Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

A book about why righties think the way they do?

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU
 
iowasocialist Donating Member (82 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 08:47 PM
Original message
A book about why righties think the way they do?
Is there a book any of you would recommend laying out where the conservative political mentality in the US comes from? Why do right-wingers think the way they do?

Any suggestions?
Thanks...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
LiberalLoner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 08:49 PM
Response to Original message
1. Hopefully someone has a link, but there was some article about authoritarianism - rop
Edited on Sat Mar-13-10 08:50 PM by LiberalLoner
I think the current crop of right-wingers in America are of the same ilk as the Nazi's in Germany, same mentality and thuggishness and wish for violence and lack of coherent thinking.

I guess what I am saying is, the right-wingers of this time and place are just a violent mob. All they care about is having a leader who exhibits the hatred they feel, and they will follow that leader in lock-step, no matter where that leader takes them, no matter what cliff they have to walk off.

They are no longer thinking clearly, they are just bloodthirsty and wanting to kill and hurt people. They want violence and they will not stop until they get violence, and we will be some of their first targets. We have already been their targets, actually, if you think about the church killings etc.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
haikugal Donating Member (476 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 09:07 PM
Response to Reply #1
10. Bob Altemeyer
wrote a book "The Authoritarians" I think it's the book and author you are thinking of.

http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey /

You can read the book for free at the link.

It's the best explanation of the right wing I've ever seen.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
LiberalLoner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 09:11 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. Yes, thank you, that's it exactly! :) I knew someone here would know it!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
sfwriter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 08:50 PM
Response to Original message
2. Try Carol Tarvis...
"Mistakes were made but not by me"

It's about why and how they can say and do what the do, though it isn't a book on politics, just cognitive dissonance.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Zoeisright Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 08:50 PM
Response to Original message
3. Think? Who says they think?
They listen to idiots like Mr. Anal Cyst and BlecKKK (sic) and repeat what they hear. There's no 'thinking' involved. If they actually thought about what they 'believe in', they wouldn't be repukes.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DJ13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 08:51 PM
Response to Original message
4. Alice in Wonderland
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Joe the Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 08:55 PM
Response to Original message
5. "What's the matter with Kansas?".....
sort of covers it but it's really more about why working class people vote for their own economic destruction by electing GOP filth.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Nay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 08:59 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. As is "Deer Hunting with Jesus" by Joe Bageant, but both are
important for understanding the underlying mindset of the everydat puke. To really scare yourself, read "The Family."
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
OhioBlue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 08:56 PM
Response to Original message
6. "Don't think like an Elephant" or "What's the matter with Kansas"
are a couple of good ones.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 09:08 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. Don't think OF an elephant
:P
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
OhioBlue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 10:04 PM
Response to Reply #11
19. thx!! n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
brewens Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 09:07 PM
Response to Original message
8. I know a woman that claims to be conservative.
She has a five year old who's dad never paid a dime of child support. About three years ago she was working as a blackjack dealer and doing her share of gambling in a low end casino and got pregnant again. This time the guy was a big talker that had never had a steady job. He did get a reasonable job but shortly after their first child, she got pregnant again.
She goes to a evangelical church, hates Obama and reads David Limbaugh. Quite the conservative alright. Even with her husband working, she still had to rely on WIC and her states food program, to feed her children. Because of their low income, the state paid for the births and any subsequent medical care her kids received.
Here is a "conservative" that evidently planned her and her family's entire existence around public assistance. It is mind boggling that she can think the way she does. I've been tempted to corner her and chew her head off about how hypocritical she is!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
woodguy Donating Member (10 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 10:18 PM
Response to Reply #8
22. Utah is a lot like that.
In almost every hamlet many are on public assistance while voting Republican who's wet dream is to take it all away.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DebbieCDC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 09:07 PM
Response to Original message
9. "The Wrecking Crew"
By the same author of "What's Wrong with Kansas"
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 09:10 PM
Response to Original message
12. Moral Politics
by Lakoff.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 09:13 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. Lakoff sets it out well.
He wrote the 'Elephant,' cited above.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 09:43 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. It's true
I thought MP was a better read, though... but I'm a nerd that way.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 09:12 PM
Response to Original message
14. _Conservatives Without Conscience_ by John Dean.
The Authoritarian Specter by Bob Altemeyer

The Authoritarians also by Bob Altemeyer

Authoritarianism and Polarization in American Politics by Marc J. Hetherington

These should give you a good framework for understanding the right-wing mind.

sw

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
arthritisR_US Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 10:11 PM
Response to Reply #14
21. Excellent suggestions!! n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 09:18 PM
Response to Original message
16. I would suggest these two
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
woodguy Donating Member (10 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 10:04 PM
Response to Original message
18. Hello IOWASOCIALIST
I read this a while back and it really hit home. Please let me know what you think.

The Difference Between Left and Right

* View
* Track

By Conceptual Guerilla

January 31st, 2007
Tagged: Framing

Inevitably, in the course of your battles with the right, you will confront the fundamental difference between the progressive and the reactionary sides of the political spectrum. It is highly useful to understand those differences, so you can effectively advance your own progressive world-view and undermine the right-wing world-view of your opponent.

The more I think about it, the more I believe that the difference can be summarized in one word. Democracy. Liberals believe in it. Conservatives don't. Many conservatives say as much. The question is why this fundamental difference, and what does it say about the real underlying difference between left and right.

I believe at bottom what we are dealing with is a fundamental conservative belief in social hierarchy. In fact, it appears to me that this fundamental belief goes beyond the philosophical into the realm of anthropology. In fact, without getting into a great deal of detail here I talk about it at length at my website it gets down a basic requirement of civilization built on human labor without the assistance of machines. Simply put, a privileged elite in such civilizations emerges simply because there is inadequate surplus production to support a more equial distribution among society as a whole. The conservative world-view is very simply a throw-back to a world of nobles and serfs.

In such a world, the government is made up of and exists to serve the interests of the elite. And indeed, that was the purpose and function of government for 6000 years until the end of the eighteenth century. Interestingly, with the rise of industrialization came the rise of modern notions of democracy, human rights and eventually the interests of labor. It brought about a revolution in the very concept of the nature and purpose of government. Whereas in the ancient and medieval world the government served the elite, today the government exists to serve the interests of all of the people.

Obviously, a government that serves the interests of the people ought to be controlled by them. And indeed, the roots of liberal, social democratic and even socialist philosophy are found in this very revolution in thinking. One of the more famous philosophers of this new vision of government and democracy was Thomas Jefferson.

Indeed, I have seen no better formulation of the modern theory of democracy than that contained within the Declaration of Independence. "That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and institute new Government, laying its foundations on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and Happiness."

In other words, the people of a nation can set their government up any way they want to, and can empower it to do anything they want it do. The only limitation on the form or power of the government is that set by the "consent of the governed" which would include minorities within a society. In other words, the only real limitation on the power and function of government.is the political process itself. Ideologies that perceive grossly limited "legitimate functions of government" have simply failed to understand the fundamental premise of democracy. The people can empower their government any way they want to. Who else besides the people who live in a country ought to decide what its government can and can't do. That is a question libertarians have a hard time answering.

This perhaps explains a lack of strong ideology, particularly among liberals. Liberals are inevitably pragmatic. We look to our government that we at least theoretically control to solve problems we can't solve as individuals. We do not perceive any particular "evil" or "tyranny" inherent in this though such tyranny is certainly posssible. Where the conservative sees "big government tyranny" in such things as Social Security and the Environmental Protection Agency, we see beneficial and benevolent uses of the power of the state. We see exactly the kinds of things government ought to do more of. It is the old fashioned uses of government prison, torture, executions, domestic surveillance, and of course war we'd like to see less of.

But those traditional functions of government are precisely the functions conservatives have no problem with. What was the medieval equivalent of the Social Security Administration? When did the Plantagenet monarchs of medieval England create anything that remotely resembled the National Labor Relations Board. In those days, a labor organizer was more likely to find himself dancing at the end of a rope. Because government in those days, employing the uses of government approved by conservatives, did little or nothing to advance the interests of regular people.

This new philosophy of government has become so well established in people's minds, no one would seriously suggest that we return to days of government as the arm of the elite. Now of course, many on the left claim and they are frequently correct that this is exactly what government continues to do. But there is a difference. In the old days, everyone understood that as the primary purpose of the government. Today, such oligarchies must dissemble about their true nature. They must at least pretend to be democratic. The fact is, that the modern view of the purpose of government makes popular control of the government the ultimate outcome, unless elites intervene to stop it.

This is where modern conservative ideology comes in. Notice that the conservative believes in hierarchy. He believes in social classes, and in the perogatives of wealth and privilege. He believes this in a world where the dominant political philosophy favors equality and democracy. Furthermore, that philosophy has created an interesting opportunity for the conservative, namely "social mobility". Persons of low birth can, theoretically, rise up through the heirarchy to become members of the elite. So he is not quite prepared to return to the days of legal class distinctions. He is content to accept de facto social classes, which of course is what our capitalists are.

Actually, the conservative does a neat conceptual trick. He privatizes privilege and class tyranny. Speaking the language of "liberty", and accepting the reality of democracy, he simply seeks shrink the realm of the legitimate power of democratic government to the point where it barely exists. According to the conservative, the only thing a democratic government can legitimately do is enforce his property and contract rights. Sure, the people may establish representative democracies, but those governments can't do anything that actually benefits more than a small segment of society.

Thus, we hear the conservative decry public tyranny read that "big government". What he calls "tyranny" is in fact efforts of popularly elected government to reign in the private tyranny found on his shop floor. In fact, the conservative isn't concerned about "tyranny" at all. He simply wants to shrink the sphere of public tyranny, and move it to "the private sector".

By now, you should begin to understand those really entertaining contradictions of conservative ideology. The hate "big government", but they clearly are talking about government restrictions on their power to pollute and exploit. The recognize no limitation on the power of government to protect their interests. The use the language of "liberty" but their methods inevitably reek of coercion. The support the "military solution" every time. Instead of throwing money at social problems, they throw prison at them. And of course, the "free market" itself is a ruthless jungle Hobbes' "war of all against all" where the economically powerful, thanks to government created and enforced rights, can use "market forces" to compel you to work cheap. There is little "liberty" to the conservative conception of liberty, except the liberty of the rich to throw their economic weight around.

So the difference between left and right comes down to a difference between hierarchy and equality and between oligarchy and democracy. The liberal left sees democratic government as a useful tool to be used for policies "as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness". The right sees democratic government as a threat to the power and privilege of wealthy elites, who increasingly exercise their tyranny in the private sector. Once you understand these distinctions, the contradictions of the right are fairly easy to attack, and legitimacy of social democratic reforms and initiatives are relatively easy to defend.

In fact, these are the themes that should dominate your efforts in the realm of political debate.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
nolabear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 10:07 PM
Response to Original message
20. Try Drew Westen. He's pretty good at addressing the visceral, fear-based response
and its manipulation.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Bobbie Jo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 10:22 PM
Response to Original message
23. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 10:28 PM
Response to Original message
24. The Authoritarians.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
iamtechus Donating Member (868 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 10:30 PM
Response to Original message
25. Just go to the website of one of the well-known book sellers and enter ...
"psychopath" and you will be rewarded with a list of books that probe the personalities of "conservatives".
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
mulsh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 10:37 PM
Response to Original message
26. Conservatives Without Conscience by John Dean
is very good. I explains why conservatives tend to be authoritarians with unquestioning ability both follow leaders and be leaders. After reading this book I believe I am better able to understand where my conservative friends are coming from. They now scare me even more.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Blue_In_AK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 10:43 PM
Response to Original message
27. John Dean has a book called Conservatives Without Conscience
that explains the mindset quite well.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
AdHocSolver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-14-10 03:38 AM
Response to Original message
28. Check out Stanley Milgram's book "Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View."
Edited on Sun Mar-14-10 03:40 AM by AdHocSolver
The original edition was published in 1974. Check if your local library has a copy.

Google "Stanley Milgram" for internet links.

Wikipedia has a page on Milgram and another page which describes his famous "Milgram Experiment".

The Milgram experiment was designed to find out how far people will obey authority figures if commanded to inflict pain or injury on another person. The experiment demonstrated that most people will inflict painful and injurious actions on another if ordered to. A chilling read.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Tue Sep 16th 2014, 09:52 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC