Monday, August 18, 2003


There is an interesting post at Power Line (Via King of Fools) about the Berkeley study of conservatism that does what the Leftists themselves long ago did -- take a phenomenon and simply reverse the value judgements. Like many other conservative commentators, the blogger concerned sees some truth in the Berkeley study’s characterization of the Left/Right divide but just cannot see that it shows conservatives in a bad light.

He may not be aware that the Leftist “authoritarianism” theory underlying the Berkeley claims was itself originally borrowed from Nazi psychology (I kid you not) by the Marxist Adorno and his group (another example of Nazis and Communists being simply rival Leftist sects). Adorno agreed with the Nazi psychologist Jaensch about how people differed but what Jaensch said was a good thing, Adorno said was a bad thing. So reversing the value judgements is a very old trick in this field. Both camps are wrong however. They are mistaken in ascribing Left/Right orientation to childhood experience. The geneticists (Martin and others) have long ago shown that Left/Right orientation is MOSTLY hereditary. Leftists are born arrogant know-alls. Reality sometimes gets to them however and they turn conservative in later life (see e.g. here). See also here on the biological origins of human values generally.


Adorno,T.W., Frenkel-Brunswik, E., Levinson, D.J. & Sanford, R.N.
(1950) The authoritarian personality. New York: Harper.
Martin, N. & Jardine, R. (1986) Eysenck's contribution to behaviour genetics. In: S & C. Modgil (Eds.) Hans Eysenck: Consensus and controversy. Lewes, E. Sussex: Falmer
Eaves, L.J., Martin, N.G., Meyer, J.M. & Corey, L.A. (1999) Biological and cultural inheritance of stature and attitudes. In: Cloninger, C.R., Personality and psychopathology. Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Press.
Jaensch, E.R. (1938) Der Gegentypus. Leipzig: Barth.


1 comment:

Hadding said...

You seem not to be acquainted with Jaensch at all. It seems to be true that Adorno more or less inverted Jaensch's value-judgements about personality-types, but it was not Jaensch's position that personality-types were formed through childhood experiences. Jaensch's whole theory of the Antitype is that it's a result of race-mixture, the Jews being a population compounded of diverse racial elements. Contradictions in the inherited core of the personality produce strange political tendencies.