I’ve been meaning to read Jonathan Haidt’s new book “The Righteous Mind“, on the recommendation of many readers who say it is an epic synthesis of human morality that merges Darwinism with political ideology.
From a customer review at Amazon:
[A]ccording to Haidt’s and others’ research, there are at least six mental ‘modules’ that go into moral and poltical decisions, and it is difficult to argue that any one (or two or three) are more important than others. And they are: care/harm, fairness/cheating, loyalty/betrayal, authority/subversion, sanctity/degradation and liberty/oppression. Some people (often of the political left) care most about care/harm and fairness/cheating in their emphasis on egalitarian politics that aim to provide care for those in need and create fair rules in the sense that everyone, relatively speaking, starts on an ‘even playing field.’ Others (usually conservatives) have tempermants that focus on authority/suversion and loyalty/betrayal, focusing on maintaining or promoting institutions that foster some level of deference to authority (in legitimate hierarchies), and loyalty (whether to country, God, family, etc).
One point Haidt makes is that conservatives score stronger than liberals on the disgust (sanctity/degradation) module of morality. (Interestingly, liberals appear to have no ability to even relate to this aspect of human morality, whereas conservatives can relate, albeit with a weaker degree of intensity, to putatively liberal moral modules such as fairness and care.)
Conservatives feel stronger revulsion toward disgusting things than do liberals, who, apparently, like to wallow in shit, (or to reframe it in a nicer way: like to experience unique vistas). So when the conservative thinks about gay sex and the penis pushing hard into another man’s anus, he recoils with revulsion. The liberal merely shrugs his shoulders. Not a sermon, just a naughty thought.
Which brings me to pondering something critical to the maintenance of our nation’s infrastructure: do liberal men, with their higher threshold for disgusting things, tend to fuck fat chicks more often than conservative men fuck fat chicks? Is the liberal male more open than the conservative male to slumming it?
Have any of you readers noticed differences in the strictness or laxity with which your liberal and conservative friends hold their standards for opposite sex partners? Have you noticed if the libs you know like to dumpster dive with dirigibles more than you’d be comfortable doing? Have you noticed if the conservative men you know are more judgmental of fat chicks? Do your con or lib male friends date skinnier, hotter women?
This post is purely speculative, because personally, I have not noticed much of a difference between men of differing political persuasions in their willingness to tumble with a landfaring tanker that couldn’t be more parsimoniously explained by differences in sexual market value, rather than liberal comfort with or conservative distaste for the dung heap of humanity. Some leftie men I know, while they preach a good bit about beauty being subjective, are quite the unforgiving judgmental pricks when it comes down to decision time, and they make their choice for 0.7 waist-hip ratio slender babes (when they can).
On the other hand, the flabby swingers and dirty scenesters I’ve met were all, to a tee, left wing cranks. As are the postmodern aka smear menstrual blood on a canvas “””artists”””.
I wonder if Haidt addressed this pressing question in his book? If he did, his may be the best book ever written in the PC era. Kudos would go to him.
Now I can already hear the liberals who read this blog whining that disgust is a weak moral module that should have no impact on public policy or personal choice. Consenting adults, and all that. But the utility of disgust is underrated by the neckbeard crowd. Disgust helps uphold lofty norms, and demands the best of society’s members. Disgust makes lebensraum liveable, and raises the beauty aesthetic. Disgust protects a tribe against being overrun by beastly invaders.
Disgust, it could even be plausibly argued, created female beauty. Generations of men over the eons, sufficiently disgusted by ugly chicks and fat cows, have done their part to bang and reproduce with the best looking women, and that gift is bequeathed this day to us, their descendants, in the form of barely legal porn and hot Russian tennis minxes. If our ancestors had all been live-and-let-live liberals with a weak disgust reflex, we modern men might be hitting on hairy cavewomen with long, dangly breasts and anvil-shaped jaws that could shell walnuts.
I mean, if you can pick up a steaming shit without flinching, maybe you shouldn’t have too much say in local zoning laws.
I have a very strong disgust reflex, for those of you wondering. If I see even a tiny superfluous fold on a chick’s belly, I get my whiteboard pointer and poke the offensive fatty deposit a few times, until she takes the hint. Protractors and tape measures are often utilized to emphasize the teachable moment.
Related, here’s a good discussion on the morality of disgust, over at Mangan’s.