A cure I wish I could believe in
Lifetime cure for Lefties - Telegraph
Scientists have given mankind many blessings, but the discovery of the gene for Left-wing behaviour must be foremost among them. For now there is a diagnosis, there can be a cure. Just think of it – a quick screening of the unborn infant, a mild course of gene therapy, and hey presto! The disease can be eradicated within a generation.
Unfortunately it isn't that simple. Being Left-wing, being "liberal" and understanding different people are not synonyms. The press release stated: "People with this genetic predisposition who have a greater-than-average number of friends would be exposed to a wider variety of social norms and lifestyles, which might make them more liberal than average."
The trouble is the researchers slip into a commonly-made assumption about liberal social views, which is that they require relativistic thinking - the appreciation of other people's point of view.
Socially, that's a charming trait for someone to have. Politically, it is the first step on the road to moral relativism, one of the grandest mistakes of so-called liberals the world over. In actual fact, liberalism follows from absolute values. Without them, it betrays itself. Moral and cultural relativism have led many of our fellow liberals into appalling positions. It has led anti-war protestors to argue, horrifically, that Middle Eastern countries do not want democracy. It has led us to accept female circumcision in the Third World. It has led us to a strand of multiculturalism which delegates authority to the leaders of communities, without worrying about the individuals in those communities themselves.
Liberalism is not based on relativism. It is based on an absolute value, one which was best expressed by Immanuel Kant but which you can also find in the New Testament: "Do unto others as you would have them to do unto you." In Kant's philosophical language it's more like: Act as if each of your actions was a universal maxim.
So it might not be Left-wingism we could cure but stupid people and their relativistic cant. Here's hoping.