Monday, 20 June 2011

JJ Ray: Hitler was a socialist debunked. Part Eight, "Discussing so called 'Objections' to his theory part 1"

At this stage, Ray begins to attempt to rebut so-called objections to his theory [and he doesn't do it very well.] So lets examine what he has to say

Objection 1

The Left/Right division is at fault:

Faced with the challenge to their preconceptions constituted by the material I have so far presented, some people take refuge in the well-known fact that political attitudes are complex and are seldom fully represented by a simple division of politics into Left and Right.

As i stated elsewhere, "The person's position on the political compass may be blurred by their stances on things like personal freedom, social policy, et cetera and the connections between them. That's where the complexities lie." This does not impact upon the political economy, which is the Real Main determiner for left and right.

They deny that Hitler was Leftist by denying that ANYBODY is simply Leftist.

I'll let cenk uygur, of TheYoungTurks put this strawman to bed

Yes of course it's quite idiotic to deny that Lenin, Stalin, Mao etc were mass murdering socialist fuckwits. This however doesn't mean that Hitler belongs in the same club.

It is commonly said that Nazism and Communism were both "authoritarian" or "totalitarian" -- which is undoubtedly true -- but what I show here is that there were far greater affinities than that. Basic doctrines, ideas and preachments of Nazis and Communists were similar as well as their method of government.

Although both Stalin and Hitler were totalitarians, something that can exist on either side of the left/right spectrum  and that is where most of the superficial similarities lie. As we shall see Hitler even exhibited a different kind of dictatorship than to what the one that Stalin offered.

But, as it happens, the Left/Right division of politics is not just some silly scheme put out by people who are too simple to think of anything better. There is a long history of attempts to devise better schemes but they all founder on how people in general actually vote and think. Most people DO organize their views in a recognizably Left/Right way. For a brief introduction to the research and thinking on the dimensionality of political attitudes, see here.

Or rather, His take on the political spectrum, Here's something to bear in Mind, and it comes from Wiki, on right wing authoritarianism (so how reliable it is, I'll leave it to you.)

Altemeyer's research on authoritarianism has been challenged by psychologist John J. Ray, who questions the sampling methods used and the ability of the RWA Scale to predict authoritarian behavior and provides evidence that the RWA scale measures conservatism rather than "directiveness", a construct that John J. Ray invented and that he relates to authoritarianism. [17][18] Ray's approach is, however, a minority position among researchers [19] and other psychologists have found that both the RWA Scale and the original F-Scale are good predictors of both attitudes and behavior.[20]

And just to be clear on "Directiveness", an earlier edition of the same article stated

Part of the controversy in this area may be due to Ray's unique conceptual interpretation of authoritarianism as "directiveness," a construct that is unrelated to other theoretical approaches."

The Key source [19] is "Stone, W. F., Lederer, G., & Christie, R. (1993). Strengths and weaknesses: The authoritarian personality today. New York: Springer-Verlag." What i am about to quote doesn't mention Ray by name, But this certainly implies that he is in a minority position over this issue if Wiki is reliable.

"The general conclusion of this study is that the F scale is more strongly related to right-wing extremism than has hitherto been assumed. From the 1940s on into the 1980s, a number of groups consisting of activists as well as of supports of ideologies associated with Nazism, fascism, apartheid, racism, and extreme nationalism have been shown to score higher on the F scale or close F-scale derivatives. Their group scores are much higher than those of the general population, whereas clearly antifascist and antiauthoritarian groups tend to score lower than the general population. This adds considerably to the validity of the F scale as a potential fascism scale.

Whether the F scale is an authoritarianism scale as well may be a separate issue. This mainly depends on how authoritarianism is defined. The content of F scale clearly addresses a right-wing authoritarian, hierarchical mentality in Western Europe and North America. At the time of the work of the Berkeley group, fascist regimes openly advocated and endorsed authoritarian state systems, and the association between fascism and authoritarianism was almost self-evident. If it can be shown that authoritarianism scales also predict support for former or existing authoritarian communist systems (as dealt with in another chapter), this would add a strong argument for the F scale's being an authoritarianism scale, one that is also independent of socioeconomic (capitalist or communist) ideology. In that case, Adorno et al. (1950) may indeed have produced the blueprint of a general authoritarianism scale. However, more evidence may be necessary.

Conservatives seem to define authoritarianism as the dominating behavior of left wingers. Yet the operationalization of this definition in the directiveness scale is not empirically associated with extremely high scores on this scale of right-wing (or left-wing) extremist groups to my knowledge, whereas the F scale has been shown repeatedly to be associated with such groups. In this respect, the F scale has full advantage over alternatives for which no extreme scores have yet been reported for extremist groups. The only exception may be the Dogmatism scale, which has been shown to be associated with right-wing extremism (DiRenzo, 1967b; Knutson, 1974; Altemeyer, 1988a, p. 261), but not with left-wing extremism, as Rokeach (1960) hypothesized. The Dogmatism scale has been shown to be highly correlated with the F scale. This also seems to be the case with Altemeyer's RWA scale so that similar results in general can be expected from the RWA and F scale. [7]

Most of the research findings discussed here were known or could have been known to major mainstream reviewers, such as Wrightsman (1977), Byrne (1974), Cherry and Byrne (1977), Dillehay (1978), and Goldstein and Blackman (1978). But the discussion about authoritarianism has ignored key information that has been available for decades and has subsequently deteriorated in quantity and quality, especially in the 1980s. The Steiner and Fahrenberg (1970a, 1970b) investigation had not been quoted until it was rediscovered by this author, nor has any major reviewer ever attempted a systemic search such as has been performed here. One is tempted to conclude either that no fascism is present in North America or that American investigators could have done a much better job to prove its existence with the F scale. The student sample syndrome of much research would tend to suggest the latter, although it is clear that both classical fascism and neofascism may be more European social and political phenomena than North American.

One may wonder about the amount of support provided by the present analysis for the authoritarian personality theory. Strictly speaking, this report shows that only the F scale has greater validity for measuring potential and actual fascism than is often assumed. Whether the original theory is satisfactory is another question. If Altemeyer (1981, 1988a) is even partly correct, it may be possible that other theories will prove more effective in explaining the empirical phenomena and that the RWA scale may be more efficient. However, his reduction of the authoritarianism concept seems historically questionable and ignores much that was already predicted by the F scale he so thoroughly "discredited," almost throwing away the baby with the bath water.

In the light of the reappearance of ethnocentric and authoritarian attitudes in the 1980s (Meloen et al., 1988), this research is too important for petty quarrels about the kind of insignificant side issues that have dominated the debate on authoritarianism for too long. Psychologists have contributed most of the studies in this field, mainly because many sociologists had political scientists do not give much credit to personal motivation and reasoning that can enhance the understanding of political phenomena. The study of authoritarianism, however, cannot be limited to psychology. Further analyses on social, political, economic, and historical levels are beyond the scope of this report, but suggestions for a more comprehensive, dynamic and multidisciplinary approach have been made elsewhere (Meloen, 1983, 1984, 1991a, 1991c; Meloen & Middendorp, 1991).

The relevance of authoritarianism research has been assessed in this analysis. It indicates that the results of authoritarianism research have been strongly underestimated.

[7] In the sample of 131 Dutch psychology students the correlation between a 10-item original F scale and the 30-item RWA scale (no item overlap) was .62; the correlation of the F scale with the authoritarian half of the RWA scale (no item overlap) was even .71 (Meloen, 1991b). "

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