Friday, February 3, 2012

"Lies My Teachers Told Me," Prof. James Loewen

"Lies My Teacher Told Me," Prof. James Loewen (Prequel)

Dear Ed,

Thanks for your emails.

To some extent, I think physicians are a red herring -- a sui generis blend of compassionate progressives and reactionary John Birchers.

On my (legacy) Apokatastasis site, I dedicated a lengthy page to Prof. James Loewen's "Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong" -  (This Loewen post is 15 years old. You may be interested in the "aging" commentary at the bottom of the webpage.)

Keep in mind the surprising fact that -- statistically speaking -- there was a direct relationship between "level of educational attainment" and "intensity of support for the Vietnam War": i.e., the more educated an individual, the more likely s/he supported the war; the less educated, the less likely. Although this seems counter-intuitive, the underlying logic is persuasive: 

"Why have well-educated audiences been so wrong in remembering or deducing who opposed the Vietnam War? One reason is that Americans like to believe that schooling is a good thing. Most Americans tend to automatically to equate "educated" with "informed" or "tolerant." Traditional purveyors of social studies and American history seize upon precisely this belief to rationalize their enterprise, claiming that history courses lead to a more enlightened citizenry. The Vietnam exercise suggests the opposite is more likely true.

Audiences would not have been so easily fooled if they had only recalled that educated people were (and are) more likely to be Republicans, while high school dropouts are more likely to be Democrats. Hawkish right-wing Republicans, including the core supporters of Barry Goldwater in 1964, of Ronald Reagan in 1980, and of groups like the John Birch Society, come disproportionately form the most educated and affluent segments of our society, particularly dentists and physicians. So we should not be surprised that education correlates with hawkishness. At the other end of the social status spectrum, although most African Americans, like most whites, initially supported U.S. intervention in Vietnam, blacks were always more questioning and more dovish than whites, and African American leaders -- Muhammed Ali, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X -- were prominent among the early opponents of the war.

American history textbooks help perpetrate the archetype of the blindly patriotic hard-hat by omitting or understating progressive elements in the working class. Textbooks do not reveal that CIO unions and some working-class fraternal associations were open to all when many chambers of commerce and country clubs were still white-only. Few textbooks tell of organized labor's role in the civil rights movement, including the 1963 March on Washington."

It wasn't until the 2008 presidential election that the Democrats won a majority of college-educated votes.

Here's Wikipedia's entry on the topic:

Education. Self-identified Republicans are significantly more likely than Democrats to have 4-year college degrees. The trends for the years 1955 through 2004 are shown by gender in the graphs below, reproduced from a book published by Joseph Fried.[78] These graphs depict results obtained by Fried from the National Election Studies (NES) database.
Fig 57 - men 4-yr college degrees.JPG
Fig 58 women with 4-yr college degs.JPG
Regarding graduate-level degrees (masters or doctorate), there is a rough parity between Democrats and Republicans. According to the Gallup Organization: "[B]oth Democrats and Republicans have equal numbers of Americans at the upper end of the educational spectrum — that is, with post graduate degrees..."[78] Fried provides a slightly more detailed analysis, noting that Republican men are more likely than Democratic men to have advanced degrees, but Democratic women are now more likely than Republican women to have advanced degrees.[79]
Republicans remain a small minority of college professors, with 11% of full-time faculty identifying as Republican.[80]


Overwhelmingly, liberals are loathe to admit two inter-related truths: 

1.) the wealthier Americans become, the more likely they are to become reactionary Republicans.

2.) America's educational system -- as currently constituted -- tends to confirm self-righteous acquisitiveness.

A very strong argument can be made that wealthy, highly-educated Americans are the citizens most likely to become Goldwater-Reagan-Bush Republicans.


Pax on both houses,


On Fri, Feb 3, 2012 at 6:12 PM, Ed M wrote:

I have to say that my perception (although I know quite a few very intelligent conservative docs) is that Hodson has something with his: "Why might less intelligent people be drawn to conservative ideologies? Because such ideologies feature "structure and order" that make it easier to comprehend a complicated world, Dodson said. "Unfortunately, many of these features can also contribute to prejudice," he added."
.....and that's where the masses come in to give them power in a "democracy."   :( sad

From: Alan Archibald <>
To: Patrick O
Sent: Friday, February 3, 2012 11:04 AM
Subject: Re: Dumb racists?

Dear Patrick,

I'm surprised at you... Letting yourself be sucked in by a study at a Canadian university where independent scholarship has been stomped down by socialism's hobnailed boot.

Wake up! 

Smell the chicory!

Pax vobiscum


PS Thanks!

On Fri, Feb 3, 2012 at 11:13 AM, Patrick wrote:
Are racists dumb? Do conservatives tend to be less intelligent than liberals? A provocative new study from Brock University in Ontario suggests the answer to both questions may be a qualified yes.

The study, published in Psychological Science, showed that people who score low on I.Q. tests in childhood are more likely to develop prejudiced beliefs and socially conservative politics in adulthood.
I.Q., or intelligence quotient, is a score determined by standardized tests, but whether the tests truly reveal intelligence remains a topic of hot debate among psychologists.
Dr. Gordon Hodson, a professor of psychology at the university and the study's lead author, said the finding represented evidence of a vicious cycle: People of low intelligence gravitate toward socially conservative ideologies, which stress resistance to change and, in turn, prejudice, he told LiveScience.
Why might less intelligent people be drawn to conservative ideologies? Because such ideologies feature "structure and order" that make it easier to comprehend a complicated world, Dodson said. "Unfortunately, many of these features can also contribute to prejudice," he added.
Dr. Brian Nosek, a University of Virginia psychologist, echoed those sentiments.
"Reality is complicated and messy," he told The Huffington Post in an email. "Ideologies get rid of the messiness and impose a simpler solution. So, it may not be surprising that people with less cognitive capacity will be attracted to simplifying ideologies."
But Nosek said less intelligent types might be attracted to liberal "simplifying ideologies" as well as conservative ones.
In any case, the study has taken the Internet by storm, with some outspoken liberals saying that it validates their suspicions about conservatives and conservatives arguing that the research has been misinterpreted.
What do you think? Do conservatives tend to be less intelligent? Or is this just political opinion masquerading as science?

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