Sunday, 28 June 2015
Recent research has thrown light onto to how those with liberal and conservative beliefs think about the world. Essentially subjects with strong political beliefs were placed into a scanner and their brain activity was monitored while they were shown various images to consider. In the brains of those with liberal beliefs it was those areas associated with analytical thinking that lit up. In those with conservative views the part of the brain that lit up was the amygdala, part of the limbic system associated with memory, emotion and decision making. So what does this tell us? Liberal thinkers tend to look at information and then consider what it means before reaching a decision about alternative views. Conservative thinkers compare what they are seeing to information stored in their memories, react to it on an emotional level and then make a decision about it. While liberal thinkers use abstract reasoning when considering a decision, conservative thinkers rely on concrete reasoning. Abstract reasoning is the ability to look at a problem and then imagine alternative solutions, considering the various alternatives before alighting on the most likely solution. It is an ability that some people, though by no means all, develop around the age of sixteen. Those who never make this transition from concrete to abstract reasoning are forced, because a lack of imagination, to investigate problems on a trial and error basis and tend to rely on what they already know from direct experience. If that experience is limited then they lack the intellectual equipment to consider other possible alternatives of which they have no direct knowledge. They are forced, in other words, to choose between the limited number of alternatives stored in their memory. Given a novel situation outside of their direct experience they will attempt to shoehorn into place a remembered solution to a different problem and lack the imagination to see that this "solution" is probably quite inappropriate and unlikely to work. Worse yet conservative thinkers will also tend to react on an emotional rather than an intellectual level, imbuing their simplistic solutions with an emotional element that can be both forceful as well as wildly inappropriate. The Tories in Britain, for instance, have been very successful with their "the British economy is just like a household budget" mantra. This appeals to conservative thinkers because it is something that many have direct experience of and it has a high emotional content. At the same time they lack the reasoning skills or imagination to see that the statement is actually economic mumbo-jumbo. It is hard to believe that the leaders of the Tory party could be as unintelligent as those who vote for them and this leads us to a startling conclusion. The Tory party are not conservative thinkers in the true sense and must understand that their "beliefs" are nonsensical. Rather they are cynical manipulators who, motivated by greed and selfishness, deliberately mislead the hard of understanding for their own advantage. They are, in other words, chancers, snake oil salesmen and confidence tricksters cloaked in the respectability of a political party.
Monday, 22 June 2015
David Cameron struck his favourite "holier-than-thou" pose today and promised to end the "welfare merry-go-round." "It's ridiculous," our intrepid leader lectured, "that poor people keep getting something for nothing paid for by the taxpayer. I propose, therefore, to end the tax credit system so that the low paid can take pride once again in their poverty and rich people like me can get a tax cut. There are too many bone idle people in this country working every hour God sends for a pittance and expecting rich people like me to be grateful. Well let me tell you we're not. If the poor are too stupid to negotiate higher wages without the benefit of trade unions, then they deserve to be poor. They should take a leaf out of my book and vote themselves a pay rise when they need to buy another London mansion. If you're going to rely on state handouts then you should at least make a good fist of it and scrounge enough to send your kids to Eton, form yourself into a political party to pass laws that favour you and make you rich enough to lecture everyone else about being feckless. I didn't get where I am today by letting the grass grow under my feet - you have to be fast on your feet to make the kind of money I do for doing sod all. It is my mission to recreate the poverty that made this country great and the kind of unfair society that this country deserves. To get the ball rolling I have also decided to spend several billions refurbishing the Houses of Parliament so that hard-working, tax dodging and expense fiddling MP's can continue to pretend that we're all still living in the 14th century. Britain can only move forwards by looking backwards and can only guarantee a prosperous future by encouraging more poverty."
Wednesday, 10 June 2015
Britain's leading economic ignoramus and the Tory party's idea of a genius has set out his plan to outlaw Keynesianism during his Mansion House speech. For those of you who don't understand what Keynesianism actually is it was the method by which the Depression of the 1930's was ended and works because it stimulates a floundering economy by putting money into the hands of those who need it the most - the poor. This is in contrast to the preferred Tory method of cutting taxes for the very rich who then proceed to hoard their money hoping that things will get better all on their own. It was this Tory method, now called "austerity", that prolonged the Depression of the 1930's for the entire decade and destroyed the lives of millions to benefit a tiny minority of the rich and greedy. Now George Osborne wants to pass this economic insanity into law to benefit himself and his rich mates and to ensure that, in any future economic downturn, it will be the poor who will pay for it. The rich, during times of boom, will get richer and, when they screw it all as their natural propensity for criminality is given free rein, it will be the poor who will be forced to pick up the tab. As such it is nothing more than the usual "heads we win, tails you lose" ideology that the Tory party favours. That they will get away with it reflects two unfortunate political realities. First, there is no real democracy in a Britain where 63% of voters did not vote for this sorry excuse for a government and, second, because the British people will completely fail to understand any of the issues involved. Osborne is also eagerly awaiting the response from the Labour party to his carefully laid trap. If Labour agrees with this idiocy Osborne will have completely neutered the opposition, forcing them to accept what will amount to a new economic orthodoxy. If they don't agree he will gleefully paint them as "economically irresponsible" and, once again, saddle us all with his "heads we win, tails you lose" confidence trick. Having lost our soul to those who have turned the war against poverty into a war against the poor, we are now being invited to lose our wits.