Some thoughts on political biases, neuronal correlates, Pirates..

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I’ve been a subscriber to PressDisplay for some time. Using monitors allows me to check how often a term, – say.. “transhumanism”, “singularity”, “Denmark”, – appears in newspapers worldwide.
Today, for instance, I received 41 monitoring alerts for “Denmark”. – Actually, I rarely read any of them, as I am definitely “suffering” from an information overload, but occasionally I do find the time..

So what is rotten / not-so-rotten in our little kingdom..

Chicago Tribune / Health News: The food police have stormed Denmark

“Food Police”.. ? – Ha, – I like that one, and of course, according to critics, Denmark is a “Nanny State”  engaged in social engineering..

–  Big meal, -eh.. deal.. I say, and it’s unlikely   to change people’s eating habits anyway. Critics are also saying this “fat tax” is likely to hurt the poor, since they eat more junk-food.. – True enough.. , but may I point out, that eating healthier foodstuffs is not necessarily expensive, – e.g. potatoes are (a lot) cheaper than French fries, – baking your own (wholesome) bread is far cheaper than buying (white) bread, etc.

The Telegraph, UK / Culture News Director Von Trier clams up

At the Cannes Film Festival, Von Trier made “controversial” comments about Hitler and the Nazis, saying: “I sympathize with him a little bit” (?!) – A stupid thing to say of course, but defending himself, Von Trier says: “I do not possess the skills to express myself unequivocally“. All the same, his remarks could be “a possible violation of prohibition in French law against justification of war crimes”.. , for which reason he is being questioned by police..

Much ado about nothing, I say, and here’s why: Lars Von Trier grew up believing himself to be Jewish. His father was Jewish, but on his mother’s deathbed she revealed to him, that his biological father was Fritz Hartmann, who had German roots. The first Hartmann came to Denmark from Germany in 1762, – thus Von Trier’s statement: “I thought I was Jewish, but found out I was actually “a Nazi“..” – (By the way, Fritz Hartman was not a Nazi, – on the contrary: he was active in the Danish resistance movement).

So what else is “rotten”..

Oh yes, – the Social Democrats are back in power, after 10 long years with a “conservative” government, a coalition of “Liberals”, – read: libertarians, – and Conservatives, dependent on the Danish People’s party, infamous for alleged Xenophobia, Islamophobia, Nationalism, and anti-EU sentiments…

So you think I’m happy now.. – Well, I ain’t ! – Or, rather, I really don’t care too much which government we have. In Denmark, you may be a socialist at heart, a conservative at heart, a libertarian at heart and what have we.. , – at the end of the day, Danish realpolitik always ends up being more or less social-democratic.. , or, perhaps.. , social-liberal..

I am a social liberal myself, no doubt. In fact I strongly believe that any truly intelligent person, – who is also endowed with at least some empathy for his / her fellow beings, – must be a social liberal. I mean.. a libertarian, who refuses any responsibility for anyone save himself is.. well.. an asshole ! – A socialist, on the other hand, – at least the ones willing to sacrifice individual freedoms on some Utopian altar, are, in my view, brainwashed idiots, – well-meaning idiots perhaps, but extremely dangerous !

Social liberalism, therefore, is the only viable answer. Liberalism + (social) responsibility.

Unlike the US, where Democrats are a diverse bunch, i.e. Liberals, Progressives, Centrists, and even Conservatives and Libertarians, we have in Denmark a social liberal party in the true sense of the word. They are called “De Radikale” – the “Radicals” – (there is nothing “radical” about them !) – so naturally I would vote for them, right ? – Here you are in for a big surprise, ’cause I despise these social liberals even more than the Danish Peoples Party !!

How can this be.. – Well, – with Social Liberalism tends to come also.. an arrogant and self-righteous attitude of I-am-better-than-you,-you-are-a-racist..

To tell you the truth.. ,                                   
I actually became a non-voter –
(Danish: Couch-voter) – for the
first time, as I simply could not
move myself to vote for any party
, but it is really a BIG paradox that,
being a self-declared Social-Liberal,
– I would not dream of voting for them !

Now, – some psychologists suggest that what you dislike the most in others is really “a shadow” of yourself, i.e. if you hate arrogance and / or self-righteousness, you are likely to suffer from these traits yourself.. , but then being a social liberal involves more than simply an arrogant attitude of being “above” common folks..

Paradoxically, this feeling of being a better – and smarter- person is rooted in a postmodern outlook that favours subjectivity and relativity. In turn, this allows for a very high degree of tolerance towards just about anyone’s “opinion”,  even including the most ardent believers, fundamentalists, radicals.., who are not the slightest bit subjective, – hate the very word relative, – and are themselves strongly in-tolerant. Tolerance of intolerance  is a major weakness of a postmodern outlook…

Then there is the element of Political Correctness, – yet another paradox, considering social liberals’ postmodern outlook, i.e. any opinion or faith is of equal value.. – I like calling a spade a spade myself, but this is causing constant strife with moralizing social liberals / postmodernists.. – Perhaps they are not that tolerant after all.. (?!), – perhaps, deep down, they are really.. closet-fundamentalists…

You see, therefore.. , – it may be possible to find me in the political spectrum, as in the world’s shortest political test, but for the reasons I have stated, it is somewhat misleading..

The ideal party would be.. social liberal, in the sense that liberalism should include social justice, but there is far more to it.., – read on to find out..
You may say I am.. an anarchist who, to a certain extent, accepts “the legitimate role of the state”, – (another paradox..). – I therefore have no problem with mentioned “fat-tax”, and I have no fear of social engineering, in so far as any law is social engineering to some extent.

However, – I am a social liberal with strong anti-postmodernist and anti-PC sentiments..

– I have just been reading this article on the neuronal correlates of Liberal versus Conservative thinking, according to which Liberals are more or less hardwired towards scientific thinking, as apposed to religious beliefs.. – This is maybe true, – (although twice as many self- identified  Republicans have a 4-year college education.. ), – but.. – “scientific” thinking.. has it’s knockers and it’s boosters even amongst Liberals.
No doubt science-sceptics are to be found primarily amongst Republicans /Conservatives, but scientific “truths” have also been under intense scrutiny from postmodernists, – not scientific findings in themselves, but the very epistemological foundations of science. Postmodernists go as far as saying there is in fact no such solid foundation.. – There may or may not be a human-independent reality, but at the end of the day, all knowledge is language-dependent and a product of  group/social processes, – i.e. all knowledge is necessarily subjective and relative..
Hardcore postmodernists will  even go as far as accepting all “knowledge”claims as “really true”,  just because the relevant community accepts them as true.. , – (and this is part of the rationale  for the apparent tolerance of intolerance..).

Not surprisingly, scientific thinkers inclined towards a more old-fashioned, rational scientific realism, are at odds with such postmodernist gibberish. For a superb illustration of this deep division amongst scientific thinkers, remember or read about the Sokal affair, – an experiment to test the intellectual rigor of an academic,  postmodern magazine and “to learn if such a journal would “publish an article liberally salted with nonsense if it (a) sounded good and (b) flattered the editors’ ideological preconceptions.”

As it turned out, that was in fact the case !

Now, – what really concerns me, is when scientific relativism spills over and becomes cultural relativism.. to the point where it becomes a criminal offense to utter anything “exceptionalistic”, – say, for instance: Western, (Social) Liberal, Secular values and societies are far superior to the rest of the world, and the dumbest religion of all is Islam.. !

In the US, you are fortunate to have the first amendment, – (although I am told it is only really taken seriously in more progressive neighborhoods..), – but in Europe, socalled hate-speech is taken very, very seriously, and – you guessed it – social liberals support such laws whole-heartedly..

Personally, I am more or less a fundamentalist Freedom-of-Speech supporter, – the only exception being incitement to violence… , so.. summing up:

My perfect party is..

IN-tolerant of intolerance ! – (Don’t tell me: another paradox.., – there is no escaping.. )
simultaneously Libertarian /Anarchistic and supportive of Social Engineering
Politically IN-correct !
deeply committed to Freedom of Speech !
supportive of racial and cultural diversity, based on common values, – i.e. Human Rights, – therefore decidedly anti-Multiculturalism..

Meanwhile.. in Berlin.. – as reported in this interview, – the Pirate Party
is gaining ground…

These so-called Pirates also self-identify            
as social-liberals , – support Freedom of
Speech and Human Rights in general.. ,
but I remain sceptical.., as I suspect they
too are “infected” with postmodernist
thinking, and most likely they also identify
as Multi-culturalists..
They claim to support Freedom of Speech
whole-heartedly, are in favor of Internet
privacy, etc., – but how about hate-speech laws…

I will of course give the Pirates the benefit of the doubt..

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