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Lithos's Journal
Lithos's Journal
June 7, 2016

How World War II scientists invented a data-driven approach to fighting fascism


Many good quotes:

Though their experiences with the Holocaust suggested a causal connection between hatred of Jews and the rise of fascism, it turned out that people with authoritarian tendencies were more accurately described as ethnocentric. Authoritarians believed their own group was superior and expressed racism against a wide range of other people.

Another discovery was that authoritarians tended to distrust science and strongly disliked the idea of using imagination to solve problems. They preferred to stick to tried-and-true traditional methods of organizing society. Many believed that force was the best way to deal with conflict, partly because war is an inevitable outgrowth of human nature. Another personality trait that emerged had to do with sexuality. Authoritarians were rigidly opposed to homosexuality, occasionally suggesting that homosexuals should be killed or at least jailed. But more generally, they were fascinated by regulating other people's sex lives, often speculating about the "wild sex life" of groups they hated, whether those were artists, "weak" politicians, or racial minorities.

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