by Tim Heydon.
As it dawns on Tory Party members that their own leadership despises them, the question arises; why is it that intelligent, educated people, of the kind who lead the Tory Party and the other left-wing parties often have views which diverge wildly from those of ordinary folk and why is it also that these ‘intellectuals’, like David Cameron who chooses people as advisors because of the ’quality of their minds’ ie one suspects, if they think like him, are so often wildly wrong ? And why is it that the ordinary folk they like to despise as ‘swivel eyed loons’ etc are so often right? Right, for example, about the inevitable, probably violent failure of the multicultural, multiracial project forced on them by their intellectual superiors (As these latter like to think of themselves)?
The question really answers itself. Encouraged ultimately by Cartesian mind / body dualism, ‘Intellectuals’ are seduced by intellectuality, merely because it is intellectuality and they worship the mind, to the point that they have got to thinking that human beings are walking intellects. (Since they are ‘intellectuals’, this gives them a warm glow of superiority as they bask in the ‘knowledge’ that they are so much more intelligent and capable than others). Of course, with –it people will always agree with them because their reasoning is so superior that they must. (Or so they think). If they don’t there must be something seriously the matter with them.
But this view of man as merely a reasoning entity opens up the notion that his behaviour can be altered at will by feeding him the ‘right ‘ideas and altering other aspects of his environment. This is great for leftist intellectuals (and leftism is an intellectual project if it is anything) who just love the idea of bossing intellectually inferior people about, That means the rest of us. For our own good, naturally.
But man is more than just or mainly a reasoning entity. It is this fundamental misunderstanding of human nature which makes the whole edifice of leftist thinking a house of cards. This chasm between how leftist intellectuals tend to see man and man as he actually is, is what prompted George Orwell to remark, ‘What sickens me about left-wing people , especially intellectuals, is their utter ignorance of the way things actually happen.’ Ordinary people though do know ‘how things actually happen’.
The evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa, who is Reader in Management at the London School of Economics and Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Psychology at Birkbeck College, University of London, points out (‘The Intelligence Paradox. Why the intelligent choice isn’t always the smart one’) that far from being solely reasoners, human behaviour is rooted in our evolutionary past. The core Principles of Evolutionary Psychology, which contradict those of leftism are that people are animals; that there is nothing special about the human brain; that human nature is innate and that human behaviour is the product of both innate human nature and the environment.
If leftists / liberals are as they like to brag, on average more intelligent than right wing people, why don’t they give this impression in peoples day to day experience of them?. Why are they much more likely to say and do stupid things and to hold to ridiculous beliefs and ideologies which stretch credulity? Such as that races are merely ‘social constructs’ or that they are on average equally intelligent or that no one culture or religion is of more intrinsic worth than another when it comes to human flourishing, for example?
Bruce Charlton, Professor of Theoretical Medicine at the University of Buckingham and former Editor in Chief of Medical Hypotheses suggested in an editorial in that magazine (December 2009) that leftist / liberals and other intelligent people are ‘clever sillies’ who incorrectly apply abstract logical reasoning to social and interpersonal domains. But why do they make this mistake?
Kanazawa argues that general intelligence –the ability to think and reason- probably evolved as a domain –specific psychological mechanism to solve evolutionary novel problems, whereas, for all evolutionary familiar problems there are other, dedicated psychological adaptions. Everyone -intelligent or not –is evolutionarily designed to have the ability to solve such evolutionary familiar problems as mating, parenting, social exchange and personal relationships with the other evolved psychological mechanisms.
Charlton suggests that the totality of all the other evolved mechanisms (all of human nature except for general intelligence) represents what we normally call ‘common sense’ Everyone has common sense. More intelligent people, however, have a tendency to over apply their analytical and logical reasoning abilities derived from their general intelligence incorrectly to such evolutionary familiar domains and as a result, get things wrong.
In other words, the intelligence of liberals and leftist and other intelligent people is self-vitiating in day to day situations. They tend to lack common sense because their general intelligence overrides it. They are what was known in our armed forced by the common-sense lower ranks as ‘Educated idiots’. They think in situations where they are supposed to feel. In evolutionary familiar domains such as interpersonal relationships, feeling usually leads to correct solutions whereas thinking does not.
It could be argued that Right Wing intellectuals may be subject to the same confusion as left/ liberal ones, but if they are, the tendency is much less because right wing ideas are founded on common sense in the first place. Thus left wingers are subject to the moralistic fallacy, which has it, eg, that ‘Because everyone ought to be treated equally, there are no genetic differences between groups of people’. The corresponding right wing fallacy is that what is good is natural; that what is , ought to be.
However, while the left wing fallacy is almost invariably wrong in its outcomes because it tries (and fails as it must) to shape reality to ideology, the right wing fallacy, although a fallacy, almost invariably at least approaches correctness in its outcomes because it is founded on reality in the first place.
Man is part of what is natural and nature cannot be chased out completely. The attempt can have sometimes dire results.