-- R.G. Menzies
LIBERTARIAN/CONSERVATIVE DIGEST AND COMMENTARY FROM AN ACADEMIC PSYCHOLOGIST in Brisbane, Australia. My academic publications are widely read
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Are Liberals High On Dopamine?
An interesting hypothesis below. The motive behind political correctness has always seemed clear to me: It is just another form of Leftist destruction, destroying customary speech. But it is proposed below that PC has another motive: Creating a sense of belonging in the PC individual. By being correct you ally yourself with the predominant view and against foolish and uncaring old-fashioned people. You place yourself among an approving community of the good and the wise.
There may be something in that but if the motive is to be part of a comforting group, wouldn't that wish be better served by identifying with the unreformed majority? Politically correct speech is the province of a small minority, albeit a minority that the intellectual elite approve of
I have no doubt that being PC evokes warm feelings of righteousness but does that arise from feeling part of a group or from something else? I think it arises from the usual Leftist egotistical motive of wanting to appear wiser and kinder than "the herd".
Leftism is fundamentally egotistical. You have to be quite an egotist to think that you know how to change the world for the better but it is REALLY egotistical to think that you and your party are entitled push your vision through by force or coercion. You have to think very highly of yourself to believe all that
I am reading an excellent analysis of PC behavior by Loretta Graziano Breuning, PhD, entitled How I Escaped Political Correctness And You Can Too. She says that biology drives PC behavior:
I looked for answers that fit reality as I’d lived it. My search led to amazing research on the social behavior of animals. This showed me that political correctness is biological. The brain chemicals that make us feel good are inherited from earlier mammals. They reward us for behaviors that promote survival in the state of nature. Political correctness stimulates your reward chemicals in primal ways.
I’m not saying we’re hard-wired. On the contrary, our neurons are not connected at birth. We connect them from life experience, and these connections make us who we are. Early experience wires you to expect rewards and pain in ways that happened before. Political correctness wires you to expect rewards and pain in specific ways. It’s hard to re-wire yourself after the neuroplasticity of youth, which is why people cling to political correctness even when they see its flaws.
I finally ripped off the PC goggles and looked at the world without them. You can say I haven’t escaped political correctness because it’s still there. But I have stopped filtering reality through the lens built by the gatekeepers of political correctness. I have learned to focus on the pleasure of my own choices instead of on solidarity with suffering. You can rip off the PC goggles and enjoy your own choices too. You’ll be glad you did!
So when people act in politically correct ways, as mammals, their brains are stimulated with "happy chemicals" such as oxytocin or dopamine: "mamamals seek safety in numbers because the brain rewards it with oxytocin" ... "The joy of dopamine is released when you approach a reward"..."Political correctness promises new rewards, and shames you for seeking rewards in other ways."
If this is the case, why are some of us not programmed to "get high" off political correctness?" In fact, when I hear people being PC, I feel mistrustful of them for being driven by PCness rather than the truth. Maybe the rest of us who are not PC simply get high from different values: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
By JR on Saturday, March 24, 2018
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