Sunday, December 10, 2017

#344 / Dominance Democracy

A November 14, 2017, article published online by Scientific American examines the phenomenon of "dominance leadership" in countries that have long boasted of their commitment to democratic values. 

Above, pictured on the right, is the President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte. His prescription for dealing with the drug crisis in his country has been to send out vigilante patrols to kill those who may have used or distributed drugs. These vigilante patrols have killed 7,000 of those bad guys so far. As for the other guy pictured, I think you know who he is!

According to Scientific American:

A well-established finding within psychology is people’s deep rooted desire to have control over their daily lives. At Duke University, Aaron Kay and colleagues articulated the theory of compensatory control: When people experience or perceive disorder, chaos and randomness in their lives, they feel more motivated to embrace ideologies that emphasize personal, societal or religious control as a compensatory strategy to allay the anxieties of lacking control.

Economic uncertainty and social dislocation set the stage for "strong man" government, but the Scientific American article notes (quite accurately) that the "dominance leaders" who rise to power because of such conditions are not, generally, able to do anything about them. In fact, if we want to have good government, we have got to do it ourselves!

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