Irene F. Starkehaus -
Across the globe, scientists have been working to discover whether people are born politically liberal or conservative. Studies of this nature have occurred in the scientific communities of the US and Europe over the last two decades. The earliest significant breakthrough occurred in 1999 with an experiment dealing with identical twins who were separated at birth and sustained similar political tendencies.
The most recent scientific surveys come from Singapore where 1700 Han Chinese students were studied for a permutation of the DRD4 gene which determines how dopamine is released into the brain. That variation mirrors earlier research done on people of European descent and indicates a genetic link to individualized dogmatic bias.
According to an article written for Phys.org entitled "Can genes make us liberal or conservative?" that gene will play a significant role in the genesis of a person's political disposition particularly in females:
"What they found was a robust link between the presence (or not) of the variant and a split between liberals inclined to decry inequality, on the one hand, and die-hard conservative wary of change, on the other."
Scientists are glamorizing their discoveries by describing them as liberal versus conservative with the connotation being that political belief systems are predetermined i.e. you are either born a traditionalist Republican or a rage against the machine Democrat. The problem here is that the political terms conservative and liberal are wildly comparative and offer different implications depending on where you live in the world and in what century.
In actuality, a better interpretation of the Singapore study suggests that specifically women are more rigid in their political views and are less likely to alter positions once those beliefs have been established.
That distinction in the miscommunication of the report's findings is highly relevant because layman consumers of such scientific research will be inclined to move in tangential directions of paranoia believing that political groups will use the information to genetically drive one form of governance over another.
This misses the point entirely. Ignore the sleight of hand in the study's implications. What the scientists are discovering has more to do with early development of political attitudes than it does with a natural political conservatism versus political liberalism specifically.
What "Can genes make us liberal or conservative?" will obliquely suggest is that we are either born to be a political liberal or conservative, but the study actually reveals that if girls are trained early into a political, religious or socioeconomic discipline, they will be more likely to maintain those beliefs throughout their lives.
The germ of narrative within the Singapore study proposes that women are true believers while men are open to new ideas. This, of course, assumes that tendency equates to inevitability and ignores the importance of free will or at least suggests that women are less capable of exercising free will.
I will set aside my particular dislike for the bigotry inherent is such broad stroke generalizations for the sake of discussion. While it may or may not be true that it is harder to convert a woman away from long held dogmas, this doesn't negate a woman's free will to reject those dogmas if it occurs to her that she can.
Still, this is an enormously potent morsel of information when you consider who has charge over our increasingly nationalized education system and what that control of information means for our children.
Fox News had an article by Maxim Loft published on August 4, 2015 entitled College Board to rewrite US history exam after critics blast anti-American language. Quoting from that post:
"While the College Board can't directly dictate what is taught in high school Advanced Placement classes, by writing the test that half a million college-bound students take each year it strongly influences the curriculum crafted by teachers. The previous version created an uproar because it focused on racial and cultural divisions in America instead of a collective American identity, and left out unifying figures such as Benjamin Franklin and Martin Luther King. The new version mentions those men and also includes sections on a unified American identity…
…The College Board scrubbed from last year's document the more obnoxious expressions of bias against America, against capitalism, and against whites," Peter Wood, president of the National Association of Scholars, told FoxNews.com.
Did political conservatives win that battle in the war for the hearts and minds of our children by forcing changes in a single test? They did not. They have temporarily hindered the Left's progress in defining America for children as aggressive and inherently unjust. But the Left will persist where the political Right will fall back into its miasma of security that the education system is in place to transfer knowledge from one generation to the next for the expression of our shared culture.
Political conservatives believe that while our understanding of truth changes, truth itself is static – and it is, by the way – but this requires that a preternatural consciousness is keeping track of human activity in order to preserve honesty, thereby making the pursuit of truth a noble exercise.
The Left instead perpetuates John Dewey's pragmatic approach to truth in that topics like American history will be viewed factually as a story of success for as long as it works toward progressivist objectives. When progressivism finds itself at odds with truth, truth will be adapted to meet the Left's political goals.
Since Dewey was instrumental in secularizing education, he was also instrumental in putting Man in charge of history with no external consciousness and with no guiding ethos to keep things honest. He therefore worked to make truth a slave to Man's mutable, selfish needs. No wonder he was the darling of Trotskyites.
We see this incidence with not only history and economics (changing economic data to confuse agreed upon terms of unemployment, GDP, etc.) but also science – most acutely with environmentalism i.e. changing statistics and data to validate the Left's models on global climate change predictions.
In that kind of rapidly progressing society, truth is what those in charge say it is, and that is a game changer in the course of human events. Instead of survival being dependent on one's ability to remember, it will be contingent on the individual ability to forget, because to remember is to put one at odds with powerbrokers.
That is not even a road to serfdom as F.A. Hayek once anticipated. It is instead a road to barbarism. Through the demise of long term memory, history will die, lifespans will necessarily shorten and humans will automatically devolve into creatures of predestination with nothing to anchor us to our shared experiences but the law of the jungle.