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Liberalism in your genes?


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I think I had discussed this before, that liberals and conservatives have different brain structures. Conservatives have a larger amygdala and liberals have a larger anterior cortex.

 

Well, I had myself genotyped a few years ago and I was looking at a new bunch of studies that I allow them to use my DNA information. They identified the gene that determines if you are conservative or liberal, based on the brain structure (of course, political beliefs are not all nature, your upbringing, culture, indoctrination, and even the health of your mother during pregnancy can determine your views)

 

It's a confusing read but interesting.

 

https://www.snpedia.com/index.php/Rs25531

 

According to genetics, I have the most liberal type of genotype. GG. Somebody who is AA would be conservative. A is dominant so somebody with an AG genotype would be more likely to be conservative.

 

Both my parents are conservative but I have a feeling that my father is conservative in name only and is GG by genotype, because he is good friends with the old Conservative Member of Parliament where he lives (who is a good guy, actually), so he votes Conservative, but be is more liberal than I am in many ways. My mother is conservative as hell, pretty sure she throws up in her mouth a little bit whenever Justin Trudeau comes on the TV screen :lol: no changing that, probably an AG because I'd have to get one G from each parent.

 

Conservatives outnumber liberals then, but back in the caveman days it was the conservatives who acted as the protectors since their brains are more efficient at perceiving threats, while the liberals innovated and got us out of the caves... Being more optimistic, the liberals would reassure the conservatives to progress, in turn, the conservatives protected the liberals from threats, since they noticed them quicker. And that continues to the present day.

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I've often observed that Liberals are, on the whole more optimistic than Conservatives. But friends have sometimes remarked that I'm a Liberal with a deep pessimistic streak. I have no objective way of knowing if it's nature or nurture.

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I've often observed that Liberals are, on the whole more optimistic than Conservatives. But friends have sometimes remarked that I'm a Liberal with a deep pessimistic streak. I have no objective way of knowing if it's nature or nurture.

Maybe you have A in your genotype and came to liberalism through learning? Or something in liberalism makes you comfortable or certain?

 

The anterior cortex is associated with optimism and courage.

 

As I mentioned, you can hack the brain into leaning towards a certain view. Fearmongering can make a liberal more conservative. Or something bad happening, like conservatism had a good surge after 9/11. Alcohol too. People are more conservative when under the influence... And remember in the old days politicians used to get voters sauced! Must have been right-wingers lol.

 

It's a little bit harder to hack a conservative brain to be liberal but it is possible. I haven't finished reading the book yet, but Fight the Right by Warren Kinsella, a political strategist from here who works with the Liberal Party (and Democrats at times), is about that. Conservatives need certainty and familiarity so you can make a conservative go liberal by invoking nationalism and traditional values. Actually if you looked at Trudeau's campaign, which he worked on, that was so full of nationalistic imagery if he was a right-winger you'd be scared of him and in particular accepting and helping Syrian refugees, who conservatives were afraid of before, was framed as the nationalist, true Canadian thing to do. A LOT of Conservatives voted Liberal. My mother like I said is conservative as hell, did not vote Liberal but she is now personally volunteering helping Syrian refugees. This is someone who almost had a heart attack when my sister dated a guy of Middle Eastern heritage, to now having a Syrian family live with her... So that "brain hacking" worked.

 

I am pretty optimistic most of the time. But I wasn't until I got older and realized the world was not as hostile as my mother made me think it was.

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Posted · Hidden by bludog, April 9, 2016 - Double post in error
Hidden by bludog, April 9, 2016 - Double post in error

And yeah, I've noticed Conservatives tend to think liberals are naive, rather than optimistic.

 

And many liberals tend to see conservatives as fearful, rather than cautious.

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Sympathetic with these ideas, I'd argue that anger-driven left-wing populism is not "liberalism," and is actually an antithetical and destructive opponent to liberalism.

 

Bill

I'd agree too. In Canada we have two left-leaning parties, one Liberal and one left-wing populists called the New Democrats and I doubt the party leaders have the same genotype. Although the New Democrat leader before him was not so angry and a very optimistic person. He passed away too young, tragically.

 

And my mother was thinking of voting New Democrat (I think maybe she did, though she's normally conservative but the conservative guy in that election was not well-liked) she thinks the Liberal guy is too naive and it annoys her that he's optimistic all the time (why?). Personality-wise, he's like Obama, and my mother likes him. *shrugs*

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I'd agree too. In Canada we have two left-leaning parties, one Liberal and one left-wing populists called the New Democrats and I doubt the party leaders have the same genotype. Although the New Democrat leader before him was not so angry and a very optimistic person. He passed away too young, tragically.

And my mother was thinking of voting New Democrat (I think maybe she did, though she's normally conservative but the conservative guy in that election was not well-liked) she thinks the Liberal guy is too naive and it annoys her that he's optimistic all the time (why?). Personality-wise, he's like Obama, and my mother likes him. *shrugs*

Scary thought, but I wonder if one day we'll expect to see the brain-scans and genotype results from political candidates?

 

Or, scarier yet, the parties get the data to help target voters. Brave New World.

 

Bill

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Scary thought, but I wonder if one day we'll expect to see the brain-scans and genotype results from political candidates?

 

Or, scarier yet, the parties get the data to help target voters. Brave New World.

 

Bill

Political parties already do that. Not genotype data but they collect data available that could get a hint at how you vote or think politically.

 

In Canada there is a software called C-Vote and it can make connections on how you vote, for example, it figured out how people who own a snowmobile are more likely to vote Conservative. But, a prominent politician used this to suppress votes and went to jail for it. He used the software to robocall people who were calculated to most likely NOT vote Conservative and tell them their polling station has moved.

 

As for candidates, well, I think judging from the behaviour of some politicians now it'd be easy to guess what their genotype is. Well, who carries the GG genotype anyway.

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Political parties already do that. Not genotype data but they collect data available that could get a hint at how you vote or think politically.

 

In Canada there is a software called C-Vote and it can make connections on how you vote, for example, it figured out how people who own a snowmobile are more likely to vote Conservative. But, a prominent politician used this to suppress votes and went to jail for it. He used the software to robocall people who were calculated to most likely NOT vote Conservative and tell them their polling station has moved.

 

As for candidates, well, I think judging from the behaviour of some politicians now it'd be easy to guess what their genotype is. Well, who carries the GG genotype anyway.

 

Oh I know they collect data. Biometric data/ genomic data would be a whole new avenue that I'm sure parties would love to get their hands on.

 

Bill

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Oh I know they collect data. Biometric data/ genomic data would be a whole new avenue that I'm sure parties would love to get their hands on.

 

Bill

Many countries have laws against collection of biometric data without permission or a charge. I gave up mine, it's public. I was given good money for it because I have "useful" genetics, I descend directly from the population at Port-Royal so my genetics display the ethnogenesis of French-Canadians. If you descend from the Mayflower people or slaves in plantations in the Carolinas you'll get good money too. But I didn't do it for money, of course, for science. It'd be easy for someone to find out my genotype in this gene that they theorize influences your politics and see I have the liberal gene. It doesn't really bother me.

 

I would personally love to see politicians genotyped (they typed British politicians in the studies). Not against their will, though. It's interesting.

 

The only leaders they have genotypes are Adolf Hitler, Nelson Mandela, and Thomas Jefferson.

 

When they genotyped Ozzy Osbourne they found out he is related to Thomas Jefferson. Nelson Mandela was related to Ramses III. One of my friends is related to Hitler. Interesting stuff.

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I lived in Canada (mostly Montreal, but 7 years in Ottawa) until age 40, and always voted Liberal. Since becoming a US citizen, I've voted Democrat. My parents, when they were alive, also always voted Liberal. So does my older brother. So maybe there's some genetics involved, but I'm a bit skeptical. Don't life experiences matter?

 

I've met plenty of people who've switched.

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One problem I have with this idea is with the assumption of a two dimensional liberal/conservative scale. I don't believe a person's political beliefs can be so neatly categorized. I claim 'liberal' because I like you guys better, but I'm sure you realize that I have some opinions that don't fit with (current) liberal orthodoxy. How can a person be hard-core liberal on some issues and conservative on others if the whole liberal/conservative thing is genetic?

 

I think the terms 'liberal' and 'conservative' are just just the result of contemporary realpolitik. The specific issues we use to define the terms change over time as do the specific positions on those issues. Genes don't change that fast. People gravitate toward a political party based on the one or two issues that are most important to them. Over time, groupthink leads them to accept and internalize more of the party's platform until a fully programmed liberal or conservative is created.

 

The human need to 'join' and 'belong' is powerful. If you don't conform your views to the group, you're not one of us. Ideological purity. It seems to be getting worse, too. Many seem to be against Garland's nomination because he's not liberal enough. Republican's are against him because he's too liberal. We, the voters, are destroying the middle ground and creating a dysfunctional government.

 

The idea that we are genetically programmed from conception to be either liberal or conservative just feeds the notion that there's no point in talking to the other side, compromising, or considering their arguments. If your politics are genetic, there's no reason to do your research and weigh each issue objectively and independently...just vote the party line and go back to playing with your phone.

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This is an enormously complex subject, involving biology, psychology, sociology and political science. I'm guessing that to determine the relationship of nature and nurture in politics, ambitious, double blind studies over generations would be needed. The larger the sample of people, the better.

 

We don't know if embedded genetic makeup, gives Conservatives a larger amygdala and liberals a larger anterior cortex. These structures might grow in response to life experience, as the individual develops. So AA through GG genotypes may be turned on or off, fully or partially, as a result of life-experiences ... Especially impressions laid down in the environment of early development.

 

http://developingchild.harvard.edu/science/deep-dives/gene-environment-interaction/

Experiences Affect How Genes Are Expressed

- snip -

Inside the nucleus of each cell in our bodies, we have chromosomes, which contain the code for characteristics that pass to the next generation. Within these chromosomes, specific segments of genetic code, known as genes, make up long, double-helix strands of DNA.

 

Children inherit approximately 23,000 genes from their parents, but not every gene does what it was designed to do. Experiences leave a chemical “signature” on genes that determines whether and how the genes are expressed. Collectively, those signatures are called the epigenome.

The brain is particularly responsive to experiences and environments during early development. External experiences spark signals between neurons, which respond by producing proteins. These gene regulatory proteins head to the nucleus of the neural cell, where they either attract or repel enzymes that can attach them to the genes. Positive experiences, such as exposure to rich learning opportunities, and negative influences, such as malnutrition or environmental toxins, can change the chemistry that encodes genes in brain cells — a change that can be temporary or permanent. This process is called epigenetic modification.

- snip -

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I've often observed that Liberals are, on the whole more optimistic than Conservatives. But friends have sometimes remarked that I'm a Liberal with a deep pessimistic streak. I have no objective way of knowing if it's nature or nurture.

While myself I think the difference is more a matter of being positive, as opposed to negativism. I consider myself a realist, that can be pessimistic.

I don't know how the expression of genes may effect me. My family is a mix of conservatives, and liberals.

I have noticed a difference in intelligence between conservatives, and liberals. Is this because those who share our opinions seem more intelligent, or is it real? At least in my life, many known conservatives didn't appear that smart, before I knew their political beliefs.

The sad thing is, my parents were liberal most of their lives. My father suffered from dementia the last 15 years of his life. He became more, and more conservative as those years went by. My mother who is still with us, has become more conservative in the last few years. She hasn't been diagnosed with any issues yet, but my sister, and I have noticed she isn't as sharp as she used to be.

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The sad thing is, my parents were liberal most of their lives. My father suffered from dementia the last 15 years of his life. He became more, and more conservative as those years went by. My mother who is still with us, has become more conservative in the last few years. She hasn't been diagnosed with any issues yet, but my sister, and I have noticed she isn't as sharp as she used to be.

 

A similar anecdote.

 

For a few years, I used to help out an elderly man who was an enthusiastic Liberal. He had been a nuclear engineer. As dementia took hold, he started watching Fox news more often. The more cognitive ability he lost, the more his outlook changed, from left to right. Until, at the end, from the remnants of his former intelligence, emerged a reactionary zealot.

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Fear can make people more conservative. People with dementia and traumatic brain injuries remember when their brains were working properly and that can be scary and frustrating. Also, being reminded of one's own mortality can make someone support more conservative positions, even if you show an enthusiastic liberal an articke about a fatal car accident, then have them answer political questions, they may end up supporting more conservative positions, so maybe someone in old age close to death and not quite come to terms with it, may be more conservative.

 

Conservatism rose across the world after 9/11, and event that both scared people and reminded them of their mortality.

 

Actually one of the goals of ISIL is to use terrorism to make the Western world turn right, so they see the connection.

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I have to admit that when I was a young kid, I thought Republicans were the way to go. I like honest answers and honesty. My liberal mind came into being only later on after seeing what one sees. I have worked in Biotech all my life, about 35 years now, and the people, a lot of scientist, physicians, as well as scores of lab workers, are mostly in it for discovery and not the money. The motivating factor is discovery and not money. But you might say, well you get paid well, and I'd say yeah I do. I could get more but I don't want more.

 

Under the firmament as they say, we are all in this life together whether we like it or not. Dr King was telling us in the sixties about how poverty was taking this country down, about how the Vietnam war was destroying the moral fabric of our own society. He was so right!!! I don't accept the status quo anymore. I stopped accepting it a while back. And yeah, the Democrats are not so good either. People like Barney Frank pare down any real movement that would improve the lot for too many folks.

 

We need real problem solvers and not just those who seek obfuscation in Congress. We got to move.

 

Peace!

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SpyCar, on 09 Apr 2016 - 02:06 AM, said:snapback.png

Sympathetic with these ideas, I'd argue that anger-driven left-wing populism is not "liberalism," and is actually an antithetical and destructive opponent to liberalism.

 

I agree with this.

 

So do I, and SpyCar: nicely said.

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Sympathetic with these ideas, I'd argue that anger-driven left-wing populism is not "liberalism," and is actually an antithetical and destructive opponent to liberalism.

 

Bill

I wondered which came first, the chicken or the egg. What is appropriate liberal thought and what provided the reasoning for such thought? Opening your eyes, is this liberalism, learn more, is that it? Which gene is responsible and is it some type of variant some deviant nucleotide that is only found by the environment when people are treated like sods some sub-unit of some nucleic acid goes crazy and then begins to feel the Bern, as it was genetically predisposition'd to do so, or was it strictly too much McDonald's happy meal and exposure to industrial pollution combined with the usual primordial soup ?

 

 

Only Shakespeare would know for sure -

 

Player Queen: Both here and hence pursue me lasting strife.

If once I be a widow, ever be I a wife!

Player King: Tis deeply sworn, Sweet, leave me here a while,

My spirits grow dull, and fain I would beguile

The tedious day with sleep

Player Queen: Sleep rock thy brain,

And never come mischance between us twain

 

Hamlet: Madam, how you like this play?

Queen: The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

 

 

 

 

Peace!

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