Authoritarian Alliances

Reply Mon 25 May, 2020 09:11 am
The following was posted in another thread about Biden's alliance with Obama as his vice-president:
bobsal u1553115 wrote:


The writer praises Biden for basically keeping his mouth shut (and his mind uncritical, presumably) in order to support Obama unconditionally. The implication is that if a person is an ally with another person, they don't tell them what they really think, or even bother thinking critically about anything; because that could create a situation in which the two minds have to work out their differences in opinion/judgment.

This is an authoritarian model for alliance. If we assume this kind of authoritarianism is a condition for supporting allies, we deny that there are non-authoritarian ways for people to support each other without sacrificing their own judgment and voice. The whole principle of all people being created equal and having freedom of speech/religion/etc. is that we can work together while honoring each others' independent viewpoints. In short, you don't submit to authoritarian hierarchy to be a true ally, but instead you give your ally your best critical response, because that is what you have to offer.

What's more, we can't even assume that Biden's relative silence under Obama even reflected authoritarian submission. A person standing quietly next to a speaker could be a lackey or their manager. You cannot know which because the relationship the two people have in private could be one where the speaker submits to the coach or the lackey is a yes-man for the speaker. What's more, you don't know if a yes-man is a passive supporter who always says yes, or a person who is able to steer the person they're responding to with subtle cues, so that the speaker ends up catering to the yes-man. You simply cannot know from paying attention to people's public behavior what their relationship in private it, so any assumptions you make are just assumptions.

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mark noble
Reply Wed 27 May, 2020 08:36 am
So what?

This is Bobsals' Reality.
Why does it matter?
You have your 'journey' - He has 'His'.

Have a Lovely Day
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