However, what I could argue is that this study is being misrepresented, and that what is thought of as being "right-wing" is usually wrong. And I do this because I've seen this study being used in social media as a flag-pole sign of how Democrats and members of the PRD-Morena Mexican parties are smarter than Republicans and well, whoever is not a member of PRD-Morena (PRI and PAN basically). It tickles me how this study, which shows prejudice as a sign of low intelligence, is used to prejudice people by other people thinking that they are being smart by doing so.
First off, the authors themselves state (note 1, page 193) that "We focused on social-cultural conservatism rather than economic conservatism, given that the former is more clearly related to prejudice (Jost et al., 2003; Van Hiel et al., 2010)." And what they mean by "right-wing ideology" is one that is "characterized by resistance to change and the promotion of intergroup inequalities" (page 188). This means, that they are not linking to any right-wing economic ideologies or political ones, only social ones. When framed like this, the study actually provides a pretty obvious conclusion: idiots like things to not change. Meaning: prejudice implies an absence of intent to grow intellectually (usually provided by greater diversity of opinions) which is itself a strong sign of a low cognitive ability. So, yeah, duh.
Every time I talk to a person that is against homosexuality or a minority coming in and taking his job, they rarely provide a logical, well-thought out argument. It's usually more of a sentimental one; one that comes from the gut, instead of the head. And I get it. These topics are usually ones that are too close to their feelings/identity: homophobes are such usually because of their parents teachings, so being fine with homosexuality is a slap in the face to their ancestors; nobody is born racist, but our brain is very good in fooling itself in finding patterns where there aren't any, and seeing a couple black muggers or Hispanic gangs is enough for prejudice to set in, specially when they live next to you.
However, I find it disappointingly ironic that while waiving this study as a flag against prejudice, they are in fact acting on a prejudice: right-wingers are dumb and left-wingers are smart. And they're doing so with an incomplete understanding of what being "right-wing" or "left-wing" means.
Being "right-wing" or "left-wing" is a many-sided dice, with different meanings depending on the context. Yes, socially speaking, "right-wingers" are usually those that are uncomfortable with change and, thus, discourage minority acceptance. However, economically speaking, a "right-winger" prefers the free market to provide solutions to problems, instead of having a centralized institution that regulates and oversees everything, such as the government, the preferred tool for good of the "left-winger". Politically speaking, the "right-winger" prefers a small government, charging few taxes, and letting the communities decide the solutions to their local problems, while the "left-winger" sees taxes as kind of social service, in which one nation implies one community, all governed by the same laws. Both have their pros and cons, but both have great minds behind them, which have been discussing for decades, even centuries. If one side was dumber than the other, shouldn't it have already won this economic/political argument?
In fact, I would submit that many of the economic/political philosophies of the "left-wing" PRD-Morena parties here in Mexico tend to be "right-wing": local indigenous communities with their own set of laws, lower taxes, and a small government with a small amount of power.
I would also submit that this study was used by a few, just a few "left-wingers" who liked being called smart by comparison, since it played right into their prejudicial mindset of "right-wingers" being homophobic, racist idiots. This wasn't about being smart or dumb, it was an us-versus-them issue. It wouldn't have mattered if the study would've concluded the opposite, I'm sure there would have been a few, just a few "right-wingers" using it to pour more gasoline into the flames of rivalry.
The irony is that I'm sure this few, just a few "left-wingers" didn't realize that they are part of a tribal battle in which it doesn't matter if you are right or not, you root for your team, and you boo everybody else. They didn't realize that they were behaving in the same manner the other side behaves for which they deservedly criticize them for. And, sadly, they didn't realize that by doing so, they were recursively casting themselves as dumb.
1) Página 29, en la sección de Neutralidad de las Redes:
“Para asegurar que estos beneficios se hagan una realidad, se requiere garantizar que los usuarios de los servicios puedan acceder a cualquier contenido, aplicación o servicio ofrecido por el concesionario de su red o por otros. En este orden de ideas, en la presente iniciativa se considera que LOS CONCESARIONARIOS NO DEBEN LIMITAR, DEGRADAR, RESTRINGIR O DISCRIMINAR EL ACCESO A CUALQUIER SERVICIO, sea provisto e su red o en otras, NI LIMITAR EL DERECHO DE LOS USUARIOS DEL SERVICIO DE INTERNET a incorporar o utilizar cualquier clase de instrumentos, dispositivos o aparatos que se conecten a su red, salvo que medie orden de autoridad competente por la existencia de algún ilícito o infracción administrativa o el propio usuario solicite la restricción.”
La parte de “salvo que medie orden de autoridad competente por la existencia de algún ilícito” es el estándar de seguridad a nivel internacional (en casos de pornografía infantil, hack ilegales, etc.). Y la “orden de autoridad” es básicamente una orden de cateo como parte de un caso legal. No lo pueden hacer cuando se les pegue la gana por razones comerciales, lo cual lo reafirman en la página 140, artículo 141:
"Los concesionarios con participación pública deberán sujetarse a principios de neutralidad a la competencia cuando sus fines sean comerciales."
2) Página 141, artículo 145, fracción II:
"Privacidad. Deberán preservar la privacidad de los usuarios y la seguridad de la red. Podrán bloquear el acceso a determinados contenidos, aplicaciones o servicios A PETICIÓN EXPRESA DEL USUARIO, cuando media orden de autoridad o sean contrarios a alguna normatividad."
Este artículo sólo habla de la privacidad de la información del usuario, no de servicios comerciales. Lo cual se reafirma en la página 142, artículo 146:
"Los concesionarios y los autorizados que presten el servicio de acceso a internet podrán hacer ofertas según las necesidades de los segmentos de mercado y clientes, DIFERENCIANDO ENTRE NIVELES DE CAPACIDAD, VELOCIDAD O CALIDAD."
Lo único que pueden diferenciar es en la calidad de conexión, que ya lo hacen con los paquetes de velocidad 5 MBs, 10 MBs, etc.
3) Lo único que veo extraño es en la página 158, artículo 197, fracción VII:
"Bloquear, inhibir, o anular de manera temporal las señales de telecomunicaciones en EVENTOS Y LUGARES CRÍTICOS PARA LA SEGURIDAD PÚBLICA Y NACIONAL a solicitud de las autoridades competentes."
Aquí la definición de “seguridad pública y nacional” no está bien definida. Según el Centro de Investigación y Seguridad Nacional (CISEN), y la Ley de Seguridad Nacional, define “seguridad nacional” como:
Las acciones destinadas de manera inmediata y directa a mantener la integridad, estabilidad y permanencia del Estado Mexicano que conlleven a:
a) Proteger al país frente a riesgos y amenazas.
b) Preservar la soberanía, independencia, territorio y la unidad de la federación.
c) Mantener el orden constitucional y fortalecer las instituciones democráticas de gobierno.
d) Defender al país frente a otros Estados o sujetos de derecho internacional.
Preservar el régimen democrático fundado en el desarrollo social, económico y político.
Esto me suena a problemas mayormente internacionales, a excepción del punto C, que podría interpretarse como problemas internos.
La CISEN expresa como parte de las amenazas las siguientes actividades:
“Espionaje, sabotaje, terrorismo (incluyendo actividades de financiamiento), REBELION, traición a la patria, genocidio, tráfico ilegal de materiales nucleares, de armas químicas, biológicas y convencionales de destrucción masiva, y actos en contra de la seguridad de la aviación y la navegación marítima.”
Por lo tanto, vale, este último punto si tiene mérito explorar y proponer una modificación al artículo 197, fracción VII a algo como:
“Bloquear, inhibir, o anular de manera temporal las señales de telecomunicaciones en EVENTOS Y LUGARES CRÍTICOS PARA LA SEGURIDAD PÚBLICA Y NACIONAL a solicitud de las autoridades competentes, sólo en casos de amenaza internacional y nunca en casos que inhiban al derecho a la protesta social.”
Si esto es lo que se quiere protestar, me uno, mientras que no estén protestando por algo que no está ahí: siento que las campañas en las redes sociales tienen que realmente leer la reforma y no brincar automáticamente al lado negativo sólo porque viene del gobierno. Ni siquiera Estados Unidos tiene considerado poner Neutralidad de la Red como parte de sus leyes, cuando esta reforma esta explícitamente haciéndolo.
Freedom of speech is quite the whore. It is to be used by anybody and for whatever purpose, even ill-fated ones. Lies and truths are welcomed all the same, because that cheap wench is open like a casserole at a garden party: anybody can stick their tongue in and have a lick.
And, like any sexy call girl, it is usually the object of jealousy from people that don't fully grasp how these things work. You've seen it happen: one party has an opinion and uses freedom of speech to tell the world about it; a second party comes along that disagrees with that opinion, and also uses it to tell the world about its disagreement; then the first party wants to take away the freedom from the second party, as if it should belong only to one. Like a gambling man in love with last night's hooker: he should have known that he's not the only customer worthy of her loving embrace.
Freedom of speech is a prostitute that can be used free of charge by anyone. To think that its usage depends of the circumstances, is hypocritically postulating that only certain opinions are allowed to spend the night with it. Unfortunately for those opinions, and fortunately for the rest, every opinion gets the same sticky turn as everybody else.
Homophobic creationists, holocaust deniers, biased scholars arguing why we should relieve tax burden from billionaires, and lobby-paid pundits talking about how a war will bring peace, are exactly the same in the semen-painted face of our beloved harlot as scientists talking about evolution, and civil-rights defenders.
Why? Because when it comes to being free to speak my mind, it doesn't matter if I'm right or wrong or crude. It's my speech, and I have the right to speak it whenever, wherever, however I want, regardless of its veracity or prudence. Don't worry, though. There'll be quite a lot of other people that will call me out if they think I'm wrong, and they'll do it by banging that same open-legged trollop in much the same way I did.
It's a free market of speech, and like most free markets, it has the ability to balance itself out. Why not trust it will? Why is it that whenever a lie is provided as a fact in a public setting, a big outcry always roars to censor the liar? If I didn't know any better, I would think that people are not only jealous of somebody else caressing their courtesan, but that they have a sadistic itch that needs to be scratched. That the people are drawn to the idea of forcing our legal system, supposedly unbiased, to silence very specific ideologies. Like a choke ball forced into a victim's mouth, providing terrible precedence for any future bearer of an unpopular opinion. And, worse yet, it's counter-productive: the liar can masochistically welcome the censorship-choke-ball, making it easy for him to pose as a martyr, causing more attention to his lie.
A more elegant and, frankly, more effective way is entrenched in the bosom of that same old tart called freedom of speech: if somebody tells a lie publicly, provide the world a verifiable truth to counter it. When an alternative is brought forward that is more convincing than the lie (either by form or content), people will flock away from it eventually. And whoever stays behind with the lie, are masochists that will never change their mind anyway.
Like everybody else, you are free to shove your speech right up the freedom-lubricated rectum of that libido-packed fille de joie, to tell the world how reality really is... according to you... And if somebody else has a different perspective than you: just pull out, wipe yourself, and let them take their turn. It'll be yours again soon enough.
As a wise imp once said, "When you tear out a man's tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you're only telling the world that you fear what he might say."
Glossing over the Facebook status and/or Twitter posts of various people I'm following, the ones that center around "Restoring Faith in Humanity" always catch my eye.
You know the ones: about a someone helping the homeless, or about that guy that has always brought flowers to her wife for the last half-century, or about that lady that picked the little puppy in the side of the street.
They're all great, and most, if not all, bring a tear to my eye. Specially the ones that are posted by someone that is NOT the person that did the deed. Why? Because it implies that they did it completely selflessly.
For example, one of my favorites is the one about a guy leaving a note and a $50 bill to another guy after hearing him breaking up with his girlfriend. The money was intended to be broken into $1 bills so that the guy could go to a strip club and cheer up. From afar it could be taken as obnoxious and disgusting, but, from the point of view of the note-leaver, this was actually pretty cool of him. I think it's safe to assume that a strip club is the way that he gets over break ups and he wanted to help his neighbor out. Even more so, the fact that he left a note implies that both guys weren't really that close, so this guy wound up technically helping out a complete stranger (in his own way).
There's this thing though about these stories that always bugs me: he signed the note. Why would he do that? Everything was beautiful about this story: the guy was sad, and here comes somebody that wants to help out, which is great by its own, but also "Faith in Humanity is Restored" as now he knows that there is at least one person that cares about him... who lives in apartment 3F.
See, that's the bit that bites out the selflessness of the whole thing. It wasn't completely selfless, the guy took with him the feeling of "being a good guy" and the knowledge that somebody knows it. That is to say, the guy got something out of it, breaking the selflessness.
"Look at me, look at how I'm helping people out." The act is not really done to help people, it's for somebody to feel good about his- or herself.
Don't get me wrong: it's a great incentive to do something good for others. And even better, because whenever those acts are carried out, the benefited party feels as though they "owe" the good-doer. But, in these cases, it can be stated, very honestly, that the favor in itself was the reward. The good-doer feels good about his- or herself; that's what he/she took away from the deed, so nobody owes anything.
My issue here is when it's not honest from this point of view; when the good-doer feels as though what he/she has done is completely selfless when in reality it's not:
"I helped this puppy out of the water. Aren't I such a selfless person?"
Why are you recording yourself doing it?
"I gave so much food to charity. I'm so selfless."
Why are you signing your name in the charity's register and letting people take your picture while you're doing it?
"I'm walking this marathon to raise money for Cancer. Selflessness is my middle name."
Isn't just donating the money directly to the charity a faster way to raise money for it? Why are YOU running? How is running even connected to Cancer? Aren't you just running so people know that YOU are a great person?
And don't get me started about that "raising awareness" argument: donating the money to do a marketing campaign is much easier and hits the target right in the center to achieve that. The marathon is to celebrate YOU, not the charity.
Disclosure: I need to thank Doug Stanhope for this last bit, from whom I basically stole it from. This argument was stuck in my head for so long, and he eloquently formed it in his last comedy special, Beer Hall Putsch.
Still, though, if we need to use the common flaw of vanity of humans for something good, I guess making them feel as a "selfless good person" as their share of the selfless deed seems like a good patch for now, even if they aren't aware of the hypocrisy that it involves. It IS better than doing nothing, which is, sadly, its only virtue. Well, that, and that these stories are "feel-good" entertainment for a lazy Friday afternoon.
EDIT 2014-06-20: The video clip of Doug Stanhope has been taken down. Oh well...