Sunday, July 31, 2011

Ingroup nurturing and socialism

I was listening to the podcast, Point of Inquiry, as they were interviewing George Lakoff. I really recommend this episode, as it discuss on the neural basis of rationality, and how you can't separate your "feelings" from your thought processes, mainly due to the fact that you don't control most of you thought processes, as they occur subconsciously.
The main point that I wanted to discuss, because it blew my mind off, it is how different our thinking about a specific aspect can be if we are part of that aspect. The great example they used is the conservative US movement. If you asked them about their opinion on socialism, you would find a large negative view of it. If then you ask about their opinion on the military, then you would find an almost absolutely positive view of it.
This is interesting, because from a practical point of view, the military is the perfect socialist organization. All the decisions come from the top, the individuals have no liberty to decide their roles and the distribution of resources is decided by a central organization. All hallmarks of socialism.
So how you reconcile this opposite views? Well, there is the fact that probably a large amount of conservatives have not thought about the military from this point of view (I had for sure not). But there is also the point that we can have different beliefs in different important social/political ideas and they may have different levels of priorities. One of the defining characteristics of the conservative movement is the ingroup nurturing (things like post church soup stands, boy scouting, and the military). Therefore you may have these two different ideas and they will have to resolve into a final "conscious" opinion. Depending on the strongest one, then you will have two completely different opinions on one or the other.
And you never know how you came about that opinion. At least not consciously.

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