Thursday, July 07, 2016

Jonathan Haidt Decodes The Tribal Psychology of Politics

   I think this is pretty damn good.
   Dunno how I missed it.
   I disagree with Haidt (and Hume) about metaethical issues, so I'm not endorsing those claims. But I think that the psychological/political stuff is pretty insightful. I'm not at all sure that he's right that liberals understand conservatives less than conservatives understand liberals...but he seems to have data for that.
   One of the things that concerns me about this is a claim I've seen Haidt make in the past:
The moral mind, to him, resembles an audio equalizer with a series of slider switches that represent different parts of the moral spectrum. All political movements base appeals on different settings of the foundations—and the culture wars arise from what they choose to emphasize. Liberals jack up care, followed by fairness and liberty. They rarely value loyalty and authority. Conservatives dial up all six.
Specifically, it's the bit about the primary liberal value being "care." It's this claim that helped bring some of my thinking on the issue into focus. That's not the liberalism I found myself attracted to when I first came to think of myself as a liberal. It was fairness, freedom and autonomy that attracted me--especially the issues of fairness at the heart of the civil rights movement. It does ring true, at least to some extent, that people identifying themselves as liberals have become more concerned with something like care than with things like fairness and freedom...and truth, if you ask me... That is, many liberals now seem overconcerned with protecting people from the consequences of their own actions...and even from hurt feelings and bruised beliefs. I'm down with antiauthoritarianism...but I think liberals are slipping there as well...blah blah PC orthodoxy = authoritarianism blah blah broken record blah blah.

   You can tell when I'm not sleeping because I just keep spewing this shit out. 


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