John Dean on authoritarian conservatives

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John Dean’s “Triumph of the Authoritarians” from last Friday’s Boston Globe has been reprinted by CommonDreams. Dean is appalled by contemporary conservatives and their “bludgeoning style of politics, their self-serving manipulation of the political processes, and their policies that focus narrowly on perceived self-interest.” Dean writes about his inquiries into the confluence of conservatism and authoritarianism:

Authoritarian conservatives are, as a researcher told me, "enemies of freedom, antidemocratic, antiequality, highly prejudiced, mean-spirited, power hungry, Machiavellian and amoral." And that's not just his view. To the contrary, this is how these people have consistently described themselves when being anonymously tested, by the tens of thousands over the past several decades.

Authoritarianism's impact on contemporary conservatism is beyond question. Because this impact is still growing and has troubling (if not actually evil) implications, I hope that social scientists will begin to write about this issue for general readers. It is long past time to bring the telling results of their empirical work into the public square and to the attention of American voters. No less than the health of our democracy may depend on this being done. We need to stop thinking we are dealing with traditional conservatives on the modern stage, and instead recognize that they've often been supplanted by authoritarians. [emphasis added]

Dean’s latest book, Conservatives without Conscience, expands on these observations.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on July 19, 2006 1:14 PM.

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