Scientists uncover genetic defect that leads to liberalism

The title of this post may not be entirely fair or scientific, but this is interesting news:
People with left wing views may have their political opinions controlled by a "liberal gene", according to scientists.

The research suggests that some people have an inherent bias against conservative thinking, that is independent of their education or upbringing.

The effect is caused by a [receptor] in the brain called DRD4 which could be stimulated by the novelty value of left of centre opinions, say US researchers.

In people who are naturally outgoing, the feature encourages them to seek out companions with unconventional views as they grow up.

This in turn means they tend to form less conventional political viewpoints as adults, according to the study by the University of California and Harvard.
Novelty junkies who become liberals were noted to be carriers of the 7R variant of the DRD4 gene. Perhaps it should be no surprise that this genetic variation has also been linked with ADHD:
Associations have been reported of the 7-repeat (7R) allele of the human dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4) gene with both the personality trait of novelty seeking and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
That liberals often value novelty more than common sense or traditional values is not a new observation. James Taranto takes note:
The liberal elites cannot comprehend common sense, and, incredibly, they think that's a virtue. After all, common sense is so common.

The British philosopher Roger Scruton has coined a term to describe this attitude: oikophobia. Xenophobia is fear of the alien; oikophobia is fear of the familiar: "the disposition, in any conflict, to side with 'them' against 'us', and the felt need to denigrate the customs, culture and institutions that are identifiably 'ours.' "
How does this addiction to novelty play out in real-world political discourse? The Brit who coined the term "oikophobia" provides some interesting insights from across the pond:
The oik repudiates national loyalties and defines his goals and ideals against the nation, promoting transnational institutions over national governments, accepting and endorsing laws that are imposed on us from on high by the EU or the UN, though without troubling to consider Terence's question, and defining his political vision in terms of universal values that have been purified of all reference to the particular attachments of a real historical community.

The oik is, in his own eyes, a defender of enlightened universalism against local chauvinism.
So the liberal sometimes struggles to grasp the importance of time-tested moral values. The failure to appreciate the significance of values such as group loyalty and traditional conceptualizations of sanctity and purity may, in fact, be progressivism's achilles heel.

Read more about oikophobia at the Wall Street Journal.
Here's a link to the The Journal of Politics article on the DRD4-7R allele.
Discussion: Memeorandum


  1. I can see this...but I can see that as usual I smash the cookie cutter. I am AD/HD without hyperactivity; subtype impulsive/inattentive and yet I am conservative

    I can see the novelty of change for the sake of change, but I suppose age and experience have shown me if something is to be changed it has to make sense and be proven to work...hence

    this hopey dopey 'change' mantra doesn't sit well with me...

  2. This is crap to make it out that liberals are wired to be "independent" thinkers when they're anything but. Frankly, I tend to think we have more free will than that. I also find it insulting that ADHD is being linked to liberal thinking. Like ACUB above, I'm ADHD, am hyper, type A personality, and all the cookies in the cutter, but only with a few rare occasion and that was before I was 25, I can not nor will not support liberal views. I find them demeaning, insulting, bigoted, racists, and down right evil. If my DNA makes me too "dependent" on clear thinking and reasoning, then God bless my deformality.

  3. The fundamental principle of all liberal sentiments is...


    They hate:
    - Their country
    - Their culture
    - Their customs
    - Their cuisine
    - Their history
    - Their race
    - Their gender
    - Their religion
    - The truth

    Their behavior is self destructive.
    - Drugs
    - Assisted suicide
    - Abortion
    - Worthless college degrees
    - Socialized medicine
    - Referring to cops as "pigs" and soldiers as "baby killers"

    They worship in a Cult of Death where:

    - Government is God
    - Taxes are tithes
    - Limousine liberals are priests
    - Abortion and suicide are sacraments
    - Earth Day, May Day, and Labor Day are high holy days
    - Vegetarianism and veganism are dietary restrictions
    - Martin Luther King Jr. is a prophet
    - Obama is the Messiah

    There is no US enemy for which they don't make excuses.

    There is no US ally which they don't criticize.

    They never met a weapon system they ever liked.

    There's no non-conservative criminal they won't pardon.

    There's no patriot they won't belittle.

    They firmly believe that mankind is a blight on the planet Earth - a danger to all other life forms. They believe we are not created by God, but are an accident of the universe, and the universe will not miss our destruction.

    They don't possess the "liberal" gene. They possess the suicide gene.

  4. If you knew your unborn baby would have the "liberal gene," would you get an abortion?

  5. The British philosopher Roger Scruton has coined a term to describe this attitude: oikophobia. Xenophobia is fear of the alien; oikophobia is fear of the familiar: "the disposition, in any conflict, to side with 'them' against 'us', and the felt need to denigrate the customs, culture and institutions that are identifiably 'ours.' "

    They are describing classic Oppositional Behavior, which is significant in children with ADD and ADHD. But we all have dopamine receptors so why aren't we all Liberals? A dopamine receptor would be hard wiring. So how can adolescent socialization effect a person's hard wiring? This is Nature vs Nurture. Has anyone ever known any kind of Nurturing like adolescent socialization to cause a change in a person's hard wiring- dopamine receptor?

    Check out Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, baby's born from alcoholic mothers (Hard wiring happens in the womb). There is a connection to dopamine uptake and depression. There have been studies that look at whether the ADD and ADHD person's parent's alcohol use, effected their brain development - dopamine receptors, and the uptake of dopamine by the brain, is important to brain chemistry. They don't know if the brain isn't making enough dopamine in the case of ADD and ADHD people or if the brain is triggering an uptake before the dopamine can make the connection to the receptor. Brain chemistry - the brain releases dopamine, and what isn't used is re-absorbed by the brain - is it re-absorbed too soon before the dopamine can be utilized by the brain?

    Is adolescent socialization a coping mechanism or side effect from dopamine uptake by the brain? Dopamine is what makes people feel good and calm (happy). Is the would be adolescent Liberal, trying to trigger dopamine production through social interaction?

    Oppositional behavior is common in ADD and ADHD children, they also want to be the center of attention. There are significant maturational lags in ADD and ADHD children. Many times I would read or watch a far left pundits/commentators, and the first thing that comes to mind is the person's immaturity. A current example "Joy Behar" she certainly isn't exhibiting maturity on the view.

    Another example, look at Nancy Pelosi, and her bar bill, I wouldn't describe Nancy Pelosi as a sober mature adult ;) Alcohol use, effects the part of the brain that controls maturity, and mental and emotional maturing.

    This study above is odd. It is suggesting that adolescent socialization is the causal effect for the difference in this dopamine receptor. I have not heard of a nurturing behavior "socialization" ever being able to change nature "hard wiring" the dopamine receptor.

    An even better study would be "Why are the very far left liberals attracted to politics" I suspect it's for attention. Psychologist, advise the parent not to react to negative behavior by the child, because in doing so you are sending the child the message, that negative behavior will get them attention - because children want attention. The child doesn't care if it is negative or posit what kind of attention a child of an alcoholic might have been programed to expect, and what behavior did the develop because of it.

    The reason I suspect alcohol use in this dopamine receptor study is simple. Take a look at the disease Co -Dependency it mirrors Collectivism.

    Is Liberalism really a disease?

    My late sister was a Counselor, She got her Master in Psychology. She specialized in adolescents, and their development.

  6. @ Keyboard Jockey

    The assertion is that adolescent associations become part of the process of developing political attitudes, but the 7R variant of the DRD4 gene predisposes an individual to develop a preference for friends who hold unconventional (liberal) views.

    As with any other genetic variation, expression does indeed depend on environment.

    What I find so fascinating is that political ideology could be profoundly affected by biology. Perhaps this is why some people seem impervious to the facts.

    Here's an intriguing possibility: Could we diminish the appeal of liberal ideology by doing a better job of pointing out how old and stale liberal ideas really are?

  7. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA omg ok, ok. So, I understand that you'll probably delete this comment because you're afraid of so-called "independent thinkers," like me. Also, I have ADHD and I am a liberal, so chalk one up for proving your point. But are you seriously trying to explain away a difference of opinion as a genetic defect? I have probably met more people with ADHD than you and everyone else who commented on this post, a bunch of them were some of the most hardcore conservatives I've ever met.

    Again, I don't think you have the guts to leave this post up. You are claiming that liberalism is caused by ADHD, when only about 5% of our population is affected with any one of its three subtypes. I dare you to respond to this post, and tell me why I'm wrong. I am not a troller, and I am not trying to start trouble. I am interested to see how you would defend your proposition.



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