Imperial revanchism is integral to rising tide of authoritarian movements of the extreme right, a hunger to return to the glories of an imagined past.
The ISIS slogan might as well be Make the Caliphate Great Again, given their claims to be the modern reincarnation of an empire that once stretched from India and the islands of the Asian seas to Modern Spain and Portugal.
Here in the U.S., many hard-core Republicans dream of a return to the 17th Century, with patriarchy enshrined, divorce impossible to obtain, schools mandated to teach an established religion to ensure orthodoxy.
As noted in an earlier post, they want to muzzle the press and [as another posted noted] impose draconian curbs limiting and even abolishing the right to peaceably assemble
Authoritarian regimes play to social reactionaries by fanning the flames of deeply buried resentments, then directing the collective rage at hapless and helpless targets named as the villains who brought down the ancien régime.
Common to almost all such regimes is suppression of anything considered sexually deviant, most notably in the criminalization of homosexuality.
An academic seeks correlates
Amy Adamczyk serves as Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice at City University of New York, where her work focuses on how personal religious beliefs and social groups [from micro to macro] shape the way we attitudes about criminality, social deviance, and health-re;ated behaviors.
Her most recent book is Cross-National Public Opinion about Homosexuality, a look at attitudes in this and other countries.
What follows is Why do some countries disapprove of homosexuality? Money, democracy and religion, an essay written for The Conversation, a plain language open source academic journal:
With Trump’s removal of federal protections for transgender students, debate over LGBTQ rights rage again across the U.S.
Despite these disagreements, Americans are relatively liberal compared to countries across the world, where the consequences for gay or transgender citizens are far more dire.
In Europe and here in the Americas, only a minority of people believe that homosexuality is never justified. The percentage increases in places like Russia, India and China. In Africa, the Middle East and parts of Southeast Asia, attitudes become even more conservative.
Why are there such big differences in public opinion about homosexuality? My book, “Cross-National Public Opinion about Homosexuality,” shows that a key part of the answer comes in understanding how national characteristics shape individuals’ attitudes.
Within countries, a similar set of demographic characteristics tend to influence how people feel about homosexuality. For example, women tend to be more liberal than men. Older people tend to be more conservative than younger ones. Muslims are more likely to disapprove of homosexuality than Catholics, Jews and mainline Protestants.
Just like people, countries too have particular characteristics that can sway residents’ attitudes about homosexuality. I have analyzed data from over 80 nations from the last three waves of the World Values Survey, the oldest noncommercial, cross-national examination of individuals’ attitudes, values and beliefs over time. It is the only academic survey to include people from both very rich and poor countries, in all of the world’s major cultural zones. It now has surveys from almost 400,000 respondents.
My analysis shows that differences in attitudes between nations can largely be explained by three factors: economic development, democracy and religion.
Sweden, Switzerland and the Netherlands are some of the richest nations in the world. They are also some of the most tolerant. In sharp contrast, countries like Uganda and Nigeria are quite poor and the vast majority of residents disapprove.
How does the amount of money a country has shape attitudes? In very poor countries, people are likely to be more concerned about basic survival. Parents may worry about how to obtain clean water and food for their children. Residents may feel that if they stick together and work closely with friends, family and community members, they will lead a more predictable and stable life. In this way, social scientists have found that a group mentality may develop, encouraging people to think in similar ways and discouraging individual differences.
Because of the focus on group loyalty and tradition, many residents from poorer countries are likely to view homosexuality as highly problematic. It violates traditional sensibilities. Many people may feel that LGBTQ individuals should conform to dominant heterosexual and traditional family norms.
Conversely, residents from richer nations are less dependent on the group and less concerned about basic survival. They have more freedom to choose their partners and lifestyle. Even in relatively rich countries like the United States, some people will still find homosexuality problematic. But, many will also be supportive.
Regardless of how much money they make, most people living in poorer countries are likely to be affected by cultural norms that focus on survival and group loyalty, leading to more disapproval.
Freedom of speech
The type of government also matters. People living in more democratic countries tend to be more supportive of homosexuality.
Democracy increases tolerance by exposing residents to new perspectives. Democracy also encourages people to respect individuals’ rights, regardless of whether they personally like the people being protected.