[ExI] Be nice to leftists

Samantha Atkins sjatkins at mac.com
Sat May 24 23:31:04 UTC 2014

On 05/24/2014 09:53 AM, William Wallace wrote:
> This ignores the liberal libertarian.  See political compass.org
> <http://compass.org> for a relevant test.  Bill w

The article is typical wordy nonsense.    I am a libertarian because I
care deeply for people and human relationships - voluntary human
relationships. Deep caring about people requires not initiating force
against them.   Appreciation of the apparent fact that humans survive
and thrive as creatures by using their general intelligences to reach
their own conclusions about what is best for them seems to me to require
making maximal room for people to make their own decisions and succeed
or fail on that basis.    An appreciation for information requirements
of decision making lead to believing that more localized decision made
by those with more "skin the the game" will tend to be better than more
centralized decisions of necessity made by those with less detailed
local information and less interest in outcomes relevant to any of those
actually locally involved.

The so-called moral foundation theory of the article is a joke.  It
simply asserts without philosophical basis that derived things like
"respect for authority" are actually primary.   It includes things
without definition such as "fairness".

- samantha
> Sent from my iPad
> On May 24, 2014, at 10:05 AM, James Clement <clementlawyer at gmail.com
> <mailto:clementlawyer at gmail.com>> wrote:
>> Professor Haidt has made it to this list a number of times in the past.
>>     A look at libertarian morality
>>   * Print
>>     <http://www.scienceonreligion.org/index.php/news-research/research-updates/555-a-look-at-libertarian-morality?tmpl=component&print=1&layout=default&page=>
>>   * Email
>>     <http://www.scienceonreligion.org/index.php/component/mailto/?tmpl=component&template=ja_purity_ii_sor&link=8b104ac2d32a9b1dfa5b2eaeac0d2e5029a8eb76>
>>     Published on 29 June 2013 
>>     Written by Connor Wood 
>>     Hits: 105
>> Libertarian PorupineYou know your libertarian friend? The one who
>> votes Republican but scoffs at "family values," who posts Ron Paul
>> quotes on Facebook and thinks taxes are a form of theft? Well, thanks
>> to some new research, we now know more about him (or her). The
>> results are both unsurprising and shocking. Obviously, libertarians
>> prize personal liberty and freedom above just about everything, but
>> they don't value the tight, bonded relationships that people
>> throughout history have depended on for survival. This means that
>> libertarianism isn't just a political stance -- it's a new way of
>> looking at human social life.
>> University of Southern California psychologist Ravi Iyer teamed up
>> with University of Virginia colleague Jonathan Haidt (now at NYU) and
>> several other colleagues to see how libertarians compared with
>> ordinary liberals and conservatives in a massive online
>> sample. Haidt is well-known for formulatingmoral foundations theory
>> <http://www.moralfoundations.org/>, which claims that human morality
>> can be understood as drawing on five basic instincts: harm avoidance,
>> fairness, respect for authority, ingroup loyalty, and purity.
>> Previous findings published by Haidt and his doctoral student Jesse
>> Graham (who also contributed to this research) had shown
>> that conservatives tended to emphasize all five of these
>> <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19379034> foundations equally,
>> while liberals mostly ignored authority, ingroup loyalty, and purity,
>> while strongly emphasizing harm avoidance and fairness.
>> This pattern of moral profiles, which has been replicated across
>> different cultures and nations, suggests that conservatives
>> actually /feel/ moral emotions differently than liberals, and
>> vice-versa. But, of course, not all conservatives and liberals are
>> the same. Libertarians are often lumped in with conservatives in
>> contemporary American politics, but they tend not to share several of
>> the traits of traditional conservatives -- particularly respect for
>> tradition and authority. Iyer and the other researchers run a
>> well-known survey website, YourMorals.org, 
>> <http://www.yourmorals.org/index.php>and they decided to use this
>> online platform to see whether these differences actually showed up
>> in surveys measuring personality type, moral opinions, and similar
>> characteristics.
>> Crunching data from over 150,000 visitors who took online surveys at
>> YourMorals.org <http://YourMorals.org> between 2007 and 2011, Iyer
>> and the other researchers found that libertarians
>> <http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0042366> did,
>> indeed, have a unique personality profile that distinguished them
>> from both conservatives and liberals. As you might expect,
>> libertarians rated themselves as economically conservative, but
>> socially liberal. But perhaps more surprisingly, libertarians showed
>> a moral profile that was distinctly their own: like liberals, they
>> didn't place much importance on the moral dimensions of authority,
>> ingroup loyalty, or purity. But like conservatives, they didn't
>> emphasize the "liberal" dimensions of harm avoidance and fairness,
>> either. This meant that, compared with liberals and conservatives,
>> they actually seemed to feel fewer moral emotions, period.
>>                                      Ravi quote
>> Or did they? A new, sixth moral dimension, "liberty," was tested on a
>> small subset of the site's total visitors,  and it seemed to garner
>> the lion's share of libertarian interest. Compared with both liberals
>> and conservatives, libertarians more strongly endorsed the moral
>> importance of both economic and lifestyle liberty. The authors
>> interpreted this result to mean that libertarians actually felt a
>> weight of /moral/ concern when it came to being left alone to do what
>> they wanted, or to decide how to use their own economic resources.
>> No surprise, right? They're called "libertarians," after all. But
>> remember: this emphasis on personal liberty seemed to come at the
>> expense of other types of moral concern, such as fairness, respect
>> for authority, or concern about harm to others. Libertarian morality
>> not only showed an empirically different profile than that of
>> liberals or conservatives, but it emphasized liberty and individual
>> autonomy to an extraordinary extent.
>> Another interesting finding had to do with personality. The
>> so-called Big Five personality inventory
>> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Five_personality_traits> breaks
>> down personality into five distinct tendencies: openness to new
>> experience, agreeableness, conscientiousness, extraversion, and
>> neuroticism. Historically, many researchers have used the Big Five to
>> look at the difference between conservatives and liberals. Generally,
>> the most common finding is that liberals are much more open to new
>> experiences
>> <http://blog.steffanantonas.com/the-real-difference-between-liberals-and-conservatives.htm> than
>> conservatives, while conservatives tend more toward conscientiousness
>> and, in some studies, agreeableness. (Some researchers also think
>> that conservatives may be less neurotic than liberals, and Iyer's
>> findings mildly support this view.)
>> Libertarians less connected graphIn this study, Iyer and his
>> colleagues found that libertarians again had their own unique
>> personality profile. Like liberals, libertarians were significantly
>> more open to new experiences than conservatives. And along with
>> conservatives, they reported less neurosis than librals. But they
>> were significantly /less/ agreeable, conscientious, and extraverted
>> than both conservatives and liberals. This finding stood up to
>> multiple statistical analyses, leaving the authors to conclude that
>> libertarians seemed to have a recognizable personality style: one
>> that was highly open to new experiences and stimulus, emotionally
>> steady, and not quite as motivated by getting along with others.
>> Finally, libertarians seemed to enjoy /thinking/ more than either
>> liberals or conservatives. In a test of empathic versus systemizing
>> tendencies, libertarians were the only group that scored higher in
>> systemizing than in empathizing. In this context, empathizing refers
>> to interest in other people, while systemizing refers to fascination
>> with inanimate or abstract objects. Thus, libertarians showed
>> themselves to be highly stimulated, not by other people, but
>> by /things/ and /ideas. /(See the graph to the right on libertarians'
>> patterns of social connection.) This finding dovetailed with
>> libertarians' results on the Different Types of Love scale, which
>> showed that libertarians reported feeling less love than liberals or
>> conservatives toward different groups, including friends, romantic
>> partners, and humanity in general. Meanwhile, they also reported
>> higher need for cognition, or motivation to engage in thinking and
>> problem-solving.
>> Iyer's findings paint a fascinating, if sometimes challenging,
>> portrait of libertarians in today's complex political landscape. Like
>> liberals, libertarians are hungry for novel experiences and often
>> dismissive of tradition, authority, and concerns about purity or
>> sacredness. They're also not as conscientious, detail-oriented, or
>> agreeable as conservatives, and they're much more stimulated by
>> intellectual and abstract challenges (they performed better or tests
>> of analytic thinking, too). In some ways, libertarians almost
>> seem /more/ liberal than liberals -- further away from the warm
>> confines of tradition, more on the edge of established cultural
>> boundaries. In the past, human social arrangements were almost always
>> tight, emotionally weighty, and powered by shared ritual, value, and
>> religious tradition. If culture is a laboratory, libertarians are
>> cooking up quite an innovative, and unprecedented, experiment indeed.
>> James
>> On Sat, May 24, 2014 at 10:40 AM, William Flynn Wallace
>> <foozler83 at gmail.com <mailto:foozler83 at gmail.com>> wrote:
>>     For me, it's about morality, the larger question.
>>     Few books that are called 'seminal' truly are, but this one is:
>>     The Righteous Mind, by Jonathan Haidt (social psychologist).  In
>>     a sense, he takes morality and does a factor analysis of it,
>>     coming up with these categories:
>>     Care (uncompassion to Ben), Fairness, Loyalty, Sanctity, and
>>     Authority.
>>     People on the right use all of these fairly equally, but liberals
>>     treat Care and Fairness as major factors and the others as rather
>>     minor or even unimportant (or actually bad, such as the
>>     libertarians' attitude towards authority).
>>     Easily read by any college grad, this book will expand your
>>     understanding of morality - guaranteed.  bill w
>>     On Sat, May 24, 2014 at 1:22 AM, Ben Goertzel <ben at goertzel.org
>>     <mailto:ben at goertzel.org>> wrote:
>>         Hi Rafal,
>>         On Fri, May 16, 2014 at 12:48 PM, Rafal Smigrodzki
>>         <rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
>>         <mailto:rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com>> wrote:
>>         > Some time ago I posted here about what my understanding of
>>         "leftism" - that
>>         > it is a current manifestation of the age-old human
>>         obsession with status. A
>>         > leftist is a status-obsessed (i.e. envious) hypocrite,
>>         predictably attracted
>>         > to the hierarchies of government bureaucracy, academia and
>>         mainstream
>>         > journalism.
>>         I don't normally read this list but this caught my eye for
>>         some reason..
>>         I guess I qualify as a "leftist" if I have to be projected
>>         onto the
>>         left/right axis.  Certainly I'm 100x more leftist than
>>         rightist...
>>         I hate bureaucracy; I quit academia because I got sick of the
>>         bureacracy and the status-seeking BS; and I don't care for
>>         mainstream
>>         media much either...
>>         However, I come from many generations of leftists, even plenty of
>>         Marxists among my grandparents etc. (though my parents
>>         abandoned any
>>         form of strict Marxism in the late 70s on observing the
>>         reality of the
>>         Soviet Union, they remain fairly leftist...)
>>         To me leftism is about compassion and fairness more than anything
>>         else.   It's about believing the social contract should,
>>         normatively,
>>         include a responsibility for society to provide everyone some
>>         minimal
>>         level of help and opportunity.   It's about feeling it's
>>         morally wrong
>>         for a small elite, with power and wealth that is mainly
>>         inherited, to
>>         control nearly everything and take most of the goodies for
>>         themselves.
>>         Anyway I have a low estimate of the ultimate value to be
>>         gotten from
>>         in-depth discussion of politics on this list.  I just wanted to
>>         briefly speak out against your caricature of leftist politics...
>>         If anyone on the list is interested in some thoughtful
>>         writing in the
>>         leftist direction I'd suggest
>>         -- George Lakoff's various writings on the topic, e.g. Moral
>>         Politics
>>         -- Piketty's recent master work "Capital in the 21st Century"
>>         (which
>>         is flawed in ignoring exponential technological acceleration,
>>         but is
>>         an excellent, thoroughly data-driven summary of the economics
>>         of the
>>         last few hundred years.  Turns out the data is way more
>>         supportive of
>>         leftist than rightist thinking...)
>>         Rafal, it goes w/o saying I have great respect for your
>>         scientific
>>         work and your general stature as a creative, proactive human
>>         being.
>>         But I can't agree w/ your view on leftism.  IMO in a world
>>         without
>>         leftist activiism throughout the 20th century, but with other
>>         political factors roughly the same, the Western nations would
>>         now be
>>         far more extremely owned by small egocentric elites, and
>>         science and
>>         tech progress would be much less than they have been, as well
>>         as total
>>         human happiness being much lower.   (Of course, I can also
>>         envision
>>         other systems of gov't far better than anything current left
>>         or right
>>         politicos imagine.  But that's a different story.) ....
>>         Similarly,
>>         going forward toward Singularity, if we subtracted leftist
>>         thinking/attitudes and left other sociopolitical factors
>>         roughly the
>>         same, we'd end up with a pre-Singularity period in which
>>         small selfish
>>         elites simply owned everything and manipulated the
>>         Singularity path
>>         for their own personal good.  This would lead to all sorts of
>>         dangers
>>         and problems beyond the intrinsic moral aspects of
>>         uncompassion and
>>         unfairness...
>>         -- Ben G
>>         ;)
>>         Ben
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