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  1. #71
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SearchingforPeace View Post
    Interesting thread. I just read the whole thing.

    I see so much authoritarianism on the Left these days which makes me think that this research is based upon faulty premises.

    Looking at the last hundred years, Wilson was very authoritarian, used Freudian tools to manipulate they people in support of war, threw Eugene V. Debs in jail for calling WWI a capitalist war, introduced numerous authoritarian controls on the country, the first Red Scare, etc.

    FDR was extremely authoritarian with the New Deal. Truman started the second Red Scare.

    LBJ certainly used authoritarian tools for control, including escalating an unnecessary foreign conflict.

    The environmental and SJW movements are very authoritarian.

    Of course, Obama loves executive orders and struggles with actually working to solve issues instead of dictating....

    It almost seems like a borg like, you must assimilate to the SJW position or too are a fascist....

    This isn't to say some conservatives are authoritarian, but I see this a function of Southern Blue Dog Democrats switching parties and keeping their values. Rich Perry is a great example of this, as I doubt he changed a single position upon joining the Republican Party. And the extreme worship of unrestricted economics is the economic policy of the Southern Democrat since Calhoun or earlier.

    Nixon was very authoritarian, but more anti-Communist than conservative (he used anti-Communism as a tool for power since his first election). His economic and environmental policies were pretty Leftist.

    The political winds do change things over time (not many NE or California Republicans anymore).....
    A few things to note: the studies are primarily talking about the broad composition of political parties, and not necessarily how leaders wield power. Political leaders tend to be higher in SDO than most people, regardless of political affiliation. Certainly a leader can wield powers in controlling ways, regardless of the belief system they claim to represent. So I think you are confusing RWA with how political leaders use power. I suspect leaders show their RWA and SDO levels more by the intended effects of their policies. How are disenfranchised groups treated? Does the leader show a tolerance for complexity and ambiguity? It pays to keep in mind that: "[...] those who score high in authoritarianism have (i) a greater need for order and, conversely, verily, less tolerance for confusion or ambiguity, and (z) a propensity to rely on established authorities to provide that order." Something like the New Deal is would not be consistent with RWA, because it represented a big change in the existing order, which will increase confusion and ambiguity. Some attempts have been made to identify LWA (Left-Wing Authoritarianism) in the United States, but so far without avail. (There's some limited evidence for LWA in ex-Soviet countries.)

    Secondly, until relatedly recently, the political parties were not well sorted in the "liberal" and "conservative" (or low LWA and high LWA), so going very far back into the 20th century is not going to be particularly meaningful.

    I think it's also debatable whether Obama is abusing executive orders. He's hasn't issued significantly more than George W Bush did (many fewer than Reagan or Nixon), and it's hard to argue his actions are more extreme than Lincoln issuing the Emancipation Proclamation executive order, Eisenhower's segregations of schools, FDR creating the WPA, etc. Obama certainly is far from perfect, but it's clear there's a narrative coming from Republicans whose attitude about the government and presidential power varies more with who the current president is. I would say that Obama's valuing of safety of privacy concerns does show a bit of RWA, since that's a trade-off folks with high RWA scores tend to be willing to make (and other people, when fearful or under threat).

    And as far as the Blue Dog Democrats: them moving into the Republican party is the primary reason why the political parties are better sorted today, with conservatives (higher in RWA and SDO) ending up in the Republican party, and liberals (tending to be lower in both) ending up in the Democratic party. The parties being TOO well sorted is the cause of some of our political dysfunction. Without a leavening of liberals, conservatives generate a appealing, comfy hermetically sealed echo-chamber of straight-forward (but tough!) principles. Liberals become idealistic believers in overly complex theories and fail utterly to be unified or connect their message with the emotional truth of people's lives.

    Also, successful Gerrymandering has also created problems, mostly because of the creation of "safe" districts. The irony of safe districts is that conservatives no longer want to compromise for fear of getting "Tea Partied" from the right later on. This creates an active disincentive to want to partake in any kind of bipartisan compromise. It's difficult to negotiate with people will not compromise in any respect. If you look at Obama earlier in his presidency, he tended to "pre-compromise" and start negotiating from a position that he assumed would be palatable to conservatives. This led to articles like "Why is Obama Such a Wimp?" and "Another preemptive compromise from the White House."

    As far as SJWs, they are definitely attempting to exercise social control, but in the (purported) service of various minority groups. People low in RWA tend to believe in individual autonomy in the private sphere, and one could argue that SJWs are trying to create greater freedom and scope for the personal autonomy of oppressed groups. Of course, there's the added dimension the online SJW may be acting in pursuit of social kudos of some kind, but that's often an issue in the public sphere. And, yeah... I'm a grumpy middle-aged man and I find them super irritating, too.

  2. #72
    breaking out of my cocoon SearchingforPeace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seymour View Post
    A few things to note: the studies are primarily talking about the broad composition of political parties, and not necessarily how leaders wield power. Political leaders tend to be higher in SDO than most people, regardless of political affiliation. Certainly a leader can wield powers in controlling ways, regardless of the belief system they claim to represent. So I think you are confusing RWA with how political leaders use power. I suspect leaders show their RWA and SDO levels more by the intended effects of their policies. How are disenfranchised groups treated? Does the leader show a tolerance for complexity and ambiguity? It pays to keep in mind that: "[...] those who score high in authoritarianism have (i) a greater need for order and, conversely, verily, less tolerance for confusion or ambiguity, and (z) a propensity to rely on established authorities to provide that order." Something like the New Deal is would not be consistent with RWA, because it represented a big change in the existing order, which will increase confusion and ambiguity. Some attempts have been made to identify LWA (Left-Wing Authoritarianism) in the United States, but so far without avail. (There's some limited evidence for LWA in ex-Soviet countries.)
    It is a classic example of creating a definition to fit your pre-existing conclusion. Political scientists are really, really bad about this.

    The New Deal was extremely authoritarian. The policies were similar to Hoover's, just with more force applied and massive mass manipulation and control. But one could argue that it didn't change the previous order that much and it was far more conservative than most conservatives would admit. The key factor was its authoritarian identity and people in the era praised Stalin and Mussolini for their authoritarian efforts.

    The New Deal belief permeated supporters, who believed that bureaucracy could solve any problem. It was statist more than Leftist.

    The Soviet Union was very conservative when you call people resisting change conservative. In the same way, education is very conservative under that definition, though we know that liberals run schools in America at all levels.

    Calling something right-wing authoritarian is begging the question.

    Secondly, until relatedly recently, the political parties were not well sorted in the "liberal" and "conservative" (or low LWA and high LWA), so going very far back into the 20th century is not going to be particularly meaningful.
    Oh, another classic political science and sociologist ploy----ignore history.

    You could easily sort political parties, the South, urban areas and agrarians being Democrats and the rest Republicans.

    You could divide based upon issues as well, but there was largely consensus under Eisenhower and Kennedy.

    Anyway, any model that can't be taken back historically is pretty worthless. And if it can't be applied in different areas, it is pretty silly as well. Not that every model works in every area, but......at least it needs some other practical application....

    I think it's also debatable whether Obama is abusing executive orders. He's hasn't issued significantly more than George W Bush did (many fewer than Reagan or Nixon), and it's hard to argue his actions are more extreme than Lincoln issuing the Emancipation Proclamation executive order, Eisenhower's segregations of schools, FDR creating the WPA, etc. Obama certainly is far from perfect, but it's clear there's a narrative coming from Republicans whose attitude about the government and presidential power varies more with who the current president is. I would say that Obama's valuing of safety of privacy concerns does show a bit of RWA, since that's a trade-off folks with high RWA scores tend to be willing to make (and other people, when fearful or under threat).
    Obama's are mostly about political questions. And on major issues that he refuses to negotiate on. Add in using tax law to silence opponents, refusal to prosecute gross violations of the law by members of his administration, surveillance state efforts, and we have a pretty authoritarian leaning man.

    Lincoln had the Civil War.

    FDR faced the Great Depression.

    Ike faced Democratic racism at the state level, in gross violation of constitutional law.

    Obama is the most authoritarian president since Nixon. Simple question: would you want Ted Cruz doing executive orders from the right like
    those from Obama? I wouldn't...

    And as far as the Blue Dog Democrats: them moving into the Republican party is the primary reason why the political parties are better sorted today, with conservatives (higher in RWA and SDO) ending up in the Republican party, and liberals (tending to be lower in both) ending up in the Democratic party. The parties being TOO well sorted is the cause of some of our political dysfunction. Without a leavening of liberals, conservatives generate a appealing, comfy hermetically sealed echo-chamber of straight-forward (but tough!) principles. Liberals become idealistic believers in overly complex theories and fail utterly to be unified or connect their message with the emotional truth of people's lives.

    Also, successful Gerrymandering has also created problems, mostly because of the creation of "safe" districts. The irony of safe districts is that conservatives no longer want to compromise for fear of getting "Tea Partied" from the right later on. This creates an active disincentive to want to partake in any kind of bipartisan compromise. It's difficult to negotiate with people will not compromise in any respect. If you look at Obama earlier in his presidency, he tended to "pre-compromise" and start negotiating from a position that he assumed would be palatable to conservatives. This led to articles like "Why is Obama Such a Wimp?" and "Another preemptive compromise from the White House."
    Agreed.

    As far as SJWs, they are definitely attempting to exercise social control, but in the (purported) service of various minority groups. People low in RWA tend to believe in individual autonomy in the private sphere, and one could argue that SJWs are trying to create greater freedom and scope for the personal autonomy of oppressed groups. Of course, there's the added dimension the online SJW may be acting in pursuit of social kudos of some kind, but that's often an issue in the public sphere. And, yeah... I'm a grumpy middle-aged man and I find them super irritating, too.
    Forcing someone to photograph a wedding or bake a cake is pretty authoritarian...... would you favor forcing a black photographer to photograph a KKK rally? Add in the militant aggression on college campuses, the kangaroo courts at colleges, and the pressuring to fire people for a politician donation and so forth and we have authoritarianism identified. It isn't defending minority rights when you tell all college freshman they are rapists....

    Again, the Left has deep authoritarian roots, from the Soviets and Maoists to Mussolini and Hitler (both left authoritarians, just nationalists instead of internationalist) to Castro, Ho Chi Minh, Ortega, and Chavez. The PRI in Mexico was pretty authoritarian as well.

    This isn't saying the right doesn't have strong authoritarian roots in some circles, but it also has a strong libertarian wing. Eisenhower wasn't authoritarian, neither was Coolidge or Harding or Reagan (cutting the federal registry to a third was very anti-authoritarian, plus he signed one of the first laws legalizing abortion, though one could argue him) or GHWB. Bush 43 had some authoritarian impulses, but even so he aimed at being a compassionate conservative, tried to do immigration reform, etc....

    Again, I see the entire model as questionable. It is: I want to define the right as authoritarian, similar to efforts by conservatives to link liberalism to socialism and fascism.

    Anyway, the topic is less important than looking at the cronyism and corruption in Washington, with Wall Street largely dictating the direction of many policies. Almost everything else are mere wedge issues, as the authoritarian state and imperial presidency grows.

    Both parties are beholden to lobbyists and billionaires and the entire country is getting screwed. It is disgusting and the true dividing line. It annoys me so much that grassroots types on both sides who are disgusted with the current situation won't talk find common ground to get real reform on the important issues.
    Quote Originally Posted by Archilochus
    The fox knows many things--the hedgehog one big one.
    And I am not a hedgehog......

    -------------------

    Jesus said "Blessed are the peacemakers" not "blessed are the conflict avoiders.....

    9w8 6w5 4w5 sx/so

    ----------------------

    “Orthodoxy means not thinking--not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.”
    ― George Orwell, 1984

  3. #73
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SearchingforPeace View Post
    It is a classic example of creating a definition to fit your pre-existing conclusion. Political scientists are really, really bad about this.

    [...]

    This isn't saying the right doesn't have strong authoritarian roots in some circles, but it also has a strong libertarian wing. Eisenhower wasn't authoritarian, neither was Coolidge or Harding or Reagan (cutting the federal registry to a third was very anti-authoritarian, plus he signed one of the first laws legalizing abortion, though one could argue him) or GHWB. Bush 43 had some authoritarian impulses, but even so he aimed at being a compassionate conservative, tried to do immigration reform, etc....

    Again, I see the entire model as questionable. It is: I want to define the right as authoritarian, similar to efforts by conservatives to link liberalism to socialism and fascism.

    Anyway, the topic is less important than looking at the cronyism and corruption in Washington, with Wall Street largely dictating the direction of many policies. Almost everything else are mere wedge issues, as the authoritarian state and imperial presidency grows.

    Both parties are beholden to lobbyists and billionaires and the entire country is getting screwed. It is disgusting and the true dividing line. It annoys me so much that grassroots types on both sides who are disgusted with the current situation won't talk find common ground to get real reform on the important issues.
    It's not denying all of history. You, yourself, brought about how the Blue Dog Democrats moving into the Republican party changed things. That move greatly increased political sorting into liberal/conservative.

    In the 1980s, differences between Republicans and Democrats hovered just below 15 percentage points. After the Cold War came to an end, however, those differences dropped to about 10 percentage points through the 1990s and into 2000. In 2004, however, the difference between the average Republican and average Democrat in their preference for defense spending nearly doubled to 19.5 percentage points with the onset of the war on terrorism and the war in Iraq. The underlying orientation that structures all these things - race, morals, and hawkishness - is authoritarianism. It provides the connective tissue between these seemingly disparate opinions.

    Marc J. Hetherington;Jonathan D. Weiler. Authoritarianism and Polarization in American Politics (p. 29). Kindle Edition.
    There are instruments that measure RWA and have found an increasingly high correlation between political party and RWA scores. Empirical studies have failed to find such an association between LWA scores and political affiliation in the US (despite looking for them). It would actually be better for authoritarian theory if such associations were found. It's possible to claim that studies were not performed, but the instruments used are pretty standardized. One can dispute that the results from the instrument means, but it's hard to dispute that the correlations mean something.

    The definitions of RWA are pretty clear. It involves (from wikipedia):

    Right-wing authoritarianism is defined by three attitudinal and behavioral clusters which correlate together:[14][15]
    • Authoritarian submission — a high degree of submissiveness to the authorities who are perceived to be established and legitimate in the society in which one lives.
    • Authoritarian aggression — a general aggressiveness directed against deviants, outgroups, and other people that are perceived to be targets according to established authorities.
    • Conventionalism — a high degree of adherence to the traditions and social norms that are perceived to be endorsed by society and its established authorities, and a belief that others in one's society should also be required to adhere to these norms.[16]
    If you want to dispute aspects of it, or site research of how liberals score higher, feel free. It's hard to deny a correlation between RWA and political party (and how people feel about minorities). Granted, SDO correlates with other aspects of how people feel about people with "lesser" status.

    I actually agree that there is solid research that both parties are beholden to lobbyists and billionaires. I don't see much sign of a likely change anytime soon, although I continue to have hope. I agree that moneyed interests have far too much power and that there's little to stand in their way. What's the way forward in your view?

  4. #74
    breaking out of my cocoon SearchingforPeace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seymour View Post
    It's not denying all of history. You, yourself, brought about how the Blue Dog Democrats moving into the Republican party changed things. That move greatly increased political sorting.
    Just most of history.

    Sorting is easy. Finding three bits of data and labeling isn't science, especially when it ignores reality, aka history.

    You can easily sort the parties by religious or not and married or not and minority or not.

    If you want to dispute aspects of it, or site research of how liberals score higher, feel free. It's hard to deny a correlation between RWA and political party (and how people feel about minorities). Granted, SDO correlates with other aspects of how people feel about people with "lesser" status.
    Again, it is research designed with an answer in mind. I gave a bunch of real examples of leftist authoritarianism. Political science and sociology are full of bias research with the veneer of objectivity. And since the overwhelming majority of political scientists are leftists(just like the majority of all professors are leftists outside engineering, business, and computer science) the bias comes in the definition and design phase. Academia today is so slanted as to be useless in many areas, especially in the social sciences. Selection bias makes data useless.

    It attempts to put the veneer of science onto a very non-scientific field. I have had more than a few opportunities to discuss such issues with such and find them wanting. My reading of their research has largely not given me much solace.

    So Republicans support the military, favor law and order, and support traditional values, lol.... must be authoritarian... lol, that definition is so biased.... Again, definitions decide the outcome.....

    I actually agree that there is solid research that both parties are beholden to lobbyists and billionaires. I don't see much sign of a likely change anytime soon, although I continue to have hope. I agree that moneyed interests have far too much power and that there's little to stand in their way. What's the way forward in your view?
    Reverse everything that the Supreme Court has allowed in recent years and actually enforce the laws, such as antitrust. No more consent decrees without perps going to jail and bad companies need to be shut down. Corporations are not people. If you can't vote, you shouldn't be allowed to donate. Super PACs should be banned. Etc.

    I find the concentration of power especially troublesome. The predator class rules and everyday people on the right and left carry water for them.

    So, my agenda is pretty radical when it comes to economics.... Hmm, it would start with banning for-profit corporations and impose strict controls on non profits and not-for-profits and go from there. Oh, I get downright radical in some areas.

    Limited liability is a device to avoid consequences and people need to make decisions with consequences in mind. Strict banking controls, strict lobbyist rules, etc. Let's throw some real crooks in jail, not just fine their company what it makes in a few days....

    I want to free the middle class and the lower class from the oppression of government and the oligarchs. Corruption hurts everyone.
    Quote Originally Posted by Archilochus
    The fox knows many things--the hedgehog one big one.
    And I am not a hedgehog......

    -------------------

    Jesus said "Blessed are the peacemakers" not "blessed are the conflict avoiders.....

    9w8 6w5 4w5 sx/so

    ----------------------

    “Orthodoxy means not thinking--not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.”
    ― George Orwell, 1984
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