The Daily Mail reports on a study that suggests that lower intelligence is linked to being right wing to the indignation of its readership. It tells us:
“Right-wingers tend to be less intelligent than left-wingers, and people with low childhood intelligence tend to grow up to have racist and anti-gay views, says a controversial new study.
Conservative politics work almost as a ‘gateway’ into prejudice against others”
This puts me into a bit of a position, I’m ostensibly right wing and I’ve got two degrees. Should I hand them back? Obviously I can’t have actually obtained them, cos I’m stoopid.
Only there’s a flaw in the study, the abstract to the study states:
“We proposed and tested mediation models in which lower cognitive ability predicts greater prejudice, an effect mediated through the endorsement of right-wing ideologies (social conservatism, right-wing authoritarianism)”
That makes one rather silly assumption, that prejudice is mediated solely through right-wing politics. That’s simply not true. Look at the BNP’s economic policies (such as they are). The BNP policy is more socialist than conservative with policies directed at centralised command control, trade tariffs and state owned businesses. And yet they are at the same time authoritarian, prejudiced and racist.
Could it be then that politics is not a function of bigotry and that there are bigots at either end of the political spectrum?
It does make narrative sense that people of lower IQ might be more likely to tend towards prejudice. People of lower IQ are less likely to advance in life, as such they will see people of higher IQ moving in from elsewhere and doing better than them, often these people will be foreign and the lower IQ people will be working for them. Their lower position in life will breed resentment, this will grow into hatred and prejudice, they will pass this onto their children etc.
But this doesn’t make them right wing.