Traditionally, most people have believed that they make their own political choices. In fact, it has been a commonly held belief, especially by the educated people, that they make rational choices in politics. Such beliefs have prevented people from understanding their opponents and have forced them to form an exaggerated opinion about the righteousness of their own opinions.
Fortunately, these myths have been debunked by modern thinkers and we’ll briefly mention three books which illustrate the modern view:
The Blank Slate by Steven Pinker tells us that human mind is not a blank slate. That the mind comes with a basic structure, which means, we do have certain predispositions to some ideas. This does not mean that it won’t change, but only that, it is more likely to grow in one direction than the other.
Blink by Malcolm Gladwell suggests that we make decisions first and then try to justify them with reasons, and not the other way around. This is mostly because we are emotional and instinctive beings.
The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt takes us to the final point we are getting at. In this book, the author makes use of the above two ideas and then argues how the moral psychology of leftists and rightists works. And how we are blind to interpret facts in a particular way, depending on which side of the political spectrum are we aligned to.
Based on the above mentioned key points, let us find out whether you are more likely to be on the Left or the Right, when it comes to politics. In five pictures, we will solve this puzzle. Note that there is nothing wrong in belonging to either group; it’s just that we are more likely to focus on certain ideas and ignore others based on our worldview.
We know that absolute freedom can lead to chaos and absolute order can be disturbing to our existence. Thus, we try to find the balance. But it is hard to be on the centre. Based on whether we choose freedom over order, or vice versa, we can predict whether someone is more likely to support the Left or the Right.
Atheists in general are more likely to be on the Left. Opposite is true for the religious people.
Although, almost all of us care for the humanity as a whole as well as our family or social groups, but once again, how do we prioritise these tells us whether we are going to be a Leftist or a Rightist.
We should change. But how much? And we also need to retain certain values. Whether we are more open to change and new experiences or we are more likely to cherish our culture, values and traditions is an effective determiner of our political affiliation to the Left or the Right.
The song Imagine says it all. If you constantly work to turn this world into a utopia, then you are more likely to be a Leftist. On the other hand, if you accept and deal with the things as they come along, you are more likely to be a Rightist. That’s why Leftism is more popular among college students, while Rightism is popular among the working middle class and the upper class.