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View Diary: West Point Military Acadamy Combating Terrorism Study: 400% rise in Rightwing Violence since 90's (79 comments)

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  •  For Authoritarian-Follower personality types (24+ / 0-)

    The authority figure has a role of strong father, and compliance with that authority can have the effect of a blanket moral pass, morally stultifying the group, and casting them into the role of moral children. I look forward to your piece. Besides Altemayer's The Authoritarians, you might tie in Lakoff's analysis of  the strict-father frame, and perhaps Milgram and the Stanford Prison Experiment.

    •  Most interesting theory I heard (7+ / 0-)

      about groups (game theory, early development) was that they cannot have a collective morality significantly 'higher' than that of their least moral member. I have, over the course of 40+ years of paying attention, seen that this assessment is reasonably accurate.

      Once upon a time we depended on the Church to cover (and instill) morality 'higher' than that of gub'ment flunkies. Our belief-in theocratic determinations of morality has been severely shaken by the conflict with Islam. Which purports to be as or more moral than Christianity. Meanwhile, we have Christians for whom compassion for the poor, support of widows and orphans, debt non-usery, etc., etc., etc. somehow got lost in the Ministry of Hate. These days there is no theocratic - or maybe even spiritual - way out of our mess.

      ...we're on our own. We do for the most part - ALL of us - know the difference between right and wrong. Good and Evil. That purportedly, in all monotheistic traditions descendent upon Judaism (Islam, Christianity), is the reason we find ourselves incarnate here in a tough reality where God seems so absent. All we have to do is act upon what we know to be the difference, and quit requiring total ideological alliance to whatever figurehead or philosophy somebody at the front door is selling today.

      "My kingdom is not of this earth." We got the Word. We just haven't yet figured out how to implement it successfully. Love One Another - as simple as anybody's ever going to make it, all the 'bad' shit would magically go away. We can't manage to do that much, can now boast the power to wipe the planet clean of complex life with the push of a button on a bad day. We're not likely to get any further.

    •  Since we're mentioning Milgram and Zimbardo (9+ / 0-)

      let's not forget Solomon Asch's conformity experiments from the 1950s. Fortunately Asch's results provide a small ray of hope: a fairly small number of strategically-placed dissenters can break a group-conformity phenomenon (sort of a real-life version of this was the rather spectacular demonstration that Harvey Milk was right in predicting that more gay people coming out would lead to a substantial drop in societal homophobia).

      Writing in all lower-case letters should be a capital offense

      by ebohlman on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 07:29:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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