Democracy is going to die — and it’s all because the human brain prefers easy answers to complex problems. You and I were born during the golden age of democracy. It was a period during which it was assumed that democracy was the natural evolution of civic governance. But Dr. Shawn W. Rosenberg is challenging that idea. He’s a leader in the study of political psychology and he says research convinces him that the human brain isn’t wired for self-rule and that democracy is heading toward collapse. In a paper presented this year to the International Society of Political Psychologists, Rosenberg argues that the human brain naturally favors simple answers to complex problems, which tends to favor the rise of authoritarian strongmen who offer confident and simplistic solutions. Anyone who’s paying attention sees this happening around the world already. Donald Trump isn’t the cause of the problem, but he is an early example of this outcome in action. All authoritarian rulers come to power offering simplistic solutions — just as Adolph Hitler did in Germany and Benito Mussolini did in Italy. I’ve argued for 20 years that this country is heading toward social and economic collapse and I’ve made the case that things are going to get ugly when that happens, at least for those who are not prepared. Many people will ignore this evidence, of course, because they have too much emotionally invested in the idea that democracy will prevail — but that is just another example of clinging to a simple answer to a very complex problem. Don’t be surprised when things get ugly.
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