Monbiot: Left Wing Greens are the Scapegoats of People like Trump

by Eric Worrall at

According to Monbiot, the US culture of frustration, dissatisfaction, stress, anxiety, anger, compulsive behaviour and disregard for the environment leads to greens being scapegoated.

To beat Trump, we need to know why Americans keep voting for him. Psychologists may have the answer

George Monbiot
US culture is an incubator of ‘extrinsic values’. Nobody embodies them like the Republican frontrunner

Mon 29 Jan 2024 17.00

People at the extrinsic end of the spectrum are more attracted to prestige, status, image, fame, power and wealth. They are strongly motivated by the prospect of individual reward and praise. They are more likely to objectify and exploit other people, to behave rudely and aggressively and to dismiss social and environmental impacts. They have little interest in cooperation or community. People with a strong set of extrinsic values are more likely to suffer from frustration, dissatisfaction, stress, anxiety, anger and compulsive behaviour.

If, by contrast, people live in a country in which no one becomes destitute, in which social norms are characterised by kindness, empathy, community and freedom from want and fear, their values are likely to shift towards the intrinsic end. This process is known as policy feedback, or the “values ratchet”. The values ratchet operates at the societal and the individual level: a strong set of extrinsic values often develops as a result of insecurity and unfulfilled needs. These extrinsic values then generate further insecurity and unfulfilled needs.