Friday, November 23, 2012


The people who lecture us endlessly about the merits of "personal liberty" are actually the most willing and eager to get in line and follow the next Great Leader.
What accounts for this pattern of denial? Earlier this year, the science writer Chris Mooney published “The Republican Brain,” which was not, as you might think, a partisan screed. It was, instead, a survey of the now-extensive research linking political views to personality types. As Mr. Mooney showed, modern American conservatism is highly correlated with authoritarian inclinations — and authoritarians are strongly inclined to reject any evidence contradicting their prior beliefs. Today’s Republicans cocoon themselves in an alternate reality defined by Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page, and only on rare occasions — like on election night — encounter any hint that what they believe might not be true.


Anonymous said...

no one need be surprised by this, Prof. Bob Altemeyer at U Manitoba has written an entire book on the subject: The Authoritarians
(Downloadable as a free pdf from his page here)

Mr. Wonderful said...

They talk about "personal responsibility" but they mean "personal security," which (go be surprised) is its opposite. "I'm alright, Jack," is not an expression based on a sense of personal responsibility, although the plutocrats and their mouthpieces are pleased to tell the rubes that it is.

Whereas when a liberal votes for a social safety net, supports a union, campaigns for racial equality, etc.--i.e., advocates care for others--he/she IS expressing a sense of personal responsibility: each individual is responsible for the improvement and upkeep of the society which all individuals share.

Yes, I'm saying that Republicans have it wrong at the most basic level of their self-conception. Deal with it. (You have to. It's your personal responsibility.)