Imagine a world in which conservatives owned social science, academia, entertainment, and news to the same degree liberals own them now.
Imagine what we’d be reading from social science and news media, and what we’d be watching on TV.
We’d be reading studies that show how unmoored from reality liberalism is, and because of that how devastatingly harmful are its policies. We’d be learning about how authoritarian, oppressive, and even fascist liberals are (both currently with their campus anti-free speech crusade and historically with political purge after political purge from the French Revolution to communism everywhere and every-when); and how intolerant, prejudiced, and bigoted they are toward people unlike themselves; and how narrow minded and even small minded and pedantic their WEIRD cognitive style is; and how their give-a-man-a-fish, culture-of-victimhood-and-entitlement policies destroy the social fabric and do more harm than good; and how they don’t actually care about others, but rather seek only to stoke their own inflated self perception of moral superiority, and are therefore “mean,” and “don’t get it.” We’d be getting sit-com laughs at their expense with lines like “OMG, he’s not a Democrat is he?”
And all of it would be at least as evidence-based and as truthful as what we currently get, if not more so.
For conservatives all of Western culture is nothing if not an endless parade of not-so-micro aggressions, thinly veiled passive-aggressive holier than thou smug condescension, and outright bigotry and abuse, some of which is physical.
Haidt describes moralities or ideologies as “consensual hallucinations” in which everyone shares the same imagined vision of what the world is, can be, and should be.
For the left everything is always downhill and with the wind or with the current of the river. Leftism is the path of least resistance that requires only lemming-like “me too” compliance with the status quo of the conventional wisdom for one to be a member of the favored in-group. It requires no self discipline, no courage to stand on, or for, principle, no intellectual integrity to point out the inconvenient truths that belie the status quo.
For the right everything is always uphill, against the wind, and against the current. In the marathon of life conservatism has to wear a suit and formal shoes, carry a fifty pound pack, and start fifteen yards behind the line.
In today’s world all one has to do to become vilified, barred from “polite” (sic) society, and even physically attacked, is to stand up for free speech. Orwell vastly underestimated the power of this sort of high-minded groupthink. It truly is the dark side of human nature.
This is the context within which discussions about social issues and politics occur. It is the water within which the fish of western culture swim, and ask “What’s water?” oblivious to the insidious bias that’s a natural element of their environment.
Even places I love, like Heterodox Academy and The Village Square, operate within the moral matrix of this consensual hallucination. .
Jonathan Haidt does good work and is a breath of fresh air in his field. BUT ….the inevitable but ….it’s a case of – in the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king.
Because this article is one cluster of question begging. And, as far as authoritarianism is concerned, he has done an Orwellian blackwhite job; ascribing it to the wrong side. It’s the left, the ‘cosmopolitan’ ‘liberals’, the ‘open border pan nationalists’, who are shutting down free speech, imposing goodthink, getting people fired for not holding to their cherished shibboleths with sufficient fervour, not the vulgarian natives out in the shires.
Jonathan also completely misses the political correctness phenomenon and its stymieing of basic critical thinking faculties together with the ‘liberals’ coersively imposing the great and good, bien-pensant view on our societies. He misses how political correctness is a war on noticing what’s right in front of our faces. That PC is underpinned by liberal creationism. This includes basic stuff about race and IQ, clan based inbred societies verses open nuclear family based societies, group differences and heritability and disparate outcomes in the context of human biodiversity. This together with the massive importance of social capital.
There was a time I’d go through the usual qualifiers, explaining my cosmopolitan background, eclectic world view and classical liberalism in detail, I can no longer be arsed (Brit spelling alert) to expound on this, beyond this mere nod. Many of us are far past caring about being called racist. It isn’t an argument, it’s just a re-tread of ‘heretic’.
This article has a core of truth but it needs a jolly good parsing to remove its craven goodthink slant, the barely concealed fear of the author himself being unpersoned by his peers for going ‘off reservation’ and his weird inversion on authoritarianism as well as filling in the various germane omissions.
Classically liberal democracy can only work properly, in so far as it is assented to by a broad consensus, across a critical mass of the population.
The viability and quality of a liberal democracy – and all that this implies in terms of tolerance, free expression, free enquiry, and much else besides – is down to who you have in that population.
This has been bought home to us all starkly during our interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan and the questionable results we have had bringing them any kind of facsimile of democracy.
This is a large part of why it’s critical to control who gets to make up the population. And the harsh truth is that not all demographics are the same, or interchangeable, despite this being an almost religious article of faith amongst open border pan nationalists.
Some groups ARE more problematic than others, we can see clearly, that, in aggregate, Muslims are especially problematic. This is the case all over the World and has been for a very long time.
I’m British and voted for Brexit for various reasons, including immigration. Concern over the effects of mass immigration is the biggest single issue in British politics, this is becoming so all over Europe and in the US. The protective instincts being triggered by mass immigration are natural and themselves part of the human condition. Sanctimoniously patronising the unwashed Neanderthal troglodyte hoi palloy, who are concerned about depleted social capital in their homelands. Virtue signalling by ostentatiously parading one’s open border blank-slater pan nationalism, unpersoning the ‘heretics’, and ignoring their views, will not work for much longer.