The most appropriate answer to too many of those questions should be AYFKM?

Anyway, they certainly read as if they were written by an authoritarian.

I taught polling methodology, off and on, to grad students. If that had been turned in as a grad project it would have been returned with "No Grade" in red letters, and a list of changes and improvements attached. For instance, no compound questions. And no leading questions.

Those questions just mostly suck and I can't see how they are measuring what is claimed.

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I feel like it's easy to draw parallels between the left and the right (like you do in the post), but what's more interesting is to see where they are different.

And it seems to me that the left achieved some new levels of authoritarianism. This became evident to me with all the recent moral panics, COVID etc.

This authoritarianism is self righteous, which also explains why it seems to completely misunderstand any criticism.

Some people, like C.S Lewis saw it coming long ago:

"... a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."

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Most of these questions seem to be measuring how conservative the subject is, and not how authoritarian s/he is. The author is equating the two without any evidence to show how appropriate that is.

As Mr T says, the left has shown a great deal of authoritarianism in recent years, especially in the CoVid realm, but also wrt the climate issue, and the gender and crt movement. Their answers to all these problems involve believing "the experts" (but really only the ones they approve of) and utilizing the power of the government to compel others to go along with their solutions.

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To add a search option on your site, you will want to take the code from https://pagedart.com/blog/how-to-add-a-search-bar-in-html/ and replace the single site search with a multiple site search:

const site1 = 'http://www.daviddfriedman.com/'

const site2 = 'https://daviddfriedman.blogspot.com/'

const site3 = 'https://daviddfriedman.substack.com/'

const url = 'https://www.google.com/search?q=site%3A' + site1 + '+OR+site%3A' + site2 + '+OR+site%3A' + site3 + '+' + q.value;

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How can something labelled "right wing authoritarian" be identified in a politically neutral way? The name itself makes clear that it excludes left wing authoritarians, not to mention authoritarians from political systems that don't distinguish between "left" and "right" in a way that can be mapped into the American usage of that term ?

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In practical terms, someone would appear to be an authoritarian to the extent that he advocates the legal overriding of people’s choices as regards their own bodies and their external property. And someone is a libertarian to the extent that he advocates not doing this. This only gives us a libertarian-authoritarian spectrum. But then that spectrum can be turned into an axis that is orthogonal to the better-known left-right spectrum: with the left as property-authoritarians and the right as personal-authoritarians. https://jclester.substack.com/p/the-political-compass-and-why-libertarianism

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I try not to ascribe to malice what can be explained by ignorance; of course the consequences of either can be catastrophic.

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I remember becoming a libertarian and reading a lot of libertarian writing. I found one argument in an article I read that was especially persuasive. I sent the article to a relation, who is not a libertarian.

He wrote back and had picked apart the article I'd sent. I saw immediately that my relative's arguments were correct, and that the article I had originally found so persuasive was anything but.

I immediately realized the implication - when we read things that are ideologically consonant with our own views, it's hard to see defects in argument. When we're predisposed to disagree with something however, we're much more attuned to the logical failings of the things we read.

I suspect something similar is at work here.

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Thank you for saving me the trouble of reading The Authoritarians.

Elegant exposition, BTW. I would expect no less of you.

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It is funny how invisible the rules are to people who believe in them, and I think that explains the lack of awareness of the authorities this author mentioned.

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Aside from the fact that his survey strikes me as somewhat glib, are we not back at the simple starting point that people believe what they want to believe? I’m reminded of Twain’s essay “Corn-Pone Opinions”. For example, “…hardly a man in the world has an opinion upon morals, politics, or religion which he got otherwise than through his associations and sympathies.” Twain argues that our thinking is mostly conformed, rather than through cold calculation and analysis. He was speaking broadly of the general population, but often this assessment is valid for even so-called scholars. Charitably then, perhaps it isn’t dishonesty so much as it is simply unthinkable (literally) for a person entrenched and muddled by their priors and in-group.

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The difficulty is in realising when you're the one whose reasoning is motivated. It's eye opening reading serious history written by European historians of different nationalities that examines wars or competition between them. Read separately, each nation has produced, in its own language, a varied, rigorous and compelling body of scholarship; read alongside the body of work created by a competing nation, they all look ridiculous. And they all look particularly ridiculous when they are trying their hardest to be impartial and superior to the base impulses of nationalism.

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"6. Atheists and others who have rebelled against the established religions are no doubt every bit as good and virtuous as those who attend church regularly.

...The only reason I can see why someone would respond with "strongly agree" is that he is an authoritarian accepting the authority of his bubble’s orthodoxy."

The only reason? Though I have no hard data, I would strongly agree that "Atheists no doubt have every bit as many arms and legs as those who attend church regularly." For the same reason I strongly agree with your number 6. It has nothing to do with being an authoritarian or living in a bubble - it's having lived a long life and observing those around me. Even in the public sphere, I see nothing but virtuous atheists with the possible exception of Trump, who I suspect is an atheist, but certainly not good and virtuous.

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