There is an interesting rather old article in none other than the Mail online, which suggests that “right-wingers are less intelligent than left wingers”.
Perhaps I should just stop there… It is a peer reviewed study published in ‘Psychological Science‘ by academics at Brock University in Ontario, based on two cohorts of British children who were restudied in adulthood for their political views.
Dangerously to me perhaps, because the most recent study of the children was undertaken as long ago as 1970, it seems to be based on IQ tests, which I would have thought was dubious. The study also speaks of ‘innate intelligence’, which is another difficult concept, although one personally I’m happier with – but how on earth do you measure it?
But the more interesting part is:
…more right wing conservative ideologies ….. offer a psychological sense of stability and order.
I think this is the conclusion that rings true. Radical implies challenge, implies upset, often demands deep thinking. Many people don’t like challenge or change – it is threatening. Jogging along keeping things largely as they are is very much simpler and provided you are not suffering physical hardship, starving or overindebted requires little thought – you have all the more time to concentrate on doing the gardening or going to the cinema – or whatever else you enjoy. additionally as J.M. Keynes said, “it is better for reputation to fail conventionally than to succeed unconventionally”.
It leads me to wonder about Brexit – which is quite radical. But it is also a belief system, which does seem to tally with most Conservatives, who usually declare themselves as Christian (even Michael Gove!) so are very used to belief systems – which by definition do not require challenge.
And then we know from our current government – all Brexiters and all part of a government of the talentless, and one which most of the world and increasing numbers at home, think is unserious in a crisis and third rate at best.
Perhaps it’s just that now no IQ test is even required.