Individual Presentation:
• J. I. ‘Hans’ Bakker: Trump, Legitimate Authority and Authoritarianism: Max Weber’s Ideal Type Models (60 min)

Abstract: The MAGA right would like to go back to a neo-fascist, authoritarian model. But we can improve on those labels and frame the discussion in terms of Max Weber’s Ideal Type Models (ITMs). The paradox is that Trumpists want to both retain rights as “citizens” but at the same time they would like to have a traditional, pre-modern, pseudo-biblical King. Weber’s theories concerning “authoritarianism” involve a Comparative Historical Sociological (CHS) analysis of “legitimate authority”. King David had legitimate authority because YHWH (haShem, Adonai, El) deemed it so, at least according to Tanakh. Evangelicals ignore the O.T. rules, but nevertheless want to have a Biblical monarchy. The ITM of Patrimonial prebendalism puts journalistic use of various labels into a more scholarly framework. MAGA voters want to be able to vote. But once they have voted for DJT’s third term, all bets are off. They do not view People of Color (PoC) as true “peers.” It is almost as if Magna Carta (of 1225, not 1215) and events of 1688-89 and 1775-1791 had never happened. Mike Johnson, the Speaker of the House, wants to be in Congress but deny the legitimate authority of the Congress. Ultra-chauvinist nationalists are not patriotic. The deep psychoanalytic and psychohistorical roots are similar for many people in many parts of the world today (e.g., Russia, China, Hungary, North Korea, Venezuela, Myanmar). The idea of fortress America (at least for the “continental” states) reflects the deep fears of losing that which seems to give life ultimate meaning: a romanticized version of a kind of “American Jesus” not found in the New Testament, much less the whole Bible. Parallels with fascism in Italy, Germany and Japan are fairly clear. But many think “American exceptionalism” will save us (even in Canada).

Bio: J. I. (Hans) Bakker, PhD, is a retired Professor of Sociogy and Anthropology who has edited eleven books on various topics, including food security and the global urban-rural matrix. His books about Gandhi are based on a Jimmy Carter inspired internship in human rights in India. He has more than 100 published articles and many encyclopedia entries and book reviews. During his sabbatical at Harvard’s Judge Baker Children’s Center (JBCC) he had weekly sessions with the psychiatist Stuart Hauser, President of the JBCC.

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