Parenting Shapes Politics

How the worldwide shift to the right came about – and how we can stop it

Far right wing populism is spreading throughout the Western world. The Trumps, Le Pens, and Wilders are raising the cry to attack the core of democracy. How could this new fanatical frigidity have come about?

Germany’s best-known paediatrician and family expert set out on a sensible search for clues, and he found what he was looking for: the children. In every adult who cries out for boundaries, severity, and renewed authoritarianisms, Herbert Renz-Polster unmasks an insecure child, who in his or her urge for human recognition has instead simply been abandoned. In all cultures, a certain type of authoritarian parenting style goes hand in hand with susceptibility to populist messages.

This book urgently shows that if we want to understand and prevent extreme right tendencies, we must find these insecure childhoods. This is our social responsibility. The familial climate of today will be the political climate of tomorrow.

Whoever wants to understand authoritarian populism must look to where small humans become large humans: childhood. (Herbert Renz-Polster)