Why people choose authoritarianism over democracy

Commentators have noted that the Q-movement, as well as MAGA, in general, has tones of authoritarismism too it. It would seem like there are all of these young and middle-aged people who want a bigger, more powerful government, and to be ruled by an autocrat. The question is, why would anyone choose authoritarismism over democracy. To IDW-thinkers such as Jordan Peterson and Steven Pinker, it is self-evident and not a matter of debate that democracy, in spite of its problems, is the superior choice, and that freedom is always preferable to having fewer choices and less freedom.

Democracy and liberal societies are supposed to empower the individual, but in reality, give individuals very little power, with much of the power concentrated in a network of cultural, academic, bureaucratic, and financial/business/tech elites. Sure, everyone gets a single vote, but power and influence expresses itself in so many other ways than than just votes–it permeates all facets of society. There is the perception by many that democracy only seems to serve the financial elite and the cultural elite.

So authoritarianism is counterintuitively empowering to individuals, especially low-status, low socioeconomic people, because it chops all these elites to size. It is not a coincidence that is it mostly well-connected, high-status people who keep pushing for democracy. So rather than being ruled by a thousand petty elite, it is preferable to be ruled by just a single leader, even a despotic one.