September 29, 2012

"[W]hen libertarians reacted to moral dilemmas and in other tests, they displayed less emotion..."

"... less empathy and less disgust than either conservatives or liberals."
They appeared to use "cold" calculation to reach utilitarian conclusions about whether (for instance) to save lives by sacrificing fewer lives. They reached correct, rather than intuitive, answers to math and logic problems, and they enjoyed "effortful and thoughtful cognitive tasks" more than others do.
The researchers found that libertarians had the most "masculine" psychological profile, while liberals had the most feminine, and these results held up even when they examined each gender separately, which "may explain why libertarianism appeals to men more than women."

117 comments:

pbAndjFellowRepublican said...

This research is junk.

Where are the results for liberal-conservatives/conservative-liberals?

Meade needs to know.

edutcher said...

I can see why the Lefties would be upset to hear this.

rhhardin said...

Libertarian mood swings are awesome.

Scott said...

Are we witnessing the birth of a meme, or a canard?

KLDAVIS said...

Althouse, are you any better at understanding libertarians than you were in 2006, or are you still stuck asking, "How do I know you're not a racist?"

In light of recent events, I'd wager the latter...

Bob Ellison said...

I, for one, am glad Libertarians still have something to wank about. That keeps them off the streets.

somefeller said...

While there are a lot of good things to say about libertarianism, anyone who has gone to a libertarian event can attest to the fact that such events can be sausage parties. So this study isn't a surprise.

Mark said...

I assume in the near future this will will be morphed into a diagnosis in the DSM-6. Can't wait to find out what the recommended treatment will be.

Alex said...

the fact that such events can be sausage parties

I'm sure Andy R. would like that. Har har.

Inga said...

Don't agree PBS &J, I think it's quite accurate. Libertarian women I have met most often seem to be quite masculine, profess to like the companionship of males to females and often say they dislike other women. Libertarians strike me as being cold and a bit selfish, or a lot selfish to be honest.

rhhardin said...

Jerome Tucille It Usually Begins with Ayn Rand is amusing.

The section on Galambosian is good.

Somebody has copied it out.

Inga said...

PB & J, not PBS, lol.

Alex said...

What's wrong with sausages?

Alex said...

Allie of course is warm and selfless.

Inga said...

Why, yes I am Alex, you know me so well.

Synova said...

Huh.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Libertarians strike me as being cold and a bit selfish, or a lot selfish to be honest.

That's because we libertarians are busy taking care of ourselves, our families, and yes, even helping random strangers, instead of spending our time trying to appear compassionate.

Inga said...

Synova, I'm sure there are degrees in all political philosophies and independent thinkers in all three groups, you appear quite feminine to me:)

My statement was a blatant generalization, I admit.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Those weren't libertarians, Inga, those were lesbians. I can see how you confused them.

exiledonmainst said...

Inga writes:
Libertarian women I have met most often seem to be quite masculine, profess to like the companionship of males to females and often say they dislike other women. Libertarians strike me as being cold and a bit selfish, or a lot selfish to be honest.

9/29/12 10:44 PM

Partially true, in my case. I am not at all masculine physically (when I was hauling the groceries in this afternoon, I was bemoaning my lack of upper body strength), but yes, I prefer the company of men to women. Most women can not think their way out of a paper bag and are catty and two-faced. I like masculine directness - always have.

As for being cold and selfish - well, I have done a lot of volunteer work. I guess some might think I'm cold and selfish because I don't cry at the drop of a hat or feel it is the proper role of government to serve as a giant teat to dependent individuals.

Yes, I value reason and logic highly. Mighty "cold and selfish" of me, I know.

Inga said...

Exiled it may just be the appearance of coldness and selfishness, to emotional types like myself.

exiledonmainst said...

Ignorance is Bliss said: "That's because we libertarians are busy taking care of ourselves, our families, and yes, even helping random strangers, instead of spending our time trying to appear compassionate.

9/29/12 11:02 PM

Ah, but that doesn't count. Quiet kind and responsible actions don't mean a thing. Voting for Democrats and braying to the world that you do so because you're kind and selfless, that's what wins you brownie points.

LilyBart said...

Libertarians strike me as being cold and a bit selfish, or a lot selfish to be honest.

Damn, that's a rather self serving comment.

Liberals want to be generous with other people's money. Libertarians are generous with their own money.

exiledonmainst said...

Inga, perhaps the libertarians you know don't run around expecting applause every time they do something commendable - and that's what makes them "cold" in your eyes.

I have a heart, but I don't think it is an admirable thing to let your heart rule your head.

Inga said...

Lily, I'm generous with my own money too, but I don't have enough of my own money to be generous with so I'll need some of yours too ( I'm kidding, don't get mad).

LilyBart said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Inga said...

You mean like Althouse? To some of us the heart overrules the head, perhaps not always practical, but sometimes the right thing to do.

Synova said...

I donno. I guess I just figure it's more *selfish* to make everything about your feelings.

Sorun said...

Scientific proof that liberals either have or are pussies.

LilyBart said...


I identify as a "little l" libertarian. I would agree that I value my personal liberty greatly. I didn't know other people didn't value it. Why not? Are you unconcerned about your own liberty, or do like the idea of being able to boss others about?

Mark said...

Inga, you couldn't be more wrong. Libertarians are the people who believe each and every person should be by rights equal to every other under the law. This basic premise (along with an assumed understanding of history and economics) may make us seem cold bastards. So be it.

Get squishy all you want. We guard the walls. And you know, we don't want your thanks. We want you to grow up.

Alex said...

You see according to Allie - you didn't really make "your" money. "your" money really belongs to the communal pot.

exiledonmainst said...

"You mean like Althouse?"

Yeah, I mean like Althouse. No, letting your heart overrule your head is never the right thing to do. The ability to reason is what sets us apart from lower animals. Reason and logic made Western Civilization great.

Abandoning yourself to emotion - well, the hordes who screamed for blood during the French Revolution, the hordes who screamed for Hitler at Nuremburg, the hordes who scream "Death to America" in the ME - all prime examples of letting the heart overrule the head.

You make the mistake of thinking emotional types are always warm and fuzzy. Look at history. Sometimes the emotional types are shrieking "Kill the Jews!" or "Lynch the N*****!"

Drew said...

"Get squishy all you want. We guard the walls. And you know, we don't want your thanks. We want you to grow up"

@Mark: Exactly.

Inga said...

Mark, perhaps these three philosophies balance each other. Perhaps without the influence one has on the other two groups, one of the groups would become too powerful. All three have positive as well as negative aspects. Wouldn't want the negative aspects of any one of them to get out of control.

Maybe we all need each other in some way.

Inga said...

Exiled , what about the guy who jumps into the freezing river to save someone, knowing he risks his own life, but acted on what his heart told him?

exiledonmainst said...

Put another way: Do you think most of the people sitting in prison are there because they're cool and logical thinkers or because they're emotional types with poor impulse control and no ability to think ahead?

Synova said...

It's not really three philosophies, though. Most people who study or try to chart those things use a different axis for how into liberty people are.

Synova said...

"Exiled , what about the guy who jumps into the freezing river to save someone, knowing he risks his own life, but acted on what his heart told him?"

How do you figure that's what his "heart" told him?

Someone jumping into a river or risking his life, does so in spite of feelings, not because of them.

Unless it's your own child or something, which is different.

Inga said...

Exiled, you're absolutely right that maladjusted people have less self control. But not all emotional people are maladjusted, some are quite normal!

exiledonmainst said...

Inga, I would say such an admirable person is overcoming a very powerful emotion (fear of death) to behave with integrity and bravery. The most powerful instinct we have is self-preservation.

If the men who landed on Normandy Beach on D-Day followed their emotions, rather than their training, they would have refused to get off the boats.

Shane said...

Wait a minute - when they talk about "cold" calculating "masculine" libertarians, everyone knows they're talking about white men, right? How often do you meet a black libertarian? A woman who is a libertarian? Certainly as rare as Ann thinks you would meet a conniving white lady bragging about her free Obama phone. Sadly, now Althouse is pushing this "study" by posting it so it can be relentlessly viewed thousands of times by people who do not know the difference between conservatives and libertarians. She's a cynical one, this Ann Althouse.

Inga said...

Ah! Synova, that might well explain our differences, I see it as listening to the heart, not the head. The head would be saying, "Don't jump in there, you could drown too", the heart is saying "jump already, before he drowns!"

LilyBart said...


Exiled , what about the guy who jumps into the freezing river to save someone, knowing he risks his own life, but acted on what his heart told him?

That would be heroic. But in your example, he did that of his own free will. That's not the same as government mandating your sacrifice.

Let you own heart be your guide in your life. But don't mandate that your 'heart' dictates to me what my charities and sacrifices should be.

I am happy to ante up for common / public goods. And I give of my money to private charity to help the poor. But I'll be damned if silly liberals require that I hand over my hard-earned money to busybody, ambitious polititans so that I can satisify the liberals 'heart' felt yearnings.

exiledonmainst said...

Oh, Inga, I'm not doubting some are "normal." My objection is to the idea that A. using your emotions as a guide is somehow superior to being guided by reason and B. that emotional = kind and nuturing. It's not great to be guided by emotions if your primary emotions are hatred and envy and rage.

pbAndjFellowRepublican said...

Inga,

Meade likes indulging in nonconformist self identification.

This research can't be trusted because there were no results for transpolitical people.

LilyBart said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Inga said...

Exiled, I can agree with your Comment @12:00. I think perhaps we all switch between giving our head the lead and our heart the lead and well adjusted, intelligent people instinctually know which one allow dominance according to the situation. Being flexible is half the battle.

Inga said...

Correction: Which one to allow dominance to

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
exiledonmainst said...

"Sadly, now Althouse is pushing this "study" by posting it so it can be relentlessly viewed thousands of times by people who do not know the difference between conservatives and libertarians."

Well, it also highlights the fact that liberalism is "feminine" - which is why a liberal man called it "junk" in the very first comment. Liberal men are touchy about being called feminine- although in my experience, I probably have more testosterone than most of them. And I am not a hairy faced Sikh lady.

D.D. Driver said...

How exactly does one equate libertarianism with utilitarianism? Aren't these exact opposites? Libertarians are individualists. Utilitarians are collectivists.

Inga said...

Exiled, LMAO!

Inga said...

PB and J, perhaps we need a Non conformist Party, heh.

rcocean said...

A lot of overlap between libertarians, atheists, people with Asperger syndrome, and Trekkies.

Mark said...

It seems all I do is leave personal stories, but they're true, so here it goes.

Inga, when I was about 20 years younger, I was married to a woman who would become something of a B-List academic all-star, with impeccable liberal roots, and we were driving home from a visit to her parents who lived in (naturally) a suburb of D.C. There was a stretch of highway where a feeder road intersected with the divided highway, and some kid had made a bad decision about whether to cross. Major car crash.

We came on it, and I saw the kid climbing out of his car, and he was red from the top down. My then-wife said "Keep going!" because she knew me well enough to know what I was going to do.

I pulled off, waded through the traffic, got the kid to lay down with his head elevated, put my leather jacket under him (I loved that jacket, had to get rid of it after the incident, too much blood), bandaged his head with my shirt, and stayed there until the ambulance came.

While I was talking to him I found out he was on the college basketball team, he had a girlfriend, and he had no idea what had just happened.

The ambulance came, took him away, and we drove north to Rochester.

Two weeks later (because I had to know) I called the school and talked to the coach and the kid came out fine.

I'm no longer married to the woman I was driving with. And the kid may have been fine if I hadn't helped. But if I'd taken her advice I'd still be wondering if some kid had died because he wasn't my personal responsibility.

I wish her well. But she gave some really shitty advice at times. And I'm a Libertarian.

D.D. Driver said...

"Don't jump in there, you could drown too", the heart is saying "jump already, before he drowns!"

...and that's why we should criminalize all swimming! Why the hell are we allowing people to swim? That's dangerous!

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
deborah said...

If the Dems are the mommies and the Repubs are the daddies, what are the libertarians?

Nora said...

Well, then libertarians are politicaly doomed, since they will always look cold, detached and out of touch with the general public; you know, kind like all those things Romney is accused of.

Mark said...

Doomed as Reagan. Write us off.

Dante said...

or to get a tolerant and compassionate society they have to vote for a large and intrusive state.

Isn't that brilliant. Any social quality is the mean behavior of individuals in the group. Liberals have a very dim view of human nature, and feel individuals must be coerced to be "compassionate."

How many more years of controlling laws must people abide by for Ann's unhappiness with other people's tolerance?

If the liberal state forces you to be compassionate, are you actually compassionate? And what if all this forcing actually removes compassion from individuals?

Liberalism is merely an excuse for authoritarians to gain control over others. It's a lie, just like Ann's finding racism in that video is a lie. Sure, some people use the video as a self reinforcement of their own racism, but maybe they are tired of being called racists all their lives, because they don't like racist AA, the disastrous CRA, etc. All this forced compassion that is destroying the country, you know.

Dante said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Revenant said...

These findings are certainly consistent with the libertarians I've known, myself included.

The Crack Emcee said...

Dante,

If the liberal state forces you to be compassionate, are you actually compassionate? And what if all this forcing actually removes compassion from individuals?

Bingo! It pisses me off to no end to be told to do any number of things to "save the planet," and, I'm pretty sure, when it all gets sorted out, this so-called "obesity epidemic" is going to be the result of the constant "nudging" liberals have indulged in, health-wise. They just can't leave people alone.

And, Mark, I would've done the same thing. I once stopped an entire freeway's traffic, just so I could tend to a dog I saw get hit a couple of times, because I couldn't stand the idea of him suffering to death like that. I mean every lane came to a halt until, eventually, some people got out and gave me a hand so things could resume. For some reason, that one still haunts me, though I've seen enough violence and death for several lifetimes.

Inga, for me, it's not a head-or-heart thing but simply right and wrong, and if it's right, then I swallow my fear and do what has to be done. Because it has to be done.

It would just be wrong to do otherwise,...

Mary said...

"Libertarian women I have met most often seem to be quite masculine, profess to like the companionship of males to females and often say they dislike other women. Libertarians strike me as being cold and a bit selfish, or a lot selfish to be honest."


One woman's "selfish" is another person's "independent". Be emotional all you want at home and in church.

Not in the workplace, political arena or classroom...

Mary said...

Perhaps libertarians value choice and independence over safety and security.

That would explain the "masculine" traits. (practical clothes, careers, less emphasis on looks, pleasing others)

Most women are taught by society without the man they marry, or shack up with, they are lesser beings.

Truth is women can do basic maintenance -- car and home; invest and purchase wisely; cook, grill and garden. Even throw like a ballplayer (baseball, not softball.)

That is why libertarians support choice and freedom.

Elize Nayden said...

They probably found libertarians cold, because the interviewees told them that it is a disgrace that public money funds useless junk science studies such as this.

Rusty said...

KLDAVIS said...
Althouse, are you any better at understanding libertarians than you were in 2006, or are you still stuck asking, "How do I know you're not a racist?"

In light of recent events, I'd wager the latter



Let the default position be that we are all racist to some degree or another.
Got it?
Then while libertarians are racist-given the above position-they are more often than not to approach people of all races as individuals rather than as groups seeking remedies.
The ability to reason is what seperates human beings from democrats.

DEEBEE said...

This is a cabal aimed at the conservative swagger.
Liberal - female
Libertarian - male
and conservatives androgynous, metrosexual or what.

Bruce Hayden said...

This sure seems like Ann trying to compensate for her calling Romney a racist. First she throws red meat to one side, and then to the other. And keeps everyone coming back for more because of this balancing act. Was she being completely emotional one day, showing her feminine side, and the next coldly rational? Or, was it mostly a ploy? My guess is the latter, given her line of work (and having suffered through three years of people in her line of work trying to keep their classes roiled up).

Freeman Hunt said...

I emailed this link to Althouse (though I don't know that my email is where she got it.)

I think it illustrates well a certain disconnect between people with slightly different personalities. Take the repeated playing of the Obamaphone video. Althouse and some others look at that and see ugly racism or, if they're racists, exciting racism. Some of us see them crying, "Racism!" and think they're crazy. To the people who see racism, we probably seem cold or calculating. To the people who don't see racism, the people who do seem flighty and fanciful.

Each type is a bit baffling to the other, but we have to figure out how to talk to each other about the problems of the day if we're going to solve any of them.

Freeman Hunt said...

As for the actual studies, I don't know if they were any good. I was just interested in the descriptors.

BarryD said...

Emotional immediacy is a necessary part of nurturing children.

Considering long-term consequences, intelligently, is a necessary part of keeping children from starving to death.

Children need both. Emotionally-starved children grow up to be screwed-up adults. Physically-starved children do, also. Or sometimes, neither will end up growing up to be adults at all.

Evolution created what we call "feminine" and "masculine".

The question revolves around what government's function should be, though, not what parents should do.

Libertarianism is more "masculine" because of the role that libertarians believe government should play. First and foremost, that means that government force should be kept out of the social realm, and that we should be free to conduct ourselves, and relate to others, as we choose (barring obvious and actual crimes, of course).

Government has sold itself as a benevolent entity. This has been intentional. Apart from a few very extreme examples, like Nazism, the most brutal governments typically don't SELL themselves as being violent. Communism has been a prime example: few, if any leaders, sell themselves like Hitler. Mao, Castro, Chavez, the Kims et al. may have been or may be be as repressive, and some have killed more than Hitler, but they sell government as a smiling, friendly force. See Maoist propaganda, for example.

Were more women to perceive the raw power that government exerts at the point of a gun, perhaps libertarianism would be more prevalent among women. It does appear that women who have actually experienced totalitarian brutality tend towards libertarian thinking, much more than those who have had coddled lives in America.

BarryD said...

"and conservatives androgynous, metrosexual or what."

If one accepts the laughable premise that David Brooks is a conservative, then yes, that sounds about right.

I may be a libertarian, but I wouldn't insult conservatives by calling Brooks one.

acm said...

I do not get this "it may not be practical but it's right" thing. If it's not practical, it's not right. If you see a man drowning and you, practically speaking, have a shot at saving him, jumping into the river to rescue him is right. If you don't, like you can't swim, it's not right. The right thing to do if your head says you'll probably drown, too, is to find someone or something who can help the drowning man, by calling 911 or getting the attention of someone else on shore who CAN swim, or finding a branch or pole to pull the drowning man in. If I can't swim and I listen to my heart saying "Be a hero!" while my head says "Dummy, you'll do more harm than good" it will make the drowning man's death more certain because I will have not tried to find a practical solution. It will make his death worse, if he's conscious of the fact that I died trying to save him, and will cause more heartache to his family. And my family of course will suffer as well.

I can't think of a time when the impractical thing is the right thing to do. Something counter-intuitive might be the right thing to do, like how playing with toddlers makes them better students than doing things like flashcards or other educational activities, but it has long term pay off, so it's not impractical. Likewise, a gift for a child that may seem "right but impractical", like a toy instead of a book or a pair of socks, really is right because it is practical.

phx said...

It does appear that women who have actually experienced totalitarian brutality tend towards libertarian thinking, much more than those who have had coddled lives in America.

What evidence is there for this?

DADvocate said...

It was hardly surprising that the team found that libertarians strongly value liberty, especially the "negative liberty" of freedom from interference by others.

So there's something "negative" about freedom from interference by others? Sounds like the author's trying to put a negative spin on liberty.

phx said...

An unqualified faith in reason was a hallmark of communism.

Bruce Hayden said...

I do think that the article does have some validity. In the last couple of decades, Democrats have tended to win at the Presidential level when there was a significant gender gap. The Dem, whether it was Clinton, or Obama, was able to connect with people emotionally, and won because of it, as evidenced by how many more women, voting much more on emotion, voted for them.

After all, who would have voted rationally for a community organizer short time Senate back bencher, who had never taken a leadership role or really much responsibility throughout life to the most powerful job in this country, whose major accomplishment up to that point had been the (supposed) writing of two autobiographies, over a war hero, bred and trained to leadership, who rose to be offered flag command, turning it down to serve in the Senate for several decades, much of it in leadership positions?

What did Obama offer? Hope and change. Hope for what? A better tomorrow. How would it be better? Because he would change things. What would he change? And, why would it be better? I fear that many, if not most, Obama voters never got that far in their thought processes last time around. The signs were all there, the Chicago machine, the radical pastor, the friendship with domestic terrorists, the almost complete lack of accomplishments, coming to power to a great extent through illegal political machinations (the timely disclosure of sealed divorce records), the intellectually incurious narcissism. It was all there. Rationally, there was scant reason to believe that this country would be better off under Obama than under McCain. Rather, the rational decision was just the opposite - to vote for the qualified candidate, who at least had a rational view of foreign policy and his large advantages in training, education, and experience. And, sadly, in honesty and character. (Sadly, because we see again what happens when men without character ascend to the highest post in this land, with Obama protecting, not prosecuting Eric Holder, one of the most corrupt Attorney General of our lifetimes, the boss of the most corrupt Department of Justice over that same time period).

So, there is a decent chance that Obama will win, again with the women voting for him in disproportionate numbers, many to get their "free" contraceptives and ObamaPhones, and maybe this time ObamaVolts and ObamaHomes. Never mind that the economic costs of this economic approach is devastating to the country, mired in the longest recession of most of our memories, with unemployment over 8% for most of his term. Obama did well on Letterman and the View, is buddies with a lot of famous Hollywood celebrities, and that is what is important.

Of course, a rational woman would realize that the cost of the free contraceptives and free ObamaPhone to them are far lower than the economic cost that they are having to pay for his Presidency and his policies. And, they should realize that voting for him last time made the world a much more dangerous place, and left our economy a shambles, with an increase by almost 1/3 in national debt that her children and grandchildren will have to pay off. But, sadly, the 19th Amendment was enacted, women (and a lot of men) voted emotionally four years ago, and we are reaping the results.

(I say this about the 19th Amdt, being descended from women who were working hard for suffrage 150+ years ago, along with abolition and temperance - and we know how well that latter worked out).

phx said...

And then there are those with blind and foolish faith in their own rationality.

BarryD said...

"What evidence is there for this?"

Insofar as they tend towards libertarianism, consider Ayn Rand and Laura Ingraham for starters.

That said, I was referring to personal experiences. My parents immigrated to the US, so my life experience isn't limited to socializing with American mall rats.

phx said...

IMO that's a more sweeping claim than your evidence appears to support.

BarryD said...

"I do not get this "it may not be practical but it's right" thing."

That, in a nutshell, is why I couldn't be a modern American "liberal" or "progressive".

"An unqualified faith in reason was a hallmark of communism."

This is simply not true. A unqualified faith in an ideology, in the face of overwhelming contradictory evidence, is something different entirely.

I don't advocate an unqualified faith in anything, but your statement is silly.

BarryD said...

"IMO that's a more sweeping claim than your evidence appears to support."

Sure. I have opinions and life experiences. I'm not writing a dissertaion.

And I don't go scouring the Internet for the sake of someone who posts one-sentence drivel, either.

phx said...

Okay.

Lem said...

Each type is a bit baffling to the other, but we have to figure out how to talk to each other about the problems of the day if we're going to solve any of them.

By crutching her reservations on the playing of the video on "emotional" grounds, Althouse may have been attempting to undermine her proposition that playing the video was racist. I know this sounds counterintuitive, but when we/I got all emotional, I failed to see how weak her push was.

I cried 'chokehold'.. when it was really a...

OMg, Althouse believes conservatives are all racist!

I dont know if I will ever, ever, ever get over it ;)

phx said...

I was just curious about Laura Ingraham's experience of totalitarian brutality.

But maybe I should just keep my mouth shut and not ask questions or venture opinions.

Dante said...

Emotional immediacy is a necessary part of nurturing children.

Considering long-term consequences, intelligently, is a necessary part of keeping children from starving to death.

Children need both. Emotionally-starved children grow up to be screwed-up adults. Physically-starved children do, also. Or sometimes, neither will end up growing up to be adults at all.


Absolutely. But we are NOT the government's children.

70% of single women voted for Obama in '08. It took thousands of years to build those institutions up, but how long to maim them, what 50 years?

This is my view of the liberal. Emotional. Where are the dividends from all this spending? Oh, perhaps it makes Ann feel better. Problems aren't getting solved, and in one way of thinking they are getting worse, but hey.

Now Ann, because she said something provocative, has decided to teach us a lesson. "I'm not decided," she trumpets. And people get angry, so she decides to double down with some stupid, invented Racial canard. And the implications are staggering.

No, it's not that people are tired of seeing the destruction of human dignity by coercive liberal policies, and let's face it, there is no evidence they work, there is plenty of evidence they are damaging, but she throws this stupid idea in our face that "Oh Gee, I perceive RACISM."

And voila, her stupid broken leftist agenda is validated.

But you have to consider the root. Maybe she feels that people should care more about others. What that has to do with government is beyond me. In fact, with all this work going on, it seems to me it's making it harder to be compassionate. Women don't have time to build the relationships they once did, to provide the community experience, because they are working, or being single moms.

This is the liberal world. Forced compassion, so certain of compassion they are willing to borrow some of the "compassion" from our kids.

It's not compassion, it's the most cynical view of human nature ever. The only thing more disgusting and execrable is hiding behind this as "compassion" to double down on "My right to vote as I please."

Yes, Ann, you can vote as you please. But don't pretend it's anything other than that. And frankly, the backlash you are so concerned about it going to be exacerbated by more of this stupid government coercion, being forced on people and their children.

Bruce Hayden said...

So, why is liberalism the emotional choice, and libertarianism the rational choice? Because modern progressive liberalism is the triumph of wishful thinking over reality.

On the economic front, progressive liberalism reflects a Utopian view of mankind, that man is perfectible, and when perfected can live in a perfect society. Which is, of course, a short step from socialism, which too is based on Utopian optimism. Both are also based on the wishful belief that a small number of very bright people are capable of planning the economy and people's lives better than the market or the people themselves can.

But, of course, it cannot, and will not work. The best and the brightest only go into government work when they see that they can make more money grafting the system than on the outside, and most of them find that they can game the system better from outside, and make more money doing so. For every government worker with an IQ of maybe 130 (or maybe even 100) drafting legislation and rules, you have dozens and dozens with IQs of 150 or better figuring out how to get around the rules and make money doing so.

The sad truth is that man is greedy by nature. It has been bred into him. The people who put larger society first over the eons, and, esp. at the largest societal levels, instead of taking care of their families and communities, had fewer grandchildren, and their genes tended to die out.

Progressive liberalism and socialism is the denial of this basic truth for emotional reasons. We want to think that man is better than that. In mass, he isn't. Libertarianism is the acceptance of reality. And, that policies should and must take into account that mankind is essentially greedy. We naturally take care of family, extended family, and community first, in pretty much that order. Men have been asked to, and bred to, sacrifice in that order. And any system that doesn't take that into account in its basic design is fated for failure.

My theory right now is that the reason that men tend to be more rational (and, thus, more libertarian), and women more emotional (and thus progressive) is that women's traditional role was to hold the family, and after that, the community together, while men's traditional role was to face the much more harsh outer world. The hunters who made emotional hunting decisions tended to not bring home as much game, as those who made more rational hunting decisions, and thereby left fewer descendants. But, the women who made the more rational decisions, probably didn't have as many kids, because they realized that they would likely die early in childbirth as a result, while those who had fewer children would likely live much longer (Okay, a bit of a stretch here).

What is a bit scary though about women getting the vote, and allowing them to emotionally decide elections, is that by alleviating their dependence on specific men, they have assumed that men, and non-child bearing women, will support them, through government largess, instead. But, the societal cost to that is that a lot of younger males have lost ambition, because they no longer can realistically see trading sacrifice to bring home the bacon to the family for having a family. They are expected to sacrifice to support some other guys' mates and children, and that just doesn't work. When the choice is between working hard to support someone else's mate and children, and just hard enough to play, more and more, they seem to be making the latter, likely more rational, decision. So, the Julias in this country, who opt to depend on the government to replace men to support them raising children, are starting to find that they will have neither - not the family, nor the support, as this country, and many others around the world, find that wishful thinking economics don't work over the long run.

phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wef said...

In this article, the word liberal should be replaced with the word servile.

The intellectually curious might want to look up the history of the words "los liberales" and "los serviles."

The migration in gringolandia of the word liberal from its libertarian meaning to its servile meaning makes a nice illustration of the perverse evolution of ideas, especially of the corruption that results from combining cynical politicians with reasonable matrons and other scolds.

acm said...

And then there are those with blind and foolish faith in their own rationality.

9/30/12 8:40 AM

--------------

I think you meant that libertarians are those people, but my first thought on reading that sentence was liberals/big government types. Libertarians have faith, whether they should or not, in their rationality about their own lives. They think adults can manage their own affairs, and mostly they can. If they can't, they lose their money, their health, their own lives, or they wise up and *choose* turn control of their affairs---just their own--- over to someone who can.

Liberals think that liberals can and should manage their own and everyone else's affairs.

Rusty said...

phx said...
An unqualified faith in reason was a hallmark of communism.



An unqualified faith in Marx was a hallmark of communism.


FTFY

phx said...

You guys never heard of scientific materialism I gather.

phx said...

There's nothing to fix. You can expand on it but you can't change what's true.

Rusty said...

phx said...
And then there are those with blind and foolish faith in their own rationality.



Well. Yes. Because it's better than having blind and foolish faith in your irrationality.


keep it up.

Rusty said...

phx said...
You guys never heard of scientific materialism I gather.


Heres a clue. "scientific materialism" wasn't very scientific. In fact it relied heavily on suspending objective scientific reality.

phx said...

Well. Yes. Because it's better than having blind and foolish faith in your irrationality.

A blind and foolish faith is a blind and foolish faith.

phx said...

Heres a clue. "scientific materialism" wasn't very scientific. In fact it relied heavily on suspending objective scientific reality.

That's the point Rusty. People who believed they were rational and working from "historical necessity" had a blind and foolish faith.

An unqualified faith in reason was a pillar of communism.

phx said...

Don't read it as if it's an indictment of reason.

It's an indictment of unqualified faith.

acm said...

Blind and unqualified faith in other people is the hallmark of communism. You just do what other people tell you, and you'll be fine. Don't worry about putting forth 100% effort; the collective of other people will get it done and you'll be fine. Marx is just one of the other people, and rationality is just one of the tools that the other people claim to use.

Dante said...

So, why is liberalism the emotional choice, and libertarianism the rational choice? Because modern progressive liberalism is the triumph of wishful thinking over reality.

Liberalism is not wishful thinking. It's the most cynical view of human nature ever. It's the view that people, on their own, are vicious and cruel, and they must be forced to give others a "fair" chance.

What a massive lie liberalism is.

deborah said...

Freeman said: I think it illustrates well a certain disconnect between people with slightly different personalities. Take the repeated playing of the Obamaphone video. Althouse and some others look at that and see ugly racism or, if they're racists, exciting racism. Some of us see them crying, "Racism!" and think they're crazy. To the people who see racism, we probably seem cold or calculating. To the people who don't see racism, the people who do seem flighty and fanciful.

-----

So true. The best example I've seen of this is the liberal who deeply fears the US being taken over by the religious right, comparing them directly to the Taliban, etc.

deborah said...

But generally speaking, the way things seem to work out is through consensus, or at least teeter-totter balancing.

phx said...

But generally speaking, the way things seem to work out is through consensus, or at least teeter-totter balancing.

I think so generally. Freeman said, "Each type is a bit baffling to the other, but we have to figure out how to talk to each other about the problems of the day if we're going to solve any of them."

The grownups on each side have to keep coming back to this and show the others how to do it once they learn.

Gingrich was on this morning saying whoever wins the first thing they have to do is call on all members of congress on the opposite side - not just the leadership - and actually listen to them. Every now and then Gingrich makes a lot of sense.

Chip S. said...

I think rcocean is right, that Asperger types lean strongly toward libertarianism, for the simple reason that they're individualistic by default. One of the last things they'd want to do would be to spend time at political meetings to talk about other people's feelings. In large enough numbers, Asperger types alone can account for the observed profile of the "average" libertarian. But in that case this profile conveys no information about libertarianism as a political philosophy.

I really wish that the ecological fallacy were taught to research psychologists. This would be a textbook example.

Chip S. said...

Liberalism is not wishful thinking. It's the most cynical view of human nature ever. It's the view that people, on their own, are vicious and cruel, and they must be forced to give others a "fair" chance.

You forgot the part where liberals assume that these same vicious, cruel people will act like Solomon if they're given the power to compel the behavior of others.

Dante said...

You forgot the part where liberals assume that these same vicious, cruel people will act like Solomon if they're given the power to compel the behavior of others.

My cynicism of liberals extends far beyond that. I don't think people in government power care at all about the outcome. They care about having the tools to enslave the people to their will.

Rusty said...


An unqualified faith in reason was a pillar of communism.


No. It was what, at the time, was believed as reason. History soon showed how blind,foolish, and unreasonable it had become.


phx said...
Don't read it as if it's an indictment of reason.

It's an indictment of unqualified faith.


Ah. Yes. Much like modern climate change dogma.




Synova said...

"My cynicism of liberals extends far beyond that. I don't think people in government power care at all about the outcome. They care about having the tools to enslave the people to their will."

Which makes me entirely idealistic. I think that people are people. Granted, the power hungry go after power, which is why it's important to limit government.

What I find amazing is the claim, somehow, that people are different; that people who go into government "service" are good people and people who are after "profit" are bad people. We see that claim all the time between "public" and "private."

Also, for what it's worth and to completely change the subject, I've run into two entirely shocking examples of political "emotion" being portrayed as evil in popular entertainment this last week. One fluff romance had me wondering how the lady got it published at all when she went on rants about the moral selfishness of those trying to tear down the social order (it was a historical drawing on some real revolt of the time) and a television show where the Senator (they were careful as usual not to identify parties) explains how he's dedicated to helping the poor get access to services and to help them and lift them up; how this is all so much bigger than an individual person.

The television show wasn't quite so shocking as the book, but you just don't see that sort of thing.

Maybe the book was so *far* over that the firmly liberal/progressive publishers, editors, and all couldn't recognize themselves in it.

Astro said...

Studies like these are suspect, due to inherent bias of the researchers.
A statement such as:
The baffling (to liberals) fact that a large minority of working-class white people vote for conservative candidates is explained by psychological dispositions that override their narrow economic interests shows inherent bias since it assumes that Liberals can know and define what the 'narrow economic interests' are of other groups.

Likewise, here the researchers assume they can know and define what is 'less emotion, less empathy, and less disgust'- based on what? Their own biases. Even the choice of these response valuations betrays a certain bias.

LilyBart said...

"Aspergers".

If you marginalize a person, you don't have to consider their opinion, right. Jerks.

phx said...

Ah. Yes. Much like modern climate change dogma.

Why change the topic? You know that's bogus reasoning, right?

Chip S. said...

LilyBart said...
"Aspergers".

If you marginalize a person, you don't have to consider their opinion, right. Jerks.


Who said that? Lemme know and I'll kick their fuckin' teeth in, or the internet version of that. Assholes.

Penny said...

While working on his Moral Foundations Theory, Jonathan Haidt's political views changed from liberal to centrist.

Are we watching the birth of a new libertarian given his newest research?

The Crack Emcee said...

Chip S.,

If you marginalize a person, you don't have to consider their opinion, right. Jerks.

Who said that? Lemme know and I'll kick their fuckin' teeth in, or the internet version of that. Assholes.

Hmmmm. Ann better watch her back:

Maybe you wrote something interesting this time that I'd respond to, but you're on my permanent shit list. I will not give you my time to see if your arguments have any value.

And don't forget:

Careful, with the link within the link that I link to at that link. That's the blog I'm punishing with traffic starvation.

And you might also consider Glenn Reynolds for a thrashing, too:

He's another Master of Marginalization.

Which, as I've discovered recently, pisses you guys off to no end.

Oh, wait,...