Thursday, March 23, 2017

The (Self-)Righeous Mind

Continuing the last post, our local brain, mind, consciousness group had a discussion of the political mind. Haidt's work The Righteous Mind was one of the topics.  The previous article, as well as several of the readings for the meeting, well address Haidt's claims that liberals don't promote loyalty, authority or purity. That's because conservatives are loyal to only their select in-group, maintaining a purity standard that seeks to punish those not within. And they tend toward authoritarianism, to blindly accept strong, so-called 'successful' people as a sign of proof for that selectively pure inbreeding. Which is exactly how Haidt describes those traits.

Liberals though also value those traits but extend them to a larger constituency, the entire human race to whom they are loyal. Granted they don't buy the in-group purity, but the other side of that according to Hadit is sanctity, which liberals indeed value in all humanity. True it's not the religious fundamental form of sanctity but a broader, more inclusive humanism that sees the better angels of our inherent nature. They also respect authority but not blindly, requiring it to be earned.

Some of the referenced reading list from the group is below. Read them to fact check my conclusions:

• The Republican Brain (video, 21:45 – Chris Mooney, Jonathan Haidt, Chris Hayes)
• Chris Hedges’ review of Haidt’s book, The Righteous Mind
• George Lackoff’s cognitive science perspective
• Brain differences between liberals and conservatives (magazine article)
• The origin of politics: an evolutionary theory of political behavior (academic article)
Trumps' victory and the neuroscience of rage (article)
Amygdala's role (article) - Hippocampus's role (article) - are these in disagreement?
• Authoritarianism (Wikipedia)
- How right-wing authoritarian is your mind? Not sure? Take the test
- The book (free) on authoritarianism (quoted by John Dean, former Nixon attorney)

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