Evan Sayet and Bill Whittle discuss Evan's new book, "The Kindergarden of Evil" (with lots of clever subtitles).
If you don't recognize Evan Sayet, he is the genius who spoke at the Heritage Foundation in 2007 and blew everyone out of their chairs with his indictment of liberals and liberal thinking. If you've never seen this video, do.
Sayet is witty and insightful on the motives behind liberalism. In my VERY humble opinion, his analysis misses one critical point - the moral framework behind what liberals believe. Yes, liberals believe that Pollyanna can be perfected and that there can be a world with no pain. But why do they even feel such a world would be "good."? This is critical because we think the way we feel. Yes, even conservatives. We like to believe we arrive at our conclusions purely from an intellectual viewpoint, but this isn't possible. Emotions are the basis for belief. Intellect is what guides our emotions toward constructive and wholesome beliefs. This connection between thinking and feeling is the framework for why we have morals. Morals help us organize social actions so that we can feel safe, cared for, connected to others, valued, and purposeful.
Dr. Jonathon Haidt of the University of Virginia has done some extremely interesting research into the moral constructs of all societies from the beginning of man's history to now. He found that all human societies are formed around six moral foundations.
When I first read his work in 2008, Dr. Haidt had identified only five categories and they were described slightly differently:
I will not go into the subtleties of his research and the breakdown of every category because the most interesting thing he discovered was there was a significant difference between people who self-identified as political liberals and, basically, everyone else.
They only used the first two moral pairs. Period.
The rejection of FOUR out of six moral foundations by the liberal leaves conservatives and liberals hopelessly unable to communicate and agree on moral "goodness." The conservative and the liberal simply aren't playing the same game with the same game pieces. We will never arrive at the same conclusion.Harm/Care
Fairness/Cheating (or earlier Reciprocity)
It is easy to understand and agree with the usefulness of the first two in building a society. Without harm/care and fairness/cheating even the most primitive society would be unable to create bonding, mating, and childrearing behaviors to insure survival. Dr. Haidt's research shows exactly this. Everyone, everywhere agrees with these first two imperatives.
Not only does everyone agree with these two, every AGE agrees with these two. Spend even an afternoon with a three year old and you will hear at least once, and probably several times, "That's not fair!" or, "You're being mean!"
It's the rejection of the next four that gets us into trouble. It is also telling that these are the moral ideas which increasingly demand that you set aside your instinctive selfishness and respond to the world around you in a more sophisticated and discriminating way. The remaining four must be exercised with wisdom and personal restraint. It is necessary to use judgment. They ask something of you, instead of simply providing something to you.
Liberty/Oppression - the liberal sees LIBERTY as causing oppression. One person's ability to act as he wishes, resulting in success or advancement, is seen by the liberal as OPPRESSION of another. Therefore, liberty is dangerous, resulting in inequality.
Loyalty/Betrayal - This is the "us vs them" idea. This combo used to be Ingroup/Loyalty which I believe is a better description. The liberal sees this pair as particularly dangerous because it can lead us to believe that our values are superior. The liberal believes that we create nation-states because of this moral foundation. Nation-states make war. Therefore, this moral foundation is goose-stepping us right into fascism.
Authority/Respect - QUESTION AUTHORITY. DON'T BELIEVE ANYONE OVER 30. These were the chants and the bumper stickers of every committed hippie in the 60's and the ideas have seeped into our culture since then. To the liberal, this foundation causes us to yield, Borg-like, to a dominate authority and therefore puts us at risk for totalitarianism. It also ties us to the past, and none of those old dead white guys got it right anyway because the world is still filled with outrage, injustice and pain, so what could we possibly learn from them? Dismissing wisdom for the lure of an unknown future is always the promise of every good little leftist. FORWARD!
Sanctity/Degradation - this one is vitally important for the liberal to attack. CELEBRATE DIVERSITY! the liberal screams. What he really means is CELEBRATE DEVIANCY! Blurring the line between what we feel to be right or wrong because it insures our very survival, like sexual behavior, is one of the most important tenets of the liberal philosophy. David Pizarro, Assistant Professor in Psychology at Cornell University, gives a talk on the strange politics of disgust.
See? You always knew hippies were disgusting. Well, SCIENCE! now proves it.
Given this fascinating research by Haidt, Pizarro, and Sayet's book, my conclusion is that liberals are little kids with dirty, filthy minds. They should be spanked and sent to bed.
Or maybe just made to do their chores.