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June 16, 2006


Weren't people being especially mean to Jews long before the Holocaust? I think you've got a long way to go before you discredit the "empathy" argument in favor of a "leftist gene" argument.

The right in Europe was anti-Semitic for a while.

These nurture arguments don't explain things like why Jews and leftists both like modern art. Only a unified theory of leftism can explain it all.

'Cause they're the same people?

Does it correlate with the five-factor quality of 'Openness' in the psychological literature, or, in the words of Wikipedia,
"Openness to Experience describes a dimension of cognitive style that distinguishes imaginative, creative people from down-to-earth, conventional people. Open people are intellectually curious, appreciative of art, and sensitive to beauty. They tend to be, compared to closed people, more aware of their feelings. They tend to think and act in individualistic and nonconforming ways. People with low scores on openness to experience tend to have narrow, common interests. They prefer the plain, straightforward, and obvious over the complex, ambiguous, and subtle. They may regard the arts and sciences with suspicion, regarding these endeavors as abstruse or of no practical use. Closed people prefer familiarity over novelty; they are conservative and resistant to change."
The other four factors are neuroticism, extraversion, conscientiousness, and agreeableness.

Of course, it also claims there's no correlation between Openness and political beliefs. I found a few papers to the contrary, with the psychologists of course believing more Openness and less conservatism is a good thing.

Still, if openness is correlated with IQ (as some studies have suggested), and we all know about the Ashkenazi natural selection by now...you figure it out.

Does this prove that conservatives are stupid? Well, no. It's a personality trait, and a higher Openness makes you a good college professor or artist but a lousy cop or manager. Interestingly, a lot of the traditional Jewish occupatins that caused the selection bias were very detail-oriented occupations like finance. So it doesn't quite fit.

It could have to do with intellectualism, or the belief that Smart People Can Figure Everything Out, which Jews, college professors, and leftists tend to share. It's not too hard to see why, just as the thought of no regulations on the free market sounds really nice to a businessman.

So why are most other industrialized countries leftist compared to the US? Are there genetic differences that make the Scandinavian countries more socialist?

tc, Europeans who immigrated to the U.S. in the 19th and early 20th century were more individualistic or less guilty about leaving their families behind and never seeing them again--these personality traits correlate with rightist politics.

SciFi, the 5 Factors are interesting things to study. Openness, as you pointed out, is a bad trait because it's actually measuring two things: IQ plus something else. It's hard for me to know exactly what openness is without looking at the questions on the personality test which determine it.

The GSS shows a strong correlation between being Republican and having more education (which is a proxy for higher IQ). If leftism meant higher IQ then the relationship would be the opposite.

"the intellectual leftist core of the Democratic party is disproportionately Jewish. "
A note: As is libertarianism, neoconservatism, communism, etc. Their higher average intelligence means that as you go up the IQ pole, there will be more and more of them proportionately.

"They may regard the arts and sciences with suspicion, regarding these endeavors as abstruse or of no practical use. "
It could describe country bumpkins of any stripe. That trait smells of BS, of a PC substitute for IQ. Note the conservative means here not the political definition, but those who uphold the status quo. The conservatives of our politics of course seek to change the status quo in many ways. Saddam Hussein was of the former variety, Barry Goldwater of the latter.

The "my party is smarter than yours so we're right" argument is fallacious. People, no matter how smart, can be influenced by emotions, like the leftist demand for equality.

Robert Nozick (a Jew himself) wrote an article for Cato proposing hypotheses on why intellectuals are anti-capitalist. http://www.cato.org/pubs/policy_report/cpr-20n1-1.html Jews have high verbal and arithmetic IQ, but lower visuo-spatial IQ.

Hey, aren't these traits common to gays, as well?

I think it was in the book "Bonfire of the Vanities" that someone postulated that all straight Jewish men have one gay gene. For instance, they'll be obsessively neat, or have lots of modern stuff in their apartments.

This is a joke, right?

If political belief is genetic, how do you explain the fact that my son supports NZ's most right wing party, would probably fit in with a Texas neo-con cocktail party with ease; whereas I would be more comfortable in the company of liberal democrats (the English variety); and my wife would probably be left wing Democrat.

I think that I could agree with the statement that "Political views are not an expression of logical reasoning, but rather an expression of some base emotion" in its wide application if I were in the habit of making sweeping generalisations based upon vague and tenuous connections. As it stands, I must admit that politicians operate in a way that makes the assumption most people are incapable of logical reasoning.

Jews are more strongly Democratic than any other identifiable U.S. group except for blacks.

I can think of another very good reason for this. They are more intelligent than the "average American voter". Yeah, mebbe that is it. Jews and Blacks are more politically intelligent than whites.

No, HS, even as a joke this whole "theory" is so weak it couldn't even stand up as a puddle in the bottom of a cup. It holds the same standing as phrenology, numerology and astrology as scientifically based.

It is a joke, right?

An increasing percentage of the Jewish population in America is Orthodox or Hasidic, and most of them are not liberal.

"If political belief is genetic, how do you explain the fact that my son supports NZ's most right wing party, would probably fit in with a Texas neo-con cocktail party with ease; whereas I would be more comfortable in the company of liberal democrats (the English variety); and my wife would probably be left wing Democrat."

Because these are tendencies, not absolutes. You can always have two conservatives having a liberal kid or vice versa, especially given that kids like to rebel against their parents. Besides, when it comes to politics it's hard to separate out nurture and nurture because a liberal (or conservative) couple will tend to seek out a liberal environment and in any event, provide one for their offspring.

Hey superfluous: that nozick article is really good. thanks.

Sufficiently intelligent people extremely rarely have extremely different political views. Most of the people who count as "intelligent" by any everyday measure, prehaps with IQs in the 130s, have very little tendency to reach correct beliefs independently of their environment. For the most part they absorb information well but hold "beliefs" as statemetns of identity rather than as representation of their internal representation of the world.
Even the most intelligent people can in principle differ in fundamental values, but in practice even this rarely happens. Of course, at an even higher level of intelligence people tend to become alienated from and simply above politics except when the need is dire.

"If political belief is genetic, how do you explain the fact that my son supports NZ's most right wing party..."

The same way that short parents occasionally have a tall kid.

Or perhaps even the way that two parents with brown eyes can have a child with blue eyes.

So when a new political party forms, this is proof of evolution?

Naah. Political parties are patchwork animals that arise from cobbling together interest groups to form a coalition big enough to get 51% of the votes. (In multiparty states like many in Europe, each party may represent a single interest group.) As groups grow and shrink demographically, parties rise, fall, and realign. Ideology changes with the party and tends to be adapted to convenience--the Democrats were the anti-Black party up until, as I recall, the New Deal or so. (Remember, the Republican party was formed as an abolitionist party.)

I agree with SciFiGeek that the Democratic and Republican parties represent coalitions of interests, which is why correlations between party membership and various political views aren't always so high.

Mr. Vassar, care to venture any evidence? There are smart people in every camp. The proportions may differ, but the point stands.

BTW, 87% of Orthodox Jews voted Bush '04. according to an Economist book review.

Make a list of professions that skew to the left. It will look something like this:


Now make a list of professions that skew to the right. It will look something like this:

The Military
Law Enforcement

Observe that professions that skew to the left are often word trades. Observe that professions that skew to the right often are not

Also observe that women are more verbal than, and skew to the left of, men.

People who are good with words are more likely to cultivate their status as a member of The Anointed. There is something about ease with words that traps a practitioner into positions that advertise good intentions, even if those intentions come at the expense of good results.

Jews are hyperverbal. Liberalism follows as mud follows rain.

If by "individualism" you mean "greedy-selfish-bastardism" there may be some overlap between this explanation and your yet-to-be articulated explanation.

This theory predicts that Orientals will skew to the right, which is only partly true. Republicans could do more to cultivate the Oriental vote.

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