Sunday, June 08, 2014

Conservatives are From Mars, Leftists are From Venus

Below is one version of a plausible theory that pops up every now and again.  Both Left and Right have their versions of it.  The risible Lakoff has the best known Leftist version of it.

Plausible though it is however, it is demonstrably wrong.  If Leftists were feminine in their approach and appeal, then they should surely get a big vote from women.  But they do not.  At most national elections, the female vote splits roughly equally between Left and Right.  Single women tend to vote for a husband substitute (on the Left) while married women resent taxes taking away money that they would rather spend on their families. Overall the two groups of women cancel one-another out.

So WHY is the theory wrong?  Simple.  It takes Leftist claims about themselves at face value.  Leftists claim to be motivated by caring and compassion so the theory takes that as given.  But Leftists are chronic liars and twisters of the truth so to accept their own evaluation of themselves is close to moronic.  The true nature of Leftists is revealed whenever they get untrammelled power  -- as triumphant Communist movements do.  When that happens  they reveal themselves to be hate-filled totalitarians and mass murderers.  Judge them by what they do, not by what they say.  Do you really think that Harry Reid would be kind and motherly if he became leader of the Soviet Socialist States of the USA?  The Koch  brothers would certainly be dead 5 minutes later.

Fortunately or unfortunately, Leftists cannot hide totally their hateful intentions.  Everything they enact tends to be destructive to the larger society -- from Obama's attempt to hike electricity prices via the EPA to the hike in medical costs engendered by Obamacare.  So some people -- including women -- do ignore the fine words and reject the Left because of their destructive deeds

How angels arrange their affairs is unknown. We humans have only two approaches to the puzzles and battles of life: The first is from Mars and the second is from Venus.

It is Martian to confront a problem with blunt speech and unsparing honesty, and yet to welcome unsparing bluntness in return. It is Martian to attack the enemy at the strongest point of the line, and yet to treat a fallen foe with courtesy. It is Martian to command without backtalk, and to obey without complaint. The Mars approach is most useful when confronting problems that require courage, force, majesty, dispassionate intellect. Results matter; intentions don’t.

It is Venusian to negotiate around problems so as not to provoke a clash of wills. Venus seeks compromise, makes sacrifices and expects sympathy in return. Speech is indirect, diplomatic, because feelings are delicate, easily bruised. Venus avoids ultimatums, and uses speech to seek out secret motives. A Venusian does not call adversaries enemies, but patients, meant to be healed of their ignorance and fear.

The Venusian approach is never used between equals. The seductress beguiles and cajoles a man like breaking a horse, because he is too strong for her, and so she is indirect. Contrariwise, the mother does not want to bark commands at the child. She wants him to learn to volunteer without being asked. The mother molds his character as he will one day be child no more. Her thought is long-term. She wants to teach the child to fish, not feed him a fish. Failure is insignificant if the child’s motives were pure. (Because, after all, children do not lose wars when they fail, or cause economic depressions or the downfall of nations.)

Martians rule by formal law, law carved in stone, law enforced by policemen and hangmen. Mars likes Robert’s Rules of Order.

Venusians rule by social cues and peer pressure to establish pecking orders, bestow honors, snub pariahs, sooth social friction, set roles and expectations.

But peer pressure only works in artificial, civilized, non-productive situations, not a factory where someone counts the profits and losses, not a ball game where someone keeps score, not a war where someone pins ribbons on chests and someone else plants red poppies on graves.

The Martian approach is to do your job as agreed and to go home after, and what you do on your own time is no man’s damn business but yours. The Venusian is concerned with hearts and minds not with tasks and results, so Venus follows you home. She embraces the world.

When left to themselves in their own sphere — not interfering with results-oriented work — not only is the Venusians’ approach healthy, it is useful because it is a peacekeeping function.

Now, everyone reading these words knows exactly which sex is the direct one, suited by nature for war and confrontation; everyone knows which sex is the indirect one, suited by nature for domestic matters and diplomacy. It is a sign of our times that this obvious truth known to all is considered something obviously never to be admitted in public. This generation is as delicate of feeling and as prone to hysteria as matrons of the Victorian Age. In both cases, the hysterics faint at the merest mention of sex.

The two sexes I am discussing here are not male and female, but conservative and leftist.

Specifically, a conservative is one who deals with politics as if it were within the sphere of Mars. A leftist is one who deals with all of life, political as well as personal, as if it were within the sphere of Venus.

Consider each point mentioned above. Political Correctness attempts to soften hard truths and spare delicate feelings. Reason is too masculine and confrontational. Instead of overcoming a rational argument, the leftist merely ascribes a vile motive to the person speaking, and making him an unperson, a pariah, someone we pretend not to be able to hear. Leftists don’t expect to be punched in the face when they lie. Their weapon is gossip and slander, rumor and hysteria, smothering your viewpoint rather than refuting it

Likewise, there are no equals in the leftwing universe. The Nanny-state is condescending. Our worries about national debts or Jihadist threats are dismissed with a maternal tongue-cluck, tut-tut, and we are placated with welfare benefits like chocolate cookies.

When the leftist encounters rebuke, the emotional reaction is not one of a defeated knight shaking hands with his honorable vanquisher, but one of a woman scorned or a woman in mourning, of whose like hell hath no fury. It is the hate of a weak and effete inferior, a scalding hatred. Read Marx. He is from Venus. Adam Smith is from Mars.

Because the Venusian approach works through custom, leftists are lawless. They think everything should be an exception.

Because Venusians regard all rivalry as curable cases of ignorance and fear, they don’t argue rival viewpoints (that is too confrontational) they just declare the science to be settled and the debate to be over, and you to be a fearful dunce.

Because motherhood overlooks no detail of a slow-witted child’s upbringing, the leftist regulates the water volume in your toilet. They follow you home. The right pesters your life from sun to sun, but the pestering left is never done.

All these Venusian qualities are admirable (nay, they are adorable!) when kept in their proper orbit. Imagine a wall called civilization, which consists of coolheaded and hardhearted men willing to work terrible evil on evildoers lurking like wolves without the walls. Within is a domestic garden called convention, where the women raising children may be as softhearted and hotheaded as they wish so long as they do not erode the wall.

Both fail at the other’s task. A Martian will fail if he tries to command the garden of convention by force. The garden of convention must be ruled indirectly, voluntarily, because it is a matter of opinion, learning and character. Force destroys opinion, smothers learning and prevents character growth.

Likewise, Venusians will fail most horribly when they try to man the wall of politics, and take up the sword of law or the pike of war in their soft and feminine hands. The battlefield or factory floor is not a place for feelings, but results. Enemies are not spoiled children to be chided or placated, but slain. Compromise and simpering sacrifice are counterproductive here, because business rivals and bloodthirsty foes will merely exploit any sign of weakness and call you a fool.

Both fail at the other’s task, but both do not quit. Martians are results oriented. When they see their results in the garden are counterproductive, they stop their meddling and return to their duties on the wall.

But when Venusians fail, they redouble their efforts. They do not see their results are counterproductive because they act on faith and do not care about results. When their counterproductive efforts create a bigger problem in the realm of Mars, ruining factories, trampling rights or giving aid and comfort to the enemy in wartime, the Venusians conclude the bigger problem needs more Venus.

To put it charitably, the Venusians are not very analytical. But they are like a sobbing wife of a convict, the wife who never stops believing in him.

So the Venusian continues to negotiate and surrender with deaf and stubborn reality as if with a deaf and stubborn husband, thinking that if she makes just one sacrifice more, reality will relent. Alas, reality is from Mars.

When the world is healthy, Mars rules Venus because reality establishes the bounds and laws of the wall of civilization, within which the garden of convention is free to play.

But when Venus rules Mars, the world is demented.



Once again what Obama says is opposed by what he does

Following Tony Blair, he has learned to hijack conservative language while doing liberal deeds

Speaking at a commencement ceremony at West Point military academy last week, President Barack Obama delivered a rousing defence of US ‘exceptionalism.’

Responding to critics who accuse his administration of dithering over the Syrian Civil War and conceding the upper hand in Ukraine to President Vladimir Putin, Obama was unequivocal: ‘America must always lead on the world stage. If we don’t, no one else will.’

Although other administration officials have echoed the president’s clarion call for ongoing US global leadership, the West Point address highlighted the disconnect between Obama’s foreign policy fantasies and the hard facts of Russian and Chinese Realpolitik.

Obama insists that ‘American leadership’ can guarantee peace and security, and yet it has proven largely impotent in the face of Russia’s support for the brutal Assad regime, annexation of Crimea, and destabilisation of eastern Ukraine.

Similarly, in the context of a possible reduction in the size of the US army to pre-World War II levels and more than 10% per annum growth in the Chinese military budget, Obama’s celebration of unrivalled ‘American strength’ rings hollow.

Rhetorically, Washington might remain ready to uphold the liberal world order of international law, democratic norms, and human rights.

However, in Syria, Ukraine, East Asia and elsewhere, America appears unwilling to shoulder the costs of enforcing the rules-based international system.

Instead, the United States is poised to become what Robert Kagan, one of the US secretary of state’s advisors, calls ‘a more normal kind of nation, more attuned to its own needs and less to those of the wider world.’

Of course, a US ‘return to normalcy’ might be a positive development. As Cato Institute Senior Fellow Ted Galen Carpenter has argued, there are potential advantages--fewer foreign entanglements and a reduced fiscal burden--if the United States redefines its national interests in narrower terms.

But if Obama accepts the rationale for more modest statecraft and therefore refuses to expend blood and treasure to protect the liberal world order, then he must also reconcile the American people and Washington’s allies and partners to a less grandiose vision of the US role in global affairs.

At West Point, the president did just the opposite.



Poverty Up 30.5% for Americans 18 to 64 Since LBJ Declared War on Poverty

 The percentage of 18- to 64-year olds who live below the poverty level has increased 30.5% since 1966, two years after Lyndon Johnson declared the War on Poverty, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

“We have declared unconditional war on poverty. Our objective is total victory. I believe that 30 years from now Americans will look back upon these 1960s as the time of the great American Breakthrough toward the victory of prosperity over poverty,” said then-President Lyndon Johnson in 1964.

According to a House Budget Committee Report, the federal government spent $799 billion on 92 programs to combat poverty: $100 billion on food aid; $200 billion spent on cash aid; $90 billion on education and job training; $300 billion on health care; and $50 billion on housing, in fiscal year 2012 alone.  (See War on Poverty Report.pdf)

According to the Census, there were 26,497,000, or 13.7% of 18-  to 64-year olds, living below the poverty level in 2012. In 1966, the same age group reported 10.5% -- 11,007,000 people out of 105,241,000 --  living below the poverty level.

This means that since 1966 the percentage of 18- to 64-year olds living in poverty has increased 30.5% -- from 10.5% to 13.7%. The Census did not report data for this age group in years 1965 and 1964.

When looking at all ages, the House Budget Committee Report shows that, since 1965, the poverty rate decreased from 17.3%  to 15%.  (See  War on Poverty Report.pdf)

“The incidence of poverty rates varies widely across the population according to age, education, labor force attachment, family living arrangements, and area of residence, among other factors. Under the official poverty definition, an average family of four was considered poor in 2012 if its pre-tax cash income for the year was below $23,492,” according to a Congressional Research Service (CRS) report entitled, Poverty in the United States: 2012.

“The Census Bureau’s poverty thresholds form the basis for statistical estimates of poverty in the United States,” says the CRS report.  “The thresholds reflect crude estimates of the amount of money individuals or families, of various size and composition, need per year to purchase a basket of goods and services deemed as “minimally adequate,” according to the living standards of the early 1960s.”

“Persons are considered poor, for statistical purposes, if their family’s countable money income is below its corresponding poverty threshold,” CRS states.



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