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  • Writer's pictureArnold Schroder

#47: What Is Left Authoritarianism?

Updated: Apr 6, 2022

(03/31/2022) In this episode, we examine the relationship between psychological variation, social role differentiation, and power, presenting a tripartite scheme of Strongmen, Technocrats, and Narcissists: societies with supposedly radically different politics tend to converge on similar outcomes because the same types of people end up in the same roles. At the same time, we examine the world through the bewildering lens of a 2021 paper making a rare journey into the psychology of left authoritarianism. Somewhere along the way, we examine similarities between Marxist and New Age cults, an epidemic of genital shrinking through magic in West Africa, the real and the imagined in the overabundant genre of cancel culture commentary, and the need for a parallel project to that of institutional academia.

Bibliography for episode 47:

Costello, T. H. (2021) Clarifying the Nature and Structure of Left-wing Authoritarianism. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Preprint. DOI: 10.1037/pspp0000341

Curtis, A. (1992) Pandora's Box: A Fable from the Age of Science pt. 1: The Engineer's Plot.

Dzokoto, D. A. & Adams, G. (2005) Understanding genital shrinking epidemics in West Africa: koro, juju, or mass psychogenic illness? Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry 29:53-78.

Gambetta, D. & Hertog, S. (2016) Engineers of Jihad: The Curious Connection between Violent Extremism and Education. Princeton University Press.

Gessen, M. (2013) The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin. Riverhead Books.

Lachman, G. (2018) Dark Star Rising: Magick and Power in the Age of Trump. TarcherPerigee.

Lalich, J. (2004) Bounded Choice: True Believers and Charismatic Cults. University of California Press.

Lukianoff, G. & Haidt, J. (2018) The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting up a Generation for Failure. Penguin Press.

Milosz, C. (1990) The Captive Mind. Vintage.

New York Times editorial board. America Has a Free Speech Problem. Published March 18, 2022.

Scott, J. C. (1998) Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed. Yale University Press.

Valtin, J. (2004) Out of the Night. AK Press.

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