Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Well Duh...

Research shows conservatives nicer people than lefties...

George Orwell once wrote that politics was closely related to social identity. 'One sometimes gets the impression,' he wrote in The Road To Wigan Pier, 'that the mere words socialism and communism draw towards them with magnetic force every fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer, sex-maniac, Quaker, nature-cure quack, pacifist and feminist in England '.

Orwell was making an observation. But today a whole body of academic research shows he was correct: your politics influence the manner in which you live your life. And the news is not so good for those on the political Left.

There is plenty of data that shows that Right-wingers are happier, more generous to charities, less likely to commit suicide - and even hug their children more than those on the Left.

John Muggeridge and I once worked out why. Lefties, John maintained, are interested in the grand movements of history, in The Good of Mankind, in altering and improving Humanity and Society and Peoples, etc. They think in terms of theories, of mass movements, of political ideologies being applied (usually forcibly) to entire populations and damn the realities of people's day to day lives. This was the effect of the various social and cultural, agricultural and industrial revolutions in Maoist and Stalinist states. The "land reform" concept that looks good on paper but in reality destroys lives, ruins economies and results in mass famines. The theory is all, and reality be hanged (along with anyone who objects). Being focused on the Macro means that individual people do not matter as long as your Grand Scheme is implemented.

For example, the left is interested in the Grand Overarching and Absolute Principle of "A Woman's Right to Choose" and insists that the law be changed to reflect it. The fact that individual persons are harmed by this is considered immaterial, or at least an unfortunate but essentially unimportant side effect. The principle is all, whether it hurts people or not.

The left is interested in Mankind. The right is interested in this particular person.

My own discovery, after a lifetime of total immersion in the world of the hippie left, was that outside the Southpaw Matrix there is such a thing as kindliness. I grew up in the little hippie universe where everyone was focused on "finding themselves". Oh yes. The Me Decade. The ME generation. Dream therapy workshops, gestalt weekends, doing your own thing, getting in touch with your inner narcissist. The talk was all about "compassion", but when everyone you meet is walking around with a metaphorical mirror strapped to his chest, it is difficult to tell what is meant by the word.

The trouble with communicating this is that most people have no idea there is another world, the world of The Real, outside their bubbleworld. How can you explain colour to a man who has been blind since birth?

"Aslan," said Lucy through her tears, "could you -- will you -- do something for these poor Dwarfs?"
"Dearest," said Aslan, "I will show you both what I can, and what I cannot do. ... You see," said Aslan. "They will not let us help them. They have chosen cunning instead of belief. Their prison is only in their own minds, yet they are in that prison; and so afraid of being taken in that they cannot be taken out."

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