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Prester Jane
Nov 4, 2008
Behold, it is me: Zoltar! Watch me do my Nostradamus impression!


Edit from the future: This discussion has moved on very far from its earlier stages. If you are just reading this thread for the first time it is recommended that you start by reading this blog post. It contains the most up-to-date version of this discussion.


Edit from even further in the futureThis discussion has moved from this thread to its C-SPAM incarnation.



Greetings D&D. With recent events in the GOP (to say nothing of the irrational behavior on display ever since Obama got elected) many posters here have often expressed confusion about the behavior on display. Often I have seen posters baffled by the sheer spite and inconsistent beliefs being proclaimed by various factions of the right wing. So I decided to make this thread to try and explain the inner workings of the most influential part of the modern right wing, Authoritarians.

Rather than going the usual route when this topic is raised of trying to simply dismiss Authoritarians as simply ignorant or spiteful, I will here argue (and attempt as best as possible to demonstrate) that the usual treatment of this topic is too simplistic, too often speaking in cold academic descriptions. There is to me a completely coherent "method to the madness" of Authoritarians, and I will attempt here to lay out the inner workings of the mindset of Authoritarians, how they function in groups, the various sub-types of authoritarian leaders, what motivates them, and finally, how to anticipate (to a surprising degree) the behavior of Authoritarians. I will do so by first defining the terms I use in my own (mentally ill) mind to understand Authoritarians, and then using those concepts to examine recent US history as a way of elaborating on my meanings.

I am doing this firstly because I have a rather unique perspective on the topic, and secondly because it is my firm conclusion that between now and the 2016 elections there will be a significant (probably dramatically so) increase in the aggression and irrationality of the right wing in this country. For reasons that I will do my best to explain and elaborate on, I have concluded that between now and the 2016 elections we will see bigots drop their mask and start getting real.

Much of the first few posts here will be culled from an already ongoing discussion in the Marriage Equality thread, however, the discussion has moved beyond the scope of that thread and is not really germane, so I am moving it here.. First off, let me make some caveats.

I am not an expert nor do I have any higher education. I am a schizophrenic (full diagnosis Bi-Polar Type II Schizoaffective, PTSD, possible mild autism, depression) trans-woman (only recently out to myself) raised in a hardcore Authoritarian cult. I have only four years of proper education (High School) with the rest of my education being handled either directly at the cult or in home schooling under the supervision of the cult. My childhood was extremely painful and controlled. I did not have a social security number until I was 18 because social security numbers were the mark of the beast. I did not find out about the birds and the bees until two years after I entered puberty and was having erections. (I thought my erections where a curse from God for my impure thoughts and tried desperately to hide them). I have been involved in a variety of other cults and proto-cults in my adult life. I have also had the great fortune to be involved with some truly remorseless people that gave me an insight into just what humans will do to each other. (Many years ago I had a life insurance policy that named my business partner at the time as sole beneficiary, one of our mutual acquaintances repeatedly tried to pitch this business partner on killing me for the insurance money.)

Of interest I am sure to some who may remember me I was a Kyoon-esque poster on these forums many years ago. My forums name back then was Truckin A Man and I used to spray Ron Paul/9-11 Truth/Anti-Vaxxer insanity on these forums (and early LF) back around 2007. (I have previously owned up to this before in the Conspiracy thread.) I also spent many years under a complicated delusion where the voice of the biblical prophet Enoch was giving me instructions to prepare for the final war between Heaven and Hell. I based major life decisions on Enoch's instructions (what jobs to take, where to live, who to befriend, etc).

So yeah, take everything i say with a grain of salt. I am a crazy person. A self aware crazy person perhaps, but still a crazy person.

Also, the style in which must of this is written is not meant to dehumanize or otherize the people I am describing. I am not trying to do anything but explain how I understand the people I was raised around. The manner in which this is written is more a consequence of my Schizophrenia more than anything else. Forums User Schizotek summed it up pretty well.

Schizotek posted:

And the capitalization thing people mentioned is just something schizos tend to do even when they aren't babbling about the CIA trying to assassinate them by slipping an empty Monster can underneath their brake pedal. It's "this represents a concept related to but not identical to this words textbook meaning, but I don't have a separate word for what I'm trying to describe so I'll turn it into a proper noun to distinguish that", as opposed to just trying to make it look scary. Normal people do it too but it's practically a schizophrenia trademark.



Please bear in mind, this all comes from a weird spot in a schizophrenic mind, and it is really hard for me to put it all into a coherent form. Schizophrenia interweaves and ties things into a Gordian Knot, and finding a few strands I can tug at enough to elaborate on is rather taxing. So while this is all written in a pretty direct manner, it is just like, my opinion man. I recognize that there is probably no way to test any of this, and furthermore, it is written with an air of authority it does not deserve. (Such is Schizophrenia though, if I tried to properly caveat everything I would never be able to get myself to actually write it down.) I suppose this is something like what a Kyoon rant might look like if he actually took his meds.

I recognize that nothing I say can be tested or proven and I'm not going to even bother trying to do so. I am just offering my (rather unusual) viewpoint on a portion of the population that I feel is not well understood. There has been some Academic research into the topic of Authoritarians, namely The Authoritarians by Bob Altemeyer, (which is a pro-click free ebook by a real scientist, go read it) however there is not near as much study as one would hope. So I am going to try and describe Authoritarians groups from the inside and from a laymans perspective.

One more brief caveat, I want to make it clear that I am not discussing Joe Shmedley white flight suburbanite or your average college Republican. I am discussing Authoritarians, which are a specific subset of the population. (Actual portion of the population is not known, but its probably not even in the double digits range percentage wise.) Authoritarians may be right or left leaning, however, in the US, left leaning Authoritarians (ex Anti-vaxxers, Homeopaths, etc) are essentially powerless, whereas right leaning Authoritarians have a disproportionate amount of influence over the GOP, for reasons I shall try my best to describe in this thread.

I will be moving posts from the Marriage Equality thread over here as the thread develops to give new readers a bit of a chance to catch up. Once caught up I will do my best to explain more of my ideas. I will be happy to answer any questions along the way.



Prester Jane fucked around with this message at Oct 23, 2018 around 00:37

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Prester Jane
Nov 4, 2008
Behold, it is me: Zoltar! Watch me do my Nostradamus impression!


Narrative.: The first concept i want to discuss about Authoritarians is what I call "Narrative". Contrary to the common view that Authoritarians live by the dictates of some unseen and vengeful God, they actually base their decisions/live their lives based upon a narrative of which a vengeful petty God is always a feature. Whether it be a Fundamentalist Zealot or an Objectivist shitlord, Authoritarians always have a narrative that determines everything they say, think, or do. Narrative is the true God of the Authoritarian, which is why what God actually says or does has very little practical worth. What Authoritarians care about is what God (Or for Objectivists the Free Market) should be doing according to the narrative. No matter what is actually happening, they will believe and behave as if the narrative is playing out exactly as they expected it too. Regardless of actual real world circumstances, outcomes, situations, or influences, Authoritarians always prize the narrative above all else.
Narrative works on three primary levels (Grand, Outer, Inner) that I will describe in detail here.



Grand Narrative: One of the curious things about Authoritarians is that no matter what form the narrative they live by ultimately takes, it will always conform nearly identically to certain (surprisingly narrow) details and themes. The names, characters, and settings may change, but the ultimate shape and themes of the story remains uniform. I call this the Grand Narrative. From start to finish, this narrative always follows the same path, to the same eventual conclusion, no deviations. This narrative has multiple sections and each section has certain expectations for behavior. For example, various Authoritarian Communist movements have believed themselves living in the "Dawn of a New Age"(the start of the Grand Narrative) and have conduced themselves as such. In contrast American Evangelicals believe themselves to be living at the "End Times", or the end of the Grand Narrative, and they base all their decisions on that perception. Understanding then what part of this universal story an Authoritarian thinks themselves living in is critical to understanding what decisions an Authoritarian is going to make, and why.

Another curious thing is that no matter what situation an Authoritarian is born into, given enough time, they will ultimate create the Grand Narrative, no matter how hard they may try to avoid it. Owing to extremely complex and interwoven psychological factors Authoritarians use the Grand Narrative to provide succor for human emotional needs that they are otherwise unable to provide for. Thusly, inexorably, any Authoritarian will inevitable create a different version of the exact same story. Because the Grand Narrative is designed to meet subconscious needs and not address real world problems. While it is yet beyond me to tell the entire story from start to finish (Which I hope to someday be able to do, possibly in a Novella form) I can draw an interesting comparison here to demonstrate what I mean.

I am certain that most readers here will be familiar with the Rapture story. Just in case though, the basic outline of the Rapture is as follows: "God (Yahweh) passes judgement on the world by sending the perfect man (Jesus) as a thief in the night to rescue his chosen people (selected for their innate merit of being true believers). Jesus takes his chosen into paradise (heaven), where they sit back and watch as the world collapses into torment without them. Once the world has been destroyed, the followers of Jesus will emerge as rulers in a new golden age."

Important to note that this narrative appears nowhere in the Bible. It is rather cobbled together from a wild sample of sources that were never meant to be tied together .A Bible verse here, a stray bit of Jewish Mysticism there, a piece of occult errata there, etc etc. The rapture story is an example of the Grand Narrative, for even though it can be found nowhere in the Bible, Authoritarian Christians nonetheless have been able to find all the clues they needed to create it.

Now we turn to Ayn Rand, one of (in my view) the most influential Authoritarian philosophers in the modern age. Don't be fooled by her Atheism or her constant harping about individual liberty, Ayn Rand was a bigoted zealot like any other and believed essentially the same things as any Christian Fundamentalist I can think of. As a result of this, Ayn Rand's philosophy and writings should reflect the Grand narrative, and I believe they do (although only piecemeal).

Consider Atlas Shrugged. When you break it down, it is little more than a repeat of the Rapture story. "God (the free market) passes judgement on the world by sending the perfect man (John Galt) as a thief in the night to rescue his chosen people (selected for their innate merit of being Captains of Industry). John Galt takes his chosen into paradise (Galt's Gulch), where they sit back and watch as the world collapses into torment without them. It is assumed that once the world has been destroyed, the followers of John Galt will emerge to rule the world.

So from this example I am trying to establish that no matter what narrative a given group of Authoritarians follows, in the end it generally contains the same specific themes and narrative structure, just with different names. I believe this explains why there is a noted intersection of Fundamentalist Christians and Libertarians. While it would seem from a surface reading that these two groups should be innately opposed (especially in light of Rand's almost Nietzchian venom for Christianity) the fact of the matter is that they are but minor variations of the same overall theme (Authoritarianism). Furthermore, as a result of phenomena I will lay out shortly, the blending of the two groups was always an inevitable reaction to Authoritarians losing the culture wars.




Outer Narrative: The Outer Narrative is what a given Authoritarian (Or group of Authoritarians) claims to believe. "Jesus is Lord!" "Tax Cuts Increase Revenue!" "We are just a concerned citizens militia asserting our 2nd Amendment rights" etc etc. Whatever it is that an Authoritarian cannot shut the gently caress up about, that is the Outer Narrative.

The Outer Narrative is not the totality of what an Authoritarian group believes. It is always rather the watered down version that is deemed acceptable for public consumption. Whatever it is that an Authoritarian proclaims as his sincerely held beliefs out in public is always going to be rather different from what gets discussed behind closed doors. Curiously, Authoritarians are completely oblivious to this fact. Each Authoritarian group believes itself the sole possessor of some great knowledge/insight/whatever that makes their group special and uses this as a justification to deliberately obfuscate their real beliefs. However, each Authoritarian group judges every other Authoritarian group solely by the other Authoritarian groups Outer Narrative.

Another interesting facet of the Outer Narrative is how often it is used to shield the Authoritarian's beliefs from criticisms. Broadly speaking, attacking the Outer Narrative with facts or logic has little result primarily because you are not attacking what the Authoritarian really believes. This is why debating an authoritarian often seems so fruitless, it seems that nothing you say makes a dent. This is because you are not arguing against what the Authoritarian really believes, but rather a shell of it. So long as the next level of narrative (what I call the "Inner Narrative") is not directly threatened, an Authoritarian can keep it up all day. (Occasionally though while debating the Outer Narrative you will hit upon a line of logic that inadvertently refutes an aspect of the Inner Narrative and the Authoritarian will suddenly become incredibly hostile and aggressive, more on this later.)




Inner Narrative: This is what an Authoritarian (or group of Authoritarians) actually believe. Inner Narrative are often closely guarded from prying eyes and seldom discussed anywhere someone outside the in-group may hear. (alternatively it will be discussed in a coded fashion using jargon). Examples of the Inner Narrative could be a council of elders of a Southern Baptist Church discussing their Pastors latest revelations from God, or a racist militia hanging out at Bill's house to drink beer and discuss the coming RaHoWa, or a politically active group of Ron Paul Libertarians discussing 9-11 Truth conspiracy theories in hushed tones at a restaurant. The Inner Narrative is always used as an over-arching justification for everything else the Authoritarian individual/group is engaging in. Arguing against the Outer Narrative is generally fruitless, as if you do prove an aspect of the Outer Narrative wrong, the Authoritarian will use the secret Inner Narrative to avoid any painful introspection.

Inner Narrative's are generally very self centered (almost narcissistic) and place the believer in a central heroic role, the noble few "True X" struggling against an almost invincible opponent, on behalf of the ignorant (and probably unworthy) masses. The Inner Narrative is where the true sense of an Authoritarians value as a human being and purpose in life are derived from. Debate the Outer Narrative all you want and nothing will happen, because Outer Narrative's serve as a shield, a deliberately altered version of the Inner Narrative, so it is expected that parts of it will not hold up to scrutiny from unbelievers, because unbelievers are not ready to accept the more profound truth of the Inner Narrative. Inner Narrative's are always charged with intense emotion, and should you ever attack the Inner Narrative (even inadvertently) watch out!

On occasion the Inner Narrative will leak out and rear its ugly head. This happens when the Outer Narrative ceases to be a useful shield and instead becomes a liability. I will use the infamous (and somewhat dramatic example) of "I AM A PRAYER WARRIOR" lady from Trading Spouses. Please watch this video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOpva_iit-8

This lady is a classic example of an Authoritarian under pressure. Over the course of living with another family (and outside the Authoritarian environment she was adapted too) this lady began to feel immensely insecure. Her Outer Narrative was falling apart as a result of interacting with diverse people she had no experience with. The caricatures she had been taught to believe in and the ways of bringing non-believers into the fold she had been assured would work had failed miserably. Moreso, she began to feel under attack, and her Outer Narrative (her professed beliefs) became a vulnerability instead of a shield. Any Authoritarian put into a situation such as this will eventually resort to the Inner Narrative as a defense mechanism. Granted, this particular example is a good bit more dramatic than what usually happens, however, it is nonetheless an accurate (if somewhat overwrought) representation.

The out of control emotion and aggressive lashing out while shouting mentally ill nonsense is fairly typical. What this lady is demonstrating is a sort of psychotic break triggered from the stress of the Outer Narrative collapsing and the Inner Narrative asserting itself publicly. I would note here that what this lady is shouting is what she has actually believed all along and what has guided her decisions every step of the way in her life up to this point. (Also important is that she has functioned reasonably well up to this point in an Authoritarian environment, when taken outside that environment her mal-adaptations and inability to change become clear, but that is another article sized discussion)

Prester Jane
Nov 4, 2008
Behold, it is me: Zoltar! Watch me do my Nostradamus impression!


This applies very directly to Freeprepublic.com's trend towards radicalization and explains the real social function of the occasional purges serve.


Compaction Cycle: The Compaction Cycle is a major factor in how Authoritarian groups function and is my term for an unrecognized (but very important) constant low level cycling of individual Authoritarians through a variety of different Authoritarian groups. The Compaction Cycle is primarily important because it describes the trend towards radicalization in Authoritarian groups, and even provides something of a barometer than can be used to measure the likely pace at which a given Authoritarian groups is likely to radicalize. (That is, a way of determining the speed at which a group is radicalizing completely independent of any action they are taking or rhetoric they are using.) This cycle is also important because it is a major factor in how Authoritarian groups build common ground with each other when they are looking for allies. (It also plays a large role in the cross pollination of various strings of Authoritarian thought.) To explain this facet of Authoritarian behavior I will call forth the metaphor of a snowball. Specifically, a snowball made of that wet slush poo poo that is right on the border between being frozen and being a puddle.

If you have never gotten a chance to play with such a snowball then let me elaborate. By snowball standards they are heavy, awkward projectiles that travel slowly and are easily dodged. Even when you do hit something with such a snowball, the effect is minimal, usually a wet *punt* sound. This snowball then is a metaphor for the average Authoritarian group when it is not under pressure. Unwieldy, awkward, not terribly effective, but can still get the job done. Put an Authoritarian group under pressure though, and things change.

Let us return to our wet snowball. If you take it in both hands and compact it, you will squeeze out a surprising amount of water. You will then be left with an ice ball. Although much smaller and having less total mass, an ice ball is a nasty projectile. Fast, accurate, hard to see coming, and can leave a hell of a bruise. To take this example a bit further, if you drop your new ice all in a pile of snow and scoop it all up, you will now have slush ball with an ice ball core. A better projectile than you started with, but not as good as the ice ball by itself was. However, if you compact this new ball down, you will squeeze out the water, and be left with an even larger ice ball. Now you are creating a dangerous weapon indeed. And you can keep adding on layers of ice so long as you have a supply of snow, eventually getting a baseball sized projectile of solid ice that can really gently caress something up. Even though you lose much mass every time you compact the ball down, as long as you have a snowbank handy to keep dipping your ice ball in, you can keep adding more total ice.

Now back to Authoritarian groups. An average Authoritarian group is like our slush ball. A mixture of hard and soft members, since when forming Authoritarian groups are like an annoying new guild in WoW. ("LAID BACK FAMILY GUILD THAT RAIDS AND PVP'S RECRUITING ALL LEVELS AND ROLES PST) They will accept anyone willing to pay lip service to the groups ideals. When not under pressure or threatened, Authoritarian groups are much more relaxed.

All such groups when under pressure however, start to drive softer members out. Stress rises, tempers flare. Rhetoric becomes harsher, group identity becomes more important, aggressive members start to scrutinize for any perceived flaw in the tribe. Eventually someone (or a group of someones) finds themselves on the wrong side of an internal dispute. It could be there fault, it could not be, doesn't really matter. In the end they were guilty of the sin of not spotting the group think forming fast enough and they are driven out. This can be seen in Freep's purges of all non McCain/Romney supporters once those candidates had locked the nomination in.

With the "softer" members (or water in our slushball) compacted out, the remaining members are more radical overall. While the overall mass, or number of members has decreased, the remaining members are the ones who have proven themselves to be the most competent at falling in line and will prove less likely to disagree with the group think in the future. They have become like the Ice Ball.

The metaphor does not end here though, because we need to consider what happens to those outcast members. Most of the time (80% or so if I had to guess) they will go on to join another group. Since they are Authoritarians they will join another group that also follows the Grand Narrative. (While I would like to mention that this is how you get 9-11 truthers that become UFO nuts that become Objectivist Shitlords and then wind up being 9-11 truthers again over the course of a long enough period of time, I want to stay mostly with the Freep example.) The Freep members that join some other online Conservative community will be quite a bit more shy about rocking the boat. They will be more sensitive and more alert for changes in the tribes group think. They will find themselves drawn to the new groups hardliners and will become more hardline themselves. Often, Abused becomes abuser, and when the new group finds itself under pressure, the formerly outcast member will be among the most vicious attackers of whoever winds up as the new groups scapegoat.

The overall trend here is that Authoritarian groups swap members more often than many realize, and one groups rejected softie becomes the next groups hardliner. Just like our slush ball, the weak are driven out and the ice remains, then more members are added and the cycle repeats until eventually everyone is either a hardliner or has stopped associating with Authoritarian groups altogether. I feel this is a good explanation for what we observe in the modern GOP. In raw numbers GOP voters/supporters are in serious decline, but the remaining members are rapidly becoming radicalized. Because of the Authoritarian takeover of the GOP over the past 40 years the less hardcore Republicans are being pressed out of group after group until they either become hardliners themselves or find no home in the GOP.

Prester Jane
Nov 4, 2008
Behold, it is me: Zoltar! Watch me do my Nostradamus impression!


Allright, now I want to try and get into some stuff that builds on what I have thus far described, and in doing so I attempt to shed some light on what is widely regarded as a confusing chapter of recent American history, the Cliven Bundy Ranch showdown. First off I want to describe a character that appears in many variations of the Grand Narrative. For sake of simplicity I will label this character the "Anti-Christ.

The Anti-Christ: This character archetype is a near universal thread in many Outer Narratives, which is why I consider it to be a part of the Grand narrative. I want here to draw attention not to the popular Left Behind representation of the Anti-Christ, but to what this character represents. The Anti-Christ is a charismatic leader practically worshiped by his followers. The Anti-Christ always has a hidden agenda though, and is himself (almost always a male, curiously enough) merely a front man for a darker, organized, malevolent force. The Anti-Christ then is to be opposed at all times and at all costs, because whatever he is doing, no matter how seemingly benign, is always part of some larger plot designed to trick the masses into killing themselves.


Now we come to a really meaty concept, what I call "Narrative Convergence".


Narrative Convergence: When Authoritarians perceive a threat (which is often) their first instinct is to strike at the jugular with overwhelming force. It does not matter how insignificant the threat really is or how wide the gap in power between them and their target is, they want to hit a vital spot with every ounce of force they can muster. The goal is to establish dominance by firstly destroying the threat and any trace of it, and secondly, having witnesses so that other potential threats learn their place. Authoritarians are always look for a big dramatic battle, they are looking for every conflict to go down like the final battle of a Lord of the Rings trilogy. Fierce, fast, big, that is how an Authoritarian wants to fight every battle be it a swordfight or a debate.

With this in mind Authoritarians have been absolutely nonplussed with their steady losses in the culture wars. Despite their attempts to create cartoonish caricatures to fight with, they have found no real solid target to aim their aggression at. While the internal groupthink at this point is certainly strong enough that they all now agree that these devilish liberal strawmen exist, every time they try and go out looking for them they find very little. This is a bit like that robot planet on Futurama where the entire planet goes out hunting for humans every night and always comes back empty handed.

Distinctly aware that they are losing the culture wars but unable to get the big battle they inherently crave, the long term stress has lead many Authoritarians to do something unusual, seek allies.

Typically minor differences in the Outer Narrative are sufficient for an Authoritarian group/individual to reject associating with each other beyond what is minimally necessary. ( Obligatory Emo Phillips bit here.) However, the pressure of losing the culture wars has forced many Authoritarians to become more willing to compromise on elements of the Outer Narrative so long as the Grand Narrative remains intact. That is to say, in seeking to find common ground with each other (like any other group of people) Authoritarian groups have started to become more closely knit than seen in previous years, and the factor that unites them is the Grand Narrative. Whatever differences in Outer Narrative exist are slowly being discarded so long as the over-arching themes of the Grand Narrative are preserved. (The Compaction Cycle also plays a role here as Authoritarians that have been members of other groups often serve as bridges between various factions.)

In other words, the Outer Narrative's of many Authoritarian groups are converging on the themes of the Grand Narrative. (Thus my labeling this process "Narrative Convergence".)

The clearest example I can think of what I am trying to explain here is what has happened to Obama. We are all familiar with "Obama Derangement Syndrome" at this point, and I want to explain where this animus comes from. It isn't explicitly racist, although Obama's race certainly contributed greatly to the initial impulse that drove a previously slow process of Narrative Convergence into a rapid one. (If one recalls the way Authoritarians behaved during the Clinton Presidency I believe it is easy to see the momentum was already building, Obama's blackness merely accelerated an already ongoing process.)

Recall my earlier definition of the archetype of the Anti-Christ in the Grand Narrative: "The Anti-Christ is a charismatic leader practically worshiped by his followers. The Anti-Christ always has a hidden agenda though, and is himself (almost always a male, curiously enough) merely a front man for a darker, organized, malevolent force. The Anti-Christ then is to be opposed at all times and at all costs, because whatever he is doing, no matter how seemingly benign, is always part of some larger plot designed to trick the masses into killing themselves."

In short, as a result of Narrative Convergence, Obama has become the archetype of the Anti-Christ to a wide range of Authoritarian groups. This is how Obama can be a Commie/Muslim/Kenyan/Illuminatti/Marxist/Reptilian/ad infinitum trying to implement Sharia Law/Socialism/New World Order Population Reduction/ad infinitum all at the same time, and no Authoritarian bats an eye at the inherent contradictions of being all those contradictory things. Because all of those things and all of those agendas are part of the Archetype of what I call the Anti-Christ. To Authoritarians they are not contradictory, they are complimentary. (The minor differences in Outer Narrative are no longer important so long as the Grand narrative is preserved.) So to all Authoritarians, Obama has become a willing front man for a more sinister agenda. A Charismatic face for the purest, vilest of evils. As a result, every action Obama is taking must somehow be a plot and must be opposed at any cost. Authoritarians have so thoroughly convinced themselves of this fact at this point that they are now willing to die on each and every hill and take each and every battle to the bitter end, because they feel they must do so in order to survive.

With these ideas in mind, please watch this brief video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCc0rdZd0Ec

Next up, I will describe what I call "Convergence Breakthrough Events", or the phenomena of emotional outbursts where Inner Narrative's are temporarily abandoned in favor of the sudden emergence of a new Narrative Convergence, which is what I believe explains the Bundy Ranch affair.

V. Illych L.
Apr 11, 2008

ASK ME ABOUT LUMBER


you are an amazing poster PJ and i love you

Enjoy
Apr 18, 2009

The very sight of him was enough to make Bush, who had already had one drink from the well, feel consumed with thirst all over again.


I'm crazy too... crazy for communism

Sharkie
Feb 4, 2013

Something looks fishy.



Prester John posted:

Distinctly aware that they are losing the culture wars but unable to get the big battle they inherently crave, the long term stress has lead many Authoritarians to do something unusual, seek allies.

Like, what sort of battle would they envision having and winning, other than a literally apocalyptic religious one? I'm having trouble coming up with something in recent history that would satisfy them. Would you say that the Revolutionary (or Civil) War is held up as an example of this type of battle, given the hagiography of the founding fathers and etc.?

Prester John posted:

Whatever differences in Outer Narrative exist are slowly being discarded so long as the over-arching themes of the Grand Narrative are preserved. (The Compaction Cycle also plays a role here as Authoritarians that have been members of other groups often serve as bridges between various factions.)

One could probably do some very interesting studies re: this if they had access to the right social media data over time. It's not my area, but does anyone know similar research? At any rate, it's one testable hypothesis you could pull from this if you're ever inclined to go into academia.

Adventure Pigeon
Nov 8, 2005

I am a master storyteller.

Some of this stuff is characteristic of non-authoritarians as well. Most people have inner and outer narratives; is it what those narratives are that you think determines whether they're authoritarian? Most politically oriented groups, tend towards extremes over time. Is it because those groups are always authoritarian in nature, because authoritarians enter those groups, or because the most passionate members drive the direction of a group, and passion and extremism are often correlated? Is extremism interchangeable with authoritarianism?

Either way, I did enjoy the read, even if I don't agree with everything.

Prester Jane
Nov 4, 2008
Behold, it is me: Zoltar! Watch me do my Nostradamus impression!


Let me post this next bit and I will answer some questions. This is a post that sort of kicked this whole thing off in the Marriage Equality thread and was originally written March 1st, right before some of the predictions started to really pan out.

Prester John posted:

Allright, here goes. My perspective on what Gay Marriage means to hardcore Fundamentalist types. But first, let me clarify that the people I will be describing are not mainstream Christians, but they are the people that influence mainstream Christians rather heavily. They are the Glenn Beck of Christian thought, and the regular Evangelicals would be Fox News in this poorly constructed simile. Much like how Beck gives voice to the deepest crazy impulses of the Republican ID while Fox News profits by dog-whistling to the crazies (Example, Fox will imply Obama is a sekrit Mohammedan, while Beck comes strait out and says it), Fundies scream the craziest poo poo you have ever heard (out of sight of the casual observer) while people like John Hagee profit by writing only moderately less insane books with this crowd in mind. Much like the Tea Party, (that fundies have been increasing their influence in of late) while comparatively few in number, Fundies have an outsized influence on the larger Evangelical movement.

Now let me specify what I mean by fundamentalist here. These are not Christians in the traditional sense, they are rather first and foremost authoritarians that happen to use Christianity as an excuse. These are literal american Taliban, and if the rule of law were to ever break down in this country, fundies would try and set up their own version of a Caliphate. Fundamentalism goes back to the 1920's in the US, and started off as a sort of big tent revival movement that swept through the nation. Prior to the emergence of fundies American Christianity was notably more progressive than it is today. For example, the idea of the Earth only being 6,000 years old only caught on in the world BECAUSE pf American Fundamentalists, prior to that the idea of an "Old Earth" was not terribly controversial and not often regarded as a religious issue. To cut a great deal of history short Fundamentalists were generally uninterested in politics (believing that wordly affairs were of little practical concern since the rapture was imminent anyways) until a desperate GOP engaged them as a voting block in the wake of the Nixon fiasco. Modern Conservatism was also born as a result of this strategy of engaging both Fundamentalists and Southern Racists and incorporating them as a rock solid voting block of the GOP. (This movement has long been associated with a certain paranoid style of American politics, the outreach of Conservative groups to fundies in the 70's and 80's has been at times called the "Church-Birch Nexus.)

It is hard to explain to the non-fundamentalist what exactly Gay Marriage means to a fundamentalist. Homosexuality represents an open, willful defiance to God's will that they find nearly incomprehensible (to a fundamentalist, the only pleasure one receives from "sodomy" is the thrill of defying your creator in the most perverse way imaginable), and the societal acceptance of such a horror is pure gibbering madness. The way you or I might perceive the scenes of hundreds of children speaking in tongues in Jesus Camp, they perceive the US accepting Gay Marriage. Except worse, because while you and I might feel a great selling of sadness in seeing children manipulated in such a way, fundamentalists feel EXTREME fear in seeing Gay people get married.

Let me compare Gay Marriage to abortion. This comparison is valid because fundies are going to be making this comparison a shitload in the days to come because both were brought about via the Supreme Court. While Fundies believe abortion is baby murder (which they detest) it is something they can at least understand. After all, in the Old Testament babies are murdered under God's orders numerous times. (When I was 8 the leader of my cult gave all us 2nd graders a vivid demonstration of how the Israelite s picked up the Canaanites children by their legs and dashed their heads against the rocks as God had commanded.) Baby murder is bad, but it isn't outside the natural order. Fundamentalists understand it. Homosexuality is against God's order, it is one of the vilest, cleverest lies Satan has ever concocted. In the Bible God punish's murders individually, but God flooded the entire planet once because of sodomy (Noah's Flood), and he flattened Sodom and Gomorrah for homosexuality. So as bad as abortion is, Gay Marriage is actually much worse.

To the fundamentalist mind legal Gay Marriage is society embracing the most vile, hated act in the entire Bible. Nowhere in the entire fundie worldview is there a sin anywhere near so dangerous as homosexuality. God has destroyed any nation in history that has ever embraced homosexuality, because it is that grievous an insult to His perfect will. By embracing sodomy in such a public way, America is turning its back on God in the most defiant way possible. To the average fundie, this is America signing its own death warrant. Revelations is at hand and the tribulation must begin soon. When I was little I heard over and over that "tolerance of sodomites" would be the very last thing that happened before God's wrath descended down upon the world. It is the final, ultimate, collective defiance of God. Satan's grandest plan to trick us all into forcing God to destroy us.

Important to keep in mind here is that the Fundie Skyman is fond of indiscriminate murder. Gay Marriage puts every American at risk. once the Supreme Court decision goes through, every Hurricane, every Tornado, every stray hiker in PA that gets struck by lightning, is going to be God punishing us for Gay Marriage. The only way to protect yourself from God's wrath is going to be to oppose the sodomites at every turn in every way possible. In this fight either you are with God or you are with Satan. Since Satan controls the world, if the world is attacking you, that means it is Satan attacking God. So you will be safe from God if everyone else is condemning your actions. What I am trying to say here is, opposition to Gay Marriage will become a matter of not only personal safety, but safety for your family. When Satan's minions call you an ignorant bigot, that means that you are safe from the inevitable punishment God is cooking up for America.

I really want to emphasize here that fundies will not be fighting this battle to win. They will be fighting this battle in that hopes that by publicly martyring themselves they will be spared God's wrath, for them and their families. they will not be saying things in public to win hearts or minds. They will not organize around the idea of actually winning this fight. They expect to lose. They want to lose. They must lose. For in losing they will assure the safety of their church's, their children, and themselves.

I would say not to mistake the seeming acceptance of Gay Marriage from the SBC or like minded Evangelicals as some sort of capitulation. I would say (for the type of Evangelical I am familiar with) it is more like the rabbits in Watership Down "Going Tharn", or being so over-stressed they just lock up and freeze in place. For others Gay Marriage will be like the State of Israel, bait for the Jesus trap. (Must happen in order for the rapture to occur.) I expect that once the decision has gone through and there has been some time to process it all, Fundies will either disengage from the political process (unlikely) or we will witness the biggest public outburst of bigotry this country has seen in a long time. In fact, I will even go so far as to suggest that much like how Ferguson served to draw a ton of racists out of the woodwork last year, whatever Fundies eventually do in reaction to Gay Marriage will draw bigots out by the busload. I have no idea what they will ultimately do, except that it will be totally irrational, and divorced from reality.

Fundies are hard to predict, especially when they are terrified. All I can really say is that once the decision goes through there will be a massive debate internally that will eventually result in some sort of unhinged reaction pouring out into the public sphere. And I mean unhinged. Like, Bundy Ranch unhinged. The real question is whether or not the GOP manages to put this fire out in time for the primaries. (I 95% doubt they will and I expect every GOP candidate to face questions about this issue) If this fire is not put out in time, a candidates stance on Gay Marriage could become a Conservative litmus test in much the same way that Global Warming and Evolution currently are. I expect that the GOP won't have the moral courage to tell these dogs to shut the gently caress up, so they will try and get them barking at a more socially acceptable target. If you can't shut the dogs up, at least focus them on a target that does not deter the public quite like open bigotry does. If Hillary is the candidate, I expect that target to be women. Otherwise Muslims/The Poor will be the go to boogiemen. I expect the hope will be that if you get the base riled up enough about someone else they will forget about those icky fags. I do not expect this tactic to work, and I anticipate that the 2016 election will be so nasty, so utterly focused in its hatred of the other, that we will all pine for the folksy politeness of the 2012 GOP election season.

Prester Jane
Nov 4, 2008
Behold, it is me: Zoltar! Watch me do my Nostradamus impression!


Sharkie posted:

Like, what sort of battle would they envision having and winning, other than a literally apocalyptic religious one? I'm having trouble coming up with something in recent history that would satisfy them.

Honestly they just want a giant fight that they win. They don;t give much thought to *HOW* they will win, because according to the Grand Narrative, they will win by default as long as they fight. Authoritarains cast themselves in a central heroic role in their Inner Narrative, and the Grand Narrative always tells them they have already won. Rather than trying to find a way to win the battle in front of them, Authoritarains try to find enough courage to follow the path laid out in front of them. God has already won the war, they are just fulfilling their role in it as best they can. So what Authoritarians want is a fight, as big as possible. They assume that as long as they fight hard, they will win. (Sort of a boostraps mentality) TYhere is no deeper thinking beyond "FIGHT BIG".

For an example of this look at the 2013 shutdown crises. They got themselves into a gigantic pitched battle with no clear battle plan or strategy, merely trusting that if they just fought hard, it would all work out. Additionally, since Authoritarians always assume they are going to win if they fight hard, the loss in 2013 was a massive betrayal. They were winning that loving fight but that coward Boehner chickened out. The lesson Authoritarians took away is that they needed to become more extreme and fight even harder next time.

DarklyDreaming
Apr 4, 2009

Welcome to Disney XD Everyone!

Prester John posted:

For an example of this look at the 2013 shutdown crises. They got themselves into a gigantic pitched battle with no clear battle plan or strategy, merely trusting that if they just fought hard, it would all work out. Additionally, since Authoritarians always assume they are going to win if they fight hard, the loss in 2013 was a massive betrayal. They were winning that loving fight but that coward Boehner chickened out. The lesson Authoritarians took away is that they needed to become more extreme and fight even harder next time.

"X can't fail, only be failed" is a recurring joke in political discussion for a reason, and this explains it nicely.

Prester Jane
Nov 4, 2008
Behold, it is me: Zoltar! Watch me do my Nostradamus impression!


Adventure Pigeon posted:

Some of this stuff is characteristic of non-authoritarians as well. Most people have inner and outer narratives; is it what those narratives are that you think determines whether they're authoritarian? Most politically oriented groups, tend towards extremes over time. Is it because those groups are always authoritarian in nature, because authoritarians enter those groups, or because the most passionate members drive the direction of a group, and passion and extremism are often correlated? Is extremism interchangeable with authoritarianism?

Either way, I did enjoy the read, even if I don't agree with everything.

Really good questions. I think that what defines an Authoritarian primarily is an avoidance of introspection at a subconscious level in conjunction with what I call "Binary" or strict black and white thinking. Everything else follows more or less logically from that.

But to answer your question more directly, I think what defines an Authoritarian in this sense is not the presence of an Inner/Outer Narrative, but the fact that the Outer Narrative conforms to the Grand Narrative, and the Inner Narrative places the individual at the center of a dramatic conflict between good and evil.

As far as extremism goes, in my perception most anyone under enough stress over a long enough period of time can become an extremist, so I don't think extremism and authoritarianism are interchangeable. They are however, frequently co-occurring, especially currently. This drive towards extremism occurs naturally in my view, but at a generally slower pace. The stress of the loss of the culture wars, the constant fear mongering from the right wing noise machine, and the presence of a bunch of prophecy being fulfilled from the standpoint of many Evangelical's (in conjunction with a number of other factors I will try to explain as the thread goes on) has accelerated the Compaction Cycle/Narrative Convergence to the point where we can clearly see various authoritarians getting more extreme by the year.

Prester Jane
Nov 4, 2008
Behold, it is me: Zoltar! Watch me do my Nostradamus impression!


DarklyDreaming posted:

"X can't fail, only be failed" is a recurring joke in political discussion for a reason, and this explains it nicely.

On a related note I would like to explain what "If at first you don't succeed, try try again" means to an Authoritarian. When defeated, what an Authoritarian does is try to do the exact same thing again, but to invest themselves more emotionally in the outcome. Authoritarians believe that the reason for their failure is almost always not being motivated enough/trying hard enough, and their answer is always to try and whip themselves up into a bigger frenzy next time. They are following the Grand Narrative and the Grand Narrative always says if you lose its because you didn't work hard enough.

In practice, this means every defeat will only make them more strident, more aggressive, and more shrill as time progresses.

Prester Jane
Nov 4, 2008
Behold, it is me: Zoltar! Watch me do my Nostradamus impression!


Bringing this post over from the Marriage Equality Thread because it was a really good question.


Aleph Null posted:

I was raised in a Southern Christian family and I am old enough to remember the anti-christ panic over Clinton quite vividly. Even had some talks about how Hilary was the anti-christ and Bill was just the false prophet.
What makes the furor over Obama worse? The reach of the Internet? The twenty-four hour news cycle?
Why do things seem to be spiralling out of control? Is it just the Inner Narrative leaking out that has been seething for years?

All of these things, in addition to a long term Narrative Convergence caused by desperation more than anything else. Also, this is mostly coming from Boomer Authoritarians, who lived their whole lives being told that the Apocalypse was going to be within their lifetime, and now they are much older and not really thinking about what sort of a planet they will leave behind to the next generation. I would argue that as a result of Movement Conservativism, the Boomer generation has never really been thinking about the next generation, and I would argue that an examination of Boomer political trends bears this out.

Boomer Authoritarians have lived their whole lives as if they were going to be the last people on Earth, and now they have an excuse to justify all those decades of selfishness. (At least the Fundie types.) If this were happening in a vacuum then fundies would still freak out about Gay Marriage (as it is literally the worst thing ever) but it would be limited in scope. Authoritarian groups have become much more connected now though, and worse, the Koch brothers have no problem in funding Authoritarian candidates, even though I do not believe they qualify as Authoritarians themselves.

The Koch brothers are an interesting facet of this. Their Father was one of the original founders of the John Birch Society. At one point the JBS had become very embarassing to be associated with publicly, and yet, they had shitloads of money they were willing to hurl at Canservative candidates. Bill Buckley and Barry Goldwater basically used the JBS to further their own political goals while using the machinery of the GOP to publicly tarnish the JBS because they were a liability to be associated with publicly. A genuine cold calculated smoke filled back room conspiracy, if you will. We know this, because Bill Buckley wrote a tell all about it decades later.

William F. Buckley Jr posted:


In the early months of l962, there was restiveness in certain political quarters of the Right. The concern was primarily the growing strength of the Soviet Union, and the reiteration by its leaders of their designs on the free world. Some of the actors keenly concerned felt that Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona was a natural leader in the days ahead.

But it seemed inconceivable that an anti-establishment gadfly like Goldwater could be nominated as the spokesman-head of a political party. And it was embarrassing that the only political organization in town that dared suggest this radical proposal—the GOP’s nominating Goldwater for President—was the John Birch Society.


........


In January of that year I had a telephone call from William Baroody. It was, he said, a matter of great national importance that I spend Tuesday and Wednesday of the following week with Senator Goldwater in Palm Beach, Florida. I would be one of three—along with Russell Kirk, the philosopher and author of the seminal 1953 text The Conservative Mind, and public-relations man Jay Hall, who had represented General Motors in Washington. I said I could be there up until 5 p.m. on day one and all of day two. I had a speaking date in St. Augustine on the first night. Baroody simply repeated that the meeting was very important.

Baroody was the head of the American Enterprise Institute, a right-wing think tank founded in 1943. We had met only cursorily, though I knew him to be an influential figure in behind-the-scenes conservative politics. He was invigorated by meetings with small groups, which he much enjoyed dominating. It was clear that he greatly aspired to be important to Goldwater, and perhaps to a Goldwater White House.




........


Moving on, Baroody brought up the John Birch Society. It was quickly obvious that this was the subject Goldwater wished counsel on.

Kirk, unimpeded by his little professorial stutter, greeted the subject with fervor. It was his opinion, he said emphatically, that Robert Welch was a man disconnected from reality. How could anyone reason, as Welch had done in The Politician, that President Eisenhower had been a secret agent of the Communists? This mischievous unreality was a great weight on the back of responsible conservative political thinking. The John Birch Society should be renounced by Goldwater and by everyone else—Kirk turned his eyes on me—with any influence on the conservative movement.

But that, Goldwater said, is the problem. Consider this, he exaggerated: “Every other person in Phoenix is a member of the John Birch Society. Russell, I’m not talking about Commie-haunted apple pickers or cactus drunks, I’m talking about the highest cast of men of affairs. Any of you know who Frank Cullen Brophy is?”

I raised my hand. “I spent a lot of time with him. He was going to contribute capital to help found National Review. He didn’t.” Brophy was a prominent Arizona banker.

Goldwater said he knew nothing about that, but added that Brophy certainly was aware of Goldwater’s personal enthusiasm for the magazine and especially for its Washington editor, Brent Bozell. “Why isn’t Brent here?” he turned to Baroody.

“He’s in Spain.”

“Well, our—my—Conscience of a Conservative continues to sell.” Bozell, who was also my brother-in-law, had ghostwritten the book, which had given Goldwater a national profile.

Kirk said he could not imagine Bozell disagreeing on the need to excommunicate the John Birch Society from the conservative movement.

But this brought another groan from Goldwater. “You just can’t do that kind of thing in Arizona. For instance, who on earth can dismiss Frank Brophy from anything?[

Time was given to the John Birch Society lasting through lunch, and the subject came up again the next morning. We resolved that conservative leaders should do something about the John Birch Society. An allocation of responsibilities crystallized.

Goldwater would seek out an opportunity to dissociate himself from the “findings” of the Society’s leader, without, however, casting any aspersions on the Society itself. I, in National Review and in my other writing, would continue to expose Welch and his thinking to scorn and derision. “You know how to do that,” said Jay Hall.

I volunteered to go further. Unless Welch himself disowned his operative fallacy, National Review would oppose any support for the society.

Basically this all started to happen once before, but Bill Buckley and Barry Goldwater were successful in fighting it off through back channels. This time the GOP is not organized enough to fight this off, so instead they tried to hold on and steer this beast. They have loving failed hard.



Edit: This video is super loving important to understanding the often overlooked struggle between actual right wingers and the Authoritarians that eventually seized control of the GOP. Barry Goldwater had a massive feud with the religious right for many years, that he won. (While at the same time sucking money out of them for his own political goals.)

The money shot is "Abortion is not a Conservative issue" coming out of the mouth of the man credited with creating American Conservativism.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3WZlWhQbns

Prester Jane fucked around with this message at Mar 23, 2015 around 23:13

Gyre
Feb 25, 2007



PJ, what's the best way to debate with authoritarians? As you said, logic doesn't seem to get through to them. I've asked fundamentalists before to point to actual reasons why God is against homosexuality, because if there are no reasons then either God is increasing suffering for no reason or the fundamentalists are wrong. They simply ignore me.

I'm hopeful there is a way to debate them. I don't think they're hopeless, because even if some people tend to authoritarianism, people have certainly become more flexible and willing to hear alternate view points in the last century.

Prester Jane
Nov 4, 2008
Behold, it is me: Zoltar! Watch me do my Nostradamus impression!


Gyre posted:

PJ, what's the best way to debate with authoritarians? As you said, logic doesn't seem to get through to them. I've asked fundamentalists before to point to actual reasons why God is against homosexuality, because if there are no reasons then either God is increasing suffering for no reason or the fundamentalists are wrong. They simply ignore me.

I'm hopeful there is a way to debate them. I don't think they're hopeless, because even if some people tend to authoritarianism, people have certainly become more flexible and willing to hear alternate view points in the last century.

Honestly, the only method I have had success with isn't very pretty, but it does work (in the long run). You basically have to figure out what the Inner Narrative is, and then attack that. Then when they lose their poo poo remain calm no matter what. If there is any hope for them, they will later apologize and may have some introspection/guilt over their temper that leads them to develop a bit. Beyond that, you are arguing with a brick. (I'm not saying this is the only/best way, but it is the only method I personally know of that has even a tiny track record of success.)

This all works best if you have the debate in public where their inevitable over reaction is witnessed by enough people that they can't just later deny it to themselves.


Edit: Let me throw in a bit of my own story here. When I was a jackass Authoritarain posting in these forums as Truckin A Man it was (ironically enough) the helldumping I received in conjunction with very publicly losing a bunch of bets I made on Ron Paul's performance in the primaries (that resulted in a ban) that started to snap me out of it. I hated each and every one of you fuckers for months and lurked here constantly, seething. I was determined to find a way to win, a way to prove you all wrong. However, as my ego started to recover a bit I started to read the early LF posts (before LF went batshit) and the directness/harshness of the way those arguments were made appealed to me. I wanted to prove many of those arguments wrong, but was unable to even argues against them in my own head. It was then that I started the long process of maturing beyond my authoritarian mindset. (The process however, took years.)

Prester Jane fucked around with this message at Mar 23, 2015 around 23:35

Lordshmee
Nov 23, 2007

Just cause I hate a pussy on my dick doesn't make me less of a manly man.


Oven Wrangler

I have a hard time deciding where to land when I read stuff like this. It always reminds me (vividly) of the madness of Freep, and I always laugh them off as sad delusional people. Here you are coming from the other direction, and what you describe is horrible, and just as loving crazy. Unfortunately experience has taught me that there's a lot of evidence of the mindset you describe. My expectation is that things will continue on the path that has been trending my whole life. The crazies will come out of the woodwork, but in fewer numbers as time goes on.

Basically, It Gets Better. That's my hope anyway.

A Winner is Jew
Feb 14, 2008

by exmarx


Great to hear from you again PJ, and it's always nice to see you're doing better from your original posts when you first entered the shelter a few years ago.

Antichrst

You mentioned numerous times that in the grand narrative that the antichrist is always male... yet Hillary is probably going to be the next president so I was wondering if you think we'll see a lull in the crazy after she is elected since she's obviously not, or do you think that because she doesn't fit the male dominated antichrist archetype will that send them into a frothing loving rage since it will likely shatter their collective outer and grand narrative?

Adventure Pigeon
Nov 8, 2005

I am a master storyteller.

So basically the grand idea is the individual, political institution, organization, or religious viewpoint that authoritarians place absolute faith in and adjust their entire worldview around?

One other question, and this is something you might know, do you think that becoming an authoritarian is something that occurs as a result of upbringing or environment?

Prester Jane
Nov 4, 2008
Behold, it is me: Zoltar! Watch me do my Nostradamus impression!


A Winner is Jew posted:

Great to hear from you again PJ, and it's always nice to see you're doing better from your original posts when you first entered the shelter a few years ago.

Antichrst

You mentioned numerous times that in the grand narrative that the antichrist is always male... yet Hillary is probably going to be the next president so I was wondering if you think we'll see a lull in the crazy after she is elected since she's obviously not, or do you think that because she doesn't fit the male dominated antichrist archetype will that send them into a frothing loving rage since it will likely shatter their collective outer and grand narrative?

*Usually* male, but I think they will make an exception for Hillary. (Actually it was a debated fundie thing back during the Clinton years that Bill was the False Prophet and Hillary was the actual Antichrist.) From here on out though, every Democratic President is going to be the Anti-Christ. The Narrative will converge on that idea long before they even enter office at this point.

Comedy Option: *Hillary is Transgender* conspiracy theories fire up like they have for Michelle Obama.

Prester Jane
Nov 4, 2008
Behold, it is me: Zoltar! Watch me do my Nostradamus impression!


Adventure Pigeon posted:

So basically the grand idea is the individual, political institution, organization, or religious viewpoint that authoritarians place absolute faith in and adjust their entire worldview around?

One other question, and this is something you might know, do you think that becoming an authoritarian is something that occurs as a result of upbringing or environment?

The Inner Narrative is really what drives the train, so to speak. The Outer Narrative is the public friendly version of the Inner Narrative, and the Outer Narrative always conforms to the Grand Narrative.

As for how Authoritarians are created, I am not a psychologist by any means, but based on my observation, childhood trauma from "loving" authority figures that a child must depend upon seems to be a key ingredient in most Authoritarians I have known. (Not all though, I have known a few people from regular backgrounds that fell into authoritarianism later in life, usually as a result of prolonged deprivation and stress.)

Enough Fear can smack someone temporarily into being an Authoritarian as well. I would hold up the post 9-11 bloodlust that spread across the US as an example of this.

Adventure Pigeon
Nov 8, 2005

I am a master storyteller.

Prester John posted:

The Inner Narrative is really what drives the train, so to speak. The Outer Narrative is the public friendly version of the Inner Narrative, and the Outer Narrative always conforms to the Grand Narrative.

The grand narrative sounded like more than that in your description, in that it wasn't just something for the outer narrative to conform to, but also something that provides external sustenance to the inner narrative? For instance, how an authoritarian will overlook any flaw in a leader they've decided to adhere to, because the leaders flaws don't really matter so much as how the leader satisfies their own internal needs?

TEAYCHES
Jun 23, 2002



Expected to make fun of the OP but actually read it and this is pretty interesting. Thanks.

I also come from a pretty authoritarian mindset, having been raised on a diet of Objectivism from an early age and your outer/inner narrative explanation rings extremely true. It's extremely difficult to call out what people really believe in private, however, because they will deny it vehemently in public. I've seen this a lot among people I'm close to.

Also the "narrative convergence" of right-wing libertarianism and fundamentalist Christianity is not surprising to me either.

TEAYCHES fucked around with this message at Mar 24, 2015 around 00:15

Prester Jane
Nov 4, 2008
Behold, it is me: Zoltar! Watch me do my Nostradamus impression!


Adventure Pigeon posted:

The grand narrative sounded like more than that in your description, in that it wasn't just something for the outer narrative to conform to, but also something that provides external sustenance to the inner narrative? For instance, how an authoritarian will overlook any flaw in a leader they've decided to adhere to, because the leaders flaws don't really matter so much as how the leader satisfies their own internal needs?

This is a really good viewpoint, and I will have to think this over for awhile. Thanks for giving me a new way to consider this.

You are right though, Authoritarians prize emotional satisfaction from their chosen leaders over pretty much anything else.

paragon1
Nov 22, 2010

FULL COMMUNISM NOW


Grimey Drawer

Would you say Authoritarians differ in any significant way in their emotional and social needs from a non-Authoritarian, or are they largely the same and they merely find satisfying those needs easier with Authoritarianism for whatever reason?

Job Truniht
Nov 7, 2012

MY POSTS ARE REAL RETARDED, SIR


paragon1 posted:

Would you say Authoritarians differ in any significant way in their emotional and social needs from a non-Authoritarian, or are they largely the same and they merely find satisfying those needs easier with Authoritarianism for whatever reason?

Authoritarians view the rest of society as being amoral, and that the only way society can survive is to regress back to more traditional, socially conservative views. Authoritarians, fascism, and utopians go hand in hand in that sense, because their reactionary views tend to hinge on a fantasy of a society that never existed. You can use this to come up with a set of rules or circumstances on how they view just about anything: race, the police, homosexuality, and politics.

Prester Jane
Nov 4, 2008
Behold, it is me: Zoltar! Watch me do my Nostradamus impression!


paragon1 posted:

Would you say Authoritarians differ in any significant way in their emotional and social needs from a non-Authoritarian, or are they largely the same and they merely find satisfying those needs easier with Authoritarianism for whatever reason?

Deep down they have the same needs as anyone else. Totally normal people in terms of needs/wants/desires. However the manner in which they go about meeting those needs is very different, largely because it is predicated on a set of assumptions about the world that are wildly different from non-authoritarians.

site
Apr 6, 2007

Check my colors

Trans-pride worldwide

Bitch


Job Truniht posted:

Authoritarians view the rest of society as being amoral, and that the only way society can survive is to regress back to more traditional, socially conservative views. Authoritarians, fascism, and utopians go hand in hand in that sense, because their reactionary views tend to hinge on a fantasy of a society that never existed. You can use this to come up with a set of rules or circumstances on how they view just about anything: race, the police, homosexuality, and politics.
Are we talking about authoritarian as being distinct from totalitarianism for the purposes of this thread? Socialism and communism are totalitarian in nature, but for completely different ideological (and ostensibly more altruistic) reasons. But reading through PS' posts, much could apply just the same to that extreme as well.

TEAYCHES
Jun 23, 2002



site posted:

Are we talking about authoritarian as being distinct from totalitarianism for the purposes of this thread? Socialism and communism are totalitarian in nature, but for completely different ideological (and ostensibly more altruistic) reasons. But reading through PS' posts, much could apply just the same to that extreme as well.

IMO this is more psychology than politics.

site
Apr 6, 2007

Check my colors

Trans-pride worldwide

Bitch


TEAYCHES posted:

IMO this is more psychology than politics.
That's what I mean, Prester's posts are all about right-wingers so far but the same psychology can apply to both ends of the spectrum.

E: which seems to be what the poster I quoted was trying to say as well...I think?

Effectronica
May 31, 2011


Fallen Rib

site posted:

That's what I mean, Prester's posts are all about right-wingers so far but the same psychology can apply to both ends of the spectrum.

The study that this is drawn from classified "Authoritarians" into ones basically satisfied with the status quo, which it called "right-wing", and ones focused on changing the status-quo, which it called "left-wing". So Stalin, Beria, etc. were (probably) right-wing Authoritarians, whereas groups like the RAF, SLA, many death squads, etc. were left-wing Authoritarians.

DarklyDreaming
Apr 4, 2009

Welcome to Disney XD Everyone!

Effectronica posted:

The study that this is drawn from classified "Authoritarians" into ones basically satisfied with the status quo, which it called "right-wing", and ones focused on changing the status-quo, which it called "left-wing". So Stalin, Beria, etc. were (probably) right-wing Authoritarians, whereas groups like the RAF, SLA, many death squads, etc. were left-wing Authoritarians.

Another way to describe it: a Totalitarian wants to control the world, while an Authoritarian just wants everyone in the world to agree with them.

Prester Jane
Nov 4, 2008
Behold, it is me: Zoltar! Watch me do my Nostradamus impression!


Effectronica posted:

The study that this is drawn from classified "Authoritarians" into ones basically satisfied with the status quo, which it called "right-wing", and ones focused on changing the status-quo, which it called "left-wing". So Stalin, Beria, etc. were (probably) right-wing Authoritarians, whereas groups like the RAF, SLA, many death squads, etc. were left-wing Authoritarians.

I have described mostly right wingers because that is what I have direct experience with, but I assume left wing authoritarians are similar. To me the difference between a Left Wing Authoritarian and a Right Wing Authoritarian would be where they feel they are in the Grand Narrative. Left wing Authoritarians believe they are at the "Dawn of a New Age" (or beginning) portion of the Grand Narrative, which means thy must tear down everything old to make way for the new. Right Wing Authoritarians believe they are living at "The End of Days" (or end) portion of the Grand Narrative, and feel that everything old must be preserved against the new.

I imagine in a vacuum each group functions similarly, just in the US Left Wing Authoritarians have no [power, because the Democrats are not stupid enough to court them. And this I think is a major difference between the two parties right now. The GOP has created a group of Authoritarians (although not deliberately, they were just going for easy votes) over the past five decades with poo poo like the Southern Strategy and incorporating fundie social values into the GOP platform. The Democrats after the sixties severed all ties with their brief flirtation with Left Wing Authoritarians types. (The Weather Underground, various Anarchist groups spring to mind) So there just is no equivalent in the Democratic party for a Ted Cruz coming out against gay marriage in his Presidential Candidacy announcement today. The only thing I can think of that would be equivalent is if Elizabeth Warren came out and said "You know what, Vaccine's are causing autism" which just is not going to happen.

site
Apr 6, 2007

Check my colors

Trans-pride worldwide

Bitch


I guess what I'm trying to get at is that you can be ultra progressive and still be authoritarian. For instance, you use Warren and vaccines, but it's just as authoritarian to say that vaccines should be mandatory. It's the "correct"point of view, but it's nonetheless imposing (or wanting to impose) your viewpoint on the rest of the population.

This is a psychological inspection of us as well as them.

SMILLENNIALSMILLEN
Jun 26, 2009





The inner and outer narratives is interesting. Would it be an over-simplification to call the outer narrative a lie? Are they aware they're lying to outsiders?

V. Illych L. posted:

you are an amazing poster PJ and i love you

Unironically this.

site posted:

I guess what I'm trying to get at is that you can be ultra progressive and still be authoritarian. For instance, you use Warren and vaccines, but it's just as authoritarian to say that vaccines should be mandatory. It's the "correct"point of view, but it's nonetheless imposing (or wanting to impose) your viewpoint on the rest of the population.

This is a psychological inspection of us as well as them.

Authoritarianism doesn't mean just anything to do with authority. A person might be in favour of mandatory vaccinations for legitimate reasons other than because an authority figure says so.

VideoTapir
Oct 18, 2005

He'll tire eventually.



It'd be nice to see an example of the Grand, Outer, and Inner narratives of a single sect or belief system with this explanation. You're kind of drawing examples from all over, it'd be helpful to contrast the parts of a single belief system. I think you have inner covered pretty well, and you put that video into some context, though.

When you've had your poo poo together long enough, it'd be a crying shame if you don't end up with a graduate degree in psychology or counseling or something along those lines, BTW.

Jim Long-un
May 28, 2010

Well the word got around they said this kid is insane, man
Banged in the mouth and now he's got AIDS, man


Great thread, the OP was a fun read. I was raised among Southern Baptists and I can say that, at least as far as I've seen, both in childhood and local (Texan)/national politics, the assertions here about authoritarianism intersecting with fundamentalist Christianity are very convincing.

katlington posted:

The inner and outer narratives is interesting. Would it be an over-simplification to call the outer narrative a lie? Are they aware they're lying to outsiders?

In my experience the outer presentation of the belief system is mostly spin doctoring although a convenient lie wouldn't be out of place. It's a necessary bit of rhetorical gymnastics in order to live with such radical beliefs without being rejected out of hand by everyone who engages you in conversation. Like others have said, it's not exclusive to this sort of mindset, but it is vital to it.

Sharkie
Feb 4, 2013

Something looks fishy.



Prester John posted:

*Usually* male, but I think they will make an exception for Hillary. (Actually it was a debated fundie thing back during the Clinton years that Bill was the False Prophet and Hillary was the actual Antichrist.) From here on out though, every Democratic President is going to be the Anti-Christ. The Narrative will converge on that idea long before they even enter office at this point.

Comedy Option: *Hillary is Transgender* conspiracy theories fire up like they have for Michelle Obama.

Well, there's the "Hillary is a lesbian" thing which, in their eyes, makes her "less" of a female and so more masculine.

Prester John posted:

Right Wing Authoritarians believe they are living at "The End of Days" (or end) portion of the Grand Narrative, and feel that everything old must be preserved against the new.

For some reason, I'm reminded of Cruz's "Yes, the world is on fire" quip, and also his campaign logo which is a flame.

Tempora Mutantur
Feb 22, 2005

I did it for aesthetics.




VideoTapir posted:

It'd be nice to see an example of the Grand, Outer, and Inner narratives of a single sect or belief system with this explanation. You're kind of drawing examples from all over, it'd be helpful to contrast the parts of a single belief system. I think you have inner covered pretty well, and you put that video into some context, though.

I'd say the Southern Strategy/the rise of modern authoritarian conservatism in the United States is a good example of a group's belief system within PJ's framework, as well as how it overlapped with lots of groups that PJ covered. I know he referenced it as a partial example, but the hard thing is that you rarely get an inner narrative exposition session recorded like Atwater's to prove that there's a hosed-up inner narrative wrapped in an outer narrative (blame welfare and social support) supporting a grand narrative (gotta save Real America from the bad stuff of the day) with conscious rejection of reality.

V V V Oooh, also a good one!

Tempora Mutantur fucked around with this message at Mar 24, 2015 around 06:37

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Krotera
Jun 16, 2013

I AM INTO MATHEMATICAL CALCULATIONS AND MANY METHODS USED IN THE STOCK MARKET


VideoTapir posted:

It'd be nice to see an example of the Grand, Outer, and Inner narratives of a single sect or belief system with this explanation. You're kind of drawing examples from all over, it'd be helpful to contrast the parts of a single belief system. I think you have inner covered pretty well, and you put that video into some context, though.

When you've had your poo poo together long enough, it'd be a crying shame if you don't end up with a graduate degree in psychology or counseling or something along those lines, BTW.

Would Scientology be a good example? PJ's thoughts ring pretty true to my experiences.

The marketing material presents it as either a self-help program or a religion and followers talk a lot about how they feel like they've personally experienced a ton of self-improvement -- I'd call it a nebulous Outer Narrative. It's technically consistent with the Inner Narrative, but makes lies of omission. The Inner Narrative is that plus "everyone not in Scientology is crippled and needs our help" to pre-OT-3s -- you know, the "Clear the Planet" pitch. That's too condescending to talk about in public. Post-OT-3 comes the Grand Narrative (the space opera story) "Xenu has used space technology to drive you hopelessly mad and we're on a mission to save the world from the SP hordes."

I think Scientology tries very hard to present itself as coming at the dawn of its story. It's easier to think like that to justify not having really accomplished anything than to lie about that and try not to be caught, even though CoS could probably get away with it. It also tries pretty hard to look new and shiny: of course, a lot of stupid New Agey stuff tries to look shiny/new and time-tested/proven at the same time, but I don't think Sci does.

I think a really important feature is that since the Grand Narrative is crazy, members have limited access to it until they've already confirmed they're into the Inner Narrative by recruiting, running services, taking courses, et cetera. Aren't most cults like that? It's hard to say that the Outer Narrative has to agree with the Grand Narrative when groups like Sci have to hide it so extensively, although I guess they don't really contradict.

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