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Interaction Stories: The Psychology of Politics and the Politics of Psychology

  • Broadcast in Psychology
Stories We Live By

Stories We Live By


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Our lives may be shaped by three types of politics: Anarchy, Democracy or Authoritarian/Totalitarianism. Briefly anarchy takes place when we disagree and simply walk away from eachother. In a democracy we tend to negotiate a resolution to our conflicts. Leaders are selected through processes involving respectful debate and non-coercive elections by individuals seen as equals. An authoritarian system is hierarchical in which leaders declare themselves and use coercion to maintain power. Those who have great power see themselves as inherently superior to those below and expect their inferiors to be obedient to their wishes. In an authoritarian system behavior is to be obedient, in a totalitarian system thought and feeling must also totally conform to power's wishes.