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By James Jensen
Oct 20, 2007
"What has happened to the Right?" There are a number of people who will be offended by this book and dismiss it as a propaganda - most without even reading it. That is precisely what Bob Altemeyer's work predicts. In this book, Altemeyer presents his lifetime of research into what is known as Right-Wing Authoritarianism (RWA). If that terms does not scare you off immediately, you'll find in this book that (1) it isn't as politically-charged as it sounds (Stalinists were high-RWA left-wingers), and that (2) the evidence for this personality disorder is overwhelming. Simply put, the modern right-wing has become the political home for nearly all of the more than one-quarter of the population who support established traditions zealously and uncritically. This has given an audience to the corrupt politicians of the "New Right" who can be sure of support simply through saying what their followers want to hear. Perhaps most shocking is that the percentage of the... More > population who score highly on the RWA scale is only a few points short of the percentage which still support the Iraq war and who continued to support Nixon during Watergate. Altemeyer concludes that, due to the very nature of right-wing authoritarianism, there is simply no easy solution. The best approach is to offer a hand of friendship, to offer to work together on shared goals in hopes of broadening the authoritarians' perspective. The Authoritarians is a must-read book for liberals, moderates, and conservatives alike who are troubled by the extremism and corruption of modern neoconservatives.< Less