The landmark 1950 study in social psychology The Authoritarian Personality represents a significant attempt to correlate right-wing political orientation with psychological or characterological dispositions. As a collaborator and coauthor of the study, Theodor W. Adorno brought to the research project a unique set of philosophical and social-theoretical concerns that were not always consonant with the stated aims or underlying assumptions of the group. In his “Remarks on The Authoritarian Personality” (a text that was not included in the published 1950 work), Adorno laid out a series of objections that call into question the notion of an underlying personality structure; they suggest that under the modern conditions of the late-capitalist culture industry, the individual as a psychic unity is beginning to dissolve. This dissenting perspective deserves notice, especially in an age that has seen the reemergence of authoritarian politics in the United States.
Peter E. Gordon; The Authoritarian Personality Revisited: Reading Adorno in the Age of Trump. boundary 2 1 May 2017; 44 (2): 31–56. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/01903659-3826618
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