Right Wing Authoritarianism and Social Dominant Orientation Scales as Liberal/Left Propaganda  

R. Houck

Right-Wing Authoritianism (RWA) and Social Dominant Orientation (SDO) are two scales frequently used to measure political attitudes. They aim to redefine authoritarianism and equality respectively by redefining common concepts in such a manner that you would be seen as having a mental disorder if you disagree with the tenets of wealth redistribution and forcing equal outcomes — or indeed, if you simply have Right-leaning views.

The RWA scale was devised by professor Bob Altemeyer of the University of Manitoba as an extension and refinement derived from the California F-scale created by the Frankfurt School’s Theodor Adorno et al. to measure the same construct. Altemeyer spent his entire career attempting to redefine hallmark traits of Liberalism, such as submissiveness to authority and aggression towards those who do not follow the Narrative (a hallmark of antifa), as Right Wing traits exclusively. Altemeyer claims only Right Wingers are capable of authoritarianism, and famous examples of Left Wing authoritarians, such as Lenin, Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot, etc., were actually crypto-Right Wingers. He further claims it is the Right Wing that consistently exhibit errors in cognition and in reasoning, and that they are the political side affiliated with hypocrisy and tend to have contradictory ideals. In The Authoritarians, Altemeyer describes his own usage of Right and Left Wing as “new-fangled” (p.9). Altemeyer thus openly admits playing with words and manipulating meanings to fit his own narrative. The entire work appears to be an exercise in academic sophistry. According to the RWA scale, if you believe in the American values of hard work, education, loyalty, and honesty, you’re a Right Wing Authoritarian, and quite obviously, a racist.

One of the statements on the RWA scale is Our country will be destroyed someday if we do not smash the perversions eating away at our moral fiber and traditional beliefs. If you agree that we must rid our society of the very things that are subversive to our way of life, and our values, then you’re on your way to being Ring Wing Authoritarian.

The scale Altemeyer devised was created so that the items included right-of-center views intertwined with an authoritarian bent. Consider, for example: There are many radical, immoral people in our country today, who are trying to ruin it for their own godless purposes, whom the authorities should put out of action. This question is worded in such a way that only a religious person would agree because they are triggered by the key words ‘immoral’ and ‘godless’. And then, by including the idea that the government should repress such individuals, Altemeyer has obviously created a scale that “proves” those with a religious conviction are inherently authoritarian in nature.

I could just as easily write a manipulative question that would only apply to those with a Left wing mindset: There are many racist, bigoted people in our country today, who are trying to ruin it for their own hateful purposes, whom the authorities should put out of action. Again, there is the idea that such people should be repressed, but now it is framed in a manner that is all too familiar in recent months as Left Wing Authoritarians have attacked Donald Trump supporters, Alt Right figures, and college speakers, while at the same time advocating “hate crime” laws that would put political dissenters in prison. All that needs to be done is to replace the key words that would cause a person more Right leaning to relate with key words that appeal more to the Left and then include something about suppression. Just as a person who is triggered by “godlessness” might agree strongly with the item and hence with suppression of the godless, a Leftist triggered by words like ‘racism’ and ‘bigot’ would tend to agree with the statement and hence agree with suppression.

Another scale item: Homosexuals and feminists should be praised for being brave enough to defy “traditional family values.” This question is incredibly complex and manipulative. I personally do not have any negative feelings towards homosexuals, yet I despise some versions of feminism. As a result I would not be able to agree with this statement that feminists are brave and deserve any praise. Therefore, according to Bob, I’m a Right Wing Authoritarian simply because I reject some the tenets of the more radical versions of feminism. The same question rewritten for my proposed Left Wing Authoritarian scale: White men and Conservatives should be praised for being brave enough to defy the theory of “White Privilege and the patriarchy.”

Replace immoral with bigot, and replace traditional family values with white privilege, replace homosexual with white men, and voila!: Left Wing Authoritarianism. Cheap parlor tricks indeed.

Is it the Liberal Left or the Right that wants a massive overreaching government and to put away people who commit “hate crimes” by simply criticizing immigration (not yet happening in the US because of First Amendment rulings but increasingly common in Europe)? Which group demands intellectual conformity on pain of ostracism and job loss? Which group uncritically accepts the narratives of the mainstream media? Which group is constantly creating a bogeyman to scapegoat, whether it’s the Russians, or White Privilege, or Systemic Racism, and then promises to protect their eager followers from these invented evils? If we critically examine the different behaviors of the Left Wing and Right Wing ideologies and groups, we see that clearly people reasonable seen as authoritarian can have a wide range of political attitudes.

 *   *   *

Another scale that is frequently taught alongside Right Wing Authoritarianism, is Social Dominant Orientation. SDO comes down to whether or not you believe in forced social equality and egalitarianism. According to SDO, if you do not accept the idea that everybody in society is meant to be completely equal, you’re an authoritarian. The differences here really derive from differing weightings of equality-of-opportunity versus equality-of-outcome. Liberals believe that effort should be entirely irrelevant, that there are no inherent differences between people in success-related traits, and that everybody should have the same outcome no matter what. On the other hand, people living in the real world understand that different life outcomes depend upon a myriad of factors, including traits like intelligence and conscientiousness.

Liberal-defined “equality” is a myth. We are all born equal in our right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness per our Constitution and laws — but not necessarily abilities such as IQ or athleticism that are influenced genetically. Liberals have the notion that if there is inequality found within society, between races, genders, classes — whatever, something must have gone awry, and usually the proposed culprit is White racism. By not taking individual effort and decisions into account, liberals end up thinking that there is no reason why resources shouldn’t be redistributed to lessen any material inequality.

A question from the SDO scale: It is unjust to try to make groups equal. If you think that it is indeed unjust to take from one group and give to another to make things equal, then you are trying to maintain power and dominance over lesser groups. Another scale item: We should strive to make incomes as equal as possible. If you reject the idea that society should even care about incomes being equal, you are again scoring higher on the SDO scale, proving you’re a power-hungry despot. Another: Groups at the bottom are just as deserving as groups at the top. Only somebody living in a fantasy would agree with this. In general, people who have less material wealth have different psychological traits and made different decisions than people in groups that have more. The “dropout” group at the bottom is not just as deserving as the “lawyer” group at the top that spent years in school and had to strive to get ahead. One group put forth very little effort, the other spent nearly a decade in school, sacrificing part of their youth so they may have a better future. Why would both groups be equally deserving of the same amount of income?

 *   *   *

Both RWA and SDO are instruments designed to demonize those of us who hold traditional values, individual accomplishment, and effort in high regard. The implicit values of the RWA and SDO are collectivist and ultimately anti-White (given the increasing presence of low-achievement non-White groups throughout the West) in the invidious sense favored by the left: guaranteed equality regardless of talent (whether inborn or socialized) and effort. They seek to undermine the very values that made America great. RWA seeks to attack and redefine Western values, and denigrates those who still believe in hard work and perseverance.

Those of us who still believe in individual effort and resilience are an imminent threat to the Collective Utopia the Left seeks, where we are all forced into equality. Collectivism and equality did not enable two Ohio men to fly or enable Michelangelo to paint the Sistine Chapel. Dedication, individual effort, and an iron will did. The very values the Left despises most.


Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks

22 Comments to "Right Wing Authoritarianism and Social Dominant Orientation Scales as Liberal/Left Propaganda  "

  1. George Kocan's Gravatar George Kocan
    June 13, 2017 - 8:39 am | Permalink

    The illogic of the so-called Progressive is stunning. But, that is the point, the goal is to destroy logic as a way of organizing reality. Reality is not understood by way of observation, logic and analysis, it is understood by way of ideology. More specifically, the ideology generates reality by a process known as the “social construction of reality.” I learned about this through an analogy with baseball. The pitcher’s ball determines nothing; the umpire’s call determines everything. The umpire determines reality and not the reality itself. In the case of the Progressives–who should really be understood as “socio-fascists”–the umpire is some governing body like a government whose job it is to determine reality. Dissent is not permitted. This shows that the very essence of what used to be called ‘liberalism’ and now is ‘progressivism’ is authoritarian to the nth degree. Vlad Lenin, famous Russian community organizer and perhaps the top socialist theorist, put it this way, “A dictatorship is rule based on force unrestrained by any law.” That says it all.

    • Bennis Mardens's Gravatar Bennis Mardens
      June 13, 2017 - 7:36 pm | Permalink

      Simply put, it’s the Jewish domination of all humanity, accomplished by any means necessary.

    • George Kocan's Gravatar George Kocan
      June 14, 2017 - 6:47 am | Permalink

      Setting aside my previous remarks, which rely on academese. The issue boils down to this: these guys like girly-men, they hate manly men. Manly men intimidate girly-men. Of course, they don’t like it. As it turns out, girly-men are like girls and they are good at verbalizations. So, they made up a theory which puts down manly men in a way that does not expose them to getting hurt. Academic guys tend to be girly-men, feminized male wimps. Years ago, I ran across a study which compared the testosterone levels of white collar guys, including those working in universities, with blue-collar guys. Guess who had the higher testosterone levels? Yeah, the blue-collar guys, the guys who worked with their hands, carpenters, plumbers, and cops, too.

  2. Old Ez's Gravatar Old Ez
    June 13, 2017 - 8:53 am | Permalink

    “I personally do not have any negative feelings towards homosexuals”

    Then there is mostly like some pathology and/or cogdis at work here. Being disgusted by homosexuals and homosexual acts is the default setting for normal, healthy adaptive individuals. If shaking the hand of a male homosexual does not give you pause, then there are only two possible explanations: (1) you’re unaware of what the homosexual lifestyle entails (on average!) and the diseases and decline in life expectancy associated with it, or, (2) you are aware of those things and are suffering from cogdis induced by pathological social conditioning that allows you to ignore the threat/danger objectively presented by the homosexual. I’m happy to be corrected if anyone can point that flaw in the logic here.

    • Bruce's Gravatar Bruce
      June 13, 2017 - 4:31 pm | Permalink

      I think having feelings of neutrality towards what consenting adults do in their spare time, so long as no other persons rights are infringed, is the default setting. It’s clear the author was using homosexuality and feminism in terms of questions from the RWA items to show the amount of manipulation in each item. The case of homosexuality and feminism is inconsequential to the argument, which is the left defines those who disagree, you for example, as having something wrong with them or their thoughts. You being disgusted by homosexuality is fine, but to people like Altemeyer, that makes you an authoritarian. Just as you are more repulsed by homosexual, some are more repulsed by feminism and see those views are more destructive to Western societies.

    • pterodactyl's Gravatar pterodactyl
      June 15, 2017 - 2:34 am | Permalink

      Old Ez – you can be uneasy and at the same time have no problem with what they do in private with each other. But these days the equalities lobby want schools to go further than this and teach young children about alternative lifestyles, and attempt to portray those who object as the ones committing hate crimes. Note how usually the left says environment determines outcomes in the nature/nurture debate, but when it comes to teaching about homosexuality to infants, this tenet that environment is what makes us is not applied, and in this case their lessons about two dads will have no impact in influencing the children’s sexuality.

  3. David's Gravatar David
    June 13, 2017 - 9:59 am | Permalink

    This author makes a very important point.

    Our institutions are being taken over by authoritarians. These include educational institutions and government agencies among others–but these in particular are good places for the beach landing. One fails to properly understand particular situations of conflict–or the wider phenomenon–as long as one remains trapped in the Left/Right paradigm of analysis. One must accept that these institutions and organizations are being used as trans-ideological laboratories of totalitarianism.

    The universities, colleges and government agencies, now the military too–especially the military perhaps–are being peopled with a new kind of agent: the New Totalitarian. In a particular case to which I am currently privy, the Right-wing “Christians” authoritarians are collaborating with the Left-wing authoritarians in order to bring about a third-way authoritarianism. This is a fascinating transformation to witness and it appears to coincide with the turbulent disassociations and realignments that we are observing on the scale of national and international politics. This is predictable given that the Globalists–e.g., Soros, The Rockefellers, Bilderbergers, the Saudis, Israel, as if I had to provide examples–have a long history of funding opposing interests in order to foment frank conflict and to neutralize opposition from either.

    In the destabilization brought about by pitting of thesis against antithesis, the manipulators achieve their desired synthetic outcome from the contrived dialectic, the “Strategy of Tension.” Expressed in alternative terms, there is a deliberate exploitation of crisis, response and solution.

    Witness what is occurring with Islam, being used like an attack dog against the first bulwark, that is, Western civilizations. Following the hoped-for fall of the West, a new focus will be directed toward what is imagined to be the presumably more-compliant, less-individualistic, remaining nations and peoples.

    On another scale, witness what is occurring at Evergreen State University in the State of Washington. There, a progressive biology professor, with a Jewish name, has been slated for take down. Clearly, he was useful at one time in advancing the cause–but now he was unable to keep up with the next wave of total domination. It did not matter that he was a good “Lefty,” presumably, for the length of his career.

    The studded tracks of the armored tanks of totalitarian advancement care not one bit whether they grind soldiers of either side of the former paradigm–including their own useful idiots–into a mess of bloody mud.

    It is unusual for pawns to remain until checkmate.

  4. Michael Adkins's Gravatar Michael Adkins
    June 13, 2017 - 10:36 am | Permalink

    “hallmark traits of Liberalism, such as submissiveness to authority and aggression towards those who do not follow the Narrative (a hallmark of antifa)”

    If antifa were true multicults they would storm the embassies of Japan, Israel and Liberia* to demand immediate integration of those countries. Let’s be honest, the antifa folk are hypocrites.

    *The Liberian constitution limits citizenship to Negro persons or those of Negro descent.

    • Sgt. Pepper's Gravatar Sgt. Pepper
      June 14, 2017 - 1:21 am | Permalink

      If antifa were true multicults they would storm the embassies of Japan, Israel and Liberia* to demand immediate integration of those countries. Let’s be honest, the antifa folk are hypocrites.

      I don’t think they’re hypocrites. They just believe that white people are uniquely evil— and so they want to impose the third world on whites, and whites alone.

  5. David Ashton's Gravatar David Ashton
    June 13, 2017 - 12:46 pm | Permalink

    These “criteria” are based on trick semantics and require a bit of “deconstruction” for implicit ideological bias. Other philosophers have sought to understand reality, but these people seek to fake it.

    May I just add one – I trust relevant – item among many from what was once regarded as the best university in the world?

    “Cambridge University examiners are told to avoid using words like ‘flair’, ‘brilliance’ and ‘genius’ when assessing students’ work because they are associated with men…. Lucy Delap, a lecturer in British history, said…they carry assumptions of gender inequality’.”

    “Ms Delap, who specialises in gender history, said one of the reasons men achieved more first-class degrees at Oxford and Cambridge than women was because female students struggled with the ‘male-dominated environment’….reading lists dominated by male academics and portraits hanging on college walls….”

    “‘We’re rewriting our first two years of our history degree to create a wider set of paper choices…to root out the unhelpful and very vague talk…which carries assumptions of gender inequality and also of class and ethnicity’.” – Daily Telegraph, June 13, 2017.

    Inspection of Dr Delap’s CV online indicates again how these academics contribute to official policy formulation regarding “race-gender-class”. Left-wing lunatics have taken over the asylum.

  6. Pierre de Craon's Gravatar Pierre de Craon
    June 13, 2017 - 2:18 pm | Permalink

    (Mod. Note: Pierre, your comments and annotations regarding the pile of grammatical errors requiring remedy have been forwarded to TPTB for action. Too much for a comment moderator to handle responsibly.)

  7. BOMFOG's Gravatar BOMFOG
    June 13, 2017 - 7:33 pm | Permalink

    It may be of interest that Altemeyer’s son Robert Altemeyer Jr. is a legislative leader in Manitoba of that province’s social democratic New Democratic Party. The party was shellacked in last year’s election but Altemeyer Jr. survived.

    • Curmudgeon's Gravatar Curmudgeon
      June 17, 2017 - 9:30 am | Permalink

      Altemeyer Jr. may or may not share his father’s deliberately misleading work. He “survived” because the electorate in his constituency have voted, and will likely continue to vote for New Democrats, just as other constituencies have voted, and will likely continue to vote for Progressive Conservative candidates.
      The NDP was “shellacked” in last year’s election because the media decided, shortly after his election as party leader in 2009, that he shouldn’t be the province’s Premier. When he actually led the party to victory in 2011, the rhetoric was ramped up, and led to 5 sitting party members to openly challenge his leadership. With blood in the water, the opposition parties were given free reign to distort reality.
      Don’t get me wrong, there was lots to complain about without the distortion, such as the NDP abandoning its White working class base to embrace identity politics.
      As for Altemeyer Sr.’s work, when first reading about in the local rag, I recognized it for the fraud it was. I had worked with pollsters, several times, who stressed the importance of asking a set of questions to get the result you want. As Mr. Houck points out, asking questions with an “and” is really two questions, one which may require answers. These two-in-one questions are often paired to emphasize one and minimize the second. The purpose of course, is to “herd” the responses to the desired result.

  8. Robert's Gravatar Robert
    June 13, 2017 - 8:27 pm | Permalink

    This totally destroys the life work of Altemeyer in 2 paragraphs.

  9. Sgt. Pepper's Gravatar Sgt. Pepper
    June 14, 2017 - 1:10 am | Permalink

    Its true that Altemeyer is your typical liberal who smears conservatives as “authoritarians.” But aside from this, he has developed a unique survey that, like the SDO scale, distinguishes conservatives from liberals– and yet in a manner that is different from the SDO scale.

    The RWA and SDO scales are *not* junk science— whatever their imperfections as they are currently written, they tap into twin factors that appear to underlie the political spectrum. (For example, on the libertarian “Nolan chart”, the RWA scale corresponds to the “social freedom” axis, the SDO scale to the “economic freedom” axis.)

  10. Santoculto's Gravatar Santoculto
    June 14, 2017 - 10:11 am | Permalink

    There are right wing authoritarianism, it’s seem obvious to conclude. What Altmeyer has tried to do is to create a authoritarian exclusivity of right wing as if (neo) left wing is its complete opposite while in the true they are very similar one each other, not in seeker types but in methods and results.

  11. Lucas Wheeler's Gravatar Lucas Wheeler
    June 14, 2017 - 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Wow Mahalos! Now I know what the biologist I work for, was prattling about, when he said that: “psychology had definitely defined what constitutes authoritarianism”. According to the boss man, because the “science was settled”, and that Trump was definitely an authoritarian we could safely dismiss anything he had to say. I would say most of liberal smugness is a result of junk science they believe in.

  12. pterodactyl's Gravatar pterodactyl
    June 15, 2017 - 2:52 am | Permalink

    Another point to make is that deep down, do these lefties seriously believe what they write, or is it all just for the consumption of their undergraduates. It seems to me that at one level they know they are inverting truth, eg saying the right-wing whites commit hate crimes and are racist when in reality it is the left who are full of hate and in reality it is the non-white tribes who are by far the most racist.

    Perhaps at one level they are fully aware that they are fully inverting the truth. But we must remember that the left think in a different way. Just because you or I value truth, we must mot assume that the left do. Suppose they attach zero importance to truth, and their only aim is to bring down the whites. In this pattern of thinking they will never have any qualms about what they do, as the truth (or right or morals) mean nothing to them. They are aware of such concepts but do not experience them personally. Therefore they will never address the question even to themselves: “Am I a total liar and deceiver” as the very question is meaningless to them, as in their wiring (actual neurons) there is no circuitry for generating such a thought. Their circuitry for generating such a concern does not exist. In place of circuitry (actual neurons) for morals (right/wrong/truth) they have circuitry for politics.

    Therefore, when these people retire after producing a mountain of lies over the decades the very thought that they have been inverting the truth for decades never even occurs to them. They can argue about morals and lies, but they are only concepts used in arguments, as they have to argue in a world where other people value these concepts, but for them personally they have no meaning.

    In the same way that I can talk about how exciting a football game was using all the language and terms of those who feel genuinely about it, and when you heard me you would assume that I enjoyed the match, when in fact I cannot understand for one second any excitement or pleasure in the entire game. So I can join in and use the terms that others do, without any of it meaning anything to me.

    • Bruce's Gravatar Bruce
      June 15, 2017 - 12:45 pm | Permalink

      Really great points! You tapped into a very crucial difference between the Left and Right. The Left are totally post-modernist. They do not believe in any sort of objective truth or moral standard. What is true and good to the Left, is anything that helps their agenda, whatever that happens to be at the moment. These “social scientist”, probably truly believe their own lies. But if they don’t, like you said, they still feed it to the undergrads and the liberal masses just the same, as it helps their cause.

      • pterodactyl's Gravatar pterodactyl
        June 23, 2017 - 12:53 am | Permalink

        Bruce “whatever that happens to be at the moment. ” correct, and this explains how they can be so flexible, eg now they embrace Islam. Perhaps the left taking the side of Islam is waking people up about the left and whose side they are on. The pro and anti-Islam divide is a simple thing that the masses who do not understand politics can easily understand. It makes them see which politicians are actually the enemy within.

    • Curmudgeon's Gravatar Curmudgeon
      June 17, 2017 - 9:53 am | Permalink

      I have noted that you use the term “lefties” as pejoratively as the globalists use “Nazis”. We haven’t been in a left/right paradigm for decades. We are, and have been, in an obvious globalist/nationalist paradigm. The Pat Buchanan video, above, has a clip from his 1992 campaign speech in which he identifies the forces at play.
      There are many so-called conservatives/righties that produce work as phony as Altemeyer’s, although not necessarily on the same topic. One example is the allegedly conservative (neo or otherwise) Daniel Pipes. Your apparently rhetorical question as to whether they actually believe what they write or whether it is for undergraduate consumption, is equally applicable to these types.
      IMO, the answer to you question would be that he actually believes it, because according to this site, the undergrads don’t:

      • pterodactyl's Gravatar pterodactyl
        June 23, 2017 - 1:08 am | Permalink

        Curmudgeon – I will reply later, but in case comments close, briefly: left/right to me is equivalent to globalist/patriot. I do not use ‘liberal’ to mean ‘left’ as ‘liberal’ means other things and is not used in Britain to mean ‘left’. Left looks to the lower, right looks to the higher. Left admires that which is low – it says that if all the lower people unite they are more numerous and can take over. They call this ‘equality’ and ‘fairness’. Right appeals to the better, and says better people should be in charge, who can get things done. The huge fault in the right is that when taken too far, right wing people can lead their country into unnecessary wars and kill off their best men.

Comments are closed.