Arjun Pathy

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“Thus, while demonstrating that authoritarianism is indeed the principal determinant of intolerance of difference worldwide, I also provide definitive evidence regarding what it is not. It is not a desire to preserve the status quo whatever that may be. It does not preclude support for social change, so long as we are changing together in pursuit of common goals. And it is not preference for laissez-faire economics. It does not necessitate opposition to government interventions that might serve to enhance oneness and sameness. As I noted at the close of Chapter 4, apart from confusing theory and confounding evidence for half a century, these common misconceptions create needless skepticism and resistance among those (quite reasonably) reluctant to accept that distaste for change implies distaste for other races, or that commitment to economic freedom somehow suggests an interest in moral regulation and political repression.
This confusion --- among both scholars and political elites --- has significant political and social implications. It can drive those who are merely averse to change into unnatural and unnecessary political alliances with the hateful and intolerant, when they could be rallied behind tolerance and respect for difference under the right conditions. These conditions would include authoritative reminders of how privileged are those ideals in one's national tradition; reassurances regarding established brakes on the pace of change, and the settled rules of the game to which all will adhere; and confidence in the leaders and institutions managing social conflict, and regulating the extent and rate of social change. I find compelling indications that status quo conservatives, if properly understood and marshaled, can be a liberal democracy's strongest bulwark against the dangers posed by intolerant social movements. Those by nature averse to change should find the "shining path" to the "glorious future" far more frightening than exciting, and can be expected to defend faithfully any established order --- including one of institutionalized respect for difference and protection of individual freedom --- against "authoritarian revolution." (p.326--327)”
Karen Stenner, The Authoritarian Dynamic

“If there are inherent predispositions to intolerance of difference, if citizens so predisposed pop up in all societies, and if those predispositions are actually activated by the experience of living in a vibrant democracy, then freedom feeds fear that undermines freedom, and democracy is its own undoing. The overall lesson is clear: when it comes to democracy, less is often more, or at least more secure. We can do all the moralizing we like about how we want our ideal democratic citizens to be. But democracy is most secure, and tolerance is maximized, when we design systems to accommodate how people actually are. Because some people will never live comfortably in a modern liberal democracy. (p.335)”
Karen Stenner, The Authoritarian Dynamic

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