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Personality Traits of Left-Wing Authoritarianism

Since the 1950s, academics and the general public have been concerned with right-wing authoritarianism however, in recent years people have become concerned about an increase in left-wing authoritarianism. Contrary to what most people think left-wing and right-wing authoritarianism are actually quite similar and they agree on more things than you would think.


Most researchers thought that people who scored high in left-wing authoritarianism would also score high in altruism since left-wingers in general score high in it. But the results of a study have shown that the opposite is true: they score low in altruism. Another trait they found in left-wing authoritarians was vulnerable narcissism, which is usually not as obvious as grandiose narcissism. People who score high on vulnerable narcissism also tend to focus on receiving validation through charitable acts.

Right-wing authoritarians usually score high on authoritarian aggression, which means that they want to punish people who do not fall in line with what they or their ideology orders and commands. Left-wing authoritarians on the other hand score high on anti-authority aggression, and that is about calling people out who are pro-status quo or pro-tradition. Despite the name, it is actually similar to authoritarian aggression, but against people who are currently in power.


The implications here are that while left-wing authoritarians want to be seen as altruistic people, it is possible that many of them advocate for their policies to help their own ego. Most extremists of any ideology tend to have issues of narcissism and low self-esteem and use their political platforms to deal with inner issues. It’s important for people to understand that authoritarianism can take many forms and is not always your stereotypical boomer who can’t keep up with the times.