Liberals vs Conservatives

Posted by Beetle B. on Fri 04 November 2016

Haidt claims that genes account for whether you are left/right a lot more than upbringing does.

A single gene doesn’t predict much. But groups of genes do.

A survey of over 10000 Australians found that in general, conservatives have higher threat sensitivity (to loud noises, bad smells, etc) and liberals have higher openness to experiences (novelty seeking).

A life narrative is the story you tell about yourself. Life narratives tend to impact political ideology.

In a study, people were asked about their political views, then asked to fill out how other liberals or conservatives would have answered. The result was that conservatives were better at understanding liberals than vice versa.

Distinguishing conservative from orthodox: “There exists a transcendental moral order, to which we ought to try to conform the ways of society.”

Conservatives believe in using reason (not orthodoxy) to create the best possible society - one that accounts for human flaws (e.g. poor behavior in the absence of accountability). They believe that the use of reason without historical context is bad. They believe in the importance of authority in an institution.

He distinguishes liberals and conservatives from Democrats/Republicans. The mapping to political parties does not work well.

A Yin and Two Yangs

Yin: Liberal Wisdom

  • Distrust of corporations as superorganisms
  • Some problems can be solved by regulations

Yang: Libertarian Wisdom

Libertarians are more like liberals, except they don’t value the Care foundation as much. They vote Republican because both share their opposition to welfare.

He makes a good point about not having insurance companies nor government health (except for the poor and extreme cases). The system would definitely be cheaper if the market were transparent. But would ordinary people save enough money?

Yang: Social Conservative Wisdom

Derision of national boundaries

Criticisms of religions as exclusionary (but so is a university - much more so). The concern isn’t really about exclusion, but about discrimination of rights.

Putnam’s Survey: Diversity/immigration in the US results in selfishness - even within a group (not just due to racism).

tags : trm, morality, Haidt