Those of a progressive disposition have differing moral foundations to those on the right. Moral foundations theory was first proposed by Jonathan Haidt and subsequently developed in his 2012 book, The Righteous Mind. The theory’s intention is to explain human variation in moral reasoning based on innate moral foundations. Right-wing foundations would be best characterised as group-oriented values centred around order and hierarchy; left-wing foundations would be best characterised as individualistic values.
Rightists value all five moral foundations, but uniquely value in-group loyalty, purity and obedience to authority. Right-wingers care about harm avoidance and fairness, but to a lesser extent than their left-wing counterparts — leftists only care about these foundations. This creates a situation of asymmetric empathy. The right can empathise with the left, as they share the two individualistic foundations; the left can’t empathise with the right, as they don’t share the three group-oriented foundations. As a result, the left perceives the right as fundamentally nasty and wicked, whereas the right views the left as misguided and ignorant. This asymmetric empathy has been a persistent factor throughout time and allows the left to seize control of culture, pushing ever leftward as they take advantage of the right’s empathy for them. This condition persists until a point of such disorder is reached that a conservative backlash takes place within the society’s elite. A clear historic example of this backlashing tendency would be the social conservatism of the Victorian era juxtaposed with the decadence of 18th century England.
Psychologically speaking, progressives lack a full set of moral foundations, but leftism also correlates with mental illness. Slate Star Codex carried out a survey of more than 8,000 people which showed that those on the further left are more likely to be “formally diagnosed with depression, borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia”.
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