Have you Hugged a Tea Partier Lately?

It has always been obvious to anyone with an open mind that innate predispositions have a very significant impact on human behavior. These traits of ours have long been referred to as “human nature.” It is a remarkable manifestation of human behavior in its own right that the tribe of professional and academic psychologists somehow managed to ignore this truth through much of the 20th century. When thinkers like Robert Ardrey and Konrad Lorenz started drawing attention to the fact that the fine behaviorist costume of the emperor of psychology was imaginary, and he was actually strutting around naked, they reacted with rage. Since those days, they have have been dragged, kicking and screaming, into the real world by accummulating mountains of evidence, at least to the point of recognizing the existence of innate behavior. However, Ardrey and Lorenz also pointed out that certain of these innate behavioral traits, and, in particular, those associated with what we call morality, did not necessarily tend to “niceness,” and “kindness.” To this day, the assorted psychologists, sociologists, and anthropologists who have finally acknowledged innate behavior continue to studiously avoid recognizing this equally obvious fact, apparently dismissing a 5000 year history of human warfare and slaughter of “the others,” as a mere unfortunate coincidence. Instead, ignoring the implications of their acceptance of innate behavior, and dismissing anyone who objects as a “reductionist,” they continue to cobble away on their Brave New Worlds of “human flourishing,” in which a new morality, decked out in the latest fashion of the secular religion now prevailing on college campuses, will guide us into a glorious future of universal human brotherhood.  I have one question for all these architects of a bright new human future.  Have you hugged a Tea Partier lately?

I rather doubt it.  Don Surber makes the point rather nicely in a recent post about would be terrorist James Lee entitled, “What if he were a Tea Partier…”  When it comes to the Tea Party movement, confirmation bias on the left is running full blast.  Any bit of anecdotal evidence, any act by some deranged individual who can, however remotely, be associated with the movement is frantically seized on as “proof” that all the tens of millions of Tea Partiers are racist, facist, ultra-conservative extremists, or what have you.  In a word, they are all “evil.” 

The explanation for this phenomenon would have been obvious to Ardrey and Lorenz.  They referred to it as the Amity/Enmity Complex, described in an earlier work by Sir Arthur Keith as follows:

Human nature has a dual constitution; to hate as well as to love are parts of it; and conscience may enforce hate as a duty just as it enforces the duty of love. Conscience has a two-fold role in the soldier: it is his duty to save and protect his own people and equally his duty to destroy their enemies… Thus conscience serves both codes of group behavior; it gives sanction to practices of the code of enmity as well as the code of amity.

Enmity towards “the others” is not something we humans can “unlearn,” or turn off at the flick of a switch.  If we are to control it, we must first recognize its existence, and then proceed rationally to find ways to deal with it.  If we succeed, then perhaps it won’t be necessary to constantly repeat, over and over and over again, such horrific manifestations as the slaughter of millions of Jews by the Nazis, or millions of “bourgeoisie” by the Communists.  It will not do to cobble some fine new morality, because Enmity is a part of our morality.  It is a part of our morality that must and will manifest itself, one way or the other, and it isn’t going anywhere because leftist academics choose to ignore it.  It is a part of them, as well as the rest of us, and to see it they need only look in the mirror. 

If the paragons of the left really propose to leave hatred and hostility behind with just a few more salutary tweeks to their New Morality, isn’t it fair to ask, why all the furious denunciations of tens of millions of people over an isolated sign here, or the acts of a deranged madman there, or the unpardonable sin of being “overwhelmingly white?”  Where’s the love?  If these avatars of human flourishing via a new era of “kindness” and “niceness” really propose to free us of the demons of our evolutionary past by ignoring them, why all the viciousness, why all the irrational spite aroused against tens of millions by the real or imagined acts of a few, why all the eager fixation on the “evils” of this latest convenient “out-group?”  Tell me, my friends, have you hugged a Tea Partier lately?

Author: Helian

I am Doug Drake, and I live in Maryland, not far from Washington, DC. I am a graduate of West Point, and I hold a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from the University of Wisconsin. My blog reflects my enduring fascination with human nature and human morality.

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