Policy convertites

I have made an observation on the psychology of people who are strongly pro-civil rights, pro-peace, pro-cultural diversity and the like.

They may put a lot of effort into their favourite topic, but after years of such effort when faced by a similar topic but different taste of it, they may snap and turn with a convertite's fervor around.

The German greens provided anecdotal evidence for this: Their top politicians ranted for a decade against militarised foreign policy, arms exports and so on - only to become the top supporters of the ISAF mission.

Some people who looked like 150% pacifists have recently turned into IS haters wishing for military action against the IS.

A lot of "small government" ideology folks reliably turn into "big budget" folks whenever the topic is the "defense" budget.

Some civil rights movement leaders have had similar moments; still fighting for the interests of their own group against a favourite opposition group, they're often all-too easily lured into trying to oppress a third group.

It looks as if somehow the rational part of the brain got its way on the main topic, but after years the irrational, part finally got its way in a fresh topic. As if some kind of pressure was building up, only to be released by some kind of unexpected provocation.

I lack the researched rive and contacts to look up whether psychological research has discovered, confirmed and labelled this already. It would be interesting to know, but experimental confirmation would be very difficult.

The phenomenon - if existing - would be a major problem in the pursuit of rational, wise policies that face irrational, intuitive competing policy alternatives.



  1. Maybe this is what happens http://www.lewissociety.org/innerring.php


  2. This is a historical and very special kind of policy converts:
    Undoing the Inquisition… 500 years later (half a millennium later).

    1. [‘Convertites’ is an old-fashion word, we use the term ‘converts’ today and since the Inquisition, LOL.]

    2. Since this blog is also about humour (after the fundamental RIGHT TO LIFE [1], come the right to freedom of thought and expression [2]… and so on; not the way around, as some might be confused. A dead body enjoys no freedom whatsoever.), if you wish of course, I will allow myself a small digression, to recall my friend’s words, a small financial adviser in a small bank, with his specific Mediterranean accent (played):
    ‘Why do you think they did that? Economic crisis? They want Jewish money again? Para la Reconquista or el Nuevo Mundo, quien sabe?
    First, they dispossessed the Jews (the Moors/Arabs/Muslims, the Gypsies…) of their citizenship, belongings and assets. Now, they give the Jews back their rights to citizenship, 500 hundred years later:
    - only if they can prove their Sephardic filiations for the last 500 years.
    Yeah, sure!
    500 years ago there were no computer hard disks and papers burn like a smoked cigarette.
    I haven’t seen my Grandmother alive, how would I know?
    Is a copy of Sarajevo Haggadah, ok? Cause Tony Blair has one, but… anyways.
    But they are not talking about giving the Jews back their belongings and assets (with interests)? You know, 500 years of interests might even be bigger than Spain and Portugal together, today!
    You could get one almost close to Eilat or Acre (where Napoleon was stopped, they did not go through the second wall of defence).
    Wait a second. I’m already in Eilat and my aunt Shirley is in Acre…(l-oops!)
    And, what are the conditions for the Moors and Gypsies?’
    [Please note that this is dangerous. Do not try this at home]

    1. Simple explanation for that: The German word is "Konvertit".

    2. Thank you for your answer.
      Indeed, the German dictionary/ authority states 'Konvertit'... to our Translations.
      But it is not exactly specific to the Iberian Peninsula; you do not live there and you do not have to take the lifeless bodies on the beaches, everyday and every night. (this is not a joke, check the Spanish police statistics).