Scott Alexander in 2013: Rightism is what happens when you’re optimizing for surviving an unsafe environment, leftism is what happens when you’re optimized for thriving in a safe environment. … “Take actions that would be beneficial to survival in case of a zombie apocalypse” seems to get us rightist positions on a lot of issues. We can generalize from zombie apocalypses to any desperate conditions in which you’re not sure that you’re going to make it and need to succeed at any cost.
I can't distinguish that comment from utter stupidity. While some people are complicated, charlies is quite simple.
Almost everything about that is wrong in re how evolution actually works.
Apologies: I can't substantiate what I thought I recalled about enjoying it while it lasts.
But a "lot" of wrong claims?
I deny I said "it's dreamtime, enjoy it while it lasts. [Be a leftist now and damn the distant future.]"
OK, Robin, what did you think I said was wrong?
[But I note, if Robin accuses someone of constantly misunderstanding him in the past, this dishonest move indicates a lack of interest in actually correcting errors and more in the way of discrediting a critical commenter.]
If you think you know what he means to say, ask him why he disagrees with it, instead of piling on some bullshit after your initial bullshit.
Very complicated. It may surprise you to learn that Robin (a rightist) advocates open borders. (Am I making this up? See for yourself: http://www.overcomingbias.c... )
This may also cast light on the otherwise paradoxical value system of the white upper middle class that David Brooks/Charles Murray study.
The weird Brooks/Murray finding is that this group espouses forager ideals for others, but imposes a sort of Victorianism on themselves. This is because their environment is objectively safe and luxurious, but they inhabit a hyper-competitive niche in it that is actually somewhat hostile: the upwardly mobile professional meritocracy.
E.g. it is utterly important that little 16 year old Olivia lead a spartan existence that sacrifices all leisure to her 3.8 GPA, AP exams, and tennis team, or else she won't get into Columbia.
The Left, clearly.
1. Immigration. Oh we're doing great, let them all in!
2. Fertility/Sexual politics. We've got plenty of babies...stop frowning on gay families its retrograde!
3. Terrorism. So they blow up a building every ten years! Let's stop spending so much blood/treasure on those crazies, they're no real threat.
4. Economy/redistribution. The money is growing on trees these days, only a miser would oppose sharing the wealth through higher taxes/executive comp regulation/minimum wage.
Okay, I thought I spotted a trend until . .
5. Environment. If we don't immediately adopt austere practices towards fossil fuel consumption, our species will inevitably and rapidly go extinct!!! And no meat either!
People are complicated, I guess.
We were foragers for a lot longer than farmers, so if survival is at stake, it would be wiser to bet on foragers. We care about many things, as much the world our descendants will grow up in as their survival, even more so if their survival is dependent on that world, survival in the long term as much as the short, and we should fear short term success leading to dead ends. We can't even say farmer values work for survival in the very long term, and they may need to evolve along with the world we find ourselves. We also care about progress too, but without some view as to causation, no advice can be offered. For that matter, we may need an entirely new set of values that build on our past ones so dualism may not be the way to look at this.
A large part of traditional farmer values only "work" because the primary inefficiencies that they induce are compensated for by their secondary effect as ideological glue in large, homogenuous groups. In a post-apocalyptic world foragers would actually do better than farmers because the farmers can't bind together into large homogenuous groups (they'll suffer for refusing into their group away able-bodied men who happen to be gay or atheists, just to give an example, the stronger bonding between the remainung group members as a result of such an extremist ideology does not compensate enough when the group is small) and groups that are mobile, can accomodate heterogeneity and come up with creative solutions will have an edge, at least until conditions are such that the farmers can bind together again and field large armies again (the foragers may show more ingenuity but they do not have the industrial base to translate that into substantially better technology).
I think the path does matter: at least some of the farmer values were invented solely because people could invent them in a farmer society. The necessary differences in power/status/wealth simply did not exist in forager groups, but they did in the farmer era and that allowed some particularly ruthless, powerhungry men (and the women who are attracte to that power) to act on their fantasies. I think part of the reason agriculture spread so fast was because the first farmers figured out they could field armies and in doing so they forced foragers around them to switch to agriculture too to field their own armies in defense. This would foster militaristic/authoritarian values and bestow status and rents on warriors and (chicken)hawks (agreeing with your theory when it comes to the militarist component of rightism) similar to how shopkeepers pay protection money to crime syndicates while those crime syndicates are themselves the primary cause of the need for protection.
At least some farmer values did not make their societies more robust at all, not even by serving as ideological glue, they simply existed because some groups in society profited from them, at the expense of less powerful groups, and it's incorrect to equate the robust-making farmer practices with rightism in the modern Western world.
Anyway I'm not sure Greek society can be said to have had a liberal attitude towards women's rights and like Rome it depended on slaves.
Well, if you haven't the time to say what is wrong, I would think one of your acolytes would set me straight, at least on one occasion.
You become bellicose and authoritarian when you can't respond. Reliably. Here, I think I understand you exactly, but seeing your ideas expressed succinctly frightens you. I'd be pleased to discover otherwise.
My first paragraph was flip, with no serious content. Don't use it to ignore the second, which is that it is illogical to claim rightism is adaptive today because it will be adaptive in the future. You steadfastly decline to clarify or respond to this, when three participants have made the same point on this important topic.
You make a lot of claims about what I say or mean, and they are often wrong. Including this one.
"If you care about your descendants not being selected out over the long run..."
My reaction is, who on earth cares about such a thing? Not any rightist I know of (except, I guess, Robin himself).
[Since the conditional meaning of "if" is question-begging, I read "if" as meaning "since."]
What about your previous advice: it's dreamtime, enjoy it while it lasts. [Be a leftist now and damn the distant future.]
Are you saying rightism is justified because it is well-adapted to the distant future? So what? Do we need to prepare for it today? [As David Peter Jones pointed out, these orientations can change quickly.]