Biology of Ideology, Part I: How to Win a Civil WarAnn Sterzinger
TWIST ENDING: What if you woke up on the precipice and realized you were about to punch or murder a Nazi over a biological quirk?
I know, you thought I was fixing to say “The best way to win a civil war is not to play!” and really, that’s kinda true too. If we tumble over this precipice, we could fuck ourselves up for god-knows-how-long.
Then again, does either side consider the alternative to civil war to be any less dangerous? Is it possible not to play? That is up to you, the people, and not me, the hermit, unfortunately.
Allow me to suggest that mayhap, before you guys all kill each other, it would behoove us to step back and think about how freakin’ crazy it is that the United States’ population is almost exactly 50 percent red and 50 percent blue. News tags like “DECISION 2020” should read more like “TUG-OF-WAR 2020,” since most people don’t need to do much deciding; it’s just me and the other freakbag independents that the rest of you have to try to convince every election. The rest of you cancel each other out. (Don’t hate me because I’m important.)
Because, let me underline this: regardless of how much propaganda you chuck at each other, you are mathematically divided like two halves of the same brain — ACCORDING TO SCIENCE!
Yep, Bub. While we have been wondering why the Others are so evil, science has been quietly probing the possible biological roots of political orientation. Researchers like Rose McDermott here have been measuring our brain structures and waving our sweat samples under each other’s noses. And discovering some pretty mind-bending shit. As usual, we don’t know ourselves as well as we think we do.
Even the DNA linked to political ideology is becoming an accessible book, as in the past decade our ability to quickly analyze lots of people’s individual programming has spiked. The early results claim that not only do liberals and conservatives have slightly different volumes of nervous tissues in particular bits of the brain, but that our most basic monkey sensory information about each other makes us fight like cats and dogs.
For instance, conservative women will pester researchers to get another sniff of the armpit sweat of conservative men — while almost no one can stand to hear the sound of a male liberal’s voice, outside of male liberals, who find themselves in turn retching at the smell of the same manly pit-profile.
I Hate You, You Hate Me
It’s almost as though neither the liberal impulse nor the conservative one is an aberration.
It’s almost as though they are both necessary tendencies in order for a society to preserve what it has while moving forward.
Almost like. . . you assholes need each other.
Yeah, yeah, I know. The other side is the worst people. They lie and lie and lie, to the point where sometimes I almost think they actually BELIEVE their own bullshit. . . except notice how their version of the story always suits their preconceived notions? Terribly convenient!
And talk about sheep. Go ahead, ya naive sod; you try to talk sense to them, but they are absolutely ENTRANCED by one of these “cults of personality.” (Like that 90s song — you know, with the singer in the braids with hot pink ponytails and an inexplicable neon wetsuit: “Like Joseph Stalin / and Ghandiiiiii / your cult of personality, your cult of kill Donald Trump, fuck Barack Obama, marry Joe Biden.” Sure, Living Colour was a metal band from NYC, but in the 90s everything was a bit rave, so, yeah, headbanging in a banana-yellow full-body surfer codpiece made sense at the time. There’s got to be a beach somewhere in the Northeast. The more important question is: why was the guitarist wearing a rat-tail?!)
Aaaaanyway, sheep! Sheep, but sheep led by wolves! Controlled by fear. They believe in whatever their trusted sources — their AWFUL sources; god, don’t ask ME why they would trust these dictatorial, Orwellian scum, if they didn’t want to ruin things for the rest of us for their own selfish ends — tell them. Everything. They would question whether water is wet if that lunatic over at that totally irresponsible media outlet told them we were lying about it.
Pure projection! Their whatta-bout-ism derails every point I try to make on the subject, even if their leader did all the exact same things they complain that our leader did, only ten times worse.
Pffft, if they heard me, they would just say I’m making some kind of false equivalence here, since they think everything their guys do is great and everything our guys do is rotten, even if it’s the same damn thing.
TL;DR: they believe in their own set of alternative facts — you can repeat the real facts over and over and over to them, and they just don’t budge. Whenever I go on Twitter, it’s like talking to a whole hospital full of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, all screaming at the same time.
The worst part is, most of their voters don’t know anything at all about politics. What have they ever done? But they watch some crazy show where they tell them all this so-called real, hidden truth stuff, and they suddenly think they’re expert pundits. My god, some of them even get a big, undeserved audience of their own on YouTube, which is just one big popularity contest, and as long as they keep SPEWING their lies, they’ll never have to work a day in their lives.
But they have to keep spewing it every day to keep up with the algorithms, and they have no idea what they’re talking about. They’re historically ignorant, like the awful people they truly are.
Deep down they know how worthless they are — god, I could do so much better if it weren’t for them and their audience holding me back! They’ve got nothing but their parrot-like talking points. And to compensate, they just scream and yell louder and louder. Talk over people, block everyone on Twitter, manipulate the system so only their misinformation gets heard, ruining public discourse.
They can’t even treat me like a human being, no matter how civil I try to be. Because they don’t see me as a human being! They see me as their ideological enemy, and I must be a complete moron because that one senator from my party did that thing and I didn’t condemn it. Why should I condemn it when their guy is literally Hitler!?
OK, I guess at the very end there you can see where my current bias lies: I think the Left, at this moment in history, is being almost impeccably blindered and stupid. Probably because it largely controls tech, which controls the information the normies see and hear every day, so they are more or less in power regardless of who has their paws on our poor presidency at the moment. And they’ve convinced themselves this is a good thing.
Well, suck my proverbial cock to that.
But the really crazy thing? Well, both sides on Twitter seem to think that every single one of the above statements is true. It’s just that both sides think they’re the good guys. And maybe, from their point of view, they both are.
In the 80s, when it seemed to me the Republicans were a bit more favored by the dinosaur press (which, back then, wasn’t a dinosaur — it was hot, if boring, shit), I was too young to appreciate whether or not they were abusing their power, so I’ll withhold judgment till when and if I live long enough to see the Right get the propagandist upper-hand and turn into supremely lying assholes.
God forbid I stumble into a minor false equivalence while plumbing the depths of human nature, after all.
My point being, as I scuttle miserably through the hells of Twitter and Google trying to figure out how many presidents I have to pay taxes to and whether my neighborhood will be up in flames tomorrow, I have heard people on both sides say the exact same things, over and over: The Others believe ridiculous lies. They’re hopeless, stupid, brainwashed, holding back society. Their armpits stink. Their voice is soy. They should be killed. They’re Orwellian — yes!
Yes, believe it or not, even as Twitter protects Joe Biden and all of his shady dealing like the O-line protecting a quarterback, even as they change the meaning of words to fit their agenda in real time, the Left also thinks the Right is Orwellian.
I’m not saying they’re right, but does it strike anyone as funny that both sides are echoing each other’s complaints?
The Science of the Other Side’s Stupid Brain: Introduction
One thing the corporate media seem determined to ignore is the massive numbers of racial minorities who have “defected” to Trump during this election — despite the propaganda, and despite Sleepy Joe instructing black people that their skin will magically change color if they don’t reflexively vote for him (which is more racist than I can imagine Donald Trump being, no matter how hard he tries. Ladies, step up and smell the pits after that one!).
It’s almost as though, even in the face of extreme social pressure and/or relentless propaganda, human populations, regardless of race, will eventually begin to split down the middle.
As it turns out, assuming someone’s political orientation based on their race is, if not racist, very biologically inaccurate.
Well, according to the new scientific evidence that’s been coming out over the course of the very same decade during which we have become ever more divided, anyway (MacGowan thinks this polarization might be a biological inevitability, by the by).
Not just divided, but convinced that the other side is morally inferior, lying, stupid, brainwashed, and/or malicious.
And under all the words, do we hate each other because of. . . science? Boy, that will be some juicy irony.
The tentative conclusions are interesting. Outside of special circumstances, such as Communist dictatorships and the Democrat plantation, societies from modern sub-Saharan Africa to ancient Rome (populares uber optimates, motherfuckers!) tend to split into roughly Left and Right factions. (Lord, we all know lately that trying to define “Left” and “Right,” or any of the other terms we try to apply to this bifurcation, is an exercise in driving yourself insane, so maybe just call it “new solutions” and “tested solutions”? I’ll stumble around in that swamp in a future article.)
The further one goes down this new, fascinating, and thus far mostly-ignored rabbit hole, the wider these methodological chasms seem to gape, rather like (insert gross metaphor about multiple pregnancies). Even when the media do pay attention to it, they mostly focus on the discovery that conservatives seem to have a larger amygdala, which roughly translates in laymen’s terms to being more fearful, a finding corroborated by some eye-tracking studies.
The media being predictably shallow, this has so far led Leftist pundits to glancingly gloat and conservatives to glancingly grumble; even McDermott makes asides to the effect that conservatives might oppose funding for mental health care because they’re afraid they’ll be forced to confront their fears. They don’t seem nearly as interested in the finding that liberals’ interpretation of a photograph of two cops arresting a prone subject changes depending on the accompanying narration.
And then there’s the methodology, another rabbit hole from Hell. If you roughly define “liberal” and conservative the way researchers like Rose McDermott habitually do, there’s an argument to make that black Democrats are actually conservatives.
Actually, given a long enough hegemony, how can a party not be “conservative,” no matter what they call themselves? It depends on your circumstances in history, and where your in-group’s interest lies, but something seems likely to always divide us in half, and the way one’s reasoning falls may, if a growing new body of research holds water, depend on biology.
‘Course, everybody knows now that liars use statistics and studies, and McDermott cautions that most of the preliminary work has used fairly small groups, most under 100 subjects. Interestingly, it seems that lefty rags like Mother Jones have been quicker to report on the research, as “non-PC” as the issues it raises might be. Possibly because the scientists use language like “useful in the Pleistocene” era to describe the adaptations they’ve found in more conservative-oriented brains.
If all of this is true, and if today’s American Left ever realizes it, if they have a scrap of self-awareness, they will be especially ashamed of themselves. They’re kicking people who suffer what they would call brain deformities. Fantasizing about locking up politicians, and even their supporters, over a swollen amygdala.
Well. . . then again, voluntarily being ashamed of oneself over a glaring, emotionally-driven mental error isn’t something humans are terribly prone to do. Particularly humans who have become quite as convinced of their intellectual superiority as the American Left.
But still. Their whole modern shtick is “don’t shit on people for biological differences,” supposedly. So threatening to deprogram/kill/put on shit lists — and, perhaps most pervasively important to the average person, refuse to employ — those who are biologically politically different belies their entire supposed excuse for claiming moral superiority.
So will they be ashamed? They do like shame. But should they be ashamed, or are they just different?
I suppose the answers depend on whether we/they/you (OK, I promise this is the most post-modern sentence I will ever, ever write) manage to go on muffling or channeling the science and the people who are curious about it.
Sniff my armpits.
Coming in Part II: Enough about brain structures — what about those pheromones? Who is more susceptible to propaganda? Will we get more polarized? How good or bad is the methodology? Am I stupid, or just bi-cranial? Are black Democrats liberal, and if so, what does that make black Republicans?
Will we get to the bottom of all this before we kill each other?
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