In “Authoritarianism and Ideology,” Asad Haider approaches the problem of authoritarianism by considering the classical question of tyranny, as framed by Spinoza, and how this can be traced to the Marxist theory of ideology. A fundamental axis of the debate over ideology in twentieth century Marxism was the phenomenon of fascism, theorized in highly influential but also markedly different ways by figures like Wilhelm Reich and Theodor Adorno. A close reading of two major texts—Reich's Mass Psychology of Fascism and Adorno's contributions to The Authoritarian Personality—provides a basis for conceptually elaborating different directions that can be taken in the study of authoritarianism within the framework of ideology critique. The essay concludes by examining a specific form of ideology which is gestured to by both Reich and Adorno, though not systematically explored: racial ideology. As a fundamental component of contemporary authoritarianism, the phenomenon of racism allows us to elaborate the theory of ideology and its political implications.
"Authoritarianism and Ideology."
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