The Moral Universes of Liberals and Conservatives

I’ve written before in these pages about the intensification of the struggle between the more liberal mindset (signified by Uranus) and a more conservative approach (represented by Saturn) as Saturn and Uranus face off in the sky, beginning in 2008 and continuing throughout 2010.

has an article about social psychologist Jon Haidt who has quantified the differing moral universes of Democrats and Republicans in an effort to foster greater understanding between the two.  Haidt identified five moral impulses:

– Harm/care. It is wrong to hurt people; it is good to relieve suffering.

– Fairness/reciprocity. Justice and fairness are good; people have certain rights that need to be upheld in social interactions.

– In-group loyalty. People should be true to their group and be wary of threats from the outside. Allegiance, loyalty and patriotism are virtues; betrayal is bad.

– Authority/respect. People should respect social hierarchy; social order is necessary for human life.

– Purity/sanctity. The body and certain aspects of life are sacred. Cleanliness and health, as well as their derivatives of chastity and piety, are all good. Pollution, contamination and the associated character traits of lust and greed are all bad.

Democrats, he found, feel strongly about the first two but cared little about the second three.  Republicans valued the third, fourth and fifth value above the first two.  According to Haidt,

“I see liberalism and conservatism as opposing principles that work well when in balance,” he says, noting that authority needs to be both upheld (as conservatives insist) and challenged (as liberals maintain). “It’s a basic design principle: You get better responsiveness if you have two systems pushing against each other. As individuals, we are very bad at finding the flaws in our own arguments. We all have a distorted perception of reality.”

Most of us have a combination of conservative and liberal traits in our charts.  We all have Uranus, we all have Saturn.  Some, like my generation, have those two planets in square formation.  My Saturn/Uranus cohort has famously veered back and forth in crazy radical swings between the desire to stay the same and the need for change.  Part of me wants to live in the Lassie TV show, where mom stayed home and everyone knew their neighbors.  (Saturn) Part of me wants complete freedom from rules and regulations and a constant barrage of technological advances (Uranus). It is often the individuals with this kind of conflict who are the most polarized, such as the example of Rush Limbaugh which I wrote about last summer.

The more we understand the way those we don’t agree with think, the better able we will be to communicate with them.  This is one of the advantages to the wisdom that astrology provides!

By | 2009-04-27T07:36:03+00:00 April 27th, 2009|Politics|Comments Off on The Moral Universes of Liberals and Conservatives
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