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The Blood of Westminster is on the Hands of the Political Left

The attacks at Westminster in London, Charlie Hebdo, the Bataclan, and Nice in France, and Brussels in Belgium, are a direct result of the Lennon-esque (“Imagine there’s no countries, and no religion too”) open borders Platonic idealism of the left wing psychological profile..

Human nature has not changed since the time of Plato.  The psychological profiles of left and right described by Arthur Herman in The Cave and the Light: Plato Versus Aristotle, and the Struggle for the Soul of Western Civilization, by Thomas Sowell in A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles, by Yuval Levin in The Great Debate: Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, and the Birth of Right and Left, by Michael Oakeshott in Rationalism in Politics and other essays, by Jonathan Haidt in The Righteous Mind, and by others, are as prevalent today as they were twenty-four hundred years ago

The psychology behind the Platonic ideal of Plato’s Light, of Sowell’s unconstrained vision, of Oakeshott’s rationalism, and of Haidt’s liberal moral matrix tends to believe that the human mind is a blank slate at birth, and that everything we know about right and wrong is learned either from formal education or from direct experience; i.e., that human nature is maleable.  It tends to believe that differences between groups result solely from social constructs.  It tends to place its faith in abstract reason as the path to moral truth. It leans toward the belief that the “good society” and the “new man” are in fact possible in the real world if only the right social constructs could be put in place, the right ideas could be taught, and through them the right ideals can be inculcated into the populace.  It tends to believe not only that the world of John Lennon’s Imagine can be made a reality here on earth, but also that it is the rightful role of the enlightened among us to be in positions of leadership and to work to make all of those things happen.

The ideology that follows from this psychological profile is the direct cause of all of the terrorist attacks listed above, and more.  The open borders, multicultural, kumbaya sentiments from Plato to Rousseau to the progressives of the early twentieth century to John Lennon’s Imagine to Obama’s eight year world wide apology tour is literally killing us.

The reason it’s killing us is that it’s unmoored from reality. It is not true that the mind is a blank slate at birth. It is not true that differences among groups are due solely to social constructs. It is not true that abstract reason and rationalism are the path to moral truth. It is not true that putting into place the “right” social constructs can create the “good society,” or that teaching the right things can create the “new man.”  It is anti-science magical thinking worse than any religion because its faithful “know” in their hart of hearts that their faith IS reality based, and that therefore those who don’t believe as they do are in some way intellectually, psychologically, or morally deficient.   

These recent interviews articulate how the short sighted, small minded, reality-deprived ideology of the political left has manifested in its most recent incarnation, and why the blood of recent terrorist attacks is on the hands of the ideological left.





14 thoughts on “The Blood of Westminster is on the Hands of the Political Left

  1. Why multiple replies? My response from your last comment to the first.

    If you have objective evidence that my 50% & 75% personal estimates are false, I’d love to see it. I don’t fear facts. If I’m wrong, then that’s reality and I would have to change my mind based on persuasive objective evidence. I gave you my data and, as I predicted, you rejected it out of hand without any comment. Can you give me your objective evidence?

    You argue conservative intuitions use all the moral foundations, while liberals rely mostly on only one. Assuming that’s true, (i) what is the logic to conclude that relying on 5 morals is better than the 1.5 or 2 or whatever it is that liberals allegedly use, (ii) Tetlock’s expert judgment research suggests that conservatives are generally more reality challenged than liberals, and (iii) why can’t someone set that moral foundation stuff aside and adopt a mind set that is basically what Dr. Shermer was arguing for ( https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-we-should-choose-science-over-beliefs/ ), i.e., more focused on less biased fact and logic. Based on Shermer’s personal experience, and in full accord with cognitive science, personal ideology, conservatism included, is a fact and logic destroyer.

    You quoted me and concluded that if I was what I said I am, I’d be a conservative. I firmly disagree. There is no compelling data to argue that a pragmatic, anti-bias mind set that holds fidelity to less biased truth and less biased logic as core personal political morals will necessarily come out worse than conservatives. Evidence that a pragmatic, anti-bias mind set is superior to the liberal or conservative mind set or moral foundation is Tetlock’s superforecasters. Look at their morals. You’ll be shocked to see it isn’t liberal or conservative — it’s open minded, pragmatic, and fact- and logic-driven.

    You assert that I hold anti-science, counterfactual, belief that is not possible to hold because that’s not how the brain works. You follow that unsupported assertion with three questions:
    Your Q: Did I read Righteous Mind?; My A: Yes, here’s my book review: https://disqus.com/home/discussion/channel-biopoliticsandbionews/book_review_the_righteous_mind/
    Your Q: Did I read Thinking, Fast and Slow?; My A: Yes, here’s my book review: https://disqus.com/home/discussion/channel-biopoliticsandbionews/are_humans_more_rational_than_irrational/
    Your Q: Did I read Predisposed?; My A: Yes, but haven’t got around to doing a review

    Show me the objective evidence you rely on to claim that anyone’s belief in fidelity to less biased facts and logic cannot constitute part of a moral mind set that can perform better than the conservative or liberal mind set. I want to see that data.

    My Q: Did you read Tetlock’s Superforecasting; The art and science of prediction? That’s objective evidence that the brain can work differently than you perceive it does. Please explain that data away, but as Lodge and Taylor caution in their book, The Rationalizing Voter, try to do that with conscious deliberation that’s “more than a rationalization of the outputs of automatic affective cognitive processing.” In other words, do it without reliance on motivated reasoning.

    And, as long as we’re throwing our library books at each other, I strongly suggest Philip Tetlock’s book “Expert Political Judgment; How good is it? How can we tell? That data undermines your faith in conservative moral superiority.

    As I said before, we’re not going to agree here on much of anything. Our moral foundations are too different. Your reality isn’t mine and vice versa.


    Posted by Germaine | March 26, 2017, 4:13 pm
  2. This is puzzling. The research Tetlock described in Expert Political Judgment suggested that Hedgehogs (more often conservatives than liberals) had a harder time grasping reality than Foxes (more often liberals than conservatives). Tetlock’s finding of superforecasters and their open, ‘non-ideological’ mind set suggested that rationalist pragmatists had a better grip on reality than liberals or conservatives.

    In the scheme of things, there can be many factors that lead to bad things, like terrorism, and the rise of alternative facts and post truth politics. Who or what is more responsible for the rise of alt-fact, alt-reality, the left, the right, dictators like Putin or something else? Is alt-fact, alt-reality, post truth politics really all (100%) the fault of the left and does it really have zero relevance to terrorism?

    I think the critique here is misses the mark by a lot. At least when it comes to politics, both the left and right have their morality-based but very different fantasies about what’s reality and fact and what’s defensible common sense or logic. Achen and Bartel’s book Reality For Realists makes that crystal clear – both the left and right are amazingly self-deluded. Over the years, it has become apparent to me that a major factor in fact and logic disconnects is grounded in conservative and liberal morals. The two sets of morals associated with the liberal and conservative mind sets are often (usually?) at odds with visions of reality (fact) and application of conscious common sense that is less biased. If that’s true, and the existence of Tetlock’s superforecasters argue it is, then one can envision a set of morals that should sit atop the morals that create the delusions that drive perceptions of reality and conscious reason by the left and right.

    What might those morals include? How about fidelity to less biased reality or fact and fidelity to less biased common sense or logic? The left and right share a core cognitive-social biology ‘flaw’, if that’s the right word for it. That flaw is leads to fact and logic distortion-destruction by both liberal and conservative moral frameworks. Haidt calls it being trapped in the Matrix. It happens all the time to both the left and right, e.g., this blunt vignette by hard core libertarian Michael Shermer writing in Scientific American: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-we-should-choose-science-over-beliefs/

    Therefore, if there’s a finger of blame to be pointed, it ought to be pointed at the fact and logic destroying moral mind sets of the left and the right. Pointing at the left alone just fosters more polarization and political failure.


    Posted by Germaine | March 26, 2017, 9:29 am
    • It’s a common fallacy that left and right are equal in the way you suggest. The insistence that they ARE the same despite the evidence to the contrary is moral relativism; a sacred value of the left.

      The data shows that they’re not.




      Posted by The Independent Whig | March 26, 2017, 10:05 am
      • I didn’t say the left and right were equal. I’m looking at what folks like Tetlock and Achen and Bartels have to say. Even Haidt is clear that liberal and conservative morals are reality- and logic distorting. No one disputes that. That was my point. Saying I’m arguing false equivalence distracts from that critical point.

        But, since you brought it up, the data I’m aware of regarding disconnects from reality and logic in politics says that conservatives are generally more disconnected than liberals. For example
        Trump: http://www.politifact.com/personalities/donald-trump/
        Clinton: http://www.politifact.com/personalities/hillary-clinton/

        Based on that kind of data, and rhetoric and governance work product from the left and right over the last 15-20 years, and if one can assign a number to the degree of reality- and logic-disconnect, my take is that liberals are about 50% disconnected, while conservatives are about 75% disconnected.

        Yes, I know. You reject the data as biased, liberal propaganda. You reject the disconnect assignments as delusional drivel. I get it. We’re obviously not going to agree on this.

        I can posit one thing that might make some sense to you, maybe. Your morals are conservative. My morals are fact- and logic-focused and based on a pragmatic open mind set (anti-bias) that’s looking for the best solutions to political problems at the lowest and least freedom-burdening cost regardless of the political label that attaches. Being liberal, conservative, socialist, capitalist, populist, racist or anything else is, IMO, both beside the point and detrimental. Given that, maybe you can see why we will disagree on many things, probably most. Our minds are trapped in different moral Matrices. We will therefore often or usually see different facts and apply different common sense to what we think we see. My morals are intentionally focused on reducing fact and logic bias and error by focusing on the cognitive and social sources of error, e.g., (i) sources of innate, non-random error, and (ii) liberal and conservative ideology. We’re two very, very different political animals.


        Posted by Germaine | March 26, 2017, 11:18 am
      • Re: “My morals are fact- and logic-focused and based on a pragmatic open mind set (anti-bias) that’s looking for the best solutions to political problems at the lowest and least freedom-burdening cost regardless of the political label that attaches”

        This is an anti-science, counterfactual, belief. It is, fact, not possible. It’s not how the brain works.

        Have you read The Righteous Mind, of Thinking Fast and Slow, or Predisposed?

        The notion that one’s morality is “fact and logic focused” goes against everything science tells us about how the brain actually functions.


        Posted by The Independent Whig | March 26, 2017, 11:35 am
      • Re: “My morals are intentionally focused on reducing fact and logic bias and error by focusing on the cognitive and social sources of error, e.g., (i) sources of innate, non-random error, and (ii) liberal and conservative ideology. ”

        If this were true then you’d be conservative.


        Posted by The Independent Whig | March 26, 2017, 11:36 am
      • You’re right that the flaws of human reason apply generally to all humans regardless of ideology.

        And, as Haidt observes, the first things that are thrown under the bus when sacred values are challenged is truth, logic, reason, and evidence.

        But since reason follows from intuition, the question becomes “Which intuitions are more concurrent with what we know to be true, based on science, about human nature?”

        The answer to that question is conservative intuitions.

        The reason is that conservative intuitions employ all of the naturally selected evolved psychological mechanisms of social perception, intuitive understanding, and conscious reasoning, whereas liberal intuition uses only about half of them, and of that half mostly just one.

        Nobody is right or wrong 100% of the time, but generally speaking, through human history, the all-foundation moral matrix is, and has been, more right than wrong, and the one-foundation matrix is, and has been, more wrong than right.

        The extent to which we deny and defy these basic facts of human nature is directly related to the depth and breadth of the political divide.

        I stand firmly behind the assertion made in the title of my essay.


        Posted by The Independent Whig | March 26, 2017, 1:26 pm
      • Your 50% 75% assertion is simply false. The empirical evidence show that the opposite is the case.


        Posted by The Independent Whig | March 26, 2017, 1:28 pm
  3. I’m not sure you story about the tabula rasa is quite correct. Aristotle was the original proponent and Locke and his philosophical empiricism in the Essay Concerning Human Understanding introduced it to the Western world, with some help from Aquinas. These would be considered right-leaning sources.

    It was actually Kant, the German Idealist, who made the leap, after awaking from his “dogmatic slumber” by reading Hume who synthesized pure reason and empiricism. Plato, De Carte and others on the left always believed in ‘innate ideas’.

    The social construct issue originated in western thought in Rousseau’s discussion of amour-propre vs amour de soi and his theory of the Noble Savage(even though he didn’t use that term) being perfectly harmonious with nature before being corrupted by ‘society’ and social pressures. It was a thought experiment that turned into accepted wisdom on the left, forcing men to be free.

    Certainly, the moral and cultural relativism of the left has given intellectual comfort, succor, and sympathy to the cause of ideologies of alienation, but that is a pretty big leap to direct culpability for violence.

    If you want to discuss reality-based approaches to governance, the right is just as disconnected as the left, if not more so, given the Trump fictions and Republicans’ unwillingness to learn anything from history. It was Obama who approved the surge in Afghanistan and conducted 563 drone strikes, ten times that of Bush. Do you think he was imagining their social construct when he gave those orders?


    Posted by tomrossman2017 | March 25, 2017, 3:39 pm
  4. I think you meant “malleable”, but it’s a nice Freudian slip.
    “Maleable” rightly suggests the underlying problem of human (primate) nature, whether you view that from a Calvinist (total depravity) or evolutionary psychology (primate deceit, greed, violence, sexuality, etc.) perspective!

    The Platonic left tabula rasa assumption includes a Rousseauian belief in inherently good human nature, whereas the Aristotelian right tends to assume the opposite.

    I believe the truth is in between–our evolutionary heritage includes greed and altruism, violence and nurture, love and hate, honesty and deceit (including that big one, self-deceit). And social and political structures that ignore the inherent evil parts of human nature are doomed to violent destruction from within and without. As you point out.


    Posted by Myrt | March 23, 2017, 1:43 pm
    • Haha. “Malleable.” You’re right. Good catch. My bad.

      I agree with all of your sentiments.

      The question, rightly understood, is “Given the facts of human nature, what’s the best we can do?” It naive to think, “Given the facts of human nature, how can we fix it?” as the Rousseauian mentality seems to do.

      Here’s a great quote I came across:

      “The irony is that it has taken a century for sociologists like Haidt, et al, to only begin to understand what the Founders already knew and applied so well in their statecraft. The Founders were haunted by the long history of brittle Republics of the past as chronicled by the likes of Livy and Tacitus. Indeed, if you were to read Haidt’s text then venture to read Madison’s Federalist 10 you would realize there is very little that Haidt learned in his extensive sociological studies that the Founders didn’t already divine from their deep reading of history. Man is by nature tribal and factitious. Republics must therefore be so constituted with this feature in mind. The Founders solution was two-fold, a Republic structured with redundancies that required constant checks and accountability between multiple centers of political power, and a system of education that sought to form citizens who were citizenship-minded. The tragedy is that during the last century, our experts have succeeded in virtually leveling any remnant of that system designed to override our most factitious instincts.”

      From “Black Lives Matter, Donald Trump, and the Perils of Unexamined Political Rage” by ForeFare Davis, August 20, 2015


      Posted by The Independent Whig | March 23, 2017, 2:01 pm
  5. Liked your posting Whig. Filled with justified anger considering you and your kids were walking those streets just days ago. Damn!



    Posted by MARK RAND | March 23, 2017, 1:02 pm

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