We Conform Because We Fear
The more we fear, the more we accept authority,
and the more we become dependent.
We want to belong to something or someone
because we lack confidence in our own power
and thus, we give it away.
Don’t take my word for it!
This article talks about disease, but it’s also true of ideas and beliefs which can all create fear.
It’s a bit lengthy… here’s a synopsis:
“According to a “parasite stress” hypothesis, authoritarian governments are more likely to emerge in regions characterized by a high prevalence of disease-causing pathogens,” the researchers wrote. They define authoritarian governance as “highly concentrated power structures that repress dissent and emphasise submission to authority, social conformity, and hostility towards outgroups.”
The book The Parasite Stress Theory of Values and Sociality: Infectious Disease, History and Human Values Worldwide further outlines how populations respond to the uncertainty felt during pathogen spread. The authors discuss how reducing social prejudice and authoritarianism can be accomplished by emancipating people from infectious diseases. However, the authors also note that a government which desired more authoritarian powers – including “full-blown fascism or genocide” – could achieve this goal by “promoting widespread mortality and morbidity from infectious diseases.”