Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Liberalism as Socially Motivated Cognition

Excerpt below from a post by Dr Helen. My own comment on the "study" that got her dander up is here

"I have mentioned a research study by the APA entitled, Political Conservatism as Socially Motivated Cognition, that appeared biased against conservatives. The study pointed out that there had been little research done on the traits of liberals--but they must have overlooked this article in Clio Psych's Journal from 2003. Here is an excerpt from the article that mentioned research on liberals from 1982--I guess the writers of the APA's biased article did not see fit to go back that far.

Research on the psychology of radical activists helps us to understand this mismatch between Chomsky's ideas and his personal style. In the 1970s, Stanley Rothman and Robert Lichter administered Thematic Apperception Tests to a large sample of "new left" radicals (Roots of Radicalism, 1982). They found that activists were characterized by weakened self-esteem, injured narcissism and paranoid tendencies. They were preoccupied with power and attracted to radical ideologies that offered clear and unambiguous answers to their questions. All of these traits can be found in the work of Chomsky and other anti-imperialist intellectuals.

And if you ever wondered why some liberals seem wishy-washy at times--this paragraph from the same article might explain things:

The unwillingness to offer alternatives reveals a lack of self-confidence and self-esteem. If they offered their own policy ideas they would be vulnerable to criticism. They would run the risk that their ideas would fail, or would not seem persuasive to others. This is especially difficult for anti-capitalists after the fall of the Soviet Union. It has also been difficult in the war against terrorism because Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden are such unsympathetic figures. Psychologically, it is easier to blame America for not finding a solution than it is to put one's own ideas on the line.

Hmmm.... I don't agree here that it is lack of self-esteem that would cause liberals to seem spineless. I think it is their desire to avoid responsibility at any cost".



There is a useful summary here of the recent Steven Pinker lecture in which Pinker came out in favour of the argument that Western Jews are genetically more intelligent than other Westerners: "Though the moderator thanked him for a very 'even-handed' presentation on a controversial topic, to my ear what Pinker presented was a spirited endorsement of the Cochran-Hardy-Harpending (CHH) paper. The presentation generally seemed to fill the need to present these controversial ideas to a very interested audience by a trusted authoritative source. It didn't seem to me that Pinker added anything that Cochran or Harpending could not have provided themselves except proximity to NYC and comfortably strong Ashkenazik credentials. Overall Pinker emphasized the reasonableness of the authors' hypotheses, the generally better quality of the genetic evidence over the environmental, the non-rational basis of much of the opposition, and the paper's strong foundation in the current state of knowledge". There is another account of the talk here.

Media New Orleans backtrack "In the traditional winter/spring crush by major newspapers to publish investigative stories that land them on finalist lists for hotly contested journalism awards, The New York Times and Los Angeles Times both put forth front-page stories this weekend that dramatically contradict much of their own coverage of the disaster. The New York Times found that of 260 deaths it analyzed, "Of those who failed to heed evacuation orders, many were offered a ride or could have driven themselves out of danger," while the Los Angeles Times found that "the well-to-do died along with the poor." Despite media coverage that focused on poor blacks, of the 380 bodies formally identified in New Orleans thus far, the Los Angeles paper said, a disproportionate number were white -- as measured against the city's population"

A wonderful article here by a man who gave up journalism to join the Marines. Excerpt: "When people ask why I recently left The Wall Street Journal to join the Marines, I usually have a short answer. It felt like the time had come to stop reporting events and get more directly involved. But that's not the whole answer, and how I got to this point wasn't a straight line. It's a clich‚ that you appreciate your own country more when you live abroad, but it happens to be true. Living in China for the last seven years, I've seen that country take a giant leap from a struggling Third World country into a true world power. For many people it still comes as a surprise to learn that China is chasing Japan as the second-largest economy on the globe and could soon own a trillion dollars of American debt. But living in China also shows you what a nondemocratic country can do to its citizens. I've seen protesters tackled and beaten by plainclothes police in Tiananmen Square, and I've been videotaped by government agents while I was talking to a source. I've been arrested and forced to flush my notes down a toilet to keep the police from getting them.... When you live abroad long enough, you come to understand that governments that behave this way are not the exception, but the rule. They feel alien to us, but from the viewpoint of the world's population, we are the aliens, not them. That makes you think about protecting your country no matter who you are or what you're doing".

Now for the Senate: "House lawmakers opened the way for oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as one of their last acts of an all-night session Monday bringing their legislative year to a close".

I have just posted here a challenge to the "anti-vilification" laws in the Australian State of Victoria that have been used to prosecute two Christian pastors for quoting the Koran(!)

The latest issue of Ovi Magazine is out. I have an article or two in there somewhere. It's a magazine to browse through rather than look for particular content. Could be handy during the Christmas break.

Jim Paine is continuing his monitoring of the disgusting but basically empty-headed Prof. Ward Churchill and his supposed "Indian" ancestry. It should be a wonder that an American university continues to employ such a chronic liar but I am afraid that it is not. Leftists have never rated the truth as very important.

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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