In all honesty, I can’t hold my rage in anymore. Police are not a body unto themselves. They are civil servants. That literally means they work for the people. The people don’t work for the police. The people don’t have to submit to the authorities in every potential situation and there’s no situation where police should escalate the violence.
There is a ridiculous amount of unarmed deaths that occur in police custody or apprehension in America (here’s some stats). The Australian system is less examined, which means the data is less useful, but there are a number of suspicious indigenous deaths that have occurred in police custody, including Eddy Murray, Cameron Doomadgee, Ian Ward, John Peter Pat and Thomas Hickey. There’s also been a number of severe violations of bodily integrity since Tony Abbott took control of the country. Continue reading
A few weeks ago, when I was supposed to be absorbed in study for my Brain, Biology and Evolution final test, I instead found myself riveted to a free (yes, totally free) book called The Authoritarians. It’s by a psychologist called Bob Altemeyer (this is his website, it has a few additional pieces involving Obama’s elections on there as well) and it’s focused on a specific group of people labelled, unsurprisingly, the authoritarians.
It’s a fairly terrifying book, outlining the reasons for the recent rise in political extremism and explaining the seemingly impenetrable viewpoints of modern hardcore conservatives.
OK, what’s this book about? It’s about what’s happened to the American government lately. It’s about the disastrous decisions that government has made. It’s about the corruption that rotted the Congress. It’s about how traditional conservatism has nearly been destroyed by authoritarianism. It’s about how the “Religious Right” teamed up with amoral authoritarian leaders to push its un-democratic agenda onto the country. It’s about the United States standing at the crossroads as the next federal election approaches.
“Well,” you might be thinking, “I don’t believe any of this is true.” Or maybe, you’re thinking, “What else is new? I’ve believed this for years.” Why should a conservative, moderate, or liberal bother with this book? Why should any Republican, Independent, or Democrat click the “Whole Book” link on this page?
Because if you do, you’ll begin an easy-ride journey through some very relevant scientific studies I have done on authoritarian personalities--one that will take you a heck of a lot less time than the decades it took me. Those studies have a direct bearing on all the topics mentioned above. So if you think the first paragraph is a lot of hokum, or full of half-truths, I invite you to look at the research.
And the research is fucking scary. As Altemeyer says: Continue reading