January 26, 2016

SCIENCE!!! “Personality is a capitalist construct” [Darleen Click]

I guess all those thousands of years prior to “capitalism” people just bumped around without personalities

Dr Adam Perkins, a lecturer in the neurobiology of personality at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London. Like Chagnon, Perkins is a social scientist whose research findings pose a direct challenge to one of the central planks of left-wing ideology.

Over the past five years, he has accumulated a mass of evidence about the personalities of welfare claimants and concluded that individuals with aggressive, rule-breaking and anti-social tendencies — what he calls the ‘employment–resistant personality profile’ — are over-represented among benefit recipients. He also found that their children are likely to share those traits, which helps explain why poverty has a tendency to be passed down from one generation to the next. […]

[T]o the progressive left, Perkins’s research is sacrilege. It runs counter to the anti-capitalist narrative that portrays the ever-expanding underclass as ‘victims’ whose only sin is to be born on the wrong side of the tracks. We’re back to the myth of the noble savage.

Perkins published his findings last November in a book called The Welfare Trait (Palgrave Macmillan, £19.99), but you won’t have heard about it or seen it reviewed in any UK newspaper anywhere because his research has been judged to be off limits by the self-appointed guardians of the academic establishment and their outriders in the media. A senior editor of Nature, one of the leading academic journals, refused to consider it for review because she regards scientific research into the personalities of the long-term unemployed as ‘unethical’, and a sociology professor whom the publishers had asked to peer-review the book refused to do so on the grounds that any book linking benefit dependency to personality must be nonsense because personality is a ‘capitalist construct’.

Colleagues with whom Perkins had collaborated in the past warned him off publication, worried about being associated with such a heretic; and a powerful American professor was so enraged by his conclusions that he lobbied for him to be banned from the conference circuit.

Actual scientists who disagree would challenge Dr Perkins, review his work, produce their own and engage in public debate.

But no. He is to be shunned, shut up and shut down.

Leftism is a jealous religion and even science takes a secondary role. The results are known and only research to confirm those results is to be allowed.

Freedom of scientific pursuit is as valuable to members of the Left as is freedom of speech and due process.

h/t David Thompson

Posted by Darleen @ 2:11pm

Comments (25)

  1. He also found that their children are likely to share those traits, which helps explain why poverty has a tendency to be passed down from one generation to the next. […]

    Given that many benefits are tied to the number of children one has, one can see why the underclass is ever expanding. It’s not because “oppressors” are becoming ever more prevalent. It’s because the Progs subsidize the increase in the number of “victims,” people who are victims only of the Left’s desire to subjugate an ever increasing share of the populace.

  2. I remember when they thought people had multiple personalities.

  3. Palaeo, they were just projecting.

    Kind of like they are now, come to think of it.

  4. Observing the taxonomy of these things, it’s good to note that politics as an area of “scientific” inquiry falls under the branch of zoology. So it’s no surprise that political differences boil up when any theoretical advance is made into discovering the nature of human beings: someone’s partisan baby [read: placard] always gets trashed as a bunch of hooey.

  5. “Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two makes four. If that is granted, all else follows.”


    “How can I help it? How can I help but see what is in front of my eyes? Two and two are four.”
    “Sometimes, Winston. Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane.”

  6. One minor pick to nit: capitalism existed long before any of the other economic theories. It is the most efficient economic system, because it works most efficiently, with or without an intermediating trade medium, such as cash or credit cards. It works just as easily with barter as with more modern systems, such as fractional reserve banking and mortgage packaging.

    If it is allowed to work. But the moment the government puts a limit on it, conditions automatically re-route, slowing things down and causing waste, which results in a lower standard of living than might be possible before the distortion. Case in point exists right here in southern California, on both the macro and micro scales, with gas prices.

    It is more expensive than anywhere west of the Mississippi River, and only part of that is because of high taxes per gallon. It’s also because the Air Quality Management District has required “boutique blends”, depending on in which district a station is located. Each blend is only produced at a specific refinery, and if anything happens to restrict the production at that refinery (say, a worker strike or fire), everyone who lives in that district is going to suffer a spike in prices because supplies have been cut off or severely restricted, since gas from the next district over, which would normally have been used to fill the shortfalls as distributors take advantage of the temporarily higher prices (which makes them money and alleviates the shortage quickly), is forced to stay in its own district.

    So we have clear evidence of a distortion in the market (the moment you cross the California border, gas prices drop 20-50 cents per gallon), which allows for no way to alleviate temporary shortages in supply, which distorts the market even more, in a vicious cycle.

    But when capitalism is allowed to function, it creates enough wealth to raise standards for everyone, even those who demean it, while still using the property developed by corporations who function using it. (e.g., Michael Moore makes millions and receives awards from a system he loathes.)

  7. “Sometimes, Winston. Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane.”

    Schrödinger’s arithmetic. This is one reason why I hate when people try to apply things like quantum theory to things it cannot, and needs not, explain.

  8. Capitalism isn’t even really a system. It’s a name applied to a theory offered to explain something early humans were doing before they were intelligent enough to understand it.

    It still works in the 21st century because the universe doesn’t change to suit us.

  9. Mr. McG has it. And the name or label was prominently applied to commerce by its greatest enemy, Karl Marx himself, whereupon adopted (in all apparent innocence what they were doing) by commerce’s own supporters. This happened in other areas, one of which I’d highlighted years ago respecting the term “ideology”. But hey, who wants to go to all that miserable trouble to winkle out such trivia from intellectual history? Booooooring. Better to just get on with the program.

  10. I kind of have my doubts that George Orwell even knew who Schrödinger was, let alone tried to apply his cat to IngSoc’s Newmath.

  11. He needn’t have. All he needed to do was encounter something like Newmath offered by a British socialist who had.

  12. I’d assume Orwell had read Kafka, but seeing the actual Socthink that must have inspired 1984 would have been a serviceable substitute if he hadn’t.

  13. Growing up my single parent mother took AFDC and Disability. I suppose that will always be available to call me a hypocrite if I say we need welfare reform today.

    Besides the fact that I had no choice in the matter at the time, I think if we could go back to the welfare levels of the 60s and 70s when I was little I think we would be way ahead in the budget game.

  14. The key, if you’re going to have a welfare system, is to restrict it’s implementation to local governments [town or county] and do the same for it’s funding.

  15. Funny how personality is a capitalist construct, yet gender is an inate quality deserving legal protection.

    I guess I’m too unnuanced to understand the difference between a capitalist construct and a social construct</a.

  16. Funny how personality is a capitalist construct, yet gender is an innate quality deserving legal protection.

    “Gender,” actually, has become subject to choice now, thanks to trans activists who want legal protection for however they self-identify at any given moment. They want society and the law to be just as confused about what sex they are as … they are.

    Of course, their own confusion stems from the fact they call sex “gender.”

  17. Gaia hates me
    This I know
    For a hippy told me so
    Four Inca doves peck one to death
    Gaia smiles
    At it’s last breath

    Yes Gaia hates me
    Yes Gaia hates me
    Yes Gaia hates me
    A commie told me so.

    Gaia likes us weak and sick
    Never touch a sharpened stick
    Do what leftist gurus say
    So Gaia’s hate might go away

    Yes Gaia hates me
    Yes Gaia hates me
    Yes Gaia hates me
    The mayor told me so.

  18. Dang. I used it’s, the contraction form of it is, instead of the possessive its.

  19. Okay forget it , the song is ruined.

  20. And yet the it’s written possessive form is in the Constitution fair copy, so y’know, good company.

  21. It’s a doggun shame, is what it is.

  22. If “personality is a capitalist construct”, and the genius who said that is a socialist (or some other variety of non-capitalist), is he then asserting that he has no personality?

    Hale Adams
    Pikesville, People’s still-mostly-Democratic Republic of Maryland

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