I have often wondered why, after the Fall of the Berlin Wall, and the recent failure of Venezuela, there are still so many true believers. People refuse to change their minds because they have an emotional need to believe in whatever they believe in. To abandon that belief is simply too painful and too traumatic for them.
So what is it in particular that makes the Left cling to their beliefs? I came across this article which sheds some light:
Don't listen to the liberals - Right-wingers really are nicer people, latest research shows
So leftists are envious people.Professor James Lindgren, of Northwestern University in Chicago, found those who favour the redistribution of wealth are more envious than those who do not.
Scholars at Oxford and Warwick Universities found the same sort of behaviour when they conducted an experiment.
At this point, let me say that not all Socialists are envious of others. But the good professors in Oxford, Warwick and Chicago universities all confirm that on average leftists are more envious people than right-wingers. This caveat is for Steve, who does not like me to generalize.
This is not surprising to me. People envious of richer people will want to make more money themselves. So leftists are greedy people. There is more to it:Most surprising of all is a reputable research showing those on the Left are more interested in money than Right-wingers.
I don't know about hugging children, but I have read a book, "Who Really Cares", that says conservatives (IE right wingers) give more to charity. Let's focus on this. Leftists always present themselves as the champion of the poor. They call for income redistributive policies. When the right objects that their policies will lead to national bankruptcy, they will accuse their political opponents of being heartless and uncaring for the poor. Yet when asked to give their own money, they become Scrooges.There is plenty of data that shows that Right-wingers are happier, more generous to charities, less likely to commit suicide - and even hug their children more than those on the Left.
Why? Let's connect the dots. Research shows that leftists are (in general, though there are exceptions - How am I doing Steve?) more envious people and at the same time Scrooges when it comes to donating their money to the poor. So, it means that their desire for a more equal society is not motivated by compassion but by envy.
They just can't stand other people who have more than they have. This explains the phenomena of 'caviar Socialists'. No matter how rich you are, there are still people richer than you - unless you are the richest person in the world. Their envy drives them to push for wealth redistribution policies, not out of compassion but out of envy. They wish to take down people they are envious of.
To change their minds, they will need to admit that a society where those whom they envy cannot be taken down. This is too painful and traumatic for their envious nature to accept.
The article mentioned an experiment conducted by Oxford and Warwick scholars:
Leftists, like all of us, cling to our opinions despite strong evidence that their beliefs are wrong. It is because there is some powerful emotions that blind us to reality. For leftists, they are blind to the fact that Socialism does not work. It leads to bankruptcy every time. But they can't see that because they are consumed with envy. They say that love is blind. Envy is also blind.Scholars at Oxford and Warwick Universities found the same sort of behaviour when they conducted an experiment.
Setting up a computer game that allowed people to accumulate money, they gave participants the option to spend some of their own money in order to take away more from someone else.
The result? Those who considered themselves 'egalitarians' (i.e. Left of centre) were much more willing to give up some of their own money if it meant taking more money from someone else.
Much of the desire to distribute wealth and higher taxation is motivated by envy - the desire to take more from someone else - and bitterness.
No wonder right-wingers are happier than Socialists. Their bitterness and envy made them unhappy. They are too self centred to form strong relations with others:
Close ties are a key ingredient to happiness. Leftists are a miserable lot of people, consumed by envy, self centered, selfish and greedy for money. Speaking generally of course. There are exceptions.When asked by the World Values Survey whether parents should sacrifice their own well-being for those of their children, those on the Left were nearly twice as likely to say No.