Upending The Table

What's amusing about politics is it lives in two parts of the brain. The rational part of us wants to reason out the way we think the world works best according to our cultural and philosophical values. These are far more ingrained than we think, as studies have shown our beliefs are rooted in genetics.

It suggests that our ancestors had an evolutionary advantage for both collectivism and individualism, permissiveness and authoritarianism. This is essentially the political compass, with a bit of rewording as to what I think is a better description of the values behind left and right.

Culture adds another wrinkle, as your base values are formed by the society you are raised in. Someone in China is informed by a Filial traditions culturally, that gives them a much different value set than someone born in the US.

So we take these genetic and cultural factors that form our values and rationalize decisions about how we think government should work. But that's only one part of our brain. There's still a bit of the monkey mind at work. We want to win—we need our team to win—if they win we're winners who have the right beliefs.

This is what modern politics has exploited to create a show business full of Ivy Leaguers trying to find the balance between appeasing lobbyists and delivering the constituents just enough they don't disengage. There's no doubting the current system is corrupted, but it is a cunningly executed corruption.

This is because we have to teams, and the message is reinforced any other choice would allow the other side to win. You might not get what you want, but you're at least a winner. As media becomes more opinion driven, even the most politically engaged are given a steady diet of news that tells them the other side wants to ruin America. So getting what you want takes a back seat to saving America from the terrible policies that will ruin everything forever.

The current mood of the electorate in the US seems to have grown tired of that on the left and right, though the right seems more committed to delivering a real blow to status quo. Burning everything to the ground for the sake of sending a message. This feeds into the mentality, as even when you lose—you upended the table.

Mike M

Mike M

I have written various kind of reviews for years. I currently write for Make Use Of. I used to write for Digital Entertainment News, Macgasm, and the Examiner. My day job is as an IT monkey. Follow me on Twitter.