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Well, the Social Dominators (right-wing libertarians?) don't believe in classes but in individual winners and losers, so if they find themselves among the losers they'll probably just try harder. The Authoritarian Followers believe in classes, but not in class war, and are unable to learn from experience, so they won't realise.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Apr 5th, 2007 at 05:24:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If a Social Dominator decided to start a movement that picked up a lot of followers, you wouldn't necessarily get apathy.

Unfortunately it has happened before - with less than positive results.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Apr 5th, 2007 at 06:30:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But that's the problem already, isn't it? The Religious Reich.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Apr 5th, 2007 at 07:00:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well yes, but one problem with Altemeyer's work is that I think it ties authoritarians too closely to the Right.

I have a theory that Marxism and Bolshevism - and possibly socialism and even trade unionism - would have been irrelevant if they hadn't also had some authoritarian appeal.

What used to happen was that the authoritarian types were split between right and left narratives, and this helped to keep both in check, because two sets of bullies squared off with each other.

Now there's only a far right narrative, with christo-fascism for the noobs and neolib economics for the more intellectual types.

However - the christo-fascists are starting to simmer with betrayal. And there's a sizeable faction who would be easy pickings for someone with an anti-government anti-Washington narrative with more of a blue collar slant if they also mixed it up with some christo-fascism.

If the US implodes economically, a movement like that could become a significant force. (This might sound unlikely, but the current Christian Reich would have seemed unlikely twenty or thirty years ago.)

It probably wouldn't be anyone from today's left as we know it. But one the US doesn't lack is opportunists and chancers, and if the heat is turned up on the social pressure cooker, all kinds of nasty things could start boiling out of it.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Apr 5th, 2007 at 07:13:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is no shortage of populist leaders in the US right now, both on the right and on the left, that is true.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Apr 5th, 2007 at 07:15:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There's only one of them running for president though, and that's a problem.

Most Americans aren't idiots, but I've come to the conclusion that a strong plurality of the talking heads and people who congregate on Daily Kos are.

They don't seem to understand that there are huge chunks of the US that are undergoing almost unspeakable economic hardship at this point.  

Nothing irritates me more than being back at the University, and having friends who've never been anything but a student delude themselves into thinking that because they have a college degree they will be able to go out and find a job making
$100,000 a year.  

Imagine a whole country of people who are convinced that someday they will all be rich.  Americans are on the whole not class consciousness, but in the lat few years that's changed dramatically as places that used to have well paying union jobs have seen them go away.  And now everybody's trying to live on $7.00 hour, working 52 weeks a year with no health insurance.

Americans on the whole may be for the most part Christians, but our elites are far more into Mammon than Jesus.

And until people realize that they will never be wealth, but that they can live comfortably if they unite to defend their rights, there will be no change.

America needs to introduce the cultural concept  that the Swedes call logom and that my Amish ancestors call being plain to the national dialoge.  

At some point you have enough money to live comfortably, and the further acquisition of wealth is driven by the desire for increased social standing than any actual need.  

Europeans know this, but it's anathema in the United States.  And it's killing this country.  Max Weber must be turning in his grave.  Formal rationality has overcome substantive rationality, and society cannabilized so that some may gain.  But formal rationality and the money logic can't exist without society.  

What use is money and property if society descends into a war of all upon all?

What does a fancy car mean when you have to live in a gated community, and carry a concealed handgun to keep it?

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Thu Apr 5th, 2007 at 03:35:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
America needs to introduce the cultural concept  that the Swedes call logom

Lagom. :)

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Apr 5th, 2007 at 03:42:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks.

This explains why I have such a hard time find information on it.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Thu Apr 5th, 2007 at 03:43:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is that related to the danish work "lokum"?

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Thu Apr 5th, 2007 at 03:49:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have no idea what lokum means.

Lagom is "tilpas" in Danish.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Apr 5th, 2007 at 04:33:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
synonym of udhus, that's probably the same in swedish.

my danish is rusty as all hell and never was all that good, but when i was learning it, my friends got me to think the polite way to ask directions to it was to say jeg skal på lokum, (the equivalent of which would be to say: où sont vos chiottes ...)

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Thu Apr 5th, 2007 at 04:57:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For those who haven't been in contact with the word, here is the Wikipedia entry with the relevant passage bolded.

Lagom is a Swedish word with no direct English equivalent.

The Lexin Swedish-English dictionary defines lagom as "enough, sufficient, adequate, just right." Lagom is also widely translated as "in moderation," "in balance," "optimal," "suitable," and "average." But whereas words like "sufficient" and "average" suggest some degree of abstinence, scarcity, or failure, lagom carries the connotation of perfection or appropriateness. The archetypical Swedish proverb "Lagom är bäst," literally "Lagom is best," is translated as "Enough is as good as a feast" in the Lexin dictionary. That same proverb is translated as "There is virtue in moderation" in Prismas Stora Engelska Ordbok (1995).



Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Apr 5th, 2007 at 04:36:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Try this as a close equivalent:
sufficiency
1.    the state or fact of being sufficient; adequacy.
2.    a sufficient number or amount; enough.
3.    adequate provision or supply, esp. of wealth.

Policies not Politics
---- Daily Landscape
by rdf (robert.feinman@gmail.com) on Thu Apr 5th, 2007 at 05:27:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The most interesting thing is that it means both "optimal", "sufficient" and "average"...

Books have been writen about this subject, and debates have raged. :)

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Apr 5th, 2007 at 08:21:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If i read properly, Altemeyer acknowledges that there are indeed left wing authoritarians, but his samples of North American population don't have enough of those to make a representative study. LWA would be the "follow the revolutionary leader type".

On the other hand, studies made in Russia with his methods, after "glasnost" indicated high RWA profiles prevailed in  "communist conservatives".

If i read you right, i think i agree that we are talking about the same psychological profile only shaped by a different narrative, or frame, or myth... I'm just saying i think altemeyer hints at that, but doesn't state it for lack of substantial studies.

by Torres on Thu Apr 5th, 2007 at 08:33:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Altemeyer acknowledges that there are indeed left wing authoritarians, but his samples of North American population don't have enough of those to make a representative study. LWA would be the "follow the revolutionary leader type".

Which goes a long way, imho, to explain why the left in North America has sucked so bad for the past four decades.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Thu Apr 5th, 2007 at 12:06:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I once read a short story set during a future economic depression in the US. Unfortunately I can't remember the author or title. An journalist from Egypt (which has an Islamic fundamentalist government) travels to Florida to write a profile about an American rock star who has turned himself into a populist political leader with an anti-capitalist, xenophobic message. He blames all the country's problems on foreign corporations which are exploiting hard-working Americans and taking wealth out of the country, but neglects to mention that American businesses did the same to the rest of the world back when their country was rich and powerful.

No doubt someone else here will know who wrote the story.

by Gag Halfrunt on Sat Apr 7th, 2007 at 03:42:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bruce Sterling
by bastiaan on Sun Apr 8th, 2007 at 06:28:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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