Authoritarian thinking results in war, conflict and a negative-sum game. It is the transmission mechanism that converts economic insecurity into a political one (such as populism)
All it takes is to induce fear to realise that the survival mechanisms of oppression have never gone away. Populists and authoritarian leaders instinctively know that.
A few points to consider when devising a communication strategy that counters the populist hysteria around the subject of refugees.
The behavioural economics of liberty.
Unfreedom is a thinking pattern or a mental habit that can be evoked – but we can also snap out of it.
Oppressive regimes thrive on helplessness. So do overwhelming welfare regimes. A population reduced to helplessness is docile and passive. It is inactive and more likely to come up with justifications for the system and their own place in it, better than any ideology could. They will also discourage dissent among their own lot, to defend this world view.
Morality is one of the first things we outsource to government, along with physical protection and the provision of a national identity. Form this perspective, it hardly matters whether it was grabbed by an authoritarian regime or voluntarily surrendered to a pampering welfare regime, whether it was blamed on warfare or welfare.
Scapegoating is a symptom of fear – on many levels. We must break it down to its components and core incentives in order to fix it.