Sit in a room with Left/Progressive activists and note that left handed people are often about 20-25% of the people present.  Lefthanders in the U.S. comprise about 12% of the population.  What’s with all the lefties on the Left?

Note that when defining conservative and liberal, those most conservative are most comfortable going furthest back in time.  Get rid of the New Deal, and you’re pretty damn conservative.  Get rid of women’s suffrage, and you’ve crossed some line.  (The media won’t print your editorials).  Bring back slavery, and you’re nuts.

Demand universal health care, and you’re progressive.  Demand unions and environmental rights for third-world workers, and you’re pretty radical.  Cry out to end world hunger and initiate universal health care for all humans everywhere, and you’re crazy.

As you become more conservative, you move further back in time.  As your progressive tendencies increase, you stretch more and more into the future.  The center of this teeter-totter, where we sit now, is the present.

In our culture, time proceeds from left to right.  We read from left to right.  We turn pages from left to right.  In our diagrams of time and evolution, progress proceeds from left to right.  So what’s with all the lefties sitting in the narrative past and the right-wingers lodged so firmly in the future?  This placement does not seem intuitive.

It has been hypothesized that our genetic ancestors, who lived in a matriarchic social structure before pre Indo-Europeans, were largely lefties.  Anomalously dominant in neuropsychological jargon, these precursors to even ancient culture were random handed (half the time lefties, half the time righties), progressive radicals that believed in the commons or shared resources as the center of society, free love (kids did not know who their father was), with dance, music and a shared spirituality as the central bond of culture.  With two brain hemispheres near identical in size, right-handedness was not compelled by a larger left lobe creating a right-handed person, as is the case today.  How those pre-ancient lefties gave way to the right-handed, hierarchical, highly stratified, male-dominated, female-repressing societies that fill our history books is another story.

Relevant to this brief entry is the astonishingly recent (last 200 years) change in social and political current.  A perhaps 40,000-year-old tide has reversed direction.  Post enlightenment, there has been an at-first slow and now tsunami-fast change in how sexual partners are chosen.  You could call this the return of the lefties.

Conservatives demand male dominance characterized by no abortion, no contraceptives, one marriage, less pay for females, a belief that females should stay at home and a perception that the female’s job is to make men’s lives more tolerable, etc.  Basically, male-dominated culture controls female procreation.  The ideal male is macho.  The ideal female cooperates with the man.

But Progressives suggest neither sex should be legislatively controlled, and females, of course, get to pick their own husband, and he may be whatever kind of husband they want.  Macho is out.  As things stand now in the U.S., long-standing criteria for the perfect husband have disappeared.  This is a very recent development with profound implications, the most powerful of which is that macho male mates are no longer universally the cat’s pajamas.  Hence, force-filled females and sensitive males are highly valued. These are two very common participants in meetings of the political Left.  Meetings, not coincidentally, with a high percentage of left handed people.  You see, that old genotype never completely went away.

Linear time, as a concept, was created by ancients in early civilizations who were right-handed and who had a large left brain lobe.  Left-handed nature worshippers were the past.  They were disappearing.  Right-handed patriarchs had become the present and the foreseeable future.  So, time moved from left to right, matriarchal to patriarchal.

It also helped that right-handed writers would smear their writing medium if they wrote left to right, which maybe explains the convergence of “right” (as in correct), “right” (as in right-handed) and “write” all sounding the same.

The pre-ancient lefty past has also become the radical Progressive’s future (deep respect for the commons, shared resources, horizontal (think the web) nonhierarchical organization, women pick their own partners).

Marriage is evolving into serial monogamy.  Dance, music and the new spirituality–the environmental movement–are roaring into world culture.  The planet is our commons, and we’re starting to get it.  And, this time, it’s the righties that are getting left behind.


This entry was posted on Saturday, April 19th, 2008 at 6:25 am and is filed under Activism, lefthanded, Sexual Selection, Society. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
1 Comment so far

  1. CaroleS on April 21, 2008 5:54 am

    I read the other day that tools found from Stone Age times were sharpened equally for left and right handed use. It appears that humans only developed a preference for right-handedness during the Bronze Age.

    Carole from

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