Human Nature

in #liberty5 years ago (edited)

a comparison of psychological effects on our political thoughts

Moral Foundation Theory

A discussion on the differences and similiarities of anthropologic and evolutionary notion of human nature and how they effect political thinking. I am going to attempt to make this post as simple as possible in the interest of being able to obtain the widest possible range of opinions from people who read it (all seven of you).

The six issue commonalities of anthropologic and evolutionary notion of human nature as defind by Jonathan Haidt in his book "The Righteous Mind". He found that there are six intuitive foundations of morality, as follows, and the first three of which I will discuss here.

  • Care/Harm
  • Fairness/Cheating
  • Liberty/Opression
  • Loyalty/Betrayal
  • Authority/Subversion
  • Sanctity/Degradation

Schweder et al. 1997
Haidt & Joseph, 2004
Haidt & Graham, 2007

Part of our nature is that we care, especially for each other. How this plays out in our political thinking is demonstrated in the following slogans that are common at progressive events, for example:
"compassion is our new currency"
"Free empathy"
"I can't hurt another without hurting myself"

Those with more conservative or libertarian world view, don't base their political ideology on empathy in the way that progressives do.

Left see fairness as being the equality of outcomes (which is linked to care) No one should have more than anyone else, regardless of if they have worked for it or not. On the other hand conservatives & libertarians see fairness as proporionality.
"no free riders, slackers, cheaters."
"stop punishing success and rewarding failure."
"Spread my work ethic not my wealth"

Christopher Boehm Heirarchy in the forest
The reverse dominance hierarchy, urge banding together to take down or kill a bully. the desire to keep others down to your level. Or in other words the tall poppy syndrome. Human hunter gather societies were very egalitarian, however obsessed about any one individual acting like an alpha. The urge to band together and take them down is stron in socialist countries, this is why these societies tend to stifle innovation.

Symmetry in the left and right is seen in the left see corporations and the rich as the opressors and libertarians see big government as the opressor. There are a lot of similarities here just with a different opressor.

Progressives are quite happy to live in an opressive society, as long as they are the ones doing the opression. The slogan "Equality now liberty later" is a telling insight into the psychology of todays "liberals" or progressives. They are more than happy to take away your civil liberties for the sake of equality.

The "So called" Difference in masculaine and feminine thinking as defined by Baron-Cohen, 2004 are described below:
Systemising: "The drive to analyse the variable in a system, and to derive the underlying rules that govern the behaviour of the system."

Empathising: "The drive to identify another person's emotions and thoughts, and to respnd to these with an appropriate emotion."

I assert that these are not completely accurate, on the basis of the following. People who think that they can empathise with you, think that they know (somewhat arrogantly) what you are feeling, however the truth of the matter is that they have no idea. This greatly reduces the effectiveness of a system based on empathy, as in reality you are not acting on what they are feeling at all. You will be making desicions on what you think they are feeling. This paradigm can be seen when you study the in-fighting that occurs in intersectional feminism. Also it is thought that men steer more to systemising and less empathising, which is generally true, however (think back to my "kick in the nuts" scenario) it is more a case of where empathy is directed to. If a study was done on mens empathy on this basis, I think you would find surprising results of men ability to empathise and would be far greater than previously thought. I am yet to obtain "public funds" to conduct the study, maybe I could employ for reasearch. What this more accurately portrays is the tendancy for empathic direction to be inherently corrupted by own group bias and people's ideas about morality.

A Quick Note on Libertarians

To breifly provide an over view of general libertarian values, I have summarsied them as follows:
value liberty more and most other moral values less than porgressives or conservatives.

Rely upon reason more and emotion less than either progressives or conservatives.

Have the most masculine cognitive style and the progressives have the most feminine cognitive style.

Collective narratives.

I am going to tell you two stories as told by Jonathan Haidt, which represents two sides of a political story.

Narative 1
Once upon a time, work was real and authentic, farmers raised crops and craftsmen made goods with their own hands. But then capitalism was invented and darkness spread across the land, as the smokestacks of the Industrial Revolution covered everything in soot. The capitalists became ever more skilled at extracting productivity from workers and pocketing the gains from their labor. The workers eventually fought back by unionizing in the early 20th century, as the brutality and stupidity of capitalism were exposed many governments granted workers some protection from the predators, democratic welfare states were born. However the capitalists and the right-wing cronies were unrelenting and in many countries they have destroyed the unions slashed regulations and given the corporation's free rein to exploit at work. So the rich get richer the rest of us get poor our democracy gets weaker and the planet gets hotter. It is now the duty of every decent person to join the fight against global capitalism and the super predators it has unleashed upon us
Narative 2
Once upon a time almost everyone was a peasant, a serf or a slave. Kings and feudal lords took most of what people produce, so nobody had much reason to work but then in the 17th century capitalism was invented and the liberation began. In England, Holland and America they discovered that when you give people property rights, the rule of law and free markets, you turn on a switch in their hearts. People want to work when they can keep the fruits of their labor. They want to invent new products, provide for their children and be useful to others. Free market capitalism enables them to do these things. In the 20th century some countries embraced communism and centralized planning, always with the same result, shortages of everything, including food and freedom. Countries that embraced capitalism have grown prosperous in a single generation, yet despite the evidence of history, the left-wing egalitarians are unrelenting and whenever they get control of the government, their first target is economic freedom. The egalitarians don't want to live in a world in which people who create more value for others get to enjoy more wealth for themselves. They'd rather that everyone be equal and equally poor. It is now the duty of every decent person to join the fight to protect capitalism and to extend its blessings to all of humankind.

Maybe you could tell me below which narrative is preferable to you in the comments. For progressives, what I mean by that, is type your "feelings" in comments below.

My view on the historical evidence can be summed up in the following quote:

A society that aims for equality before liberty will end up with neither equality or liberty...
...And a society that aims first for liberty will not end up with equality, but it will end up with a closer approach than any other kind of system that has ever been developed - milton freedman

Whether this paradigm will hold true for the future we have yet to see, however if we are going to do anything correctly we need to take into considerations of the failings and succeses of the past.

Some Thoughts on Things to Implement:

Reduce the role of money in politics, to ensure that the first story is less true.

Decentralise: Subsidiarity plus experimentalism or dealing with issues at the lowest level of government possible, i.e local government level. This is why global government is not a good thing and would be terrible for people and especially the environment.

Education: Add objective economic, statistics and politics eduacation to schools, and remove social studies type programs.

Increase diversity: Of thought and view points that is, especially in academic institutions, which have become progressive thought indoctrination centres, which are pro-socialism.

In the USA at the universities at the timem of 1996 the left to right ratio was 2:1 by 2011 the ratio was 5:1 in favouor of progressives. Now thats fine, the goal is not equality, the goals is to have enough freedom that if one side claims something, there is someone on the opposing side to question its validity.

In my previous post, "Empath and Liberty"

I discussed the role of empathy in descisions, particularly how they can be particularly sensitive to being myopic and at best prone to disadvantaging others. At worst they will propogate opressive behaviour in the name of percieved morality.

Please enjoy the following example as a satirical experiment in empathy. As you watch the video, please pay special attention to the empathetic audience. lol

Haidt. J. The Righteous Mind
The above arguments are basedan on data collected and any listed from

✌ only two


Intresting read and valid points..defdinetly needs to be less money in politics and harsher penalties for breaking laws, i think it should be minimum wage for politics with no benefits...that would soon weed out the scum and only people with legit concern of the walfare of the people would want to join

Wow, Your comment is doing better than the bloody post haha.

Thanks for your comment and support

Balance is the key to success in just about every philosophy.
I remember hearing the Dalai Lama (who's catchphrase is "loving compassion) talking about times when compassion isn't appropriate. Like if a mad dog tries to attack you. The appropriate response is fear, and fight or flight. Which is the opposite of compassion. Self preservation is important. But self preservation becomes selfishness when it's not necessary.
Unfortunately our moral compass is very easily swayed. It's very easy to tap into fear and create mob mentality. Fear of being rejected by our peers, fear of an outside "boogieman", fear of losing the balance of power.
I have found most people don't understand (or respect) equality, which ethical liberty, in its pure form, has to include. Or they just don't care. "I am happy for everyone to be equal on my terms."
Extremes are the opposite of balance. They are mere places for mini tyrants to entertain their delusions of superiority.

Yeah I think that is pretty accurate. There have been some pretty horrific things done in history on the basis of moral grounds.

Liberty this is answer to all our problem

I can see no other solution, it was the only ideology that had a positive outcome.

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@louisbettong this is the most fantastic piece that I have come across here to date.

hehe,,, now you have me curious to get my hands on a copy of those books!

Great work ;-)

Lots of love,

I have been told my works a bit too harsh, i am a little rough round the edges but have an honest message. Glad you liked my post. I liked to study Jonathan Haidts material and share my learning.

I hope you stick around, just note that some of my posts my not be as educational, I like to have a bit of fun too. You might like this one if your bored.

I appreciate comments just as much as votes and not too easily offended so dont be shy if you disagree.

positive criticism only helps us to grow.. and better us as a whole ;-)

so great attitude!

I also love to just about random things in life that I find interesting or just simply like hehe,, we all have to have fun in what we are posting or else things will become to boring and one toned in life..

P.s. thanks for your kind words