by Chris Hedges
June 28, 2012
“The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion”
A book by Jonathan Haidt
Jonathan Haidt’s book “The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion” trumpets yet another grand theory of evolution, this time in the form of evolutionary psychology, which purports to unravel the mystery of moral behavior. Such theories, whether in the form of dialectical materialism, Social Darwinism, biblical inherency or its more bizarre subsets of phrenology or eugenics, never hold up against the vast complexity of history, the inner workings of economic and political systems, and the intricacies of the human psyche. But simplicity has a strong appeal for those who seek order in the chaos of existence.
Chris Hedges spent two decades as a foreign reporter covering wars in Latin America, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. His latest books are Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, Death of the Liberal Class, and The World as It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress.
Copyright © 2012 Truthdig
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I see nothing Dharmic about Haidt. Dharma is the path of righteousness and implies that you are a servant of GOD.
His whole appeal is to the truly Godless .. writing such a book and using this title is the entire giveaway as to “the payoff” he is looking for. Perhaps his exposing his erudite – but shallow – interpretations of the world has some valid point to make either to himself, or to us his “mirrors”. I fail to see what it is if these are his assumptions.
The football metaphor is just too rich. He is pushing adrenalation over true JOY. JOY is in resistance, in fighting for the “underdog” class – the walking and sometimes not walking wounded. I wouldn’t care to entrust my problems to this man’s shoulders . there’s nothing to lean on. What’s RIGHTEOUS about that?
“The moral life is achieved only by fostering a radical individualism with altruism.”
Yes, it is dynamic psychological theory to say . we need balance between 1. feeling ourselves unique and the only one of us who has ever been or ever will be on the planet and 2. realizing we need community and “mirroring” to know WHO we are.
It’s a dialect, not a simple One + One between the two. That is what real growth is to me, at least, finding that balance between being King Baby and being a doormat, so that we can become “altruistic” in a way that doesn’t make us into thinking we are GOD. In L’akesh: I am another yourself.
This is what Process is about. Haidt clearly doesn’t want PROCESS, he wants to hand his (and others’) power away to .. ELITES. Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice.
No solution to mankinds’ basic problems and search for identity. Just more . .. tripe. He may say it better than most, but it’s still .. just . tripe. He still has no answer to the Abel/Cain dichtomy … write as he may ..
Very well stated, Virginia, thank you.