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Evolutionary advantages and disadvantages

April 22nd, 2014 Comments off

What evolutionary advantages are there to a conservative viewpoint?

Well, your conservative soul is hesitant to leave home, or to accept members from outside his clan or tribe. So he’s not so likely to take one for his mate.  This avoids inbreeding; where a recessive gene that causes an undesirable trait–such as sickle cell anemia–has a higher chance of joining fwith another copy of the recessive gene, and thus dominating to express the bad trait.

The insular society willl be more susceptible to a reduction in genetic variation, making it more vulnerable to pathogens, diseases, that it hasn’t encountered before, within the group.

Within inbreeding groups, there is a higher rate of death among newbors, til the age of five.  So eventually the inbreeding group will tend to die out, unless a greater degree of fecundity is achieved in the female population, but this doesn’t seem to occur; the inbreeders have a lower rate of conception and inplantation. (p. 142). Inbreeding is marrying with your first cousin, or closer.

Outbreeding, on the other hand (exsanguinuity), will bring resistant genes into the population.

Categories: Humanism, politicas, Uncategorized Tags:

No Campaigning Allowed?

April 15th, 2014 Comments off

“Embodied cognition” is the concept of your mental state being affected by your physical state, in subtle ways that you’re not aware of.  For instance, if you’re holding a warm drink, you’re likely to express positive feelings about others–whereas holding a cold drink gives you negative feelings.  A disgusting smell in the room will cause you to be negative to ideas that are presented to you.  Using a heavy clipboard makes you more serious about your answers to polls.  Drinking a bitter liquid makes you harshly judgemental.

Voting in a church produces more conservative voting patterns.

Just about all the polling places in South Carolina are in church buildings.

Categories: Humanism, politicas, Uncategorized Tags:

200,000 Years of Society and Language

April 15th, 2014 Comments off

200,000 years of evolutionary development as human beings, and 200,000 years of  language evolution!  Our language changes with the changes that devlope in our social relationships.  There are those who say that language could develop only when there was a level of trust among people: words are symbols, referents, mere sounds that point to an external reality that is not necessarily present at the time of speaking those words.  As trust develops, society changes, too; trust leads to openness, which allows us to welcome strangers in our midst.  Welcoming strangers is a liberal trait.

Categories: Humanism, Language, politicas, Uncategorized Tags:

Momma’s Boys

April 15th, 2014 Comments off

Why is it the case that first-born children have the propensity to be conservative?  Conservative in dress, in taste, in music, in politics?

According to Avi Tuschman in his book Our Political Nature: The Evolutionary Origins of What Divides Us, the first offspring is born with all the attention of the parents directed at him; and it is incumbent upon him to keep that attention by catering to the demands of his parents.  The first-born will be responsible, will obey the rules.

When another offspring comes along, staying loyal to the parental authority figure is the first-born’s method of trying to maintain the beneficence that had been flowing toward him alone, but which now is being split with a younger sibling. So remaining true to the old ways is the first-born’s best tactic for self preservation.

The younger sibling, though, can’t use that same tactic as well, but is forced to develop new tactics for getting attention: crying helps at first, but gets annoying; better to develop skills and interests that haven’t been tried before within the family, and so get attention and affection.  Going outside the family, for new interests, becomes the preferred modus operandi.  This leads to the development of an openness to the novel, to the original, to the world outside the family, and perhaps to leaving for parts of the world far from the place of birth.

The first-born, however, is much more likely to stay by his mother’s side, to develop a distaste for things different, to prefer the same old same old to the dangers of the novel.

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Why Do People Vote Republican?

March 19th, 2014 Comments off

Jonathan Haidt, Edge magazine September 2008,”WHAT MAKES PEOPLE VOTE REPUBLICAN”:

What makes people vote Republican? Why in particular do working class and rural Americans usually vote for pro-business Republicans when their economic interests would seem better served by Democratic policies? We psychologists have been examining the origins of ideology ever since Hitler sent us Germany’s best psychologists, and we long ago reported that strict parenting and a variety of personal insecurities work together to turn people against liberalism, diversity, and progress. But now that we can map the brains, genes, and unconscious attitudes of conservatives, we have refined our diagnosis: conservatism is a partially heritable personality trait that predisposes some people to be cognitively inflexible, fond of hierarchy, and inordinately afraid of uncertainty, change, and death. People vote Republican because Republicans offer “moral clarity”—a simple vision of good and evil that activates deep seated fears in much of the electorate. Democrats, in contrast, appeal to reason with their long-winded explorations of policy options for a complex world.

Categories: Economics, politicas, Uncategorized Tags:

Leviathon

March 17th, 2014 Comments off

In explaining Hobbes’s  Leviathon, that would be equivelant to ‘The government of the United States.’

Whoah!  For Thomas Hobbes, the Leviathon, the power that held together society my our mutual consent, had to be fa monarch.  Hobbbes hated Democracy, in all its forms.  A strong ruler, a despot even, was preferred by Hobbes to democracy.  In this way Hobbes showed his true strongly conservative self.  If he imagined society as like a family, it was a family with a very strict Father figure, one who controlled us with an iron hand.

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Charles Stross Scores on Libertarianism

December 20th, 2013 Comments off

Charlie Stross, quoted in Hullabaloo:

I tend to take the stance that Libertarianism is like Leninism: a fascinating, internally consistent political theory with some good underlying points that, regrettably, makes prescriptions about how to run human society that can only work if we replace real messy human beings with frictionless spherical humanoids of uniform density (because it relies on simplifying assumptions about human behaviour which are unfortunately wrong).

Categories: Economics, politicas, Uncategorized Tags:

The Master Mentality, Fear and…Trey Gowdy

November 8th, 2013 Comments off

Before the Civil War, armed white men on horseback formed “slave patrols” to search for, intercept and aprehend any slave found where they felt that slave did not belong. Any free-roaming slave was a potential danger, ready to foment insurrection, murdering their white masters in their beds, raping their white wives and sisters and daughters.

After the Civil War, those bands of armed men became “black patrols”; the blacks were now freemen, but were still seen  as naturally inferior, a threat to the white man. The black man had to be kept “in his place” by any means possible.

This did not end with the coming of Reconstruction; rather, those same vigilante bands were transformed into  “gun clubs,” performing essentially the same function: keeping the black man down. Wade Hampton’s Red Shirts were a politically connected outgrowth of the gun clubs, performing essentially the same functions. When Reconstruction law demanded the disbandment of the gun clubs, they immediately reformed “band clubs,” musical organizations: one such club proudly advertised its “three 24-pound flutes”.

Whites still felt it necessary to use physical force to “protect” the white way of life. Whites were fearful now that blacks would not only be violently viscious when allowed freedom of action; but blacks now threatened the whites’ economic security, as southern economic society had been decimated by the War. Blacks, formerly slaves, remained “the other” for the white man–particularly for the poor white man, and there were a great many of those. So a means had to be developed to keep this threat at bay.

So Benjamin “Pitchfork Ben” Tillman ran fo the Governorship of Souith Carolina on a platform of keeping the black man down by legal methods. The result came to be known as Jim Crow.

In 1896, Tillman’s factotum in the State Senate, one Coleman “Coley” Livingston Blease, introduced into the South Carolina Legislature the first law demanding the segregation of blacks from whites on all public transportation.

Coley Blease went on to occupy Tillman’s seat in the office of Governor in 1911. While in office Blease made a point of praising lynching as a justifiable means of taking revenge justice.

In 1913 Blease appeared before the US Conference of Governors, and said: “Whenever the Constitution comes between me and the virtue of the white women of the South, I say to hell with the Constitution!” He never shrank from endorsing the vigilantism of lynching–though always condemning, with a wink and a nod, “the violence of a few.”

In 1929, this same Blease, now U.S. Senator, introduced a bill to produce registration and identification cards for all non-native-born person in the United States.  “A very dangerous bill,” according to The Nation magazine at the time, “…an infamous proposal, spelling police espionage and blackmail.”

Lynching, segregation, vigilantism–all are means of identifying “the other” and protecting oneself from the unknown, the feared.

Now comes Trey Gowdy, US Representative from South Carolina’s 4th District (Greenville/Spartanburg) introducing the SAFE Act — Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement Act– which essentially turns every local law enforcement agency into a vigilante posse, licensed to enforce national immigration laws and policy, in their own way and using such methods as they choose.

“The SAFE Act represents a common sense approach to the enforcement of our nation’s laws. Utilizing the law enforcement infrastructure existing in every state and community across this country to support enforcement efforts increases accountability and effectiveness, while using resources wisely,” says Gowdy, on his web site.

What this would do would be to encourage racial profiling to the extreme, creating a new class of people to be reviled and legally threatened, harrassed and intimidated.

It’s unfortunate that this law has already been approved and passed out of the House Judiciary Committee.

While the Orwellian-named “SAFE Act” will probably never get past the Senate — so long as that body is controlled by the Democrats — it is chilling to consider that the same fears of “the Other” are even today being manifested, and from the same area of the country that brought us all the joys of Jim Crow.

Sources:
Editorial Paragraphs,” The Nation, Vol CXXVIII, Feb. 13, 1929, New York, N.Y., pp175-176.
The Governorship of Coleman Livingston Blease of South Carolina, 1911-1915, by Ronald Dantan Burnside. Unpublished PhD thesis, Indiana University, 1963.
“The Appeal of Cole Blease of South Carolina:Race, Class and Sex in the New South by Bryant Simon, in The Journal of Southern History, Vol 62, No.1 (Feb. 1996), pp 57-86.
Redemption: The Last Battle of the Civil War by Nicholas Leman, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2006.

 

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ACA Blame where it Belongs

October 24th, 2013 Comments off

Ezra says it like it is:

The classic definition of chutzpah is the child who kills his parents and then asks for leniency because he’s an orphan. But in recent weeks, we’ve begun to see the Washington definition: A party that does everything possible to sabotage a law and then professes fury when the law’s launch is rocky.

On Tuesday, Rep. Paul Ryan became the latest Republicans to call for HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to step down because of the Affordable Care Act’s troubled launch. “I do believe people should be held accountable,” he said.

Okay then.

How about House Republicans who refused to appropriate the money the Department of Health and Human Services said it needed to properly implement Obamacare?

How about Senate Republicans who tried to intimidate Sebelius out of using existing HHS funds to implement Obamacare? “Would you describe the authority under which you believe you have the ability to conduct such transfers?” Sen. Orrin Hatch demanded at one hearing. It’s difficult to imagine the size of the disaster if Sebelius hadn’t moved those funds.

How about congressional Republicans who refuse to permit the packages of technical fixes and tweaks that laws of this size routinely require?

How about Republican governors who told the Obama administration they absolutely had to be left to build their own health-care exchanges — you’ll remember that the House Democrats’ health-care plan included a single, national exchange — and then refused to build, leaving the construction of 34 insurance marketplaces up to HHS?

How about the coordinated Republican effort to get the law declared unconstitutional — an effort that ultimately failed, but that stalled implementation as government and industry waited for the uncertainty to resolve?

How about the dozens of Republican governors who refused to take federal dollars to expand Medicaid, leaving about 5.5 million low-income people who’d be eligible for free, federally-funded government insurance to slip through the cracks?

The GOP’s strategy hasn’t just tried to win elections and repeal Obamacare. They’ve actively sought to sabotage the implementation of the law. They intimidated the people who were implementing the law. They made clear that problems would be exploited rather than fixed. A few weeks ago, they literally shut down the government because they refused to pass a funding bill that contiained money for Obamacare.

The Obama administration deserves all the criticism it’s getting for the poor start of health law and more. Their job was to implement the law effectively — even if Republicans were standing in their way. So far, it’s clear that they weren’t able to smoothly surmount both the complexities of the law and the political roadblocks thrown in their path. Who President Obama will ultimately hold accountable — if anyone — for the failed launch is an interesting question.

But the GOP’s complaints that their plan to undermine the law worked too well and someone has to pay border on the comic. If Republicans believe Sebelius is truly to blame for the law’s poor launch, they should be pinning a medal on her

The Bystander Effect

October 17th, 2013 Comments off

Does this explain the revulsion of some at collectivism?  That is, does colective action appear to be an instance of the bystander effect?

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