The Link Between Autocracy and Conservatism

The link is authority, the principle of authority. Conservative writings are replete with the citing of authority as essential to order and order they consider as essential to society. That latter point is reasonable and even the role of authority must be present.
However, when authority becomes unreasonable in its hubris and self-centeredness, we have autocracy. A conservative becomes autocratic when he becomes self-centered and unreasonable. The question is, when is a conservative not unreasonable and self-centered?
Two examples of conservative autocracy come to mind. One has a young man in pre-war Britain reading on the tram; his book is titled Proper English. An aristocrat seated near him asks in the appropriate haughty tone, “Why are you reading that? All you have to do to learn proper English is listen to me.” The aristocrat has been imbued with the untenable supposition that everything he does is of the ‘aristos’, the best, just by being him. The notion that he might speak a dialect no better than any other is inadmissible. Thus the self-centeredness.
Trump also embodies these characteristics when he bulls his way through laws and norms and expects others to accede to his demands simply because he is Trump. His devastating high-handedness in governing as president so terrified and horrified at the same time his aides and officials that it overwhelmed many of them; they either acquiesced or left.
The reason they thought they could control Trump was that they did not understand what a severe personality disorder of the narcissist variety could accomplish by sheer will.
Remember, for everyone else, it is just horror and terror; for Trump, it is the survival of his very being, day in and day out, hour by hour, minute by minute. To survive the disappearance of him, he must constantly reinforce his sense of owning, of mastery, of, in his words, winning. Anything less threatens his existence, sending him hurtling down into the abyss of nothingness. The only way he can not be nothing is to keep asserting his will and imposing it on everyone else, or else he might be overwhelmed by them, that is, their identities will eclipse his.
In other words, Trump’s life is a constant struggle for mere survival of his existence. Read his niece’s biography of him. You will see why putting the power of the presidency into Trump’s hands may yet turn out to be suicidal.

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