Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Lite blogging

I'm off to Sydney for a week so won't be blogging much. Will try and use the time not have an opinion on anything.

But some personal reflections of politics.

Prior to 9/11 I hadn't heard of Hitchens, Fisk, Cohen, Aaronovitch and a host of other commentators. Didn't know anything about blogging.

Just after 9/11 I heard an interview on the BBC featuring both Fisk and Hitchens. On this first exposure to their arguments I came down on the side of Hitchens. And in broad terms things have remained much the same since then, although my opinion of Hitchens is close to that of Hari.

Now, I can't honestly say that this reaction was completely "rational" and it lead me to consider the nature of political opinions and how we form them. I wasn't impressed with Chomsky's "Propaganda Model" where the capitalist media control public opinion.

Additionally I found all the talk of "Empire" etc rather hollow. I just couldn't engage with much of the rhetoric coming from the Left.

So, being recently convinced by Dawkins arguments about genes and evolution I started to think of how evolution might shed some light on political problems. Needless to say I had been beaten to it by someone more intelligent, Peter Singer, who has written - A Darwinian Left: Politics, Evolution, and Cooperation.

So it was in the spirit of contributing something positive to the debate that I have tried to make a link in this blog between evolutionary psychology and Left-wing thought. I believe it offers a great deal in terms of our understanding of such aspects of human behviour as how we cooperate and how we compete and perhaps how we come to hold particular political views.

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