    #16 enfp can be shy, Jul 31, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2010

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