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Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Curing Conservative Mental Illness

Timothy Birdnow

This courtesy CCNET:

Roger Pielke Jr., 8 November 2011

Chris Mooney, the author and blogger who once alleged a Republican "war" on science, is going back to that well one more time with a new book. In it he "explores brain scans, polls, and psychology experiments to explain why conservatives today believe more wrong things."

Mooney writes:

"[T]here might be a combination of genes acting together that somehow predispose us to have particular politics, presumably through their role in influencing our brains and thus our personalities or social behaviors ..,"

Mooney promises to explain:

"[T]he real, scientific reasons why Republicans reject the widely accepted findings of mainstream science, economics, and history—as well as many undeniable policy facts."

Gee, with an understanding of the "real, scientific reasons" behind such a disability perhaps scientists might develop some sort of medicine or gene therapy for "Republicanism." The search for such a cure would not occur for political reasons of course, but for humanitarian reasons. The obvious mental impairments suffered by these misguided and genetically inferior people are of course not their fault, but perhaps aided by science we can help them.

In all seriousness, if you want to know something about the pathological politicization of science in the US, consider that Mooney (who holds a bachelor's degree in English, and is probably a swell guy) is on the Board of Directors of the prestigious American Geophysical Union and is frequently hired by the National Science Foundation to teach scientists how to communicate.

I wonder how well telling half the American populace that they are genetically/psychologically/mentally inferior will communicate?


This from Tim:

The Left has been using this old saw for a long, long time; I direct your attention here The Soviet Union frequently used the psikhushka or psychiatric hospital to break dissidents; the claim was that anybody who couldn't see the benefits of the glorious socialist revolution and who did not have some sort of priviledge to protect must be crazy.

According to the Wikipedia entry on Soviet abuse of psychiatry;

"Psychiatric diagnoses such as the diagnosis of "sluggish schizophrenia" in political dissidents in the USSR were used for political purposes.[55]:77 It was the diagnosis of "sluggish schizophrenia" that was most prominently used in cases of dissidents.[56] The leading critics implied that Snezhnevsky had designed the Soviet model of schizophrenia and this diagnosis to make political dissent into a mental disease.[57] According Robert van Voren, the political abuse of psychiatry in the USSR arose from the conception that people who opposed the Soviet regime were mentally sick since there was no other logical rationale why one would oppose the sociopolitical system considered the best in the world.[3] The diagnosis "sluggish schizophrenia," a longstanding concept further developed by the Moscow School of Psychiatry and particularly by its chief Andrei Snezhnevsky, furnished a very handy framework for explaining this behavior.[3] The weight of scholarly opinion holds that the psychiatrists who played the primary role in the development of this diagnostic concept were following directives from the Communist Party and the Soviet secret service, or KGB, and were well aware of the political uses to which it would be put. Nevertheless, for many Soviet psychiatrists "sluggish schizophrenia" appeared to be a logical explanation to apply to the behavior of critics of the regime who, in their opposition, seemed willing to jeopardize their happiness, family, and career for a reformist conviction or ideal that was so apparently divergent from the prevailing social and political orthodoxy."

End excerpt.

There is great merit for the Left in calling the other side insane. Remember, the fundamental underlying assumption in liberal thought has always been that Man is inherently good - and if that is so then those of good will MUST be liberals! Either that, or they must either have some personal benefit to gain, or be insane. Nobody could actually oppose their worldview sincerely without being insane or self-serving! And, of course, if they are insane, they must be treated medically.

Which is precisely why socialized medicine is so important to the advancement of the leftist agenda; if the medical profession is a government service then it is easy to suppress your enemies on medical grounds. Doctors could report "latent right wing tendencies" to the authorities as they might note latent schizophrenia. Efforts could be undertaken to suppress this dangerous malady before it metastasizes.

A few years back I wrote about a junk science study (which no doubt figures into Chris Mooney's book) which claimed that liberal brains are more flexible than those of conservatives.

This poorly conducted research by a group of political liberals illustrated that it is possible to manipulate science to say what one wants. But the point is it is intended to establish a medical distinction which lays the grounds for later suppression of conservatives.

Citing an earlier study from 2003 (which included a member of the later team) I quoted the press release;

"Four researchers who culled through 50 years of research literature about the psychology of conservatism report that at the core of political conservatism is the resistance to change and a tolerance for inequality, and that some of the common psychological factors linked to political conservatism include: Fear and aggression Dogmatism and intolerance of ambiguity Uncertainty avoidance Need for cognitive closure Terror management"

End excerpt.

If this is hardwired into the brain, if such bad things as resistance to change and tolerance for inequality and aggression Dogmatism are biologically driven would it not be incumbent upon medical science to find a cure? Why not use medicine to "cure" such a psychosis?

And given the increasing understanding of the human brain, the ability to "cure" conservatives becomes terrifying. It is fast becoming possible to medically circumvent free will, as I have discussed in an article which appeared at the now defunct American Daily Review. (See The Coming Slave Machine here also, you might want to check out this post

In point of fact, these possibilities have been understood by those coming out of the Left; consider the science used to shape individuals in Aldous Huxley's Brave New World.

And so efforts like those of Mooney will continue. Those who believe Man is a herd animal, or more accurately a swarm animal, will continue to attempt to paint those who want boundaries between the individual and the overlords of society as insane, in need of medicinal aid. They must do this, because no body ever found a way to compel people to THINK they way they want. Behavior can be coerced, but not thought. Neurobiology is starting to develop these techniques, and the liberal - ever tolerant as long as one adheres to their thinking - wants the ultimate tyranny, for our own good.

Who are really the sick ones?

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