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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

"I don't understand..."

~ Authoritarians and being susceptible ~

I'm reading a fascinating article that's somewhat scary.  It's about people who are afraid, who let themselves be ruled by fear.

Fear that the world will change, that the status quo will change, that The Other will triumph.

The article is about the authoritarian desire to feel safe by "destroying" the threat[s] with a strongman leader, or who claims to be, who promises to do drastic things to "solve" the problems.

Even when they are foolish impossible things offered as solutions.

It's most like the fear makes these folks all revert to childhood, to when some adult promised you that the thing wasn't under the bed... that the nightlight would drive away the monsters, that all you need do is Trust the Grown People to protect you.  The magic will make it all better.

This isn't meant as mockery, mind.  I am thinking back to childhood, remembering how adults would say such things, how we kids would believe.  We had to.

Children have to believe or they'll be permanently afraid all the time.  Monsters every so often aren't so bad, not when daylight will come and the sun will drive them away.

But for so many adults to be that way now scares me.  They're being manipulated horribly.

So I don't understand these people.  I've been afraid, but it was of something specific.  When my first mania was wearing off, I was afraid that I might be raped.  I was in a campground with thousands of people, and I wasn't staying with my friends, so on one hand that seems a reasonable fear for a woman alone.

Yet it was my depression talking, altering my mind.  Even when I was raped, I was then afraid of the rapist -- not the place, not the people around me.  Just him.

Of course, the article points out that I don't have the tendencies expressed and studied.  I don't see change as a cause for fear.  Hell, I am more likely to leap into a new situation; it's new, I don't know what it's like, it could be even better than the grass I'm in now!  8)

But the fearful people feel the world is a scary place...  And that's been reinforced -- for years! -- by right-wing media.  That troubles me.  "I don't want you to be able to think" is what that media wants of their viewers and listeners.  Indeed not.  Fear makes you react instead.  Makes you always defensive.

Must point out that when depression is bad, it makes me afraid too.  Not quite in the same way.  Afraid of specific things again.  Afraid of interacting with people -- they will want me to reply, respond, talk.

(I am really good at talking, which I do like, so being afraid of talking is a warning that I'm depressive and not in my right mind.)

No good way to end this, alas; my apologies.  Part rambling, part not.  Except one thing:  I like reading about dystopias.  I do not mean to live in one.  I will be most upset if half the country, or worse, decided that they need a new dystopia and to ruin, drive out, or destroy the others in their midst.

Because that would include me.  Very likely it would include you too.

Also on my mind: working class poverty, isolation, etc.  Tied in with depression.

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