Monday, January 03, 2005

Genetically Conservative

I'm working on a couple of longer posts, but in the meantime, I had to reference this article in Forbes. Apparently, a University of Minnesota study found that our political values are mostly inherited. Interesting.

A while back, I wondered why the population should be so evenly split between the conservative and progressive worldviews. George Lakoff describes the worldviews as coming from either the "strict father" model or the "nurturing parent" model of family life. If these preferences for particular familial structures were hereditary, then my question about the closeness of the election would be one about the equality of genetic factors in the American electorate.

Are other countries less divided on their political values, and, if so, is it because the genetic predisposition to one value or the other is much more prevalent in their population?

More to the point, why would about 50% of Americans have blue genes?

4 comments:

thepoemster said...

Hi Doc,
I still find it helpful to have both the strict father and the nurturing parent and everything in between like for example "the disappointed daddy" and so on. We as humans have a wide array of emotions and so do our kids.

Whatever role I feel the need to play for whatever circumstance has been presented by my kids, the one thing I try never never to do is to be out of control.
It may be hard to believe but I'm a very stable person for the most part. It's hard to rattle me but rattle me they try.

Now, as you know I am reading the book "Season of Life" and the person it is about, Joe Ehrman, believes most of the worlds problems stem from the fact that males are indoctrinated into a false perception of what it means to be a man.

I really can't argue with that point in fact I concur but I do not believe as he does in the biblical portrayal of God but nor do I think that it is a prerequisite.

I'll look for that movie. When Tommy was four he was enrolled in Tai Kwon Do but it was more of a social event for him. Now he is doing gymnastics all around the house in the form of handstands and walking on his hands. He's getting better and knocking less stuff over every day.

thepoemster said...

I was thinking about the question you posed and I find the older I get the more conservative my thinking becomes. Since the population is aging this could account for some of the red results. My parents were both Democrats and I agree that most people I have met inherit political values and other annoying traits from their parents in spite of their rebelious efforts. It took awhile but I think I have managed to overcome this and settle into a mindset that suits me.
In other words I tend to swim upstream.
Again, it seems I am neither a conservative or a liberal nor an exclusively strict or nurturing parent.
Does Lakoff have any kids Doc?
I wonder.
And I don't mean his students.

Doctor Logic said...

Whatever role I feel the need to play for whatever circumstance has been presented by my kids, the one thing I try never never to do is to be out of control.It's not so much a question of being out of control. I think that most people have simplistic models of how a family should be operated, and they translate these models into an even more simplistic (and naive) political credo.

I agree with you that you need to be flexible and use a blend of approaches. Nurturing without any discipline isn't going to work any better than discipline without nurturing. Of course, this is easy for me to say; I don't have kids! (Though I once was a kid.)

Again, it seems I am neither a conservative or a liberal nor an exclusively strict or nurturing parent.Don't forget the meaning of the word liberal. It means supporting individual rights. Conservative isn't the opposite of liberal. Conservatism is a pessimistic philosophy that says that, no matter how hard we look, we will never find anything better than what has been done in the past, so we might as well not bother looking. Conservatism's greatest apologists are primarily concerned with conserving their own power and status at the expense of any newcomers.

I was thinking about the question you posed and I find the older I get the more conservative my thinking becomes.This is the most common case. I guess when we're young, we can't look back on anything with nostaligia!

I am the exact opposite, though. In high school, I was a little to the right of Darth Vader. As I've aged, I've moved to the center. I'm a political Merlin.

doctor(logic)

rob said...

Doc,

I have to say the biggest life changing event for me has been having children. The things I have learned from them about myself,my past and life in general just astounds me.

I grew up in a somewhat violent environment laden with animosity between parents. I always thought I would "hit" my kids when they misbehaved because it worked to keep me in line. The word love was never spoken. However I am not saying I was unloved. Because of the way I was raised and the way I will assume my folks were raised I can see or rather feel why it is difficult to say. Somewhere along the line it became very important for me to break this cycle and by the work I've been doing on myself I am finding myself at peace in my life. I've reconciled much.

More work needs to be done and I know certain wounds will never heal for me but I can do better in raising my own children.Talk being cheap in my view I want the emotion to be felt also and not just said for the sake of saying it. Defeats the purpose. Hard to explain, it is.

And now I take this approach with the outside world too because really it's not very different. Most of the dogma I hear from whatever the source I pay little attention to anymore. I am comfortable with the sense of fair play I've arrived at in life.

I consider people as individuals despite some of my rhetoric as I think most people do when not associated with a group. My not choosing to be a part of any group actually helps me in this respect. I think it is good.

As far Darth Vader I love his line when Billy Dee Williams gets a little upset with him and Darth says in Darthlike tone and cadence;

"Perhaps you think you're being treated unfairly"

Billy Dee responds

"No"

When I had a few workers I used to "borrow" that line.

Ciao