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.

References

References
Adorno
Theodor W.
1948
.
“Remarks on The Authoritarian Personality.”
Unpublished, available online in the Max Horkheimer archive in the Universitätsbibliothek
,
Goethe Universität
,
Frankfurt am Main
. sammlungen.ub.uni-frankfurt.de/horkheimer/content/zoom/6323018?zoom=1&lat=1600&lon=1000&layers=B.
———.
1987
.
“Freudian Theory and the Pattern of Fascist Propaganda”
(1951)
. In
The Essential Frankfurt School Reader
, edited by
Arato
Andrew
Gebhardt
Eike
,
118
37
.
New York
:
Continuum Books
.
———.
2005
.
Minima Moralia: Reflections from Damaged Life
. Translated by
Jephcott
E. F. N.
.
New York
:
Verso
.
Adorno
Theodor W.
Frenkel-Brunswik
Else
Levinson
Daniel J.
Nevitt Sanford
R.
.
(1950)
1982
.
The Authoritarian Personality: Studies in Prejudice
.
Abridged ed.
Edited by
Horkheimer
Max
Flowerman
Samuel H.
.
New York
:
Norton
.
Adorno
Theodor W.
Horkheimer
Max
.
2007
.
Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments
. Translated by
Jephcott
Edmund
.
Stanford, CA
:
Stanford University Press
.
Fromm
Erich
.
1984
.
The Working Class in Weimar Germany: A Psychological and Sociological Study
. Translated by
Weinberger
Barbara
.
Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, UK
:
Berg Publishers
.
Gordon
Peter E.
2016
.
Adorno and Existence
.
Cambridge, MA
:
Harvard University Press
.
Gray
John
.
2012
.
“The Violent Visions of Slavoj Žižek.”
New York Review of Books
,
July
12
. www.nybooks.com/articles/2012/07/12/violent-visions-slavoj-zizek/.
Horkheimer
Max
Fromm
Erich
Marcuse
Herbert
et al.  
.
1936
.
Studien über Autorität und Familie (Studies on Authority and the Family)
. Vol
5
.
Paris
:
F. Alcan
.
Jay
Martin
.
1973
.
The Dialectical Imagination: A History of the Frankfurt School and the Institute for Social Research 1923–1950
.
Boston
:
Little, Brown
.
———.
1986
.
Permanent Exiles: Essays on the Intellectual Migration from Germany to America
.
New York
:
Columbia University Press
.
MacWilliams
Matthew
.
2016
.
“The One Weird Trait That Predicts Whether You're a Trump Supporter.”
Politico Magazine
,
January
17
. www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/01/donald-trump-2016-authoritarian-213533.
Martin
John Levi
.
2001
.
“The Authoritarian Personality, 50 Years Later: What Lessons Are There for Political Psychology?”
Political Psychology
22
, no.
1
:
1
26
.
Meloen
Jos
.
1991
.
“The Fortieth Anniversary of ‘The Authoritarian Personality.’”
Politics and the Individual
1
, no.
1
:
119
27
.
Müller-Doohm
Stefan
.
2009
.
Adorno: A Biography
. Translated by
Livingstone
Rodney
.
Malden, MA
:
Polity Press
.
Reich
Wilhelm
.
1980
.
The Mass Psychology of Fascism
. Translated by
Carfagno
Vincent R.
.
New York
:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
.
Originally published as Die Massenpsychologie des Faschismus (1933)
.
Rogin
Michael
.
1988
.
Ronald Reagan The Movie: And Other Episodes in Political Demonology
.
Berkeley, CA
:
University of California Press
.
Sanford
Nevitt
.
1986
.
“A Personal Account of the Study of Authoritarianism: Comment on Samuelson.”
Journal of Social Issues
42
, no.
1
:
209
14
.
Tringali
Brian C.
2010
.
“Message-Testing in the Twenty-First Century.”
In
The Routledge Handbook of Political Management
, edited by
Johnson
Dennis W.
,
113
25
.
New York
:
Routledge
.
Wheatland
Thomas
.
2009
.
The Frankfurt School in Exile
.
Minneapolis
:
University of Minnesota Press
.
———.
2014
.
“Franz L. Neumann: Negotiating Political Exile.” In “More Atlantic Crossings? The Postwar Atlantic Community,”
German Historical Institute Bulletin Supplement
10
. Edited by
Logemann
Jan
Nolan
Mary
.
New York
:
Cambridge University Press
.