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.
Morality is one of the first things we outsource to government, along with physical protection and the provision of a national identity. Then we find it harder and harder to consider each other to be honest in the absence of law enforcement. Form the perspective of authoritarian mental habits, it hardly matters whether these functions have been grabbed by an authoritarian regime or voluntarily surrendered to a pampering welfare state – whether it was blamed on warfare or welfare.
Both conditional stupidity and conditional morality defy received wisdom and indicate that our very perceptions and stereotypes are to blame for much of the immorality and incompetence that we name as our reasons to distrust. Our view of other people is a great place to hide from the nagging need to better ourselves.
The research adopts the view that authoritarianism is a thinking pattern, a mental habit, a frame of mind that can be evoked – but we can also snap out of it.