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An off-line offering by Chris on authoritarianism in civilization

In further consideration of "the types sharing aggression, hierarchy, and conventionalism", the resort to aggression can be explained by a lack of integration and superficiality of civilized behaviours, which simultaneously explain rigidity and conventionalism.

The basic mode of human aggression - which may be contrasted with more deliberative, instrumental aggression - is normally held in check by the inhibitory social instincts, reinforced by civilized culture.

Among humans, the inhibitory social instincts are not as strong as amongst the naturally more formidably equipped creatures such as tigers, who need strong instincts to prevent them killing their fellow tigers. Human fists are not as deadly as claws and sharp teeth.

"No selection pressure arose in the prehistory of mankind to breed such inhibitory mechanisms..." Lorenz -

So humans rely on civilized culture to instill social behaviour. Like language this is cultural, not instinctive, and just as poor language impairs comprehension so too can poorly taught civilized values fail to curb wild aggression.

If civilized values are not understood and integrated by the learning individual, they are held in a fragmented and superficial manner, which can easily fail. Even while it stands it impairs quality of life by obstructing self-understanding and causing rigidity.

Such rigidity can be understood in accordance with the basic authoritarian model, or via Alford's sophisticated view on narcissism in which the fragmented psyche perceives its narcissistic wound (by self-comparison against others more able or wholesome), and shores up its self-image by identification with a power base.


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