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  • From Modernity to Bigotry

    Stephen Eric Bronner

    Chapter from the book: Morelock, J. 2018. Critical Theory and Authoritarian Populism.

    Stephen Eric Bronner presents us with ‘the bigot’: an anthropological type along the lines of Fromm’s ‘sadomasochistic character’ and Adorno et al.’s ‘authoritarian syndrome.’ Bronner identifies capitalist modernity as underlying the bigot’s emergence, and colourfully exposes bigot psychology. In the Western past, women’s rights and tolerance of diversity were minimal, and much prejudice and inequality was as common and normalized as to be invisible, or at least unarticulated as problematic. Modernity destroys that cosy ignorance, and benefits of hierarchy are stripped from the privileged, who are consequently not as privileged as they would like, not as privileged as afforded their perceived ilk historically. Modernity also erodes family, small-town community, and much tradition. The bigot wants to halt these erosions and retreat back to old ways which seem more solid. Out of this angst grows intolerance for social change and for others with different ways of life. Bronner closes with a brief history and critique of post-WWII identity politics, which he describes with sympathy, but warns of its divisive propensities; identity politics fight and feed bigotry simultaneously.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Eric Bronner, S. 2018. From Modernity to Bigotry. In: Morelock, J (ed.), Critical Theory and Authoritarian Populism. London: University of Westminster Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16997/book30.f

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    Published on Dec. 17, 2018