Many different lines of theory and research suggest that threat is an important antecedent of authoritarian beliefs and behaviors at both the individual and collective levels. Erich Fromm explained the rise of fascism to be the result of threatening social and economic circumstances that increased people's sense of powerlessness and led them to "escape from freedom" and submit to authority. Threat thus seems to produce similar effects on authoritarianism at both the individual and group levels. Distrust of governmental leadership also declined significantly in the low-threat period. Some polling data, however, do support the threat-astrology relationship. During periods of high social threat, therefore, one would expect greater aggression against out-group members. A more detailed analysis of the interactions among the separate threat variables and the separate authoritarianism indicators might reveal additional, complex relationships. Perhaps aggression and punitiveness on the part of more authoritarian people may be more easily tolerated or condoned by the less authoritarian general population during high-threat periods.