A theory of political dimensionality

I believe in moral progress. I think smarter and more sophisticated people are able to make better moral judgements than their dumber and less sophisticated brethren. I believe that as understand more about the world, we understand better what kind of policies effectively promote human flourishing. An important caveat to this is that it’s totally possible to be dumb and still have progressive beliefs by accident / not as a result of having really weighed the issues for yourself.

On the other hand, I also believe in selfishness. I believe that people’s beliefs are strongly, if unconsciously, influenced by what is good for them personally.

I believe that progressive policies are objectively correct in terms of being better solutions for promoting human flourishing.

Thus, I believe that the smarter and more sophisticated someone is, the more likely they are to support progressive policies. However, there is one big confounder here: the more money someone has the more incentive they have to support right-wing economic policies that will harm the country overall but benefit them personally. And there is also at least some correlation between being smart and sophisticated and having more money.

So that’s how we get to our two-dimensional breakdown of the political spectrum: “social issues” are those that you support more the smarter and more sophisticated you are and which having more money doesn’t cause you to turn against. “Economic issues” are those for which having more money turns you around on and makes you support inferior policies out of self-interest.

Everyone is of course on a spectrum between rich and poor and smart and dumb. But let’s simplify a bit and divide people into four categories:

1) Rich and smart

First let me say this is a dope category to be in. This is a libertarian sort of group, in favor of progressive social policies, but not the sort of progressive economic policies that would be good for the country but would entail raising taxes on the rich.

2) Rich and dumb

These are the rich people you don’t hear about as much because they tend to have less interesting stories, and make less of an effort to be involved in politics. This is a hyper-conservative group, with backwards social views and ultra-right economics untampered by any qualms the smart rich people might have about the effects of those policies on the country.

3) Poor and smart

Socialists! These are the people who are smart enough to be progressive across the board, and poor enough that their self-interest lines up with that of the majority, rather than leading them towards the selfish policies of the rich.

4) Poor and dumb

Trump supporters! Or more broadly, the Republican base. These folks have regressive social views, and tend towards conservatism economically, though are nowhere near as conservative as their rich and dumb counterparts. They are the people who are always manipulated into voting against their economic interests for the Republican Party out of concern for the social issues that they’re on the wrong side of.

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8 responses to “A theory of political dimensionality

  • pithom

    “Poor and Dumb” better describes Blacks, as most are objectively poorer and dumber than the average Trump supporter.

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    • aciddc

      Hmm, I guess I’ll respond as if you were trying to make a serious point rather than just dropping by for some light racism.

      The above post applies mainly to the majority group in whatever country you’re applying it to, meaning whites in the United States. The politics of racial minorities tend to be more complicated – for example with American blacks overwhelmingly supporting the Democrats because the Republican Party has gotten so blatantly anti-black that they feel they have no other options. It’s still a somewhat exploitative relationship, in that if they really had any sense they’d all be socialists, but it’s pretty inarguable that black America made a good decision on which of the two major parties to align with.

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      • pithom

        Wrong, wrong, wrong. Blacks started supporting the Dems long before the GOP was the party of the Confederacy. Goldwater was not anti-Black, but was considered as such because he didn’t vote for the Civil Rights Act, thus solidifying, but not originating, the Dems’ firm control of the Black vote, which originated due to a concerted propaganda campaign by FDR, who won Mississippi every single time he was elected to the Presidency.

        It wasn’t Blacks that realigned because the GOP was anti-Black; it was southern Whites that realigned because the Dems were anti-southern-White.

        Socialism, always and everywhere, is not a good idea. The richest Black-majority countries are in the Caribbean, and they aren’t socialist.

        There is little to no correlation between IQ and party preference among Whites. Elliott County, Kentucky -not known for its wealth- is the longest-Democratic-voting White-majority county in America (though it almost voted for Romney in 2012 because of Obama’s war on coal). The real issue you’re ignoring is the marriage gap.

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        • aciddc

          Man, it’s nice to have some real concentrated idiocy to sink your teeth into.

          Pre-civil rights era Democrats had about the portion of the black vote that you’d expect given that they were the more pro-poor party and blacks were poorer than average. It was only in the 1960’s when the modern era of 90%+ of blacks voting Democrat.

          Not sure in what sense you’re claiming that the Democrats are/were anti-Southern White, except of course that they intervened to ensure political and civil right’s for the Southern black population against the wishes of Southern whites.

          Not really sure what your point about black-majority countries in the Caribbean is. The poorest black-majority countries aren’t socialist either, because there are barely any socialist countries these days.

          The marriage gap, really? It’s been VERY conclusively proven that lower marriage rates are a result of poverty, not a cause. We’ve discovered this through the horrifying natural experiment of the American white working class gradually being put in the same crappy economic position that the black community has been in for a long time, and following that transition with a move towards the same less stable family models. This is about the availability of jobs that can support a family, not some longstanding cultural problem among poor blacks or recent cultural collapse among poor whites.

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          • pithom

            “It’s been VERY conclusively proven that lower marriage rates are a result of poverty”

            -I mean the partisan marriage gap:

            http://isteve.blogspot.com/2012/11/marriage-gap-around-20-points-or.html

            And, no, Mississippi has one of the highest marriage rates for Whites in the country. Lower marriage rates are definitely not a result of poverty; what are you smoking?

            http://www.vdare.com/posts/raj-chetty-and-nyt-finally-discover-my-red-blue-marriage-gap

            “Pre-civil rights era Democrats had about the portion of the black vote that you’d expect given that they were the more pro-poor party and blacks were poorer than average.”

            -Definitely false, at least for the 1952 election:

            http://themonkeycage.org/2012/02/zombie-politics-the-voting-behavior-of-white-working-class/

            “We’ve discovered this through the horrifying natural experiment of the American white working class gradually being put in the same crappy economic position that the black community has been in for a long time, and following that transition with a move towards the same less stable family models.”

            -Except that’s utterly laughable. The position of the White middle class has, at worst, jogged in place since the 1970s. It has in no way worsened. The decline of the family started in the late 1960s, when the economy was booming.

            “This is about the availability of jobs that can support a family, not some longstanding cultural problem among poor blacks or recent cultural collapse among poor whites.”

            -[citation needed].

            This is a terrible blog and you seem to be an extremely ignorant person. Unsubscribing.

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          • aciddc

            Were any of your links supposed to support any of your points? It’s an interesting rhetorical device to just put unrelated links below whatever you say to give the illusion of having sources, but falls down pretty quickly if anyone bothers to click them. I guess you were just hoping that linking to places like VDare would discourage people from bothering to check?

            Did you really get as far as subscribing to this blog in the first place? I hope I’m not writing anything to attract your type of scum.

            Just in case you have any interest in the real factors effecting marriage rates, this post is a decent summary: http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/jobs/posts/2012/02/03-jobs-greenstone-looney

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          • pithom

            “I guess you were just hoping that linking to places like VDare would discourage people from bothering to check?”

            -Uh, no. The point of me pasting in teh links was you clicking on them. And if you had clicked on them, you’da noticed they were very much related to my claims.

            “I hope I’m not writing anything to attract your type of scum.”

            -I’m E. Harding. I think you commented on Tyler’s lazy “neo-reaction” post, which is why I found your blog. I’ve been noticing small blogs are underappreciated, especially alt-right/Nrx ones, so I’m subscribing to them as much as I can.

            And you didn’t address my links, anyway. You are a very lazy and incompetent person.

            “However, it is also likely that the combination of declines in marriage and declines in economic opportunity have contributed to worse outcomes for some people, and especially for some children.”?

            Yes, marriage has become more correlated with income over the past forty years, in a time income inequality has soared. Nobody denies that. But this hardly means low incomes are a cause of less marriage. Correlation is not causation -the first lesson you learn in any science class. People had lower incomes in the past, and were married more. When Blacks move from Africa to America, their marriage rate falls dramatically from the first to second generation, while their income just as drastically rises.

            http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2013/12/economic-convergence-between-black-immigrants-and-black-natives.html

            Clearly, then, changes in income are not a cause of changes in marriage. It must be something much deeper than that.

            It would be interesting to see a study of income, marriage, and tendency to vote for the GOP that fully evaluated these factors. The link you pointed to above ain’t it.

            Again, this is a terrible blog, and you are a very ignorant person.

            And, yes, being pro-forced-integration is being anti-southern-White. Just look at the vote Goldwater got in Mississippi in 1964.

            Yes, I subscribed to your blog in Feedly. I am now unsubscribing, because of this blog’s terribleness and your ignorance.

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          • aciddc

            Oof, you are the worst. Not going to get trolled into continue arguing with you. Please stay away from this blog / my online presence in general.

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