Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Dark Triad Horse Shoe Nonsense

There was a recent study by Jordan Moss and Peter J. O'Connor that attempted to connect dark triad personality traits to three different political categories: Political Correctness-Liberalism (PCL), Political Correctness-Authoritarianism (PCA), and White Identitarianism/Alt-Right (WI).

Political correctness is defined by the authors as "a set of related attitudes characterised by the desire to avoid offense and avoid disadvantaging certain groups in society."

WI is "defined here as a set of political attitudes characterised by strong feelings of white identity, solidarity and a belief in white victimisation."

Both PCA (Your standard Antifa or militant Black Lives Matter protester) and PCL (your standard SJW) have "compassionate motivations," and PCL "want to argue for the removal of ostensible social or emotional barriers of disadvantaged groups," and PCA are more concerned about "physical and psychological safety" and "believe aggression and force are appropriate methods to achieve ideological goals." According to their results, PCL negatively correlated, and WI and PCA had a significant positive correlation. 

A sample of 511 people doesn't seem very large, considering the already small sample is being split into three groups, but given that WI and PCA make up a presumably a tiny amount of the population, it might not get much better than that. 

I've heard estimates that 10% of the population has WI-esque views (it's debatable—could be more than that), and regardless of whether a person considers themselves to be an Antifa or other PCA variant, there are plenty of liberals who support them. The media has certainly been batting for them, with Chris Cuomo, Don Lemon, and others defending them.

I'm not sure how much stock I place upon the results. I'd prefer to wait and see an additional study before passing judgment. 

I think it makes sense for PCL to be negatively correlated with these traits. The majority of them represent the herd. They're following rules set by the establishment and are altruistic, even if their altruism is often misplaced, or warped, or ill-informed—it's, nevertheless, altruism. Not only is this behavior incentivized, but they're indoctrinated from womb to tomb to think and act as they do.

Antifa are obviously high in dark triad traits. They're aggressive and advocate using violence and force on a regular basis, often going beyond advocacy in the streets by instigating and engaging in violence. 

The majority of protests by right-wingers or whoever Antifa went to counter-protest were not violent—Antifa was the necessary ingredient for violence. Antifa and/or Black Lives Matter (BLM) regularly set buildings and cars on fire, broke windows and vandalized property, and looted stores (okay, it was probably mostly blacks who did the looting). 

Right-wingers did not do any of this. There was some physical engagement with police during the storming of the Capitol Building, a few minor items stolen (to my knowledge, "podium guy" just posed with the podium and didn't steal it), a few broken windows, and some overturned furniture. Every single person who died was a Trump supporter, and there's no evidence that the US Capitol Police Officer who died was killed by a blow from a fire extinguisher. Noticeably, the media is not giving any attention to anyone who died other than Sicknick, and that's because they can reasonably create an us-versus-them narrative by emphasizing his death, even if he was a Trump supporter.

Before the storming of the Capitol, what example is there to point to in recent years? 

The same goes for Charlottesville, which had a variety of wrong-thinkers, paleoconservatives, regular conservatives, fascists, libertarians, etc. You occasionally have mentally unstable people like Christopher Cantwell (who never actually advocated for violence, to my knowledge) enter into the picture or other mentally ill people getting coerced by federal agents to "radicalize," but the majority of these different stripes of right-wingers and third-positionists aren't responsible for committing or advocating violence. 

Does the sample of WI here represent WI well? Perhaps, perhaps not. It's difficult to measure a politically marginalized group who only have something to lose by revealing their beliefs, unless they can organize and establish a platform to protect their interests, much like the DNC or GOP. It's much easier to find visible and admitted Antifa than it is WI nowadays. They don't have to be abashed if they want to say they're anarchist or communist or Antifa, but it's much different if we're talking about paleocons or fascists. 

I'd be far more interested to know exactly where they drew the WI portion of the sample from and how. Of course, part of my reason for writing this article is because I support WI politics, and I am biased and sympathetic towards WI. 

As for the comparison between PCA and WI, the PCA are more narcissistic, and that's associated with neuroticism—this makes a lot of sense because PCA are liberals and they rate higher in neuroticism. Psychopathy is pretty similar between the two. Machiavellianism rates higher in WI. I would say WI are looking better here: lower amounts of neuroticism+narcissism, and narcissism falls under a mental health issue when severe enough; Machiavellianism is generally the best trait of the three to rank high in, though lower psychopathy would be preferable for less of a possibility of pointless manipulativeness.

If this is a truly nationally representative selection of WI and they actually did score close/equivalent on most dark triad measures as PCA, then fair enough. 

It might take a little bit of these "dark traits" to hold such views proudly in the political climate of today; If one political perspective is heavily ostracized, then perhaps that is a condition selecting for people with those traits, and WI is denounced heavily—you can be censored, deplatformed and fired for making these views known.

The dissidents who remain in hiding or are more along the lines of thinkers or intellectuals likely rate lower than the dissidents who would organize for activism or reveal themselves in the streets—a degree of narcissism or psychopathy would help for the latter.

Rating higher in psychopathy will mean a person is less concerned with taking risks and even enjoys the excitement of danger and risk taking. If you have too much empathy, then you might not be able to move beyond the establishment's ostensibly empathy-based programming.  

Being a legitimate psychopath (especially of the violent type, rather than the more productive, law-abiding type) or having a narcissistic personality type is not desirable. But it's helpful to look at what those traits are associated with. 

Any truly analytical mind is Machiavellian—or at the least the individual has a Machiavellian lens among many other lenses to make sense of the world. 

Narcissism is associated with extraversion (not saying introversion is bad) and higher self-esteem (though there is a caveat here because certain variants of narcissism involve low or wildly fluctuating self-esteem). It's certainly an ego-centric trait, but we all have our ego-centric component that needs catering to—too much narcissism and one become provincial in his thinking and overly self-absorbed, sensitive to criticism, dysfunctional, etc. 

Balance is the key. A little bit of psychopathy, narcissism, and Machiavellianism is not bad per se. Yes, the basic definition of these sounds worrisome, but everyone is on a spectrum for these measures and what you score on a scale is only a predictor for your thinking and behavior, and some degree of dark traits can be beneficial. By default, men would score higher on psychopathy than women, and men are much more logical thinkers—far better suited to leadership roles and serious positions.

Also, I implore anyone who pays any attention to dark triad at all to look at the actual scales. The study from Moss and O'Connor used the Short Dark Triad (SD3), a 27-item scale (page 38). A longer scale is also included in the same journal. 

I think it would seem perfectly reasonable for people to give high ratings for many of the featured statements on the Machiavellianism and narcissism portions of the scale.

For example, question 9 of Machiavellianism: "Most people can be manipulated." If you could rate this from 1-5, with 5 meaning you strongly agree, you will probably rate this statement a 5—meaning you are rated more Machiavellian than someone who selected a rating of 1. This is simply a statement describing reality. Modern governments have great expertise when it comes to propaganda and they can easily influence the masses. The majority of Machiavellian statements are just prudent. You want your allies to win and your enemies to lose. Basic stuff. Rating high in it doesn't mean you're out to manipulate everyone, it means you can interpret the world in a logical, strategic way, rather than a purely emotional way.

With narcissism, if you have had significant leadership roles or are a very accomplished person, you will probably rate high here. 

Psychopathy is a little more mixed because the statements are typically more anti-social. If you enjoy potentially dangerous situations, having sex with complete strangers, or are particularly vengeful, you'll rate higher in it. Unfortunately, at the rate the country is declining, the statement "I have never had trouble with the law." is becoming increasingly difficult, even for those who are very law-abiding citizens. Being a dissident can land you on a watchlist and having issues with the TSA. A very petty charge will get trumped up for political reasons. They bend the bill of rights and the constitution to their will. There are no-knock raids. The police force suffer from corruption, just like every other institution, and the FBI are the political police. The surveillance state is becoming more sophisticated and we're seeing a circumstance equivalent to the Patriot Act under Bush in its severity. Who knows how bad it will be a few years from now?

WI is simply advocacy related to white identity, an expansion of the civil rights act to include whites, or various other measures intended to benefit whites, and they want to maintain white communities and a white majority; they are often separatists or nationalists of some sort. 

This is really no different than Poland wanting to stay Poland or Japan wanting to stay Japan. If an African country—let's say a hypothetical Wakanda—became so prosperous that whites wanted to immigrate there, then it would be a betrayal of the citizens of Wakanda to allow white mass immigration, just as it is a betrayal of the American people that our elected officials impose mass immigration upon us.

IF, and that's a big IF, these results from Moss and O'Connor can be replicated with any accuracy, then we can say there is a grain of truth to so-called horseshoe theory—meaning that both sides have some similarities, for they both rate similarly in terms of dark triad traits.

However, I reject the basic premise of horseshoe theory in how it equates the two sides as being so very similar... how are they similar? Their views and what they want aren't very similar at all. Both are simply more authoritarian in their thinking and they're not afraid to realize a few axioms. They're also different brands of identitarians. Most of the PCA types appear to want more decentralization, such as communism or anarchism, but these are often just means of centralizing power. Would the "anarchist" be okay with an autonomous area operated by WIs in the U.S.? No, of course not. The "anarchist" would destroy it because they know that it would be a competing system that would encroach upon their own. PCAs are largely globalists and want the entire world to be subjected to their system and values.

WIs are nationalists, and while they would prefer to have some national allies and perhaps solidarity with other white countries, they're not necessarily inclined to impose their own system upon the entirety of the world. 

In terms of values, both sides are complete opposites.

The PCAs approve of the disastrous neoliberal system and often do its bidding, though they critique it here and there, and even once Biden was inaugurated, they rioted, trashing a DNC building, amongst others—the neoliberal system just hasn't gone far enough in its excesses for them, and more importantly, they're not the ones in charge, they're just the trust fund babies (in the case of Antifa) of upper-class lawyers, politicians, and professors.

Both are identitarians, of a sort. PCAs are very concerned about intersectionality and the way these different identities conflict and are balanced. Countries should be borderless, and we're all the same, unless you're white and we call you privileged. They're the ones who support transgenderism and endless numbers of genders. Instead of identitarianism, though, it's almost like they're at war with identity itself. Every boundary must be done away with, so we can be free!

Whites are concerned with identity because they see other whites (or other white ethnic groups) as an extended family. That is, they're an in-group; all of these other groups are out groups. We can be on friendly relations with these out-groups, we can trade with them, they can be allies, etc, but the costs of pretending our out-group is an in-group and living amongst them and letting them flood into our countries far outweighs any small theoretical benefit proffered by diversity (I honestly can't name one serious benefit). 

The 12-item WI scale used by Moss and O'Connor states this as an item “There is a progressive conspiracy against white identity." There actually is. Does realizing this mean you have greater dark triad traits, I wonder? 

The belief of victimization suggests a degree of narcissism, no doubt. This is not like the Ekin et al. study, which found a relation to dark triad traits and virtue/victim signaling, but I suppose the main part of Moss and O'Connor's conjecture is that whites see themselves as victims and they're following a similar pattern, with WIs virtue signaling for whites and whites playing the victim signaling card. But that's not really how it works. The establishment defines how those concepts work and they incentive the behavior. There isn't a base of power that amplifies this signaling behavior in WIs, who are currently in the process of no more than advocating their positions and trying to influence and recruit followers to their causes.

The media and academia are anti-white and immigration is displacing the rightful white majority of this country, even though immigration is not popular. The elites get their way, despite the public being against it. If whites are not a current victim that can strive to alleviate present victimization, then I don't know what is. 

They would never have the audacity to slander blacks who have a victimhood mentality. That's the important part to distinguish. Are you an actual victim when you've recognized a root cause and are willing to look for a solution? Which in the case of whites would be some form of WI; even if it's a form of—God forbid—civic nationalism, there has to be a WI component that will defend whites. Or are you an individual engaging in a victimhood mentality and pointing to a delusional cause that BLM has latched onto, that won't even help any blacks other than the ones skimming off the top?

The idea of blacks being victims because they are the lowest IQ group and, as a result, have the lowest outcomes of any group is ridiculous; so is the idea that BLM will riot and destroy cities and businesses and maim people in the name of a bunch of random (mostly) criminals who violently resisted against police and died, or died for other extenuating, often unfortunate, circumstances—but in most cases it was justified or there was a considerable amount of gray area. On the other hand, BLM doesn't care about black on black crime—not even innocent black kids. Blacks are 13% of the population and commit 56% of the murders.  If they are a victim, it's only because they victimize themselves, not because of a vague specter like "white supremacy" or "systemic racism."

This is all very absurd because ALL European countries were essentially WI before they devoted themselves to multiculturalism after WWII. I guess they were high in dark triad traits, too. 

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