Definition of authoritarianism
Qultura defines authoritarianism as any belief systemn which is based on the belief that an authority such as the State should have power over the individual and is an aspect of totalitarianism and the belief that society and culture should be dominated by any collective hierarchy be it political, religious or based on some other hierarchy, such as a ruling monarchy. It is also a fundamental belief found in any sort of supremacy based on physical characteristics, e.g. skin colour (white supremacy), sex or gender (male supremacy, female supremacy) or sexual orientation (heterosexual supremacy).
As an aspect of collectivist belief systems
Authoritarianism can be a part of any collectivist or social belief system for example Buddhism, capitalism, Catholicism, communism, fascism, Islam, Marxism, neoliberalism, socialism, and so on. When it becomes part of a religious belief it can also be known as fundamentalism. However it also needs to be pointed out, with perhaps the exception of fascism, that not everyone who follows these beliefs is an authoritarian or subscribes to authoritarianism. Auhtoritarians are those who believe in a social hierarchy and that some people have more value than others in a society or community.
The illusion of authority
Authoritarianism, or in fact any belief in authority, is based on the mistaken belief that external authority can determine culture or social structure. Authority is in itself an illusion at best, at worst a lie. Authority is based on a personal opinion and usually involves abdication of responsibility for one's choices and actions. A common feature of a belief in authority is the expectation of others to do something towards achieving some sort of social or cultural change which the believer is fully capable of doing themselves.
Desire for domination and control over another human being
Another aspect of authoritarianism or belief in authority is the desire for domination and control over another human being or other human beings. Often the motivation for such beliefs or thinking is a desire for some social advantage or access to social, economic or political power. This is a major cause of social division and social stigma (further explained in the webpages about social stigma). Unlike other theories on social stigma in particular those advanced by sociologist Erving Goffman and Bruce Link and Jo Phelan Stella Baker regards these desires for domination and control over others, the major cause of social stigma, as a toxic social belief as it is part of the traumatic process of cultural decline and social fragmentation which ultimately leads to Final Solution type beliefs based on eugenics.
False belief in a social contract
Another aspect of authoritarianism and belief in authority is mistaken or false belief in a social contract. This is usually as a result of social conditioning which people are generally subjected to from their earliest experiences where they are conditioned to accept authority and submit to it. Parenting may be part of this belief but generally parenting is based on the sharing of experience and the teaching of skills which parents believe that their children will need to make their lives easier. For this reason parenting cannot be regarded as being quite in the same category of other forms of social conditioning. As many people later discover through going through various experiences in their lives there is no unwritten social contract as those in authority are generally interested in control and expect servitude and obedience to maintain some kind of social order.
Understanding the truth
Authoritarianism and a belief in authority is what causes deprivation of human experience and a loss of opportunity. Both impede cultural development, stifle social progress and impede human evolution. The truthn of the matter is that nobody knows what is going on and nobody else knows what is going on in someone's life other than they themselves. Personal autonomy, the defining quality of life itself, begins and ends with the individual. It is cultural development and community participation which promotes social order and structure not any belief in authority or authoritarianism.