The Independent Whig

The Independent Whig has written 281 posts for The Independent Whig

Heterodox Academy Should Offer More Non-Liberal Viewpoints, Not Just Rail Against the Evils of the Liberal Monoculture

In Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard Chip and Dan Heath show that the cultural environment in which we live is a “behavioral autopilot” that shapes our behaviors, thoughts, and intuitions. The autopilot of American popular culture leans strongly to the left because it is owned and operated by the inhabitants of the … Continue reading

The Left Wing Tilt of American Popular Culture Distorts Our Grasp of Current Events

In their book Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard Chip and Dan Heath describe how the cultural environment – the “interlocking sets of values, virtues, norms, practices, identities, institutions, technologies, and evolved psychological mechanisms” (from the definition of morality, here) that are shared by a community – acts as a behavioral autopilot for the … Continue reading

It’s All About the Narrative, Part 2: Narratives are Social Facts

Narratives are social facts. They are emergent complex systems that are greater than the sum of their parts. They are not worlds full of objects some of which happen to be moral foundations or sacred values.   The narrative of a group represents the collective consciousness, the consensual hallucination, of the group.  It explains the groups perception … Continue reading

Polemics are in the eye of the beholder.

What some see as an increase in my inflexibility and angry polemics over the past couple of years I see as an increase in my knowledge, assimilation of it into my perspective, and, based on that, my increased confidence in asserting and standing behind that perspective.  I’m less prone to say “You’re the expert, I’m just an amateur. so what do I know, … Continue reading

Capitalism, Not Racism, Flipped the South to Republicans

The left wing spin-doctoring of social science that’s summarized in a Scientific American, article titled Is Social Science Politically Biased? (quote at bottom of this post) has also occurred with American history, and for the mostly same reasons, explained in How American Popular Culture Misunderstands Conservatism. Specifically, the notion that Republicans had a “southern strategy” to win the south with … Continue reading

Flip the Script

I participated in a discussion panel with several thoughtful, open minded, curious liberals who really, truly, want to have a better understanding of conservatives. It was terrific. My suspicion/hope is that there are a lot more liberals out there in the world like the folks I talked with than like the crazies who make the … Continue reading

How American Popular Culture Misunderstands Conservatism

We humans tend to demonize that which we do not understand, and we don’t understand a whole hell of a lot about ourselves in general, and especially about conservatives. We conservatives are consistently and perpetually characterized by American popular culture as something we’re not, and then demonized for being that something, which we’re not.  It’s … Continue reading

The Prime Directives of Liberalism and Conservatism

If you’re familiar with Star Trek then you’re familiar with the concept of a prime directive. It’s a single, overriding, guiding principle that influences, “shapes the path,” as it were, of everything else. A radio commercial for a local car dealer I must have heard a hundred times after I moved to D.C. in the … Continue reading

It’s All About the Narrative, Part 1: What are Narratives and How Do They Work?

The social world is a complex system, far too immense for any single human mind or group of minds to comprehend all at once. And even if it could be comprehended in the moment, it’s far too convoluted for us to be able to predict with any certainty the outcome from the system of any … Continue reading

Social Science = Rationalism, Rationalism = Pedantry, Pedantry Exacerbates the Ideological Divide

Dear Jon Haidt and Liz Joyner, The difference between the two of you and many other liberals is sagacity. You have it, they don’t. Please forgive the oversimplification in the subject line of this post. By the end of it I hope you’ll understand. In my conversations with liberals, especially those in academia, their thinking … Continue reading

I Support Viewpoint Diversity


A politically diverse group of social scientists, natural scientists, humanists, and other scholars who want to improve our academic disciplines and universities. We share a concern about a growing problem: the loss or lack of “viewpoint diversity.” When nearly everyone in a field shares the same political orientation, certain ideas become orthodoxy, dissent is discouraged, and errors can go unchallenged.

An Interpretation of Jonathan Haidt’s Moral Foundations Theory

This sidebar lists a series of posts which together make up an essay relating Moral Foundations Theory to today's politics, and even a little history, as viewed through The Independent Whig's six-foundation moral lens.


Venn Diagram of Liberal and Conservative Moral Foundations