Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Department of Nothing Changes, Part I 

From Richard Hofstadter's essay "The Pseudo-Conservative Revolt--1954" (i.e., the essay was written in 1954).

Here he's quoting Adorno's The Authoritarian Personality (1950):

The pseudo-conservative, Adorno writes, shows ‘conventionality and authoritarian submissiveness’ in his conscious thinking and ‘violence, anarchic impulses, and chaotic destructiveness in the unconscious sphere…The pseudo-conservative is a man who, in the name of upholding traditional American values and institutions and defending them against more or less fictitious dangers, consciously or unconsciously aims at their abolition.’

Here he's quoting Leo Lowenthal and Norbert Guterman's Prophets of Deceit (1949):

'The [right-wing] agitator seems to steer clear of the area of material needs on which liberal and democratic movements concentrate; his main concern is a sphere of frustration that is usually ignored in traditional politics. The programs that concentrate on material needs seem to overlook that area of moral uncertainties and emotional frustrations that are the immediate manifestations of malaise. It may therefore be conjectured that his followers find the agitator’s statements attractive not because he occasionally promises to "maintain the American standard of living" or to provide a job for everyone, but because he intimates that he will give them the emotional satisfactions that are denied them in the contemporary social and economic set-up. He offers attitudes, not bread.’

On authority:

For pseudo-conservatism is among other things a disorder in relation to authority, characterized by an inability to find other modes for human relationship than those of more or less complete domination or submission. The pseudo-conservative always imagines himself to be dominated and imposed upon because he feels that he is not dominant, and knows of no other way of interpreting his position.
If only Hofstadter had lived to read this post from AmCop's inaugural day:

Faludi on Cretinator's Penetration of CA


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