I've been pondering this whole thing for a couple of days. It seems important. The fact that Left and Right have slightly different brain structures. I can't say I know anything much about these findings, scientifically. Only why they seem important to me.
Here's some of what I wrote today, after much head scratching :
What I said in my first post about propaganda (and hingehead was right - I should have said STATE Propaganda), is I think, the beginning of me trying to understand how the 'Right' feel
rather than think
. (Is this possible?) Know your enemy? – Well I've often found that the more you know your 'enemy' the less of an enemy they become.
When I wrote that first post I was thinking about the propaganda the Nazis used during WWII, to gain the control and cooperation of the German citizenry. I thought about that because of the reference to 'feelings' with regard the brain structure of Right-wingers.
The art of propaganda consists precisely in being able to awaken the imagination of the public through an appeal to their feelings, in finding the appropriate psychological form that will arrest the attention and appeal to the hearts of the national masses. The broad masses of the people are not made up of diplomats or professors of public jurisprudence nor simply of persons who are able to form reasoned judgment in given cases, but a vacillating crowd of human children who are constantly wavering between one idea and another.
Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf chapter IV)
Could it be that the (more moderate) Right wing, underneath all their aggression and seeming contempt for anyone who shows compassion for the weak, are actually sentimental? Romantics, easily led to violence because (why?) because they believe in the power of glory? Because they feel a righteous need to defend themselves with force – even against a weaker enemy?
What I'm also asking myself is, were left-wing Germans in 1939 more tolerant of the Jewish community because of their life experiences, or could they simply see through the Nazi propaganda – (due to the shape of their brains?! or otherwise).
Did they look at that propaganda and that propaganda and that propaganda and say, 'Hang on, I smell a rat.' (In much the same way as I find myself doing these days).
While the right-wing Germans, feeling threatened and aggrieved, (after all, according to some newspapers, Jews were kidnapping German babies and feasting on them during night time rituals), joined the Nazis, not because they were eager to wipe out millions of innocent lives, but because they were deceived by Hitler's performance. Seduced by him. When he told them Jews were 'bad' they believed him because they were convinced (by nothing more than their powerful feelings) that they
were the 'good'. That they
were 'the chosen ones'. They didn't look at the demonising propaganda against the Jews logically. They were encouraged to feel
the righteousness rather than see
We are often reminded (via film, tv, press) how cold, calculating and ruthless the Right wing are, and how emotive, illogical and over-sensitive the Left wing are – but these scans say something else. They go against the grain. In fact they say the opposite of what we presume about each other. They make for thinking about the pigeon holes the Left and Right have been trapped in.
They make me ask: Who put us there?
The rich 1.5 percent of humanity – the 'elites' for want of a better word, need to keep the rest of us divided, in order to go on stealing the majority of wealth and security for themselves. Perhaps they will even view these findings as another significant mark in dividing line between Left and Right (and there are other divides)- but to my way of thinking, the results of these scans actually bring Left and Right (within the masses) a bridge closer.
These findings tell us that the Left are more logical than the Right have been led to believe, and that the Right are more passionate than the Left have been led to believe.
And that psychology is already a big part of the political machine.
I think it's fascinating. It's like opening a book you didn't even realise was on the shelf and inside finding one of the tiny missing pieces of a giant jig-saw. It's a clue to the bigger picture.
Ultimately, who knows, it may lead to greater empathy and understanding between us.
I don't expect to want to share breathing space with any far Right-winger any time in the near future, but eventually (maybe sooner than imagined) we will have to meet half way.
Because I sincerely believe that with regards the proletariat, Left and Right will have no choice but to unite against those who have already started to enslave and further impoverish us around the world–(and before anyone tells me I'm crazy, let them tell me how it is that every 30 minutes
a man, woman or child dies in Haiti from Cholera, as I type this – while multi-billionaires prepare the first space-port for those citizens who can afford to cough up 200,000 dollars per seat for a quick trip into space .)
As the rich/poor divide grows, and ordinary people are faced with harder and harder times, so the need for cooperation in communities grows. Left and Right will eventually have to make the best of each other. In a hundred years, fifty years, ten years from now, or sometime soon, they are going to have to put their heads together. That's what I think and that's why I like the symbolism of these findings.