Cathy Reisenwitz on Authoritarianism and the Psychology of Power

Unveiling the characteristics and motivations behind authoritarian personalities

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Dear Listener,

It is my pleasure to introduce you to the brilliant and multi-faceted Cathy Reisenwitz in this week's episode. Cathy is the creator of the thought-provoking Substack publication, Sex and the State, where she writes about the intersection of sexuality and politics. With a mission to fight loneliness through vulnerability, Cathy's writing has been featured in an impressive array of media outlets, including TechCrunch, The Week, VICE, and the Daily Beast.

I have added her Substack to my list of recommended publications and urge you all to follow her if this message resonates with you.

In our discussion, Cathy contrasts authoritarianism, which involves zero- and negative-sum games that inevitably lead to winners and losers, with the liberal approach, which seeks to create positive-sum outcomes that benefit everyone.

Authoritarian personalities, therefore, are inherently antisocial. Yet Cathy emphasizes the importance of empathy in bridging the divide between these two worldviews and finding common ground to promote constructive dialogue:

"What differentiates an authoritarian from a liberal, I don't think is selfishness. I think both authoritarians and liberals can be equally selfish. What differentiates an authoritarian from a liberal is who is included in the self." – Cathy Reisenwitz

We also discuss Cathy's passion for grassroots activism in Huntsville, Alabama, where she has been a vocal advocate for affordable housing—working to eliminate homelessness and create a more inclusive community. Her insights underscore the power of small-scale initiatives to drive meaningful progress.

Finally, our conversation touches on the impact of women's economic empowerment on sexual dynamics and gender equality. As women's incomes continue to rise relative to men's, Cathy suggests that we may also witness a decrease in the “orgasm gap,” as women feel more empowered to demand fulfilling sexual encounters. This shift could challenge long-standing gender norms and expectations, paving the way for a more equitable and satisfying future.

I invite you to join Cathy and me for this enlightening and thought-provoking discussion. Her ability to tackle complex issues with nuance, empathy, and a touch of humor will undoubtedly leave you with a fresh perspective on the world we live in. And be sure to check out her Substack publication, Sex and the State, for more of her insightful writing and analysis.

Golden light,

Dr. Richard Louis Miller



00:00 Introduction and the Nature of Authoritarianism

03:14 Traits of an Authoritarian Personality

06:41 Violence and Authoritarianism

10:55 Authoritarianism and In-Groups vs. Out-Groups

13:03 Minority Groups and Authoritarianism

15:11 Income Gap and Gender Equality

29:02 Understudied Nature of Human Sexuality

33:39 Sexuality and the Suppression of Knowledge

35:09 Authoritarianism and Fear of Female Sexuality

38:51 Taking Action for Progress

41:18 Social Isolation and Loneliness

43:04 The Decline of Social Connection

45:40 Creating Morale Commissions

48:30 Improving Housing and Quality of Life

51:25 The Impact of Housing on Health and Well-being

54:06 The Need for Genuine Connection

56:11 The Importance of Breathing and Vulnerability

59:14 Overcoming Social Anxiety

01:00:05 Building Connections and Breaking Barriers

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Mind Body Health & Politics
Mind Body Health & Politics
Dr. Richard Louis Miller is an American Clinical Psychologist, Founder of Wilbur Hot Springs Health Sanctuary, and broadcaster who hosts the Mind Body Health & Politics talk radio program from Mendocino County, California. Dr. Miller was also Founder and chief clinician of the nationally acclaimed, pioneering, Cokenders Alcohol and Drug Program. Dr. Miller’s new book, Psychedelic Medicine, is based on his interviews with the most acclaimed experts on the topic. Mind Body Health & Politics radio broadcast is known for its wide ranging discussions on political issues and health. The program’s format includes guest interviews with prominent national authorities, scientists, best-selling authors, and listener call-ins. The programs offer a forum and soundboard for listeners to interact with the show and its guests. We invite you to listen to the latest broadcasts below or visit our many archived programs. We’d love to hear from you on political and health issues!