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The Phycological Basis For Our Political Standings

Inmy teenage year was a rebel. I would revolt on any idea taking away from the people’s freedom, or leading nations to close up to each other. I would throw up in front of capitalistic exploitations and despise their imperialism with a black bandanna and a firing Molotov behind my back. A fired-up spirit in an explosive mix of emotional chemicals.

But then the student years came, and they posed the questions of my self-identity that I had no way to answer. Suddenly my focus got distracted to subliminal self-centered paths that would only feed on the mandate of “How is this relevant to me?”. Then a job came and the corporate world hit at my door while trying to stand on my own feet was the only thing I would have the energy to cater for.

But the narrative was a lie. There was no point in time that hurdles were meant to stop and you could relax on your tree swings, dangling left and right like a continuous pendulum. Dealing with one problem after the other led me to a number of different jobs, before flying to other countries and chasing life like a hypnotized sleepwalker.

And looking back I cannot but ask myself where did that fighting romantic spirit go, really? Did it fly out of me before my own eyes? Did my mind changed so radically I don’t believe in the same ideals as I used to back when I was younger, or is it that I became just another part of the factory that is just contributing his 2 cents without thinking?

But I can verify that most of my ideas are actually the same and haven’t really changed at their core. I still believe in a world surpassed with love and compassion and I still hold my aspirations. But what exactly changed in me that led into accepting some of the ugliest parts of our society as the reality we cannot escape from and we better, one way or the other, take it for granted and move on? Did I just found a comfortable niche for me to hang out and compromised with the devil by signing a non-disclosure agreement?

Furthermore, why is it that so many people begin their adult lives full of hope and fighting spirit only to end up another robot in the soulless factory that only knows how to produce money?

There was an intriguing idea, articulated very accurately by one of the characters of SouthPark.

“A society needs both liberals and conservatives to be sustained. Had it been to have only liberals, then people from poorer countries would jump in and use their resources for their own benefit. Had it been full of conservatives it would lose some of its resilience and natural diversity on its people that seems to be so crucial”

A society needs both sides of the political spectrum to survive. Lean too much under one or the other side and you will face the unavoidable stagnation that this entails. Allowing various voices to be heard inside a bigger entity, is allowing for the ground to be more flexible.

Afootball team needs both young and old players to cover for both energy and experience. It needs both attack and defense to keep the balance and can only be as strong as its weakest link.

A team that developed one particular strategy to deal with all situations is bound to fail sooner or later as it lacks the required flexibility and competition is certain to catch up sooner or later.

“Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.” — Bruce Lee

And this kind of diversity is not only crucial for sports teams and society, but for the whole human species as well. Wouldn’t things be much simpler if all people would look the same, had the same abilities and potential, and carried the same traits? Wouldn’t it be nice if we all shared the same ideas and never had to fight ever again but instead lived in harmony and love, holding hands and contemplating on what a great match we all are?

The Need For Variance

From the evolutionary perspective, we need variance as the most powerful ingredient in order to survive. It’s our main risk aversion technique we employ to avoid danger and keep the species alive. You would never put all your money under one stock, would you? Unless you are Warren Buffett and then you just buy Apple stocks.

The same way a team wouldn’t want to develop only one way to score as it would be the standard way to fail.

So leaving aside the individualistic, restricted aspect of things, we can see how society actually promotes this kind of diversion for its own benefit. But how do the different forces play out exactly in our lives, influencing our views and perspectives in the political landscape? People are political in nature after all and that came the moment we decided to coexist with each other, whether we like it or not.

The Ability To Open Up

Jordan Peterson quoted one particular characteristic, in one of his interviews, that makes the difference between the political views and how it defined the decision on which side a person would lean on politically. That trait is how inclined you are into divergent patterns. So assuming you were presented with a new subject, how likely would you be in exploring it and trying to get to know it better. How interested would you be in trying to define its subtleties and delicate details in an attempt to understand it?

This kind of inclination is the big deferential factor as the more you have it the more liberal you are. But trying to look at where the finger points to instead of looking at the finger, what does this inclination say about the psychology of an individual?

Avoiding Self Centeredness

The pattern reveals a tendency to enjoy the stories of others outside the self-centered sphere of how everything correlates back to you. As if you hold the deeper belief that things have a journey of their own to embark on and you relish on the fact of observing these transformations just for sake of it. You are exploring something out of pure and genuine joy and curiosity with the innocent attitude of a young kid instead of the blatant approach of a cynical adult who evaluates everything by how they related back to them.

If it happens for you to be in the company of kids, you will realize a certain allure they have. They approach everything with unlimited and relentless curiosity. A kid never asks what something can do for him? Or how it can benefit or get money from it? They only care to explore things, break them or maybe smash them up to the wall. It’s their way of understanding something. But it’s all in the process of getting to know it and accepting it through their own eyes.

This kind of pure exploration is lost as people age. Feelings accumulate and hoard in our emotional baggage as we grow up, and they pile up as fail to process and assess our experiences the right way. Suddenly stories don’t have the same prowess and appeal on us as we get closed down from the world in an attempt to protect ourselves. We look at things from a narrow thin perspective of self-centeredness and refuse to open up due to past ‘trauma’.

Capitalism And The Attention Economy

At the same time, we have another beast we need to fight with that is influencing us with vicious hits without even realizing it. The constant notification and attention economy is doing the best it can to take control of our minds and gasp every second of our living life by throwing images and flashing lights right into our eyes. They will project extravagant lifestyles, and shiny jewelry and fake models of being, trying to turn our heads around, all the while creating a false concept of where we stand and what we need. We ultimately lose sight of what really matters.

All these collaborate together, making us shift our free-flowing navigation into a mind-numbing system for their own benefit. Of course, it is not about the actual political positions you hold on and the range of conservatism and liberalism is actually irrelevant for the idea of this article. What matters is the attitude through which we decide to embark on and being in a position to put our real selves forward.

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