[LINK] Lack of intelligence linked to Conservative Ideology

jim birch planetjim at gmail.com
Mon Feb 6 10:27:25 AEDT 2012

David Boxall wrote:

> OK, so the thick tend to conservatism. Could it be that conservatism
> tends to make one thick?

>From a biological perspective, conservative values - emphasis on security,
favouring family and kin group relationships, preference for the familiar
shading into xenophobia, etc - are more aligned with lower brain automatic
"instincts" that we share with reptiles and lower mammals.  That said,
these values are driven by reliable systems and have worked pretty well
through millions of years of starvation, disease, dominance battles and
outright warfare.  "Liberal" values, like respect for the individual,
science, rationality, etc, are radical new features on the evolutionary
landscape.  While they present a massive economic opportunity for doing
useful stuff like (eg) the Industrial Revolution, they aren't biologically
built-in to the same degree, for example, they aren't strongly tied to the
endocrine system.  This means we have to learn these values via cultural
systems or even think them up as we go.  So, they often seem counter
intuitive, and they are unreliable and prone to fashion.

A wide range of psychological experiments and real-world observations
demonstrate that when people are stressed they tend to revert to generating
behaviour by these more basic systems that have been tested past the
breaking points for at least millions of years in the Pleistocene.  Even
when the higher brain systems are struggling, the primative systems are
more likely to remain more-or-less functional.


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