Left pole intolerance
by José Azel
The cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker has coined the term “left pole” to describe the mythical place where the political left intellectually resides. While from the North Pole all directions go south, from the left pole any opinion not acceptable by leftist orthodoxy is intolerantly classified as a far-right policy. Pinker points out that on political issues all parties are convinced that they are right and that their opponents have repulsive ulterior motives.
President Obama could do nothing wrong. President Trump can’t do anything right; That’s American politics. In his book “The Blank Slate” , Dr. Pinker offers some insight into the phenomenon. Apparently, at least to some extent, liberal and conservative attitudes are inherited. I am not convinced of that statement. However, studies with identical twins separated at birth and bred in different environments reveal similar political attitudes when they are checked in adulthood.
The proposal does not allege that political attitudes are directly inherited by DNA factors. Rather, the genetic roots of political attitudes emerge from our temperaments. This can explain our political differences with our children or parents. In any case, when it comes to inherited attitudes, Dr. Pinker points out that, we react more emotionally, we are less willing to change our minds, and sympathize with those who think alike.
Political attitudes are based on different conceptions of human nature and society. The Marxist-collectivist school of thought sees society as “a cohesive organic entity where individual citizens are merely parties.” In the tradition of John Locke’s Social Contract “society is an arrangement negotiated by interested and rational individuals.”
If society were, as the left claims, the natural unity of the desired welfare, there would be no place for individual rights. This “identity policy” favors the group (let’s say the proletariat) about the individual. By putting the society on the individual, Marxists and collectivists dismisses the interests of the individual. The opposite political conception, “right-wing”, person-centred, was strongly articulated by Margaret Thatcher: “There is No such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families. ”
To understand how our left-right policy derives from our different conceptions of human nature, consider how our policies line up on unrelated issues. I borrowed from Professor Pinker’s list: If you favor powerful armed forces, you will probably also support judicial restriction on judicial activism. If you value the importance of religion, it’s probably tough on crime, and it’s a low tax. If you are against government intervention in the economy, you will tend to value patriotism and family.
It is more likely also that it is more pragmatic than idealistic, more critical than permissive, and more meritocratic than egalitarian. Note the political transmission between unrelated fields. Why do left or right beliefs group like this? Why, for example, are our defense positions linked to our views on jurisprudence, religion, crime or low taxes?
Apparently our policies tend to reflect our different conceptions of human nature by assigning different weight to conflicting goals such as egalitarianism or freedom. The left prefers to give some freedom for equality; The right sacrifices some equality for freedom. That’s our political exchange.
To prefer left-or right-wing policies, based on our different perceptions of human nature, leads some to prefer an economic system based on the impersonal market that produces superior results regardless of the virtues of their Participants. Others place their egalitarian hopes by investing with economic authority a “morally superior” leader. Historically, this has ended in totalitarian despots and mass murders.
Those in the intolerant left pole demonize the rest accusing them of having a greedy and predatory human nature. But as we learn about ourselves, we should revisit our traditional left-right alignments. Today we know that selfishness is a component of human nature, and that economic and politically competitive systems are more in line with that nature. Pinker cites partner-biologist E or Wilson, victim of left-pole attacks and world’s top expert on ants: Marxism, “Wonderful theory. Wrong species. ”
Posted in cubanet.com on April 23, 2019
“The opinions published here are the absolute responsibility of its author”
Dr. José Azel is currently dedicated to the in depth analyses of Cuba economic, social, and political state, with a keen interest in post Castro Cuba strategies as a Senior Scholar at the Institute for Cuban and Cuban American Studies (ICCAs) at the University of Miami and You have published extensively on Cuba related topics. Dr. Azel is author of Mañana in Cuba, The Legacy of Castroism and Transitional Challenges for Cuba, published in March 2010 and of Pedazos y vacios, a collection of poems he wrote as a young exile in the 1960s.
Dr Azel’s last book is “Freedom for newbies”
Dr Azel’s last book is “Freedom for newbies”