Monday, November 21, 2005


It is part of the conventional religion among psychologists to believe that conservatives are the ones who are "authoritarian". Joe Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, Pol Pot and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers party just did not happen, you see. And like most Leftist beliefs, this one is impermeable to evidence. I have reported in the academic journals heaps of carefully conducted research showing the belief to be false but I was wasting my time of course. You can't argue with something that people need to believe.

Still, every now and again, a piece of research pops up which questions the orthodox faith and one such article is: "Is political conservatism synonymous with authoritarianism?", in The Journal of Social Psychology of Oct 2005, volume 145, issue 5, p571ff. by H. Michael Crowson, Stephen J. Thoma and Nita Hestevold. Their research is of course the usual rubbish that passes for science in psychology: No attempt at sampling, no awareness of what the questionnaires they use actually say, internally inconsistent indices treated as informative, negligible correlations reported as if they offered useful information etc. but it is still nice to see a challenge of sorts to the orthodoxy being put up. I would give a more detailed critique of what they did but I don't want to discourage them too much. They should probably read this and this and this, though.



I am well aware that having a Comments facility would enhance this blog. As in many other things, however, I try to steer a middle way with comments. I welcome comments via email and am generally pleased at the quality of the comments I get that way. But comments that can be read by all are a much more attractive facility, of course. The three group blogs to which I regularly contribute -- Majority Rights, Tongue-Tied and Western Heart all have a comments facility that is managed by the owners of the respective blogs so I don't have to spend time deleting all the rubbish that piles up in any comments facility from time to time. And I do cross-post a lot -- put the same post up on more than one blog. Western Heart specifically encourages cross-postings so I put up there every day what I personally consider to be the three most interesting of all the posts on my own blogs that day. So if any reader especially wants to make a public comment on some particular post of mine, there is around a 50/50 chance he will be able to find the post elsewhere and comment on it there.

Since rationality is the only thing I am unwaveringly committed to, however, I am open to change in what I do. So I have enabled comments on my new Australian Politics blog. If that works out well, I may add a comments facility on more of my blogs. I occasionally get up to a hundred or more comments to my postings on Majority Rights, however, and many of them do in my view require a response from me, so the workload of a comments facility here may well be more than I can comfortably offer.



Liberals lured by free lunch: "I first became aware of the law of gravity as a small child when I pedalled by tricycle off the porch and crashed into the yard. Gravity was of course operating all along, whether I was aware of it or not. Economics is a lot like that. Many people who are completely unaware of economics sometimes discover it the same way I discovered gravity, through some personal or national crash. Liberals especially tend to think up all sorts of good things we want -- a 'living wage,' 'affordable housing,' 'universal health care,' and an ever-expanding wish-list of things that everyone should receive as 'rights' -- with little or no awareness of the economic repercussions of turning that wish list into laws."

Do-it-yourself legislation: "The aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita have proved a massive breeding ground for what former OECD Chief Economist David Henderson has termed 'Do-it-Yourself Economics' (DIYE), which he defines as 'firmly held intuitive economic ideas and beliefs which owe little or nothing to textbooks, treatises or the evidence of economic history.' The DIYE phenomenon is not restricted to the general public. Henderson points out that DIYE ideas are 'sincerely held, and voiced with conviction, by political figures, top civil servants, CEOs, [labor unionists], well-known journalists and commentators, religious leaders, senior judges and eminent professors.' Sadly, these ideas might do real harm to the U.S. economy."

Move the media elite outside its bubble: "Former CBS-TV correspondent Bernard Goldberg rocked the journalism world in 2001 with his bestselling book 'Bias.' It was an indictment of what Goldberg believes to be an unintended but pervasive liberal prejudice in America's television and print newsrooms. Now, Mr. Goldberg is back with a more in-depth look at why this perceived bias exists. In his new book, 'Arrogance: Rescuing America from the Media Elite,' there is plenty of fresh red meat for those who believe that too many people in the media hold a baseline view of things that runs too far to the left. That point is well taken, but Goldberg presents a more significant one in 'Bias.' The author posits the existence of a 'bubble' inside which most established national media live and work. By looking through an elite pair of myopically focused glasses, these media movers deceive themselves that everything revolves around their own business and social circles in New York City and Washington, D.C."

Ilana Mercer on racism or realism? "I stated that Chinese and Jews have 1) overall endured far greater depredations in modern times than Muslims and African-Americans (notwithstanding category overlap). 2) Have coped with such contingencies admirably while Arabs and blacks . not so much. Is this not an observation of reality? Am I not stating an objective fact? So why is realism framed as racism? Dare discomfit people with unsettling facts, and they threaten to tarnish your reputation with damaging labels; tell the truth, and, it would seem, you risk your reputation. That pretty much sums the direction in which discourse has been steered."

The Guardian atypically features an excellent essay of some of the hairy issues involved in the intellectual property area without getting all soap boxy over pharmaceutical companies and the third world etc.

Wicked Thoughts has obviously had a VERY wicked thought about a certain German torchlit parade.

For more postings, see EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE. Mirror sites here, here, here, here and here. On Social Security see Dick McDonald and for purely Australian news see Australian Politics (mirrored here).


Practically all policies advocated by the Left create poverty. Leftists get the government to waste vast slabs of the country's labour-force on bureaucracy and paperwork and so load the burden of providing most useful goods and services onto fewer and fewer people. So fewer useful goods and services are produced to go around. That is no accident. The Left love the poor. The Left need the poor so that they can feel good by patronizing and "helping" them. So they do their best to create as many poor people as possible.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

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