This is the first of a series of blogs on Right-wing Authoritarianism (RWA). Further blogs will describe how to recognize those with RWA leanings, what they are likely to believe and how they are likely to behave, particularly in politics and religion.
According to Wikipedia, right-wing authoritarianism is defined as:
“Right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) is a personality and ideological variable studied in political, social, and personality psychology. Right-wing authoritarians are people who have a high degree of willingness to submit to authorities they perceive as established and legitimate, who adhere to societal conventions and norms, and who are hostile and punitive in their attitudes towards people who don’t adhere to them. They value uniformity and are in favour of using group authority, including coercion, to achieve it.”
According to this Wiki article, a key defining trait is a shared attitude toward others outside their belief group:
Right-wing authoritarians want society and social interactions structured in ways that increase uniformity and minimize diversity. In order to achieve that, they tend to be in favour of social control, coercion, and the use of group authority to place constraints on the behaviours of people such as political dissidents and ethnic minorities. These constraints might include restrictions on immigration, limits on free speech and association and laws regulating moral behaviour. It is the willingness to support or take action that leads to increased social uniformity that makes right-wing authoritarianism more than just a personal distaste for difference. Right-wing authoritarianism is characterized by obedience to authority, moral absolutism, racial and ethnic prejudice, and intolerance and punitiveness towards dissidents and deviants. In parenting, right-wing authoritarians value children’s obedience, neatness, and good manners.
Right-wing authoritarianism is defined by three attitudinal and behavioral clusters which correlate together:
- Authoritarian submission — a high degree of submissiveness to the authorities who are perceived to be established and legitimate in the society in which one lives.
- Authoritarian aggression — a general aggressiveness directed against deviants, outgroups, and other people that are perceived to be targets according to established authorities.
- Conventionalism — a high degree of adherence to the traditions and social norms that are perceived to be endorsed by society and its established authorities, and a belief that others in one’s society should also be required to adhere to these norms.
- Right-wing authoritarianism – Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right-wing_authoritarianism
- Social dominance orientation (SDO) – Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_dominance_orientation
- Right-wing politics – Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right-wing_politics
- Interactive version of the Right-wing Authoritarianism Scale. (Self-assessment): http://personality-testing.info/tests/RWAS/