Sunday, May 13, 2018

The ultimate feat of projection:  Leftist academics describe conservatives as being like Leftist academics

That's a bit hard to get your head around, isn't it?  After years of reading and researching in political psychology, I have only just realized it fully myself.  Projection consists of seeing your own faults in others and Leftists do it all the time.  So it is interesting that the major academic Leftist account of what a bad lot conservatives are should list characteristics that are actually very prominent in Leftists themselves. And as Leftists the academics partake of those characteristics too.

It all started with a 1950 book under the lead-authorship of noted Marxist theoretician Theodor Adorno (born Theodor Wiesengrund), a Jewish refugee from Hitler's Germany.  The book was called "The authoritarian personality" and had a theme only a Marxist could love:  The claim that it was conservatives, not Leftists who were authoritarian.

And that claim was made just after the socialist Hitler had been defeated and the vast Soviet tyranny was straddling the Northern half of Eurasia -- a Communist  empire that stretched from Leningrad on the Baltic to Vladivostok on the Pacific.  That was a big blob of authoritarianism to overlook.

But in typical Leftist style, Adorno and his merry men (and one woman) were not concerned with actual on the ground reality.  They were concerned with POTENTIAL or theoretical authoritarianism.  And where would one look for that?  To conservatives of course.  To people who are skeptical of authority and who believe in democracy and the rule of law.  Apparently that makes sense in some weird Freudian sort of way.  And Adorno loved Freud nearly as much as he loved that great hater, Karl Marx.

When Adorno arrived in the USA he saw much that he thought was reminiscent of Hitler's Germany.  There were a lot of rather tough-minded social attitudes about.  He was right about that.  America at the time was at the tail end of a long dominance by "Progressives", with eugenics being widely accepted and practiced and Jews being kept at arm's length and away from much that was desirable in America -- such as enrollment at Harvard.  The Progressives and Hitler differed not so much in attitudes but in the fact that Hitler applied those attitudes with German thoroughness.

The idea of war as a purification of the human spirit and territorial conquest being a source of national glory had rather gone off the boil in America by that time but Hitler learnt those ideas off an American President who had been world-famous in Hitler's youth:  Theodore Roosevelt, the man who was instrumental in the American conquest of Cuba, the Philippines and Puerto Rico.  TR himself rather went off those ideas when one of his sons died in WWI but those ideas were still widely respected in America.  TR was a great Progressive.  He even founded a short-lived Progressive party and he personally remained widely respected and admired in America.

So you could see why Adorno feared a Nazi uprising in America.  The ideology was there.  But Adorno was a European.  He didn't understand the Anglo-Saxon temperament, traditions or ideas about government.  Franklin Delano Roosevelt had already gone as far as he could in enacting Progressivism in America and there was no chance that Americans would accept a Hitler-like regime.  Shortly after the Adorno book was published, Americans elected the conservative "Ike" (Eisenhower) to the Presidency, with Richard Milhous Nixon as Vice president.  Ike of course had made his name by playing a major role in the destruction of Nazism.

So how did Adorno & Co. put flesh on their naive fears about Americans?  They resorted to their old friend Sigmund Freud. Freud had told a merry tale about how a stern father could psychologically ruin a son for life (In Freud's era a stern father was thought to be rather a good thing) and Adorno had the brilliant idea that a son's relationship with his father was a relationship with an authority figure.  Therefore Freud's ideas told us all about our attitude to authoritarian governments. Despite much contrary evidence, that idea lives on to this day in the world of a-historical Leftist psychologists such as George Lakoff and Karen Stenner. See here for some of the research evidence that contradicts that neo-Freudian theorizing.

Anyway, from their Freudian ideas Adorno & Co deduced a whole series of personal characteristics that would be found in a pro-authority person.  He would show conventionalism, authoritarian submission, authoritarian aggression, anti-intellectualism, anti-intraception, superstition and stereotypy, an admiration of power and "toughness", destructiveness and cynicism, projectivity, and exaggerated concerns over sex. Later authors would amplify that to say that the authoritarian would be rigid, closed minded and dogmatic in his beliefs, intolerant of ambiguity, not open to experience or novelty.

So there you have the typical conservative, a thoroughly bad egg!  But is that true?  No.  Every one of those characterizations has been found unsupported in subsequent research.  The first half of Altemeyer's 1981 book "Right-Wing Authoritarianism" gives a pretty thorough coverage of the contrary research. I see that a copy of that book is going for $499 on Amazon.  I should sell my copy.  Altemeyer's publisher, the University of Manitoba Press, sent me my copy for free.

Many of my academic publications also test and find wanting the Adorno theories.

So are there any real persons who fit the Adorno picture of villainy?  Was Adorno's picture of the authoritarian based on any real group of people?  I think it was.  It was actually a picture of what leftist academics are like.  Adorno and his merry men (and one woman) were making the classic mistake of judging other people by themselves.  They thought others thought like they thought.  Let me illustrate that by some contemporary examples.

Rigidity:  Academics are amazingly rigid in their adherence to Leftist ideas.  Particularly in the social sciences, a conservative is as rare as hen's teeth.  You just don't get anywhere in academe unless you are a Leftist.  And that lockstep Leftist ideology in academe also shows a conventionalism and a lack of openness to novelty and diversity.

Authoritarian submission: And how about  subservience to authority?  When those dreadful climate "deniers" (heretics) put forward facts that indicate that there is nothing out of the ordinary going on in the global climate, how do devotees of the climate cult respond?  Do they question the facts or point to alternative facts?  Almost never.  They appeal to authority. They simply say that 97% of scientists accept global warming and that is good enough for them.  They have an absurd respect for the current outpourings of scientists, quite oblivious of the 180 degree turns that scientific "wisdom" periodically undergoes.  Whether or not dietary fat is good for you is a current example of that. They appeal to an authority with feet of clay

And they certainly overlook that the paper by Cook et al. from which the 97% claim originates in fact quite plainly said that only ONE THIRD of the scientific papers surveyed took any position on global warming.  Two thirds of the papers did NOT give support to the global warming theory.

Cook et al. were rather peeved by that lack of support so sent out a questionnaire to the non-confirming scientists to see what they thought.  Only 14% of the scientists surveyed even bothered to answer the questionnaire, however, so that tells its own story. It's all plainly there in the paper's abstract.  Read it for yourself here.

Closed-mindedness: So there is much faith invested in the claim that "The science" supports global warming. The adherence by Leftist academics to the global warming theory is therefore a good instance of conventionalism, anti-intellectualism, closed-mindedness and dogmatism.

Power and toughness: And when it comes to an admiration of power and toughness, what could be a clearer example of that than their unwavering support of international Communism?  They shilled for the Soviets until Ronald Reagan caused the regime to implode and to this day they have never ceased to find Fidel Castro admirable, a man who lived like an old-fashioned Spanish grandee while his people scraped by on minimal rations.

Exaggerated concern about sex: And what about an exaggerated concern about sexual matters?  Is not that a pretty good description of modern-day feminism?  Feminists deny basic biology and ascribe all the world's ailments to "patriarchy".  They judge everything and everybody by what you have between your legs.  They are completely obsessed with the importance of sex (or "gender" in their coy terminology).

Destructiveness:  And what could be more destructive than the chaos unleashed on American health insurance by Obamacare?  Under the pretext of making health insurance more affordable, Obamacare has in fact made it unaffordable for many.  Many employers have dropped health insurance for their workers as no longer affordable by them and skyrocketing deductibles have made many Americans effectively uninsured even if they are nominally covered.  When your deductible is $10,000 you have for most instances no useful insurance cover whatsoever.

Cynicism: And there is certainly vast cynicism in the Leftist response to Mr Trump.  Mr Trump is certainly a flawed character in some ways but we all are. Does the Left give any credence to the thought that Mr Trump might be on to something valuable and important?  Roughly half of Americans think he is but the Left greet his ideas with uniform hostility.  That he has brought American unemployment down to a near-record low (3.9%) and has proven to be a Prince of Peace in the Korean confrontation they can only greet with denial. There is no openness to new ideas in the Leftist response to President Trump, just unwavering cynicism and complete intolerance of ambiguity.

Authoritarian aggression: And how about authoritarian aggression?  What do we call it when Leftists (students abetted and encouraged by their Leftist professors) use all means they can to chase conservative speakers off university campuses?  They do a job not dissimilar to Hitler's brownshirts.  As well as being thoroughly intolerant, rigid and doctrinaire it is thoroughly tyrannical and often explicitly violent.

Intolerance: And when it comes to tolerance and openness to different ideas, what do we make of the constant censorship of conservative speech on social media?  It's a bit more sophisticated than book-burning but not by much.

I could go on but I think it is clear that the proto-Nazi leaders in America today are Leftist academics, not conservatives.


You probably have to have a Christian or Jewish background to understand how emotional this is

Vice President Mike Pence revealed on Thursday that one of the Americans who was released from North Korea handed him a note that was very inspirational.

On Thursday morning, President Donald Trump, Pence, and many members of the administration arrived at the airport to greet the three Americans— Kim Dong Chul, Kim Hak-song and Kim Sang Duk — who were held captive in North Korea.

Pence, a devout Christian himself, tweeted a picture of a handwritten note that one of the Americans handed him at the airport.

It’s unclear which of the three men wrote the note, but it features the 126th Psalm from the Bible.

"It was an amazing moment I’ll never forget… when 3 Americans stepped onto the tarmac at @JBA_NAFW & gave me a signed personal note with Psalm 126 on the back. “When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion…” To these men of faith & courage – God bless you & welcome home!"  — Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) May 10, 2018

Here’s the full verse:

"When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, the Lord has done great things for them. The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.”

What an amazing story, which the media has refused to report on. This personifies the power of faith and God, which helped at least one of these brave Americans get through an incredibly difficult time.


Their Lord has done great work among the people of Korea. Of 2014, about 30% of the South Korean population is Christian -- and growing


Democrats' War on Capitalism
Hillary Clinton recently offered yet another reason why she lost her second consecutive race for the presidency: capitalism.

At the Shared Value Leadership Summit in New York City, Clinton was asked whether her self-proclaimed “capitalist” stance hurt her during the 2016 presidential primary season. “It’s hard to know,” she said, “but I mean, if you’re in the Iowa caucuses and 41 percent of Democrats are socialists or self-described socialists, and I’m asked, ‘Are you a capitalist?’ and I say, ‘Yes, but with appropriate regulation and appropriate accountability,’ you know, that probably gets lost in the ‘Oh, my gosh, she’s a capitalist!’”

Clinton’s right. Being a Democrat and a “capitalist” is an increasingly untenable position for a politician. Polls show that today’s Democratic Party and capitalism appear to be on a collision course. A November 2015 New York Times/CBS News poll found that 56 percent of Democratic primary voters said they held a positive view of socialism. A Morning Consult/Politico survey in June 2017 asked if a hypothetical replacement for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi should be a socialist or capitalist. More Democrats opted for socialism, with 35 percent saying it’s somewhat or very important that her replacement be a socialist, while only 31 percent said the same for a capitalist.

Indeed, one of the Democrats’ loudest voices, filmmaker Michael Moore, recently praised Karl Marx, the ideological godfather of communism. Moore tweeted: “Happy 200th Birthday Karl Marx! You believed that everyone should have a seat at the table & that the greed of the rich would eventually bring us all down. You believed that everyone deserves a slice of the pie. You knew that the super wealthy were out to grab whatever they could. … Though the rich have sought to distort him or even use him, time has shown that, in the end, Marx was actually mostly right & that the aristocrats, the slave owners, the bankers and Goldman Sachs were wrong… ‘Happy Birthday, Karl Marx. You Were Right!’” Tell that to the millions who died under communist repression in, among other places, China, the Soviet Union and Cambodia.

Perhaps no issue reflects this socialist view more than the Democrats’ push for “single-payer” health care. As a state senator, Barack Obama said: “I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer, universal health care program. I see no reason why the United States of America, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, spending 14 percent of its gross national product on health care, cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody. … A single-payer health care plan, a universal health care plan. That’s what I’d like to see. But as all of you know, we may not get there immediately.” A few years later, then-presidential candidate Obama reiterated his stance, that if “starting from scratch” he’d have a single-payer system.

Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean called the so-called “public option” the endgame: “I think while someday we may end up with a single-payer system, it’s clear that we’re not going to do it all at once, so I think both candidates’ [Hillary Clinton’s and Obama’s] health care plans are a big step forward.”

Former Senate Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid also said that he, too, wants to get to “single-payer.” The Las Vegas Sun reported in 2013: “In just about seven weeks, people will be able to start buying Obamacare-approved insurance plans through the new health care exchanges. But already, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is predicting those plans,” wrote the Sun, “and the whole system of distributing them, will eventually be moot. … ‘What we’ve done with Obamacare is have a step in the right direction, but we’re far from having something that’s going to work forever,’ Reid said. When then asked by panelist Steve Sebelius whether he meant ultimately the country would have to have a health care system that abandoned insurance as the means of accessing it, Reid said: ‘Yes, yes. Absolutely, yes.’”

The “you didn’t build that” Left does not recognize the relationship between prosperity and allowing people to keep what they produce to the fullest degree possible. By the end of eight years under President Obama, according to the conservative Heritage Foundation, we had less “economic freedom.” The United States’ score on “economic freedom” — which looks at taxes and regulations, among other criteria — dropped to its lowest level in the 23 years since Heritage began publishing its annual rankings of 180 countries. It is no coincidence that this loss of economic freedom under Obama helped produce the worst American economic recovery since 1949.

Last week brought more good news for Democrats. A Rasmussen poll found that nearly half of American likely voters support a guaranteed government job for all. This is likely to become a central presidential campaign issue for Democrats in 2020. Democrats believe that there is a free lunch and that capitalists are stopping them from eating it.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


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