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The psychology behind U.S. liberals and conservatives

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MichaelH
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Continuing from Tryanny: The greater evil behind the liberals, and responding to Zip's post:

Why do the liberals do these things? What underlying motive makes them try to force us all into "how the world should be"...

What causes the conservative to try to push his morality onto the rest of us, the socialist to try and make us all equal?

What is that one thing that binds all these evil ideologies together?

We agree that the ideologies are both based on altruism. However, I believe that answer stops too soon. It explains the "what" but not the "why". The underlying question is: what is the causes people to act to pursue values?

Humans have specific needs which they are driven to meet. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs enumerates them roughly in the order they emerge. What drives liberals and conservatives properly moves into a discussion of psychology.

Liberals seem driven by socialism and environmentalism. In terms of needs, I'd say socialism is driven by the need for food and health. The "thought" behind socialism is that, if some people aren't allowed to hoard the productive output of society, everyone will have their basic needs taken care of automatically. We need only look at soviet Russia to see that this simply does not work.

Environmentalism is driven by fear that the natural environment is being destroyed. While some of the issues raised by environmentalism are valid, when taken to any length it becomes anti-human. OPAR explains why we have a moral obligation to alter our environment.

Conservatives (social, not fiscal) seem to fear their own impulses, especially sex. (There is a great article about this on-line that I can't locate right now.) They consider themselves restrained from rape and murder only because of constant religious instruction. They then project these urges onto others. As far as they are concerned, if everyone in society doesn't go to church and pray regularly, society will crumble into a mass of barbarous behavior. That many people don't and it doesn't never alters their worldview because, fundamentally, their concern is not about others. It's about themselves.

What do others think? What drives conservatives and liberals to pursue the ends they do?

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We agree that the ideologies are both based on altruism. However, I believe that answer stops too soon. It explains the "what" but not the "why". The underlying question is: what is the causes people to act to pursue values?

Humans have specific needs which they are driven to meet. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs enumerates them roughly in the order they emerge. What drives liberals and conservatives properly moves into a discussion of psychology.

Given that man requires reason in order to meet all of his needs beyond those dictated by his autonomic nervous system, it is man's underlying philosophy that explains the "why". Even satisfying basic needs like hunger is driven by reason in men. A man can crawl around the floor of a forest like an animal and eat berries and seeds, but if he doesn't use reason he'll eventually come upon a plant or mushroom that will kill him. To the extent that he embraces reason, man can eat poison mushrooms or filet mignon. Man may have a physiological desire for sex, but he is entirely capable of regulating how and whether he acts upon that desire. Again, reason and the extent to which his underlying philosophy either accepts of rejects reason will dictate the "what", the "why" and the "how" when it comes to values and ultimately to the actions he chooses to pursue in order to achieve those values.

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What do others think? What drives conservatives and liberals to pursue the ends they do?

I think it's more that the problem is lack of thinking. In other words, not thinking things through completely. They think their ends are correct, so they pursue it. I think the need is simply to live a happier life. You can't assume a liberal or conservative will be consistent in their thinking. Getting rid of one's contradictions requires thinking, which goes back to my original point.

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The underlying question is: what is the causes people to act to pursue values?

Man pursues values because of the fact that he faces the alternative of life or death.

I'd say socialism is driven by the need for food and health. The "thought" behind socialism is that, if some people aren't allowed to hoard the productive output of society, everyone will have their basic needs taken care of automatically.

Socialism is NOT driven by the need for food and health. It is driven by the morality of altruism.

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Man pursues values because of the fact that he faces the alternative of life or death.

Socialism is NOT driven by the need for food and health. It is driven by the morality of altruism.

I think we may be looking for a rhinocerous when in fact there's a flea in the driver's seat.

I really wonder if the question "why" or more to the point by what principles ever gets that far with them and the whole thing is just gotten through "osmosis".

Most of the types of whom we speak have undergone childhood indoctrination of some kind to a very deep level. In the case of the cons, it's Sunday School. For the libs, well Mike Savage refers to "Red diaper doper babies" and explains that, as children they were sent by their parents to summer camps that also dished out heavy doses of Marxism. I've heard the same over the past 5 decades so he seems to be on the money.

In either case, a child has no defense against this kind of thing. This is for two reasons.

1) He is not physically nor experientially developed to sort this out in a meaningful way

2) The child, being undeveloped and unschooled follows the lead of the adult. This is natural and as it should be. Now can you imagine what it would do to the child if he were to realize that the adult, in whom trust is and must be implicit since that is the source of knowledge of right and wrong, is misleading or doing harm? The joke used to go "How did they punish Helen Keller when she was little?", "Rearrange the furniture".

In any case, I don't think there is some dark fundametnal force at work here, just the thousands of little inconsistencies and small lies that make up most persons' training in such matters. Even Ayn Rand treated youth as a mitigating circumstance.

Alos as I said in the parent threat to this, Altruism is treated as benevolence, not as what it really is.

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