Authoritarianism


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Belief in authoritarianism can be either political or religious and is purely faith based. There is no logical or practical basis for a belief in authoritarianism. There's a belief in a superhuman deity - God in terms of religion and 'the Government' or 'the State' in political terms. This deity has rights that mortals don't have and isn't restricted by the rules which apply to mortals. The deity issues commands and if you disobey you are a sinner and deserve to be punished.

The faithful, the true believers of authoritarianism have this great faith in various rituals such as elections, legislation, appointments, and they appoint themselves special powers and then announce that they are representing the government and acting on behalf of the government, so that they can make use of these special powers. These people who assign themselves special powers feel entitled to demand money, make demands on people's lives, order them around and even hurt them because they are 'acting on behalf of the government'.


The rule of law and divine right of rulership

Authoritarianism is based on the rule of law and a belief in the divine right of those deemed to have authority of rulership over others. This is not someone making demands or threats on others but is based on decrees which are considered to be superhuman and imposed by a deity such as God, a state or a government. Part of this belief is also a belief in servitude and in complete submission and absolute obedience. People are expected to follow rituals, obey laws, follow rules without any dissent or deviation.

Aspects of authoritarianism


Subversion of democracy

Authoritarianism twists the concept of democracy into something known as 'consent of the governed'. Under actual governance care is taken to ensure all views are proportionally represented and taken into account. But with authoritarianism there's this 'consent of the governed' which serves as a mechanism for authority transfer so that in an authoritarian democratic model the views of a minority are seen as legitimately democratic by combining two different models for decision making, that based on consensus with that based on rulership. Both are incompatible because consensus implies agreement whereas rulership doesn't. In such cases a view expressed by 20% of the whole can be taken as a majority and this is acceptable in the authoritarian belief system. What happens generally is that participation in an election and the casting of a vote is taken as consent irrespective of how that vote was cast. This means that those who voted against or who didn't vote are deemed to have given their consent simply because an election took place.



Social conditioning and education

Authoritarianism isn't something which is freely chosen but is promoted by way of indoctrination and social conditioning from the very start. From the earliest of childhood experiences there's a certain amount of pressure put on children to accept authority from adults and definition by other people and the education system is based on conformity, following rules and obedience to authority. This is all based on the simple premise in that if you submit to authority and do as you're told you're good, and if you don't you are bad. This is the main message of school and education, that the measure of your virtue is how well you are able to obey authority. This is what you are taught in school, in that if you do as you're told you get approval and reward, and if you don't follow the rules and don't do as you're told you get disapproval, condemnation and punishment. This social conditioning follows through in society so that people get coopted and coerced into doing things which they wouldn't choose to do freely of their own free will.


Instrumentality

There's a certain kind of instrumentality when it comes to authoritarianism which goes right through the criminal justice system, law enforcement, the civil service, and even the provision of local authority services. Generally people accept that there's a relationship between circumstances, their choices and decisions, their actions and the consequences or outcomes of their actions. There's a lot of confusion among many people as to what is a right and what is a privilege, and authoritarianism not only creates this confusion but exploits it for its own ends. Rights are natural and are either recognized or not, whereas privileges can be granted or taken away. However authoritarians generally believe that rights are privileges, in that they can be granted, taken away and must be deserved. This is what creates the bargaining chips for servitude and creates the inequality between those in authority and those who don't have authority. This is reinforced through legislation and law which is primarily concerned with such things as powers, rights and obligations.


This is how people working in such fields as law enforcement, the criminal justice system, civil service and other areas end up making decisions and doing things which abuse human rights because they believe that acting in authority gives them a special entitlement and special powers and that the legislation gives them exemption from morality.  This causes many such people working in such fields to make decisions and choices and do things which if given freedom of choice they wouldn't normally do. Many people who work in such fields actually aspire to governance and administration for the benefit of those they serve, but many do not because they believe that they have special rights and privileges and they do things against others simply because they believe in authority. When it's pointed out to them that what they're doing is wrong their standard response is "I don't make the laws I'm just here to uphold the laws. I'm not responsible for my actions because it's those in the government who make the laws."


Essentially what they're telling you is that they're not responsible for what they are doing because it's not them doing it. This is the insanity of authoritarianism and how in their mind it justifies their use of violence, coercion and force, even in the face of non-violence, willingness and a desire to compromise and cooperate. In their mind they themselves are not committing these acts but something known as authority. They themselves are simply the instruments of that authority from which the concept of instrumentality comes. They don't feel bad about assaulting non violent people with violence, using force, causing hardship or suffering, simply because the law says that it is acceptable and justified. In this way we can see how authoritarianism is permission to ignore your conscience.

The issues with authoritarianism

The problem with authoritarianism is that it takes over and dominates a system indoctrinating entire societies of people to accept it without giving them any opportunity to opt out or developing ways to overcome it. Authoritarianism is what transforms any system into a totalitarian system by creating masses of people trained to think through programming and indoctrination to blindly obey and follow orders living their lives in complete servitude. The danger of authoritarianism is that it tricks good people into doing bad things because they believe it's okay if it's condoned by the government. What you always end up with is a complete abdication of personal moral responsibility for one's decisions, choices and actions. It's always 'authority' which is responsible, never the person. When you condition an entire population to believe that submission to authority and obedience is a virtue all it takes is for one nasty psycho to take charge at the top for atrocities to occur. People will always explain away their participation by 'I'm only following orders', 'I'm only doing my job', 'I'm only obeying the law'.