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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Berkeley study: If you have the misfortune to be born into a system of left-wing indoctrination, your best hope is to be born a misfit.

The Berkeley study of what kinds of kids grow up to be conservatives is actually a study of what kinds of kids are most and least susceptible to left-wing indoctrination.

The context for the study is one of the most profound systems of indoctrination ever devised. Berkeley children are taught from elementary school to approve homosexuality, to believe that violence only causes more violence (that it is always best to appease evil), that minorities are oppressed, that capitalism is killing the Earth, that black is white, etcetera. It also demands total conformism to its panoply of leftist views on pain of social ostracism.

What is measured at the end of the Berkeley study is how well the indoctrination worked. How politically correct did the students turn out? To the extent that the study actually has any information to convey, all it does is provide some indication of what kind of kids the Berkeley system of indoctrination is most effective on.

It is not so surprising that it would tend to work the best on those kids who the indoctrinators themselves rated as well-adjusted in nursery school. These would be the conformists, the get-alongers, the “socially intelligent.”

Consider one of the dimensions that is mentioned as predictive of successful indoctrination into Berkeley leftism: whether a particular nursery school child is good at making friends. As anyone who has spent time at a politically correct university knows, the easiest way to make friends in such an environment is to be politically correct. You don’t fight the prevailing indoctrination if you are a person who puts getting-along ahead of principled understanding. Thus if a child was a friend-maker in nursery school, it makes sense that he would be susceptible to indoctrination. Being on the inside is important to him, and in Berkeley, that means being politically correct.

If this is what is happening, then the correlation to political orientation would get reversed if the indoctrination was into conservative rather than liberal views. The easiest way to make friends would be to go along with the indoctrinated views, so those kids who were friendship-oriented would tend to become conservative.

The correlation between friendship orientation and conservatism should be strongest in those schools where no indoctrination takes place at all and students arrive at conservatism by following reason and evidence (not a possibility for left-liberal views). Common views based on mutually sound comprehension provides a far stronger basis for friendship than political correctness, which is really a system of blackmail, founded on intellectual dishonesty.

In the culture of political correctness, anything that can possibly be misunderstood as racist, sexist, or otherwise bigoted or selfish, is intentionally misunderstood as a means of claiming victimization and demanding redress. Some friendship. Political correctness is more like a criminal gang, where those identified as outsiders are attacked, while those on the inside (so long as they stay inside) protect each other.

The lesson of the study is, if you have the misfortune to be born into a community like Berkeley that will spare no expense to indoctrinate you into politically-correct leftism, your best hope is to be born a congenital misfit, doomed to be an outsider in any case. Then there is a chance you will end up an outsider to political correctness, and manage to become a sane adult, instead of another Berkeley moron.

Michelle Malkin has been collecting links on the nursery-school study of conservatism.

My in depth Fisking of the 2003 Stanford/Berkeley "conservatives are crazy" study here.

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