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Hortensis

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Gender: Female
Hometown: Deep South, USA
Home country: USA
Current location: My favorite chair, or maybe out on the porch.
Member since: Thu Jul 24, 2014, 04:54 AM
Number of posts: 33,044

Journal Archives

Ancient Greece and Rome had no concept of equality or

inborn human rights as stated in our Declaration of Independence. Rights, and/or lack of them, came with position--those at the top with the most, slaves at the bottom with none. Most people were considered born into various degrees of bondage, and "liberty" was something that was only given meaning by its degree within a hierarchy. Our southern states tended to be initially modeled after the classic Roman and Greek republics, paving the way for slavery.

Our concepts of equality and inalienable rights came from northern European cultures--German, Scandinavian, Netherlands, English--where freedom was a birthright, i.e., people were born free and possessed rights regardless of status. Tribes usually governed through assemblies, Scottish clans elected their leaders, etc. The world's first national parliament formed in Iceland over 1000 years ago (and continues today).

Our northeastern states were modeled on this belief system, as old as the Mediterranean ones more written about. And many of the things our revolution achieved had already been done a couple centuries earlier in The Netherlands, including declaring a right of the people to rebel against oppression and do away with kings. Nevertheless, the structure and principles of our new republic were unlike any others to that date, which had formed over centuries. And it was no accident that slavery never "took" in the north. People expected to pay in some way for assistance in their work, the way their ancestors had for untold centuries.

In trying to understand what's happening in American today, it's extremely important to consider that the greatest difference, of a number, between conservative and liberal personality is in attitudes toward equality. Greek and Roman beliefs on this were intrinsically extremely conservative, the northern European intrinsically liberal. Most conservatives in America do not support liberal notions of equality, and this is a major factor in their belief that the government that liberals of the revolutionary era succeeded in establishing is fundamentally flawed and "broken."

We liberals, of course, disagree not just in our guts or our bones but, as science has discovered, even down to a genetic level.

It's also discovered that people and cultures in hot climates are more conservative on average. (Check that one out with national and global political maps.) Something else to think about as the globe heats up...

BIG factor, yes. But opposing the Democratic Party

has become not just the main, mindless ideology for Republican voters but their party's reason for being. Republicans have been turned into an attack dog serving plutocrats in the background by stopping us. If the Democratic Party disappeared, the GOP would immediately fall apart.

It's why Limbaugh starts segments in every show with some variation of "Folks, you're not going to believe what the Democrats are up to now." It's why they'll support destroying Social Security, Medicare, the ACA, the USPS, and much else they themselves want--because we created and support these programs.

It's become a national pathology that is much bigger and more powerful than sexism, which is only one of the wedges being used to divide us. Conservatives would elect a woman president if she became their leader in the opposition of Democrats.

This is why we have to be nice to conservative voters, btw, not treat them as enemies--to not push those capable of some degree of independent thought back into their protective fold, away from us.

From Pat Buchanan, for years appearing on CNN and MSNBC:

As the decisive struggle in the second half of the 20th century was vertical, East vs. West, the 21st century struggle may be horizontal, with conservatives and traditionalists in every country arrayed against the militant secularism of a multicultural and transnational elite.


Despicable characterization glorifying what is actually bigotry and nationalist aggression.

For those who haven't read it, STRONGLY RECOMMEND:

http://members.shaw.ca/jeanaltemeyer/drbob/TheAuthoritarians.pdf

Dr. Altemeyer published this lay version of his research on authoritarians and auth. followers free on line because he felt it was desperately important for these people to be understood. Subsequent studies by others have only built on, refined and validated this beginning.

It's also a very enjoyable read, although more appallingly "real" right now. Trump's obviously at least a "social dominator," while many of those around Trump, like Bannon, and pulling strings from the shadows are unquestionably going to be "double high" types.

So it looks like most really prejudiced people come in just two flavors: social dominators and high RWAs. Since dominators long to control others and be authoritarian dictators, and high RWAs yearn to follow such leaders, most social prejudice was therefore connected to authoritarianism.


The Worst of the Lot. One thing has struck me as I’ve studied Double Highs. They’ve usually combined the worst aspects of being a social dominator with the worst aspects of being a high RWA. Thus we saw that when it comes to prejudice, they pack an extra load of hostility toward their many targets. And they’re just as power hungry as the rest of the social dominators are, rather than being uninterested in personal power as ordinary RWAs are. ...but instead they look much more like the fundamentalist, ethnocentric RWAs. ...instead they are as highly self-righteous as the rest of the high RWAs. ... instead they see the world as much more dangerous, the way most high RWAs do.

All in all, Double Highs exhibit an amalgam of bad traits and inclinations. They’re like
a child who’s got Uncle Harry’s splotchy skin and Aunt Mildred’s difficult
temperament and Grandpa Pete’s bow legs and... But don’t feel too sorry for them.
With their followers’ eager help, they’re ruining America.

Over the past few decades people have been separating out

ideologically geographically, a majority literally choosing to move to specifically liberal or conservative areas.

We've, of course, also been separating socially as never before courtesy of the internet. The days are mostly gone when local societies developed group attitudes and mores that had a strong cumulative effect on their thinking. Political bigotry is stronger than ever, and revealing one's orientation has gotten a lot of people fired, so even more workplaces are separated out.

All a way of saying, if we want to fight the evil forces on the right, we first of all have to stay connected with those we know and maintain good relationships so that we may be able to influence them, if only to remind them that nice people can disagree.

As we are all appalled to know, the political belief systems required to vote Republican these days are almost entirely built on lies. Lies that have gotten so outrageous that sustaining their beliefs requires them to avoid not just virtually all honest information sources but also the evidence of their own eyes and even the teachings of their religions.

We thought this was the election the leaders lost their committed support. No. It was the election that proved beyond any doubt that their commitment to their political leaders now trumps all previous commitments to decency, morals, intellect, even religion. A scary and dangerous reality; but perhaps holding the door open, not slamming it on them, will hasten the day when enough finally do turn on their evil leaders and push them out of power. We don't need all that many to turn away for it to happen.
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