Kimball On "The Authoritarian Personality: Part 1
American Jewish Committee
Social Studies Series
In 1950, the Frankfurt School augmented Cultural Marxism with Theodor Adorno's idea of the 'authoritarian personality.' This concept is premised on the notion that Christianity, capitalism, and the traditional family create a character prone to racism and fascism. Thus, anyone who upholds America's traditional moral values and institutions is both racist and fascist. Children raised by traditional values parents, we are told to believe, will almost certainly become racists and fascists. By extension, if fascism and racism are endemic to America's traditional culture, then everyone raised in the traditions of God, family, patriotism, gun ownership, or free markets is in need of psychological help.
"The New Left, Cultural Marxism, and Psychopolitics Disguised as Multiculturalism." no date
Even a casual analysis of Kimball's statements shows how several of her claims have a contradictory character.
Kimball, as we see from her other writings, occupies that part of the right wing political spectrum in the U.S. that self-identifies with Christianity (as they define it), capitalism (as they imagine it), and the traditional family (which seems to have functioned fairly close to their descriptions.)
It's said that for a man with only a hammer every problem looks like a nail. So, naturally, for Kimball and her co-thinkers, the Monster Under the Bed has to be seen as opposed to those three core values.
But let's examine Kimball's claims against even a cursory look at the real Authoritarian Personality and our own sense of history.
People raised within a particular environment today defined as "Christianity, capitalism and the traditional family" with strong doses of racism are likely to be racists; people raised in the same environment without the racism are likely not. One thinks back on the Society of Friends ("Quakers") of past centuries, perhaps as they're presented in Herman Melville's Moby Dick. That group was certainly Christian, capitalist, and traditional. One could even note that, as measured by consistent actions in accord with their religious beliefs the Quakers were Super Christian. Equally, given the relative prosperity of Quakers of their day, the people were more likely to be actual capitalists than believers in most other religions. Even today the word Quaker conjures up in our minds a whole ensemble of traditional behaviors in language ("Thou" and "Thee"), clothing (Plain Dress), and religious practices.
Yet Quakers have, as a religious group, been in the forefront of anti-racist actions.
The invented content and purpose of those attacking The Authoritarian Personality also ignore one key fact: the same Christian, capitalist-oriented, traditional family that produces those who score high on the F-scale also produces people who score low on the same scale. read Part II of "Kimball On 'The Authoritarian Personality'"
The Authoritarian Personality: Conclusions: ... our findings are strictly limited to the psycho- logical aspects of the more general problem of prejudice. Historical factors or economic forces operating in society to promote or to diminish ethnic prejudice are clearly beyond the scope of our investigation. In pointing toward the im- portance of the parent-child relationship in the establishment of prejudice or tolerance we have moved one step in the direction of an ex- planation. We have not, however, gone into the social and economic processes that in turn de- termine the development of characteristic family patterns.