Authoritarians are a fact of life. Human beings have brains with two hemispheres, and the left hemisphere strives to become dominant. It causes us to exhibit authoritarian tendencies and sometimes extreme behaviors.
What to do about it? The first step is recognition.
Authoritarians are not subtle. Their quest to “never be wrong” and to “act with impunity” is a dead giveaway. We should be able to recognize these behaviors in the school bully or in the spoiled child. Corrective action can be applied at an early age.
But there is one other aspect of authoritarian behavior that should be addressed: Human beings are attracted to authoritarian individuals and organizations. We want to be a part of the action.
Maybe it makes us “cool” or is fun and exciting, but we want to join the authoritarians. It is not a particularly noble facet of human behavior, but it is who we are.
This implies that a major cultural issue is the socialization associated with authoritarians. Why are we attracted to individuals who teach us to hate?
Is it possible that the “enemy” is us? Do human beings have a cultural bias in favor of authoritarians? Is it something to do with the left hemisphere of our brains?
I think that if we find we are being taught to hate, we should be on high alert. If we are drawn to an individual or organization because of the targeting of other people, we should be concerned. Let’s step back and evaluate what is happening.
Please note that there is a difference in the “type of hate.” Contrast Christianity with Islam. In one religion, the object of hatred is abstract. Christians are taught to hate the Devil and the dark forces that provide temptation.
In the other religion, the object of hatred is other human beings. That’s a significant difference.
Human beings haven’t changed much over the centuries. We should learn from human behaviors and adapt our actions.
Let’s make the 21st century a good time to be less accommodating toward authoritarians.