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On the one hand and on the other....Differing views on the origins of conservative an

Moonbeam

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In looking at the psychological claims made by different folk on the origins of liberal and consertavive thinking I have found the following to sum up succintly a couple of the major recent claims:
 
I think we can boil down the one hand with:
 
a set of neuroses rooted in "fear and aggression, dogmatism and the intolerance of ambiguity"."
 
and on the other with:
 
creating and reinforcing perceptions of victimization;
satisfying infantile claims to entitlement, indulgence and compensation;
augmenting primitive feelings of envy;
rejecting the sovereignty of the individual, subordinating him to the will of the government.
........
 
Can you tell which is which?
 
Are these stereotypes accurate and if so why?
 
How, for example would being fearful and agressive be different than having an infintile claim of entitlement, for example that the world be as you wish it to be, or, for that matter envy?
 
And why do we not come to the conclusion that both conservatives and liberals are mentally ill?
Do you prefer one form of psychosis over another?
 

Inspire

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Aug 2, 2001
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Yeah, the first is conservatism, the second, liberalism. I feel these are stereotypes, and I feel you have accurately represented the stereotypes. Whether they are accurate themselves is kind of a weird question - they're stereotypes. They're more general determinations than anything else.

How fear and aggresion relate to entitlement and envy - I don't necessarily feel that one is intrinsically better than the other, but I do feel that fear and aggression are more base feelings, and that they are more associated with action than entitlement and envy.

I don't come to the the conclusion that liberals and conservatives are mentally ill. I come to the conclusion that extremists are crazy. I think that's just too broad of a brush to paint with, mb. If however, I had to pick a form of 'psychosis', I'd pick conservative. I prefer action, but that's just my disposition.
 

Moonbeam

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Inspire: Yeah, the first is conservatism, the second, liberalism. I feel these are stereotypes, and I feel you have accurately represented the stereotypes. Whether they are accurate themselves is kind of a weird question - they're stereotypes. They're more general determinations than anything else.

M: The fact that you easily identified which was what tells us, I think, that there is truth in the stereotype, that some underlying truths apply, no? We want to be careful not to always assume those truth about any one particular case, but that they have broad applicibility, I think

I: How fear and aggresion relate to entitlement and envy - I don't necessarily feel that one is intrinsically better than the other, but I do feel that fear and aggression are more base feelings, and that they are more associated with action than entitlement and envy.

M: I think both fear and agression and entitlement and envy would all be undesireable traits, none of them worth having as the better and I think that fear is not an emotion, but rather the constriction of all emotion alltogether, a state empty of feeling, empty of all live, and thus the terror. It is what happens when feelings start to come up that are powerfully repressed and fear is the suffering we feel when we try to re-repress them. Fear is what happens when we are forced to become conscious, or are threatened by something that can make us remember what we have hidden. Agression is what we do to repress, go into attack mode and react. It is action, but it is unconsciously driven. One can't help react because of the fear.

Envy and entitlement, I think, are reactions we have to not being alive, being in a general state of unawareness of our fears, with nothing happening to threaten us. It is a general state of being dead or numb.

I: I don't come to the the conclusion that liberals and conservatives are mentally ill. I come to the conclusion that extremists are crazy. I think that's just too broad of a brush to paint with, mb.

M: In both the study and the book, the other side was called either neurotic or crazy, so mentally ill works for me.

I: If however, I had to pick a form of 'psychosis', I'd pick conservative. I prefer action, but that's just my disposition.

M: As I mentioned, reaction is a form of unconscious action. I would not prefer it any more, say, than a liveral's willingness to tax me to give to somebody who doesn't want to help themselves. Both are actions, foolish ones, no?
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
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Those can go either way IMO. Conservative/Liberal is better described in terms of Preserve/Change rather than the terms used in the OP. Certainly both Cons/Libs like to use the terms used in the OP, but depending on the Issue it's hard to really pinpoint Con/Lib simply by the attitude people take toward the Issue.

Take "Entitlements" for eg. Cons like to label Libs with the term, but that's regarding the Issues surrounding the Poor or those requiring Assistance due to low Economic position in Society. However, if you change the Issue to Executive Pay, suddenly the Cons take an "Entitlement" position regarding the Issue. The Libs don't really label it as such, though at times they suggest it, but for all practical purposes that's what it is.

Take any of the other things in the OP and they also show up on both sides. Victimization is another example, it's hard to find a Con talking head these days that seems to be the biggest(no puns intended :D) Victim on the Planet. On the other side, there are certainly Dogmatic tendencies amongst Libs, I just think they just are not that prominent amongst the movement, but they are there and could come to the fore at any time.
 

piasabird

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Feb 6, 2002
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Conservatism and Liberalism are not stereotypes, they are philosophies. People may argue exactly what Liberalism is or what conservatism is. Simalarly, religion is also based in Philosophy and faith in something bigger than the individual. Admitting and realizing that a person is not the center of the universe and that people are part of a bigger whole is part of the mental growing process. People approach things in different ways.

Do not confuse Liberalism for Democrats or Conservatism for republicans. It use to be that being liberal meant that your cared about and respected people and you wanted to help them. I look at the democratic party and it looks so radical that all I see is hatred and power hungry people that are elitists. On the other hand I see other things just as wrong with the republican party. How the Republicans became such bloodthirsty war-mongers I will never understand either.

I see nothing in washington that I can support or feel good about. This country does best when the government does nothing. This is from a book written by Glen Beck. How did Glen Beck become one of the smartest men in the Media?
 
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LunarRay

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IF belief is knowledge when the belief is correct and the believer had a justification for such belief... It seems rational to adopt the beliefs of the charismatic leaders that the person finds charismatic. It flows both ways in the Liberal/Conservative debate you proffer. Who among us claim a label worn by someone we are repulsed by?
I think we are driven by what we find espoused by our leaders. IF the Liberal leaders adopted a Conservative notion the liberal followers would support that and probably the Conservative folks would now reject it.
I think it is about which faction adopts what first. People like to follow. It is easy! People like to be seen in concert with folks they admire. Especially the religious leaders... a religious person will cling to that religious leader's opinions on the entire spectrum of thought and that spectrum's belief becomes as right as the Religion spouted by that leader.
It started back when more than one person existed who had an opinion. It uses the tools necessary to achieve what ever objective is afoot. It don't much matter if the behavior is neurotic or rational what matters is what the folk believe and without question both sides have justification and the 'Right' of the matter goes to both sides as well.... What is Right? Who can decide that? God? Obama? Mother Theresa? ... Right is what you believe...
 

Moonbeam

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sandorski: Those can go either way IMO. Conservative/Liberal is better described in terms of Preserve/Change rather than the terms used in the OP.

M: I would agree that P/C are also typical descriptions of conservatives and liberals but perhaps not hot button type differences. We all know or should know, I think that we change things that aren't so good and keep things that are good the way they are, that change has a moral purpose, not change for the sake of change.

S: Certainly both Cons/Libs like to use the terms used in the OP, but depending on the Issue it's hard to really pinpoint Con/Lib simply by the attitude people take toward the Issue.

Take "Entitlements" for eg. Cons like to label Libs with the term, but that's regarding the Issues surrounding the Poor or those requiring Assistance due to low Economic position in Society. However, if you change the Issue to Executive Pay, suddenly the Cons take an "Entitlement" position regarding the Issue. The Libs don't really label it as such, though at times they suggest it, but for all practical purposes that's what it is.

M: Yes, it is a matter, perhaps of the stereotype itself. Naturally conservatives are not going to go around and esouse handouts to the rich although they support just that in practice.

s: Take any of the other things in the OP and they also show up on both sides. Victimization is another example, it's hard to find a Con talking head these days that seems to be the biggest(no puns intended :D) Victim on the Planet. On the other side, there are certainly Dogmatic tendencies amongst Libs, I just think they just are not that prominent amongst the movement, but they are there and could come to the fore at any time.

M: Not sure what you mean with the con victim stuff, but liberals can obviously be dogmatic. I think the general principle is that liberals are for underdogs and conservatives for the privilaged.


PS: For some reason this fuse talk thingi is buggy. I can't highlight text and other stuff and I can type faster than it will print.
 

sandorski

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Oct 10, 1999
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sandorski: Those can go either way IMO. Conservative/Liberal is better described in terms of Preserve/Change rather than the terms used in the OP.

M: I would agree that P/C are also typical descriptions of conservatives and liberals but perhaps not hot button type differences. We all know or should know, I think that we change things that aren't so good and keep things that are good the way they are, that change has a moral purpose, not change for the sake of change.

S: Certainly both Cons/Libs like to use the terms used in the OP, but depending on the Issue it's hard to really pinpoint Con/Lib simply by the attitude people take toward the Issue.

Take "Entitlements" for eg. Cons like to label Libs with the term, but that's regarding the Issues surrounding the Poor or those requiring Assistance due to low Economic position in Society. However, if you change the Issue to Executive Pay, suddenly the Cons take an "Entitlement" position regarding the Issue. The Libs don't really label it as such, though at times they suggest it, but for all practical purposes that's what it is.

M: Yes, it is a matter, perhaps of the stereotype itself. Naturally conservatives are not going to go around and esouse handouts to the rich although they support just that in practice.

s: Take any of the other things in the OP and they also show up on both sides. Victimization is another example, it's hard to find a Con talking head these days that seems to be the biggest(no puns intended :D) Victim on the Planet. On the other side, there are certainly Dogmatic tendencies amongst Libs, I just think they just are not that prominent amongst the movement, but they are there and could come to the fore at any time.

M: Not sure what you mean with the con victim stuff, but liberals can obviously be dogmatic. I think the general principle is that liberals are for underdogs and conservatives for the privilaged.


PS: For some reason this fuse talk thingi is buggy. I can't highlight text and other stuff and I can type faster than it will print.

True enough. On the whole, I don't think there are truly People who are Conservatives or Liberals. Just People who lean one way or the other. When People start Identifying their opinions on various Issues, they almost always have a mix of Con/Lib views. The Labels are just more convenient for the Talking Heads and they like to nurture the idea of the Ideological Divide that doesn't really exist.
 

Moonbeam

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piasabird: Conservatism and Liberalism are not stereotypes, they are philosophies. People may argue exactly what Liberalism is or what conservatism is. Similarly, religion is also based in Philosophy and faith in something bigger than the individual. Admitting and realizing that a person is not the center of the universe and that people are part of a bigger whole is part of the mental growing process. People approach things in different ways.

M: This may be so but my questions were about the stereotypical psychological evaluations made by each side against the other. I believe that such stereotypes exist and I am interested in how valid they may be and why.

p: Do not confuse Liberalism for Democrats or Conservatism for republicans. It use to be that being liberal meant that your cared about and respected people and you wanted to help them. I look at the democratic party and it looks so radical that all I see is hatred and power hungry people that are elitists. On the other hand I see other things just as wrong with the republican party. How the Republicans became such bloodthirsty war-mongers I will never understand either.

M: May I submit that if the stereotype that conservatives, generally speaking, mind you, have a set of neuroses rooted in "fear and aggression, dogmatism and the intolerance of ambiguity", it would follow, even if it doesn't necessarily make sense.

p: I see nothing in washington that I can support or feel good about. This country does best when the government does nothing. This is from a book written by Glen Beck. How did Glen Beck become one of the smartest men in the Media?

M: I personally totally reject this notion. I see the problem as being that we never govern from the progressive side and thus we never get anywhere, that as a nation, we are far far too conservative to have any real progress, that we either evolve or die, but that is a different subject.
 

Moonbeam

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LunarRay: IF belief is knowledge when the belief is correct and the believer had a justification for such belief...

M: Then what?

LR: It seems rational to adopt the beliefs of the charismatic leaders that the person finds charismatic.

M: I don't see why unless what determines a person's judgment that another is charismatic is that they think alike. It strikes me as totally irrational to associate knowing anything with being charismatic. Charismatic and charlatan go together in my mind.

LR: It flows both ways in the Liberal/Conservative debate you proffer. Who among us claim a label worn by someone we are repulsed by?

M: Yes, well, I am asking about the soundness of just that repulsion, what is it's psychological origins and why.

LR: I think we are driven by what we find espoused by our leaders. IF the Liberal leaders adopted a Conservative notion the liberal followers would support that and probably the Conservative folks would now reject it.

M: I would imagine sheep would do that, not people who think or have principles. I think, also, that people have characteristics, the stereotypes I mentioned, and that they are not infinitely malleable, that leadership that strays too far from type would fail to garner continued support.


LR: I think it is about which faction adopts what first. People like to follow. It is easy! People like to be seen in concert with folks they admire. Especially the religious leaders... a religious person will cling to that religious leader's opinions on the entire spectrum of thought and that spectrum's belief becomes as right as the Religion spouted by that leader.

M: Again you are saying essentially that people are sheep but what you describe here fits nicely with the conservative shibboleth they are dogmatic and intolerant of ambiguity, no?

LR: It started back when more than one person existed who had an opinion. It uses the tools necessary to achieve what ever objective is afoot. It don't much matter if the behavior is neurotic or rational what matters is what the folk believe and without question both sides have justification and the 'Right' of the matter goes to both sides as well.... What is Right? Who can decide that? God? Obama? Mother Theresa? ... Right is what you believe...

M: Are you saying that as soon as one person figured out how to manipulate another he did so and without regard to truth so long as some phony justification could be supplied, that all that is needed is to supply it? And that what, truth gets lost in opinion, or there is no truth, only opinion?

At any rate, in order to play people you have to have cunning, use the weaknesses of others to your advantage, a profound sin, in my opinion. And these weaknesses are exactly the stereotypes I have listed above, in my opinion.

One reason, my reason for looking into this subject matter is precisely because we are not masters of what we are unconscious of, that our basic neuroses may be our enemies, that we may be conservatives or liberals because on mental characteristics that are essentially maladaptive.
 

Moonbeam

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sandorski: True enough. On the whole, I don't think there are truly People who are Conservatives or Liberals. Just People who lean one way or the other. When People start Identifying their opinions on various Issues, they almost always have a mix of Con/Lib views. The Labels are just more convenient for the Talking Heads and they like to nurture the idea of the Ideological Divide that doesn't really exist.

M: I think there is a stereotypical psychological divide between the left and the right that, depending on your mental state, draws you to one side or the other regardless of the fact there can be much crossover in various areas.

Why, for example, do some favor a winner and others always pull for the underdog. This is an example that looks to me like opposite sides of the same coin, but what coin and why the different take. Politically this dichotomy leads to radically different policies.
 

shira

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Jan 12, 2005
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Of course there are stereotypes. There are ALWAYS stereotypes. And they are ALWAYS used. Not by everybody. And usually not by most people or even a majority. But they are always used by some people. And they are used BY the ignorant or to influence the ignorant.

I myself never engage in stereotypes (except when trying to get a rise out of conservatives on this forum). I evaluate individuals and draw conclusions based on what I observe about them.

I know, for example, that House minority leader John Boehner is a liar and a demagogue because last week he announced - in front of a tea party audience - that the health care reform bill ". . . is the greatest threat to freedom that I've seen in the 19 years I've been in Washington." I don't need to stereotype Boehner's conservatism to draw those conclusions about him.
 
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alchemize

Lifer
Mar 24, 2000
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Only an idiot blindly affiliates themselves exclusively with a political ideology. It takes even more of an idiot to completely discount every position of the opposing spectrum. Every issue needs to be individually thought through the unique prism of human logic, emotion, morality/spirituality, etc.

It's not the vulcans versus the klingons.
 

Jaskalas

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Jun 23, 2004
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I know, for example, that House minority leader John Boehner is a liar and a demagogue because last week he announced - in front of a tea party audience - that the health care reform bill ". . . is the greatest threat to freedom that I've seen in the 19 years I've been in Washington." I don't need to stereotype Boehner's conservatism to draw those conclusions about him.
That's funny, cause control of 1/6th of the economy and making our bodies and personal choices in life directly impact the federal budget, as they provide health care to us, is the single greatest threat to freedom ever to originate from the halls of Congress.

In that statement Boehner is absolutely correct. This is coming from a conservative who would vote Boehner out of office.
 

Moonbeam

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shira: Of course there are stereotypes. There are ALWAYS stereotypes.

M: Why? Do we not draw them because there is a reality there?
 

Jaskalas

Lifer
Jun 23, 2004
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True enough. On the whole, I don't think there are truly People who are Conservatives or Liberals. Just People who lean one way or the other. When People start Identifying their opinions on various Issues, they almost always have a mix of Con/Lib views. The Labels are just more convenient for the Talking Heads and they like to nurture the idea of the Ideological Divide that doesn't really exist.
I firmly believe there is a divide, but there are many of them. The big problem I see is that we narrow our differences down to two false choices. Two narrow divides and pit ourselves against each other as we would sports teams.

This current scenario is hardly befitting of a healthy democracy. I believe it is, in fact, making us quite ill. Both literally and figuratively.
 

Moonbeam

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alchemize: Only an idiot blindly affiliates themselves exclusively with a political ideology. It takes even more of an idiot to completely discount every position of the opposing spectrum. Every issue needs to be individually thought through the unique prism of human logic, emotion, morality/spirituality, etc.

It's not the vulcans versus the klingons.

M: Yes but what does that have to do with the accuracy of stereotypes or why they apply if they do?
 

Moonbeam

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I firmly believe there is a divide, but there are many of them. The big problem I see is that we narrow our differences down to two false choices. Two narrow divides and pit ourselves against each other as we would sports teams.

This current scenario is hardly befitting of a healthy democracy. I believe it is, in fact, making us quite ill. Both literally and figuratively.
Making us ill, or just the manifestation of an illness we already have? If the stereotypical charges I listed in the OP are correct, seems that an ill system cannot help but to appear, no?
 

shira

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Jan 12, 2005
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shira: Of course there are stereotypes. There are ALWAYS stereotypes.

M: Why? Do we not draw them because there is a reality there?
I don't understand your question. Are you asking WHY there are stereotypes? As you also seem to be providing an answer, I'm confused why you asked "why?"
 

Moonbeam

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I don't understand your question. Are you asking WHY there are stereotypes? As you also seem to be providing an answer, I'm confused why you asked "why?"
I tried to encapsulate a typical set of stereotypes conservatives and liberals use on each other, suggesting there is probably some truth to the classifications based on the kinds of issues we see coming from conservative and liberal agendas and the fact that folk have no trouble identifying which is meant for which, but what I am curious about is the nature of the mentalities that impel people on the left and right to act in recognizable ways. What is (are)the psychological force(s) that drive or cause these distinctions. Are liberals mentally ill as each claims about the other, or is there a common mental illness they share that manifests as opposite sides of the same coin.

Why, for example, are conservatives aggressive or why do liberals have no respect for authority, etc.

The authority thingi, for example, seems like it could be determined by dynamics in the family and how a child responds to his parents. But what would cause a child to react one way or the other. What would be a family dynamic that could account for this, if any. Is a liberal a person who was disappointed by his parents or a conservative one that was forced to conform? Etc.
 

Inspire

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M: As I mentioned, reaction is a form of unconscious action. I would not prefer it any more, say, than a liveral's willingness to tax me to give to somebody who doesn't want to help themselves. Both are actions, foolish ones, no?

I: Sure, but you wanted me to picked one, so I did. What it boils down to is that I don't like the idea of one person forcing the will of a second person on me. If the second can't be bothered to try himself, I find his will less valid. Call it pride or selfishness or self-reliance or whatever, that's just a value I hold that helps me rank choices like the ones you posed.
 

LunarRay

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Mar 2, 2003
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One reason, my reason for looking into this subject matter is precisely because we are not masters of what we are unconscious of, that our basic neuroses may be our enemies, that we may be conservatives or liberals because on mental characteristics that are essentially maladaptive.
Folks is Folks... They do stuff cuz they are motivated to do so by something. They believe what they adopt as truth is true. As they view the other side, to what ever degree difference exists that difference is Untruth.
The difference between a Liberal and a Conservative is their Social Security Number. They both are right as rain. Just ask them!
Not many can look into the Fish Tank at the phenomenon. Those who can know that all stereotyped behavior simply identifies difference.
All sides accept the need for taxation... but they differ on how to apply it. All sides are birthers but they differ on when that occurs. All sides agree the people have fundamental rights but they differ on the list.
Perhaps there are a few who are not part of "All Sides" but for the most part they are a Third faction or Fourth and they differ to some extent with some aspect of the others.
So, therefore, yes, opinion held by the person... their belief, is what is their truth. How they came to hold this belief was what motivated them to that 'bucket' to start with. Born into it or convicted at some point to adopt their belief by some motivator.
As I said... the real differences are minor compared to the greater truths that both sides hold in unison. Freedom, for example, both sides worship freedom but to different degrees... One side values the Security aspect of Pursuit of Happy and adjusts Freedom to accommodate it.. Marriage amongst Gays... both sides cherish marriage but don't agree on the who.
Aside from the above, you ask the very folks who are dug into their foxhole of belief to answer if they are nuts or stupid... hehehehehe They are all right cuz they believe they are.
 

Moonbeam

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Folks is Folks... They do stuff cuz they are motivated to do so by something. They believe what they adopt as truth is true. As they view the other side, to what ever degree difference exists that difference is Untruth.
The difference between a Liberal and a Conservative is their Social Security Number. They both are right as rain. Just ask them!
Not many can look into the Fish Tank at the phenomenon. Those who can know that all stereotyped behavior simply identifies difference.
All sides accept the need for taxation... but they differ on how to apply it. All sides are birthers but they differ on when that occurs. All sides agree the people have fundamental rights but they differ on the list.
Perhaps there are a few who are not part of "All Sides" but for the most part they are a Third faction or Fourth and they differ to some extent with some aspect of the others.
So, therefore, yes, opinion held by the person... their belief, is what is their truth. How they came to hold this belief was what motivated them to that 'bucket' to start with. Born into it or convicted at some point to adopt their belief by some motivator.
As I said... the real differences are minor compared to the greater truths that both sides hold in unison. Freedom, for example, both sides worship freedom but to different degrees... One side values the Security aspect of Pursuit of Happy and adjusts Freedom to accommodate it.. Marriage amongst Gays... both sides cherish marriage but don't agree on the who.
Aside from the above, you ask the very folks who are dug into their foxhole of belief to answer if they are nuts or stupid... hehehehehe They are all right cuz they believe they are.
So the human race is essentially asleep and you accept that fact. What can I say...........
 

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