Tag: leftism

The Left’s Epidemic of Political Stereotyping

By Mason Mohon | @mohonofficial

Just as sure as the existence of Yin and Yang, the existence of left and right goes on. And seemingly, it is only getting worse in modern politics. Both sides of Western politics have become increasingly reactionary. The far right is fueled with hatred of far left-wing culture, going after all things “degenerate.” The far left is merely the other side of the exact same coin, hating all things “traditional.” They are both reactionary groups, and the result of these two reactionary groups reacting to one another is obvious: increased political polarization. Yet, while the far right has many issues, the far left may be more responsible for the destruction of contemporary politics.

When dealing with any social phenomenon, one thing is for sure: nothing is going to be perfect. The human mind has clear limitations, and because of this, it develops heuristics so as to save on thought processing. These heuristics act as mental shortcuts, so when the brain perceives something, it can quickly draw conclusions based on prior thoughts. These mental heuristics extend to politics.

When working in the political space, one must take mental shortcuts so as to reach conclusions, and these mental shortcuts are ideologies. We both self-identify and identify others using these ideological markers so as to easily signal to our potential friends and opponents where we stand ideologically. These take the forms of libertarian, conservative, liberal, capitalist, communist, leftist, etc.

We identify ourselves and others to the same time and mental energy. It is far easier to understand where someone stands politically if they simply label themselves as a “conservative,” rather than explaining the nuances of each and every political view that they have. As the economist F.A. Hayek explained when discussing knowledge surrounding social phenomena: “we group their actions, and the objects of their actions, into classes or categories which we know solely from the knowledge of our own mind.”

When anyone self-identifies politically towards us, the prior knowledge that we have comes instantly to mind. Someone who calls themselves conservative means that we assume they are probably pro-life, pro-gun, and against groups like Black Lives Matter. We then go further to adjust our mental representation of them based on further information that we are given, such as “I am actually a pro-choice conservative.” But from the get-go, political stereotyping is necessary and is usually very beneficial because it gives us a starting point for framing our political friend or foe in our own mind.

But this stereotyping can have a bad side. As Hayek continued, “the trouble is that we can never be sure.” These heuristics are simply heuristics – they will almost never be perfect representations. And more often then we would like, they can be far off from the target. As a 2012 study co-authored by Jonathan Haidt explained, everyone is pretty bad at getting these heuristics right, but the left is especially bad.

By looking at five moral foundations, the study was able to estimate approximately what values political groups hold as a priority. They found that:

Liberals endorsed the individualizing foundations (Harm, Fairness) more than conservatives did, whereas conservatives endorsed the binding foundations (Ingroup, Authority, Purity) more than liberals did. This pattern has been observed across a variety of samples and methods, including self-report measures of (un)willingness to violate the foundations for money, text analyses of sermons in liberal and conservative churches, content coding of life narratives, and facial muscle movements.

The study showed that:

Conservatives were most accurate about the individual-focused moral concerns of either side, and liberals were least accurate. Compared to actual group means of either data set, moral stereotypes about the typical conservative showed substantial underestimation of conservatives’ Harm and Fairness concerns.

Left-leaning individuals are not as capable as constructing and accurate heuristic of their political opponents. This has become increasingly problematic in 2017 and 2018, years after this study was done and published. The majority of the broader left tends to label anyone to the right of them as a “Nazi” and Donald Trump as “Hitler.” This stereotype is expected of a group that underestimates how much their opponents value harm and fairness. If one sees conservatives as fairness-hating empathy-lacking psychopaths against minority rights, then, of course, they would be seen as a Nazi.

Yet these stereotypes are obviously inaccurate. One could compare Trump to Hitler if they made the exception of mass murder of innocents and hatred of Jews. Yet in that case, and charismatic leader is just another Hitler. Trump is pretty far from Hitler, seeing as that there are few similarities. In somewhat ironic contrast, though, the left’s political hero FDR was adored by Mussolini and Hitler just prior to World War 2.

The problem becomes worse when the left decides how one should treat a Nazi. A real Nazi is a problem, clearly, because they are either advocating violent action or engaging in it. A Nazi pattern of behavior should be met with a strong response. Yet left-wingers want to treat right-wingers as they would treat a Nazi, even though the right by-and-large does not follow the same pattern of behavior.

This treatment of right-wingers through a totally inaccurate stereotype has become an epidemic. The left (as well as the right, but for different reasons) needs a reality check. Just as they would tell a straight white male to check their privilege and adjust for unconscious actions, they need to check their own mental heuristics and adjust for unconscious phenomenally inaccurate stereotyping.

We stereotype one another politically because it is impossible to give each and every political character their own fully fleshed out identity in our mind. We need to fix our political heuristics, though, if any meaningful and beneficial political dialogue is ever to come.

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The Myth of the Social Contract

By Andrew Lepore | USA


For us liberty minded individuals, taxation is a form of theft, extortion, and involuntary servitude. After all, the definition of theft is the taking of an individual’s property without that individual’s consent. For those on the left and advocates of taxation, it is not only is a powerful tool for good but fully justified due to the justification that it is “the price we pay for a civilized society.” This has been labeled the conjured up term of the “social contract”. Supporters of the concept  (which most people are, they just have never heard the term social contract in use) claim that by simply existing within a nation you have automatically submitted to the will and authority of the state, to whatever extent that may be. In this article, I will break down the definitions and debunk the concept of the social contract.

If you’re a libertarian or conservative who has found yourself debating the morality of taxation with a lefty or a statist you can assume the conversation went something like this:

Leftist: “We should tax the rich.”

Liberty man: “Taxation is theft.”

Leftist: “You agreed to be taxed when you agreed to the social contract.”

Liberty Man: “What social contract? I Never agreed to a contract with the state.”

Leftist: That doesn’t matter, your existence and participation in society is an unspoken contract which you must abide by.

Liberty Man: That is wrong.

This idea of the social contract is the the-go-to argument for statists desperately trying to justify taxation. It’s the key to justifying all governmental authority.

‘Oh, you don’t want to pay 50% of every dollar you earn to the state? Too bad you agreed to the social contract.’

‘Oh, you don’t want to go to jail for smoking a plant? Too bad, you agreed in the social contract.’

Anybody can see how this is ethically problematic, but the main problem with this idea of an unspoken binding contract to the state is that legitimately cannot exist within the legal realm. To break this down we must first be familiar with the legal definitions and terminology. Firstly, what qualifies a legitimate contract?

A Contract: An agreement between parties creating mutual obligations enforceable by law.  The basic elements required for the agreement to be a legally enforceable contract are: mutual assent (mutual agreement or approval), expressed by a valid offer and acceptance; adequate consideration(Something bargained for and received by a promisor from a promisee).; capacity (Ability to pay); and legality.

Right off the bat you can see that this phony idea of a “social contract” is in direct defiance of the requirements qualifying a legally enforceable contract. The most obvious contradiction being the idea of an unspoken, unwritten agreement which you automatically consent too by simply existing. This is a plain and simple fallacy, the most vital qualification for legitimate contract is that it must be a clear mutual agreement, expressed by a valid offer and acceptance. In other words, all parties must knowingly and willingly submit to the terms and agreements in any given contract. I don’t know about you but when I was born I never agreed to, or bargained for any such contract with the state.

These are not abstract qualifications, they are specific; unless you have bargained for and agreed upon non-abstract, specific elements and conditions there is no legally binding contract. But even if such a social contract legitimately existed, it still would not be enforceable due to a little something called contract coercion. Contract coercion is “When a contract agreement is entered into under conditions involving harm or threats of harm.” For an agreement to be legally enforceable,  contracts must be entered into “knowingly” and “willingly” by all parties. Thus, if a party signs a contract due to coercion, the agreement will not be considered legally binding or enforceable. Thus, (if this contact existed) and the state declared that by existing you have signed a “social contract” to which you must comply  or men with guns will detain (and if you resist, murder) you, this is not a legitimate or binding contract. This idea of a social contract backed by coercion is literally a contradiction in and of itself and cannot legally exist.

In conclusion, the debunking and delegitimizing of this idea of a non-voluntary “social contract’ is essential. When accepted, it marks a seal of approval on all abuses of power by the state. Next time a lefty attempts to weasel in justification for theft, cercion, and involuntary servitude with the simple answer of “Muh social contract”, politely inform them of their ignorance of contract law and liberty.