The original purpose of centralized control was to ensure the survival of the ML state against external forces such as the U.S., Germany, and Japan. It was also to protect against internal enemies, such as right wing elements, violent kulaks, and class enemies. History has shown that without centralized control there would not be the efficient leveraging of force to repel capitalist enemies who see a socialist nation as a “bad example” for workers in their own nations who might expect things like a living wage, universal healthcare, and even co-ownership of the means of production. The Paris Commune of 1871 was a beautiful anarchist community which was massacred by imperial forces. Likewise, Revolutionary Catalonia was an anarchist society torn to pieces by fascists. After the Soviet Union was founded it didn’t take long for the White Army to form. It was a collection of Tsarists, right wingers, fascists, and anti-communists hell bent on smashing the Soviet Union. To make matters worse, 17 nations aided the White Army. Thus began the bloody Russian Civil War. By mobilizing the people of the newly formed state Lenin was able to defeat the White Army with the strength of Soviet power. The infastructure of the nation was destroyed. Roads, rail lines, buildings—it was total devastation. Given the time of crisis Lenin instituted the NEP, which permitted a form of state capitalism which limited capitalism. It was intended only as an emergency matter. It worked to avoid economic collapse, but the nation was still relatively undeveloped with respect to industrialization. Kulaks were small landowners who often had peasant farmers working for them. Peasants did the bulk of the work while kulaks lived lives of relative affluence. Farming was terribly inefficient. The agricultural output was just enough to feed the nation, but in many years of inclement weather there were droughts and famines.
Famines had been a regular part of life under the Tsar going back hundreds of years. To industrialize there needed to be a large increase in agricultural output, thus enabling peasants to move to the cities to work in the factories. The NEP and kulak system was incapable of this. To move from a semi-feudal, peasant agricultural economy to an industrial superpower within 10 years was required for the nation to survive. External enemies wouldn’t permit a “bad example” socialist nation to survive for long. Stalin said, prophetically in 1929:
We are fifty or a hundred years behind the advanced countries. We must make good this distance in ten years. Either we do it, or they will crush us.
The plan was to collectivize agriculture and make it more efficient, including updating farming methods and techniques. Economy of scale was utilized, and a master plan was designed to increase yields so people could move to the cities to work in factories. The problem was the resistance posed by the kulaks. They sabotaged food production, including killing 50% of the animals used to work the land. They also violently lashed out to prevent the loss of their comfortable lives. A mixture of drought, sabotage, and other factors caused the Ukrainian Famine.  It was never deliberately caused by Stalin or the Soviet government, despite what Ukrainian nationalists, Nazis, and Western propagandists like Robert Conquest tell you. There was a famine, yes. But it was not intentionally caused. Relief measures were provided as well. After the kulaks were forcibly relocated the grain yields improved significantly. The process of industrialization hummed forward, and the Soviet Union would become the world’s second largest industrial superpower, defeat the massive Nazi forces, and prosper.
Collectivization updated farming methods
The beginning of any nation is a time of great trouble, particularly if the nation was founded by revolution. But in time things do settle. The Soviet Union was in great turmoil up until the death of Stalin. After this time there was the Cold War, but internally most of the strong opposition had been defeated. Things calmed. It was possible to relax the political repression without having the nation collapse. However, Khrushchev made several mistakes which began the long process of decay which culminated with Gorbachev and the dissolution of the Soviet Union.  Under Stalin there was strong centralized government and planning.  Khrushchev introduced “market reforms” which were ill conceived and only led to the creation of a capitalist black market which threatened the official economy. After Stalin the process of rotating cadres ended. Instead of term limits and anti-corruption measures (as done in China), a permanent class of entitled nomenklatura developed. Corruption set in, and the strength of the Communist Party was greatly weakened and ultimately destroyed.Without a strong Communist Party a ML nation cannot survive.
Contrast this with China and the CCP, which has survived and thrived. To this day China is a one party, Marxist Leninist state. There is still considerable central planning. Transportation, finance, defense, and other major industries are state owned or at least have CCP cells in them. The overall direction of the economy is planned, and key industries are subsidized. For example, during the recent COVID-19 pandemic the government was able to quarantine an entire region, one consisting of 60 million people. This prevented the larger spread of the virus, which threatened to infect the entire nation and destroy its economy. For those effected by the lockdown, the government replaced the people’s wages, provided free healthcare and testing, and built several new hospitals and treatment centers from ground up. The government decided as a nation that it would absorb the economic losses associated with the pandemic. Contrast this with the U.S. Trump is preparing to end the lockdown by Easter which is holding back the rate of infection so the hospital system is not overwhelmed by those infected and seriously ill. The lockdowns save lives. The pandemic in the U.S. is expected to peak at the same time Trump wants to “unleash” the American economy. It is going to be a murderous disaster. This came after Trump had a telephone conference with the leaders of the largest hedge funds in the U.S. Under capitalist systems money is more important than human life. Profit is king.
Modern China is not perfect. Deng Xiaoping and capitalist roaders introduced “market reforms” which watered down the socialist nature of China but thankfully did not destroy its socialist character. The means of production in China are still substantially owned by the people via the state, and ultimate control of the nation still lies with the CCP. Since 2010 inequality in China is coming down. Social services are constantly being implemented. The hard work and creativity of the Chinese people have lifted over a billion people out of poverty. President Xi was a product of the Cultural Revolution and has tried to move more toward socialism, as the means of production are owned by the public and not privately. In fact it is these reforms which have angered the West as China becomes a major world power. In real terms the Chinese economy has already surpassed that of the U.S.
But the U.S. and Western powers will not peacefully coexist with a strong China. The existence of imperial aggressors will always pose an existential threat. The centralized power of the CCP and its ability to mobilize the productive forces to compete is what makes it strong. Until the world is united in socialist brotherhood, local self governance without a strong centralized government is impossible.
If Hitler were a psychopath it would have made things so much easier. Psychopaths have no empathy, are unrepentant for their crimes, and act out of sheer self-interest, everyone else be damned. But Hitler wasn’t a psychopath. And that is what should send chills down the spine of those who wish to prevent another Adolf Hitler.
Hitler had compassion for animals. He was a vegetarian because of it. He eliminated the practice of human zoos, which were horrifically permitted at that time. Psychopaths are motivated by power and wealth. Hitler wanted power, but not for itself. He wanted power to implement his vision of a “better” world. Horrifically, he was motivated by higher aspirations. The problem was that his aspirations were monstrous.
As a child Hitler was close with his mother, but had a terrible relationship with his father, who used to beat him. German children were raised with an authoritarian parenting style, which meant blind obedience to the father, submission to authority generally, conformity, and embracing traditional values. For many children this creates internal anger toward the parent. But because this cannot be expressed outwardly, it is expressed in other ways.
Of course having an authoritarian parenting style and being abused is not enough by itself to turn you into Adolf Hitler.
During WWI Hitler was involved in fighting in trench warfare. He was nearly killed, but somehow survived. He was very dedicated and brave. He volunteered for things that were dangerous and others were reluctant to do. He was horrified by the German defeat. He began to believe that it was Jewish bankers and elites that were responsible for getting Germany into WWI in the first place, and he also hated Marxists, whom he called “Judeo-Bolsheviks.” He believed in the genetic superiority of certain races and eugenics, which were popular at this time in the West. In some nations the mentally disabled were sterilized without their consent. Hitler believed that Aryans were superior to other groups. These were blond-haired, blue-eyed, strong, tall, and beautiful people. He believed that Jews never assimilated into the cultures of other nations, and remained a tribe unto themselves, with no loyalty to anyone but themselves. He believed that Marxists promoted race mixing, which would lead to genetic degradation of the species. Jews were also considered immoral, as he believed they only worshiped money. Hitler believed in the value of traditional German culture. So in a very warped and anti-Semitic way, he wanted the world to be a better place for at least some people. He was not acting in a purely selfish manner. He had morals, but the problem was that his morals and the way to implement them were unspeakably harmful and murderous to millions of people.
In many ways the Marxist and the fascist are inversions of each other. The value systems are completely opposite of one another. This also explains why the fascists and the communists were engaged in street fights in pre-WWII Germany, and why Hitler promised to get rid of the communists if he were to gain power. And the German Middle Class endorsed this. Hitler was actually very honest about his intentions, and had the widespread support of the people.
Example of an Aryan
Hitler believed Jews were greedy and obsessed with money above all else.
Nazis believed the U.S. was under the negative influence of blacks and Jews. This caused them moral degeneration. “Negro music” was considered a particularly bad influence.
Jews scheme to undermine the morality of non-Jews.
Hitler believed communist Jews were responsible for the destruction of Germany.
We learn a great deal about the connection between racism and “purity” from Hitler and the Nazis.
Many racists have authoritarian personalities. They believe some races are genetically better than others. They believe in obedience, conformity, listening to the leader “father figure” who scapegoats minority groups to consolidate his own power.
For example, Hitler hated Jews because many of them were communists. Even called them Judeo-Bolsheviks, as a very large number of Bolsheviks were Jews. In Hitler’s mind equality, fraternity, solidarity, and anti-racism are immoral, because these values go against the natural order of things, which is futile and wrong. In his mind it was arrogance to go against the law of nature that made Aryans superior. Because they are genetically inferior, then the only way to get rid of them is a Final Solution—extermination. He believed some groups were not merely less valuable, but were natural slaves—Slavs and blacks, for example.
Racists also are obsessed with the nature of “purity.” Communists and left-leaning people promote impurity, which is bad. Racists fear being tainted, and studies have shown they are more easily grossed out than liberals. That is why they refer to the Aryans as a “pure” race. Even having sex with a black person or a Jew makes you “tainted.” In the porn industry some female stars don’t perform with black stars because it would anger their racist fan base.
The racism and anti-Semitism of Hitler and the Nazis was not unique to them at the time. In fact, the German lawyers that wrote the laws to persecute the Jews were influenced by the U.S. miscegenation laws, which forbade marriage between whites and blacks.
This kind of racial anti-Semitism, with its elements of physical revulsion, sexual panic and assumption of clear, easily recognizable physical differences, had obvious parallels with European and American racism towards Africans and, later, African Americans. Like other forms of racism, including that of the slaveholding American South, this anti-Semitism associated pejorative qualities of inward character with specific physiological attributes. The Jewish body implied a Jewish character, associated with cowardice, sexual rapacity, crime, murderous attacks on women and children, lack of patriotism and subversion of the nation. This kind of pornographic and biological anti-Semitism certainly fostered a climate of hatred and revulsion in which mass murder was a possibility. It was central to the murders of the mentally ill and physically handicapped, and to barbaric “medical experiments” undertaken by Nazi physicians. It played an important role in the development of techniques of mass gassing and lent the prestige of science to inhumanity, and in so doing contributed to a climate of opinion in which a genocide could take place. Yet arguments resting on racial biology were not the decisive ones made by Hitler when he launched and implemented the Holocaust, nor those made by other Nazi leaders, notably Joseph Goebbels, in justifying the ongoing extermination. The Nazi anti-Semitism of the 1930s was similar in its outcomes to the white racism that had justified slavery before the Civil War and legalized segregation and discrimination afterwards. Ideological assertions about the supposed physical and moral inferiority of the Jews, like comparable assertions about African Americans, were components of both eras of persecution, associated with both forms of racism.
One of the most chilling things we learn from Adolf Hitler is that he was not some lunatic acting on his own. He was no Pied Piper, leading the unaware German people to start WWII and begin the Holocaust, and in the end leave Germany in ruins and 80 million people dead. He told the German people what they wanted to hear, and at some level they agreed with him.
Hitler was a product of childhood abuse, of a society in which many were raised by authoritarian parenting styles, in which the demands for submissiveness, conformity, obedience, hierarchy, and “everyone having a place” were demanded and deeply ingrained. Hitler wrote Mein Kampf, in which he openly told the people about his anti-Semitic, racist, and horrible viewpoints. The people liked these, and agreed with them. The German Middle Classes voted overwhelmingly for him because he promised to do what he said he would do. He even told the people that once elected he would make himself an authoritarian ruler!
Fascist demagogues use scapegoating to take the anger and resentment of the masses and direct them toward an “outside” group. Similarly, the authoritarian personality cannot express anger and rage toward the parent and directs it at the family scapegoat. This enables the family to pull together in their shared hatred. It is an emotional illusion, because it doesn’t solve anything. The Jews were not the cause of Germany’s problems. In the U.S. the “illegals” are blamed for the collapse of the American Middle Class. Trump used the “illegals” as a scapegoat, and it worked. The battle over the border wall had nothing to do with national security. It was political and nothing more. Are there problems with immigration that need to be addressed? Yes. But not with the zeal Trump with which approaches it.
Modern-day fascists employ many of the techniques used by Hitler: scapegoating, appeal to an earlier, nostalgic, “better past” of the nation. In fact, Hitler said he was going to make “Germany great again.”
Obviously Trump and Hitler are far from the same. And it would be too much to lump them together. But the underlying psychological mechanisms that give rise to a Hitler also give rise to a Trump. What we should be worried about is not Trump, but the next demagogue, who may be far, far more dangerous than Trump.
Both the U.S. and pre-WWII Germany saw the Middle Classes being destroyed and the financial prospects of the people in ruins. When capitalism is in decay the people move toward fascism. Right-wing ideology is appealing to people because studies have shown that people become more conservative and security-oriented. Leaders who appeal to things like “protecting us from the enemies,” building up the military to keep us safe, celebrating militarism, traditional family values, fighting against moral degeneracy, racism, and xenophobia. All these are about purity, disgust, protection, and not not being “tainted.” Interestingly, when Trump is not nailing porn stars he is indeed worried about being tainted, and won’t shake people’s hands because he considers it “filthy.”
Fascism promises to protect the private property rights of the bourgeoisie. This is appealing because as capitalist systems fall apart there is the threat of the people rising up and causing unrest. They might even seize the means of production and become a socialist nation, as happened in Cuba and the former Soviet Union. That terrifies the élites, so with the fascists you have the strength of a dictator to ensure smooth operation of the government and military enforcement of private property rights. While Marxist-Leninist regimes are authoritarian, they are against private property rights with respect to the ownership of the means of production. They are based not on racism but on equality, and ethno-nationalism and bigotry are outlawed.
USSR propaganda. We aren’t in Nazi Germany anymore, folks!
Authoritarianism and racism go hand in hand. If there were a battle between fascism and communism for the future of America, fascism would win every time. In fact, it is very likely that if the U.S. government began exterminating illegal immigrants at the border and it was not confirmed but suspected, U.S. citizens would not do anything about it, or pretend to not know. We have reached that point.
In the early 2000s, as researchers began to make use of the NES data to understand how authoritarianism affected US politics, their work revealed three insights that help explain not just the rise of Trump, but seemingly a half-century of American political dynamics.
The first was Hetherington and Weiler’s insight into partisan polarization. In the 1960s, the Republican Party had reinvented itself as the party of law, order, and traditional values — a position that naturally appealed to order- and tradition-focused authoritarians. Over the decades that followed, authoritarians increasingly gravitated toward the GOP, where their concentration gave them more and more influence over time.
The second was Stenner’s theory of “activation.” In an influential 2005 book called The Authoritarian Dynamic, Stenner argued that many authoritarians might be latent — that they might not necessarily support authoritarian leaders or policies until their authoritarianism had been “activated.”
THE SOCIAL THREAT THEORY HELPS EXPLAIN WHY AUTHORITARIANS SEEM SO PRONE TO REJECT NOT JUST ONE SPECIFIC KIND OF OUTSIDER OR SOCIAL CHANGE, SUCH AS MUSLIMS OR SAME-SEX COUPLES OR HISPANIC MIGRANTS, BUT RATHER TO REJECT ALL OF THEM
This activation could come from feeling threatened by social changes such as evolving social norms or increasing diversity, or any other change that they believe will profoundly alter the social order they want to protect. In response, previously more moderate individuals would come to support leaders and policies we might now call Trump-esque.
Other researchers, like Hetherington, take a slightly different view. They believe that authoritarians aren’t “activated” — they’ve always held their authoritarian preferences — but that they only come to express those preferences once they feel threatened by social change or some kind of threat from outsiders.
But both schools of thought agree on the basic causality of authoritarianism. People do not support extreme policies and strongman leaders just out of an affirmative desire for authoritarianism, but rather as a response to experiencing certain kinds of threats.
The third insight came from Hetherington and American University professor Elizabeth Suhay, who found that when non-authoritarians feel sufficiently scared, they also start to behave, politically, like authoritarians.
But Hetherington and Suhay found a distinction between physical threats such as terrorism, which could lead non-authoritarians to behave like authoritarians, and more abstract social threats, such as eroding social norms or demographic changes, which do not have that effect. That distinction would turn out to be important, but it also meant that in times when many Americans perceived imminent physical threats, the population of authoritarians could seem to swell rapidly.
Together, those three insights added up to one terrifying theory: that if social change and physical threats coincided at the same time, it could awaken a potentially enormous population of American authoritarians, who would demand a strongman leader and the extreme policies necessary, in their view, to meet the rising threats.
This theory would seem to predict the rise of an American political constituency that looks an awful lot like the support base that has emerged, seemingly out of nowhere, to propel Donald Trump from sideshow loser of the 2012 GOP primary to runaway frontrunner in 2016.
Beyond being almost alarmingly prescient, this theory speaks to an oft-stated concern about Trump: that what’s scariest is not the candidate, but rather the extent and fervor of his support.
And it raises a question: If this rise in American authoritarianism is so powerful as to drive Trump’s ascent, then how else might it be shaping American politics? And what effect could it have even after the 2016 race has ended?
IV. What can authoritarianism explain?
Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images
In early February, shortly after Trump finished second in the Iowa caucus and ended any doubts about his support, Ibegan talking to Feldman, Hetherington, and MacWilliams to try to answer these questions.
MacWilliams had already demonstrated a link between authoritarianism and support for Trump. But we wanted to know how else authoritarianism was playing out in American life, from policy positions to party politics to social issues, and what it might mean for America’s future.
It was time to call Kyle Dropp. Dropp is a political scientist and pollster whom one of my colleagues described as “the Doogie Howser of polling.” He does indeed appear jarringly young for a Dartmouth professor. But he is also the co-founder of a media and polling company, Morning Consult, that had worked with Vox on several other projects.
When we approached Morning Consult, Dropp and his colleagues were excited. Dropp was familiar with Hetherington’s work and the authoritarianism measure, he said, and was instantly intrigued by how we could test its relevance to the election. Hetherington and the other political scientists were, in turn, eager to more fully explore the theories that had suddenly become much more relevant.
NON-AUTHORITARIANS WHO WERE SUFFICIENTLY FRIGHTENED OF THREATS LIKE TERRORISM COULD ESSENTIALLY BE SCARED INTO ACTING LIKE AUTHORITARIANS
We put together five sets of questions. The first set, of course, was the test for authoritarianism that Feldman had developed. This would allow us to measure how authoritarianism coincided or didn’t with our other sets of questions.
The second set asked standard election-season questions on preferred candidates and party affiliation.
The third set tested voters’ fears of a series of physical threats, ranging from ISIS and Russia to viruses and car accidents.
The fourth set tested policy preferences, in an attempt to see how authoritarianism might lead voters to support particular policies.
If the research were right, then we’d expect people who scored highly on authoritarianism to express outsize fear of “outsider” threats such as ISIS or foreign governments versus other threats. We also expected that non-authoritarians who expressed high levels of fear would be more likely to support Trump. This would speak to physical fears as triggering a kind of authoritarian upsurge, which would in turn lead to Trump support.
WE WANTED TO LOOK AT THE ROLE AUTHORITARIANS ARE PLAYING IN THE ELECTION
The final set of questions was intended to test fear of social change. We asked people to rate a series of social changes — both actual and hypothetical — on a scale of “very good” to “very bad” for the country. These included same-sex marriage, a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants living in the United States, and American Muslims building more mosques in US cities.
If the theory about social change provoking stress amongst authoritarians turned out to be correct, then authoritarians would be more likely to rate the changes as bad for the country.
In the aggregate, we were hoping to do a few things. We wanted to understand who these people are, in simple demographic terms, and to test the basic hypotheses about how authoritarianism, in theory, is supposed to work. We wanted to look at the role authoritarians are playing in the election: Were they driving certain policy positions, for example?
We wanted to better understand the larger forces that had suddenly made authoritarians so numerous and so extreme — was it migration, terrorism, perhaps the decline of working-class whites? And maybe most of all, we wanted to develop some theories about what the rise of American authoritarianism meant for the future of polarization between the parties as well as a Republican Party that had become both more extreme and internally divided.
About 10 days later, shortly after Trump won the New Hampshire primary, the poll went into the field. In less than two weeks, we had our results.
V. How the GOP became the party of authoritarians
Donald Trump and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie sign autographs during a Trump campaign event in Texas. Tom Pennington/Getty Images
The first thing that jumped out from the data on authoritarians is just how many there are. Our results found that 44 percent of white respondents nationwide scored as “high” or “very high” authoritarians, with 19 percent as “very high.” That’s actually not unusual, and lines up with previous national surveys that found that the authoritarian disposition is far from rare1.
The key thing to understand is that authoritarianism is often latent; people in this 44 percent only vote or otherwise act as authoritarians once triggered by some perceived threat, physical or social. But that latency is part of how, over the past few decades, authoritarians have quietly become a powerful political constituency without anyone realizing it.
Today, according to our survey, authoritarians skew heavily Republican. More than 65 percent of people who scored highest on the authoritarianism questions were GOP voters. More than 55 percent of surveyed Republicans scored as “high” or “very high” authoritarians.
And at the other end of the scale, that pattern reversed. People whose scores were most non-authoritarian — meaning they always chose the non-authoritarian parenting answer — were almost 75 percent Democrats.
But this hasn’t always been the case. According to Hetherington and Weiler’s research, this is not a story about how Republicans are from Mars and Democrats are from Venus. It’s a story of polarization that increased over time.
They trace the trend to the 1960s, when the Republican Party shifted electoral strategies to try to win disaffected Southern Democrats, in part by speaking to fears of changing social norms — for example, the racial hierarchies upset by civil rights. The GOP also embraced a “law and order” platform with a heavily racial appeal to white voters who were concerned about race riots.
This positioned the GOP as the party of traditional values and social structures — a role that it has maintained ever since. That promise to stave off social change and, if necessary, to impose order happened to speak powerfully to voters with authoritarian inclinations.
Democrats, by contrast, have positioned themselves as the party of civil rights, equality, and social progress — in other words, as the party of social change, a position that not only fails to attract but actively repels change-averse authoritarians.
Over the next several decades, Hetherington explained to me, this led authoritarians to naturally “sort” themselves into the Republican Party.
That matters, because as more authoritarians sort themselves into the GOP, they have more influence over its policies and candidates. It is not for nothing that our poll found that more than half of the Republican respondents score as authoritarian.
Perhaps more importantly, the party has less and less ability to ignore authoritarians’ voting preferences — even if those preferences clash with the mainstream party establishment.
VI. Trump, authoritarians, and fear
Based on our data, Morning Consult data scientist Adam Petrihos said that “among Republicans, very high/high authoritarianism is very predictive of support for Trump.” Trump has 42 percent support among Republicans but, according to our survey, a full 52 percent support among very high authoritarians.
Authoritarianism was the best single predictor of support for Trump, although having a high school education also came close. And as Hetherington noted after reviewing our results, the relationship between authoritarianism and Trump support remained robust, even after controlling for education level and gender.
Trump support was much lower among Republicans who scored low on authoritarianism: only 38 percent.
But that’s still awfully high. So what could explain Trump’s support among non-authoritarians?
I suspected the answer might lie at least partly in Hetherington and Suhay’s research on how fear affects non-authoritarian voters, so I called them to discuss the data. Hetherington crunched some numbers on physical threats and noticed two things.
The first was that authoritarians tend to fear very specific kinds of physical threats.
Authoritarians, we found in our survey, tend to most fear threats that come from abroad, such as ISIS or Russia or Iran. These are threats, the researchers point out, to which people can put a face; a scary terrorist or an Iranian ayatollah. Non-authoritarians were much less afraid of those threats. For instance, 73 percent of very high-scoring authoritarians believed that terrorist organizations like ISIS posed a “very high risk” to them, but only 45 percent of very low-scoring authoritarians did. Domestic threats like car accidents, by contrast, were much less frightening to authoritarians.
But Hetherington also noticed something else: A subgroup of non-authoritarians were very afraid of threats like Iran or ISIS. And the more fear of these threats they expressed, the more likely they were to support Trump.
This seemed to confirm his and Suhay’s theory: that non-authoritarians who are sufficiently frightened of physical threats such as terrorism could essentially be scared into acting like authoritarians.
That’s important, because for years now, Republican politicians and Republican-leaning media such as Fox News have been telling viewers nonstop that the world is a terrifying place and that President Obama isn’t doing enough to keep Americans safe.
There are a variety of political and media incentives for why this happens. But the point is that, as a result, Republican voters have been continually exposed to messages warning of physical dangers. As the perception of physical threat has risen, this fear appears to have led a number of non-authoritarians to vote like authoritarians — to support Trump.
An irony of this primary is that the Republican establishment has tried to stop Trump by, among other things, co-opting his message. But when establishment candidates such as Marco Rubio try to match Trump’s rhetoric on ISIS or on American Muslims, they may end up deepening the fear that can only lead voters back to Trump.
VII. Is America’s changing social landscape “activating” authoritarianism?
But the research on authoritarianism suggests it’s not just physical threats driving all this. There should be another kind of threat — larger, slower, less obvious, but potentially even more powerful — pushing authoritarians to these extremes: the threat of social change.
This could come in the form of evolving social norms, such as the erosion of traditional gender roles or evolving standards in how to discuss sexual orientation. It could come in the form of rising diversity, whether that means demographic changes from immigration or merely changes in the colors of the faces on TV. Or it could be any changes, political or economic, that disrupt social hierarchies.
What these changes have in common is that, to authoritarians, they threaten to take away the status quo as they know it — familiar, orderly, secure — and replace it with something that feels scary because it is different and destabilizing, but also sometimes because it upends their own place in society. According to the literature, authoritarians will seek, in response, a strong leader who promises to suppress the scary changes, if necessary by force, and to preserve the status quo.
This is why, in our survey, we wanted to study the degree to which authoritarians versus non-authoritarians expressed a fear of social change — and whether this, as expected, led them to desire heavy-handed responses.
Our results seemed to confirm this: Authoritarians were significantly more likely to rate almost all of the actual and hypothetical social issues we asked about as “bad” or “very bad” for the country.
For instance, our results suggested that an astonishing 44 percent of authoritarians believe same-sex marriage is harmful to the country. Twenty-eight percent rated same-sex marriage as “very bad” for America, and another 16 percent said that it’s “bad.” Only about 35 percent of high-scoring authoritarians said same-sex marriage was “good” or “very good” for the country.
Tellingly, non-authoritarians’ responses skewed in the opposite direction. Non-authoritarians tended to rate same-sex marriage as “good” or “very good” for the country.
The fact that authoritarians and non-authoritarians split over something as seemingly personal and nonthreatening as same-sex marriage is crucial for understanding how authoritarianism can be triggered by even a social change as minor as expanding marriage rights.
We also asked respondents to rate whether Muslims building more mosques in American cities was a good thing. This was intended to test respondents’ comfort level with sharing their communities with Muslims — an issue that has been particularly contentious this primary election.
A whopping 56.5 percent of very high-scoring authoritarians said it was either “bad” or “very bad” for the country when Muslims built more mosques. Only 14 percent of that group said more mosques would be “good” or “very good.”
The literature on authoritarianism suggests this is not just simple Islamophobia, but rather reflects a broader phenomenon wherein authoritarians feel threatened by people they identify as “outsiders” and by the possibility of changes to the status quo makeup of their communities.
This would help explain why authoritarians seem so prone to reject not just one specific kind of outsider or social change, such as Muslims or same-sex couples or Hispanic migrants, but rather to reject all of them. What these seemingly disparate groups have in common is the perceived threat they pose to the status quo order, which authoritarians experience as a threat to themselves.
And America is at a point when the status quo social order is changing rapidly; when several social changes are converging. And they are converging especially on working-class white people.
It is conventional wisdom to ascribe the rise of first the Tea Party right and now Trump to the notion that working-class white Americans are angry.
Indeed they are, but this data helps explain that they are also under certain demographic and economic pressures that, according to this research, are highly likely to trigger authoritarianism — and thus suggests there is something a little more complex going on than simple “anger” that helps explain their gravitation toward extreme political responses.
Working-class communities have come under tremendous economic strain since the recession. And white people are also facing the loss of the privileged position that they previously were able to take for granted. Whites are now projected to become a minority group over the next few decades, owing to migration and other factors. The president is a black man, and nonwhite faces are growing more common in popular culture. Nonwhite groups are raising increasingly prominent political demands, and often those demands coincide with issues such as policing that also speak to authoritarian concerns.
Some of these factors might be considered more or less legitimately threatening than others — the loss of working-class jobs in this country is a real and important issue, no matter how one feels about fading white privilege — but that is not the point.
The point, rather, is that the increasingly important political phenomenon we identify as right-wing populism, or white working-class populism, seems to line up, with almost astonishing precision, with the research on how authoritarianism is both caused and expressed.
That is not to dismiss white working-class concerns as invalid because they might be expressed by authoritarians or through authoritarian politics, but rather to better understand why this is happening — and why it’s having such a profound and extreme effect on American politics.
HAVE WE MISUNDERSTOOD HARD-LINE SOCIAL CONSERVATISM ALL ALONG?
Most of the other social-threat questions followed a similar pattern1. On its surface, this might seem to suggest that authoritarianism is just a proxy for especially hard-line manifestations of social conservatism. But when examined more carefully, it suggests something more interesting about the nature of social conservatism itself.
For liberals, it may be easy to conclude that opposition to things like same-sex marriage, immigration, and diversity is rooted in bigotry against those groups — that it’s the manifestation of specific homophobia, xenophobia, and Islamophobia.
But the results of the Vox/Morning Consult poll, along with prior research on authoritarianism, suggests there might be something else going on.
There is no particular reason, after all, why parenting goals should coincide with animus against specific groups. We weren’t asking questions about whether it was important for children to respect people of different races, but about whether they should respect authority and rules generally. So why do they coincide so heavily?
WHAT MIGHT LOOK ON THE SURFACE LIKE BIGOTRY WAS REALLY MUCH CLOSER TO STENNER’S THEORY OF “ACTIVATION”
What is most likely, Hetherington suggested, is that authoritarians are much more susceptible to messages that tell them to fear a specific “other” — whether or not they have a preexisting animus against that group. Those fears would therefore change over time as events made different groups seem more or less threatening.
It all depends, he said, on whether a particular group of people has been made into an outgroup or not — whether they had been identified as a dangerous other.
Since September 2001, some media outlets and politicians have painted Muslims as the other and as dangerous to America. Authoritarians, by nature, are more susceptible to these messages, and thus more likely to come to oppose the presence of mosques in their communities.
When told to fear a particular outgroup, Hetherington said, “On average people who score low in authoritarianism will be like, ‘I’m not that worried about that,’ while people who score high in authoritarianism will be like, ‘Oh, my god! I’m worried about that, because the world is a dangerous place.'”
In other words, what might look on the surface like bigotry was really much closer to Stenner’s theory of “activation”: that authoritarians are unusually susceptible to messages about the ways outsiders and social changes threaten America, and so lash out at groups that are identified as objects of concern at that given moment.
That’s not to say that such an attitude is in some way better than simple racism or xenophobia — it is still dangerous and damaging, especially if it empowers frightening demagogues like Donald Trump.
Perhaps more to the point, it helps explain how Trump’s supporters have come to so quickly embrace such extreme policies targeting these outgroups: mass deportation of millions of people, a ban on foreign Muslims visiting the US. When you think about those policy preferences as driven by authoritarianism, in which social threats are perceived as especially dangerous and as demanding extreme responses, rather than the sudden emergence of specific bigotries, this starts to make a lot more sense.
VIII. What authoritarians want
From our parenting questions, we learned who the GOP authoritarians are. From our questions about threats and social change, we learned what’s motivating them. But the final set of questions, on policy preferences, might be the most important of all: So what? What do authoritarians actually want?
The responses to our policy questions showed that authoritarians have their own set of policy preferences, distinct from GOP orthodoxy. And those preferences mean that, in real and important ways, authoritarians are their own distinct constituency: effectively a new political party within the GOP.
What stands out from the results, Feldman wrote after reviewing our data, is that authoritarians “are most willing to want to use force, to crack down on immigration, and limit civil liberties.”
This “action side” of authoritarianism, he believed, was the key thing that distinguished Trump supporters from supporters of other GOP candidates. “The willingness to use government power to eliminate the threats — that is most clear among Trump supporters.”
Authoritarians generally and Trump voters specifically, we found, were highly likely to support five policies:
Using military force over diplomacy against countries that threaten the United States
Changing the Constitution to bar citizenship for children of illegal immigrants
Imposing extra airport checks on passengers who appear to be of Middle Eastern descent in order to curb terrorism
Requiring all citizens to carry a national ID card at all times to show to a police officer on request, to curb terrorism
Allowing the federal government to scan all phone calls for calls to any number linked to terrorism
What these policies share in common is an outsize fear of threats, physical and social, and, more than that, a desire to meet those threats with severe government action — with policies that are authoritarian not just in style but in actuality. The scale of the desired response is, in some ways, what most distinguishes authoritarians from the rest of the GOP.
“Many Republicans seem to be threatened by terrorism, violence, and cultural diversity, but that’s not unique to Trump supporters,” Feldman told me.
“It seems to be the action side of authoritarianism — the willingness to use government power to eliminate the threats — that is most clear among Trump supporters,” he added.
IF TRUMP LOSES THE ELECTION, THAT WON’T REMOVE THE THREATS AND SOCIAL CHANGES THAT TRIGGER THE “ACTION SIDE” OF AUTHORITARIANISM
This helps explain why the GOP has had such a hard time co-opting Trump’s supporters, even though those supporters’ immediate policy concerns, such as limiting immigration or protecting national security, line up with party orthodoxy. The real divide is over how far to go in responding. And the party establishment is simply unwilling to call for such explicitly authoritarian policies.
Just as striking is what was missing from authoritarians’ concerns. There was no clear correlation between authoritarianism and support for tax cuts for people making more than $250,000 per year, for example. And the same was true of support for international trade agreements.
These are both issues associated with mainstream GOP economic policies. All groups opposed the tax cuts, and support for trade agreements was evenly lukewarm across all degrees of authoritarianism. So there is no real divide on these issues.
But there is one more factor that our data couldn’t capture but is nevertheless important: Trump’s style.
Trump’s specific policies aren’t the thing that most sets him apart from the rest of the field of GOP candidates. Rather, it’s his rhetoric and style. The way he reduces everything to black-and-white extremes of strong versus weak, greatest versus worst. His simple, direct promises that he can solve problems that other politicians are too weak to manage.
And, perhaps most importantly, his willingness to flout all the conventions of civilized discourse when it comes to the minority groups that authoritarians find so threatening. That’s why it’s a benefit rather than a liability for Trump when he says Mexicans are rapists or speaks gleefully of massacring Muslims with pig-blood-tainted bullets: He is sending a signal to his authoritarian supporters that he won’t let “political correctness” hold him back from attacking the outgroups they fear.
This, Feldman explained to me, is “classic authoritarian leadership style: simple, powerful, and punitive.”
Hitler is no relic of the past. He is but one example of an authoritarian leader who gained power by activating the support of millions of other authoritarians given the right set of economic and social conditions, conditions we are seeing in modern politics today.
Authoritarian-minded people have empathy only for those within their group. The group is people like them. Everyone else is “the other.” And if the leader demonizes them, then any kind of savagery against them is considered morally permissible. Many authoritarians derive their sense of morality from what is legal and what is “permitted” by the authority figures. And so if the leader says that exterminating a group of subhumans is okay, then in their minds it is okay. Most people do not advance beyond Stage 4.
3. Here on Quora I am finding more and more people who say that Hitler did nothing wrong, or that he was no worse than any other leader, just that Germany lost the war. I am not joking. So as the Greatest Generation dies out, the memories of what happened fade away. The Holocaust survivors are dying out too. As a society our collective revulsion for the Nazis is diminishing.
4. Hitler was not a psychopath. He was capable of empathy, and showed it very selectively. That speaks volumes. This means normal people can be this way too. And this is how Hitler was able to harness the authoritarian darker impulses of the people and direct them into such a cyclone of death and destruction.
6. According to Walter Scheidel, author of The Great Leveler, throughout history there is a pattern of nations growing more and more unequal. As the inequality increases, social unrest increases. The élites refuse to accept these changes, and continue on as before. He found that there has never been a peaceful political resolution to inequality. Wars, plagues, and communist revolutions are the only historical examples of resolving massive inequality. As globalization has caused inequality to skyrocket, we are again seeing massive unrest among the people. Instead of turning to communism, they are turning to demagogues and fascist strongmen. Fascists find it irresistible to stay within their own borders. Franco is perhaps the exception to the rule, but most fascists start wars. Sadly, there are very few examples of fascists being defeated by peaceful measures. You cannot reason with a fascist. So the result is violence. WWII was an example. My fear is that the world is going to have a redo. Except this time there are nuclear weapons. At least we might see some regional wars that turn very ugly.
EDIT: I find it absolutely amazing that people are complaining about the post being “too long.”
Considering something “too long” is a result of the systematic reduction in attention spans of modern people living in Twitter and texting culture. You cannot explore a topic and debunk popular beliefs in a few paragraphs. This is discussed by Noam Chomsky when he talks about the power of concision.
To destroy lies it takes work. It means the layout of facts. You can’t just regurgitate some groupthink and move on. People don’t like to cover the facts. But without them you cannot understand things. During the time of Dickens and Melville your average person had no problem reading giant novels. The attention spans of people were trained to be longer. A literary attention span is different from a modern Twitter, texting, or hyperlink attention span. In his book The Shallows, Nicholas Carr talks about how the brains of modern people have been changed by interacting with modern media. It makes us uncomfortable to read something that is long.
But this means that we are allergic to deep thought. Perhaps the most brilliant weapon of the masters of the universe is to promote the use of shallow social media, 30 minute sitcoms, reality TV, and other forms of entertainment that don’t really require us to think.
I write long posts. Please don’t complain to me that the posts are “too long.” I will never make my posts shorter because you have a short attention span. I am not going to degrade my analysis to fit your Twitter sized attention span. If reading a long post isn’t for you, stop, but don’t complain to me about it. If you don’t like the channel, change it.
Chomsky makes the excellent point that to debunk a lie takes 10x longer than it does to repeat it. Why? Because lies are lazy. They rely on groupthink. So you must address and knock down improper assumptions if you are to uncover the lie. The problem is that the news media doesn’t have time for that. Second, most people are too lazy to read longer things. The prevailing logic is “Don’t make me think.”
Perhaps the most ridiculous thing I have heard was from someone who claimed that I am full of it because my answers are “too long,” “based on sophistry,” “cherry-picked for the facts,” and “If you cannot explain something simply, you don’t understand it.” Einstein said this. However, he was required to show his work, and not present his theories in cartoon form. Unpacking lies takes time, especially when dealing with a heavily indoctrinated audience.
The other issue is novelty. If you make statements that are outside the groupthink, you need to support them. They will sound crazy to the closed-minded. But the open-minded will hear you.
Marxism-Leninism is the practical application of Marxism to the modern world. It’s the adaptation of Marxism by the writings and theories of Vladimir Lenin. It’s a universally applicable ideology and is by far the most widespread and historically significant version of Marxism.
Once upon a time I started of on Quora as a libertarian, not approving of Marx’s dictatorship of the proletariat at first, but still very interested in his analysis and criticism of capitalism. Anyone who has followed me since last November will remember me talking about revolutionary Catalonia non-stop, while at the same time trying to disregard Marxism-Leninism as “not real Socialism”. I presume that’s how most Socialists would have generally started off.
A few months later, I took an interest in Leninism, and I actually bothered to read about the USSR from a Marxist perspective. I looked through many sources, but I mostly began reading from this website:
It was at that point that I was convinced that what I thought about the history of Socialism was wrong, but I was unaware about how much I didn’t know. Honestly, bourgeois propaganda works pretty well.
I also began reading some of Alexander Finnegan’s posts, which convinced me even more. I’m pretty sure he was the only active Marxist-Leninist on Quora at the time. I still didn’t support Stalin or Mao though, as I still believed in many of the lies about them, such as the one about those damn sparrows.
I also started using this image of Lenin as my profile picture around this time:
Most of you will remember it. (I should probably change back to it at some point)
I referred to myself as a Leninist, still not wanting to be associated with Stalin or Mao or any other Marxist-Leninist leader because honestly this is what I was unfortunatelyimagining the USSR to be like the minute after Lenin died:
But now I realize, this is actually what happened after the USSR collapsed.
I dismissed any attempt at establishing the dictatorship of the proletariat after Lenin to be perversion of his and Marx’s ideas.
Fast forward a few months of radicalization and realization and we have Che as my profile picture:
It was at that point, after learning more about prominent Socialist figures and Socialist countries, that I said “screw it” and I refered to myself as a Marxist-Leninist. I was fully convinced at this point that Marxism-Leninism wasn’t as bad as I was made to believe.
Basically, my reason for changing to Marxism-Leninism is mainly because of me, overtime realizing that much of what I thought about about Socialism, or more specifically, it’s history, was wrong. I now know that Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro, etc…were not bad people, and I see Marxism-Leninism to be the most realistic method of transitioning from capitalism to Communism. It’s the only ideology capable of defending itself from capitalism, and has proven to be the most workable and stable alternative to capitalism.
Every Socialist country in history, Marxist-Leninist or not, has been attacked by the imperialist capitalist nations attempting to defend their interests. Even Marxist-Leninist countries have had an extremely hard time defending themselves from capitalists and revisionists. How would you expect less authoritarian systems to survive?
Is it a form of revisionism?The Marxist understanding of revisionism is understood as the attempt to revise Marxisms revolutionary theory to an anti-revolutionary character. It turns Marxism into something which serves the interests of the bourgeoisie rather than the workers.
“The questions of whether revolution should be upheld or opposed and whether the dictatorship of the proletariat should be upheld or opposed have always been the focus of struggle between Marxism-Leninism and all brands of revisionism”.
-Mao tse Tung
Based on the theoretical advancements gained in the experience of class struggle and the scientific analysis of revolutionary activities throughout the 20th century, Marxism-Leninism cannot be revisionist.
As Stalin said, “Leninism is Marxism in the era of imperialism”. What this basically means is that it is, as I have mentioned before, the practical application of Marxism to the modern world, where capitalism developed into it’s highest stage. Marx didn’t live to write about this development of capitalism, but Lenin certainly did.
Also, why have I chosen to use Stalin as my profile picture? To the majority of people, a dictatorial angry man with a caterpillar mustache is generally comes to mind first when they think of Socialism.
Stalin is one of the most iconic Socialist figures in history, he will forever be associated with Socialism, however, he is unfortunately mostly regarded some sort of Leftists version of Hitler.
We Socialists have two options here:
Continue to demonize Stalin in an attempt to disassociate ourselves from him as Cold War propaganda has already convinced most people that he was the spawn of Satan who killed +60 million people singlehandedly with a spork and ate babies for breakfast.
Try to expose the lies about Stalin, fight against the decades of propaganda and openly embrace his ideas and learn about his successes and failures so we’ve can learn from them.
So the reason why I have a portrait of Stalin as my profile picture is mostly to protest against the demonization against him from both capitalists and Socialists.
Wrong. Smith merely described it. He tried to argue for it. But the “father” of it. No. Capitalism has a much older father.
Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ”
4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was [a]pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves [b]coverings.
8 And they heard the [c]sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the [d]cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
9 Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”
10 So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”
11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”
12 Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”
13 And the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
14 So the Lord God said to the serpent:
“Because you have done this, You are cursed more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you shall go, And you shall eat dust All the days of your life. 15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”
Adam and Eve live in communist paradise in the garden. They own the means of production. There is no antipathy between the sexes. Man and animal live in communion. The Garden is a stateless, moneyless, and classless paradise. “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”
Then the father of capitalism puts in the ears of the woman to become a capitalist. She desires to have power over God. She introduces a breaking of the communion. And she encourages her husband to do the same. The punishment which results is less a punishment and more of an effect—no good intentions can make capitalism any better, as that which is broken must be fixed by Christ, not Adam himself. The result of it is class struggle (emnity between the sexes), insecurity (man must toil to survive), animals dominate each other, and the lion no longer lays by the lamb. People objectify each other, and see each other as a means of profit, stealing the unpaid value of the labor provided to create profits. People are alienated from their labor and from each other.
The fallen state is so deranged that communism seems a hell, and capitalism a heaven:
“Me miserable! Which way shall I fly Infinite wrath and infinite despair? Which way I fly is hell; myself am hell; And in the lowest deep a lower deep, Still threat’ning to devour me, opens wide, To which the hell I suffer seems a heaven.” ― John Milton,
But with God all things are possible. The first communist, Jesus, tells the parable:
Matthew 25:31-46 New International Version (NIV)
The Sheep and the Goats
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
The father of capitalism calls for charity. Charity is a lie. It is built upon the desire to retain control. Charity degrades people. It is humiliating to accept. What promotes charity? Pride. What promotes communism? Love.
Stalin was unable to be beaten by the U.S. So like any other communist he has to be defeated by other means—propaganda. Mass murderer, pervert, pedophile, racist or homophobe—just pick one or several which the U.S. propagandists will attach to an effective communist. Every year Mao Zedong manages to kill another 10 million people.
Stalin did some wrong things. As a committed Stalinist I am not comfortable saying “Stalin did nothing wrong.” But sometimes I feel like saying it to the indoctrinated toadies which see fit to make me known for the first time that Stalin was a “mass murderer, homophobe, or despot.”  As if I have never heard that before. 
I have thoroughly researched Stalin and the USSR. And no, I did not rely on Dima Vorobiev’s propaganda and only on Soviet official statistics. Anyone who troubled themselves to check my sources (which I always cite) would know this. I rely upon a wide variety of sources, primarily reliable Western historians. And no, anecdotal evidence from “escaped” former Soviet citizens is not historical research.
In this answer I cite my own answers. Within each of these answers there are citations to reliable sources. So if you happen to be especially lazy and claim that I am “citing myself” you would be wrong.
There were two Reigns of Terror if we would but remember and consider it: the one wrought murder in hot passion, the other in heartless cold blood; the one lasted mere months, the other had lasted a thousand years; the one inflicted death upon ten thousand persons, the other upon a hundred millions; but our shudders are all for the “horrors” of the minor Terror, the momentary Terror, so to speak; whereas, what is the horror of swift death by the axe, compared with lifelong death from hunger, cold, insult, cruelty, and heartbreak? What is swift death by lightning compared with death by slow fire at the stake? A city cemetery could contain the coffins filled by that brief Terror which we have all been so diligently taught to shiver at and mourn over; but all France could hardly contain the coffins filled by that older and real Terror–that unspeakably bitter and awful Terror which none of us has been taught to see in its vastness or pity as it deserves. Mark Twain, The French Revolution.
In truth, by 1966 China was a people’s democratic dictatorship in name only. Land reform had channeled excess production from private landlords to the State but had otherwise changed little. Four-hundred million rural people were still semi-destitute, illiterate, without access to basic needs, education or medical care. The bureaucratic elite commanded vast influence and prestige, held all political and cultural power and their sons were openly advocating a return to hereditary authority. After 1960, when the Soviet Union withdrew its engineers, technicians, and blueprints the country remained too poor and vulnerable to allow agricultural and industrial development to stagnate.
Rumblings were audible among the peasants1. Though Mao had launched seven anti-corruption campaigns they complained of corruption and he agreed, “You can still buy a branch secretary for a few packs of cigarettes, not to mention marrying a daughter to him.” But corrupt officials troubled him far less than an estimated five thousand officials whom he called “capitalist roaders,” who had gradually established control of the state and who wanted the peasants to continue serving as beasts of burden. They were, he charged, “Seeking to seize political power and turn the dictatorship of the proletariat into a dictatorship of the bourgeoisie.” Although he and his allies resisted this tendency they were not very successful. Most war veterans who were now officials were quite comfortable with the prewar order of urban privilege, scholarly elitism, official impunity, corruption, and exploitation. Mao2 warned them,
If real democracy is to be practiced, I am all for it. You’re afraid of the masses taking to the streets. I’m not. Not even if hundreds of thousands should do so..If some people grow tired of life and become bureaucratic and if, when meeting the masses, they have not a single kind word for them but only take them to task, and if they don’t bother to solve any of the problems the masses may have, they are destined to be overthrown. This danger does exist. If you alienate yourself from the people and fail to solve their problems the peasants will wield their carrying-poles, the workers will demonstrate in the streets and the students will create disturbances. Whenever such things happen, they must in the first place be taken as good things. That’s how I see them, anyway.
William Hinton3, visiting at the time, explained,
Socialism must be regarded as a transition from Capitalism to Communism. As such it bears within it many contradictions, many inequalities that cannot be done away with overnight or even in the course of years or decades. As long as these inequalities exist they generate privilege, individualism, careerism and bourgeois ideology. They can and do create new bourgeois individuals who gather as a new privileged elite and ultimately as a new exploiting class. Thus socialism can be peacefully transformed back into capitalism.
Mao had often confided his concern about peasant rebellions, “When frustrations burst forth in emotional storms in which hatreds, resentments and a sense of hopeless desperation break through social restraints in an overwhelming surge.” A cultural revolution, on the other hand, would spiritually revolutionize the people, especially the youth, and revitalize the Revolution’s socialist goals while still employing the radical language of class struggle. He proposed to direct the peasants’ energy outward and, through the power of ideology expressed in political slogans to, “Break the shackles of repression with study and convert thought into creative action.”
Preferring to believe that most Party cadres were good, or at least redeemable, he settled on a purge of the hierarchy rather than labelling them a new ruling class. Doing so would have forced him to condemn old comrades as members of an exploiting bureaucratic class, created a political revolution and plunge into civil war the nation he had just unified. He was well aware that most of those who the Party had simply been revolutionary nationalists caught up in his Communist revolution. Few were ever socialists and even fewer were Communists. Though they embraced his theory of class struggle, they would denounce it if they became its victims. Most were perfectly comfortable with the ancient order of urban privilege, scholarly elitism, official impunity, corruption and exploitation and few were anti-Western or anti-capitalism. It was because this coalition retained such political power that Mao was forced to rely on his personal charisma and authority so much that, at times, he seemed to be overturning the entire bureaucratic machine by himself.
He had no magic wand. If the peasants wanted freedom he would have to educate hundreds of millions of them about the political forces at work in their society, culture, politics, and the world, for only through their own study and effort could they grasp the link between their struggles and the wider world. “Democratic politics must rely on everyone running things, not just on a minority of people running things.” Criticizing the Soviet constitution he said, “It gives the workers the right to work, to rest, and to education, but it gives the people no right to supervise (cheng-li) the state, the economy, culture or education–the most basic rights of people under socialism.”
Modernizing land ownership, infrastructure, agriculture, and industry were secondary, he said. If ordinary people wanted to control their lives they must also control intellectual capital. “Working men and women must have their own army of technical specialists and professors, teachers, scientists, journalists, writers, artists and Marxist theorists.”
Nor could the job be done without the help of intellectuals, “We are calling for a technical revolution that is also a cultural revolution, a revolution to do away with ignorance and stupidity, and we can’t do it without them. We can’t do it by relying only on uneducated people, lao-ts’u, like ourselves.” If working people were not politically mobilized around broader issues it would be impossible to transform China’s economy, management, and labor so–having eliminated the barriers to their ownership of land–he would now eliminate the barriers to their ownership of knowledge.
Since the Cultural Revolution would be an intense political and ideological experience4, he prohibited the use of force and the disruption of economic production. Though his rhetoric was radical he well knew the difference between a cultural revolution and a political one. The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, the only successful social revolution of the 1960s, would be a ten-year saga during which hundreds of millions of peasants liberated themselves from three-thousand years of second-class citizenship and social contempt. Says Mobo Gao5.
In the US in 2004 I met a Mr. Chen, an energetic recent migrant from the PRC in his late fifties..I pointed out to him the fast-emerging social inequalities in China: that a rural migrant worker may have to work sixteen or more hours a day for seven days a week to earn US$80 a month, and that perhaps this cannot truly be called ‘development’. Chen replied, “$80 is good enough for a peasant.” I could not help but ask, “Would you accept that kind of payment and life?” “That is not the same,” he said. “They are low quality people, tamen suzhi di.” When the topic turned to what I was going to research in China I said I would like to go return to Gao Village to find out what the rural people think of the Cultural Revolution. He was genuinely surprised: “To study the Cultural Revolution? Why do you want to find out what rural people think? Rural China was not much affected by the Cultural Revolution.”
The peasants were eager when Mao called on them to destroy the urban-rural divide. Theoretical study groups and working people’s cultural activities would take place at “universities of class struggle” where everyone could practice the Four Freedoms, speaking out freely, airing views fully, holding great debates, and writing big-character posters. One Spring morning he told startled colleagues, “I firmly believe that a few months of chaos, luan, will be mostly for the good,” and became the only national leader in history to overthrow his own government.
He promised peasants that the government would turn their ideas into concrete programs and so consolidate their political power6.
Fundamentally, we must concentrate the advanced experiences and aspirations of the people; our plan must be constructed for their use and it must unleash their initiative. This requires political leadership of a specific type–not a dominant clique–a genuine vanguard party linked to and serving the people; a vanguard capable of leading people forward through the complex struggle to bring a new society into being and of revolutionizing the vanguard itself. That’s what I mean by ‘putting politics in command’. Under no circumstances can history be regarded as something created by planners rather than by the people themselves. The technical constraints of planning must remain secondary to political and ideological assumptions, which are not givens, but issues that require struggle..So everyone must know what kinds of transformations are planned, why, for whom, and to what end.
1 Chungwu Kung, ”Cultural Revolution in Modern Chinese History,” in Nee and Peck.
2 SPEECH AT THE SECOND PLENARY SESSION OF THE EIGHTH CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF CHINA. November 15, 1956
3 Turning Point in China by William Hinton, Monthly Review Press, 1972.
4 The Cultural Revolution and China’s Search for Political Order. Byung-joon Ahn. The China Quarterly No. 58 (Apr. – Jun., 1974), pp. 249-285
5 Gao, Mobo. The Battle for China’s Past: Mao and the Cultural Revolution (p. 1). Pluto Press.
Archetypes are unconscious universal forms and ideas that take on meaning within a certain culture. The Father is one of the main psychological archetypes.
Carl Jung was a famous psychiatrist and psychoanalyst. He founded analytical psychology. He described the archetypes. These are common to all people, regardless of religion, race, or place in time. The archetypes are embedded in human psychology.
The Father archetype takes the form of God, any god, giant, tyrant, king, judge, doctor, executioner, devil, leader, holy man, boss, wise old man, and of course, father. As with any archetype, both light and dark aspects exist.
The positive aspect of the Father principle suggests law, order, discipline, rationality, understanding and inspiration. When our inner authority figure is supportive, dreams bring capable, benevolent and helpful kings, firefighters, healers and guides.
The Father archetype combines the capacity for initiating with the ability to oversee others, whether a biological family or a group of creative people (e.g., staff). A positive father guides and protects those under his care and is able to put ideas into fruition.
Examples of the light Father archetype include Gregory Peck in “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Bill Cosby in “The Cosby Show,” and Colin Firth in “The King’s Speech.”
The shadow Father emerges when the caring guidance and protection turns into abuse of authority. The negative Father archetype involves rigidity, control and a cold intellectual way of relating. This leads to ego and intellectual inflation and a state of hubris (remember the Titanic!).
The negative Father has grandiose thoughts of transcendence and results in a fate similar to Icarus. Although warned about the dangers of flying too high, Icarus soared too close to the sun, plummeting back to the earth – restoring a much-needed degree of feminine groundedness.
Examples of the dark side of Father include Marlon Brando in “The Godfather,” James Gandolfini in “The Sopranos,” and Darth Vader in “Star Wars.”
Our fathers represent the figure of original authority and strength (or lack of it) in our lives. Therefore, the Father archetype we uphold in our psyches indicates how we feel about being capable, productive and creative in the outer world. What did you learn about ‘being masculine’ from your childhood and continue to learn from society or other sources?
All societies use narratives to hold together the structure of their societies. In the U.S. the Father figures are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, etc. They are held up as great figures, heroes, that founded a great nation. In a similar way communist leaders that founded the nation or preserved it are held up on high.
The preservation of dead leaders is comparable to the notion of incorruptible bodies in the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic traditions. Lenin’s body was the first one embalmed. The tradition spread from there.
Emmanuel Macron has no children. Theresa May has no children. Angela Merkel has no children. Europe is ruled by childless people. I am an Israeli and I am shocked about the modern tendency of propagating childlessness in Europe. I have a nausea when women bragging about their unwillingness to create another life, about their inability to love other human beings. Such a selfishness cannot be glorified, it should be ashamed and condemned. Its kind of : “Look at me, I am an selfish and I am proud of it”.. Boooo! Although in many cases this promotions of childlessness is a masked justification of own infertility, inability to conceive children due to health problems, due to lack of suitable partner, to the absence of sexual relationships with husband, the old age or low oxytocin level in the blood. Some women just afraid to admit it, they don’t have a courage to be honest with themselves they afraid their own feelings. Truth hurts indeed.
In Israel is not customary to reject childbearing. I’m not talking about religious ultra-orthodoxes. A rare Israeli family has fewer than three children. Women who preoccupied with a business or political career do not even consider to abandon the idea of motherhood. It is not acceptable to be child-free.
Photo: The Israeli Parliament member 2009–2013 Anastasia Michaeli is a mother of eight beautiful children. She is a role model for all women! She makes me proud to be an Israeli. An amazing beauty, the mother, wife, the electrical engineer, model, actress and at the same time a deputy in one person … Stunning woman – Anastasia Michaeli. The 44-year-old brings up eight children, has a spectacular appearance and an amazing figure.
The head of the department at a large factory where I once worked, a beautiful woman of 35 years old, gave birth to a fourth child, and three four weeks later returned to her leadership activities. Israeli women questioning the necessity of childbearing usually have the history of drugs addiction or mental disorders, so their concern is based on the worry to deliver sick child. That case is morally more acceptable than rejection of the motherhood just because “oh, those kids gonna interrupt my professional career” or ”travel plans”
Photo: Anastasia Michaeli with some of her kids. She went down in history as the first acting Knesset deputy to give birth to her 8th child during the parliamentary term. However, there is no limit to perfection. If you dream about success, motherhood does not impede self-realization, but rather on the contrary, it helps you find yourself and fully express yourself.
The embodiment of feminism, Israeli prime minister Golda Meir once said: “Women’s Liberation is just a lot of foolishness. It’s the men who are discriminated against, they can’t bear children. And no one’s likely to do anything about that. – As quoted in Newsweek (23 October 1972). Golda Meir, mother of two children considered feminism as separatist movement and thus potentially damaging the Israeli society. I can only imagine what Golda Meir would say about modern child-free concept. Jewish politicians are married with children. The basic divine commandment of Judaism is רבוופרו means make babies and multiply.
Now look at European politicians. Paolo Gentiloni has no children, Mark Rutte has no children, Jean-Claude Juncker has no children, Stefan Löfven, Xavier Bettel, Nicola Sturgeon, Macron, Merkel also have no children. Europe is ruled by childless people. Childless politicians cannot be trusted. They all are wealthy people and each of them could adopt 2–3 kids, it would be nice move in case they are unable to produce their own. Another way to be socially responsible is to donate eggs or sperm to those who cannot have kids but wants, since the infertility is skyrocketed in the Western Europe. Humans are social beings and should care about each other.
Photo: This is the family of Russian woman Vera Yamatina, she is a mother of 21 children – 8 of her own and 13 adopted. She is not rich financially but she is rich spiritually. When, together with grandchildren up to 34 person meet in her house, everyone say how much they love her. Vera Yamatina is not financially wealthy women like Emmanuel Macron but she has a great heart! Imagine how much love she has to take care of 21 children, one husband and cattles, how much emotional endurance she possess to manage all her farm and educate her kids. She is a role model. ActuallyVera Yamatina’s family is not unique, there is many big families in Europe but we never hear about them. Although mainstream media shows us 24/7 Macron & Merkel all around.
Contrary to childless Western politicians, Eastern European, American, Israeli, Russian politicians have traditional families with children. Benjamin Netanyahu has 3 kids, Vladimir Putin has two kids, Donald Trump has five kids. Notice that all these politicians are hated by media. Hungarian leader Viktor Orban has five children which is precisely why the European elites are so uncomfortable with Orban, but do not seem to know quite what to say about it.
Photo:HungarianPrime Minister Viktor Orban with family. Recently Viktor Orban had his first grandchild
In his book The Strange Death of Europe, British journalist Douglas Murray makes the point that many Europeans that want children are not having children, and that the elites have made absolutely no attempt to find out the reasons that people are not having kids. Is it something to do with infertility? 40% of German women don’t have children. A recent study by Institute National d’Etudes Demographique shows that 25% of european women born in 1970s are likely to remain childless. Why, Murray asked, are the elites so eager to solve plummeting birthrates in the Western Europe only by importing foreign populations instead of help to increase a birth rates of indigenous European population? For example male infertility is a large and mostly concealed subject that demand immediately public attention and investigation.
Photo: 44-years old Israeli Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked is not only possible future Prime Minister of Israel but a mother, a wife, a lawyer and successful business woman. Although she has two kids, by Israeli standards she is almost childless.
Motherhood disturbance 20th century
As you see from above examples, popular narratives ‘professional carrier cannot be combined with motherhood’ and ‘career first and children after’ are fallacious. These narratives are product of 20th century industrialization and urbanisation when European society interested in less childbirths because little urban apartments couldn’t afford many kids. The truth is that for women is very dangerous to delay the childbearing in the sake to build a professional career because a female fertility decreases with aging.
The myth about ‘overpopulated Europe’ was created in the 19th century when average Western European woman had 5 kids and Eastern European had 10 kids per woman. After two global wars, civil wars, Spanish flu in 20th century Europe lost more than 200 million people and fertility rates fell down to the ground. As a result of antibirth policy and as a consequence of bloody 20th century history, now European population facing anthropological catastrophe.
The career in post-industrial society.
In our post-industrial society the concept of the professional career and earnings is absolutely different from 20th century. Today woman can easily work online from her own kitchen while babysitting her children and preparing the soup. Anyway all future schools, universities and most of works will be online. Also many people will move from urban lifestyle back to the agriculture. Individual farming perfectly correlate with necessity to have many children.
To be mother big family is a profession. Teaching is considered a professional career and in case of big family woman de facto is a director of the kindergarten with the difference that all kids are her own.
Also during our post-industrial era the whole concept of gender equality become somehow irrelevant. Although in Israel even most atheist mocked the funny idea of gender equality since forever.
Obviously to conceive many children woman or man must have a good fertility level and overall perfect physical health. The childbirth is uneasy process, not every woman can handle the pain of childbearing when her internal organs breaking apart and she finally losing all her blood. But trust me, the joy of motherhood is greater than ripped apart internal organs and broken muscul tissues. In fact after few days (if women still alive) she completely forget all troubles during childbearing and switching to the newborn baby. 150 years ago our European ancestors were able to successfully deliver 7-15 babies right on the agricultural field without any medical assistance. What happened with afterwar generations? Why they lost the fertility?
Today Europeans are half as fertile as the prewar generation, why haven’t we noticed? Most men can still conceive one child naturally with a depressed sperm count, and those who can’t conceive, an expensive booming fertility-treatment industry ready to help them. And though lower sperm counts probably have led to a small decrease in the number of children being conceived, that decline has been masked by sociological changes driving birth rates down even faster: people in the Western Europe are convinced to have fewer children and they are having them later.
The topic about male infertility has never discussed in the mainstream media. Strange thing has happened over the past few decades: men become increasingly infertile, so much so that within a generation they may lose the ability to reproduce entirely. What’s causing this mysterious drop in sperm counts—and is there any way to reverse it before it’s too late? What was causing this disruption? To say there is only a single answer might be an overstatement—stress, smoking, obesity, chemicals etc. According to researchers after WW2 the spermquality of european men dropped twice. Testosterone level has also dropped. Lower testosterone leads to a shorter AGD, and a measurement lower than the median correlates to a man being seven times as likely to be subfertile and gives him a greater likelihood of having undescended testicles, testicular tumors, and a smaller penis. Men are producing less sperm. They’re also becoming less male sex differences are shrinking. These changes are not a mystery to scientists.
A group of researchers from Hebrew University and Mount Sinai medical school published a study showing that sperm counts in the U.S., Europe, Australia, and New Zealand have fallen by more than 50% over the past four decades. That is to say: modern european men are producing half the sperm their grandfathers did, they are half as fertile. The Hebrew University/Mount Sinai paper was a meta-analysis by a team of epidemiologists, clinicians, and researchers that culled data from 185 studies, which examined semen from almost 43,000 men. Sperm counts went from 99 million sperm per milliliter of semen in 1973 to 47 million per milliliter in 2011, and the decline has been accelerating.
Was the WW2 the cause the infertility?
The Israeli study at Soroka University Medical Center and Ben-Gurion University found that prolonged stress during active wartime duty reduces sperm quality of soldiers. There was a 47% increase in chances of impaired sperm motility with samples obtained during a stressful time compared to those obtained during normal periods. Poor sperm motility thus affects the chances of successful fertilisation. Researchers at Rutgers School of Public Health and Columbia University confirm these correlations. According to them, stress affects the concentration and morphology of sperm, and also its ability to fertilize an ovum. Using both subjective and objective assessments, they found semen quality to be inversely proportional to mental stress.
Nobody knows how many millions of men and women all over the world suffered from PTSD-post traumatic stress after the WW2. Nobody really talk about it in the last century, hundreds of millions kept their traumas inside. Afterwar mental facilities in Israel and USA were overcrowded with holocaust survivors and war veterans who could not continue their regular life. In Soviet Union authorities simply removed the war topic from mainstream media in sake not to disturb unhealed wounds. All those measures did not help and the unhealed emotional and physical traumas manifested in devastating decrease of childbearing among European population in the next generations. The afterwar PTSD had never discussed in mainstream media. How our ancestors deal with that?
Sexually transmitted and other diseases
Before the WW1 syphilis and gonorrhea in Europe were rampant. For example, 10% of Wehrmacht army had gonorrhea or syphilis. They were even proud of it considering sexually transmitted diseases as a sign of the adulthood and masculinity. Such disgraceful male behaviour was correlated with drift from Christianity and the rise of atheism in the Western Europe that also led to the two global wars .
“Here in Denmark, there is an epidemic of infertility, more than 20% of Danish men do not father children.” told Niels E. Skakkebæk, an 82-year-old Danish spermotologist endocrinologist, the founder of Growth and Reproduction Department in Ringshospitalet in 1990. Male fertility and male reproductive health, Skakkebæk told, are in full-blown crisis.
Skakkebæk first suspected something was going wrong in the middle of 20th century, when he treated an infertile Danish patient with an abnormality in the cells of the testes that he had never seen before. When he treated a second man with the same abnormality a few years later, he began to investigate a connection. What he found was a new form of precursor cells for testicular cancer, a once rare disease whose incidence had doubled.Moreover, these precursor cells had begun developing before the patient was even born. Eventually, Skakkebæk linked several other previously rare symptoms for a condition he called testicular dysgenesis syndrome (TDS), a collection of male reproductive problems that include hypospadias (an abnormal location for the end of the urethra), cryptorchidism (an undescended testicle), poor semen quality, and testicular cancer.
Urbanization reduces fertility rates because urban lifestyle increases the costs of raising children. City housing is more expensive, provides less space and children are less valuable for household production in urban (vs. rural) areas. Furthermore, urbanism is associated with ideational changes, the ideological complex of beliefs and attitudes having cold feet about the idea of large family. For example lately I see the persistent promotion of the strange idea to become dog’ parents instead having a human child. I don’t really understand how having kids contradicts to having dogs and pets. Indeed a pet therapy is very healthy for human psychic but why not to have both of them? My neighbour in Tel Aviv has four kids, one dog and one cat, all her happy family fit in the small city apartment.
Urbanization is a physical disconnection from the Earth. We mistakenly use to think that the food is the only available source of the energy for survival. The earth is the important source of energy for human, exactly like a sun or food. Geothermal energy was a good addition to the food diet in the North where the solar energy is absent during the winter and sometimes food was also absent. 200 years ago Northern people easily survived famines, cold winters, six months of polar night with having very high fertility rates 6 kids per woman. In 19th century Russian women had highest fertility in the world. According to ayurveda, sunlight is the one of the main source of prana and good adjustment to the regular diet therefore modern Southern people have better fertility rates because they have more access to sun energy. Modern Northern people having lack of both energies.
1800-1880. 6 kids per woman. Partitioned Poland is agrarian, tribal, highly religious, part of Prussian, Australian and Russian empires. 11 millions total population
1880-1900. 5 kids per woman. Partitioned Poland is still agrarian but began to move toward capitalism. Peasants moved to urban industrial centres. 21 millions total population.
1900–1914. 4 kids per women. Partitioned Poland is capitalist, fast industrializing, urbanising and very religious
1914-1920. 3.2 kids per women. The WW1 sharply reduced fertility rate but Poland got the independence. 27 millions total population
1920-1939. 4 kids per woman. Peaceful interwar period. Total 35 millions total population in 1939
1939-1945. 3.2 kids per woman. The WW2. Poland is ruined, and under German occupation lost 11 millions citizens. 24 millions total population
1945-1990. 3 kids per women. Peaceful socialist period under Russian control although anti-religious. Poland population resurrected from 24 millions to 38 millions, rebuilt the industry exclusively on their own without any influx of foreign workers. While Western countries welcomed millions of foreign workers to rebuild a destroyed industry and boost the economy, Poles rebuilt everything by themselves, consequently the economic development was slower than in the West.
1990-2019. 1.3 kids per woman. In 1990s Poland introduced free market, shock therapy and wild uncontrolled capitalism that led to the demographic catastrophe. The srinking fertility rates is below reproductive level. People were so busy to provide basic needs that forgot how to make babies. 38 millions is total population, this number is stable since 1991 despite shrinking fertility thanks to the millions of immigrants from the East
We can figure 4 interconnected factors that reduce fertility rates:
Drift away from religion, drop of spirituality, drop of morality
Stress, wars, instability
Industrialization with exposition to chemicals
Each factor reduce fertility in 25%. The presence of all four factors leads to the anthropological catastrophe that happening in Europe right now.
Graph: Demographics Poland 1961-2015. The population increased during communist period from 24 millionsto 38 millions but after 1991 during free-marked era stopped to grow.
As you can see the poverty does not reduce fertility rates (although doesn’t increase it) especially if basic needs provided like it was during communist periodor like it was during agrarian period of partitioned Poland. Wars, urbanisation, abolishing religion, political and financial instability do. Urbanized non-religious, hard working individuals during the free-marked period completely lose their ability to reproduce and will be a subject of self-liquidation as the anthropological species. High level of education or poverty doesn’t impact to fertility rates if people stay religious and spiritual enough because they stay strongly family oriented even during the era of propaganda of individualism, selfishness and childlessness.
Industrialization and Chemicals
Anna-Maria Andersson, a Danish biologist said: “There has been a chemical revolution going on starting from the beginning of the 19th century when hundreds of new chemicals came onto the market within a very short time frame.” The chemical revolution gave us not only wonderful things: new medicines, new food sources, but also new chemicals. When a chemical affects our hormones, it’s called an endocrine disruptor.
For example women with raised levels of phthalates in their urine during pregnancy are significantly more likely to have sons with shorter anogenital distance as well as shorter penis length and smaller testes.
What’s more, there is evidence that the effect of these endocrine disruptors increases over generations, due to something called epigenetic inheritance. Normally, acquired traits—like, say, a sperm count lowered by obesity—aren’t passed down from father to son. But some chemicals, including phthalates and BPA, can change the way genes are expressed without altering the underlying genetic code, and that change is inheritable. Your father passes along his low sperm count to you, and your sperm count goes even lower after you’re exposed to endocrine disruptors. That’s part of the reason there’s been no leveling off even after 40 years of declining sperm counts—the baseline keeps dropping.
Chemicals would be definitely accepted as a main reason of infertility in Europe if it would explain why sperm count has dropped only among Western European population while everybody in the world consume same chemicals. These chemicals are everywhere in the world.
Religion and Peace
Religion and peace have only positive impact on fertility rates and it does not matter what kind of religion is practiced. Religious practices, praying, rituals insure mental stability, provide meaning of the life consequently reduce stress and increase fertility. Several studies over the years have found a close link between psychological stress and infertility. Infertility is becoming more common these days, affecting 12 of 100 couples in the US. In about one-third of these cases, the male partners have fertility issues, while another one-third due to female reproductive problems. The most common causes of infertility in men include erectile dysfunction, low sperm concentration and motility, blocked tubes, and stress. The problem has been debated among fertility scientists for decades now.
ScientistsOffer Fertility Treatments
Marc Goldstein, an urologist and surgeon at Weill Cornell medical center in New York City, said that while there was “no question I’ve seen a big increase in men with male-factor infertility,” he wasn’t worried for the future of the species. Assisted reproduction would keep the babies coming, no matter how sickly men’s sperm become. Fertility treatments have already given men with extremely low sperm counts the chance to be fathers but fertility-treatments are very expensive and unlikely to increase a birth rate in the future. So perhaps that’s the solution: As long as we hover somewhere above Sperm Count Zero, and with an assist from modern medicine, we have a shot. Men will continue to be essential to the survival of the species. The problem with innovation, though, is that it never stops. A new technology known as IVG—in vitro gametogenesis—is showing early promise at turning embryonic stem cells into sperm. In 2016, Japanese scientists created baby mice by fertilizing normal mouse eggs with sperm created via IVG. The stem cells in question were taken from female mice. There was no need for any males anymore.
The U.S. economy is the largest in the world. It was not destroyed during WWII. 400,000 Americans died in WWII. In the USSR 27 million died. 1/3 of all housing was wiped out. The effects of the war still haunt modern Russia. You cannot compare them.
China is a Marxist Leninist nation with Leninist NEP style market characteristics. The Chinese economy will soon overtake the U.S. economy. China has not been subject to U.S. sanctions since the Nixon administration. China has not needed to spend as much on its military compared to the USSR. It was not involved in an arms race with the U.S.
Cuba is a tiny island whose economy is small compared to the U.S. North Korea has been under crippling sanctions for decades. South Korea benefitted from U.S. help in developing its economy.
Comparing any nation to the U.S. is comparing apples and oranges. It cannot be done.
Consider the creation of a toy, the Jack in the Box (JIB).
To get a JIB we need the tools and materials to build one.
We also need someone to assemble the JIB.
A few companies make JIBs.
someone works 40 hours per week at a JIB factory they have little time
to pursue other efforts if their lives are to be balanced with family.
Time is not infinite. It is a limited resource.
who makes JIBs are paid wages. Consumers will only pay so much for a
JIB. If one company makes JIBs that cost $10 and another sells JIBs that
cost $25 and they are of the same quality the more expensive JIB seller
is going to go out of business. Sellers will try to reduce prices to
increase sales as mu
So the market and time are not infinite. Nor is the amount of money paid for JIBs.
the makers of JIBs are very rich then it is likely you will find the
workers are paid a low amount. Sometimes the factories are moved
overseas and sweatshops are created. Lower labor costs leads to more
profits, because only so much cash is coming in from consumers.
rich being rich doesn’t cause poverty. But profits are often created by
squeezing the workers by expropriating the maximum amount of unpaid
value of labor. The rise of sweatshops since 1980 thanks to “free trade”
and logistics technologies has caused even more inequality than before.
As unions are destroyed by offshoring the Middle Class falls apart,
heightening the inequality we see in modern America.