On “Disgust” and Politics

Today, The Audacious Epigone blogged about the Haidt Morality dimensions questionnaire and the “disgust” dimension. It’s interesting he brought this up because I thought a lot about this after taking the tests years ago. (Tests–http://www.yourmorals.org/explore.php)

My sense is that one’s politics are intimately tied to one’s level and concentration area of disgust. The major thing that popped out to me when I took the Haidt disgust dimension test was my utter lack of disgust outside the “animal reminders” (dead animals, guts, remains). I believe that in my own case, however, that’s not disgust but exclusively fear of being reminded of my own death.

Libertarians lack both sexual “morality” and the “sanctity” aspect of disgust but retain the “fear of taint” type of disgust, which leads to a sense of paranoia among many with that bent. They share the taint dimension with Liberals. Look at the prevalence of fear of Flouride and vaccinations among the Paleolibertarians, for example. The political paranoia about cabals and conspiracies arise out of a sense that the government is “tainted” in the exact same manner, adulterated by occult, disease-like conspiracies, viral in nature and quite often discussed in similar terms as disease. Liberals are overdeveloped in the “fear of taint” dimension and that’s why they are always worried about food and “pollution” and magnets and things like that.

Both Liberals and Libertarians lack the “social hygiene” dimension and sexual morality dimension of disgust. These two aspects are overdeveloped in “Conservatives”. The “sexual morality” dimension explains the visceral conservative reaction to homosexuality and why they can never really rationally explain their inchoate horror at things like gay sex. Because it is based in a visceral disgust for which our liberTINE society has no regard, they have to dance around with words to come up with other justifications for why they hate gays and those explanations fall flat. They tend to reject “conspiracy theories” because that aspect of their cognitive style is already taken up by the first “conspiracy”, God. If you view their odd, baseless belief that same sex marriage “destroys traditional marriage” as based in the “social hygiene” aspect which views society as a body and likens novel social arrangements to invasive, invisible ailments that by nature corrupt the body and must be repelled–it makes a LOT more sense.

Liberals do not perceive society in body/disease terms but in terms of a story that can be written any way they want or a computer that can be programmed and is immune to viruses. Without the disease model of society they are incapable of conceiving of the conservative fear of novel arrangements.

The aspect of morality that is most overdeveloped in Liberals is “Harm” and that’s why they are congenitally incapable of understanding the Conservative opposition to things that are ostensibly “victimless”. Look at the standard Liberal response to any Conservative objection “who is it hurting?” or more to the point “How does it hurt YOU?”. To a Conservative, its hurting “Society”, to the radical individualist Libertarian and Liberal, “Society” as a superorganism either doesnt exist or can be rewritten at will, so no “victimless” social arrangement can do any conceivable harm.

This is why no one can talk to each other across the ideological divides, we are never speaking to each other in the same moral language.

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7 Responses to On “Disgust” and Politics

  1. Heil Hizzle Mein Nizzle says:

    “The “sexual morality” dimension explains the visceral conservative reaction to homosexuality and why they can never really rationally explain their inchoate horror at things like gay sex.”

    One can oppose homosexuality for the same reason one opposes creationism: sound science. Hatred need not enter into it. It is very difficult, for instance, for a man to obtain the HIV virus through vaginal intercourse with females, while going near the alimentary canal (re: gay sex) many times involves tearing, and the transmission of blood and bodily fluids. An evangelical hatemonger might say that “Fags spread disease” but so does the CDC, if you bother to check the data before it gets politicized or obfuscated. And yes, I am aware that heterosexuals also (occasionally) engage in anal sex, but hetero- transmissions via anal sex are several orders of magnitude lower than homo-.

    Putting that health-related issue aside, let’s talk biology. Believing that paying a black man or a white woman a lower wage than a white male is a form of discrimination is predicated on the assumption that the white female or black male can perform the same function as their white male counterpart. And there you have your ‘compelling interest.’

    Would a married homosexual couple typically perform the same functions as a hetero-couple? Only if you believe that ejaculating in an alimentary canal has the same result as ejaculating in a vagina, i.e. creating more humans, begetting life, in which case you are as absurd as the evangelical who believes Yahweh strew dinosaur bones across the Earth in order to test the faith of his subjects.

    It’s all moot now. The power and momentum are with the Left. It’s the “ratchet” effect described by Ms. Thatcher. The right can delay Leftist initiatives, but cannot turn the wheel back. But the Left can turn the wheel forward. All that’s left is for the reactionary to stew, and comfort himself with the bromide of “I told you so” as our society becomes increasingly dysfunctional due to declining fertility rates, fewer intact families and marriages, more divorce, and a world only Rachel Maddow could love.

    • dana says:

      i dispute the procreative purpose of marriage. the purpose of marriage was to create an official vehicle by which males took formal responsibility for the children they created and took on the burden of supporting them and the mother. im not denying the role of visceral disgust in the conservative hatred of homosexual sex, but it certainly doesn’t seem to extend to the same acts being performed by heterosexuals (oral/anal) or between two women, so there has to be something more going on there

      • Heil Hizzle Mein Nizzle says:

        “i dispute the procreative purpose of marriage. the purpose of marriage was to create an official vehicle by which males took formal responsibility for the children they created and took on the burden of supporting them and the mother.”

        My reading comprehension is pretty much shot for the day, so maybe it’s me, but if marriage is a vehicle by which males take responsibility for the “children they created” and shared the burden with the “mother” (i.e. the one who birthed said kids), are you sure we’re not dealing with the “procreative purposes” of marriage, at least tangentially?

        Like I said, I’m pretty bushed right now, so I’ll let you have the last word on this one.

      • dana says:

        when i read “procreative purpose” i think “marriage exists to CREATE children”–obviously this is false as children are created without marriage all the time. my contention is that marriage exists(existed) to LEGITIMATE children as the man’s legal responsibility, a legal vehicle for him to announce to the world “i acknowledge these are MY children and i take responsibility for them”.

      • Om Sweet Om says:

        Anal sex is very dangerous and unhealthy. Those, whether straight or gay, male or female, who have it regularly over the course of years, find their a-hole stretched out and no longer able to hold in the urge to poo. Doctors are now contending with young and middle aged people, particularly gay men but its not exclusive to them, having to have their a-holes sewn up or wear diapers.

        Since ‘Murica porn seems to be all about the a-hole, porn actresses who specialize in that are having problems. As are women who’s sex lives are based off of porn, which I’ve read is an increasing demographic of American now.

        Sick culture.

  2. dana says:

    lol@ a world only rachel maddow could love

  3. Panther of the Blogocube says:

    Gay sex is viscerally disgusting to most men because it’s an adaptation that’s proved useful in ensuring that men are not infected with the pathogen that causes homosexuality. Heritability for this trait is higher than it is for homosexuality, by the way.

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