Saturday, June 10, 2006

Take the f-scale test

Have you got an ‘authoritarian personality’? Are you receptive to fascist ideas?

Many try and intellectualise what makes a person become attracted to ideologies or religions that demand allegence to a strong dictator figure or authority. What makes someone join an organization like the All-Polish Youth?

If you study sociology or politics then you might have heard of Theodor Adorno (photo), the main theorist of the Marxist Frankfurt School. He was one of a number of Jewish Marxist intellectuals who found themselves as exiles in the US during and after WW II.

Much of their work tried to explain the rise of fascism and nazism in Europe. Adorno’s most famous work, The Authoritarian Personality was yet another attempt to merge Freud with Marx. The results, I think, were a bit of a dog’s dinner (something to do with your relationship with your dad, or something) but very influential for a while.

Some people have tried to explain the rise of religious fundamentalism (and suicide bombing) using Adorno’s method.

So, are you a possible suicide bomber or fascist? Have you got a personality that desires a strong hand to guide you, as it were? Do you love Big Brother?

Take the F-scale test here and find out. Warning: some of the questions are a bit odd.

It said I was a ‘liberal airhead’. I am not a liberal airhead...honest!


michael farris said...

I'm a 2.63 liberal airhead. On the other hand, I thought I could figure out a lot of what the questions were about and was gaming the system a little, I think - or maybe that's what he _wanted_ me to think.

jams o donnell said...

Hmm I am a whining rotter. You are right, some of those questions are very odd indeed.

I am not familiar with Adorno. Perhaps I am missing something: does this test actually have any real point given that the authors admittted that they had not demonstrated it actually measures fascist tendency?

Anonymous said...

Better a liberal airhead than a fascist fuckwit, as my mum used to say :)

beatroot said...

Cheers Stexx...and yes, over simplification of do him justice I would have to write a thesis...

But I still think that, in general, the Frankfurtians were a miserable bunch who denied a central theme in Marx...that of their writings they seem to see no wait out of hole that capitalism puts us in...apart maybe from Marcuse this is not what you would call 'revolutionary' politics.

And yes, governments are more authoritarian than every today, but the reasons for that cannot be found in Adorno, I would wager...apart from the apolitical nature of societies today and a lack of any real ideological alternatives...something that the Frankfurt school played a small part in...

Polecat: strange - my mum used to say that all the time, too!

jams: no, the test has nlittle point's just a way of introducing very complex thinkers like Adorno to a wider audience.

Mike: of course he wanted you to think that...,

Agnes said...

Liberal airhead, 2.4 (For my amusement).

Polecat: agreed, better a liberal airhead than a _fundamentalist_ fuckwit.

"apart from the apolitical nature of societies today and a lack of any real ideological alternatives" - Beatroot - yes. There is the rub.

David Broder said...

While no expert on Adorno, one important thing I do remember about him is that during May '68 students in his lecture started standing up and shouting out anti-capitalist slogans, drowning out his voice.

When it appeared that they had hijacked the whole thing, he called the police to turf them out of the building.

Interesting that, when push came to shove, he sided with the authorities and his own class against the students.

beatroot said...

You know your frankfurters, Seppx.

Aaron Fowles said...

I'm a 3.27, a disciplined but tolerant American. Great, another thing telling me that I'm boring.

Anonymous said...

But if you think of Clinton as a liberal you need a new dictionary. I have only read a bit of Dialectic of Enlightenment but it seemed to me he casts his net a bit too wide to be useful: he seemed to disapprove of virtually all art (Greta Garbo and "physical" entertainers aside). If an artist is different, his difference becomes subsumed in mass culture. So you might as well give up trying to produce non-mass art. Unless you're Greta Garbo.

beatroot said...

Max H. is right. Adorno despised western popular culture (jazz seems to have wound him up particularly - he was a music critic as well). Though be boppers like Parker, Davis, Coltraine, Monk, Mingus all saw their culture as having revolutionary potential.

lemuel said...

Hmm, I put on my reactionary hat and still came out as a liberal airhead (2.86). The test is outdated.

Cat Millar said...

I'm a psychology student, and I took the F-Scale test out of interest after learning about Adorno - I'm very glad to be pronounced a liberal airhead! :)

Cat x

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Anonymous said...

I got a 5.53333. I'd rather consider myself Authoritarian instead of Fascist. I didn't find the questions odd.

Anonymous said...

By the way this test is very accurate considering I had some of my Fascist friends take it.

Anonymous said...

1.993 ...

Somewhat true for me (I am not American, btw), I'd expect indeed something around 2 - I couldn't be more anti-authoritarian.
Although I believe this test is way outdated for the contemporary ethos, I would be wary of anyone scoring higher than 4.

PheonixReaper said...

I got 4.333 recurring.
I'm a True American...
... I'm not American...

I feel a problem of the test is that it focuses on Conservative Authoritarianism, and disregards Progressive Authoritarianism. Communism is just as Authoritarian as Fascism, is it not? I'd probably have scored higher if it had been more Left-Wing...

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