Authoritarianism: Left and Right Thing

This is the core of Authoritarianism:
Facade of “Self-Control” is truly Central Control

What is authoritarianism? Depends of who you ask? The most strident discussions concerning authoritarianism appears to be conducted by academic researchers (American academia is predominately neoliberal) and mainline media outlets both at home, America, and in Europe.

In its most basic form authoritarianism is the promotion of central rule or planning of all facets of life. In nearly every article I read the most dominant example of authoritarianism was Mr. Hitler’s rise to power via the Nazi party in pre-World War II Europe. The attempts to explain his rise to power in an otherwise mainstream Western Cultured nation have driven research into authoritarianism. This one-side view implies that other views are not promoting authoritarianism but warning against such a move by neoconservative political groups. I propose that neoliberalism is as guilty of promoting authoritarianism as indicated by my opening graphic. Yet, any discussion is like walking in a minefield. Discussing people’s pet issues trigger knee-jerk howls of discrimination rather than clear analysis of what is actually occurring.

Populism (Democracy) Leads to Authoritarianism
But so does Leadership by the Select Few

It would be wise for us to briefly look at Western governments of the 1920s-1940s. There was experimentation with centralized planning in various forms. Otto von Bismarck proposed a form of “state socialism” in Germany to head off Marxism-type movements that were gaining in popularity in late 19th century Europe (James Bartholomew. The Welfare of Nations. Cato Institute. 2016. p.4-7.). His “reforms” were copied by nearly every country so that by the 1920s even American politicians were playing with state socialism in rudimentary forms (I refer the reader to President Hoover’s attempts at social planning that were copied and popularized by President Roosevelt during the Depression). Mr. Hayek wrote a book (The Road to Serfdom) detailing the problems with central planning in the 1930s, which was largely ignored both then and now. This was condensed into a brief cartoon form for popular dissemination (The Road to Serfdom in Cartoons). While his work is used to promote libertarianism economics, the core of Mr. Hayek’s work warned of neoconservative rise to power in Germany and his response to negate Mr. Hitler’s influence. Needless to say, it was largely ignored with dire consequences that we still deal with today.

Nazi Hitlerism as become a “bogey man” to demonize the neoconservatives by the neoliberal. This is very apparent in an article attempting to explain authoritarianism for today’s readers (The rise of American authoritarianism). This article uses Nazi Hitlerism as the basis for explaining and warning of Mr. Trump’s rise to power. Now, I do not disagree with much of the article in this regard; however, I do find it disingenuous that the article does not apply the same analysis to the neoliberal political platform espoused by President Obama and Senator Clinton, as well as many others in this movement. The effect of this one-sided analysis by the academic researchers is to leave the impression that the neoliberal movement is the path of rational balance to the ideologues of the neoconservative zealots.

This is nowhere more apparent than in the article, “The Fragility of Democracy: Hitler’s Rise to Power“. The thrust of this article, contained in the title, is that democracy is easily perverted by people seeking power for their own aims using the very organs of democracy. This violates the Law of Non-Contradiction. The people elected Mr. Hitler, Mr. Hindenburg (President) under the rules of law at the time appointed Mr. Hitler as Chancellor and Mr. Hitler used constitutionally delegated emergency powers to extend his control. This was accomplished legally and with consent of the people.History demonstrated the ridiculousness of democracy as a coherent form of government dramatically illustrating why people from Plato to Jefferson feared it. Populism, democracy by another name, it the power of the people enforcing its will on everyone. I call it the Tyranny of the Majority. According to Plato democracy leads directly to tyranny which is exactly what Mr. Hitler accomplished. Democracy is not fragile, it is an “iron fist” smashing all who do not agree with the majority. It depends not on “rule of law” or facts or even coherency of thought. Democracy demands agreement and if there is not agreement then the alternative must be elimination of the opposition. This can be as innocuous as suppression of opposing opinions, rewriting history (books), skewed “scientific” research to obtain predetermined results to murder from a small scale to elimination of all peoples opposing the will of the majority.

While the neoconservatives seek to impose their will on national levels to create homogenous societies, for example; the neoliberal seek to impose their democratic tyranny as globalization. Both groups use trigger words that are ill defined, eliminate opposing viewpoints, and rely on centralized power to impose their will on everyone. You will hear words such as equality, fairness, legality, security which are meaningless without clear, precise definitions but frightening in their implications as they require overwhelming centralized power to implement. The implied threat is that opposing viewpoints are dangerous and must be suppressed or eliminated. Thus, both fascism and communism seek the same goals using the same democratic processes to claim legality for the imposition of their viewpoints on everyone.

Now that I have very briefly illustrated the problem I will now address my greatest concern: The integration of Christians into authoritarianism. In Exodus chapter 32, the people come to Aaron, who was leader in Moses’ absence {he was on Mount Horeb talking with God}, telling Aaron to make an idol, Golden Calf, since Moses must obviously be dead since he had been gone for nearly a month. Aaron did so and the Hebrews did a strange thing. They rebelled against God, and Moses, by declaring the Calf as the representation of God who led them from Egypt. That is, they rebelled against God by claiming to worship Him, just in a different form. This is how Christians are being co-opted into the two opposing democratic forms of today. The neoconservative idol, the State, opposes the neoliberal’s idol, globalization; yet, both rely on the same foundation: centralized power to coerce cohesion of their worship. Christians should not be worshiping either idol for both are forms of the same central power – Satan.

The neoliberal movement is largely supported by mainline Protestant denominations, Roman Catholicism, Greek Orthodox, to name a few, while also making large inroads into evangelical religions. The neoconservative movement is largely supported by “conservative” evangelical religions commonly derogatorily labeled as “fundamental” which can include many Baptist and Pentecostal groups. This breakdown applies primarily to America but follows along similar lines in non-Western cultures with peoples divided between statics and globalization. I recent became aware of how great this divide had become while watching counter protests in Germany between neoliberal and neoconservative factions with state run media organs supporting the neoliberal faction. The elections of United Kingdom (Brexit) and America (election of President Trump) have polarized the differences of which I write. Yet, the Christian is supposed to be a light to the world and not of the world. We should not be worshiping at either idol. Worship of any idol is nothing more than worship of Satan (1Co 10:14-22). Satan controls both sides of the issue to raise confusion while promoting centralized rule, for himself. Religions are just the handmaidens of this movement funneling people toward this ultimate authoritarianism. We should not be joining any movement. We should be advocating only one position – the Gospel of salvation which is scorned by both sides! Without the Gospel neither position is coherent, makes any sense.

Since Mr. Trump (statism) defeated Ms. Clinton (globalization) much effort is being expended proving that Mr. Trump will be another Mr. Hitler who promoted German statism over Soviet globalization. There is much discussion of his murdering of Jews but almost no discussion over the much higher figure of Soviet citizens murdered by their own government! The point is that neither position will promote the Gospel. Both sides see it as a threat to their position for both are nothing more than different sides of the same coin. By joining either movement Christians confuse the Gospel with government, the truth with lies. Our truth lies simply in the clear understanding of the Bible and the discernment to apply its truths in everyday life. Anything less means becoming ensured in the world so that the Gospel message is lost. We are not only the last bastions of truth; we are the only purveyors of truth. We must remain true to His message even as we see the world march into the oblivion of its own making and desire.

Author: LeeS

Retired naval nurse, Dad, Husband, Christian who seeks to share the Bible with those who want more than the superficial milk given out in the majority of today's churches. God has taught me through hard experiences as well as through book learning (Master's of Ministry, Doctor of Ministry).