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The liberal package is much harder to shake by parts.
Party Animals: Asymmetric Ideological Constraint among Democratic and Republican Party Activists
Existing literature shows that Republicans in the mass public demonstrate greater ideological inconsistency and value conflict than Democrats. That is, despite a commitment to the conservative label and abstract belief in limited government, Republican identifiers' substantive policy attitudes are nonetheless divided. Conversely, Democrats, despite registering lower levels of ideological thinking, maintain relatively consistent liberal issue attitudes. Based on theories of coalition formation and elite opinion leadership, we argue that these differences should extend to Democratic and Republican Party activists. Examining surveys of convention delegates from the years 2000 and 2004, we show that Democratic activists' attitudes are more ideologically constrained than are those of Republican activists. The results support our hypothesis and highlight that some of the inconsistent attitudes evident among mass public party identifiers can be traced to the internal divisions of the major party coalitions themselves.
Ideological Consistency, Political Orientation, and Variability Across Moral Foundations
We conceptualized ideological consistency as the extent to which an individual's attitudes toward diverse political issues are coherent among themselves from an ideological standpoint. Four studies compared the ideological consistency of self-identified liberals and conservatives. Across diverse samples, attitudes, and consistency measures, liberals were more ideologically consistent than conservatives. In other words, conservatives' individual-level attitudes toward diverse political issues (e.g., abortion, gun control, welfare) were more dispersed across the political spectrum than were liberals' attitudes. Study 4 demonstrated that variability across commitments to different moral foundations predicted ideological consistency and mediated the relationship between political orientation and ideological consistency.
This is consistent with the view that the liberals occupy just one level (#6, green) of Graves' levels of existence.
The whole Latin America is turning, and not only. Even with Lula out, could you expect that openly authoritarian, xenophobe, misogynous attitude will win comfortably? Not only social progress is loosing its edge and authority, it is despised more than flirtation with fascism as we knew it in the previous century. Respectable power rather than corruption tally is the real game.
This evolution is related with resource limitations. Ironically, the wrong people will be in power to "solve" it one way or other. Smart progressives won't be wiser than this human nature, this time.
Oswald Spengler - the Decline of the West
Half wacky nonsense, half... possibly not. Although perhaps more in the sense of philosophy as a covert stand-in for prophecy and supposed manifest destiny than any deep scientific or sociological insight.
Pure science is limited in probing this existential question. Like the last family hero in Marquez' "One Hundred Years of Solitude", the last scientist would be figuring it all out exactly at the moment it all collapses, at best. It may be worth to appreciate or create some mythology before long.
When industrial action against Ryanair picked up, I tried to catch up on aggregated numbers. (I did learn a little about the varieties and structures of trade unions' associations in the EU, by comparison to US custom, never mind their places in complementary "black" histories.) In this industry sector, interstate unions' coordinated planning has been a crucial, enforcement tactic in successfully mediating employment relations --in general and specifically.
But to start with mass is only to conceive the political significance --read, "market power"-- of a particular group enterprise, in the sense merely of numbers of "organized labor" members. I was disappointed not only because the usual international suspects (eg. OECD, ILO, etc) and press demons seemed to have abandoned periodic reporting, but what is published enforces an intuition about declining membership. The people in Brazil are not alone. A statistical claim, for example, that Iceland and Ireland represent the greatest ratios of union membership in the world challenges credulity. My cursory appeal to sacred "empirical data" informs me:
Ideology of an individual, the "self-interested actor," has been as wildly successful --in terms of propagation, socialized adoption-- as any money per se representation of extrinsic value in disorganizing political precepts and action against exploitation of human functions. The evidence is all around us. Braced by the anthologies of which I speak, I think, the mass is as responsible as any one person for accepting imagination of "weaker labour." Or no labor. This is a prerequisite for the leisure which people crave: rest without work, product without function, power without responsibility to or responsibility for one another. "Socialism" is a dead-letter in a value system for which "society" contains no properties or functions but anathema.
Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
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