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Re: [evol-psych] Dreaming dreams of things that cannot be

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  • Martin Sewell
    ... The left favours radical, reforming, or socialist views. Socialism promotes equality. Any rational well-meaning person should be Utopian. Defining
    Message 1 of 1 , May 2 12:40 PM
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      At 11:26 27/04/2005 -0500, Hill, David wrote:
      >Surely there is nothing mysterious about this. The left, almost by
      >definition, is politically revisionist and utopian. ("I dreams dreams of
      >things that never were and say, why not?")

      The left favours radical, reforming, or socialist views. Socialism
      promotes equality. Any rational well-meaning person should be
      Utopian. Defining Utopia in terms of equality implies a socialist view point.

      >The left stands for rational social revision, and this makes sense only to
      >the extent that human beings
      >and human society are malleable. If populations cannot be socially improved
      >by altering their local environments -- or can only be improved up to a
      >certain near point but not beyond -- then leftists stand revealed as a crew
      >of quixotic figures, pounding their lances against immoveable objects.

      But populations *can* be socially improved by altering their local
      environments - the question is how and how much.

      >They don't want to help the inherently inferior.

      In practice, they do.

      >They want to eliminate inferiority. The left has a collective dream in
      >which, by the unstinting
      >efforts of the politically enlightened, the sun rises on a better day and
      >all reasonable people cluster around them and thank them for building a
      >society in which we are all free and equal. They are heroes in a drama of
      >their own imagining, and the last thing they want is to have some
      >hard-headed curmudgeon brandishing solid statistical arguments tell them
      >that those dreams are impossible, that they are not heroes but saps and
      >buffoons standing in the way of the only really useful social work that can
      >presently be done. It is not that the left can't stand criticism and
      >contradiction. They don't like it much, but they can take a bit of it.
      >What they can't take is criticism at the fundamental level. Their hatred is
      >reserved for anyone who challenges The Dream.

      Understanding evolution and recognizing the relative importance of our
      genetic makeup should make it evident that, given access to equal
      resources, without the left, we can not expect equal levels of achievement.

      Polarizing the nature vs nurture debate, socialism fails with 100% nature
      and is pointless with 100% nurture [1]. Anywhere between these two
      extremes, like the real world, and socialism not only works, but it is
      *necessary* if we wish to level the playing field.

      [1] If we were all born equal, we wouldn't need socialism.

      The argument for socialism strengthens further upon analysis of how the
      nature/nurture divide splits among different groups within society.

      'Now a groundbreaking study of the interaction among genes, environment and
      IQ finds that the influence of genes on intelligence is dependent on class.
      Genes do explain the vast majority of IQ differences among children in
      wealthier families, the new work shows. But environmental factors -- not
      genetic deficits -- explain IQ differences among poor minorities.'

      'Specifically, the heritability of IQ at the low end of the wealth spectrum
      was just 0.10 on a scale of zero to one, while it was 0.72 for families of
      high socioeconomic status. Conversely, the importance of environmental
      influences on IQ was four times stronger in the poorest families than in
      the higher status families.

      "This says that above a certain level, where you have a wide array of
      opportunities, it doesn't get much better" by adding environmental
      enhancements, Scarr said. "But below a certain level, additional
      opportunities can have big impacts."'

      Genes' Sway Over IQ May Vary With Class
      http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A12059-2003Sep1¬Found=true

      This research would appear to suggest that society should benefit from The
      Left.

      Regards

      Martin

      --
      http://www.cs.ucl.ac.uk/staff/M.Sewell/
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