Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter 1 Share on LinkedIn Share on Reddit Tell A Friend Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites
Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds

The Authoritarian Personality

By       Message Blair Gelbond       (Page 1 of 5 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   5 comments

Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; (more...) ; ; ; ; , Add Tags  (less...)
Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 3   Supported 2   Valuable 2  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H3 7/27/18

Author 71296
- Advertisement -

From commons.wikimedia.org: Prostrating {MID-305619}
Prostrating
(Image by commons.wikimedia.org)
  Permission   Details   DMCA

"I was just following orders"

- Advertisement -

Adolph Eichman

There is an almost gravitational pull toward putting out of mind unpleasant facts and sinking into oblivion"and that our collective ability to face threatening facts is no greater than our personal one:

"To avoid anxiety, we close off crucial portions of awareness, creating blind spots. [This] diagnosis applies both to self-deception and shared illusions"The cure"is "insight - seeing things just as they are."

Daniel Goleman

- Advertisement -

THE AUTHORITARIAN PERSONALITY

In order to begin to come to terms with "dominator social structures" it is essential to gain an understanding of how an authoritarian mindset shows up in the human psyche. After all, it is we, who (via five thousand years of authoritarian conditioning, and our daily participation in society) maintain these structures. The seminal work of Adorno and his colleagues has provided much valuable data in this regard - so much so that 40 years later it is still regarded as a landmark achievement.

Adorno's two volume work, entitled The Authoritarian Personality, was published in 1950. More recently Dyer (1980) has contributed to this knowledge-area by summarizing more than 1000 pages of in-depth research (including Adorno's) authoritarian personalities. Dyer begins by raising this issue: "Anyone who is an alert observer of society can plainly see how few people think for themselves, but some social scientists have estimated that as many as 77% of the people in our culture (Western civilization) manifest more authoritarian qualities than nonauthoritarian on a daily basis." Dyer's synopsis depicts - in simple and direct language - the characteristics that one can expect to find in a person whose basic orientation can be characterized as "authoritarian." Such people can be predicted to display a number of attributes which include, but are not limited to: intolerance of ambiguity, dichotomous thinking, rigidity of thought, punitiveness, anti-intellectualism, militaristic patriotism, conformity, and ethnocentrism.

- Advertisement -

What follows is a brief overview of some of these key characteristics:

1) INTOLERANCE OF AMBIGUITY: The typical authoritarian experiences a strong need to have things spelled out specifically. Unless there is a yes or no answer to every question, no matter how complex, they show signs of anxiety. As a result the authoritarian has little tolerance for people who are working in intrinsically ambiguous areas - philosophers, artists, social or political leaders. It might be said that authoritarians feel compelled to insist that every piece of language they hear or read "mean just one thing" "which is clear and readily identifiable.

2) DICHOTOMOUS THINKING: Authoritarians exhibit a compulsion to divide everything and everyone into mutually exclusive groups - good/bad, right/wrong, friend/enemy - without taking into account the subtleties, qualifications or even downright mistakes that may be involved. "Dichotomous thinking" can be considered an outgrowth of intolerance of ambiguity; it is a sort of "rush to judgment" which serves to provide an immediate (but illusory, and generally false) sense of certainty.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5

 

- Advertisement -

Must Read 3   Supported 2   Valuable 2  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

With a few minor corrections... Although I could not articulate this at the time, I have, since childhood been aware of the inequity ad suffering caused by abuse of power (i.e., "power-over", rather than "power-with": people, nature, etc) in (more...)
 

Blair Gelbond Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Some Thoughts on our Collective Predicament -- The Recovery of Humanity

Turning Within and Envisioning a New World

The Authoritarian Personality

Jean Gebser and the Recovery of Humanity

Duane Elgin and the Maturing of Humanity

Our Collective Predicament; Authoritarianism, Patriarchy and The Recovery of Humanity