We have all marveled about the aloofness, selfishness, and fierceness of wingnuts (and I would add Libertarians). I have spent hours of idle time wondering what it is that drives people to ignore the plight of the unfortunate. Why do they gravitate towards blatant lies to support the agenda of Wall Street, Big Insurance, and twisted politicians?
Suddenly, while reading some comments posted with this diary today, it started to fall into place.
I'll set the stage after the fold:
Here are the comments that inspired my ah-ha:
There are two sides to the agenda of (6+ / 0-)
Recommended by:Creosote, Winnie, Paul Goodman, FindingMyVoice, DixieDishrag, No one gets out alive
deprivation which need not be accomplished at the same time. Sometimes, it's enough to do one and not the other. The two sides or goals are
1 enrich us
2 deprive others
Some may assume that 2 automatically produces 1 and willingly settle for one or the other. Regardless, when all else fails, depriving others generates a psychological satisfaction.
We don't often think of deprivation being intentionally caused. We need to. Because there are a host of deprivators out there.
How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.
by hannah on Fri Nov 13, 2009 at 02:38:52 AM PST
and this response:
Different people (2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:Pescadero Bill, drewfromct
Hannah, you mentioned in an earlier thread that you thought that some people ( conservatives) may not be truly self aware, hence their lack of empathy. A fundamental sort of sociopathy.
I have reflected much on this idea, as it resonates strongly with Julian Jaynes' concept of bicameralism, which I find intriguing.
I have a theory that many of the people we identify as 'conservatives' are different from 'us' in a subtle, but truly fundamental way. Their minds truly do not work like ours do. One 'type' cannot truly understand the other.
This might be an example of the evolution of the mind. Both types still exist.
I don't know how to apply this constructively to help us live together more peacefully, but understanding is always a good start.
Anyways, that's my crackpot theory. Still ( and always ) a work in progress.
Thanks for all the food for thought. I'm always glad to come across your comments here!
It's time for the pitchforks and torches! Guillotines are way too complicated.
by No one gets out alive on Fri Nov 13, 2009 at 05:01:56 AM PST
I had to look up bicameralism, and it doesn't explain what my gut feeling is. I have not studied up on all the various theories of the mind that may explain the difference. But there really IS a fundamental difference between mind-sets that drift to the right vs. the left.
Regardless of what drives it, my theory boils down to these two opposing elements:
- GOP'ers world view is that there isn't enough to go around, therefore they must trample everyone they can in order to get what they want and need. So the following actions seem reasonable and even necessary:
It's all about oil. US Oil is running out, so we need to conquor countries that have oil.
People are hardwired to hate and distrust each other. I'm struggling to keep my middle-class rights of home/freedom to do whatever I want, so I'm going to imprison anyone who may possibly harm me and/or my family. I support strict laws that will keep me safe, but I oppose any law that will take anything away from me! That includes taxes. I'm not going to give one cent to anyone outside my family and church! They don't desreve it. I need it more than they do!
It's a dog eat dog world. Everybody is programmed to exploit each other for their own gain. If I can't live like a millionaire, I'm not happy. It's all about me and my family, I don't give a d*mn about anyone outside my family group. They are my enemy, I don't trust them, they will harm me. THEY are thinking the same thing about me and my family. I need to fear that they will take away what is dear to me. They cannot possibly care about me and my family. Besides, there isn't enough wealth in the world to let everyone live like a millionaire, we'll all be unhappy and fighting for all of that wealth. Anyone who is stupid enough to share with others deserves to be exploited. So I'm going to be the one who is on top of the heap.
- The Dem view is that there IS enough to go around and still be happy and fufilled, so we want to fix the problems of everyone and lift everyone into having what they need and want.
There are more ways than oil to power our lives. If the oil is running out, let's find other ways to power our lives. After all, we don't have to be oil-centric. If we look at what oil does for us (powers locomotion, our appliances, our heat and cooling, our computers, etc.), we realize that we can still have the same outcome if we develop substitutes for oil. Therefore, we are not running out of resources, we just need to shift our supply chain. Oh, and by the way, maybe we can create jobs this way!
People are not hardwired to harm each other. We should be able to live in harmony. So if I have a troubled neighbor, let's look into what's wrong with them and fix it. Did they grow up in a violent home? Let's get them therapy to get beyond it and not do it to the next generation. Did they grow up in poverty and not get a good education? Let's have programs to educate them and give them a level playing field in order to get a good job and live a "normal life".
If I have all my needs and wants, then I am willing to share by giving a greater portion of my taxes to support lifting the less fortunate out of their predicament and into a life of happiness and abundance too. If everyone had their needs met, and were able to reasonably purchase enough of their wants, then everyone should be happy and productive members of society. If everyone is happy and productive, there will be less crime and therefore we can live without fear.
It seems to be a self-fufilling prophecy that if you fear that there isn't enough to go around, you won't look for alternatives to obstacles, and you cling to and hoard the diminishing resource.
Can it be possible to re-assure the fearful that there is enough to go around so they don't need to be filled with the fear of not getting enough? It seems to me that if people actually FELT that they would have enough, they wouldn't mind sharing with the rest.
I'm not sure there is a cure for these fearful folks. Certainly if they were thrust into such a world, eventually they would conclude they don't have to run their lives by fear.
Perhaps I'm a naive optimist, but I think that we progressives need to just thrust them into the world that they fear and show them that it works. I think this is why I'm so disappointed that candidate promises are dropped or compromised. From my perspective, we have the mandate for change, and we should just do it and let these folks realize how silly their fear-based insecurities are. We DO have enough abundance to share. We all don't need to be millionaires to be happy.