FLAA #6: Genocidal Mystics
(07/01/2020) We've looked at some of the psychological traits that correlate with ideology, but what about those that don't? Considering the tendency for systems of power to behave the same regardless of their overt ideology, what should we know about the psychology of power? We look at scales of empathy (or lack thereof), manipulativeness, and sense of connection to the world; talk about some brain imaging studies; discuss left-right conflicts in the early church, and more. Bibliography
FLAA #5: Psychology and Politics of Collapse: Interview with Ken Ward
(06/21/2020) Having described innate psychological tendencies associated with other political perspectives, in this interview we examine what makes an environmentalist. Ken Ward describes his path through professional environmentalism and direct action, the values he encountered among liberals and leftists, and how they are in conflict with ecological survival. We discuss the different forms of intelligence found in the human species; their evolutionary value; and the prospects for a legitimately pluralistic society, in which radically different perspectives can coexist.
FLAA #4: It Isn't Nonviolent To Let People Hurt You
(06/13/2020) Having described the right-left spectrum in psychological terms, we will now examine the psychology of the liberal, an entity sometimes described as moderately left who has no real counterpart on the right. We will ask why the violence-nonviolence binary has proven so consistently psychologically seductive but also so destructive to social movements. We will talk about the book Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolence, the bizarre elaborations on the 'outside agitator' trope currently emerging in American culture, and more.
FLAA #3: The Biology of the Right-Left Divide pt. 3: Creepy, Hyper-Sentient Children
(05/27/2020) Having described the biology of aggression, we discuss the hypothesis that right-left political difference reflects variation in aggression and its correlated traits. We talk about prolonged development as a mechanism for human evolution and why this means we should expect innate variation in human aggression. We also discuss the problem of self-referentiality, the need for a map of humanity's cognitive tribes, and the relationship of ecological politics to left-right politics. Bibliography
FLAA #2: The Biology of the Right-Left Divide pt. 2: Raven Politics
(05/12/2020) Having described the idiosyncratic constellation of traits that correlate with political outlook in the last episode, this time we'll examine the biology of aggression in other species, and how it is correlated with a very similar set of traits. We'll talk about a utopian experiment undertaken among baboons, a revolt against male aggression by female bonobos, foxes that act like dogs, the sex lives of domestic animals, and how young ravens are leftists and old ravens are rightists. Bibliography
FLAA #1: The Biology of the Right-Left Divide pt. 1: Why Political Arguments Don't Change People's Minds
(04/30/2020) Does it ever seem like when people are arguing about politics, they are actually arguing about much more fundamental perceptual differences? In this episode, we'll explore the strange, unpredictable landscape of differences between people that correlate with political difference, from genetics to physiology to fear of death to brain structure. Bibliography