I am going to give my opinion on this subject because I have been studying this personally since I was about 20 years old, perhaps longer. The impetus behind this commentary is some of the remarks on TV about “Dominating the streets”, resulting from the death of George Floyd. I will list the stages in bullet points.
- Firstly, Democracies are inherently unstable. The reason is because there are just too many opinions floating around. Most great philosophers in history say it is the worst form of government and no one really wants it. However, that argument is for another time. What is important to know now is that Democracy fractures because of all the independent opinions diverging in every direction.
- Secondly, the authoritarian rises up in the chaos because the people want law and order restored. Naturally, the strong man that identifies the “bad guy”, and promotes using the police and military to restore order is usually the man who gets the support. Military dictatorships in Latin America are good examples, not to mention Hitler and Stalin too.
- As the authoritarian starts to get tough, he finds himself in a “cloak and dagger” environment. This appears perfectly normal to me since the country is fractured into multiple splinter groups and they all want their way of doing things. Before you know it, people are exposed as traitors, spies, informers, and anarchists.
- In this environment, the authoritarian develops two profound characteristics: narcissism and paranoia. He may have been like this before taking office, but all the same, there you have it. Yuck, how dreadful. The more power he gets from the use of police and military, the more egotistical he becomes. However, the treachery in his ranks also makes him more paranoid. I don’t blame him
- In the past, these megalomaniacs had there own body guard – an entire army loyal to just him. Examples of this are Cyrus The Great who had the Immortals, and Hitler who had the SS, and Rome that had the Praetorian Guard. In such systems, the authoritarian is worried about “what are they saying about me?”. Now every citizen has to worry about every little thing they say in public. Any disagreement with the status-quo is interpreted as coming from “a trouble maker”.
Traditionally, this authoritative personality was called a tyrant – which literally means in Greek, unelected leader or an elected leader that works outside the law. I want to add also that history has known a few benevolent tyrants. They are not all bad. About 3 thousand years ago, there was a good one in Syracuse, Sicily.
I am not going to point fingers. All I am going to say is, read this article, then take a good look around you.