What Conservatives and Liberals Fear

fingerwaggingDavid Pratt of Ecopundit writes:

Conservatives depend on external, authority-driven rules and ideologies. They’ve grown up asking the why questions. All children do. They’ve grown up breaking the rules, of course, because we all experiment with breaking the rules. That’s human. The real problem begins with what each of us does within our own history of rule-breaking and question-asking.

Conservatives repent and atone to the rules, and accede to the “reasons” given by authority. In so doing, they learn to define themselves as rule-followers belonging within the secure boundaries of the authority structure. The problem with this is that it creates a myopic moral duality. It causes them to be angry and condemning toward anything not status quo, while they are still impulsively drawn to whatever the rules have forced them to reject. Conservatives close ranks around the rules. They are deeply frustrated, agitated, and aggressive toward anything that reminds them of their repressed desires and uncertainties.[archetype: finger-wagging, portrayed above] They often live double lives of hidden “sinfulness” and aggression, while maintaining upstanding “clean” public images. They tend to enclose themselves in rule driven groups and experiences that will not remind them of their unresolved vulnerabilities and uncertainties. They feel unhinged and assaulted by liberal “fancy pants” ideas.

For liberal/progressives the rules are open to constant challenge and reevaluation. When we break the rules and see the problems, we have learned to seek change and self-correction without condemnation. [archetype: shrug, portrayed below] We’re expansive in our thinking, openness, and range of experience. We are also fearful of the thinly-restrained aggression of conservatives toward our more open beliefs and lifestyles. Today, in the U.S., with the “red states” moving toward old models of patriarchy, we are afraid. We are justifiably afraid. We can see that conservative certainty is breaking down the rules and laws that have been established to restrain them from (en masse) harming us.

shrugThis is a powerful reading of the psyches and fears of conservatives and liberals that are at once formed by our different Lakoffian ‘frames’ and help form those frames.

What is the evolutionary basis for these fears?

Is conservative aggressiveness what Hall calls the Alpha behaviour in times of adenaline-fired extreme stress: The manifestation of preparing for the culling of the weak, the self-sacrifice of the lower hierarchies in deference to the dominants, the eating of the young that allows a massively-overpopulated tribe of animals to bring its population into balance?

If this is the case, because of our separation from nature, and from our true natures, this normal balancing behaviour is manifesting itself in an utterly dysfunctional way. Neither liberals nor conservatives are playing their proper evolutionary role, taking their aggression out instead on the very nature it is designed to protect.

If this isn’t the explanation, there must be another one. Why would our natures, conservative and liberal, be pitting us against each other so fiercely and fearfully at exactly the time we most need to work together to save not only our own species, but the rest of the planet that now depends on our intelligent stewardship?

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5 Responses to What Conservatives and Liberals Fear

  1. girl in UK says:

    Thought provoking stuff. Thanks. Sadly the planet does depend on our stewardship and sadly I seriously doubt the intelligence what we provide currently.

  2. Michael says:

    Fascinating post Dave! Thanks.

  3. Dale Asberry says:

    I’m not so sure that conservatives display “alpha” behavior. Although I am unaware of hard research, I believe that in fact they are displaying Beta behavior. Conservativism and patriarchy are the utmost perversion of supplication. It would seem anti-selective for the _dominant_ males to do such things. On the other hand, beta males are strongly motivated to use violence/killing to supplant the alpha males’ social and genetic investments.However, our society is overrun with beta/supplication fractal patterns such that beta behavior is strongly preferred. [The following section comes from my posting at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/progstone/message/10797]The world is currently overpopulating because beta males are manipulating power through their majority numbers. Knowing the beta male tactics of using supplication, begging, and manipulation to gain sexual favor, the resulting dopamine hits get them into a drugged state which makes it easy to recognize other betas through microsync. Since beta males can now easily distinguish themselves, they group together and actively thwart the need for alphas (and mappers) to actually get things done. With alphas having been socially neutered, betas can proceed to using their accumulated resources to beg for sex. However, social neutering isn’t enough to guarantee mating rights for betas so they create social institutions like “religion” and “marriage” and couple extreme negative emotional and social consequences for those that stray from those confines. In a more natural primate sexual setting, alpha males will father 2/3rds of the group’s offspring. In modern human society, alpha males only represent 10% of the males that are now successfully producing offspring. What’s happened then is that beta success in reproduction has made humanity TOO successful at reproduction.On the female side of the picture, all women will optimize around securing resources to ensure the survival and success of their offspring. This in and of itself is not a problem. In a natural primate setting, alpha males _only_ secure the physical safety of the extended matriarchal family he has mated with (daughters and nieces of the previous generation’s highest ranking females). The gathering of food, water, and shelter and the rearing of offspring is almost exclusively performed by the females in the matriarchal extended family. In contrast, the western “nuclear” family is an artificial construct created by betas to disrupt matriarchal groups. By forcing females out of the communal, matriarchal group, women will suboptimize – out of fear that they will be denied resources to ensure success of their offspring – by marrying into beta male led families with the most resources (or potential to accumulate resources). The fear is exacerbated by the fact that almost all nuclear/patriarchal resources are passed to the sons. Women have since resorted to inserting themselves into the beta power structures to ensure that the courts, churches, etc., can use force (or the threat of force) to seize resources from the previous male while they secure the resources of the next male in line.All of these perversions build up to a crescendo of ridiculous self-fulfilling feedback loops of overconsumption.

  4. DP says:

    Dave,I’m honored to see my words here!My take on the whole situation is more psychosocial, I think. The problem appears to be more a hierarchy malfunction; a hierarchy training malfunction it seems.That is to say, the upper hierarchies (society’s upper mental functioning entities) are killed off first to free “conservative aggressiveness” to go to work in fully exploiting the lowers without restraint. It is the culling of the weak in the sense that honesty, integrity, and nonconformity are among the first human qualities to be suppressed and destroyed.As I’ve stated in the piece you posted, there’s a mental switch that’s been turned in the training of most conservatives. They’ve been shamed, guilted, humiliated, and otherwise isolated into compliance with authority. They’ve also learned the headiness of a bully’s victory, and the solace that can be felt in survival by trivialization of others and of nature. They’ve learned to love to hate in a sense.These are, for the most part, learned attitudes. Learned in childhood.

  5. Yves says:

    Yes! To me, here lies one of the most important issue that could well explain the current dead end of capitalism. How could infinite growth be sustain on the long run without having blind managers (mostly conservatives) that follow hierarchical rules? A chief-less and horizontal system might then be the best alternative for a true human, free and egalitarian society. Are we ready to get rid of our primal love towards censors (or politicians if you prefer)?

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