Shedding Tears, Personality Disorder, Dandelions in the Wind
Good Morning from Prince Edward Island,
I hope this finds you doing ok.
I find writing difficult today as the brave souls of Ukraine fight for their democracy. Many tears were shed this week for the people of Ukraine.
We live in a time when history is written with an uncertain outcome.
Nourish your hopes, but do not overlook realities. ~ Winston Churchill
I try to write in a hopeful and encouraging way every Saturday morning. This morning is challenging me. Pulling on the history thread at 5 o’clock this morning, this is where I am.
What is more expensive, ignorance or education?
"Schools should be democratic public spheres. They should be places that educate people to be informed, to learn how to govern rather than be governed, to take justice seriously, to spur the radical imagination, to give them the tools that they need to be able to both relate to themselves and others in the wider world. I mean, at the heart of any education that matters, is a central question: How can you imagine a future much different than the present, and a future that basically grounds itself in questions of economic, political and social justice?" ~ Henry Giroux
I am researching the history and the personality of authoritarians. I share what I found.
Personality of Authoritarians
(embedded sources are in the Wikipedia article.)
The authoritarian personality has a strict superego, controlling a weak ego, and cannot cope with the id's strong impulses. The resulting intrapsychic conflicts cause personal insecurities, which result in the superego adhering to conventional norms.
The authoritarian person presents a cynical and disdainful view of humanity. And a need to wield power and be tough. Which arise from the anxieties produced by the perceived lapses of people who do not abide by society's conventions and social norms. Destructiveness and cynicism; a general tendency to focus upon people who violate the value system. And to act oppressively against them. Anti-intellectualism, general opposition to the subjective and imaginative. Tendencies of the mind (anti-intraception); a tendency to believe in mystic determination (superstition). And an exaggerated concern with sexual promiscuity.
"Authoritarianism and secrecy breed incompetence; the two feed on each other. It's a vicious cycle. Governments with authoritarian tendencies point to what is in fact their own incompetence as the rationale for giving them yet more power." ~ Josh Marshall
History of Authoritarian Regimes
(embedded sources are in Wikipedia article.)
Authoritarian regimes such as China and Russia and totalitarian states such as North Korea have attempted to export their system of government to other countries through "autocracy promotion."
- The Roman Empire, which Augustus founded following the end of the Roman Republic in 27 BC. Augustus officially kept the Roman Senate while effectively consolidating all of the real power in himself. Rome was generally peaceful and prosperous until the imperial rule of Commodus, starting in 180 AD. The crisis of the Third Century saw the barbarian invasions and insurrections by prominent generals and economic decline. Both Diocletian and Constantine the Great ruled as autocratic leaders, strengthening the emperor's control in a phase known as Dominate. The empire was vast, difficult to govern by a single emperor, and was ruled by a tetrarchy, instituted by Diocletian. Eventually, it was split into two halves, namely the Western and the Eastern. The Western Roman Empire fell in 476 after civic unrest.
- Further economic decline and invasions led to the surrender of Romulus Augustus to Odoacer, a Germanic king. On the other hand, the Eastern Roman Empire survived until 1453, with the Fall of Constantinople. Its rulers' main titles in Greek were Autocrator and Basileus.
- The Eastern Han dynasty of China under Dong Zhuo.Tsarist and Imperial Russia under Tsar Ivan the Terrible. Shortly after being crowned as ruler, Ivan IV immediately removed his political enemies by execution or exile and established dominance over the Russian empire, expanding the borders of his kingdom dramatically. To enforce his rule, Ivan established the Streltzy as Russia's standing army and developed two cavalry divisions that were fiercely loyal to the Tsar. He also found the Cossacks and the Oprichniki. In his later years, Ivan made orders for his forces to sack the city of Novgorod in fear of being overthrown. Emperor Nicholas introduced the ideology Orthodoxy, Autocracy and Nationality I of Russia.
- The Tokugawa shogunate was a period of Japanese history that followed a series of conflicts between warring clans, states, and rulers. Finally, Tokugawa Ieyasu seized control of Japan through a mix of superior tactics and diplomacy until he became the undisputed shogun (military ruler of Japan). The shogunate established by Tokugawa and continued by his successors controlled all aspects of life, closing the borders of Japan to all foreign nations and ruling with a policy of isolationism known as sakoku.
- Sweden during the reigns of Gustav I (1523–1560), Charles XI and Charles XII (1680–1718), and Gustav III and Gustav IV Adolf (1772–1809).
- Denmark-Norway under the House of Oldenburg.
- The French Republic and the French Empire from 1799 to 1814 under Napoleon Bonaparte.
- The Ottoman Empire from 1878 to 1908 under Abdul Hamid II
- The Soviet Union during the tenure of Joseph Stalin and other Soviet dictators. The Soviet Union was founded in 1922 following the Russian Civil War (1917–1922), and several of its leaders have been considered autocratic. Political repression occurred in the Soviet Union until its dissolution in 1991. (THIS NEEDS UPDATING)
- Fascist Italy under Benito Mussolini's rule starting from 1922.
- Empire of Japan under Hirohito with Imperial Rule Assistance Association.
- Adolf Hitler ruled nazi Germany. After the failed Beer Hall Putsch, the Nazi Party began a more subtle political strategy to take over the government. Following a tense social and political environment in the 1930s, the Nazis under Hitler took advantage of the civil unrest of the state to seize power through cunning propaganda and by the charismatic speeches of their party leader. By the time Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany, the Nazi Party had begun restricting civil liberties on the public following the Reichstag Fire. With a combination of cooperation and intimidation, Hitler and his party systematically weakened all opposition to his rule, transforming the Weimar Republic into a dictatorship where Hitler alone spoke and acted on behalf of Germany. Nazi Germany is an example of an autocracy run primarily by a single leader and his party.
- Indonesia under the Suharto's New Order (1966-1998).
- Greece under the military junta of Georgios Papadopoulos (1967–1974).
- Paraguay under the government of Alfredo Stroessner.
- The People’s Republic of China under the dictatorship of Mao Zedong.
"Freedom of choice is meaningless without knowledge. That's why it's crucial we all get engaged and get informed." ~ Neil Young
Have a a good weekend and till next time, take care of you.
Pray for Ukraine.
With love from Prince Edward Island.
Bruce + Millie
That's it! Time to Smile