The reason so many Americans are willing to bask in blissful ignorance, practice self-destructive politics and parrot irrational arguments is clearly explained by Conservative Authoritarianism; the research that came out of trying to understand Nazi Germany. The zoological basis of Authoritarianism is tribalism.
I’ve written about this before and I’m writing about it again because it keeps coming up over and over again in conversation.
This single interview was a my epiphany in the quest to understand why so many people are so willing to accept at face value, whatever they are told by people on TV or YouTube or church and willing to vote against their self-interest. Today those same people are the ones who have been unwilling or unable to grasp the evidence and reality that Bush, the neocon movement, his administration, have been feeding us a pack of lies in the most criminal fashion.
John Dean, Republican adviser to Richard Nixon has written a deeply disturbing book about the conservative right’s growing move toward authoritarianism and blind loyalty. Its an old concept. It worked for Hitler and others. It is at work today.
This interview with Keith Olbermann gives us a frightening new perspective on the use of fear to gain and keep power.
General obedience in not always a bad thing. Blind obedience however is possibly responsible for all the most horrific acts ever perpetrated on this planet by our species. The research Dean refers to in the book is largely the life work of Robert Altemeyer who is himself writing an online book called The Authoritarians.
Dean’s book is called Conservatives Without Conscience.