Demographic Dangers & Declining Birth Rates, Part Four: Culture Wars, Morality, & Psychology.

Governments ignore demographic trends at their peril. Very few factors exert such strong influences on great power competition like changes in the size, capabilities & make-up of a nations population. Right-wing nationalist narratives are leveraging psychological factors including conservative predispositions to maximise their arguments for short-term gain over long-term stability.

Peter Winn-Brown

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A male peacock displays his tail feathers to advertise his vitality, fertility and health.
A male peacock displays his tail feathers advertising his vitality, fertility and health.

“…//…many political scientists and psychologists have argued against the notion that (an) individuals issue positions passively track their liberal–conservative ‘’team’’ preference. Instead, these researchers suggest that individuals are psychologically prepared (by their genes, childhood experiences, personality characteristics, positions in society, etc.) to adopt some policy positions more easily than others.”

Koleva, Graham, Iyer, Ditto & Haidt. (1).

Our political persuasions; not so much written in the stars, as written in our DNA?

Could it really be true? Are we all merely slaves to our chemical constituents, or there is more going on here?

At the end of Part Three of this series I quoted from a Foreign Affairs article by Casey and Nexon who pointed out the many similarities between the fascist regimes of the 1920–30’s and many of today’s right-wing groups and parties. One common theme is the adoption of right-wing narratives to “present specific outsiders (racial, ethnic, religious, or whatever) as foreign pathogens.”

In his oft quoted 1995 essay Ur-fascism, Umberto Eco, who lived through the interwar and wartime periods of the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s as a boy and young man in an Italy in thrall to Mussolini, wrote this which summarises the fascist appeal to what we might call a conservatives intolerance to ambiguity, or as Eco calls it, a fear of difference:

“No syncretistic (i.e. the contradictory merging of different forms or

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Peter Winn-Brown

The past can illuminate the present if we shine the light of inquiry openly, truthfully, with attention to detail & care for the salient facts.