Many have had the experience of being surrounded by right-libertarians and realising that they have absolutely no clue about how other people think, and that this lack of insight inevitably dooms their political philosophy. It’s now apparent to many that the right-libertarian movement is chock full of autists. This essay will argue that right-libertarianism and autism overlap so heavily because they are both highly masculine mindstates with a shared evolutionary genesis.
Right-libertarians often like to paint a picture of how excellently everything would work if there was no welfare. In their minds, the welfare system only incentivises failure. If it was removed, they claim, people would work harder and pull themselves out of poverty rather than “relying on the Government”. Human suffering would decrease as a consequence.
What’s perfectly clear, to the 99% of the population who aren’t right-libertarians, is that this approach completely fails to account for the reality of human behaviour. Pulling the rug out from under tens of millions of struggling people at once would lead to chaos and violence in short order, and the thought that private security could manage enemy odds of hundreds to one is laughable.
Human suffering would increase sharply – and quickly – if we got rid of the welfare system, and a person doesn’t have to be a Dickens scholar to know this. We can simply observe the widespread misery in all times and places that don’t have one. Therefore, no-one will ever get rid of the welfare system, any more than they’ll ever get rid of the law against theft, and for similar reasons. Why don’t right-libertarians understand this?
One approach has it that the major difference between male and female psychology is that the masculine mind is systemising, while the feminine mind is empathising. The logic here is that men and women evolved to fit different niches in the biological environment: the male to the hunting niche, and the female to the gathering and nurturing niche.
Another theory has it that the major difference is that the male brain is autistic while the female brain is psychotic. This is apparent in several ways – chiefly the fact that boys are diagnosed with autism at many times the rate of girls, but also by genetic studies that show that autists tend to inherit from their fathers a disproportionately high number of genetic markers relating to brain development.
Yet another theory points out that men tend to vote for right-wing parties more than women do (a theory supported by the research of our very own Dan McGlashan), and from this draws the conclusion that men are naturally more conservative or orderly than women are.
What all these theories have in common is a realisation that men are not particularly empathetic. After all, the male brain has not evolved to be empathetic. For a hunter, empathy is not useful – in fact, it could even be detrimental if it caused the hunter to hesitate before landing a killing blow. All that really matters is the systemising ability to figure out how to get into position to land the killing blow. That is what is rewarded.
The male adaptation to a hunter’s niche is probably the underlying cause behind both high male rates of autism and of supporting right-libertarian parties. Essentially it’s a matter of a large swathe of people, predominantly men, lacking the brain capacity to imagine what it’s like to be another creature, and thereby coming to support a political movement that simply discounts such experience as a non-factor.
Females, for their part, tend to be neither hunters, autists nor right-libertarians. Their niche required more empathy, because it fell to them to do the bulk of the child-rearing and attending to the sick or old. It’s therefore not easy for women to ignore the suffering endured by other conscious beings. Women (like psychotics) tend to find it stressful when another conscious being is suffering; men (like autists) do not.
In order for a person to become a right-libertarian, they have to be usually masculine, in the sense that they have to have an unusually low amount of empathy for the countless millions who would suffer under their political system. Moreover, they have to keep supporting this system despite the overwhelming opposition from sensible people. These qualities are very similar to the tenacity and stubbornness that autists are infamous for, and probably because of a shared origin in masculine brain structures.
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