The old-fashioned notion of truth and facts died some time ago. The philosophy of relativism took them out. Discussion of this philosophy can (and has) filled myriad tomes but it is the idea that “everyone has their own truth” and if you try to impose your truth on another person then you are hypocritical or judgmental. You will be accused of clinging to dogma, and will be assured you are on the wrong side of history. And worse.
Lots of people of differing political stripes hold to this philosophy. The difference between Authoritarians and almost everyone else is that you can have a polite, interesting discussion with everyone else. Authoritarians will add it to the list of “isms” you are guilty of and form a hate mob to remove you from their presence.
Relativism does not make sense. Relativism says, “There are no absolute truths.” Yet this statement itself is an absolute truth. Therefore, relativism cannot be true. Pointing this out will not make you popular. If you really want to argue keep asking the relativist important moral questions like why it is that beheading people who believe incorrect things; why throwing healthy newborns off a second story balcony and only raising the ones who live; or why holding people as slaves is wrong. After all, those practices are perfectly right for the moral relativist who believes in them.
Relativism is a popular philosophy because people will go to great lengths to justify their behavior.
So what do you have when you no longer have truth, facts, right or wrong? You have narrative. It isn’t truth, it’s competing narratives. It isn’t right or wrong, it’s different narratives. Narratives are well-named because, for Authoritarians, the task of asserting, supporting and believing in The Narrative is all-important. It is one of the tenets of their religion.
Thus they utilize cult-like mechanisms to reinforce The Narrative. Every news story will support it. Every comment. Every political speech. Every YouTube video, social media post, or Tweet. Facts only matter if they support The Narrative, otherwise they are ignored or better yet, disqualified.
Authoritarians will surrender their own relative morals to support The Narrative lest the wrath of the Authoritarian mob descend upon them. This often involves pointing out a different victim who will not uphold The Narrative. Those who do not support The Narrative must be culled from all influence lest their toxic Competing Narrative gain traction.
Blocking, unfriending, getting opponents banned from social media, disinvited from speaking engagements, having them fired, or tossing them into jail are all perfectly acceptable, moral, and right things to do. Authoritarians haven’t quite gotten to the bloody stage of enforcement where violence and death are meted out on miscreants, but history would suggest they will.
This is very cult-like behavior, which is why I believe that the reasons people become and remain Authoritarians can only be addressed if we examine why people join and leave cults, and how they recover from the brainwashing they endure.
Narrative is not just the latest business buzzword that substitutes for story or product pitch, but now that it has become more popular it is also being used in that context. It is a major pillar in the Church of Social Justice, and used to justify many SJW abhorrent behaviors. We use it in our comic because the religiosity of the term needs to disappear back into the Big Bin of Bad Ideas that people can’t seem to help delving into from time to time.