Tag Archives: loss aversion

Once I was called ‘liberal scum’. I’m fairly proud of that…

I’ve been pondering politics today, at least the politics that us, the chattering classes bother ourselves with. Not the politics of our own day to days lives, we are often too afraid of the confrontation, and indeed the repercussions of dealing with those politics, but the politics of government, as we see them. What’s that phrase “if I ruled the world,”?

I’m someone who is interested in politics but much more from a psychological point of view. I’m interested in the people that make decisions for us, because we don’t want to make them for ourselves, and I want to understand why they are taking the avenues they take, however preposterous they may sound to some, many or few. All in all I’m interested in what makes the clockwork of government tick, and I’m interested in how we respond to them. But I am consistently astounded at how very like the politicians we are, bandying around our opinions like we know best. Or so it appears.

I must say that I am very tired of is this notion that politicians are evil. It doesn’t matter who is elected in, and it is you, us, we the people who do that, but someone always thinks they are evil. Can we stop this? Because IF you think they are evil, then why are you not doing anything to stop these evil powers? Why are you depending on another momentarily (until they get into power) less evil human being to save you, us, we, from them?

And can I ask this? If all these politicians are evil, who on earth do you want running the show? Warlords? Tribe leaders? Dictators? Modern society has abandoned the nation of Africa because of its politics, leaving children to fight what I think could be considered evil. Anyway, I digress.

When are the hoi polloi going to realise that every single monumental development in history is foreshadowed by fear? The theory of loss aversion is exemplified in every political movement: slavery, apartheid, women’s liberation, gay rights, feminism, Vietnam, Iraq, environment, gun laws; you get the picture. You know, those hot subjects that have had to, and continue to be fought for, where the leaders for change have been and still are considered dangerous, lunatics, or hang on, liberal. Darn those dangerous liberals who are known for their bigotry, racist, sexist and violent behaviour.

The theory can be also applied to taxation, and of course, many, many people are going to be averse to losing their money despite the gain for society at large. It’s human nature, and some are slower to accept change for the better than others. Especially miffed will be the large corporations who are used to being in control, and in particular in the USA where it’s not actually those evil politicians running the show at all but the conglomerates who wield the power.

I try to remind myself every time I listen to the news and find myself frustrated at the decision making of some, that there are many politicians I wouldn’t invite for dinner, just like a good proportion of the world at large. And I also take a moment to realise that the job of running the show is very much more complex than you, we, us, are considering when we are purporting how much better a job could be done.

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