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Liberals Vs. Conservatives

Above is a snapshot from a fascinating Ted video that I watched few hours ago.

The speaker is a professor named Jon Haidt.

Few months ago, I was trying to find books to read on how politicians play with the “Us Vs. Them” psychology to manipulate public opinion to get votes (or even otherwise). In that process I discovered a book that Jon has written. That’s how I came to know about him.

As I was listening to / reading his book, I got fascinated with the way he explained things and I wondered if videos existed where he was probably giving some talks. Many of them do actually. That’s how I stumbled upon the Ted talk, embedded above. The insights are fascinating – watch it.

Let me share few more snapshots from this talk.

At some point during the talk, Jon emphasizes on the importance of both right-wing and left-wing guys to realize that what’s best for the society is when both of them co-exist. And in that context, one of the examples that he offers is that of co-existence of Vishnu (preserver / stable / conservative) and Shiva (destroyer / unstable / liberal).

While the above is just a theory and you may choose to buy it or not, let me share something which is less disputable – it’s just a survey result.

From thousands of surveys, conducted across countries, Jon found that those who identify themselves as liberals, predominantly view only “harm” and “fairness” as moral hinges (which even the conservatives do).

But those who identify themselves as conservatives, believe in three additional aspects of morality – namely: a) respecting authority, b) group’s welfare over individual’s and c) the notion of “purity”. It will be a bit too much for me to explain these concepts to you – but if my blog makes you curious at all, just watch the video.

And of course, if you want to understand more about why we often think ‘we’ are absolutely right while the person with an opposite ideology is ‘obviously’ wrong – and why can’t one just look at the ‘facts’ – Jon Haidt’s book is a must-read.

Also ended up creating this t-shirt design. That’ll be all for this blog!

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How to do politics right.

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