THE AUTHORITARIAN PERSONALITY
Adorno, Theodor et al (1950/2019). The Authoritarian Personality. New York: Harper and Brothers. 1072 pages.
This book is a seminal exercise on political psychology; it studied the roots of fascism, nationalism, and authoritarianism in 1930s/40s Europe; its findings apply to the rise of fascism in contemporary USA and Europe; it helps explain the Donald Trump phenomenon, how a literal idiot became the darling of the Republican party and the far right in the USA.
Reading this book made me think about (I will, in a few days, write a full review of the book):
WHY DO I PUT DOWN MYSELF, IGBOS, NIGERIANS, AFRICANS, BLACK PEOPLE?
I put me and people like me down because I have no respect for us. I see us as weak and inconsequential in the world of science and technology and do not think that we matter in this world.
I see white folks as responsible for all the science and technology of this world and respect them for it.
RESPECT IS NOT LOVE
In general, I do not love white folks because I see them as cowardly persons who do not stand up for what is right in itself, such as social and economic justice, instead, they obey their kings, dukes, counts, barons and their other aristocratic leaders that they think are born to be their natural leaders; in the present their political behavior is to obey their political leaders as if they are not the mindless fools they are; they see their political leaders as somehow special folks and like sheep obey them.
Donald Trump said that if he stands in the middle of fifth Avenue in New York City and asked his white followers to kill other people (say, Black folks) that they would do as he asked them to do!
The point here is that I do not respect Black folks because we are backwards; my life disposes me to admire those who seem outstanding and accomplishing. This is neurotic behavior; the neurotic, ala Alfred Adler, Karen Horney and Erich Fromm, quests for superiority and power and admires the seeming powerful people in his world.
The typical Igbos feels inadequate and admire rich and powerful people hence they have enormous potential for fascism; they admired Donald Trump because he is rich even though the man is an outright disgusting racist.
Igbos, I believe, trend towards authoritarian personalities, consider that they adored Emeka Ojukwu and Nnamdi Kanu; both are cowards who ran away from battle and abandoned their followers to die for them.
(I am not projecting what I see in me and deny it to Igbos; I represent them as they are; why not, in their traditional society, my kindred, the Osuji-Njoku of the Umuamadioha, represent the prototypal Igbos, we were their high priests and sometimes war leaders. I am as Igbo as Igbo can be. Igbos vaunted achievement orientation is best studied in my kindred, a kindred that only one hundred years ago had no access to Western education but today probably has the largest gathering of medical doctors, engineers, lawyers and professors in one African kindred; we are neurotics driven to succeed and accept ourselves only on what Carl Rogers calls conditionally, only when we are the best in doing what we do.)
I see white people as outstanding in areas that I admire, science, technology, and respect them for it, but I do not love them.
True love, as Erich Froom pointed out in his numerous books, especial the Art of Loving, loves all people, men, women, and children regardless of race; this is because true love means joining with all creation and its creator; nothing is outside the cycle of creation to be hated.
My approach to me (who I perceive to be weak, my body is weak), weak people and powerful people is neurotic.
The neurotic hates his weak self and other selves he perceives as weak and admires those he perceives as powerful but does not love them or anyone else.
Adorno et al talked about this phenomenon in their seminal book, the authoritarian personality, also called the fascist personality.
Poor white folks in Europe and America respect their rich and powerful leaders but hate their fellow poor whites; they voted for Donald Trump because they see him as wealthy and powerful when, in fact, he is a mindless clown.
Love loves all people regardless of their weak or powerful social status. I will write a formal review of Adorno’s Authoritarian Personality if I can ever have the time to complete reading its 1072 pages on my Kimble.
Ozodi Osuji October 6, 2022