liberal vs conservative, left vs right... vs moderate

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Noal
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Re: liberal vs conservative, left vs right... vs moderate

Post by Noal » Fri Nov 02, 2018 6:47 pm

What is meant by the 'left'? in the United States? From Europe looking in it looks like centre-right and right. When Obama is referred to as 'the left' then you know the whole frame of reference has been pulled off the chart. When that happens, someone like Bernie Sanders seem like somebody way on the fringes. I'd say in most European countries, Bernie Sanders would be a centre left politician. His policies aren't even controversial. In the US he seems painted as some kind wild extreme leftist.

I imagine this almost as a sideways wheaton scale, but with the addition of an illuminated bit, and fog of war outside the illuminated frame. One step to the left of you is progressive, two steps is a raving mad communist. Beyond that lies fog of war. If you are looking left on that scale, within that fog of war might lie actual left proper, such as the various strands of anarchism. Swing the other way and it is the same effect. Every time you get someone pushing the frame it might expand in that direction. Some populist right wingers around the world would have been in the fog of war until recently.

PS, anyone using the term libertarianism as something to do with free markets and being pro capitalist should read a bit more about libertarianism and define it more narrowly

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prognastat
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Re: liberal vs conservative, left vs right... vs moderate

Post by prognastat » Fri Nov 02, 2018 7:24 pm

I assume much of the discussion in the forum will be from a US centric perspective as that is where many of the members live. It's of course going to change depending on your frame of reference.

I my experience Bernie Sanders is considered a kind of cooky extreme leftist by most conservatives. Most democrats wouldn't consider him a crazy far leftist. Most either think he is right, is too naive and that his ideas won't work, or a smaller minority thinks he isn't progressive enough. Generally politics in the US is more polarised and as such chances are right-wing news sources are going to call Bernie Sanders or someone espousing similar politics a communist and anyone advocating for clearly republican/conservative politics is going to be made out to be a Nazi in left-wing sources.

As for Libertarianism given that Libertarians have an actual political party in the US I'd say this influences what being a libertarian means in the context of the US it is still a pretty wide label as there are various branches of libertarianism that can disagree quite vehemently with one another. One could say the same about democrats not being left wing because in Sweden the democrats are actually a conservative party. Since politics differs from place to place it's all going to depend on the context though I would say this is becoming less so due to the globalising nature of the internet.

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BRUTE
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Re: liberal vs conservative, left vs right... vs moderate

Post by BRUTE » Sat Nov 03, 2018 2:40 am

C40 wrote:
Fri Nov 02, 2018 11:50 am
He's incapable of having a reasonable conversation relating to politics or religion unless the other person agrees with him at least 80%. When I ask him middle of the road, apolitical, honest questions, his natural response is to think I'm challenging him and conservatives and he jumps into combative 'red team' statements.
as a libertarian, this is every political discussion with 95% of humans. even moderate libertarian ideas ("no FDA", "no Fed") trigger immediate screaming and hate :D

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BRUTE
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Re: liberal vs conservative, left vs right... vs moderate

Post by BRUTE » Sat Nov 03, 2018 2:45 am

jacob wrote:
Fri Nov 02, 2018 12:45 pm
A person like this can hold multiple (at least 2) possibly contradictory ideologies in their head. They will not necessarily be able to resolve the contradiction within their own heads so to speak.
brute has heard multiple humans claim this as a sign of maturity or intelligence, but it still seems wrong. maybe ideas work differently for brute compared to how they work for humans, but all ideas brute hears are nearly immediately integrated into a mesh of all the existing ideas brute holds. conflicts are typically found immediately (unless they're really tricky) and either resolved or marked for further questions/investigation.

thus, brute can not actually hold contradictory ideas. do humans serially swap out their entire belief systems to achieve this? do they have disconnected islands of ideas, where each island can contradict another island without the conflict manifesting? or is it really only valuing two things against each other?

the mere idea of holding contradictory ideas at the same time, and actually understanding them fully, seems impossible to brute.

ThisDinosaur
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Re: liberal vs conservative, left vs right... vs moderate

Post by ThisDinosaur » Sat Nov 03, 2018 5:31 am

@brute
It's mostly like the islands thing for me. I make decisions as though one island of beliefs is correct. But, whenever possible, I leave myself room for the other island(s) in case I'm wrong. This reduces the risk of catastrophic failure of the belief system and its consequences.

It helps to remember that the bandwidth of the real world is far greater than the bandwidth and capacity of the human brain. Our worldviews are just proxy representations of reality. Sometimes conservatives are "right," sometimes liberals are, and sometimes it's the blind men and the elephant.

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Re: liberal vs conservative, left vs right... vs moderate

Post by jacob » Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:27 am

@brute - To be fair, many of those humans are probably just quoting Scott Fitzgerald. However, there is something to it.

For more detail, I highly recommend
https://www.amazon.com/Evolving-Self-Pr ... 674272315/
https://www.amazon.com/Over-Our-Heads-M ... 674445880/
... in that order.

I'll abuse a computer metaphor to describe the difference.

The majority of people use one type of computers, like a windows or a mac or a linux box. They identify themselves and operate accordingly by which computer we're talking about. Like this famous ad: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfv6Ah_MVJU ... They will be hard pressed to operate other types of computers, like "how does it work when you only have one mouse button?". Some programs can't be run on their computer and are therefore outright rejected as irrelevant because they're incompatible. However, they will be able to use their personal computer for most tasks. For the majority of people, this is enough. This is the first stage of adulthood. Kegan refers to this as level 3.

Then there's a large group of people who use two or more types of computers. Maybe they use a pc at work and a mac at home. They identify themselves, not as a pc or a mac, but as one who has a pc at work and a mac at home. Or a pc for office and a mac for fun. They recognize that both computers have different strengths in different areas and they're okay with that. They're also capable of picking one over the other if they had to, but they're really fine with multiple computers. This is the second stage of adulthood. Kegan refers to this as level 4.

Then there is a small group of people who connect and integrate different types of computers. Whereas the differences are compartmentalized or serialized above (because they can not be resolved), here they are integrated. This creates new functionality. Networking is the best example I can think of. Here connecting (integrating) two or more computers creates new functionality such as the internet or LAN parties. It is also realized that focusing on the integration changes the system. For example some computers might get bigger while others get smaller and so by hooking them together we end up with server+terminals rather than computer+computer. Or we get the modern variety of cloud+smartphones which changed the internet from high-information websites with tons of links to playskool hamburger menus---or was it the other way around? ;-) Most people can see this in retrospect, especially when it's pointed out to them, but very few can foresee what will happen. This is rare. Just look at IBM's strategic decisions over time :-P This is the third stage of adulthood. Kegan refers to this as level 5.

I'm sure this metaphor will fail because everybody is now familiar with computers and networks, but try to appreciate how hard this was to foresee before computers and the internet became widespread or just tell me what stage comes after the internet-metaphor using non-internet words. This is the state of human ideologies. There's no internet equivalent of ideologies that everybody is familiar with. While a large group can fluently use more than one operating system depending on what they're working on, the majority uses only one. Case in point: Very few were able to predict the election of Trump.

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BRUTE
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Re: liberal vs conservative, left vs right... vs moderate

Post by BRUTE » Sat Nov 03, 2018 12:06 pm

brute is not sure the metaphor holds. using different computers at different times does not seem inherently contradictory. believing that X is true and not-X is true at the same time seems a whole different animal.

the islands phenomenon sounds like cognitive dissonance. brute is unsure it's a positive or helpful condition.

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Re: liberal vs conservative, left vs right... vs moderate

Post by jacob » Sat Nov 03, 2018 12:41 pm

What I intended with the metaphor was to illustrate the difficulty in learning to think like a different person(*) (3->4); how one can be different persons at different times and places (4); and how humans can begin to understand how people relate to others based on the kind of relations others have with each other (4->5); and how this understanding begins to change one as a person (5).

(*) What you were talking about is the same person thinking about different things.

The islands/compartmentalization is a [simple] way to resolve the dissonance(*). At level 5, the dissonance has been integrated/solved in a complex way.

(*) Just like diversification is a simple way to deal with risk.

In terms of theories of mind, each new level requires an entirely new dimension to properly grok afterwhich many things become obvious in retrospect. Abbott's Flatland novel might be a better metaphor?

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Re: liberal vs conservative, left vs right... vs moderate

Post by Jason » Sat Nov 03, 2018 1:22 pm

The original argument of liberal vs. conservative was based on natural rights - not economics, not social policy, not religious belief etc. In its basic definition, being "liberal" meant you believed a government was required to protect your natural rights as opposed to fighting it out in a government-less "state of nature." Therefore, the founding fathers were considered "liberal" at the time because they felt that human beings required a government to protect their natural rights i.e. life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness (which is really commensurate to right of property, most significantly one's right to labor in order to secure physical property). They would most likely extend a basic social net but a very complex and involved system to protect individual property rights. That was all considered "liberal." But that was the extent of the contract - we give the government power in so far as it protects our natural rights.

Now the liberal/conservative dichotomy much like Democratic vs. Republicanism has shifted on its head as the power that people granted to the government in exchange for natural rights protection has been extended to other rights, specifically social (identity) and economic prosperity which were not even part of the original equation. It really didn't go too much farther than granting me protection from being killed as I worshipped God on my own property. The problem is that the basis of the argument has been unfortunately forgotten. And as much as people don't want to hear it, these "rights" that were extended protection were defined solely in the Western European tradition which provided parameters to the definition of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness which includes the establishment clause i.e. right to religious worship.

For anyone looking for a good and current read:

https://www.hillsdale.edu/event/confere ... -founding/
Last edited by Jason on Sat Nov 03, 2018 1:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ThisDinosaur
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Re: liberal vs conservative, left vs right... vs moderate

Post by ThisDinosaur » Sat Nov 03, 2018 1:29 pm

Cognitive dissonance is the label *you* give *someone else* when their perspective seems internally inconsistent from your POV. One possibility is this person is just ignorant/in denial/simple minded. Another possibility is that you misunderstand them. Yet another possibility is that *you* are ignorant about something relevant.

Maturity means you know some of your opinions are incorrect, but you cant know specifically which ones.

A good trial lawyer can argue both sides from the same evidence. This is because the real world is full of ambiguity.

Having compartmentalized island worldviews works as both (1) a hedge against your own biases and misinformation and (2) a way to communicate with others who have different perspectives.

Still haven't read Kegan, but I gather the next level up is recognizing, for example, the role liberals and conservative minded people [and their interactions] play in the larger system over time.

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Re: liberal vs conservative, left vs right... vs moderate

Post by daylen » Sat Nov 03, 2018 2:02 pm

I would say maturity is knowing which opinions could be wrong, knowing how those opinions could be wrong, and being able to make decisions that factor in the degree of possible error; in other words, maturity is having a well-defined epistemology (understanding of what is known/unknown).

I think the meaning of maturity largely overlaps with what we call common sense, plausible reasoning, or inferential statistics. The ability to make decisions based on incomplete information.

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BRUTE
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Re: liberal vs conservative, left vs right... vs moderate

Post by BRUTE » Sat Nov 03, 2018 4:55 pm

brute remains unconvinced

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Re: liberal vs conservative, left vs right... vs moderate

Post by Jason » Sun Nov 04, 2018 6:27 am

From my limited understanding, cognitive science is emphasizing the power of the "gut" over the brain. They are finding from a physiological understanding, decision making is primarily emotional. Based on political party rallies looking more and more like the evangelical camp meetings that they were originally modeled on, I can see the basis of the argument.

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BRUTE
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Re: liberal vs conservative, left vs right... vs moderate

Post by BRUTE » Sun Nov 04, 2018 3:37 pm

humans are still just primates. brute is surprised that any humans are surprised by this.

humans are almost never convinced by logical arguments, but by repetitive brainwashing - this is true even of the truthful and scientific views that most humans hold. how many humans really did replicate Da Vinci's feather/cannonball experiment? how many humans really checked that the earth is round? almost all of human knowledge is legend, some of the legends just happen to contain more truth than others.

thus, human reality is mostly social. this is powerful, but makes human societies susceptible to tribalism and tribal fragmentation.

all this leads brute to believe that conservatives were on to something with the whole "humans need SOMETHING to rally around" idea. maybe it doesn't even matter what that idea is - The American Dream, Friday night football, Christianity, anything. just some large tribal banner.

brute thinks the secret to America's success is that it had the most inclusive and malleable tribal identity of any modern nation state. to be an American means almost nothing except showing up (even very recently), working in some capacity, and WANTING to be an American. it's an aspirational tribal identity vs. a set-in-stone one. it is impossible to "become Japanese", even after living there for generations. humans effectively "become American" just about three hours after they set foot on US soil. sure, it's not 100% the same, voting rights and what not. but compared to any other national identity brute can think of, it's miles ahead in this sense.

this is why brute really likes the "country of immigrants" meme. it prevents a hardening or setting in stone or closing off of the tribal identity.

maybe the solution to this liberal vs. conservative culture war that's going on lies in finding or building a common tribal identity that all humans can reunite under. brute would certainly like that.

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Re: liberal vs conservative, left vs right... vs moderate

Post by prognastat » Mon Nov 05, 2018 12:40 pm

@BRUTE

I would say there's a lot I agree on with that. I think a big problem currently is that the left/right or democrat/conservative identity has grown apart so far that for many the primary identity they hold is no longer that they are American, but rather that they are a democrat or a republican and due to this they have become unbound from one another allowing the formation of a much stronger in/out-group dynamic between them. Of course this has been worse at times considering the US has even had a civil war, however I would say we aren't heading in the right direction currently on this front.

Tribalism isn't something we can ignore. It's something that's innate and although at times individuals can recognise it and the problems with it the species as a whole is very bad at this. In that sense the current degradation is more of a regression to the mean due to carelessness on our parts.

Although I'm not religious and think the loss of religion in ways has been a good thing, I also see that most people struggle without some kind of religious framework and when they lack it they seem to produce new ones as can be seen in the more extreme parts of the left at this time where progressivism has taken on some religious aspects.

I do hope a common identity can be formed, but I'm not sure what the way to this is. It seems both the current political and technological systems are leading us in the opposite direction. As both are increasingly reinforcing our innate tendencies towards tribalism and neither appear all that interested in fighting it.

There was a time where I thought The American Dream, Christianity etc were a mostly silly and somewhat harmful. However I now see that simply removing them and thinking it would have the same effect for others as it did for me was foolish. You don't know what the results are going to be and something is likely going to need to fill that void to avoid destruction of the system as a whole and if you remove it carelessly without a plan for what to do with that void it's going to be filled and possibly by something worse than what was there before. The question is can we go back? Do we want to? Or is the only way forward in which case we really need to come to an agreement on what will be replacing it rather than ignoring it and just seeing where the pieces fall.

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BRUTE
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Re: liberal vs conservative, left vs right... vs moderate

Post by BRUTE » Tue Nov 06, 2018 2:52 am

the best metaphor brute has heard: atheists tore down the church, and now humans are sitting in the rain.

going back is typically not an option.

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Re: liberal vs conservative, left vs right... vs moderate

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Nov 06, 2018 7:41 am

I think the liberal vs. conservative divide might often be better described as "global citizen" vs. "nationalist" divide. The "libertarian" vs. "conservative" divide might also often be better described as "individual" vs. "family/community" divide. The "green" vs. "liberal" divide might sometimes be better described as "regional" vs. "global" divide.

So, the reason why people of all these descriptions belong to this forum is that ERE is flexible, or generalized, enough to encompass many different models inclusive of many different boundary descriptions. For instance, I have often been struck by the fact that permaculture forums vary politically from this forum simply because most members have clear regional boundaries included in their model. For example, there are very few nomadic tech workers participating in permaculture forums and relatively fewer urban dwellers.

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Re: liberal vs conservative, left vs right... vs moderate

Post by jacob » Tue Nov 06, 2018 8:26 am

@7wb5 - Add "elitist" vs "populist" as well. In a multi-party system, these groups would all be their own party and government coalitions would be formed/reformed after the election. In a two-party system, the two parties somehow have to formulate a policy or pretend to formulate a policy that attracts these groupings. In the US you'd also need a grouping for "religious" vs "not religious".

I suspect a factor analysis of D and R would show that the parties have to divide---in an organic algorithmic fashion---all these groupings rather well.---Except they fail to capture all the points leaving enough for a Libertarian and a Green party.

Here's another sorting theory: https://www.economist.com/democracy-in- ... e-big-sort ... The "open to experience" is immediately recognizable as the big cities: Seattle, SF, LA, Denver, Austin, Miami, NY, and Boston, all of which a Democratic. It's a bit more complicated than the map indicates (so read the article). For example "agreeableness" translates into "compassion" on the left and "politeness" on the right.

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Re: liberal vs conservative, left vs right... vs moderate

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:08 am

@jacob:

Very interesting. I just got back from visiting my youngest sister who resides in NYC, because her personality type compelled her to make NYC her home. She is like a tiny version of me on speed. More of everything E-energy, extroversion, edge, etc. I actually ended up in a fight with her new native New Yorker 2nd generation Cuban PhD husband somehow based on the notion that the fact that I voted Green in a purple state two years ago means that I don't care if he ends up in prison during the second reign of Trump. The funniest part of the fight, according to my DS30 INTP who witnessed it, was the part where (because he does not know me very well) he threw out his PhD as evidence of righteousness. Unfortunately, because my son was in the room, and I wish to spare him psychotherapy expense, I was not able to throw out anything along the lines of "If only I had a nickel to donate to the Green party for every PhD I have literally f*cked under the table...

The purpose of the trip itself was somewhat politically suspect, since it was a 20 year overdue birthday present to my son to visit the east coast city north of NYC founded by his 10th great-grandfather in 1629, since genealogy was a topic that fascinated him when he was 10 years old. We discovered that the history associated with the founders of the community had almost entirely been disappeared in favor of the history associated with later, much larger, influx of immigrants during industrial era. We also visited the memorial to the grand-daughter of our 10th great-grandfather who was put to death in Salem during the witch trial era. Puritan on Puritan violence has never been pretty. However, the extant documents make clear that my direct ancestors* were not regarded as the most strictly Puritanical Puritans since my 10th great-grand-father was the owner of the first malt house where great frivolity frequently ensued, and he was once fined for gathering sticks on the Sabbath.

*Okay, technically at least 1/512 of my ancestors with assumption of no extramarital frivolity on the part of any of my multi-level grandmothers.

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Re: liberal vs conservative, left vs right... vs moderate

Post by prognastat » Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:42 am

@7W5

Don't you know voting third party is worse than voting for the other side? Can't have you opting out of the agreed upon system.

@Jacob

Although the divisions are there I would also say they are much more malleable than people tend to think. I mean just look at the current climate where just 2 presidents ago Democrats were calling out Bush Jr for being too tough on the Russians, yet now the Russians are the enemy to the Democrats simply because the narrative surrounding Trump. Same on illegal immigration where up to Obama they were very much pro legal and anti illegal. However Trump made being against illegal immigration a core part of his message and suddenly illegal immigration is great and we should abolish ICE. Though there are core tenets to the parties it seems much of it is up for grabs and is used more to differentiate you from the other side. Same can be said for the other side, I mean look at the religious and Trump. Trump has to be one of the worst candidates of all time for the religious yet because he is running as a Republican and many of the more devout religious tend to be Republican it's suddenly ok.

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