Does alcohol make us more right-wing?

At Spectator Coffee House

Similarly, as this study of the anti-anxiety drug lorazepam shows, ‘anxiety exerts a general inhibitory effect on harmful acts toward other humans regardless of whether the motivation for those harmful acts is selfish or utilitarian.’ People, once loosened up by alcohol, are more willing to punish wrongdoers, and certainly drink is long associated with violence and in particular communal mob violence.

Personally this jars with my own experience; since conservatism is associated with higher levels of fear – conservatives’ brains perceive threats more than those of liberals – I think I tend to become more liberal as I drink more. Of course in the morning, when I wake up in bed still wearing all my clothes and my mouth tasting like sandpaper, that’s a different matter.

Or perhaps it’s because social liberalism is more acceptable in polite society, and many of us are more right-wing than we let on. Public liberalism may be partly maintained for sexual selection reasons: since women find the qualities behind liberalism – generosity and compassion – attractive and high-status, many men exaggerate these aspects of their character.

read it all

What do you think?

*