Check out my latest essay on Medium, Restoring Political Health, Left and Right.
People with a temperament that is high on openness and low on conscientiousness are inclined toward the left and tend to be curious, tolerant, and willing to explore the world with a commitment to intellectual honesty. People with a temperament that is low on openness and high on conscientiousness are inclined toward the right and tend to emphasize standards of decency, restraint, and good behavior. As shorthand, I will refer to these as the left and the right, respectively. We are plagued today by an authoritarian left and a badly-behaved right. Restoring health will require work on both sides.
The opening of the essay owes something to Jordan Peterson’s observations about psychology and politics (e.g., here or in his conversation with Jonathan Haidt), as well as to his use of metaphor. But the substance of the essay represents issues that have long concerned me. A dozen years ago, I had the insights that were the seeds of The Three Languages of Politics in an essay that I called Folk Beliefs Have Consequences.