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View Diary: Republicans Think Their Base Are Idiots (Poll) Update (203 comments)

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  •  I think we all have that streak - the difference (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PsychoSavannah, Boreal Ecologist

    is whether we think that's a good thing to base policy on or not.

    "The revolution's just an ethical haircut away..." Billy Bragg

    by grannyhelen on Wed Jan 05, 2011 at 07:06:49 AM PST

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    •  well, we are none of us spotless christian heros. (4+ / 0-)

      However, some of us are meaner than others. In fact, I would suggest the distribution of meanness is bimodal, with peaks at "Not Very" and "Pretty Darn".

      I think these characters correspond to political affilliation. It would follow that Republicans support bad policy because it causes pain to others. I think this is Foucault talking here....they don't mind receiving pain as long as someone else is getting it worse, and that they can perceive themselves as the disher-outers.

      I will refrain from making the connection to the emerging torture state. There will be plenty of time for everyone to enjoy that.

      A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger (Proverbs 15:1)

      by Boreal Ecologist on Wed Jan 05, 2011 at 07:47:33 AM PST

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    •  I'm not sure we all do have (4+ / 0-)

      that mean streak.  I think only about a third of people have a downright mean streak. And about a third are actively decent. And about a third are simply fence-sitting opportunists who aren't sure which way to jump.  These numbers seem fairly constant to me across time & geography....

      "If you fake the funk, your nose will grow." -- Bootsy Collins

      by hepshiba on Wed Jan 05, 2011 at 08:28:28 AM PST

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      •  I think your esimates are about right. (0+ / 0-)

        We need to revise Enlightenment universalist thinking in light of this variation within the human population. For example, since this one third can not be reached by argument, they violate the assumptions of effective internal communication (see Habermas) in a way that is exploited by, but independent of, class interests.

        My current thinking is that we need a test to exclude these people, and the 5% psychopaths, from political franchise. Otherwise, there's only way that open societies can go in the long run, and that is down to hell. These people are enough to systematically spike the wheels of effective governance.

        A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger (Proverbs 15:1)

        by Boreal Ecologist on Wed Jan 05, 2011 at 10:17:34 AM PST

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        •  We've evolved this way because it (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          grannyhelen

          works for us.  In any given situation, the right thing to do is probably either sitting tight, doing what we've always done, and toughing it out while looking out for immediate kin-groups, OR it's expanding, innovating, welcoming strangers, altruism, and seeking new climes. In short, I think people evolved to provide diverse responses to environmental challenges, one of which is bound to work. The middle group follows the bellweather and gives its opinions weight and power.  Personally, I don't feel it's an option to exclude people from the political process based on assumptions about temperament and capability, no matter how convenient that would be for the innovative rationalists. For me, the political question of the moment is how to effectively make the innately conservative feel safe enough to endure innovation when innovation is necessary.

          "If you fake the funk, your nose will grow." -- Bootsy Collins

          by hepshiba on Wed Jan 05, 2011 at 12:10:30 PM PST

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          •  It worked for us until we had a global... (0+ / 0-)

            ...civilisation.

            I clearly need to work out my ideas more carefully...you are only the second person to ever take them seriously enough to raise this evolutionary counter-argument. Which I do take seriously, I just think it's wrong.

            I do not mean to say that the one-third I favour are always correct, and that they should be given free reign. There's lots of room for disagreement about the proper course of action, and on big matters like the relative powers of different institutions in society. I don't think I have a monopoly on truth in those matters.

            Rather, I think that under the present and forseeable conditions, the bottom third injects bias rather than noise into the political process, such that good decisions cannot be made. Thus we have a ratchet effect, leading, as I mentioned, to hell.

            A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger (Proverbs 15:1)

            by Boreal Ecologist on Wed Jan 05, 2011 at 01:28:21 PM PST

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            •  We've had a "global" civilization (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Boreal Ecologist

              for a very long time. Border-crossing used to be a lot easier in the past than it is now.  But what we haven't had are a critical mass of multi-national corporations operating with the budgetary, military & propaganda power of countries.

              While I might agree on the general contours of "human nature" with you, I think that trying to legislate our way out of what are clearly evolutionary flaws operating on a species-wide level is likely to create more problems than it solves. And calling those with the conservative impulse the "bottom third" is also a problem. We need to create structures that address the needs of people with different basic orientations (fearful vs. adventurous, pessimist vs. optimist, selfish vs. altruist), not to exclude some groups. The big problem we face, in my opinion, is that of multinational corporatism gone mad.  Corporatists have used their not inconsiderable skills as marketers & propagandists to sell some very dangerous and stupid ideas to frightened and insecure people.  

              Progressives, on the other hand, don't have the same resources and we also don't seem to have very good skills for getting our messages across.  This, in my opinion, is the major obstacle to our progress. If we can't fix that, we can't fix anything, including revamping the workings of the larger political system.

              "If you fake the funk, your nose will grow." -- Bootsy Collins

              by hepshiba on Fri Jan 07, 2011 at 03:03:55 AM PST

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