Thursday, September 13, 2007

Authoritarian Personalities

Much has changed since many still living entered their “senior” adulthood; some have adapted and even embraced the changes, while unfortunately many others, still demand with outrage and anger growing each day, that the world must return to the days of their own glory, when they were sitting on top of the world -- bossing around everybody else.

Nowhere is that more true than in the world of media celebrity -- in which one becomes a ”superstar” for no other reason than that one is seen and heard daily -- while it remains a vast mystery to most why that is. In all likelihood, they just have an insatiable lust and need to be in the public eye and are willing to do anything required to keep themselves there.

A favorite tactic is the most outrageous and insulting slur of better known and legitimately distinguished people -- and of course the runaway winners at this, are those who demand daily that the president, governor, pope and lesser entities should consult their advice before making their latest decision, because they have the power to turn everybody against them otherwise. These people are of course deluded and enraptured by their own immense self-importance -- thinking it is etched forever in granite or gold somewhere, rather than just today’s newspapers that will be tomorrow’s landfill.

Even the most worthy find it difficult to maintain their imagery in the popular consciousness without constant attention to it, while there are countless many others who have dedicated their lives to that one objective -- of maximum exposure, so that they have no time to do anything truly worthwhile and useful to society to merit such attention. They are merely famous for being famous. This is called self-aggrandizing activity -- which is simply and exclusively, making one seem more important than they really are, and so are immensely flattered, when they are recognized out in public -- but most don’t go out in public anymore because they know they couldn’t live up to their image, and wish to preserve that image at any cost -- including their actual lives.

Everyone is unfortunately familiar with such people, beginning with their earliest childhood experiences of being reminded “Who is the Mommy?!” Kindergarten isn’t much different, but at least then, one can go home after another long, brutal day -- “at the office.” Eventually one graduates from these perpetual and captive harassments into the real world of “professionals” vying to be the Big Boss. For most, that is mainly in their dreams, or in the opinion pages that allow character assassinations and personal attacks as “the news.”

Fortunately these days, it is not the only sources of information -- which is the distinguishing aspect of modern culture. People no longer are dependent on single, exslusive sources of information, attitudes, perceptions and values -- which is very distressing to those brought up in that world of unquestioned and unchallenged authority.

They cannot understand why everybody else would choose to do their own thinking -- when they remain willing, able and ready to do everybody else’s thinking for them -- and tell them what to do.


At September 13, 2007 11:17 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Quite a number of people interpret "freedom of speech" as their exclusive right to tell everybody lse what to do, and what to think -- which of course is a perversion of the intent of "free expression."

I think that is the reason many just avoid exposure to such forums anymore -- ostensibly to be heard, but in reality, only to be dictated to, manipulated, and flattered. Flattery is particularly successful in Hawaii where many can be convinced that they are "geniuses" by believing anything demagogues tell them is the political correctness of the day.

That's what schoolchildren are rewarded for -- repeating the thoughts programmed into them, rather than thinking for themselves, which their teachers promise to "fail" them for if they persist.

And so we have all these legislators and "leaders" who think conformity to the consensus is "thinking for themselves" -- when they have not even to begun to suspect that they aren't.

At September 14, 2007 1:04 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

September 14, 2007

What Kind of Person Calls Himself 'Progressive'?

By James Lewis

We all want progress. We may disagree whether gay marriage or drug legalization constitutes progress or not. But we all want better things for the world -- better food, better health and well-being, scientific and technical advances, wiser political systems, more peace and freedom, more happy children, more humane treatment of animals, more tolerance, more prosperity for the world, you name it. That's called being a decent person.

So what kind of person has to label himself "Progressive?" Obviously somebody who believes he (or she) understands real progress better than the rest of us. Because if you are a Progressive it implies that everybody else, let's face it, is a Regressive, or maybe just a Stagnant. It's a smirky, self-flattering way of saying you're a lot better than the rest.

So what kind of ego needs do you have to have to call yourself that? And what do you believe about others? In fact, Progressives must believe that other people are worse than they are; that only they can Save the Planet, or create Peace on Earth, or Solve Inequality, or whatever sin bedevils mankind.

Like the preacher who is focused on nothing but sin, Progressives must emphasize the alleged flaws of other people. They need to pinpoint those flaws, to feel important. Because Progressives make it clear that the real obstacle to Progress is Other People. In fact, if you really ask a "Progressive" what other people are like, you're likely to hear that much of humanity is either ignorant or evil.

The word Progressive first became popular in the late 19th century, but has now been adopted as a popular synonym for "socialism." Americans tend not to like socialism, associating it with the Soviet Union and other bad characters. But "Progressivism" sounds fine. So it is a euphemism for something people fear; a cover-up label.

The odd thing, of course, is that real progress in the world is almost never achieved by self-proclaimed "Progressives." They generally make things worse rather than better. (See all the mad utopian schemers from Bin Laden to Stalin and Ahmadi-Nejad.) As a group, they are strikingly ill-equipped to even understand the world in any depth. Rather, it's farmers, business people, engineers, teachers, laborers, scientists, soldiers, cops, doctors, writers, inventors, all of whom create real progress --- or who keep the world from sliding back into barbarism.

All the radicals in the world together have not created as much economic progress as the inventor of Diet Coke or the Post-It Note. I'm sorry, but it's plainly true. So the "Progressive" ego trip is really only an ego trip.

The same thing goes for "post-modernism," and so many other labels on the Left. If you're a "post-modernist," you plainly imply that everybody else is past it: dead and gone. The Progressive part of the world has moved beyond modernism, or whatever ism is to be surpassed. Well, why would you believe something as obviously false as that? Basically, to flatter yourself and your fellow deludees.

The "in" thing is to be "post." Various Left movements love to call themselves "post-industrial," "post-structural," post this, post that. It all means, "you're a dead White male, and your time is past and buried."

So what kind of person needs to believe that? What kind of shriveled self-respect makes you want to feel that nobody is as Progressive and "post" as you are? What school curriculum has taught you to have such contempt for others?

Or take "anti-racism." If you define yourself as an "anti-racist," it means that a lot of others must be a racists, right? But how do you know that? Not many people go around wearing Kluxer sheets. You have to want to believe it, or to be more ready than the rest of us to point your finger at suspects. You're a racist! You're a homophobe! Ultimately, in many cases, being a white middle aged male is enough to make one suspect. Since the Archie Bunker series All in the Family, Hollywood and television have adopted a visual code for evil (white, fat, middle-aged, male) and good (non-white, slim, young, and/or female). Watch CSI and you'll see the code working. And with that little piece of "Progress," the Left has created its own racism, judging people purely by their appearance. The new racism is just as invidious as the old kind, and it is much more pervasive, being propagated by high-tech media.

It's all very childish, with very pernicious effects. It cultivates an accusatory, suspicious sense of victimhood and rage at the rest of humanity. And being based on mere appearances, it is incredibly superficial.

All of Political Correctness, the dominant cultural theme of the Left, depends upon such allegations and accusations. It is incredibly shallow and superficial - but it is also very effective as a power-play. If you can put the world at a disadvantage by implicitly accusing them of sin, you can also manipulate and oppress others, conscious of your own moral superiority. Evidence is not required. It is the pervasive McCarthyism of the Left.

I prefer to give people the benefit of the doubt. If they don't talk like haters, I'm happy to believe they're not haters. Most people want the best for humanity, and appealing to their goodness seems kinder than accusing them of evil.

James Lewis blogs at

At September 14, 2007 1:34 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

The worst variation of the authoritarian personality is the familiar pathological liar, who always demands that you must believe them, no matter how many lies they've told before, or how outrageous this one is.

Most people's most frequent experience with them are the newspaper editors who claim they never censor, suppress, or blacklist anybody but allow a full and accurate rendering of all the content they receive subject to all their arbitrary, confidential, professional expertise. That kind of personality is drawn to positions of information distribution and manipulation (confidence and trust) -- of which one of their primary tasks is to promote their own fairness and objectivity -- and come to believe their own lies.

At September 14, 2007 1:44 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

One of the ways of detecting fraud and deception in writing, is that one can always fake knowing less than one actually does -- but one can never fake knowing more than they actually do.

At September 14, 2007 2:00 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

There will always be an unlimited supply of liberals to hoodwink, deceive, manipulate.

That’s what our mass (public) education produces.


Post a Comment

<< Home