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May 9, 2024 21 mins

Andrew and James build on yesterday’s episode, dig deeper into Bob Altemeyer’s work, and discuss what the psychological characteristics of an authoritarian leader are. 

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Speaker 1 (00:01):
A zone.

Speaker 2 (00:02):
Media. Welcome to it could happen here. I'm Andrew Sage
of YouTube channel Andrewism. Once again. I'm joined by.

Speaker 3 (00:16):
Jane and We're back in and I'm excited to learn
more about authoritarian leaders this time right.

Speaker 2 (00:22):
Yes, last time, we discussed the mind of the authoritarian follower.
Thanks to the research of the lead Bob Altmeyer. You
should definitely listen to the previous episode, but in summary,
we looked at this concept of right wing authoritarianism, which
refers to a personality type that features three primary traits
or attitudes. First is a high degree of submission to

authorities who are perceived to be established and legitimate in
the society is in which one lives. The second is
a general aggressiveness directed against various persons it is perceived
to be sanctioned by established authorities. And the third is
a high degree of adherence to the social convents that
are perceived to be endorsed by society and its established authorities.

We also speculated the roots of authoritary and aggression and
looked at the mind of the authoritarian follower, which demonstrates
straits such as illogical thinking, highly compartmentalized minds, double standards,
hypocrisy and lack of self awareness, ethno centrism, and dogmatism. Today,
as promised, we're looking at the other side of the coin.

We're looking at the leaders, but also what we can
do to address both followers and leaders. So let's begin.
In nineteen ninety four, social psychologists Fleescha Pratu and Jim
Sedanias presented the social Dominance Orientation test as a measure
of belief in social inequality. Social dominators agreed with statements

like quote, this country would be better off if we
cared less about how equal all people are and quote
some people just more worthy than others, while disagreeing with
statements like god, if people were treated more equally, we
would have fewer problems in this country. Fellow social psychologist
Sam MacFarland took their test on twenty one others, including

the Art of Way scale, to determine which will be
the best predictor of prejudice. His research found that only
two of those tests, the Social dominant Orientation and the
Art of Way, could do the job well. But the
thing is, though, while both tests were able to identify
prejudiced people, they were identifying different types of prejudice people

with very little overlap. Social dominators and high art of
ways authoritarians of two flavors. They have some things in common, though,
besides prejudice. They tend to support the same political parties.
They tend to have shared economic philosophies, usually conservative on
both counts, but they also have some huge differences. Starting

with a desire for power also why, I conducted two
surveys with students that included the question how much power,
as in the ability to make adults do what you want?
Do you want to have when you're forty years old?
In this sense, automayer is using power in the sense
of authority as I would define it, the recognized right
above others in a social relationship to give commands, make decisions,

and enforce obedience. So the scale went from zero meaning
they don't care for it, to five me and their
goal is to have a great deal of authority. Social
dominators consistently wanted to have much more power than most
people did AUTHORITAI and followers did not. Now, obviously, people
often want authority for different reasons, some more self righteous

than others, but social dominators take thrill in authority in
and of itself, doesn't matter what the cause is as
long as they can control others in the process. There's
another scale Altmayer users, the power Mad scale. On it,
social dominators agree with statements like it's a mistake to
interfere with the law of the jungle, some people were

meant to dominate others, and do you enjoy taking charge
of things and making people do things your way? They
also dissecure with statements like life is not governed by
the survival of the fittest and we should let compassion
and moral laws be your guide. Social dominators are some
of the highest scores on this scale, and high scorers

tend to be intimidating, ruthless, and vengeful, with no care
for nobility or charity. They despise empathy and have a
dog eat dog mentality toward the world. They love the
power to hurt in their drive to the top. High
or degrees just stn't have that drive. And while authoritarian
followers might highly value group cohesiveness and loyalty, social dominators

don't because, like I keep saying, they're in it for
themselves for their power, and they will be trade their
own group if push comes to shove. Another area where
social dominators and hired W is diverge. It's when it
comes to religiousness. Authoritarian followers are usually religious fundamentalists, while
dominators don't tend to be that involved. Some of them

do go to church regularly, but that's for manipulative reasons
because social dominators could lie. They lie a lot. All
they have to do is pretend to be religious and
say the right words and boom to get through. The
hirer was reminds me of a sitting politician.

Speaker 3 (05:30):
I'm just going to say this is put in the
mind of like Donald Trump, tay getting a massive crowd
of people so he can walk to a church and
then take photos outside and not go in.

Speaker 2 (05:38):
Yeah, good times. There's another scale we could take a
look at, and that's the exploitative, manipulative, immoral dishonesty, or
exploitative mad scale. Unlike hirer ws, social dominators anonymous responses
indicate that they agree with statements like there's really no
such thing as right and wrong. It all boils down

to what you can get away with, and there's a
sucker bone every minute, and smart people learn how to
take advantage of them. Social dominators disagree with statements like
it gains a person nothing if he uses deceit and
treachery to get power and riches and all in all,
it is better to be humble and honest than important
and dishonest. In essence, social dominators admit to strive and

to manipulate, to be in dishonest, to be an immoral
and treacherous. They see their followers as suckers, fools to
be controlled. What else makes them different? Well, I could
go back to the roots of hostility. Social dominators actually
show greater prejudice against minorities and women than higher ws do,

but their followers are much more hostile towards LGBTQ people.
Why Well, it ties back to the religiousness and the
hired WA respect for the law. Since attacks against minorities
are less clearly supported by religious and civic authorities as
they used to be, authoritarian follower aggression towards these groups,

both overt or sneaky, had to be curved a little bit. Meanwhile,
social dominators are hostile because they already live in the
apocalyptic jungle that hired w is fair, and they are
the apex predator. They don't score highly in the Dangerous
World scale because they're not scared. They're the ones ready
to weaponize that fear. Dominance is their first priority. For

everyone they meet, they had a reason to not try
to control them. They don't care too much about the
law either. It's just about not getting caught. They're not
as self righteous as hirer w is because they're quite immoral,
and hired ws aggressed when they believe right and might
on their side. Social dominators aggress because might makes right
for them personally. Hired w is heat caremount of fair

and self righteousness in the name of authority. Social dominators
hate crime out or share desire to intimidate and control. Lastly,
we need to look at the differences in their thought process.
Social dominators, for the most part, don't have a web
of contradictions, weak reason and skills, compartmentalized thinking, or gullibility

that define higher WA's mental life. They're not particularly dogmatic
or zealous about any particular cause or creed. They just
want authority. They say whatever they need to say to
get ahead because they have no consistent values. They'll be
hypocrites like hawd was, but they're probably aware of and
find their own hypocrisy. For example, they're cool with wealth,

inheritance and corruption. They're opposed to welfare. They're unconcerned with
income inequality or photo disenfranchisement. They're apathetic to racial inequality
and injustice. They believe that people should have to earn
their place in society and they don't care if most
of them can't. They still talk about how the only
way to have a level play and field is to
get rid of things like affilmed to faction. And part

of what defines social dominators is their utter disregard for equality.
So we have to ask again, what causes this? Why
are they like this? And well, social scientists just are shure.
Yet if we look at the life shape and experiences

or social dominators, they would probably report the deceit and
cheating with good tactics because it led to what they wanted.
Taking advantage of suckers felt great. They enjoyed having power
and having people afraid of them. Life boiled down to
what you could get away with, and of course the
experiences led them to believe that life is a jungle.
Dominators were probably rewarded early in their lives when they cheated,

took advantage of people, weaponized fear, overpowered others, or got
away with something wrong, whether or not their peer and
scare them that outlook on the world. Because of the
psychological law of effect, they simply learn into the being amoral, unsympathetic,
and exploitative worked well for them. So what happens when
higher WA's and social dominators work together. In this field

of research, the lethal union refers to the combination of
happily subservient hired ws with social dominators who share their
values in the driver's seat, eager to dominate and control,
a death spiral union that develops all the time in
the real world. As Altemaya aptly described quote true, sufficiently

skilled social dominators served by dedicated followers can make the
trains run in time, but you have to worry about
what the trains may be haulin when dominators call the
shots and the hired was to the shooting end quote.
While most social dominators get fairly low scores on RWA
tests and vice versa are very very small, more percentage

of people and ultimized samples scored highly on both r
WAY and social dominance tests. These other double highs. If
prejudice was a sports in the Olympics, hird WA's we
get bronze, social dominators we get silver. And double Highs
would definitely get gold. Now you might be wondering, how

do they manage to score so highly on both tests?
If social dominators and high ways have so many differences,
how can somebody be a submissive dominator? So there are
a couple of reasons why want to be dictator would
score highly on both tests. One is because some r
WA scale statements are open to interpretation. Take the statement

code our country desperately needs a mighty leader who will
do what has to be done to destroy the radical
new ways and sinfulness that are ruining us. End quote.
A follow it will be like yes, please, and a
dominator will be like here I am behold, I'm your leader.
Double high still score highly on all the power scales,
like other social dominators and unlike other hard ways. Secondly,

double Highs are the religious among the social dominators, so
they respond to this religious items on the r W
scale that other social dominators don't, thereby significantly raising their
r W score. I don't think I need to go
into too much detail. I feel like I should be
absolutely clear the double Highs suck. Whatever the su they

probably are on the wrong side of it. The worst
of the worst prejudiced, power hungry, exploititive, mad, religiously fundamentalist, dogmatic,
dangerous worldest a noxious stew of the worst of all
social dominators and hard was Regular social dominators might end
up in charge of ptas, hoas, workplaces, local governments, and

other personal kingdoms. Not all of them succeed in life
due to the animosity they create, the obstacles they might face,
lack of intelligence, attractiveness, or network to gain the kind
of power they want, and some of them might even
get caught in their lives and illegalities and don't have
the capital to get out of it. They see double highs,

they tend to have a head start well. Regular social
dominators have to fake their religiousness to get the support
of higher ws. Double highs can more easily get started
in their own churches, already part of the in group,
sharing their prejudices, economic philosophies, and political lean needs. Even
if they are faking it a little bit, a double

high already knows all the code words, dog whistles and
Bible verses they need to get ahead. They know what
stands they should hold about evolution, the role of women, abortion, school, prayer, censorship,
law and order, et cetera, et cetera. Double highs run
the show you dig? Yeah for sure? So now what?
Knowing that social dominators do whatever they can to hold

on to power and higher ws are extremely resistant to change,
how do we deal with a situation where social change
requires dealing with these people? I mean, they can't debate them.
Even if you were to intellectually wrestle with a double
high leader and utterly destroy them with facts and logic,
their higher WA audience is not likely to change their minds.

Trying to change highly dogmatic, evidence immune ethnocentric people is
an exercise in frustration and futility. It's also hard to
fight to share fair mongrant power of the likes of
Fox News and Facebook to combat the class and religious
roots of ethnocentrism and to reduce the self righteousness of
their followers. It's even harder to convince them that they

are being systematically misinformed and played for fools by their leaders.
Even if they listen to these episodes, or watch my
videos or read ultimized books, they would either get defensive
or honestly, because a lot of them aren't self aware,
assume that this is about someone else finding a way
to compartmentalize, misinterpret, rationalize, and dogmatically deny anything I've said

so far. So what to do? First and foremost, representation matters.
It's important that hire ws see more of the breath
and diversity of human existence and experience. The reality is skewed,

and the visibility and representation of people from other backgrounds,
not just the media, but also in their personal lives
is very important. One thing studies have shown is that
higher ws who know a Cay person are far less
likely to be homophobic than their fellow higher ws. And
the best exposures different types of people is through access
to higher education, or more broadly, just any space with diversity.

College may not necessarily turn them into commit to the revolutionaries.
Contrary it's popular belief, but the environment of higher education
has a tremendously beneficial impact on higher ws. Four years
of undergrad experience can knock their scores down by fifteen
to twenty percent. Academic spaces need to be alive, vibrant,

and most of all accessible, and we need people in
academic and non academic spaces to embrace the power of influence.
I don't mean this in a give them an authority
and to follow kind of way. I'm not talking about
becoming a club president or ordering people around. I'm not
thinking about hierarchical leadership, but rather the natural influence of

individuals who model exemplary behavior and provide an example for
others to look to, people who freely lend their talents
and knowledge and mentorship to others. In a conformity experiment
in however, in the late nineteen forties, real subjects were
surrounded by actors who deliberately gave obviously wrong answers to questions.

Usually the sub went along with the wrong majority at
least some of the time. But if in another condition
of the experiment, one other person gave the right answer,
real subjects were much more likely to do the right thing,
even though it meant joining a distinct minority rather than
the majority. So I'm saying that as the people who

hold radical beliefs, it's important to stand up. You know,
you don't have to form majority to have an effect.
Two or three people speaking out can sometimes change the
decisions of entire school boards, church boards, or other institutions. Obviously,
reform is not going to be enough, but we do
need to present some opposition on that front, and that sphere.

You know, lack of opposition teaches dominators to keep dominating,
and it only taaks one person to start the opposition
the domino effects that could potentially influence even higher ws
because at the end of the day, it's clear that
they want to be quote unquote normal in their bubbles
and their echo chambers. They don't really realize how extreme

they are. Then, to be exposed to the perspectives and
experiences of people outside their tight circles, Mutual aid and
other organized efforts can show them the humanity of other people,
finding common ground and common cause. But ultimately, in my view,
the best long term solutions require youth liberation and prefiguration.

We need youth liberation both at home and at school
and everywhere else. As long as we continue to reinforce
the notion that children need to blindly submit to authorities,
as long as we refuse to grant them humanity and autonomy,
we will continue to be without humanity and autonomy. We
will continue to have adult generation after generation who do
not know how to resist authority. We must prefigure those

relationships in our personal lives and our social spaces, or
we must prefigure our liberation. It's not enough to just
pain against social dominators. We have to dismantle the systems
that allow them to dominate in the foost place. The
only way to keep social dominators from season power is
to prefigure a system where no one person can so

easily coerce and dominate. To quote Bob Waltamaya one last time,
we cannot secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and
our posterity if we sitt with our oars out of
the water. If we drift mind leslie, circumstances can sweep
us a disaster. Our societies presently produce millions of highly
authoritarian personalities, as a matter of course, enough to stage

the Nuremberg rallies over and over and over again. Turn
in a blind eye to this put someday point guns
at all of our heads, and the fingers on the
triggers will belong to right wing authoritarians. We ignore this
at our peril. Social dominators want you complacent, apathetic, hopeless,

and out of the world way. They want to control
everything and everybody, and they have their loyal followers ready
to mobilize. They are not the majority, but they're determined
to win. Do not let them. If you know what's happening.
If you spot these signs in your own spaces, it's
your responsibility to do something about it, to organize, to educate.

Because one person could accomplish so much, and two people
could accomplish so much more. Good luck, all power to
all the people. Because it could happen here. Can follow
me on puture in dot com stas saying true this
has been Andrew Sage Andwism it could happen here, or

La Jazz this.

Speaker 1 (20:50):
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