Everyone is an authoritarian; some authoritarians are sociopathic
June 14, 2014 § 28 Comments
If you have political opinions at all you are an authoritarian: there is a specific way that you think things ought to be, and you think government should discriminate against those who disagree with you and enforce your understanding of how things ought to be.
Politics is the art of authoritatively resolving conflicts by discriminating between people and enforcing the resolutions. This can only be done from a particular, discriminatory, substantive understanding of how things ought to be done and of what things are unacceptable: from a particular understanding of the good.
Anti-authoritarian political philosophies like liberalism do exist in the sense that people really do think that they are the right way to ‘do’ politics. In fact most modern people think that liberalism of one sort or the other is the right way to go.
But this internal incoherence doesn’t make liberals unequivocally anti-authoritarian. It makes liberals – all liberals, including libertarians and ‘patchwork’ reactionaries – sociopathically authoritarian.