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DarthMetaKnight
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02 Aug 2015, 5:25 pm

I've noticed that lots of young people have been describing themselves as "neo-fascists" or "neo-monarchists" lately. It seems to me that authoritarianism is becoming trendy. Here are some things they say and what I think afterwards.

"Voting doesn't work ... so we need authoritarianism".
Democracy has problems but it is better than all the other systems that have been tried.

"We just need to put the person with the highest IQ in charge."
That will not automatically create a utopia. The term "evil genius" exists for a reason. Smart people can be cruel.

"Medieval monarchs left the people alone for the most part."
... except when they had atheists put to death for no good reason.

"We need an authoritarian government that will sterilize defectives."
Who decides who is defective?

Am I the only one worried about this? I'm not sure if this is a joke or serious. I go to many internet forums and I have been seeing a disturbing amount of Mussolini apologetics lately.

This could be bad for the autistic community.


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Kraichgauer
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02 Aug 2015, 7:02 pm

I suspect Hitler probably would have scored high on an IQ test. His leadership worked out swimmingly for Germany. (I hope you know I'm being sarcastic)


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The_Walrus
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02 Aug 2015, 7:07 pm

I suspect you may be spotting a pattern were none really exists. This sort of blatant authoritarianism is on the way out. For example, in the UK, the first far-right party in the General Election - the ironically named English Democrats - came 23rd, behind, amongst others, a single-issue party campaigning for weed legalisation. The traditional far-right bogeyman, the BNP, came 36th, behind a comedy party and several that only stood in one seat. Admittedly, their vote was probably undercut by hard-right UKIP, and the Liberal Democrats saw their vote collapse...

What is on the rise, or as common as ever, is "soft" authoritarianism. These people support things like closed borders (enforced by killing illegal immigrants and asylum seekers), taking away the passports of suspected terrorists, the War on Drugs, indefinite detention without trial, abolition of Human Rights legislation, workfare, the Snooper's Charter/GCHQ/Prism, forcing schools to report pupils with radical views, cutting worker's rights, banning internet porn, the death penalty, shifting power from the judiciary to the executive branch of government, compulsory minimum sentences, "three strikes" laws, and banning political protests.

These are things advocated by mainstream figures in governing parties in developed nations, as well as popular "protest parties". They're also not traditional "conservative" issues like abortion, divorce and gay marriage which are now increasingly popular, though some authoritarians still struggle over them.



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02 Aug 2015, 7:11 pm

Quote:
Question 1: If you knew a woman who was pregnant, who had 8 kids already, three who were deaf, two who were blind, one mentally retarded, and she had syphilis; would you recommend that she have an abortion?

Read the next question before scrolling down to the answer of this one.

Question 2: It is time to elect a new world leader, and your vote counts. Here are the facts about the three leading candidates:

Candidate A: Associates with crooked politicians, and consults with astrologists. He's had two mistresses. He also chain smokes and drinks 8 to10 martinis a day.
Candidate B: He was kicked out of office twice, sleeps until noon, used opium in college and drinks a quart of whisky every evening.
Candidate C: He is a decorated war hero. He's a vegetarian, doesn't smoke, drinks an occasional beer and hasn't had any extramarital affairs.
Which of these candidates would be your choice? Decide first, no peeking, then scroll down for the answer.


Candidate A is Franklin D. Roosevelt
Candidate B is Winston Churchill
Candidate C is Adolph Hitler

And by the way: Answer to the abortion question - if you said yes, you just killed Beethoven.


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Kraichgauer
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02 Aug 2015, 7:23 pm

Spiderpig wrote:
Quote:
Question 1: If you knew a woman who was pregnant, who had 8 kids already, three who were deaf, two who were blind, one mentally retarded, and she had syphilis; would you recommend that she have an abortion?

Read the next question before scrolling down to the answer of this one.

Question 2: It is time to elect a new world leader, and your vote counts. Here are the facts about the three leading candidates:

Candidate A: Associates with crooked politicians, and consults with astrologists. He's had two mistresses. He also chain smokes and drinks 8 to10 martinis a day.
Candidate B: He was kicked out of office twice, sleeps until noon, used opium in college and drinks a quart of whisky every evening.
Candidate C: He is a decorated war hero. He's a vegetarian, doesn't smoke, drinks an occasional beer and hasn't had any extramarital affairs.
Which of these candidates would be your choice? Decide first, no peeking, then scroll down for the answer.


Candidate A is Franklin D. Roosevelt
Candidate B is Winston Churchill
Candidate C is Adolph Hitler

And by the way: Answer to the abortion question - if you said yes, you just killed Beethoven.


Scary.


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DarthMetaKnight
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02 Aug 2015, 8:49 pm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_Enlightenment

I have spoken to some members of this movement on other sites. They seem to be dead serious.
I originally learned about the Dark Enlightenment from Rational Wiki. That is one of their good articles ... except that the Rational Wiki users consider the Dark Enlightenment to be a part of the Men's Rights Movement. Most Dark Enlightenment folk I spoke to hated the MRM.


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adifferentname
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03 Aug 2015, 1:27 am

DarthMetaKnight wrote:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_Enlightenment

I have spoken to some members of this movement on other sites. They seem to be dead serious.
I originally learned about the Dark Enlightenment from Rational Wiki. That is one of their good articles ... except that the Rational Wiki users consider the Dark Enlightenment to be a part of the Men's Rights Movement. Most Dark Enlightenment folk I spoke to hated the MRM.


From what I understand, the MRM doesn't have a universal political alignment, though most of what I've read seems broadly left of centre. It's entirely possible there are some people who identify with Dark Enlightenment who are also Men's Rights Activists, but that doesn't make it part of MRM.

I can't say I've encountered any young people acting as you describe in the opening post. Where is this happening, precisely?



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03 Aug 2015, 7:40 pm

Yeah, and most of them are called "progressives".


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Marky9
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03 Aug 2015, 9:07 pm

My favorite takes on the relative merits of autocracy, oligarchy, and democracy were made by Socrates and/or some of his squad back in the day. Because Ancient Greece (or at least Athens) regularly swung from one form of government to another, I consider their views well-informed and still pertinent.



luan78zao
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03 Aug 2015, 9:53 pm

Dillogic wrote:
Yeah, and most of them are called "progressives".


I was going to say that the OP was about 125 years out of date. The American "progressive" movement was and is authoritarian on most issues.

Not that there aren't authoritarians on the so-called right. The desire to boss people around seems to cut across class and background.


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03 Aug 2015, 11:15 pm

luan78zao wrote:
Dillogic wrote:
Yeah, and most of them are called "progressives".


I was going to say that the OP was about 125 years out of date. The American "progressive" movement was and is authoritarian on most issues.

Not that there aren't authoritarians on the so-called right. The desire to boss people around seems to cut across class and background.


How so are progressives mostly authoritarian? That progressives stop the majority from discriminating against racial and sexual minorities makes them authoritarian? Or that we're all required to pay into social security and unemployment is authoritarian, even though we're all much better off with it than without it? Or enforcing labor laws and consumer protections is somehow authoritarian on the progressives' part, even though all of this protects ordinary people from the power of big business?


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Dillogic
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04 Aug 2015, 12:08 am

Kraichgauer wrote:
How so are progressives mostly authoritarian? That progressives stop the majority from discriminating against racial and sexual minorities makes them authoritarian? Or that we're all required to pay into social security and unemployment is authoritarian, even though we're all much better off with it than without it? Or enforcing labor laws and consumer protections is somehow authoritarian on the progressives' part, even though all of this protects ordinary people from the power of big business?


"We're doing this to help. By the way, obey me! If you don't, we'll make sure you're fired, bullied, financially ruined, and/or sent to sensitivity training (sometimes jail too. But that's for your own good)."

Yeah, no.

Any attack on free speech and property rights is authoritarian by nature, as it's forcing others to conform to the group's wishes.


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Kraichgauer
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04 Aug 2015, 12:14 am

Dillogic wrote:
Kraichgauer wrote:
How so are progressives mostly authoritarian? That progressives stop the majority from discriminating against racial and sexual minorities makes them authoritarian? Or that we're all required to pay into social security and unemployment is authoritarian, even though we're all much better off with it than without it? Or enforcing labor laws and consumer protections is somehow authoritarian on the progressives' part, even though all of this protects ordinary people from the power of big business?


"We're doing this to help. By the way, obey me! If you don't, we'll make sure you're fired, bullied, financially ruined, and/or sent to sensitivity training (sometimes jail too. But that's for your own good)."

Yeah, no.

Any attack on free speech and property rights is authoritarian by nature, as it's forcing others to conform to the group's wishes.


And it's alright for local government (or just the majority of people), or private businesses to demand such things from those at their mercy? Federal intervention has stopped blacks and gays from being bullied by hostile majorities that control local government, just as it's protected workers from the abuses of business. Could it be that coercion wouldn't be so necessary if those in majorities, or with economic power, weren't abusive?


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luan78zao
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04 Aug 2015, 12:18 am

Kraichgauer wrote:
How so are progressives mostly authoritarian? That progressives stop the majority from discriminating against racial and sexual minorities makes them authoritarian? Or that we're all required to pay into social security and unemployment is authoritarian, even though we're all much better off with it than without it? Or enforcing labor laws and consumer protections is somehow authoritarian on the progressives' part, even though all of this protects ordinary people from the power of big business?


1) You're arming against a danger which does not exist; 2) we'd all be better off keeping and investing our own money rather than contributing to a preposterous pyramid scheme; 3) it's big business which lobbies for the laws you describe, to protect it against competition. Short answer, though: yes, yes, and yes. If two legally responsible adults are engaged in a peaceful transaction which does not involve force or fraud, and you step in with a gun, saying "Stop, you're doing that wrong! Do it the way I dictate, or I'll lock one or both of you in a cage!" – then you are an authoritarian.

I was just reading a fine progressive manifesto from the past. Here are some tasty excerpts.

Quote:
7. We demand that the State shall make it its primary duty to provide a livelihood for its citizens.

10. It must be the first duty of every citizen to perform physical or mental work. The activities of the individual must not clash with the general interest, but must proceed within the framework of the community and be for the general good.

We demand therefore:

11. The abolition of incomes unearned by work. The breaking of the slavery of interest.

12. In view of the enormous sacrifices of life and property demanded of a nation by any war, personal enrichment from war must be regarded as a crime against the nation. We demand therefore the ruthless confiscation of all war profits.

13. We demand the nationalization of all businesses which have been formed into corporations (trusts).

14. We demand profit-sharing in large industrial enterprises.

15. We demand the extensive development of insurance for old age.

16. We demand the creation and maintenance of a healthy middle class, the immediate communalizing of big department stores, and their lease at a cheap rate to small traders, and that the utmost consideration shall be shown to all small traders in the placing of State and municipal orders.

17. We demand a land reform suitable to our national requirements, the passing of a law for the expropriation of land for communal purposes without compensation; the abolition of ground rent, and the prohibition of all speculation in land.

18. We demand the ruthless prosecution of those whose activities are injurious to the common interest.

20. The State must consider a thorough reconstruction of our national system of education (with the aim of opening up to every able and hard-working [citizen] the possibility of higher education and of thus obtaining advancement). The curricula of all educational establishments must be brought into line with the requirements of practical life. The aim of the school must be to give the pupil, beginning with the first sign of intelligence, a grasp of the nation of the State (through the study of civic affairs). We demand the education of gifted children of poor parents, whatever their class or occupation, at the expense of the State.

21. The State must ensure that the nation's health standards are raised by protecting mothers and infants, by prohibiting child labor […]

[We are] convinced that our nation can achieve permanent health only from within on the basis of the principle: The common interest before self-interest.


In the age of Google there's no point being mysterious, so I'll save everybody the trouble: the above is from the program of the German National Socialist Democratic Workers' Party, written by Messrs. Hitler and Drexler and adopted in 1920.


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adifferentname
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04 Aug 2015, 12:31 am

Kraichgauer wrote:
Dillogic wrote:
Kraichgauer wrote:
How so are progressives mostly authoritarian? That progressives stop the majority from discriminating against racial and sexual minorities makes them authoritarian? Or that we're all required to pay into social security and unemployment is authoritarian, even though we're all much better off with it than without it? Or enforcing labor laws and consumer protections is somehow authoritarian on the progressives' part, even though all of this protects ordinary people from the power of big business?


"We're doing this to help. By the way, obey me! If you don't, we'll make sure you're fired, bullied, financially ruined, and/or sent to sensitivity training (sometimes jail too. But that's for your own good)."

Yeah, no.

Any attack on free speech and property rights is authoritarian by nature, as it's forcing others to conform to the group's wishes.


And it's alright for local government (or just the majority of people), or private businesses to demand such things from those at their mercy?


Holy false dichotomy, Batman.

Quote:
Federal intervention has stopped blacks and gays from being bullied by hostile majorities that control local government, just as it's protected workers from the abuses of business. Could it be that coercion wouldn't be so necessary if those in majorities, or with economic power, weren't abusive?


It's okay to s**t on someone's rights, as long as you do it in the name of someone else's, right?