British and American children who are less intelligent are more likely to grow up to be conservative and/or bigots, according to new research published in Physiological Science. The research study, "Bright minds and dark attitudes", used data from two British studies that tested the intelligence of children born in 1958 and 1970 …
That's probably why only 6% of US scientists are Republicans.
First, define 'scientist'. If you include 'social scientists' in the mix, you'd definitely push things to the left. If you include engineers, the needle might well swing to the right.
If they are scientists as well as engineers...
...then they are scientists. If they are not scientists, they ain't. As for social scientists, I don't know whether they are included. Either way, 94% rejection of the Republicans suggests a strong dislike across science in general. I would expect life sciences people to be partly repelled by the pusilanimous unwillingness of some politicians to defend science against creationist fruit-loops.
So, what it all boils down to is...
...the sheeple read the headlines and maybe the first paragraph then "switch off", taking their views from the sensationalist part of the story designed to suck in you in and never get to very end of the story where the "small print" explains what they really meant to say, ie give some "balance" to the story so they can justify the racist/homophobic/sexist/whatever slant the publisher wanted to give when they come up in front of Leveson.
Please note. The above sentence was carefully crafted so as to not upset any sheeple who might stumble across it. The built-inattention span limiter should have them clicking onto facebook before they get to the end.
Well there's a surprise...
For people who find it surprising that supposed "left wingers" were racists and/or homophobes.
The society created by Stalin was not socialism. They talked about it a lot but it was very far from it. There were lots of workers who had few rights and there were a load of secret police and there was the chosen who commanded it all ruled by their beloved leader. That sounds pretty right wing to me.
Marx was the product of his times and although he had plenty of left wing in him, he was a pretty standard european of his day with all the social attitudes that this landed him with.
Anyway, who says that conservatives are all right wing anyway? The word just implies someone who is against change. If someone's society was full blown socialism with fair distribution of resources and with education, welfare etc freely available, then the people who wanted to keep it that way would be both conservative and left wing
If I May
Not right wing.
Right/ left wing in this comparison is generally used in the economic sense. Stalin was an extreme left winger, being a communist. Forced collectivisation was the unfortunate outcome of his beliefs.
Do Stalin's social policies agree with others you might care to call left wing? Probably not, but that's really a different issue.
@ Spanners & David Dawson
Spanners: "The society created by Stalin was not socialism."
David Dawson: "Do Stalin's social policies agree with others you might care to call left wing? Probably not, but that's really a different issue."
Not only was there was almost no left-wing criticism of either Stalin until Khrushchev speech, the lack of criticism of Bolshevism/Communism began with the so-called October Revolution and the overthrow of the Provisional Government, the loss of all civil liberties, the war against the peasants (Tambov Rebellion etc), the outlawing of the opposition, collectivization, the man-made famine in the Ukraine, the show trials, the 2 pacts with Hitler and subsequent destruction of Poland, the deportation of complete ethnic groups to remote areas involving extremely high death-rates, the war with Finland.... All of these things, and many many more, were either rationalized and explained away, or their existence was completely denied - for the sake of supporting socialism in the Soviet Union.
It's easy to say that it "wasn't socialism" now that Stalin is dead (although Stalinism lives), and the Soviet Union has disintegrated. Nevertheless, the Soviet Union in all periods of its existence was accepted as a legitimate and acceptable form of socialism/communism by the vast majority of leftists. Jay Lovestone was an almost unique phenomenon, and even the Trotskyists could not really go any farther than saying that Stalinism was a "distorted" form of socialism. (I.e. if given power, they could fix it, although a familiarity with Trotsky's writings will show that he was as bloodthirsty and intolerant as Stalin.)
@Spanners RE:"Anyway, who says that conservatives are all right wing anyway?"
Indeed. Social conservatives and their mirror image social libertarians are found on both the left and the right in various guises.
As much as I might agree with other points you make, there's this:
> Stalin was an extreme left winger, being a communist.
Stalin was not a communist, not more that Hitler was a socialist. Stalin hijacked power for himself, under the guise of whatever was fancy at the time where he was. Stalin was actually pretty clearly fascist. He spent most of his time exterminating the real communists. Same as how Hitler gained traction under the guise of socialism ( NaZi= National Socialism) to actually push the exact opposite ideology.
TL, DR for the conservatives: Stalin was not a communist. Quite the opposite, in fact.
> It's easy to say that it "wasn't socialism" now that Stalin is dead
What the fuck? Thousands of people -communists, socialists whatever- gave their life to make that very point while Stalin was alive. Please crawl back under your bridge.
PS; @ Turtle
> and even the Trotskyists could not really go any farther than saying that Stalinism was a "distorted" form of socialism. (I.e. if given power, they could fix it, although a familiarity with Trotsky's writings will show that he was as bloodthirsty and intolerant as Stalin.)
Just so that you know, trotkyists were always Stalin's worst enemies. Trotsky's son was assassinated in Paris by a fake surgeon by Stalin's order. You are full of shit, to the rim.
"accepted as a legitimate and acceptable form of socialism/communism by the vast majority of leftists." That didn't make them correct. A million flies etc.
"the Soviet Union in all periods of its existence was accepted as a legitimate and acceptable form of socialism/communism by the vast majority of leftists"
What is 'legitimate' supposed to mean here? That the Soviet communist party was in power was undeniable. Very few people were ever Communists in the UK and most 'leftists' (including George Orwell) consistently opposed Soviet communism.
RE: @David Dawson
"....Stalin was not a communist...." Erm, yes he was! In fact, he's the perfect example of Communism - the taking away of power from the people and concentrating it in the hands of one group becuase they will - supposedly - do a better job than either an elected government or traditional monarchies. The core of communism is that a central group will make unbiased decisiosn for the betterment of all, removing inequality. Lefties like to say people like Stalin and Pol Pot weren't "left" or weren't "communists", simply because they're now seen as bad, but the reality is they expose the fundamental flaw of Communism - an unquestioning trust in people doing good for others when people are actually just people, given to greed and other nastiness.
Democracy is flawed, but it works because it takes into consideration the idea that people are not perfect and will not necessarily do what they promise. In fact, you could say that democracy works because it was designed to remove the incompetent from power if they got there. If the poeple don't like the government they elected, they can vote them out. With communism, once the bad apples get to the top you are screwed, there is no means to remove them. And all Communist governments seem to have promoted bad apples to positions where they could play the system to take advantage of the people. Simply claiming the bad apples "weren't lefties/communists" is simply reiterating the misplaced trust that allows communism to fail so glaringly.
Now there's a standard Ministry of Truth attitude:
because the new political doctrine says the Trotkysists were Stalin's worst enemies, they must always have been his worst enemies. History says otherwise. History says they worked together so long as they were both out of power, supported each other, and only fell on one another AFTER their combined forces rose to power, with Stalin winning because of the two communist evils, he was the worse.
apples and oranges
Communism compares to capitalism. Democracy compares to dictatorship. Communism does not compare to democracy. You can have communist democracies and you can have capitalist disctatorships.
Communism does not mean a group of leaders deciding what everyone does. Even in Stalin's harsh version, the party was just a temporary situation meant to lead one day to true full blown communism, or at least he paid lip service to the theory.
Communist countries do elect representatives in a democratic fashion, it's just that they must all be from the communist party. Meanwhile in the USA, instead of 1 you get 2 parties to choose from, how much better is that? ;-) You have the Republican and the Democratic wings of the corporatist party eating each other's tails, could you imagine nationalizing and then privatising everything every 4 years??
RE: apples and oranges
"......You can have communist democracies...." Please name one. Go on, just for fun. At best, you could point to minority Communist parties in some European countries like Italy, but the truth is they only conform to the democratic model because they have to, they have such little support. In fact, even the Italians have ditched their Communist party (the PCI) and started relabelling themselves "socialists".
"....Communist countries do elect representatives in a democratic fashion, it's just that they must all be from the communist party...." Yes, it's called a "one-party" system, the complete opposite of democracy.
".....Meanwhile in the USA, instead of 1 you get 2 parties to choose from, how much better is that?...." Maths is obviously not your strong point, 2 > 1. And if you don't like either you can not vote or support an independent. WIth Communism you have no choice, indeed not agreeing with "the state" is usually going to mean prison time (if you're lucky).
"....could you imagine nationalizing and then privatising everything every 4 years??" It's nice at least having the choice. If you didn't notice, the Berlin Wall fell because the people in the Communist countries got tired of not having choices. In fact, Communism has a pretty poor record of success anywhere, even ignoring the tyranical dictators it seems to produce.
still with the capitalism === democracy
"Please name one." Maybe I could if the leader of the free world hadn't been so bloodthirstily burning down villages around the world in order to save them.
"Yes, it's called a "one-party" system, the complete opposite of democracy." It's different than pluralistic democracy, but it is not the opposite of democracy. In the opposite of democracy the king appoints governors and doesn't even bother pretending to let common people vote.
"WIth Communism you have no choice, indeed not agreeing with "the state" is usually going to mean prison time (if you're lucky)." The USA has more people in prison than any other country. Explain how the House Un-American Activities Committee fits into your worldview of communism = dictatorship and capitalism = freedom to vote for who you choose.
"If you didn't notice, the Berlin Wall fell because the people in the Communist countries got tired of not having choices." It might have also had something to do with the USSR bankrupting itself trying to maintain some semblance of competitiveness with the totally insane level of mililtary spending in the USA. Do you think history will be as kind in describing the fall of the USA-Mexico wall, where the misery and death is an order of magnitude higher?
I won't mention my opinion of your strong points, or lack of them.
RE: still with the capitalism === democracy, part 1
"......Maybe I could if the leader of the free world hadn't been so bloodthirstily burning down villages...." No, you couldn't and the rest is just the usual evasions. Consider Viet Nam, supposedly a successful Communist people's government overthrowing a tyranical, US-supported regime. Fast forward twenty years (around 1996, IIRC) and they had already started shifting to a capitalist model, eventually joining the WTO in 2007, whilst denying their people the full democratic process. That's even more ironic given that the Communists' excuse for starting their long war against South Viet Nam was that national elections had not been held in 1956.
RE: still with the capitalism === democracy - part 2
"....It's different than pluralistic democracy, but it is not the opposite of democracy...." No, it is completely different and opposite. One-party rule is not democracy in any form, and only the deluded would pretend otherwise.
"....The USA has more people in prison than any other country...." More evasion, that has nothing to do with the point in hand, it just exposes your knee-jerk and spoonfed anti-Yank ideals.
"....Explain how the House Un-American Activities Committee...." You mean the long-abolished committee? Reagrdless of how that is an even bigger evasion piece, did you ever stop to understand that Communism in the States was exactly the same as that elsewhere in the period - anti-democratic and determined to impose one-party rule. By the definitions of the US Constitution, the Communist ideal was "un-American" as it was anti-religion (therefore against the right to freedom of religion as in the First Amendment) and anti-democratic (not giving the right to vote to anyone but Communist Party members, a standard Communist ploy, is directly opposed to the right to vote in the Consitution).
".....It might have also had something to do with the USSR bankrupting itself ...." EXACTLY! Communism failed BECAUSE it couldn't compete, it was a failure on a massive scale. Yet you then try defending it? Please, go ask an adult if you can borrow a clue.
".....I won't mention my opinion of your strong points...." I'm guessing that's because you've run out spoonfed trash to repeat. Epic fail, both scholastic and in any form of real-World experience.
"Just so that you know, trotkyists were always Stalin's worst enemies. Trotsky's son was assassinated in Paris by a fake surgeon by Stalin's order. You are full of shit, to the rim."
What you need to do, is to learn to read. Or perhaps I need to simplify my syntax so it fits more readily within the grasp the ignorant and uneducated. Can you get someone to translate my posts into a simpler and more basic form of English?
In spite of how much Stalin hated Trotsky, and in spite of how much contempt Trotsky had for Stalin, Trotsky *never* came out and condemned the Soviet Union, because for most of his life abroad he was deluded enough to think that he wielded some sort of influence in the Soviet Union, and would eventually be able to return and take power.
(Just so you know, and just so we're clear, then "Stalinism" is a form of totalitarian that is NOT dependent on Stalin himself being the supreme ruler. There have been other regimes described as Stalinist in other countries, with other supreme leaders. )
But then, if you think that Trotsky's opinion of the Soviet Union was identical with his opinion of Stalin, or that, despising Stalin he was therefore compelled to hate the Soviet Union, or that he had to be against Stalinism (i.e. political oppression, regimentation of all phases and areas of life and the permeation of society by informers etc etc etc - whether or not Stalin himself was the "emperor"), because he despised Stalin, then your ability to understand Trotsky is just like your ability to understand written English.
But please, do ask someone to translate this into a form that you can understand.
@Anonymous Coward Saturday 4th February 2012 11:07 GMT
"What is 'legitimate' supposed to mean here? That the Soviet communist party was in power was undeniable. Very few people were ever Communists in the UK and most 'leftists' (including George Orwell) consistently opposed Soviet communism."
It means just what I said: all unflattering features were either explained away or denied because of an underlying assumption which was always, if I can paraphrase, that, if the right person took control, a paradise would be built and heaven would ensue. Or, to put it another way, the assumption was that the same power that could send many tens of millions to their deaths in the gulag and in the cellars of the NKVD and cause additional millions of deaths by famine, could also, if wisely used by a wise leader, bring about universal human happiness.
Also, to posit George Orwell as some sort of typical leftist is a gross distortion of reality. Trash like Harold Laski or Hewlett Johnson the Red Dean of Canterbury would be more representative of the left; Orwell was never like that.
Words, words, words.
If this study judged racism based on written or verbal responses to questions, then its value is roughly zero. It has *nothing* to do with how a person fills out a questionnaire - it is a question of actual behavior. I have known any number of left- and far-left leaning individuals who have been profoundly racist, ethnocentric, anti-semitic, homophobic, etc etc yet considered themselves completely free of biases, bigotries, prejudices, and any form of chauvinism. They knew how to answer questions in a "non-discriminatory" manner - and not only are they capable of hiding their narrow-mindedness from themselves, they would have no trouble hiding it when filling out a questionnaire. Oftentimes it is barely hidden. I once had a person tell me how much he hates racism... and in the next breath he tells me he doesn't like a particular, relatively small Asian ethnicity. Ditto two very left-leaning sisters who, it turned out, both had an assortment of groups of people (gays, a variety of ethnic groups) that they disliked. This stuff would *never* have come out on a questionnaire, but it was there, scarcely hidden. Well, why belabor the subject, really? Anyone who doesn't know people like that, doesn't know people.
Would it be too difficult to think that the professor who conducted this study most likely thought it up in order to reach exactly the conclusions which he did reach? How does someone like that get tenure the first place? Could he have gotten tenure because the people who granted him tenure knew that he could be relied on to conduct studies that would reach the necessary conclusions? Would anyone be surprised if that were so?
left wing bigots are smarter than right wing ones.
bigotries cancel out, leaving smart lefties and stupid righties.
i can live with that.
Or, as I prefer Naughtyhorse ...
Wingnuts are wingnuts, left, right, and any other axis you can imagine.
Irrelevance is an art you quite evidently master. Congratulations.
(IF you really have to ask, THEN you're part of the statistics)
Mostly I do agree with you. But "Would it be too difficult to think that the professor who conducted this study most likely thought it up in order to reach exactly the conclusions which he did reach?", though a valid point, is also reminiscent of the typically Conservative (up to and including the Blair years) habit of trying to muzzle BBC news as biased, when every time all it has been doing is reporting various infamous policy decisions etc. People who take a politically neutral stance look 'Left' to Right-wing reactionaries, when all they are are normal people. BBC News is or was Left-leaning the same way Clarkson said strkers/protesters should be killed. The vast majority of true left wingers - if that's what we ever were - get more right wing as we get older. Possibly that is because our intellect degrades with age. Whatever, these are not just valid areas of investigation, they are essential when you look at the truly horric history of the human race, after which it looks very unwise to take the position that we (in the developed world anyway) have outgrown it. You can't not ask certain questions for fear of offending people of a particular ideological bent.
Like somebody said earlier "Facts have a liberal bias". Attacking the messenger (eg: the BBC) is just a substitute for being able to wish away the facts.
"The vast majority of true left wingers - if that's what we ever were - get more right wing as we get older."
I don't know whether this is true, but it's easily explained. As left wingers get older their income and wealth tends to grow. They start to realise how personal wealth is created and and suddenly, distributing their own, hard-earned money to others doesn't look like such a great idea anymore.
When you compare the political attitude of young people in countries with a dual educational system, you will find that those being on the track of vocational training tend to be more right wing while those in academics tend to be more the the left. It is not wrong to say that the more intelligent people are more likely to attend university while the others are rather starting an apprenticeship. This does also support the study in the article.
But you can think of it in different terms. When you don't have a noteworthy income into your late twenties, basically living on your parents money or scholarships and benefiting from a mostly state sponsered academic education, it is rather easy to speak in favour of socialist ideas like redistribution of income and wealth. On the other hand, when you start to earn your own money with the age of about 16 you will probably be a bit more sceptical about trends to take your money away and pass it on to someone else.
No - I work in software so most of the money in my business comes from the government taking money of people and giving it to me so I get more left wing as I get richer - I LOVE tax.
That does make sense actually.
"Smart people do not admit to being racists" seems a pretty fair conclusion to draw from this.
You are correct that the design of a survey can influence the result. A part of an answer to that is to ask the same question in different ways. A check on the possibility of bias is to publish, as part of a research paper, the questions which were asked.
In light of that, your assertion goes beyond doubt into denial. Your assumption that the researchers are biased liars is no better than an unquestioning belief that this report accurately presents the results.
The Social Sciences, done right, can employ powerful mathematical tools. The surveys can be repeated, so as to test the original results. Give a social scientist a thousand orphans, a hedge maze and enough cheese...
We distrust them, and yet so many of us are suckers for politicians.
And by rewording the questions they make this a trap the intelligent are less likely to fall into. A classic problem with tests such as these which attempt to chart anything against intelligence is that the intelligent are more resistant to the tricks used to balance them.
This is why I speciry _true_ left wingers. That really is the only answer necessary. You could have it that all people are self-serving and that the difference is that so-called left wingers either don't consider the long-term consequences of their position, or are just posing, whereas right-wingers are simply matter-of-fact about it from day one. But there are far too many examples throughout history of those who put the welfare of others before their own.
Personally I have never beiieved in redistribution of wealth (although confiscation of stolen assets is another matter) because I believe in free enterprise, because it is the hopes and aspirations of free and creative people that drive social evolution. What is required is sufficient, universal education, that the majority of people grow into well-rounded individuals, not ones who, say, have truck with multi-million pound bonuses - whether earned or not. There are a very great many people who would not allow multitudes to go hungry while they themselves hoard personal fortunes in the multi-millions. There are people who die for others.
What left and right wing really mean, as opposed to what it is reduced to in the ideological talking shops, is much the same as what probably most of us here know in our hearts to be Justice as opposed to what it says in the Law books. The same way Human Rights are not something that can be granted or taken away.
True left wingers put the needs of others before their own. It comes down to not what you say, but what you do; not why you do it, but the sum effect on the world of your own brief time in it.
I think you are mixing up two different things, the left-right and altruism-egoism axes.
First, what is a true left winger (or righty, for that matter)? On the left-right axis you could consider the extreme left as 100% taxation and the extreme right as 0 taxation. Luckily, none of these extremes exist in the civilised world. This is in line with your definition of the true left winger who puts the need of others before his own. In other words all income (and wealth) belongs to the state and the individuals benefit from what the state thinks they need.
This has, however, nothing to do with rich people willing to use their wealth to help the poor. If they had been true lefties in a lefty world they would have never ever had the opportunity to become rich and able to feed the hungry - this is altruism (now, we could also argue whether true altruism exists...) and independent of a left or right attitude, think of it as a different dimension.
I've yet to meet a "true lefty" who contributes to the general public, i.e. who pays taxes and is not just a muddlehead living on benefits. Likewise, I haven't seen a mentally healty person who believes the only sensible tax rate to be 0%.
@Ken Snorker 24-7
"Mostly I do agree with you. But 'Would it be too difficult to think that the professor who conducted this study most likely thought it up in order to reach exactly the conclusions which he did reach?', though a valid point, is also reminiscent of the typically Conservative".
First, it's not a "point". It is a question. And it's a good question. A question as good, in fact, as the survey itself seems to be bad. And the worse the survey is, the more it is worthwhile to ask why.
Secondly, if you want to equate "valid point" and "typically Conservative" you can do so.
"The vast majority of true left wingers - if that's what we ever were - get more right wing as we get older. Possibly that is because our intellect degrades with age."
Out of curiosity, would I be correct in assuming that it is you who decides who is a "true" left-winger and who is just a poser? if so, I wonder how you ended up with this grave responsibility.
As for "intellect degrading with age" this is just a stupid and discriminatory statement. (Leaving aside pathological and physically-caused examples, such as Alzheimer's in an 80 year old man.)
It's all the fault of the Mail and the Sun
Only stupid people read those rags.
And only stupid people down-vote someone for a tongue in cheek finger point at stupid people. Confused?... I am...but then I am stupid,
Surprise surprise ...
Dimwits are easily led. The easily led are more likely to be exploited by less-than-ideal political ideologies. Whoda thunk?
In my day we called this common sense. Oh, and, we have enough history to show this true. To live in ignorance of the past is to remain a child forever.
Yes, good point.
Just look at bible belt America and their stinking-rich TV Evangelists. And I never heard of a left wing Creationist.
Left Wing Creationists?
Most church goers in Europe would seem left wing to people from the USA. Some of them are creationists
"To live in ignorance of the past is to remain a child forever."
Where do we sign up for that? :-)
How stupid do you have to have been ?
How stupid do you have to have been to be a Lib Dem coalition supporter now?
Remind us again...
...of the days of the Lib Dem coalition. I seem to have missed that part of history.
I, for one . . .
. . . expect a series of well-considered and reasonable responses to this article.
AGAIN an ANTI-AMERICAN VALUES study that SEEKS TO DESTROY AMERICA publishe by people who HATE FREEDOM. Again, it comes from COMMUNIST researchers with DEGREES. These guys are not like me and you, they are COMMIES and want to DESTROY THE WORLD. Proof is, they have DEGREES!
ha ha ha!
ha ha ha!
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