Friday, June 21, 2019

It isn’t Leavers who are authoritarian

Dubious surveys have been used to give a misleading picture of Brexit voters.

Kevin Baldeosingh below concludes that it is British "Remainers" who are authoritarians.  I agree. "Remainers" are people who like big government and the EU is a VERY big government.  And a liking for big government is ipso facto authoritarian. But a liking for  big government is also Leftist.  Authoritarianism and "Remainerism" are, then, both part of the good old Left-Right dimension.  Both are Leftist, not something new or unusual.

Kevin's reference to there being two dimensions of politics is an idea popular among libertarians but is not supported by factor analytic explorations of political statements.  That also shows that authoritarianism is part of a single Left-Right dimension, not something independent of it.

For more on the absurd RWA scale also referred to by Kevin, see here.  In terms of current politics it does not measure ANYTHING Right-wing

It has been scientifically confirmed that Brexiteers are bigots, ignoramuses and, above all, really, really authoritarian.

How do we know this? Because just under a year ago, something called the Online Privacy Foundation published an updated version of its 2016 psychological survey of 11,225 Britons. It found that Leavers were more authoritarian, less open and more conscientious than Remainers. It then explained that ‘intelligence has been found to be positively correlated with the… trait of openness… and negatively correlated with conscientiousness’.

The findings were reported in the New Statesman, the New Scientist and The Sunday Times, which even cited the findings as proof that ‘Brexit voters are less bright than Remainers’.

But there is a problem. The standard questionnaire that tests people for authoritarianism is designed to discover only right-wing attitudes. In fact, the survey actually uses something called the right-wing authoritarianism scale (RWA). According to the RWA, authoritarians are characterised by obedience to authorities which the individual considers to be established and legitimate, general aggression against groups considered undesirable by these authorities, and a high degree of adherence to social conventions.

Now, characteristics such as these could apply far more to the woke crowd than any other cohort. Yet, although the RWA was developed by psychologist Robert Altemeyer in 1981, it was not until 2017 that a team of American political psychologists used Altemeyer’s questions, albeit modifying their content, in order finally to create a left-wing authoritarian (LWA) test.

So, a statement designed to measure obedience to authorities in the RWA – ‘It’s always better to trust the judgement of the proper authorities in government and religion than to listen to the noisy rabble-rousers in our society who are trying to create doubts in people’s minds’ – was changed in the LWA test to read: ‘It’s always better to trust the judgement of the proper authorities in science with respect to issues like global warming and evolution than to listen to the noisy rabble-rousers in our society who are trying to create doubts in people’s minds.’

Similarly, references to ethnicity and race in the RWA were replaced with references to fundamentalist Christian groups in the LWA.

So what did the psychologists find? ‘Not only did LWA show a significant correlation with liberalism in both a sample of US college students and a separate nationwide sample of US citizens, it also showed overwhelmingly significant correlations with dogmatism, prejudice, and attitude strength.’ In other words, left-wingers are pretty much just as authoritarian as right-wingers.

Yet, as spiked editor Brendan O’Neill has argued, even the concepts of left and right are now becoming obsolete in Britain. ‘The left v right feels increasingly like a relic’, he writes. ‘The divide now is between Leavers and Remainers; between those who have a strong sense of nationhood and those who see globalist institutions as the best means of organising political life.’

Interestingly, this split was predicted more than two decades ago by British political scientists in a paper entitled ‘Measuring left-right and libertarian-authoritarian values in the British electorate’, which noted that the common assumption that ‘political attitudes are arranged uni-dimensionally along a left-right ideological continuum… has been shown to be implausible in numerous studies’.

The authors went on to say that ‘issues associated with the libertarian-authoritarian dimension may in time compete with the traditional left-right dimension for a central position in British political conflicts’.

This libertarian-authoritarian dimension informs, often unconsciously, the elitist narrative about Brexit (and Trump). So, in conclusion, the Online Privacy Foundation claimed that ‘many voters lack the skills to evaluate critically the information which is being presented’. This prompted it to ask questions with authoritarian implications: ‘Should access to and the use of social media and other personal online data be better regulated?… [H]ow do we ensure that we unleash the power of personal data for social good?’

That reflexive disdain for the average Briton has informed several supposedly data-driven analyses. So, in a survey conducted soon after the Brexit vote, the European Journal of Political Economy concluded that Leavers were old, white, uneducated, technologically incompetent, on welfare, in poor health, and unsatisfied with their lives. Alternative viewpoints from academia came later, with, for instance, political scientists from the London School of Economics finding that ‘the profile of Brexit voters is more heterogeneous than initially thought, and includes voters with high education and “middle class” jobs’.

However, no amount of research has changed the narrative in the mainstream media that Leavers are all authoritarian thickos. Thus, in April this year, the Guardian ran a report with the dire headline ‘UK poised to embrace authoritarianism, warns Hansard Society’. Yet the Hansard Audit 2019, on which the Guardian report was based, does not even have the words ‘authoritarian’ or ‘authoritarianism’ in it.

In fact, what the audit actually reveals is widespread disillusionment with politicians, following their failure to adhere to the decision made by the 17.4million voters in the 2016 referendum. Hence, according to the audit, only 25 per cent of the public have confidence in MPs’ handling of Brexit; 47 per cent feel they have no influence at all over national decision-making; and 72 per cent feel that the system of governing needs quite a lot or a great deal of improvement.

Indeed, according to Hansard, it is Remainers, rather than Leavers, who are more willing to defer to civil servants, judges, and peers in the House of Lords. Which tells you pretty much all you need to know about who are the real authoritarians today.


Feminism has destroyed the relationship between fathers and their daughters

I myself have always said (I’ve said it here) that a “Daddy’s Girl” relationship is one of the most beautiful human relationships there is so I am glad to see the agreement below

There are no sweeter words for a daughter to hear than, “Daddy’s little girl.” Those words can put a smile on any girl’s face as it touches her very essence of who she is. These words cultivate her, comfort her, and make her feel like she’s the most special human being on God’s earth. Every daughter should experience the love of her father, but this is not the reality. In the world we live in, she’ll be fortunate to develop a meaningful bond with her father. Most likely she’ll have a “complicated” relationship with her dad and won’t realize the impending danger facing her in future relationships with boys and men because of this. Sad, but true, and it’s not her fault.

Dads, for the most part, have kneeled on the sidelines and watched their daughters grow into womanhood without really teaching them the intimate details of the game of love, sex, relationships, or even marriage. The seeds of fear, ignorance, and indifference kept dad in the dark.

When daughters grow up in homes where the father is emotionally absent they feel less confident, less secure, and less beautiful. They grow up feeling they have no voice or no choice to pursue their God-given destiny. It’s a feeling of powerlessness that speaks to their subconscious mind that they are unworthy. If a daughter is rejected love from her father, she learns to love rejection. Being rejected is love to her and love is being rejected. This might sound strange, but think about it. When a daughter is rejected love, she’s learning that rejection is her love language. So the more she is rejected love by her father, then by boys and men, the more she pursues love from them. Once she discovers that her thirst for love can’t be quenched through the opposite sex and once she realizes her father failed her emotionally, she looks for empowerment from within. Enter feminism, the “F-word.”

Feminism is the belief that a patriarchal system was methodically designed for girls and women to live beneath their means. The term patriarchal comes from patriarch, which comes from pater or father. This feminism strongly suggests that fathers are the problem, not the solution. Well, I happen to agree that dads are both the problem and solution for feminism. When dads are indifferent towards their daughters, they create women who seek to be what their dads weren’t — men. These women grow up to prove their worth by performance, promiscuity, and power. However, when dads are emotionally engaged with their daughters they don’t seek to prove themselves through feminism. They already know who they are and can simply be feminine. Femininity is attractive! Feminism is foul. Dads who create good relationships with their daughters teach them that their identity is not based on how they perform or what they look like, but who God created them to be.

The father daughter relationship determines so much of how girls and women see the world around them.


More bigotry in British TV

ITV will no longer commission comedy shows with all-male writers' rooms, the broadcaster's head of comedy has said.

Saskia Schuster said she realised last year that "an awful lot of my comedy entertainment shows are made up of all-male writing teams". She said: "Too often the writing room is not sensitively run. It can be aggressive and slightly bullying."

She has now changed ITV's contracts, and female writers have been hired to join shows like ITV2's Celebability.

There has been "a significant lack of shows written by women or with women on the writing teams", she said.

Last year, when reviewing the gender balance of sitcom scripts she was sent, she realised that for every script she received from a female writer, she got five from men.

After consulting writers, producers, agents and performers, "the first thing I did was I changed my terms of commissioning," she told Channel 4's Diverse Festival in Bradford on Monday. "I won't commission anything with an all-male writing team."

Ms Schuster has launched a scheme called Comedy 50:50 to encourage more female comedy writers. She said female writers struggle because:

It is difficult to compete for jobs with men who have more writing credits

They can't find producers who "get" their voice and can develop their script to its full potential

They don't thrive as the lone female voice in a writers' room

"There can all too often be a sense of tokenism towards the lone female," she wrote on the Comedy 50:50 website. "Or the dominant perception is that the female is there purely so the production can hit quotas."

She has now changed ITV's contracts so any shows that are commissioned or recommissioned "must aim towards 50:50 gender representation".

Comedy 50:50 has set up a database which currently has details of 460 female writers. Many producers had complained that "there aren't any female writers [or] we don't know where to find them", she said.

Ms Schuster also runs events where she says she "forces" her producers to have 10-minute conversations with three female writers. She has set up confidence workshops and is launching a mentoring network next month.

"If you have the same type of writers in terms of race or sexual orientation or gender, then you're only getting one kind of joke, and if you've got different voices in the room, you're getting different kinds of jokes," she said.

"You want to represent the wide audience that's watching. You want diversity in voice, or else it won't be as funny because it won't be appealing to as many people."


New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Signs Bill Granting Driver’s Licenses To Illegal Immigrants

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday night signed legislation granting driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants — shortly after the controversial measure passed the state Senate.

Cuomo’s action came despite throwing supporters a last minute curveball by asking the state’s top civil attorney, Solicitor General Barbara Underwood, to review the measure for possible safety concerns — threatening to veto it if he didn’t like her assessment.

The New York Post Reports:

“You could create a database for the feds to use to actually track down undocumented people,” Cuomo said on WAMC radio. “California passed a law, and they are now in litigation.”

But Underwood’s boss, Attorney General Tish James, later released a statement amid the Monday-night vote arguing that the bill is legally sound.

“The legislation is well-crafted and contains ample protections for those who apply for driver’s licenses. If this bill is enacted and challenged in court, we will vigorously defend it,” she said.

The law takes 180 days to go into effect, meaning the first licenses will be available in December.

The measure on Monday passed the state Senate by a 33-29 count, often eliciting emotional remarks from both sides of the aisle during the floor vote.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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