Robert Manne, son of German Jewish refugees, and Emeritus Professor of Politics and Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow at La Trobe University, was once (1990s) referred to by the media as an “arch conservative”, and was the editor of Quadrant journal, Australia’s only right wing literary serious type CIA funded (back in the day) monthly, founded in 1955 by poet James McAuley and journalist Richard Krygier, and which was in origin part of the worldwide Congress for Cultural Freedom largely ex-Trotskyist turned Cold War warrior intellectual movement, itself founded in Berlin in 1950.
When he was editor of Quadrant, 1989-1997, the major issue on the right was over “economic rationalism”, and the majority view, or best funded view, was for free trade. Manne however (who was close to the communitarian Catholic anti-communist with the resplendent name of Bartholomew Augustine Santamaria in Melbourne) was a protectionist and gave plenty of space for other protectionists in Quadrant’s pages and this irritated the Board of the magazine, and/or its donors, no end and they eventually sacked him.
It was primarily this, as far as we’re concerned, his sacking from Quadrant, that led Manne to a very wild swing to the Left, as being editor of Quadrant was his favourite thing in the world, far more interesting than teaching unimpressive undergrads at a second rate university, and they had taken it from him. There is no doubt some sort of lesson in psychology here, how personal-professional issues and events can have a gigantic influence on a person’s outlook.
Manne’s return to the Left (he had been a youthful leftist) led to him later being twice voted Australia’s “leading public intellectual”, and this will give you an idea of how far he fell, and the depths which he plumbed, and boy did he plumb some depths, but it’s most interesting to look at the physiognomic effect (cause?) on him:
What the mechanisms are that produce these kinds of changes in facial appearance are beyond us, and there are chicken and egg questions about what comes first, in that we’re suggesting in Manne’s case that it was a real world event that caused the onset of the shift, but it may have been more complicated and multifactorial.
In general terms you will be warned about soy, and phytoestrogens (the Pill) and psychoactive drugs and fluoride in the water supply, all sorts of other chemicals like in plastics, general diet issues like grass fed meat versus grain fed, over consumption of grains and processed foods in general, whether you are lean or overweight, whether you do resistance training or not, and such other things.
There’s also the Duttonite long range genetic view which boils down to: until 200 years ago 50% of people born did not survive into adulthood, due to weak immune systems being the result of harmful genetic mutations they carried; 85% of the genome concerns the brain, so these people would have had harmful mutations in the brain as well, but they didn’t survive to pass on their mutations. Today 99% of babies born survive to reproduction age, due to modern medicine, and they pass on their mutations, and this has been going on for almost 200 years, first among the upper classes (because first access to the new medicines), then the middle, then the lower. But in Australia, being rather egalitarian, it would have occurred more evenly across classes.
Some of these things are not going to be relevant in Manne’s case, and it’s all very complicated and above our pay grade mostly, but Manne is indeed a salutary physiognomic lesson or PSA in something.