reply to post by ANOK
Your comments are spot on. I looked at your stats, no wonder, you're from back in the day when ATS was not over run by fundamentalist,
superstitious, war-hawk, tea bag fashioning folk. I just recently came back after a long break. A year or so ago, I remember seeing about 20 birther
threads created in the matter of hours, frustrated, I ended up leaving for awhile & I remember a lot of smart people like yourself, who had
interesting well thought out, well sourced comments who also just got plain sick and tired of all the stupid crap and ended up leaving for good. Which
is the sad thing about the internet in that people tend to surround themselves with people who are like minded, who will simply agree & confirm what
they already believe. Its rare for people to challenge their beliefs, and even rarer for people to willingly engage, honestly engage, with those of a
different perspective. That is what I always appreciated about ATS, is that it always had a good diversity of people, all walks of like, and all
perspectives. And in general lying, BSing and otherwise blindly repeating political talking points was frowned upon, people demanded fact and evidence
based arguments. Yet, in the past several years, it had come to look more and more like a talk radio echo chamber (not ALL threads, but many), and
fewer and fewer people wrote the type of well sourced researched comments like what I have seen from you. Miss that.
So, anyway, I do appreciate you sticking around, and your thoughtful comments, and you're patience in trying to explain the truth here to people.
On the subject of the political spectrum, the political "mind". Have you ever read "The Authoritarians" by Bob Altemeyer. I posted the link the
other day in a thread where people were ranting about socialism. I think you would enjoy the book. It's free online. The professor who wrote it
actually considers himself sort of an "old school" Republican (but pro-civil rights). He has been studying traits of authoritarianism and political
ideologies for decades. He had the help of John Dean, a Nixon advisor (wrote "Conservatives without Conscience"), but both men were motivated by
what they saw as a threat from authoritarian features in u.s. politics. He studied people's political beliefs & tendencies toward authoritarianism
("the authoritarian personality"). What he found was interesting in that he found no significant correlation with left wing political ideologies and
a high correlation of authoritarian personality traits with those who fall on the right wing of the political spectrum. Reason being, had precisely to
do with the very definition of "conservative" (i.e. the desire to preserve the establishment, deferment to authority figures, and the prevention of
change) is authoritarian in nature.
One of my favorite accounts from the book is how he takes three groups of subjects, one made up of of high RWA scores (he calls it "right wing
authoritarian personality") another group with low/non existent authoritarian scores (left side on the political spectrum), as well as a mix of
persons for control. He had each group run what was essentially a "model world" type scenario with various goals and tasks. He ran these scenarios
many times over with different groups of subjects and getting consistent results each time for the high RWA subjects who each time managed to lead
their scenario into one of rapid arms-build up, global starvation/disease, world wide war and eventual mutually assured destruction for all countries
involved. The non-authoritarians and the mixed groups had their own problems, but none as consistent and as stark as the authoritarian group. What is
interesting from his account of these scenarios, is that a lot of what was demonstrated in the model scenario, is worryingly similar to what we see
from certain politicians (i.e. rabid nationalism, mistrust of others, hostility toward compromise, blind faith, etc.).
There are plenty of other good studies and surveys in the book, and lots of good analysis. For me it helped explain a lot about the
authoritarian/right wing mindset, how authoritarian tendencies develop and what it means for society. There is also interesting discussion of history,
and as you covered, on people's misinformed beliefs on concepts like "socialism", "communism", "conservatism", "left / right wing" etc. (He
actually goes back to the old english definition of "right" in his discussion of conservatism! cool!). I should also say, Bob has a good deal in the
book that analyzes political stereotypes and is successful at keeping these stereotypes and bias out of his research, I found it well written & o.
Anyway...I could go on (maybe someday I will start a thread to discuss the matter). But, I'll end it here with the link.
Again, thanks for bringing your brain to this forum!