Authoritarian Followers

Authoritarian Follower: An individual who, for whatever reason, accepts what an accepted authority tells them, regardless of whether or not it makes sense.

Compartmentalization: term describing the ability of authoritarian followers to keep separate the ideas, given by their authorities, that prove each other wrong.

There are different causes for this inability to comprehend reality. One of the more common involves severe punishment of very young children for asking questions or not accepting the statements of their parents. When a child feels like it is in danger, due to anything ranging from frightening yells and screams to extreme “spanking”, because it challenged the words of their parents, they develop a survival mechanism called compartmentalization. This allows them to not have to ask questions, and risk the hurt or fear of hurt they were (usually repeatedly) subjected to. These children become Authoritarian Followers, following the authority of their parents, regardless of their parents accuracy. As the children get older, the mantle of authority gets passed on to the religious and political leaders the parents themselves follow. The fear of questioning is a directly attached to their sense of survival, so anyone trying to reason with them causes a fear reaction, usually masked as anger.

This pattern is often found in members of the fundamentalist churches who teach “spare the rod, and spoil the child”. Political power mongers, realizing the power in numbers, have played on these peoples inability to question discrepancies and turned them into the “religious right”. Their political views are about as full of misunderstanding and deceit as a religion in which Jesus teaches kindness and compassion, but who’s followers practice abuse of their children and hatred for those Jesus said to love.

This is how the Tea Party was formed: by playing on that fear of questioning authority, regardless of how ridiculous the claims may be. I have to remember that their anger is really fear, so I can pity them, instead of hating them.

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Published in: on November 3, 2011 at 9:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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