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thinkinginpictures
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17 Oct 2019, 11:43 am

I'm curious... Why do so many westerners (people living in EU, U.S., Canada, UK and Australia) support dictatorship in Russia and China, and why do they want the same type of authoritarian government in their own countries (Poland, Hungary, Austria, Spain and Italy and U.S)?

Why do people who grew up with basic civil rights and the freedom to criticise their government, vote for installing authoritarian rule in their own countries?

Is this a fundamental human drive, the pursuit for anti-liberal pro-authoritarian values?



cberg
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17 Oct 2019, 11:45 am

Probably because they're convinced that authoritarianism will remove obstacles from their lives.


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17 Oct 2019, 11:48 am

We live in a world of haves and have nots. The haves hate it when the have nots have freedom.



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17 Oct 2019, 11:57 am

When people of privilege have nothing worthwhile to complain about, they will find something trivial, irrelevant, or far away to complain about.

For instance, the barrista mispronounced my real name at the coffee shop this morning!


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thinkinginpictures
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17 Oct 2019, 12:24 pm

*delete*



Last edited by thinkinginpictures on 17 Oct 2019, 12:34 pm, edited 3 times in total.

DoTheTw1zt
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17 Oct 2019, 12:30 pm

I guess we all won't be happy until we nuke ourselves then.



The_Walrus
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17 Oct 2019, 1:18 pm

thinkinginpictures wrote:
I'm curious... Why do so many westerners (people living in EU, U.S., Canada, UK and Australia) support dictatorship in Russia and China, and why do they want the same type of authoritarian government in their own countries (Poland, Hungary, Austria, Spain and Italy and U.S)?

Why do people who grew up with basic civil rights and the freedom to criticise their government, vote for installing authoritarian rule in their own countries?

Is this a fundamental human drive, the pursuit for anti-liberal pro-authoritarian values?

Well first of all I think we should acknowledge that only a minority of Westerners support Putin and even fewer support Xi. I think this mostly comes from the fact that UK/US/French foreign policy hasn't always been perfect, to put it mildly. We can all acknowledge that, but some people overcompensate slightly and end up supporting the emergence of greater monsters to put a check on Western hegemony.

There's also a related school of thought that says that while Putin and the CCP might not be people we'd want governing our countries, they are supported by most people in their own countries. This school of thought, which I have very little time for, says that when we apply our values to cultures that don't care for our values, we're effectively guilty of a form of imperialism. The main internal opposition to Xi doesn't come from reformists or liberals, but from hardcore communists who would like China to move to being more leftist and more authoritarian. The Chinese and the Russians aren't being prevented from having liberal democracy, they reject liberal democracy.

As for dictators in the West and why they have support...

Firstly, the one everyone will be talking about: Trump. I believe that very few Trump supporters see him restraining their rights and freedoms. Indeed, they see him actively preserving them, particularly when it comes to property rights including the right to bear arms. When Trump does restrict rights, he does it to foreigners, to new Americans, and to trans people. Trump supporters don't necessarily hate these people, but they don't perceive Trump's policies as being unfair. Undocumented immigrants broke the law, so can't complain about being punished. Trans issues are difficult to understand and can effectively be spun as trans people asking for "special privileges". Trump's actions are seen as entirely reasonable and consistent with a government that treats people fairly. Trump supporters do not reject the concept of fairness, they just have a different conceptualisation of it to other people.

Spain: I'd guess you're referring to the imprisonment of politicians who held an illegal Catalonian independence referendum. Spaniards tend to be somewhat nationalistic: if they don't support independence for their region then they support a strong union within Spain. I don't know what the public perception of the imprisonment is, but the headline sentences are much longer than the politicians will serve (iirc they are eligible for parole after a quarter of their sentence, and have already served two years pre-trial). And of course they're not being imprisoned for their views, they're being imprisoned for encouraging public uprising - though I do think "time served" would have been more than sufficient in this case.

Italy: while Lega are a pretty vile party these days, remember that they only got 17% of the vote in the 2018 elections and are no longer part of the government.

Poland and Hungary: these countries suffered badly under communism and are still feeling the after-effects. Their populace is very conservative and they've never really known liberal government. (Personally I think Hungary deserves to be considered alongside Serbia and Belarus as one of the worst countries in Europe politically, the support for fascism and total lack of support for even moderate conservativism let alone liberalism, centrism, or leftism is pretty horrifying - 70% support for Fidesz or Jobbik in 2018)

Austria: somewhere between Hungary and Italy in more ways than one. In the 2019 elections, the fascists polled at only 16%. While Kurz is more conservative than most conservative politicians, he is by no means a monster. The Greens and the liberals polled 24% which is double what their Hungarian equivalents polled in 2018.

Why are people attracted to nationalist, populist, occasionally fascist leaders? I think it's easy to give crap answers to this. I think my most charitable guess is that people see a lot of issues in society that they're genuinely worried about, and the easiest "solution" is to just blame immigrants and declining moral values.



Arthropod
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17 Oct 2019, 4:09 pm

I Live in Poland and believe me. What you heard about autoritarian government is a lie. Current ruling party (PiS) is not autoritarian. I voted on them and not only me, as they clearly won democratic election. So from where they have "autoritarian" opinion? It was rumour spreaded by their rival party (PO), which lost power during previous election and now hope to overthrow their rivals every possible way. And as politicians from PO were even more corrupted than from PiS, losing elections is good for them. Funny (or sad) thing is now we have two completely contradictory propaganda feeds, which show completelly contradictory things, like it were filmed on some diferent planets. And both have crowds of faithfull worshipers. Which one shows truth? None of course! Crazy, isnt it?



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17 Oct 2019, 4:52 pm

Arthropod wrote:
I Live in Poland and believe me. What you heard about autoritarian government is a lie. Current ruling party (PiS) is not autoritarian. I voted on them and not only me, as they clearly won democratic election. So from where they have "autoritarian" opinion? It was rumour spreaded by their rival party (PO), which lost power during previous election and now hope to overthrow their rivals every possible way. And as politicians from PO were even more corrupted than from PiS, losing elections is good for them. Funny (or sad) thing is now we have two completely contradictory propaganda feeds, which show completelly contradictory things, like it were filmed on some diferent planets. And both have crowds of faithfull worshipers. Which one shows truth? None of course! Crazy, isnt it?

I know a fair few politically engaged Poles, none of whom support PO, and they all have similar views of PiS.

Amongst other PiS policies:
- they have made it a crime to talk about the Polish death camps from the Holocaust
- they ban shops from opening on Sundays
- they want to tighten abortion laws
- they have proposed banning IVF
- they disbanded the advisory body responsible for monitoring racism and hate crimes
- they are opposed to immigration on the grounds that immigrants will "spread diseases" and compared refugees to a "Muslim invasion"
- they believe criticism of the Roman Catholic Church is unpatriotic
- they believe that LGBT rights are a threat to children, and that LGBT people should be banned from working in schools

You might like some of those policies, but nonetheless they are authoritarian, illiberal policies that restrict the freedom of ordinary Poles.

And that's before we talk about the huge sums of money they pay people to have children...



thinkinginpictures
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18 Oct 2019, 8:48 am

Arthropod wrote:
I Live in Poland and believe me. What you heard about autoritarian government is a lie. Current ruling party (PiS) is not autoritarian. I voted on them and not only me, as they clearly won democratic election. So from where they have "autoritarian" opinion? It was rumour spreaded by their rival party (PO), which lost power during previous election and now hope to overthrow their rivals every possible way. And as politicians from PO were even more corrupted than from PiS, losing elections is good for them. Funny (or sad) thing is now we have two completely contradictory propaganda feeds, which show completelly contradictory things, like it were filmed on some diferent planets. And both have crowds of faithfull worshipers. Which one shows truth? None of course! Crazy, isnt it?


What about the reforms on the judiciary system, criticised by EU for the judges no longer be independent, but directly controlled by the government?



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18 Oct 2019, 12:57 pm

The_Walrus wrote:
- they have made it a crime to talk about the Polish death camps from the Holocaust

This one is very good. Death camps in Poland were the same way "Polish" as "Jewish". Poles were prisoners there, many were killed. Brother of my grandfather was a prisoner too and before liberation of this death camp he was close to die from hunger. He had a tatoo number from there. And now when people who realy remembered it are mostly dead, German newspapers constantly write about "Polish death camps" and after are sued bu survivors in Poland post correction in small print somewhere not visible. So people begin to remember that death camps were polish, even if it is awful lie. These were GERMAN DEATH CAMPS! And calling them "Polish" is extremelly offensive to all Poles. Try to search "#Germandeathcamps" posters. This is perceived as serious issue by Poles.
In fact I see making takinkg about "polish" death camps a crime a very good decision if they manage to make it work.

The_Walrus wrote:
- they ban shops from opening on Sundays

Yes, this one is just stupid.

The_Walrus wrote:
- they want to tighten abortion laws

This is another rumour spread by PO controlled media. Organisation who gathered signatures for this project was ultra-catholic but not connected to PiS itself. And most of PiS voted nay on this project so it failed (these ultra-catolics called them traitors later).

The_Walrus wrote:
- they have proposed banning IVF

Another lie. Not baning, just they dont want it to be funded from "public money". You want IVF, pay for it, why tax-payers have to pay for it?

The_Walrus wrote:
- they disbanded the advisory body responsible for monitoring racism and hate crimes

Ah, you talking about Rafał Gaweł. He was a fraud. And he was politicaly involved, allied with PO. Quite interesting thing is how often obvious criminals were cooperating with PO.

The_Walrus wrote:
- they are opposed to immigration on the grounds that immigrants will "spread diseases" and compared refugees to a "Muslim invasion"

Well in Poland there was no Muslim immigrants just few years ago and also there was no terrorist attacks ever. But in fact they only speaking that they are opposed to immigration and in meantime they let them all in. I am very dissapointed by it. And that immigration crisis started when Germany proposed opening borders to immigration and (surprise) were flooded with people who come there for unemployement allowance. So Angela Merkel decided to relocate some immigrants to other countries. They dont want to come there, earnings and allowances are much lower in Poland than in Germany. Also there is probability that some of them are terrorists. Well, I dont want to have Charlie Hebdo like assasination in my city. And in this situation, when immigrants come to Poland nobody is happy.

The_Walrus wrote:
- they believe criticism of the Roman Catholic Church is unpatriotic

People believe diferent things. If they dont enforce it, it is not a problem.

The_Walrus wrote:
- they believe that LGBT rights are a threat to children

LGBT rights which are "treat to children" is only adoption by same sex pairs. In poland only maried couples can adopt children. Married couple in Poland is man and woman. Singles or people who live alone with their parents also are not allowed to adopt children. Well, most people in Poland support this decision.

And also one observation. In England homosexuality was a crime until 1967. You know since when homosexuality was legal in Poland? Always. If somebody had same sex lover, it was perceived as weird and funny, but his private buisness and not a reason to punish somebody. And now some "greatly enlightened western countries", who penalized homosexuality just 50 years ago want to teach Poland now what tolerance is. We have 1000 years history of tolerance in Poland. And by tolerance we mean what this word really means. We can think that somebody is doing something wrong, but dont intermeddle as it is his buisness and we tolerate it even if we dont like it.

The_Walrus wrote:
and that LGBT people should be banned from working in schools

Do you really think that people are asked about their sexuality on job interviews in Poland? I dont know how it is on the west but in Poland just nobody cares about that. And I guess if some people are banned from working in school because they are homosexuals, they are probably that kind, who go on gay parade wearing only g-strings. But I guess heterosexuals would be also expelled from work in school if they would behave that way, like for example playing in porn, even if it would be straight porn.

The_Walrus wrote:
You might like some of those policies, but nonetheless they are authoritarian, illiberal policies that restrict the freedom of ordinary Poles.

I dont feel my freedom was restricted, except of course small nuisance that I cannot go shopping in sunday. And believe me opposition is really worse. When PO was in power, they not only tolerated mafia, but even cooperated with it. And today their ONLY program is to imprison PiS politicians and allow homosexual mariages. This is why they lost election. They dont care about economy and we really have bigger problems now.

The_Walrus wrote:
And that's before we talk about the huge sums of money they pay people to have children...

Yup, this is stupid too. People say they take from us 700 zł in tax to pay 500 zł later.
Surprisingly despite it economy in our country is now doing better than in last 10 years. Debt of coutry is in decline, while it was perpetually growing since last 30 years. Also unemployement decreased. They say it is becouse they finally stoped mafia from feeding on "public money". I dont know if it is a reason or just propaganda.

thinkinginpictures wrote:
What about the reforms on the judiciary system, criticised by EU for the judges no longer be independent, but directly controlled by the government?

Ha, this is really big problem. Becouse now we have no independent judges in poland. In Poland judges are elected by other judges only. First of them were elected by soviet army to elliminate polish patriots who fought agains occupants (First German, then Soviet) and THESE people decide who will be their successors. Nobody can control it and now judicary system works as a mafia. Even in cases when judge is caught stealing, it is still close to impossible to punish him, as this caste protects each other. And also they are clearly protecting buisness of PO politicians and are openly opposed to curent ruling party.
PiS politicians tried to fix this problem by taking control over judicary system themselves. I once read oppinion, that it was "nice try, subtle like trying to fix broken clock with hammer". But they failed with it, so it is still like it was. Mafia controlled judicary system instead of government controlled. Well... I dont like it both way...



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18 Oct 2019, 4:53 pm

I think Devo has it right
“Freedom of choice
Is what you got
Freedom from choice
Is what you want”


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19 Oct 2019, 3:49 am

There is a reactionary cultural movement in the west, pushing back against anti-racism, anti-homophobia, women's rights, the expanded social safety net, etc, as people yearn for what they perceive as "the good old days," of straight, mostly white, conservative citizens, and they believe more and more that only reactionary, repressive government can restore the mythic past. Yes, people have it hard, but they are demonizing those who have it worse.


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19 Oct 2019, 4:40 am

Because they want to feel safe so want to give up all their freedom for feeling safe even if it means they’d be way less safe.



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20 Oct 2019, 3:33 am

Nobody hates freedom, at least not their own freedom. Some probably believe that if a certain kind of dictator got in power, their rights would rise and other people's lessen, especially those who want to return to the old ways of only straight, white men having full human rights. Of course, if someone believes that being of different sexuality, race or gender makes another person automatically be below them, then they'd like it if people who thought the same way were in power.

That said, I don't think dictatorship in itself is necessarily a bad thing. It's only a bad thing if the dictator is someone who doesn't support equal rights and doesn't treat all of their citizens equally. So in theory, a good dictator would be possible. Highly doubt we'll ever really see one though.

Arthropod wrote:
The_Walrus wrote:
- they have made it a crime to talk about the Polish death camps from the Holocaust

This one is very good. Death camps in Poland were the same way "Polish" as "Jewish". Poles were prisoners there, many were killed. Brother of my grandfather was a prisoner too and before liberation of this death camp he was close to die from hunger. He had a tatoo number from there. And now when people who realy remembered it are mostly dead, German newspapers constantly write about "Polish death camps" and after are sued bu survivors in Poland post correction in small print somewhere not visible. So people begin to remember that death camps were polish, even if it is awful lie. These were GERMAN DEATH CAMPS! And calling them "Polish" is extremelly offensive to all Poles. Try to search "#Germandeathcamps" posters. This is perceived as serious issue by Poles.
In fact I see making takinkg about "polish" death camps a crime a very good decision if they manage to make it work.


There is no denying that there were many death camps in Poland. However, what must be remembered is that they were run by German, not by Poland. From what I understood, some Polish people did support them and worked in the camps, but majority simply didn't raise their hands against the camps so that they wouldn't be targeted next. Yes, Poland shares some of the responsibility, but nowhere near on the same level as Germany.