Sunday, June 03, 2007

Do as I say

One of the anonymouses posting to this blog has recommended Bob Altemeyer's The Authoritarians. I have to agree. It is very clever, very well researched, often funny and it is free.

I read The Authoritarians a few months back on the advice of a reader and it changed my view of the Religious Right. The book explains a great deal about the mentality of those who follow orders and who want Order kept. Although the title suggests it is about those who ask ze questions, the book is mostly about those who follow them.

Most of its subjects are on the right politically, but that probably reflects that they are North Americans. There is no shortage of left-wing authoritarians, as glancing acquaintance with the Socialist Workers Organisation attests. If I ever get round to making my film Zombie Class-Warriors from Suburbia, I will know where to go for extras.

Bob Altemeyer is a Professor at the University of Manitoba, which fits nicely with the Fundy Post Canadian Music Month. Here's Feist:


Anonymous said...

Paul, “a glancing acquaintance” is unlikely to attest to much, except to show where your presuppositions lie (as you argued re. Lucyna’s posting on the treatment of gays in Catholic schools). I looked at the site and couldn’t see anything that stood out as authoritarianism, unless you regard any form of collective action as “following orders”. It’s not that there aren’t authoritarians on the left – I have personally clashed with a fair number - but simply pointing at a website isn’t a good way to illustrate that, IMO. It draws on a stereotype and is a big contrast to the painstaking critique you made of Lucyna’s post.

I realise it takes a lot of time to do your excellent critiques of fundies and there are only 24 hours in a day, but I hope someday you’ll explain what it is about left wing activism that so offends you.

QA (Quibbling Anonymouse)

Paul said...

QA, thank you for your comments. I can assure you that I have no problem with left wing activism; I have a huge problem with the SWO. I shall explain why in a post soon.