Barely Latent Autocrats

Science Matters

Christopher Gage writes at his blog Oxford Sour  The Cost of Folly  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

Sociologists say one third of any society harbours a ‘latent authoritarianism.’ All they need is a little wink and a nudge from someone in a lab coat.

For such people, the pandemic was the glory days of a humdrum existence.

They were the winners. They studied the ever-changing rules, the more ridiculous the better. They pretended Sweden didn’t exist. They willed Florida to swamp herself in Covid deaths.

When such measures failed, they recanted with primitive fervour: ‘We didn’t lock down hard enough!’

The pandemic celebrated usually negative personality traits. High neuroticism combined with high agreeableness—the psychic soup of scolds and puritans—became the stuff of winners.

Back then, ten percent of people consistently told pollsters they’d lockdown indefinitely. A crazy poll in The Economist found forty percent…

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